70 (th birthday speech by Mark Twain)

In 1905, a special celebration at Delmonico’s in New York was given in honor of Mark Twain’s 70th birthday (10+2).  Twain gave a speech explaining some of his rules to successfully live to three scores and ten!

“I have achieved my seventy years in the usual way: by sticking strictly to a scheme of life which would kill anybody else. It sounds like an exaggeration, but that is really the common rule for attaining to old age. When we examine the programme of any of these garrulous old people we always find that the habits which have preserved them would have decayed us; that the way of life which enabled them to live upon the property of their heirs so long, as Mr. Choate says, would have put us out of commission ahead of time. I will offer here, as a sound maxim, this: That we can’t reach old age by another man’s road.”

Here are some of his rules:

Diet and food – “In the matter of diet-which is another main thing-I have been persistently strict in sticking to the things which didn’t agree with me until one or the other of us got the best of it.”

Cigars – “I have made it a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time.”

Drinking – “As for drinking, I have no rule about that.”

Exercise – “I have never taken any exercise, except sleeping and resting, and I never intend to take any. Exercise is loathsome.”

Secret for living so long – “I desire now to repeat and emphasize that maxim: We can’t reach old age by another man’s road. My habits protect my life, but they would assassinate you.”

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