Of all the barbarous middle ages, that which is most barbarous is the middle age of man! it is -- I really scarce know what; but when we hover between fool and sage, and don't know justly what we would be at -- a period something like a printed page, black letter upon foolscap, while our hair grows grizzled, and we are not what we were.
My time has been passed viciously and agreeably; at thirty-one so few years months days hours or minutes remain that Carpe Diem is not enough. I have been obliged to crop even the seconds -- for who can trust to tomorrow?
I always looked to about thirty as the barrier of any real or fierce delight in the passions, and determined to work them out in the younger ore and better veins of the mine --and I flatter myself (perhaps) that I have pretty well done so --and now the dross is coming.
It is not all bad, this getting old, ripening. After the fruit has got its growth it should juice up and mellow. God forbid I should live long enough to ferment and rot and fall to the ground in a squash.
Youth is the period in which a man can be hopeless. The end of every episode is the end of the world. But the power of hoping through everything, the knowledge that the soul survives its adventures, that great inspiration comes to the middle-aged.