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He has grown aged in this world of woe,
In deeds, not years, piercing the depths of life.
So that no wonder waits him.

BYRON—Childe Harold. Canto III. St. 5.


Fate seem'd to wind him up for fourscore years;
Yet freshly ran he on ten winters more;
Till like a clock worn out with eating time,
The wheels of weary life at last stood still.
DRYDENEdipus. Act IV. Sc. 1.

His hair just grizzled
As in a green old age.
DRYDENEdipus. Act III. Sc. 1.

(See also HOMER) Forsake not an old friend; for the new is not comparable to him: a new friend is as new wine; when it is old, thou shalt drink it with pleasure. Ecclesiasticus. LX. 10.

(See also BACON) Nature abhors the old.

EMERSONEssays. Circles.

* Years steal Fire from the mind, as vigor from the limb; And life's enchanted cup but sparkles near the

brim. BYRON—Childe Harold. Canto III. St. 8.

10 Oh, for one hour of blind old Dandolo, Th' octogenarian chief, Byzantium's conquering

foe! BYRONChilde Harold. Canto IV. St. 12.

11 Just as old age is creeping on apace, And clouds come o'er the sunset of our day, They kindly leave us, though not quite alone, But in good company—the gout or stone.

BYRON-Don Juan. Canto III. St. 59.




We do not count a man's years, until he has nothing else to count.

EMERSON—Society and Solitude. Old Age.



My days are in the yellow leaf;

The flowers and fruits of love are gone;
The worm, the ker, and the grie

Are mine alone!
BYRON-On this day I complete my Thirty-sixth


Remote from cities liv'd a Swain,
Unvex'd with all the cares of gain;
His head was silver'd o'er with age,
And long experience made him sage.
Gay-Fables. Part I. The Shepherd and the


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A green old age, unconscious of decays,
That proves the hero born in better days.
HOMER-Iliad. Bk. XXIII. L. 925. POPE's

trans. (See also DRYDEN)




Old and well stricken in age.

Genesis. XVIII. 11.

She may very well pass for forty-three,

In the dusk with a light behind her.
W. S. GILBERT-Trial by Jury.

(See also BICKERSTAFF) Das Alter macht nicht kindisch, wie man spricht, Es findet uns nur noch als wahre Kinder.

Age childish makes, they say, but 'tis not true;
We're only genuine children still in Age's sea-
GOETHE-Faust. Vorspiel auf dem Theater.

L. 180.
Old age is courteous--no one more:
For time after time he knocks at the door,
But nobody says, “Walk in, sir, pray!”
Yet turns he not from the door away,
But lifts the latch, and enters with speed,
And then they cry, “A cool one, indeed.”


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O blest retirement! friend to life's decline Retreats from care, that never must be mine How blest is he who crowns, in shades like these, A youth of labour with an age of ease!

GOLDSMITH-Deserted Village. L. 97.

Boys must not have th' ambitious care of men,
Nor men the weak anxieties of age.
HORACE–Of the Art of Poetry.
WENTWORTH DILLON's trans. L. 212.

Seu me tranquilla senectus
Exspectat, seu mors atris circumvolat alis.

Either a peaceful old age awaits me, or death flies round me with black wings. HORACE—Satires. Bk. II. 1. 57.

19 Ladies, stock and tend your hive, Trifle not at thirty-five; For, howe'er we boast and strive, Life declines from thirty-five; He that ever hopes to thrive Must begin by thirty-five. SAMUEL JOHNSONTo Mrs. Thrale, when

Thirty-five. L. 11. 20 Superfluous lags the veteran on the stage, Till pitying Nature signs the last release, And bids afflicted worth retire to peace. SAMUEL JOHNSON-Vanity of Human Wishes.

L. 308.



I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine. GOLDSMITH-She Stoops to Conquer. Act I.

Sc. 1. (See also BACON) They say women and music should never be dated.

GOLDSMITH-She Stoops to Conquer. Act III. Alike all ages: dames of ancient days Have led their children thro' the mirthful maze, And the gay grandsire, skill'd in gestic lore, Has frisk'd beneath the burthen of threescore.

GOLDSMITH—The Traveller. L. 251.



L'on craint la vieillesse, que l'on n'est pas sûr de pouvoir atteindre.

We dread old age, which we are not sure of being able to attain. LA BRUYÈRE—Les Caractères. XI.




Slow-consuming age.
GRAY-Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton Col-

lege. St. 9.
Struggle and turmoil, revel and brawl
Youth is the sign of them, one and all.
A smoldering hearth and a silent stage
These are a type of the world of Age.

W. E. HENLEY_Of Youth and Age. Envoy.

To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty

L'on espère de vieillir, et l'on craint la vieillesse; c'est-à-dire, l'on aime la vie et l'on fuit la mort.

We hope to grow old and we dread old age; that is to say, we love life and we flee from death. LA BRUYÈRE—Les Caractères. XI.



Peu de gens savent être vieux.

Few persons know how to be old.

years old.


0. W. HOLMES-On the seventieth birthday of

Julia Ward Howe, May 27, 1889.

La vieillesse est un tyran qui défend, sur peine de la vie, tous les plaisirs de la jeunesse.

Old age is a tyrant who forbids, upon pain of death, all the pleasures of youth. LA ROCHEFOUCAULD-Maximes. 461.



You hear that boy laughing? You think he's all

fun; But the angels laugh, too, at the good he has done. The children laugh loud as they troop to his call, And the poor man that knows him laughs loud

est of all! O. W. HOLMESThe Boys. St. 9.

The sunshine fails, the shadows grow more

dreary, And I am near to fall, infirm and weary.


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The course of my long life hath reached at last,
In fragile bark o'er a tempestuous sea,
The common harbor, where must rendered be,
Account of all the actions of the past.


Age is not all decay; it is the ripening, the swelling, of the fresh life within, that withers and bursts the husk. GEORGE MACDONALDThe Marquis of Lossie.

Ch. XL.

Senex cum extemplo est, jam nec sentit, nec

sapit; Ajunt solere eum rursum repuerascere.

When a man reaches the last stage of life,without senses or mentality—they say that he has grown a child again. PLAUTUS-Mercator. II. 2. 24.

17 Why will you break the Sabbath of my days? Now sick alike of Envy and of Praise.

POPE-First Book of Horace. Ep. I. L. 3. Learn to live well, or fairly make your will; You've played, and loved, and ate, and drank



What find you better or more honorable than age?

* Take the preeminence of it in everything;—in an old friend, in old wine, in an old pedigree. SHAKERLEY-MARMION—Antiquary. Act II.

Sc. 1. (See also BACON)

your fill.

Walk sober off, before a sprightlier age
Comes tittering on, and shoves you from the

stage. POPE—Imitations of Horace. Bk. II. Ep. 2.

L. 322.

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When you try to conceal your wrinkles, Polla, with paste made from beans, you deceive yourself, not me. Let a defect, which is possibly but small, appear undisguised. A fault concealed is presumed to be great.

MARTIALEpigrams. Bk. III. Ep. 42.


Set is the sun of my years;
And over a few poor ashes,

I sit in my darkness and tears.

Old wood to burn! Old wine to drink! Old friends to trust! Old authors to read !Alonso of Aragon was wont to say in commendation of age, that age appeared to be best in these four things. MELCHIORFloresta Española de Apothegmas o Sentencias, etc. II. 1. 20.

(See also BACON) 11

The ages roll Forward; and forward with them, draw my soul

Into time's infinite sea. And to be glad, or sad, I care no more; But to have done, and to have been, before I

cease to do and be. OWEN MEREDITH (Lord Lytton)-The Wan

derer. Bk. IV. A Confession and Apology. St. 9.

Me let the tender office long engage
To rock the cradle of reposing age;
With lenient arts extend a mother's breath,
Make languor smile, and smooth the bed of

Explore the thought, explain the asking eye!
And keep awhile one parent from the sky.

POPE-Prologue to the Satires. L. 408.

20 His leaf also shall not wither.

Psalms I. 3. 21

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

Psalms XC. 10.

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Age has now Stamped with its signet that ingenuous brow. ROGERS-Human Life. (1819)

(See also Scott)

Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo The means of weakness and debility; Therefore my age is as a lusty winter, Frosty, but kindly.

As You Like It. Act II. Sc. 3. L. 47.




O, roses for the flush of youth,

And laurel for the perfect prime; But pluck an ivy branch for me,

Grown old before my time.

CHRISTINA G. ROSSETTI-Song. St. 1. I'm growing fonder of my staff; I'm growing dimmer in the eyes; I'm growing fainter in my laugh; I'm growing deeper in my sighs; I'm growing careless of my dress; I'm growing frugal of my gold; I'm growing wise; I'm growing, yes, I'm growing old.

SAXE-I'm Growing Old.

On his bold visage middle age
Had slightly press'd its signet sage.
Scorr Lady of the Lake. Canto I. Pt. XXI.

(1810) (See also ROGERS)

All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. At first the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms. And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school. And then the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier, Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard, Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon's mouth. And then thejustice, In fair round belly with good capon lined, With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances; And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon, With spectacles on nose and pouch on side, His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble, pipes And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing. As You Like It. Act II. Sc. 7. L. 139. Same

idea in JEAN DE COURCY-Le Chemin de Vaillance. Copy in British Museum, KING's MSS. No. 14. E. II. See also HORACE-Ars Poetica. 158. (Ages given as four.) In the Mishna, the ages are given as 14, by Jehuda, son of Thema. In Plato's (spurious) Dialog. Axiochus, SOCRATES sums up human life.


Thus pleasures fade away;
Youth, talents, beauty, thus decay,
And leave us dark, forlorn, and gray.
SCOTT-Marmion. Introduction to Canto II.

St. 7.


Thus aged men, full loth and slow,
The vanities of life forego,
And count their youthful follies o'er,
Till Memory lends her light no more.

SCOTT-Rokeby. Canto V. St. 1.



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Old friends are best. King James us'd to call for his Old Shoes, they were easiest for his Feet. SELDEN—Table Talk. Friends.

(See also Bacon) Nihil turpius est, quam grandis natu senex, qui nullum aliud habet argumentum, quo se probet diu vixisse, præter ætatem.

Nothing is more dishonourable than an old man, heavy with years, who has no other evidence of his having lived long except his age. SENECADe Tranquillitate. 3. 7. 9

Turpis et ridicula res est elementarius senex: juveni parandum, seni utendum est.

An old man in his rudiments is a disgraceful object. It is for youth to acquire, and for SENECA_Epistolæ Ad Lucilium. XXXVI. 4.

Senectus insanabilis morbus est.

Old age is an incurable disease.
SENECAEpistolæ Ad Lucilium. CVIII. 29.

Though now this grained face of mine be hid In sap-consuming winter's drizzled snow, And all the conduits of my blood froze up, Yet hath my night of life some memory.

Comedy of Errors. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 311.


What should

we speak of When we are old as you? When we shall hear The rain and wind beat dark December.

Cymbeline. Act III. Sc. 3. L. 36.

17 An old man is twice a child.

Hamlet. Act II. Sc. 2. L. 404.



For we are old, and on our quick'st decrees
The inaudible and noiseless foot of Time
Steals ere we can effect them.

All's Well that Ends Well. Act V. Sc.3. L. 40.

At your age, The hey-day in the blood is tame, it's humble, And waits upon the judgment.

Hamlet, Act III. Sc. 4. L. 68.



Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty;
For in my youth I never did apply
Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood;

Begin to patch up thine old body for heaven.

Henry IV. Pt. II. Act II. Sc. 4. L. 193.



Some smack of age in you, some relish of the saltness of time.

Henry IV. Pt. II. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 91. 2

You are old; As you are old and reverend, you should be wise.

King Lear. Act I. Sc. 4. L. 261.

3 Nature in you stands on the very verge Of her confine.

King Lear. Act II. Sc. 4. L. 148.

Vetera semper in laude, præsentia in fastidio.

Old things are always in good repute, present things in disfavour. Tacitus—Dialogus de Oratoribus. 18.

15 An old man is twice a child. JOHN TAYLORThe Old, Old, very Old Man.

(Thos. Parr.)


O good gray head which all men knew. TENNYSON-On the Death of the Duke of Wel

lington. St. 4.


Age too shines out: and, garrulous, recounts the feats of youth.

THOMSON—The Seasons. Autumn. L. 1231.



Pray, do not mock me:
I am a very foolish fond old man,
Fourscore and upward; not an hour more nor less,
And, to deal plainly,
I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
King Lear. Act IV. Sc. 7. L. 59.

My way of life
Is fallen into the sear, the yellow leaf,
And that which should accompany old age,
As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have; but, in their stead,
Curses not loud, but deep, mouth-honor breath,
Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare

not. Macbeth. Act V. Sc. 3. L. 22.

Annus enim octogesimus admonet me, ut sarcinas colligam, antequam proficiscare vita.

For my eightieth year warns me to pack up my baggage before I leave life. VARRO De Re Rustica. I. 1.


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For Age with stealing steps

Hath clawed me with his crutch.
Thos. Vaux-The Aged Lover renounceth

Love. (Quoted in Hamlet, Act V. Sc. 1.

Not in quartos.) 20 Omnia fert ætas, animum quoque.

Age carries all things away, even the mind. VERGILEclogues. IX. 51.


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"You are old, Father William,” the young man

cried, "The few locks which are left you are gray; You are hale, Father William,

,-a hearty old man: Now tell me the reason, I pray." SOUTHEYThe Old Man's Comforts, and how

he Gained Them. 10

When an old gentleman waggles his head and says: “Ah, so I thought when I was your age, it is not thought an answer at all, if the young man retorts: "My venerable sir, so I shall most probably think when I am yours." And yet the one is as good as the other.

R. L. STEVENSONCrabbed Age and Youth. 11

Every man desires to live long; but no man would be old. SWIFT—Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral

and Diverting. 12

I swear she's no chicken; she's on the wrong side of thirty, if she be a day.

SWIFT-Polite Conversation. I.

13 Vetera extollimus recentium incuriosi.

We extol ancient things, regardless of our own times. TACITUS—Annales. II. 88.

Venerable men! you have come down to us from a former generation. Heaven has bounteously lengthened out your lives, that you might behold this joyous day. DANIEL WEBSTER-Address at Laying the

Corner-Stone of the Bunker Hill Monument

June 17, 1825. Is not old wine wholesomest, old pippins toothsomest, old wood burn brightest, old linen wash whitest? Old soldiers, sweetheart, are surest, and old lovers are soundest. JOHN WEBSTER-Westward Ho. Act II. Sc. 1.

(See also BACON)
Thus fares it still in our decay,

And yet the wiser mind
Mourns less for what age takes away

Than what it leaves behind.
WORDSWORTH-The Fountain. St. 9.

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