He has learned as many lessons as his days, including the vanity of life. He sees his past life as danger well past and would not begin again if he could. He expects death calmly as a natural part of life. He fears more a return to childishness. He shares his experience with youth without reproof for the foibles of youth. His counsel is good company. Tells his old stories and makes them better in the telling. He does not trouble people with telling the same story over and over again. He goes away having heard of other people’s sorrows and not telling his own.
The Oxford Book of Essays. Ed. John Gross. Oxford and new York: Oxford University Press. 1991.