Weekend

Weekend Words: Seventy

“At twenty a man is a peacock, at thirty a lion, at forty a camel, at fifty a serpent, at sixty a dog, at seventy an ape, at eighty a nothing at all.”

Albrecht Dürer, “Portrait of Dürer’s Father at 70” (1497), oil on
panel, 51 x 40 cm, National Gallery, London (image via Web Gallery of
Art)

Today, David Bowie would have turned 70 years old.

At twenty a man is full of fight and hope. He wants to reform the world. When he is seventy he still wants to reform the world, but he knows he can’t.

—Clarence Darrow

Being seventy is not a sin.

—Golda Meir

The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always asked to do things, and you are not yet decrepit enough to turn them down.

—T.S. Eliot

The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven’t changed in seventy or eighty years. Your body changes, but you don’t change at all. And that, of course, causes great confusion.

—Doris Lessing

At twenty a man is a peacock, at thirty a lion, at forty a camel, at fifty a serpent, at sixty a dog, at seventy an ape, at eighty a nothing at all.

—Baltasar Gracian

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

—Matthew 18:21-22 (KJV)

The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy.

—Helen Hayes

Being over seventy is like being engaged in a war. All our friends are going or gone and we survive amongst the dead and the dying as on a battlefield.

—Muriel Spark

Seventy is wormwood,
Seventy is gall.
But it’s better to be 70
Than not alive at all.

—Phyllis McGinley

To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.

—Oliver Wendell Holmes

The true artist will let his wife starve, his children go barefoot, his mother drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his art.

—George Bernard Shaw

I delight in men over seventy. They always offer one the devotion of a lifetime.

-Oscar Wilde

Many people die at twenty-five and aren’t buried until they are seventy-five.

—Benjamin Franklin

They told me my services were no longer desired because they wanted to put in a youth program as an advance way of keeping the club going. I’ll never make the mistake of being seventy again.

—Casey Stengel

To be seventy years old is like climbing the Alps. You reach a snow-crowned summit, and see behind you the deep valley stretching miles and miles away, and before you other summits higher and whiter, which you may have strength to climb, or may not. Then you sit down and meditate and wonder which it will be.

—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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