If they are orderly and contented, old age is moderately toilsome; if they aren't, both old age, Socrates, and youth end up being hard to bear for that sort.
[The end of Cephalus's speech about old age. Recall that Socrates had asked him to deliver his views on old age (328d4-e7). C. responds with a spirited speech -- the first speech in the Republic to invoke a god (329a1). Since it's only in parts on this blog, I thought it might be good to reproduce the whole thing in one place. Here it is:
"By Zeus," he said, "I will tell you indeed, Socrates, how it appears to me. For often we who are nearly the same age, having come together, preserve the old saying; and, in truth, whenever we come together most of us lament, longing for and recalling to memory the pleasures of youth -- sexual pleasures, drink, feasting, and all that goes with things of this sort -- and are discontented as though having been robbed of something great, that they were then living well but now they are not even living. Some also bewail the abuse of old people from relatives, and in this wise they repeat over and over all the evils for which they blame old age. But these men, Socrates, seem to me to not blame the root cause. For if this were the cause, I too would have suffered the same things on account of old age, and so would all the others who have come to this age. But presently now I have met with others for whom it is not so, and in particular Sophocles; once I was near the poet when he was asked by someone: 'Sophocles, how do you hold up in sex? Are you still able to be with a woman?' 'Hush man!' he said. 'Gladly did I flee from this, just as I were escaping from some raging and wild master.' Even then it seemed to me that he had spoken well, and now it does not seem any worse. For altogether much peace and freedom comes to be in old age: whenever the striving desires are made to cease and then slacken, that saying of Sophocles altogether comes to be: it is to have been released from very many, and raging, tyrants. But, indeed, about these things and the things concerning relatives there is one cause, not old age, Socrates, but the character of human beings. If they are orderly and contented, old age is moderately toilsome; if they aren't, both old age, Socrates, and youth end up being hard to bear for that sort."
C. seems to me to deliver this speech with verve, a quality which is sadly lacking in my translation.]