Recollections of Seventy Years - Vol. 1

Recollections of Seventy Years - Vol. 1

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Recollections of Seventy Years - Vol. 1

Recollections of Seventy Years - Vol. 1

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Excerpt

This may be termed a book of Old Age; and few themes have been more written about. But seldom have the young taken it for their theme, nor can a very young person know what age actually is. I remember, when a boy of eleven, looking at my father when he was approaching forty, and wondering if I should ever be so old as he then seemed. Well, here I am, nearly twice that age -- and yet not feeling in myself that inactive and morose condition so often associated with advanced years. Shakespeare's old Mortimer on his deathbed typifies another spirit in age -- saying to his nephew, the ambitious York --

But now thy uncle is removing hence,
As princes do their seats, when they are cloyed
With long continuance in a settled place.

Such lordly condescension toward this mundane life is not to be generally expected -- perhaps should not be encouraged in Christians -- but it has its advantages. The love of life is natural, and probably stronger in the old than the young, judging by my own experience, who at seventeen was more ready to leave this world than at seventy-five. Yet one must not cling to earthly life too closely. Emerson opened his essay on Old Age with an allusion to President Quincy's speech at the Phi Beta din-

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