"The Young Are Slaves To Dreams; The Old Servants Of Regrets"

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Last Updated on June 19, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 195

Context: Anthony Adverse, an apprentice to the prominent merchant, Mr. Bonnyfeather, is sent to Cuba to collect a long-overdue debt. While in Cuba as the guest of the hospitable Signore Carlo Cibo, he meets a monk, Brother François, who has a great effect on him. Anthony sees in the monk's...

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Context: Anthony Adverse, an apprentice to the prominent merchant, Mr. Bonnyfeather, is sent to Cuba to collect a long-overdue debt. While in Cuba as the guest of the hospitable Signore Carlo Cibo, he meets a monk, Brother François, who has a great effect on him. Anthony sees in the monk's countenance a radiant beauty of character; he is spellbound by the story of his dedication to a life of self-denial. Later on, Signore Cibo tells Anthony that Brother François is a dangerous man. His efforts to live his religion complicate things, and his sympathies for slaves have upset the authorities. Since Cibo is a convincing pragmatist, Anthony cannot protest entirely. Yet he confesses that the monk had stirred something in him of which he had not been aware. Cibo replies that perhaps the monk is not as unique and extraordinary as Anthony thinks. Perhaps it is youth which has been affected. Then Cibo adds philosophically:

. . . The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty.
. . . No, the young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits. . . .

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