Happy Birthday, Mister President

by John Derbyshire

Sure, I know it’s tomorrow. I just want to get in ahead & beat the birthday rush.

• Forty is the old age of youth: fifty is the youth of old age. — (Variously attributed, mostly to Victor Hugo)

• If you’re not strong at twenty, handsome at thirty, rich at forty, and wise at fifty, then you will never be strong, or handsome, or rich, or wise. — (George Herbert)

• At fifteen, I had my mind bent on learning.
At thirty, I stood firm.
At forty, I had no doubts.
At fifty, I knew the decrees of Heaven.
At sixty, my ear was an obedient organ for the reeception of truth.
At seventy, I could follow what my heart desired, without transgressing what was right.
 — (Confucius, Analects II.4, tr. James Legge)

• At 50, everyone has the face he deserves. — (George Orwell, Extracts from a Manuscript Notebook, 4/17/1949.)

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