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Quotes

No wise man ever wished to be younger.

—Jonathan Swift, 1706

Childhood knows what it wants—to leave childhood behind.

—Jean Cocteau, 1947

I was born at a very early age. Before I had time to regret it, I was four and a half years old.

—Groucho Marx, 1959

No time to marry, no time to settle down, I’m a young woman, and ain’t done runnin’ round.

—Bessie Smith, 1926

Most men employ the first years of their life in making the last miserable.

—Jean de La Bruyère, 1688

Rejoice, young man, while you are young, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Follow the inclination of your heart and the desire of your eyes, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

—Book of Ecclesiastes, c. 200 BC

No one’s serious at seventeen.

—Arthur Rimbaud, 1870

Ah, there are no children nowadays.

—Molière, 1673

Grown up, and that is a terribly hard thing to do. It is much easier to skip it and go from one childhood to another.

—F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1945

I’ve never understood why people consider youth a time of freedom and joy. It’s probably because they have forgotten their own.

—Margaret Atwood, 1976

The boy is, of all wild beasts, the most difficult to manage. 

—Plato, c. 348 BC

The distinction between children and adults, while probably useful for some purposes, is at bottom a specious one, I feel. There are only individual egos, crazy for love.

—Donald Barthelme, 1964

I shall soon be six-and-twenty. Is there anything in the future that can possibly console us for not being always twenty-five?

—Lord Byron, 1813