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a web of many textures

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The term young is used in contradistinction with
old, and, as applied to young people, refers only to
the condition of juvenility. There be, however, some
young people who never are young, and old ones who
never are old, where the two states appear to have
been transposed. We often meet with such strangely


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old children that they seem from their cradles to have
stepped right over the sunny land of youth into maturity.
We are startled at their wisdom, and listen to their
old words as to the teachings of an oracle, deeming
them influenced by some mysterious power. We cannot
treat them as children, nor pet them, as we think
that Socrates or Plato may have hid themselves in the
infantile organism, and stand ready to launch upon us
some abstruse question in metaphysics. The young-old
people are those who have, all their lives, kept their
feelings young by active sympathy, and love, and kindness;
and it is very beautiful to witness such as in this
very latest season of life enjoy this Indian summer of
the soul. The tenderest and the most mature do homage
to such, and we draw towards them as we draw
towards a shrine full of beautiful relics. This condition
of youth in age is too rarely met with. The world
comes soon between the soul and its better self, and
the fermentation of care, and strife, and toil, sours the
milk of kindness in the nature, and men grow crabbed
and miserable as they grow old, when they should, in
tranquil pleasure, be like the going down of the sun,
calm and undisturbed.