The Austerity of Old Men
There is nothing more unjust than the ill temper which many old people shew against young men. An attempt to check the merriment and sportiveness of youth, is not less preposterous than to be angry with the spring of the year, because it produces nothing but blossoms, and to expect from that early season the fruits of autumn. How different was the humour of Anaxagoras the Greek philosopher ! That amiable old man, at the point of death, was asked by the citizens of Lampsacus, what dying command he would wish to enjoin them. His request was, that every year during the whole month in which he died, all the children in the city should be permitted to keep holiday. Diogenes Laertius, who relates this story, adds, that this custom was observed in his remembrance.