I have been searching for a quote by Tolkien, presumably from The Silmarillion, which says (paraphrasing here) that the great kings had a sadness in them because they had seen the suffering from the past and so they did not take part in the merry making activities.

I have searched the internet and have found some related quotes but could not find the one I am looking for (which, I should be able to recognise upon reading). However, similar quotes from Tolkien are also welcome.

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    Do you remember any other context to the quote? Which race it may have been about, who might have said it, if it was the "narrator" about whom it may have been said about? Maybe you remember what it was that caused the sadness? The First Kinslaying? The wars against Morgoth? Maybe it was about the Kings of Númenor? I can't recall such a quote being said. – Edlothiad Apr 27 '18 at 5:31
  • There are mentions of this in The Two Towers--e.g. the decline of kings (of Gondor) in Chap. 7 'Helm's Deep'; or, Chap. 10 'The Choice of Master Samwise', when Pippin asks Gandalf about the song he is singing about the history of the palantíri; Or, Faramir's recollections of the symbolism of the White Tree in Chap. 5 'The Window on the West'. – wcullen Apr 27 '18 at 17:51
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    There's this piece from Faramir in Chapter 5, too: "--especially this: "'Death was ever present, because the Númenoreans still, as they had in their old kingdom, and so lost it, hungered after endless life unchanging. Kings made tombs more splendid than houses of the living. and counted old names in the rolls of their descent dearer than the names of sons. Childless lords sat in aged halls musing on heraldry; in secret chambers withered men compounded strong elixirs, or in high cold towers asked questions of the stars. And the last king of the line of Anárion had no heir." – wcullen Apr 27 '18 at 17:51
  • Could it also be a description of the downfall of Númenor ..? As with Eldothiad, I don't recall/can't find a quote like or similar-ish to this... – wcullen Apr 27 '18 at 17:56
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    Kings in Númenor does not quite make sense, the emotions that grew in them with the passage of time were arrogance and hubris, as opposed to sadness. – Lee Mosher Apr 27 '18 at 21:17

The nearest I could find from The Silmarillion which (in my opinion) fits the spirit of the paraphrased quote refers not to the dismay of the kings, but men:

For they [the Númenóreans] built in their fortresses temples and great tombs in those days; and men feared them, and the memory of the kindly kings of the ancient days faded from the world and was darkened by many a tale of dread.

The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth (The Downfall of Numenor)"

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