Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. quote about age from The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table - Men, like peaches and pears, grow sweet a little while before they begin to decay.
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Men, like peaches and pears, grow sweet a little while before they begin to decay.
 Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table (1858). copy citation

Context

“I told him that I didn't doubt he deserved it; that I hoped he did deserve a little abuse occasionally, and would for a number of years to come; that nobody could do anything to make his neighbors wiser or better without being liable to abuse for it; especially that people hated to have their little mistakes made fun of, and perhaps he had been doing something of the kind.—The Professor smiled.—Now, said I, hear what I am going to say. It will not take many years to bring you to the period of life when men, at least the majority of writing and talking men, do nothing but praise. Men, like peaches and pears, grow sweet a little while before they begin to decay. I don't know what it is,—whether a spontaneous change, mental or bodily, or whether it is thorough experience of the thanklessness of critical honesty,—but it is a fact, that most writers, except sour and unsuccessful ones, get tired of finding fault at about the time when they are beginning to grow old.” source

Meaning and analysis

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