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[ Also see Aging Ancestry Antiquity Babies Birth Birthday Decay Experience Middle Age Old Age Past Ruins Time Youth ]

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 this time plays many parts,
        His acts being seven ages.
      - William Shakespeare, As You Like It
         (Jaques at II, vii)

All the world's a stage.
      - William Shakespeare, As You Like It
         (Jaques at II, vii)

There is an old poor man
  Who after me hath many a weary step
    Limped in pure love. Till he be first sufficed,
      Oppressed with two weak evils, age and hunger,
        I will not touch a bit.
      - William Shakespeare, As You Like It
         (Orlando at II, vii)

What should we speak of
  When we are as old as you? When we shall hear
    The rain and wind beat dark December, how
      In this our pinching cave shall we discourse
        The freezing hours away?
      - William Shakespeare, Cymbeline
         (Arviragus at III, iii)

Happily he is the second time come to them for they say an old man is twice a child.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Rosencrantz at II, ii)

You cannot call it love, for at your age
  The heyday in the blood is tame, it's humble
    And waits upon the judgment, and what judgment
      Would step from this to this?
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Hamlet at III, iv)

Your lordship, though not clean past your youth, have yet some smack of age in you, some relish of saltness of time in you; and I most humbly beseech your lordship to have a reverent care of your health.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part II
         (Falstaff at I, ii)

Thou whoreson little tidy Bartholomew boar-pig, when wilt thou leave fighting o' days and foining o' nights, and begin to patch up thine old body for heaven?
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part II
         (Doll at II, iv)

As you are old and reverend, should be wise.
      - William Shakespeare, King Lear
         (Goneril at I, iv)

O, sir, you are old;
  Nature in you stands on the very verge
    Of his confine.
      - William Shakespeare, King Lear
         (Regan at II, iv)

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.
      - William Shakespeare, King Lear
         (King Lear at IV, vii)

I have lived long enough. My way of life
  Is fall'n 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.
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Macbeth at V, iii)

Time hath not yet so dried this blood of mine,
  Nor age so eat up my invention,
    Nor fortune made such havoc of my means,
      Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends,
        But they shall find awaked in such a kind
          Both strength of limb and policy of mind,
            Ability in means, and choice of friends,
              To quit me of them throughly.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Much Ado About Nothing
         (Leonato at IV, i)

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,
        My wasting lamps some fading glimmer left,
          My dull deaf ears a little use to hear.
      - William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors
         (Egeon at V, i)

It is not mean happiness, therefore, to be seated in the mean; superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merchant of Venice
         (Nerissa at I, ii)

Give me a staff of honor for mine age,
  But not a sceptre to control the world.
      - William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus
         (Titus at I, i)

Every man over forty is a scoundrel.
      - George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

The easiest thing for our friends to discover in us, and the hardest thing for us to discover in ourselves, is that we are growing old.
      - Henry Wheeler Shaw (used pseudonyms Josh Billings and Uncle Esek)

Though sinking in decrepit age, he prematurely falls whose memory records no benefit conferred on him by man. They only have lived long who have lived virtuously.
      - Richard Brinsley Sheridan

An old man in a house is a good sign in a house.
      - attributed to Ben Sira (Syra)

The vices of old age have the stiffness of it, too; and as it is the unfittest time to learn in, so the unfitness of it to unlearn will be found much greater.
      - Bishop Robert South

"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."
      - Robert Southey,
        The Old Man's Comforts, and how he Gained Them

The careful cold hath nipt my rugged rind,
  And in my face deep furrows eld hath plight;
    My head bespren with hoary frost I find,
      And by mine eye the crow his claw doth bright;
        Delight is laid abed, and pleasure past;
          No sun now shines, clouds have all overcast.
      - Edmund Spenser

It is difficult to grow old gracefully.
      - Madame de Stael (Baronne Anne Louise Germaine de Stael-Holstein)

When a noble life has prepared old age, it is not the decline that it reveals, but the first days of immortality.
      - Madame de Stael (Baronne Anne Louise Germaine de Stael-Holstein)

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