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[15] And, indeed, when I reflect on this subject I find four reasons why old age appears to be unhappy: first, that it withdraws us from active pursuits; second, that it makes the body weaker; third, that it deprives us of almost all physical pleasures; and, fourth, that it is not far removed from death. Let us, if you please, examine each of these reasons separately and see how much truth they contain.

6. “Old age withdraws us from active pursuits.” From what pursuits? Is it not from those which are followed because of youth and vigour? Are there, then, no intellectual employments in which aged men may engage, even though their bodies are infirm? Was there, then, no employment for Quintus Maximus? And none, Scipio, for your father Lucius Paulus, the father-in-law of that best of men, my son? And those other old men, like Fabricius, Curius, and Coruncanius—were they doing nothing, when by their wisdom and influence they were preserving the state?

To the old age of Appius Claudius was also added blindness;

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