Youth is the time to go flashing from one end of the world to the other both in mind and body, to try the manners of different nations, to hear the chimes at midnight.

—Robert Louis Stevenson, 1881

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

Childhood knows what it wants—to leave childhood behind.

—Jean Cocteau, 1947

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

—Jean de La Bruyère, 1688

Even members of the nobility, let alone persons of no consequence, would do well not to have children. 

—Yoshida Kenko, c. 1330

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

Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt.

—Herbert Hoover, 1936

A dissolute and intemperate youth hands down the body to old age in a worn-out state.

—Cicero, 44 BC

Youth, youth, springtime of beauty.

—Anthem of the National Fascist Party, c. 1924

No wise man ever wished to be younger.

—Jonathan Swift, 1706

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

Bright youth passes as quickly as thought.

—Theognis, c. 550 BC

The young man must store up, the old man must use.

—Seneca the Younger , c. 63

There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy’s life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.

—Mark Twain, 1876

A sick child is always the mother’s property; her own feelings generally make it so.

—Jane Austen, 1816

No one’s serious at seventeen.

—Arthur Rimbaud, 1870

Childhood has no forebodings—but then, it is soothed by no memories of outlived sorrow.

—George Eliot, 1860

Ah, there are no children nowadays.

—Molière, 1673

The young leading the young is like the blind leading the blind.

—Philip Dormer Stanhope, 1747

The young always have the same problem—how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their elders and copying one another.

—Quentin Crisp, 1968

The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey their children.

—Edward VIII, 1957

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

—Plato, c. 348 BC

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

—Bessie Smith, 1926

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

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 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