Gubernatorem

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Nihil igitur afferunt, qui in re gerenda versari senectutem negant, similesque sunt ut si qui gubernatorem in navigando nihil agere dicant, cum alii malos scandant, alii per foros cursent, alii sentinam exhauriant, ille autem clavum tenens quietus sedeat in puppi. non facit ea, quae iuvenes, at vero multo maiora et meliora facit. non viribus aut velocitate aut celeritate corporum res magnae geruntur, sed consilio, auctoritate, sententia, quibus non modo non orbari, sed etiam augeri senectus solet.
(Cicero, De Senectute 17)

Those, therefore, who allege that old age is devoid of useful activity adduce nothing to the purpose, and are like those who would say that the pilot does nothing in the sailing of his ship, because, while others are climbing the masts, or running about the gangways, or working at the pumps, he sits quietly in the stern and simply holds the tiller. He may not be doing what younger members of the crew are doing, but what he does is better and much more important. It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgement; in these qualities old age is usually not only not poorer, but is even richer. (tr. William Armistead Falconer)

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