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Bernard M -- Taipei English Tutor

Bernard M - English Conversation / TOEFL / IELTS 一對一英文會話

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

On old age by Aristotle FROM Google Books

OK. This one was a bit too difficult. So I'm selecting just a few (hopefully comprehensible) sentences to discuss. I thought this passage would be interesting because its unflattering characterization of the elderly is in such contrast to the traditional, and especially Confucian, view of the elderly.
  1. For because they have lived many years, have been deceived in many things, and have erred, and because the greater part of human affairs is bad, hence they do not firmly assert any thing, and estimate all things less than is proper. 
  2. They likewise opine, but know nothing; and being involved in doubt they always add perhaps, and it may be. And in this manner they speak on every subject; but they assert nothing stably. 
  3. They are also illnatured ; for illnature consists in putting the worst construction on every thing. 
  4. Farther still, they are suspicious from their incredulity, but they are incredulous from their experience.
  5. They are also pusillanimous, because they have become abject through length of years; for they desire nothing great or illustrious, but those things only which are necessary to the support of life. 
  6. They are likewise illiberal; for one of the necessaries of life is property ; but at the same time from experience they know how difficult the acquisition of wealth is, and how easily it is lost. 
  7. They are also timid, and are afraid of every thing beforehand. 
  8. And they live with a view to what is advantageous, and not with a view to what is beautiful in conduct, more than is proper, because they are lovers of themselves. 

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