Monday, September 15, 2014

Hilaire Belloc on Old Age

It is all due to Old Age, which is, I do assure you, the most horrible lingering (and incurable) disease ever pupped or calved. It's funny that the books lie so horribly about it! To read the books one would think that old age was a lovely interlude between the pleasures of this life and the blaze of Beatitude. The books represent Old Age seated in a fine old comfortable dignified chair, with venerable snowy locks and fine, wise, thoughtful eyes, a gentle but profound smile, and God-knows-what-and-all! But the reality is quite other. Old Age is a tangle of Disappointment, Despair, Doubt, Dereliction, Drooping, Debt, and Damnable Deficiency and everything else that begins with a D.


Source: Robert Speaight, Letters from Hilaire Belloc (London: Hollis & Carter, 1958), quoted in Joseph Pearce, Old Thunder (Charlotte, NC: TAN Books, 2014), 355.

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