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[7] 3. CATO. I will do so, Laelius, as well as I can. For I have often listened to the complaints of my contemporaries (and according to the old adage, “like with like most readily foregathers”), complaints made also by the ex-consuls, Gaius Salinator and Spurius Albinus,1 who were almost my equals in years, wherein they used to lament, now because they were denied the sensual pleasures without which they thought life not life at all, and now because they were scorned by the people who had been wont to pay them court. But it seemed to me [p. 17] that they were not placing the blame where the blame was due. For if the ills of which they complained were the faults of old age, the same ills would befall me and all other old men: but I have known many who were of such a nature that they bore their old age without complaint, who were not unhappy because they had been loosed from the chains of passion, and who were not scorned by their friends. But as regards all such complaints, the blame rests with character, not with age. For old men of self-control, who are neither churlish nor ungracious, find old age endurable; while on the other hand perversity and an unkindly disposition render irksome every period of life.

1 Both were younger than Cato.

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