Ageing Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 3573 quotes )
Ages of happiness. - An age of happiness is quite impossible, because men want only to desire it but not to have it, and every individual who experiences good times learns to downright pray for misery and disquietude. The destiny of man is designed for happy moments - every life has them - but not for happy ages. Nonetheless they will remain fixed in the imagination of man as 'the other side of the hill' because they have been inherited from ages past: for the concepts of the age of happiness was no doubt acquired in primeval times from that condition of which, after violent exertion in hunting and warfare, man gives himself up to repose, stretches his limbs and hears the pinions of sleep rustling about him. It is a false conclusion if, in accordance with that ancient familiar experience, man imagines that, after whole ages of toil and deprivation, he can then partake of that condition of happiness correspondingly enhanced and protracted.
Age puzzles me. I thought it was a quiet time. My seventies were interesting, and fairly serene, but my eighties are passionate. I grow more intense as I age. To my own surprise I burst out with hot conviction. Only a few years ago I enjoyed my tranquility; now I am so disturbed by the outer world and by human quality in general that I want to put things right, as though I still owed a debt to life. I must calm down. I am far too frail to indulge in moral fervor.
Ages of prolonged uncertainty, while they are compatible with the highest degree of saintliness in a few, are inimical to the prosaic every-day virtues of respectable citizens. There seems no use in thrift, when tomorrow all your savings may be dissipated; no advantage in honesty, when the man towards whom you practise it is pretty sure to swindle you; no point in steadfast adherence to the cause, when no cause is important or has a chance of stable victory; no argument in favour of truthfulness, when only supple tergiversation makes the preservation of life and fortune possible. The man whose virtue has no source except a purely terrestrial prudence will in such a world, become an adventurer if he has the courage, and, if not, will seek obscurity as a timid time-server.