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...the presbytery of the Church, and the like, all signify simply old men.
This cynical lampoon is refuted by the universal prayer for long life, which is the verdict of Nature, and justified by all history. We have, it is true, examples of an accelerated pace, by which young men achieved grand works; as in the Macedonian Alexander, in Raffaelle, Shakspeare, Pascal, Burns, and Byron; but these are rare exceptions. Nature, in the main, vindicates her law. Skill to do comes of doing;Knowledge comes by eyes always open and working hands; and there is no knowledge that is not power.And if the life be true and noble, we have quite another sort of seniors than the frowzy, timorous, peevish dotards who are falsely old,--namely, the men who fear no city, but by whom cities stand; who appearing in any street, the people empty their houses to gaze at and obey them: as at "My Cid, with the fleecy beard," in Toledo; or Bruce, as Barbour reports him; as blind old Dandolo, elected Doge at eighty-four years, storming Constantinople at ninety-four, and after the revolt... Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Excerpt from The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 09, No. 51, January, 1862 · This quote is about knowledge · Search on Google Books to find all references and sources for this quotation.
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