From a post to DAVIDWEBER.NET forums on 10/16/2011

Benjamin Mayhew and prolong

walkssoftly wrote:
waddles for desert wrote:

    Even if Grayson could "afford it", until the infrastructure was set up on Grayson for the children of the general populace to get Prolong, it might be political suicide for the ruler to send his son off to get it.

    Wouldn't it be cool if he got the first geration of prolong and didn't know it? He probabably got a whole pharmacopia of innoculations when he first went to earth and didn't really pay attention to what theye were for. Since Honor only "began to notice signs of aging", it's plausible.

     

    I'm pretty sure I've actually mentioned in the books (somewhere; can't remember where exactly, and it's 2:45 in the morning my time, so I am not going to look) that Benjamin's father decided that he was not going to get prolong for his son when he couldn't provide it to the rest of his people. (Benjamin, BTW, agreed with this.) His reasons were in part moral (it would be grossly unfair to abuse his position in a way which would allow his children to live for centuries when no one else's could) and in part pragmatic (how would Grayson's loyalty to the House of Mayhew be affected by such an abuse of position). Had he gotten Benjamin prolong, he would also have done so for the rest of his children, rather than leave Benjamin to watch his siblings die while he was still a very young man, which would only have made the moral/pragmatic quandry even worse. I wish I could remember which book I addressed this in, but I can't.

    Sigh.