The Particular Harvest of Old Age

An actor need not remain on the stage until the very end of the play: if he wins applause in those acts in which he appears, he will have done well enough. In life, too, a man can perform his part wisely without staying on the stage until the play is finished. However short your life may be, it will still be long enough to live honestly and decently. If, on the other hand, its duration is extended, there need be no more sorrow than a farmer feels when the pleasant springtime has passed, and summer and autumn have arrived. For spring, the season of youth, gives promise of fruit to come, but the later seasons are those that reap the harvests and gather them in. And the particular harvest of old age, I repeat, is its abundant recollection of blessings acquired in earlier years.

– Cicero, Selected Works, (p. 241)

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