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[8] LAELIUS. What you say is true, Cato; but perhaps some one may reply that old age seems more tolerable to you because of your resources, means, and social position, and that these are advantages which cannot fall to the lot of many.

CATO. There is something in that objection, Laelius, but not everything. For example, there is a story that when, in the course of a quarrel, a certain Seriphian1 had said to Themistocles, “Your brilliant reputation is due to your country's glory, not your own,” Themistocles replied, “True, by Hercules, I should never have been famous if I had been a Seriphian, nor you if you had been an Athenian.” The same may be said of old age; for amid utter want old age cannot be a light thing, not even to a wise man; nor to a fool, even amid utmost wealth, can it be otherwise than burdensome.

1 Seriphos, an island of the Cyclades group, a symbol of smallness and insignificance.

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