That death is common to every age
has been brought home to me by the loss of my
dearest son, and to you, Scipio, by the untimely
end of your two brothers, when they were giving
promise of attaining to the highest honours in the
State. But, you may say, the young man hopes
that he will live for a long time and this hope the
old man cannot have. Such a hope is not wise,
for what is more unwise than to mistake uncertainty
for certainty, falsehood for truth? They say, also,
that the old man has nothing even to hope for.
Yet he is in better case than the young man, since
what the latter merely hopes for, the former has
already attained; the one wishes to live long,
the other has lived long.