It's a long stretch
between [my] first birthday speech and this one. That was my
cradle-song; and this is my swan-song, I suppose. I am used to
swan-songs. I have sung them several times.
The seventieth birthday:
It is the time of life when you arrive at a new and awful dignity;
when you may throw aside the decent reserves which have oppressed
you for a generation and stand unafraid and unabashed upon your
seven-terraced summit and look down and teach -- unrebuked.
made it a rule to go to bed when there wasn't anybody left to sit up
with. And I have made it a rule to get up only when I had to. This
has resulted in an unwavering
regularity of irregularity.
I have made it a rule
never to smoke more than one cigar at a time. I have no other
restriction as regarding smoking. As an
example to others, and -- not that I care for moderation myself -- it
has always been my rule
never to smoke when asleep, and never to
refrain when awake.
As for drinking, I have
no rule about that. When the others drink, I like to help.
I've never taken any
exercise except sleeping and resting, and I never intend to take
any. Exercise is loathsome. And it cannot be any benefit when you
are tired -- I was always tired.
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