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[ Also see Acquaintances Business Idleness Leisure Quitting Rest Solitude Work ]

Virtues that shun the day, and lie concealed in the smooth seasons and the calm of life.
      - Joseph Addison

Thy shades, thy silence, now be mine,
  Thy charms my only theme;
    My haunt the hollow cliff, whose pine
      Waves o'er the gloomy stream.
        Where the sacred owl, on pinions gray,
          Breaks from the rustling boughs,
            And down the lone vale sails away,
              To more profound repose.
      - James Beattie

To fly from, need not be to hate, mankind; all are not fit with them to stir and toil.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

To retire is to begin to die.
      - Pablo Casals

Depart from the highway, and transplant thyself in some enclosed ground; for it is hard for a tree that stands by the wayside to keep her fruit till it be ripe.
      - St. John Chrysostom

The fall of waters and the song of birds,
  And hills that echo to the distant berds,
    Are luxuries excelling all the glare
      The world can boast, and her chief favorites share.
      - William Cowper

The statesman, lawyer, merchant, man of trade
  Pants for the refuge of some rural shade,
    Where all his long anxieties forgot
      Amid the charms of a sequester'd spot,
        Or recollected only to gild o'er
          And add a smile to what was sweet before,
            He may possess the joys he thinks he sees,
              Lay his old age upon the lap of ease,
                Improve the remnant of his wasted span.
                  And having lived a trifler, die a man.
      - William Cowper

How miserable a thing is a great man:
  Take noisy vexing greatness they that please,
    Give me obscure, and safe, and silent ease.
      - Crown

O happiness of sweet retir'd content!
  To be at once secure and innocent.
      - Sir John Denham

There is an enormous number of managers who have retired on the job.
      - Peter F. Drucker

It is time I stepped aside for a less experienced and less able man.
      - Scott Elledge,
        on his retirement from Cornell

Oh, blest retirement! friend to life's decline, how blest is he who crowns, in shades like these, a youth of labor with an age of ease!
      - Oliver Goldsmith

He who lives wisely to himself and his own heart looks at the busy world through the loopholes of retreat, and does not want to mingle in the fray.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

Love prefers twilight to daylight.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Modesty and dew love the shade.
      - Alphonse de Lamartine

Woman is a flower that breathes its perfume in the shade only.
      - Abbe Hugo Felicite de Lamennais

Domestic worth, that shuns too strong a light.
      - Lord George Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton ("The Good Lord Lyttelton")

I am closing my 52 years of military service. When I joined the army, even before the turn of the century, it was the fulfillment of all my boyish hopes and dreams.
  The world has turned over many times since I took the oath on the plain at West Point, and the hopes and dreams have long since vanished, but I still remember the refrain of one of the most barracks ballads of that day which proclaimed most proudly that old soldiers never die; they just fade away.
    And like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. Goodbye.
      - General Douglas MacArthur,
        in a speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress

Now purer air
  Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires
    Vernal delight and joy, able to drive
      All sadness but despair: Now gentle gales
        Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense
          Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
            Those balmy spoils.
      - John Milton

Retiring from the popular noise, I seek
  This unfrequented place to find some ease.
      - John Milton

That woman is happiest whose life is passed in the shadow of a manly, loving heart.
      - Madame Suzanne Curchod Necker

Remote from man, with God he passed the days,
  Prayer all his business, all his pleasure praise.
      - Thomas Parnell

Happy the man, whose wish and care
  A few paternal acres bound,
    Content to breathe his native air
      In his own ground.
      - Alexander Pope

Scipio, great in his triumphs, in retirement great.
      - Alexander Pope

Demean thyself more warily in thy study than in the street. If thy public actions have a hundred witnesses, thy private have a thousand. The multitude looks but upon thy actions; thy conscience looks into them: the multitude may chance to excuse thee, if not acquit thee; thy conscience will accuse thee, if not condemn thee.
      - Francis Quarles

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