“My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends –
It gives a lovely light!”
Christopher Hitchens part-quoted this without attribution, referring to the unhealthy life he had led, when he was diagnosed esophageal cancer. Many people must have thought that the final phrase, adapted, was his own.
Compare Bernstein as he approached or reached the age of 70:
“Well, I beat the rap. I smoke. I drink. I stay up all night. I screw around. I’m overcommitted on all fronts.”