Arnold asks his readers as to what is it like to grow old? Is it to lose the glory; great honor, praise, or distinction accorded by common consent; renown: something conferring honor or renown: a highly praiseworthy asset: adoration, praise, and thanksgiving offered in worship: majestic beauty and splendor; resplendence: the splendor and bliss of heaven; perfect happiness: a height of achievement, enjoyment, or prosperity: of the form; the shape and structure of an object: the body or outward appearance of a person or an animal considered separately from the face or head; figure: the essence of something: the mode in which a thing exists, acts, or manifests itself; kind. The luster; reflected light; sheen; gloss: radiance or brilliance of light: great splendor of accomplishment, beauty, etc.: a substance used to polish or put a gloss on a surface: a vase or chandelier from which hang cut-glass drops: a drop-shaped piece of cut glass or crystal used as a decoration on a chandelier, vase, etc; of the eye? Is it for beauty to forego; to precede, as in time or place: her wreath?; a ring or circlet of flowers, boughs, or leaves worn on the head, placed on a memorial, or hung as a decoration: a representation of this ring or circlet, as in woodwork: a curling or circular form; Yes, but not for this alone.
Is it to feel and experience our strength—not our bloom; a condition or time of vigor, freshness, and beauty; prime: only, but our strength—decay? Is it to feel each limb: grow stiffer; not moving or operating easily or freely; resistant: lacking ease or comfort of movement; not limber: drawn tightly; taut: rigidly formal: lacking ease or grace; every function less exact. Each nerve more weakly strung? Tense or exhausted. Yes, all this is partly true, and more! But not absolutely. It is not what in youth we dreamt it would be! It is not to have our life, mellowed; soft, sweet, juicy, and full-flavored because of ripeness: suggesting softness or sweetness: and softened as with sunset-glow. A golden day's decline!
It is not to see the world. As from a height, with rapt prophetic eyes: and heart profoundly; situated at, extending to, or coming from a great depth; deep: coming as if from the depths of one's being: thoroughgoing; far-reaching: penetrating beyond what is superficial or obvious: unqualified; absolute:
Stirred; to cause to move or shift, especially slightly or with irregular motion: and weep, and feel the fullness of the past. The years that are no more! It is to spend long days and not once feel that we were ever young. It is to add, immured; To confine within or as if within walls; imprison: to build into a wall: to entomb in a wall; in the hot prison of the present, month to month with weary pain.
It is to suffer this. To feel but half, and feebly; lacking strength; weak: Indicating weakness: lacking vigor, force, or effectiveness; inadequate what we feel. Deep in our hidden heart festers; to generate pus; suppurate: to form an ulcer: to undergo decay; rot: to be or become an increasing source of irritation or poisoning; rankle: to be subject to or exist in a condition of decline: to infect, inflame, or corrupt: a small festering sore or ulcer; a pustule; the dull remembrance of a change; But no emotion—none.
It is—last stage of all— when we are frozen up within, and quite; the phantom; something apparently seen, heard, or sensed, but having no physical reality; a ghost or an apparition: something elusive or delusive: an image that appears only in the mind; an illusion: something dreaded or despised: resembling, characteristic of, or being a phantom; illusive: fictitious; nonexistent; of ourselves. To hear the world applaud; to express approval, especially by clapping the hands: to express approval of (someone or something) especially by such clapping: to commend highly; praise: the hollow ghost which blamed the living man.