A Diversion - Addendum
- From W. Wynn Westcott, _The Occult Power of Numbers_ (Third edition, 1911):
"In respect to life and its divisions, [the Pythagorean philosophers]
remarked the ages are measured by the number 7.
In the first seven years the teeth are erupted.
Second seven years comes on ability to emit prolific seed/
Third seven years, the growth of the beard as manhood.
Fourth seven years, strength reaches its maximum.
Fifth seven years is the season for marriage.
Sixth seven years, the height of intelligence arrives.
Seventh seven years, the maturity of reason.
Eighth seven years, perfection of both.
Ninth seven years, equity and mildness, passions become gentle.
Tenth seven years, the end of desirable life.
Solon, the Athenian Lawgiver, and Hippocrates the physician, also used this
7-year division of life." (OPN, Newcastle, 1984, p. 73)
It's plausible to me that the well-read Charles Dodgson might have been
familiar with some such scheme as this, and had it in mind in regarding the
age of 42 as a turning-point in his life. Having already authored _Alice in
Wonderland_ as 'Lewis Carroll' and aware of both the acclaim and the
criticism that that generated, I suspect that he saw his new life as both a
lark and a snare which could ruin him - i.e., a snark.