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[328e] For to my thinking we have to learn of them as it were from wayfarers1 who have preceded us on a road on which we too, it may be, must some time fare—what2 it is like—is it rough3 and hard going or easy and pleasant to travel. And so now I would fain learn of you what you think of this thing, now that your time has come to it, the thing that the poets call ‘the threshold4 of old age.’ Is it a hard part of life to bear or what report have you to make of it?”

“Yes, indeed, Socrates,” he said, “I will tell you my own feeling about it.

1 Much of this passage, including the comparison of old men to travellers, is copied by Cicero, De sen. 3 ff.

2 Cf. Horace, Epistles i. 11 “Quid tibi visa Chios?” The vague neuter and the slight anacoluthon give a colloquial turn to the sentence.

3 Hesiod, Works and Days 290, says that the path of virtue is rough at first and then grows easy.

4 This, whatever its precise meaning, was a familiar phrase like our “One foot in the grave.” Cf. Leaf on Iliad xxii. 60, xxiv 487; Hyperides (i. xx. 13) employs it without apology in prose.

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