“I have achieved my seventy years in the usual way: by sticking strictly to a scheme of life which would kill anybody else. It sounds like an exaggeration, but that is really the common rule for attaining to old age. When we examine the programme of any of these garrulous old people we always find that the habits which have preserved them would have decayed us; that the way of life which enabled them to live upon the property of their heirs so long, as Mr. Choate says, would have put us out of commission ahead of time.”

“I will offer here, as a sound maxim, this: That we can’t reach old age by another man’s road.”

Seventieth Birthday Speech, Mark Twain, 1905

[h/t to Andrew Sullivan for lead in…]

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