previous next
[35] to practise moderate exercise; and to take just enough of food and drink to restore our strength and not to overburden it. Nor, indeed, are we to give our attention solely to the body; much greater care is due to the mind and soul; for they, too, like lamps, grow dim with time, unless we keep them supplied with oil. Moreover, exercise causes the body to become heavy with fatigue, but intellectual activity gives buoyancy to the mind. For when Caecilius speaks of “the old fools of the comic stage,”1 he has in mind old men characterized by credulity, forgetfulness, and carelessness, which are faults, not of old age generally, but only of an old age that is drowsy, slothful, and inert. Just as waywardness and lust are more often found in the young man than in the old, yet not in all who are young, but only in those naturally base; so that senile debility, usually called “dotage,” is a characteristic, not of all old men, but only of those who are weak in mind and will.

1 From his lost play Epiclerus. For the line in full see De amicitia 99.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Introduction (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: