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Neither all bad nor all good. A certain sage reduced the whole of wisdom to the golden mean. Carry right too far and it becomes wrong. The orange squeezed completely dry gives only bitterness. Even in enjoyment you shouldn’t go to extremes. The intellect itself will go dry if pressed too hard, and if you milk a cow like a tyrant you will draw only blood.

[Nunca apurar, ni el mal, ni el bien. A la moderación en todo redujo la sabiduría toda un sabio. El sumo derecho se hace tuerto, y la naranja que mucho se estruja llega a dar lo amargo. Aun en la fruición nunca se ha de llegar a los extremos. El mismo ingenio se agota si se apura, y sacará sangre por leche el que esquilmare a lo tirano.]

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 82 (1647) [tr. Maurer (1992)]

(Source (Spanish)). Alternate translations:

Not to pry too much neither into good nor evil. A wise man comprehended all his wisedom in this Precept, ne quid nimis, nothing too much. Too strict a justice degenerates into injustice. The Orange that is too much squeezed, yields a bitter juice. Nay in enjoyment, we ought never to go to either of the two extremes. Wit itself is exhausted by too much straining. By endeavouring to draw down too much milk, bloud is often fetched.
[Flesher ed. (1685)]

Drain Nothing to the Dregs, neither Good nor Ill. A sage once reduced all virtue to the golden mean. Push right to the extreme and it becomes wrong: press all the juice from an orange and it becomes bitter. Even in enjoyment never go to extremes. Thought too subtle is dull. If you milk a cow too much you draw blood, not milk.
[tr. Jacobs (1892)]

Drink nothing to the dregs, either of the bad, or of the good, for to moderation in everything has one sage reduced all wisdom. Too great justice become injustice, and the orange, squeezed too hard, turns bitter; even in enjoyment, do not go too far. The spirit itself grows weary if worked too long, and he draws blood instead of milk, who milks too hard.
[tr. Fischer (1937)]

Added on 26-Feb-24 | Last updated 26-Feb-24
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More quotes by Gracián, Baltasar

To what extremes, O cursèd lust for gold
will you not drive man’s appetite?
[Per che non reggi tu, o sacra fame
de l’oro, l’appetito de’ mortali?]

Dante Alighieri the poet
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy [Divina Commedia], Book 2 “Purgatorio,” Canto 22, l. 40ff (22.40-41) [Statius] (1314) [tr. Musa (1981)]

Statius is quoting Virgil (whose shade stands in front of him) from The Aeneid, Book 3, ll. 56-57:

Quid non mortalia pectora cogis,
Auri sacra fames?

Unlike the phrase in that pagan book, which is purely about the corrupting power of greed and gold-lust, Dante's Italian and some translators make reference to a "holy hunger," a virtue/rule of proper attitude toward money and spending, criticized here for it not restraining humans from the sins of being either spendthrifts or misers -- a nod to Aristotle making sin about extremes and virtue about moderation. See Ciardi, Durling, Kirkpatrick, Princeton, and Sayers for more discussion.

(Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

Why, thou cursed thirst
Of gold! dost not with juster measure guide
The appetite of mortals?
[tr. Cary (1814)]

Why should'st thou not restrain accursèd thirst
Of gold, the appetite of mortals lost?
[tr. Bannerman (1850)]

To what impellest thou not, O cursed hunger
Of gold, the appetite of mortal men?
[tr. Longfellow (1867)]

Why restrainest thou not, O holy hunger of gold, the desire of mortals?
[tr. Butler (1885)]

To what lengths, O thou cursed thirst of gold,
Dost thou not rule the mortal appetite?
[tr. Minchin (1885)]

O cursed hunger of gold, to what dost thou not impel the appetite of mortals?
[tr. Norton (1892)]

Wherefore dost thou not regulate the lust of mortals, O hallowed hunger of gold?
[tr. Okey (1901)]

To what, O cursed hunger for gold, dost thou not drive the appetite of mortals?
[tr. Sinclair (1939)]

O hallowed hunger of gold, why dost thou not
The appetite of mortal men control?
[tr. Binyon (1943)]

With what constraint constran'st thou not the lust
Of mortals, thou devoted greed of gold!
[tr. Sayers (1955)]

To what do you not drive man's appetite,
O cursèd gold-lust!
[tr. Ciardi (1961)]

Why do you not control the appetite
Of mortals, O you accurst hunger for gold?
[tr. Sisson (1981)]

Why cannot you, o holy hunger
for gold, restrain the appetite of mortals?
[tr. Mandelbaum (1982)]

O sacred hunger for gold, why do you not rule human appetite?
[tr. Kline (2002)]

Why do you, O holy hunger for gold, not
govern the appetite of mortals?
[tr. Durling (2003)]

You, awestruck hungering for gold! Why not
impose a rule on mortal appetite?
[tr. Kirkpatrick (2007)]

To what end, O cursèd hunger for gold,
do you not govern the appetite of mortals?
[tr. Hollander/Hollander (2007)]

Accursed craving for money, what is there, in
This world, you don't lead human beings to?
[tr. Raffel (2010)]

Added on 23-Feb-24 | Last updated 23-Feb-24
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More quotes by Dante Alighieri

All wines don’t turn sour when they get old, and neither do all men or all personalities. I approve of sternness in the old, but a sternness that, like other things, is kept within limits; under no circumstances do I approve of bad temper.
[Ut enim non omne vinum, sic non omnis natura vetustate coacescit. Severitatem in senectute probo, sed eam, sicut alia, modicam; acerbitatem nullo modo.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Senectute [Cato Maior; On Old Age], ch. 18 / sec. 65 (18.65) (44 BC) [tr. Copley (1967)]

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

For as every wyne long kept and olde waxith not eagre of his owne propre nature, right so all mankynde is not aygre fell cruell ungracious chargyng nor inportune in olde age of their owne kynde though some men among many be fonde of that condicion. I approve & preyse in olde age the man which hath severitee & stidfast abydyng in hym. Seuerite is contynuance & perseverance of oon maner of lyvyng as wele in the thyngys within as in theym withoute. But I approve nat that in an olde man be egrenesse nor hardnesse & sharpnesse of maners of condicions.
[tr. Worcester/Worcester/Scrope (1481)]

For even as every wine being old and standing long is not converted into vineigre, so likewise is not every age sour, eigre, and unpleasant. Severity and sternness in old age I well allow and commend, so that a moderate mean therein (as in all other things) be observed; but bitterness and rigorous dealing I can in no wise brook nor away withal.
[tr. Newton (1569)]

For as all wines do not grow soure and tart in continuance, so not all age. I like severity in an old man, but not bitternesse.
[tr. Austin (1648), ch. 19]

Our nature here, is not unlike our wine,
Some sorts, when old, continue brisk, and fine.
So Age's gravity may seem severe,
But nothing harsh, or bitter ought to appear.
[tr. Denham (1669)]

In short, as it fares with Wines, so it does with Old Men: all are not equally apt to grow sour with Age. A serious and moderately grave Deportment well become us, but nothing of an austere Severity.
[tr. Hemming (1716)]

Thus it is, for as all Wines are not prick'd by Age, so neither is Human Life sower'd by Old Age; a Severity I approve of in Old Men, but with Moderation; Bitterness by no means.
[tr. J. D. (1744)]

Some Wines sour with Age, while others grow better and richer. A Gravity with some Severity is to be allowed; but by no means Ill nature.
[tr. Logan (1744)]

As it is not every kind of wine, so neither is it every sort of temper, that turns sour by age. But I must observe at the same time there is a certain gravity of deportment extremely becoming in advanced years, and which, as in other virtues, when it preserves its proper bounds, and does not degenerate into an acerbity of manners, I very much approve.
[tr. Melmoth (1773)]

For, as not every wine, so not every life, grows sour by age. Strictness in old age, I approve; but that, even as other things, in moderate degree: bitterness I nowise approve.
[Cornish Bros. ed. (1847)]

Neither every wine nor every life turns to vinegar with age.
[ed. Harbottle (1906)]

For as it is not every wine, so it is not every man's life, that grows sour from old age. I approve of gravity in old age, but this in a moderate degree, like everything else; harshness by no means.
[tr. Edmonds (1874)]

For as it is not wine of every vintage, so it is not every temper that grows sour with age. I approve of gravity in old age, so it be not excessive; for moderation in all things is becoming: but for bitterness I have no tolerance.
[tr. Peabody (1884)]

The fact is that, just as it is not every wine, so it is not every life, that turns sour from keeping. Serious gravity I approve of in old age, but, as in other things, it must be within due limits: bitterness I can in no case approve.
[tr. Shuckburgh (1895)]

Not every wine grows sour by growing old.
Severity in age is well enough:
But not too much, and naught of bitterness.
[tr. Allison (1916)]

As it is not every wine, so it is not every disposition, that grows sour with age. I approve of some austerity in the old, but I want it, as I do everything else, in moderation. Sourness of temper I like not at all.
[tr. Falconer (1923)]

Human nature is like wine: it does not invariably sour just because it is old. Some old men seem very stern, and rightly so -- although there must be, as I always say, moderation in all things. There is never any reason for ill temper.
[tr. Cobbold (2012)]

Certainly neither all wines go sour
Nor do all men because of agedness.
I approve of old men’s calm severity,
But I don’t put up with those who are dour.
[tr. Bozzi (2015)]

The truth is that a person's character, like wine, does not necessarily grow sour with age. Austerity in old age is proper enough, but like everything else it should be in moderation. Sourness of disposition is never a virtue.
[tr. Freeman (2016)]

Added on 11-Jan-24 | Last updated 11-Jan-24
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More quotes by Cicero, Marcus Tullius

Why then do I spend so many words on the subject of pleasure? Why, because, far from being a charge against old age, that it does not much feel the want of any pleasures, it is its highest praise. But, you will say, it is deprived of the pleasures of the table, the heaped up board, the rapid passing of the wine-cup. Well, then, it is also free from headache, disordered digestion, broken sleep. But if we must grant pleasure something, since we do not find it easy to resist its charms, — for Plato, with happy inspiration, calls pleasure “vice’s bait,” because of course men are caught by it as fish by a hook, — yet, although old age has to abstain from extravagant banquets, it is still capable of enjoying modest festivities.
[Quorsum igitur tam multa de voluptate? Quia non modo vituperatio nulla, sed etiam summa laus senectutis est, quod ea voluptates nullas magno opere desiderat. Caret epulis exstructisque mensis et frequentibus poculis. Caret ergo etiam vinulentia et cruditate et insomniis. Sed si aliquid dandum est voluptati, quoniam eius blanditiis non facile obsistimus, divine enim Plato “escam malorum” appellat voluptatem quod ea videlicet homines capiantur ut pisces, quamquam immoderatis epulis caret senectus, modicis tamen conviviis delectari potest.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Senectute [Cato Maior; On Old Age], ch. 13 / sec. 44 (13.44) (44 BC) [tr. Shuckburgh (1895)]

The reference to Plato is to Timaeus, 69D: "κακοῦ δέλεαρ".

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Therfor thene ye may aske and demaunde why I haue said so many thynges of flesshely delyte and of lecherye, wherfor I answere you that the blame and the shame is not onely ynoughe. But namely it is the grete lawde and praysyng of olde age that it desyreth but lytle flesshely delectacyons. Olde age chargith nevir of dyetes nor of dyvers deynty metys nor of tables richely and dyversly arrayde nor of many dyners drynkys. Olde age wille not be fulle of wyn often for doubte of sekenes. Olde age wille not suffre the akyng of the bely as is the colyk or of the stone or costyfnes whiche comyth of takyng so muche mete and so often that it abideth rawe within the stomake. Olde age desyrith not wakyng in the tyme that nature hath ordeyned to slepe. Albeit an aged man is gretly disposed to wake ayenst his will forsoth the philosopher Platon whiche spake dyversly in a mater that delectacyon at∣tempted by euill disposed men that leyen the baite & the snare to delite aged men in repleccion of lustis & metys not helefull to them & bycause that men be taken & decevued by the baite sett in the hoke or angle as the bird is taken in the snare how be it that olde age wolde have no metys ne his etyngys excessiuely. Algatys they may delite in deynte metys and in smale feedyngys and temperate dyete.
[tr. Worcester/Worcester/Scrope (1481)]

But to what purpose do we speak so much of pleasure? Verily, to the intent that hereby it may be seen and proved, how that it cannot only not be objected to old age for any vituperation and dispraise, but rather for a singular praise and commendation; because old-age doth not esteem nor care for these pleasures. But some other will say: It lacketh sumptuous fare, costly dishes, delicate viands, and drinks of all sorts. Hereto I answer tihat, therefore, it lacketh also drunkenness, crudity, or indigestion, fantastical dreams, and ridiculous apparitions. But if we must any whit yield to to pleasure because we cannot easily resist the blandishments and allurements thereof (for the divine philosopher Plato calleth pleasure the bait of all mischief, because men therewith are caught and snared even as fishes are with the hook), I say, that although old age be not endangered nor given to superfluous and immoderate banqueting, and at unseasonable hours, yet in temperate and moderate feasting it may be solaced and comfortably recreated.
[tr. Newton (1569)]

But to what end speak we so much of pleasure? because that you may see that no blame, but much praise is to be given to age, because it doth not lust after pleasure, which is so dangerous a thing. Age wanteth banquetting, gluttony, and quaffing; it is also without surfeting, drunkennesse, or dreaming; but yet if we may any wayes take some pleasure, because we do not easily resist her flatteries (for divine Plato calleth pleasure the bait of evils, because men are caught ther∣with as fishes with a hook) tho age despiseth immoderate banquets, yet may it be delighted with moderate meetings.
[tr. Austin (1648), ch. 12-13]

Then to our age (when not to pleasures bent)
This seems an honour, not disparagement.
We, not all pleasures like the Stoicks hate;
But love and seek those which are moderate.
(Though Divine Plato thus of pleasures thought,
They us, with hooks and baits, like fishes caught.)
[tr. Denham (1669)]

I have dwelt the longer on this Topick of bodily Pleasures, to shew, it is so far from being a Disparagement to our Age, to be deprived of these Enjoyments, that it is its greatest Praise and Commendation, that it even takes off our Inclinations from the violent Pursuit of them. Though we may not indulge our selves so freely in our Cups, though we do not relish the Pleasures of the most luxurious Provisions, will not our being freed from the fatal Consequences of Indigestion, and a disordered Imagination, make us ample amends? But if we must make some Allowances for Pleasure, and submit to its Blandishments (which Plato calls the Bait of humane Miseries, with which like Fishes we are tempted to the Hook). Though we are deprived of the Pleasure of immoderate Feasting, yet can we still relish the Charms of an agreeable and chearful Entertainment; which arises not from the Delicacy or Variety of Courses, but from the Conversation of the Company.
[tr. Hemming (1716)]

And why all this of Pleasure? Because not only to over-rule the Objection, but to shew that it is the greatest Encomium on Old Age, that he never ardently desires what we call Pleasure. Doth Age want Banquets, great Tables, and frequent Use of Wine? Confequently it is free from Drunkenness, Surfeits, and watchful Nights. But if we are any ways to give ourselves up to Pleasure, because we cannot altogether attend her Invitations, as Plato says, who calls it "a Bait for Evil, and that Men are taken with it as Fishes with a Hook," yet Old Age will abstain from Revelling, and take Delight only in moderate Entertainments.
[tr. J. D. (1744)]

Thus I judged it necessary to be the more full on this Head of Pleasure, and shew the Dangers of it, to the end you might clearly see, it is so far from being a Disadvantage to Old-Age, its Palling our Inclinations to Pleasure, that on the contrary it is rather a great and valuable Blessing. For if it is in a good Measure dead to the Enjoyments others find in Banqueting, sumptuous Feasts and Carousings, it is freed at the same time from all the troublesome Effects of these; as Fumes, Crudities, uneasy Sleep, or the want of it; with divers other such like Disorders. Yet as Nature has so ordered it, that Pleasure should have a very strong Hold of us, and the Inclination to it appears deeply founded in our very Composition, (and 'tis with too much Justice that the divine Plato calls it the Bait of Evil, by which Men are caught as Fish with a Hook) therefore, though Age is not taken, nor can well bear, with those splendid sumptuous Feastings and Revels, yet we are not so insensible to the Pleasures of Life, but that we can indulge ourselves, and take a real Delight in sober and temperate Entertainments with our Friends.
[tr. Logan (1744)]

I have dwelt the longer upon this article, in order to convince you, that the little relish which old age leaves us for enjoyments of the sensual kind, is so far from being a just imputation on this period of life, that on the contrary it very considerably raises its value. If age render us incapable of taking an equal share in the flowing cups, and luxuriant dishes of splendid tables, it secures us too from their unhappy consequences -- from painful indigestions, restless nights, and disordered reason. Accordingly, the divine Plato justly represents pleasure as the bait by which vice ensnares and captivates her deluded votaries. But if this enticement cannot always be resisted, if the palate must sometimes be indulged, I do not scruple to say that an old man, although his years will guard him from excess, is by no means excluded from enjoying, in a moderate degree, the convivial gratifications.
[tr. Melmoth (1773)]

With what view then do I say so much about pleasure? Because not only is it no ground of censure, but even the highest praise of old age, that it desires no pleasures very much. But is old age without feasts, and loaded tables, and frequent cups? Therefore it is without drunkenness, and indigestion and troubled sleep. But if something must be given to pleasure, since we do not easily withstand its blandishments, (for divinely Plato calls pleasure the bait of evils, because evidently men are taken by it as fishes by a hook,) though old age is debarred immoderate feasts, yet, it may be gratified with temperate socialities.
[Cornish Bros. ed. (1847)]

To what end then have I said so many things about pleasure? Because it is so far from being any disparagement, that it is even the highest praise to old age, that it has no great desire for any pleasures. It lacks banquets, and piled up boards, and fast-coming goblets; it is therefore also free from drunkenness and indigestion and sleeplessness. But if something must be conceded to pleasure (since we do not easily withstand its allurements, for Plato beautifully calls pleasure the bait of evils, inasmuch as, by it, in fact, men are caught as fishes with a hook), although old age has nothing to do with extravagant banquets, yet in reasonable entertainments it can experience pleasure.
[tr. Edmonds (1874)]

But to what purpose am I saying so much about pleasure? Because it is not only no reproach to old age, but even its highest merit, that it does not severely feel the loss of bodily pleasures. But, you may say, it must dispense with sumptuous feasts, and loaded tables, and oft-drained cups. True, but it equally dispenses with sottishness, and indigestion, and troubled dreams. But if any license is to be given to pleasure, seeing that we do not easily resist its allurements, -- insomuch that Plato calls pleasure the bait of evil, because, forsooth, men are caught by it as fishes by the hook, -- old age, while it dispenses with excessive feasting, yet can find delight in moderate conviviality.
[tr. Peabody (1884)]

But why so much of pleasure? Why, you see,
Not only is it no disgrace to age,
But ev'n its greatest merit that it longs
No more for pleasure, cares no more for feasts
With loaded tables and o'er-flowing wine.
It misses too the headache, and the night
Of sickness and of sleeplessness that comes.
If something we must grant to pleasure's claim:
(It is not easy to resist its charm:
The godlike Plato thinks it is a bait
To catch the foolish, just as fish are caught:)
Though we cannot indulge in gorgeous feasts,
A modest dinner we can still enjoy.
[tr. Allison (1916)]

Why then, do I dwell at such length on pleasure? Because the fact that old age feels little longing for sensual pleasures not only is no cause for reproach, but rather is ground for the highest praise. Old age lacks the heavy banquet, the loaded table, and the oft-filled cup; therefore it also lacks drunkenness, indigestion, and loss of sleep. But if some concession must be made to pleasure, since her allurements are difficult to resist, and she is, as Plato happily says, “the bait of sin,” -- evidently because men are caught therewith like fish -- then I admit that old age, though it lacks immoderate banquets, may find delight in temperate repasts.
[tr. Falconer (1923)]

Why then do I have so much to say about pleasures of this kind? Because the weakening of temptation to indulge in them, far from supplying a pretext to reproach old age, is a reason for offering it the most cordial complements. Age has no banquets, no tables piled high, no cups filled again and again. So it avoids drunkenness, and indigestion, and sleepless nights! However, the allurements of pleasure are admittedly hard to resist; they are "the bait of sin," as Plato brilliantly calls them, which catch men like fish. If, then, we have to make them some concession, there is no reason why old age, though spared extravagant feasting, should not gratify itself with entertainments of a more modest nature.
[tr. Grant (1960, 1971 ed.)]

Why am I dwelling at such length on pleasure? Because it is not only no condemnation of old age, but rather its highest recommendation, that it feels no overwhelming desire for pleasure. The old do not share in banquets, in tables piled high with food, and in endless toasts; as a consequence, they do not share in drunkenness, in indigestion, and in sleeplessness. But if we must make some concession to pleasure, since we do not easily resist its blandishments (in a moment of inspiration Plato called pleasure “the bait of evil” -- obviously because men are caught by it like fish) -- even though the old do not share in unrestrained high life, still they can derive pleasure from moderate conviviality.
[tr. Copley (1967)]

Why do I go on so much about pleasure? As old men, we should not so much resent our age as praise it in the most glowing terms, because now we cannot feel any more interest in sensual temptations. As old men, we no longer attend formal banquets at tables loaded down with delicious food and wine; but on the other hand we no longer suffer from hangovers and indigestion and insomnia. But even so it may be hard to resist temptation completely. Plato cleverly referred to pleasure as “sin-bait,” because men are caught by it like fishes. There is, then, in our old age, nothing wrong with spending a convivial evening with friends, although we will not indulge ourselves to excess.
[tr. Cobbold (2012)]

So why am I going on and on about pleasure? Because I want to impress upon you how the fact that old age is less subject to the passions for pleasure is not an indictment of this stage of life, but actually one of its greatest advantages. If it lacks allnight parties, or tables heaped hy with rich food and powerful dirnk, it also lacks drunkenness, indigestion, insomnia, and "the morning after." It is not that old age lacks pleasures, it is that they change. And they are healthier. Gone are the overindulgent feasts and in their place we take pleasure in delightful dinner parties.
[tr. Gerberding (2014)]

So why do I tarry on pleasure’s enticement?
The fact that old age has no longing for it
Not only can’t be taken as a demerit,
But on the contrary is the best of credits.
Freedom from decked tables, from banquets
And also from frequent potations
Means freedom from drunkenness,
From insomnia and indigestions.
But we’re bound to make some concessions
To better resist pleasure’s alluring snares
Which Plato calls the bait of transgressions,
By which like fish men are caught unawares.
Although old age sumptuous banquets must shun
In light repasts it finds indeed some fun.
[tr. Bozzi (2015)]

Added on 17-Nov-23 | Last updated 17-Nov-23
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More quotes by Cicero, Marcus Tullius

Better is a little with contentment than great Treasure; and trouble therewith.

Abigail Adams (1744-1818) American correspondent, First Lady (1797-1801)
Letter to Mary Smith Cranch (1790-02-20)
Added on 14-Nov-23 | Last updated 14-Nov-23
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More quotes by Adams, Abigail

But the rich man is tortured by fears, wasted with griefs, aflame with greed, never free from care, always restless and uneasy, out of breath from unending struggles with his enemies. It is true enough that he increases his holdings beyond measure by going through these miseries; but at the same time, thanks to that very increase, he also multiples his bitter cares. In contrast, the individual of moderate means is satisfied with his small and limited property; he is loved by family and friends; he enjoys sweet peace with his relations, neighbors, and friends; he is devout in his piety, benevolent of mind, sound of body, moderate in his style of life, unblemished in character, and untroubled in conscience. I do not know whether anyone would be so foolish as to have any doubt about which of the two to prefer.

[Alium praediuitem cogitemus; sed diuitem timoribus anxium, maeroribus tabescentem, cupiditate flagrantem, numquam securum, semper inquietum, perpetuis inimicitiarum contentionibus anhelantem, augentem sane his miseriis patrimonium suum in inmensum modum atque illis augmentis curas quoque amarissimas aggerantem; mediocrem uero illum re familiari parua atque succincta sibi sufficientem, carissimum suis, cum cognatis uicinis amicis dulcissima pace gaudentem, pietate religiosum, benignum mente, sanum corpore, uita parcum, moribus castum, conscientia securum. Nescio utrum quisquam ita desipiat, ut audeat dubitare quem praeferat.]

Augustine of Hippo (354-430) Christian church father, philosopher, saint [b. Aurelius Augustinus]
City of God [De Civitate Dei], Book 4, ch. 3 (4.3) (AD 412-416) [tr. Babcock (2012)]

On wealth and power as the foundation for happiness.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Let my wealthy man take with him fears, sorrows, covetousness, suspicion, disquiet, contentions, making immense additions to his estate only by adding to his heap of most bitter cares; and let my poor man take with him sufficiency with little, love of kindred, neighbours, friends, joyous peace, peaceful religion, soundness of body, sincereness of heart, abstinence of diet, chastity of carriage, and security of conscience. Where should a man find any one so sottish as would make a doubt which of these to prefer in his choice?
[tr. Healey (1610)]

But the rich man is anxious with fears, pining with discontent, burning with covetousness, never secure, always uneasy, panting from the perpetual strife of his enemies, adding to his patrimony indeed by these miseries to an immense degree, and by these additions also heaping up most bitter cares. But that other man of moderate wealth is contented with a small and compact estate, most dear to his own family, enjoying the sweetest peace with his kindred neighbors and friends, in piety religious, benignant in mind, healthy in body, in life frugal, in manners chaste, in conscience secure. I know not whether any one can be such a fool, that he dare hesitate which to prefer.
[ed. Dods (1871)]

But, our wealthy man is haunted by fear, heavy with cares, feverish with greed, never secure, always restless, breathless from endless quarrels with his enemies. By these miseries, he adds to his possessions beyond measure, but he also piles up for himself a mountain of distressing worries. The man of modest means is content with a small and compact patrimony. He is loved by his own, enjoys the sweetness of peace, in his relations with kindred, neighbors, and friends, is religious and pious, of kindly disposition, healthy in body, self-restrained, chaste in morals, and at peace with his conscience. I wonder if there is anyone so senseless as to hesitate over which of the two to prefer.
[tr. Zema/Walsh (1950)]

Let us suppose that the rich man is troubled by fears, pining with grief, burning with desire, never secure, always restless, panting in ceaseless struggles with his foes, though he does, to be sure, by dint of such suffering accumulate great additions to his estate even beyond measure, these additions adding also their quota of corrosive anxieties. Let the man of modest means, on the other hand, be self-sufficient on his trim and tiny property, beloved by his family, enjoying the most agreeable relations with his kindred, neighbours and friends, devoutly religious, kindly disposed, in good physical condition, leading a simple life, free from vice and untroubled in conscience. I don’t suppose that there is anyone so foolish as to think of doubting which one he would prefer.
[tr. Green (Loeb) (1963)]

But the rich man is tortured by fears, worn out with sadness, burnt up with ambition, never knowing serenity of repose, always panting and sweating in his struggles with opponents. It may be true that he enormously swells his patrimony, but at the cost of those discontents, while by this increase he heaps up a load of further anxiety and bitterness. The other man, the ordinary citizen, is content with his strictly limited resources. He is loved by family and friends; he enjoys the blessing of peace with his relations, neighbours, and friends; he is loyal, compassionate, and kind, healthy in body, temperate in habits, of unblemished character, and enjoys the serenity of a good conscience. I do not think anyone would be fool enough to hesitate about which he would prefer.
[tr. Bettenson (1972)]

The wealthy man, however, is troubled by fears; he pines with grief; he burns with greed. He is never secure; he is always unquiet and panting from endless confrontations with his enemies. To be sure, he adds to his patrimony in immense measure by these miseries; but alongside these additions he also heaps up the most bitter cares. By contrast, the man of moderate means is self-sufficient on his small and circumscribed estate. He is of his own family, and rejoices in the most sweet peace with kindred, neighbours and friends. He is devoutly religious, well disposed in mind, healthy in body, frugal in life, chaste in morals, untroubled in conscience. I do not know if anyone could be such a fool as to dare to doubt which to prefer.
[tr. Dyson (1998)]

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More quotes by Augustine of Hippo

The wise man preserves a smooth-tempered self-control.

[πρὸς σοφοῦ γὰρ ἀνδρὸς ἀσκεῖν σώφρον᾽ εὐοργησίαν.]

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Bacchæ [Βάκχαι], l. 641ff [Dionysus/Διόνυσος] (405 BC) [tr. Vellacott (1973)]

An ironic statement from Dionysus, of how he will keep his calm and temper in the face of Pentheus' disrespectful fury. In very short order, Dionysus is (calmly) setting up Pentheus' self-destruction through the Bacchantes' frenzy.

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

For it behoves the wise
To curb the sallies of outrageous ire.
[tr. Wodhull (1809)]

For it is the part of a wise man to practice restrained good temper.
[tr. Buckley (1850)]

’Tis easy to a wise man To practise self-command.
[tr. Milman (1865)]

For a wise man ever knoweth how to keep his passion down.
[tr. Rogers (1872)]

For ’tis a wise man’s way to school his temper into due control.
[tr. Coleridge (1891)]

For it is the wise man's part to rein his wrath in soberness.
[tr. Way (1898)]

For still are the ways of Wisdom, and her temper trembleth not!
[tr. Murray (1902)]

Wise men know constraint: our passions are controlled.
[tr. Arrowsmith (1960)]

For it is the quality of a wise man to exercise restrained good temper.
[tr. Kirk (1970)]

The secret of life is
Balance, tolerance.
[tr. Soyinka (1973)]

A wise man should practice pure thought and good temper.
[tr. Neuburg (1988)]

A wise man knows restraint. His strength is his detachment.
[tr. Cacoyannis (1982)]

For the wise know gentleness is wisdom.
[tr. Blessington (1993)]

For it is the part of a wise man to employ a controlled and gentle temper.
[tr. Esposito (1998)]

A wise man trains his temper to be good and calm.
[tr. Woodruff (1999)]

Because a man
Who is wise has self-control and gentleness of temper.
[tr. Gibbons/Segal (2000)]

It is a wise man's part to practice gentleness and self-control.
[tr. Kovacs (2002)]

He who would be wise will keep his self-control.
[tr. Teevan (2002)]

That is how wise people work, calmly.
[tr. Theodoridis (2005)]

A wise man is able to hold his good-nature well tempered.
[tr. Valerie (2005)]

After all, a wise man ought to keep his temper.
[tr. Johnston (2008)]

He should learn from me the ways of self-control.
[tr. Robertson (2014)]

Keep calm and carry on, as the wisest say.
[tr. Pauly (2019)]

The wise man has a reasonable temper.
[tr. Behr/Foster (2019)]

A sophos man must practice good temper that is moderate [sōphrōn].
[tr. Buckley/Sens/Nagy (2020)]

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It is easier not to speak a word at all, than not to speak more words than we should.

[Facilius est enim tacere quam in verbo non excedere.]

Thomas von Kempen
Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380-1471) German-Dutch priest, author
The Imitation of Christ [De Imitatione Christi], Book 1, ch. 20, v. 2 (1.20.2) (c. 1418-27) [ed. Parker (1841)]

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

For it is not so hard to keep always silence, as it is not to exceed in words when we speak much.
[tr. Whitford/Raynal (1530/1871)]

For it is not so hard always to keep silence as it is not to exceed in words when we speak much.
[tr. Whitford/Gardiner (1530/1955)]

It is easier not to speak a word at all, then not to speake more words then we should.
[tr. Page (1639), 1.20.6]

'Tis certainly much easier for a Man to restrain himself from Talking at all, than to enter into Discourse, and not say more than becomes him.
[tr. Stanhope (1696; 1706 ed.)]

For it is much easier to be wholly silent, than not to exceed in word.
[tr. Payne (1803), 1.20.3]

It is much easier to be wholly silent, than not to exceed in talk.
[tr. Dibdin (1851)]

It is easier to be altogether silent, than not to go to excess in speaking.
[ed. Bagster (1860)]

For it is easier to be altogether silent than it is not to exceed in word.
[tr. Benham (1874)]

It is easier not to speak at all, than not to exceed in speech.
[tr. Anon. (1901)]

It is easier to be silent altogether than not to speak too much.
[tr. Croft/Bolton (1940)]

It is easier to be quite silent than not to say a word too much.
[tr. Daplyn (1952)]

It is easier to keep silence altogether than not to talk more than we should.
[tr. Sherley-Price (1952)]

Easier to keep your mouth shut than to talk without saying too much.
[tr. Knox-Oakley (1959)]

It is easier to keep quiet altogether than not to say a word too much.
[tr. Knott (1962)]

To remain entirely silent is easier than not to talk too much.
[tr. Rooney (1979)]

It is easier to be completely silent than not to be long-winded.
[tr. Creasy (1989)]

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Moderation. Small helpings. Sample a little bit of everything. These are the secrets of happiness and good health. You need to enjoy the good things in life, but you need not overindulge.

Julia Child
Julia Child (1912-2004) American chef and writer
“What I’ve Learned,” interview by MIke Sager, Esquire (2001-06)
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It is unreasonable to imagine Printers approve of every thing they print, and to censure them on any particular thing accordingly; since in the way of their Business they print such great variety of things opposite and contradictory. It is likewise as unreasonable what some assert, That Printers ought not to print any Thing but what they approve; since if all of that Business should make such a Resolution, and abide by it, an End would thereby be put to Free Writing, and the World would afterwards have nothing to read but what happen’d to be the Opinions of Printers.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher, aphorist
“Apology for Printers,” Philadelphia Gazette (1731-06-10)
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Kind-hearted people might of course think there was some ingenious way to disarm or defeat the enemy without too much bloodshed, and might imagine this is the true goal of the art of war. Pleasant as it sounds, it is a fallacy that must be exposed: War is such a dangerous business that mistakes that come from kindness are the very worst.

[Nun könnten menschenfreundliche Seelen sich leicht denken, es gebe ein künstliches Entwaffnen oder Niederwerfen des Gegners, ohne zuviel Wunden zu verursachen, und das sei die wahre Tendenz der Kriegskunst. Wie gut sich das auch ausnimmt, so muß man doch diesen Irrtum zerstören, denn in so gefährlichen Dingen, wie der Krieg eins ist, sind die Irrtümer, welche aus Gutmütigkeit entstehen, gerade die schlimmsten.]

Karl von Clausewitz (1780-1831) Prussian soldier, historian, military theorist
On War [Vom Kriege], Book 1, ch. 1 “What Is War? [Was ist der Krieg?],” § 3 (1.1.3) (1832) [tr. Howard & Paret (1976)]

(Source (German)). Alternate translations:

Now, philanthropists may easily imagine there is a skilful method of disarming and overcoming an enemy without causing great bloodshed, and that this is the proper tendency of the art of War. However plausible this may appear, still it is an error which must be extirpated; for in such dangerous things as war, the errors which proceed from a spirit of benevolence are just the worst.
[tr. Graham (1873)]

Now philanthropic souls might easily imagine that there was an artistic way of disarming or overthrowing our adversary without too much bloodshed and that this was what the art of war should seek to achieve. However agreeable this may sound, it is a false idea which must be demolished. In affairs so dangerous as war, false ideas proceeding from kindness of heart are precisely the worst.
[tr. Jolles (1943)]

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Trouble arises when either science or religion claims universal jurisdiction, when either religious dogma or scientific dogma claims to be infallible. Religious creationists and scientific materialists are equally dogmatic and insensitive. By their arrogance they bring both science and religion into disrepute. The media exaggerate their numbers and importance. The media rarely mention the fact that the great majority of religious people belong to moderate denominations that treat science with respect, or the fact that the great majority of scientists treat religion with respect so long as religion does not claim jurisdiction over scientific questions.

Freeman Dyson
Freeman Dyson (1923-2020) English-American theoretical physicist, mathematician, futurist
“Progress in Religion,” Templeton Prize acceptance speech, Washington National Cathedral (9 May 2000)
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“Neither does this please me, nothing in excess;” for we ought to hate in excess those that are bad to excess.

[οὐδὲ τὸ μηδὲν ἄγαν· δεῖ γὰρ τούς γε κακοὺς ἄγαν μισεῖν.]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Rhetoric [Ῥητορική; Ars Rhetorica], Book 2, ch. 21, sec. 14 (2.21.14) / 1395a.33 (350 BC) [Source (1847)]

On developing one's own maxims and proverbs, and how to present them. (Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

Nor again [does this please me], that we ought to carry nothing to excess; since 'tis our duty to hate the wicked at least to the very extreme.
[tr. Buckley (1850)]

No do I like the saying, Do nothing excessively. Bad men should be hated excessively.
[tr. Jebb (1873)]

Nor do I approve of the saying "nothing in excess": we are bound to hate bad men excessively.
[tr. Rhys Roberts (1924)]

Nor do I approve the maxim "Nothing in excess," for one cannot hate the wicked too much."
[tr. Freese (1926)]

Neither is "nothing in excess" [satisfying to me]. For one must tate to excess at least those who are evil.
[tr. Bartlett (2019)]

[I do not] commend the saying “nothing in excess” because one must hate evil men to the extreme.
[tr. @sentantiq (2019)]

Added on 7-Jun-22 | Last updated 13-Jun-22
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It is the mark of a child not an adult to desire without measure.

[Παιδός, οὐκ ἀνδρὸς τὸ ἀμέτρως ἐπιθυμεῖν.]

Democritus (c. 460 BC - c. 370 BC) Greek philosopher
Frag. 70 (Diels) [tr. @sententiq (2018), fr. 69]

Diels citation "70. (62N.) Demokrates. 35." Alternate translations:

  • "Immoderate desire is the mark of a child, not a man." [tr. Freeman (1948)]
  • "It is a characteristic of a child, not a man, to desire without measure." [tr. Chitwood (2004)]
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The good things of youth are strength and beauty, but the flower of age is moderation.

[Ἰσχὺς καὶ εὐμορφίη νεότητος ἀγαθά, γήραος δὲ σωφροσύνη ἄνθος.]

Democritus (c. 460 BC - c. 370 BC) Greek philosopher
Frag. 294 (Diels) [tr. Freeman (1948)]

Diels citation: "294. (205 N.)"; ; collected in Joannes Stobaeus (Stobaios) Anthologium IV, 115, 19.

Alternate translations:

  • "The good things of youth are strength and beauty; moderation is the flower of age." [Source]
  • "Strength and beauty are the blessings of youth; temperance, however, is the flower of old age."
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A love of order, seemliness, and good taste has led the Anglican Church along a middle path between what a seventeenth-century divine called “the meretricious gaudiness of the Church of Rome and the squalid sluttery of fanatic conventicles.”

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Bishop Gore and the Church of England” (1908), Outspoken Essays, First Series (1919)

The reference is to "S. P. of Cambridge," believed to be the later Bishop Simon Patrick, who published in 1662 the pamphlet "A Brief Account of the new Sect of Latitude-men," lauding "that virtuous mediocrity which our Church observes between" the alternatives quoted by Inge. Reprinted in John Dunton, The Phenix, Vol. 2, ch. 4 (1707).
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A word of caution to neophyte Martini drinkers: When taken to excess, this perfectly civilized drink can lead directly to uncivilized behavior. … The purpose of the Martini is to enhance the evening, not to obliterate it.

Barnaby Conrad III (b. 1952) American author, artist, editor
“Martini Madness,” Cigar Aficionado (Spring 1996)
Added on 8-Sep-17 | Last updated 8-Sep-17
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These things are good in little measure and evil in large; yeast, salt, and hesitation.

The Talmud (AD 200-500) Collection of Jewish rabbinical writings
Babylonian Talmud, Berakoth 34a

Alt. trans.: "Our Rabbis taught: If one is asked to pass before the Ark, he ought to refuse, and if he does not refuse he resembles a dish without salt; but if he persists too much in refusing he resembles a dish which is over-salted. How should he act? The first time he should refuse; the second time he should hesitate; the third time he should stretch out his legs and go down. Our Rabbis taught: There are three things of which one may easily have too much while a little is good, namely, yeast, salt, and refusal."

Alt. trans.: "There are three things that are harmful in excess but are beneficial when used sparingly. They are: Leavening in dough, salt in a cooked dish and refusal for the sake of propriety." [William Davidson Talmud]

Alt. trans.: "There are three things of which you may easily have too much, while a little is good: yeast, salt, and hesitation." [Joshua of the South, Berakot 5.3]

Alt trans.: "Three things are disagreeable when used in excess, and pleasant when moderately indulged in: yeast, salt, and hesitancy in accepting proffered honours." [Paul Isaac Hershon, The Pentateuch According to the Talmud: Genesis, Part 1, Genesis 19:26, Synoptical Notes: "Salt"]
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Solitude is naught and society is naught. Alternate them and the good of each is seen.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Journal (1838)
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Moderation in all things.

Cleobulus (6th C BC) Greek poet, sage [Kleoboulos]
Added on 10-Mar-16 | Last updated 10-Mar-16
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Good and bad men are each less so than they seem.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) English poet and critic
Table Talk, “19 April 1830” (1835)
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There is one characteristic of the present direction of public opinion peculiarly calculated to make it intolerant of any marked demonstration of individuality. The general average of mankind are not only moderate in intellect, but also moderate in inclinations; they have no tastes or wishes strong enough to incline them to do anything unusual, and they consequently do not understand those who have, and class all such with the wild and intemperate whom they are accustomed to look down upon.

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) English philosopher and economist
On Liberty, ch. 3 “Of Individuality, as One of the Elements of Well-Being” (1859)
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I am aware that many object to the severity of my language, but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write in moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire, to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch; and I will be heard.

William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) American abolitionist, journalist, suffragist, social reformer
The Liberator, #1 (1 Jan 1831)

On slavery.
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I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I’m under the table,
After four I’m under my host.

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) American writer

  • "I'd love to have a martini, / Two at the very most. / With three I'm under the table, / With four I'm under my host."
  • "I like to have a Martini / But only two at the most, / After three I'm under the table, / After four I'm under my host."
Frequently attributed to Parker (the main quatrain quoted is in The Collected Dorothy Parker), but originally an anonymous gag in found in the University of Virginia Harlequin (1959): "I wish I could drink like a lady. / 'Two or three,' at the most. / But two, and I'm under the table -- / And three, I'm under the host."

The confusion apparently comes from Bennett Cerf, Try and Stop Me (1944), where he related an anecdote in which Parker commented about a cocktail party, more straightforwardly, "Enjoyed it? One more drink and I'd have been under the host!" See here for more discussion.
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The Prodigal robs his Heir, the Miser himself.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English physician, preacher, aphorist, writer
Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs, #4722 (1732)
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Moderation in all things.

[Ne quid nimis.]

Terence (186?-159 BC) African-Roman dramatist [Publius Terentius Afer]
The Lady of Andros [Andria], l. 61

See Cleobulus.
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Goe not for every griefe to the Physitian, nor for every quarrell to the Lawyer, nor for every thirst to the pot.

George Herbert (1593-1633) Welsh priest, orator, poet.
Jacula Prudentum, or Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, &c. (compiler), # 290 (1640 ed.)
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Those words, “temperate and moderate,” are words either of political cowardice, or of cunning, or seduction. A thing moderately good, is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper, is always a virtue; but moderation in principle, is a species of vice.

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) American political philosopher and writer
“Letter Addressed to the Addressers on the Late Proclamation” (1791)
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Half the vices that the world condemns most loudly have seeds of good in them and require moderate use rather than total abstinence.

Samuel Butler (1835-1902) English novelist, satirist, scholar
The Way of All Flesh, ch. 52 (1903)
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Hampden, on the other hand, was for vigorous and decisive measures. When he drew the sword, as Clarendon has well aid, he threw away the scabbard. He had shown that he knew better than any public man of his time how to value and how to practice moderation. He knew that the essence of war is violence, and that moderation in war is imbecility.

Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859) English writer and politician
“John Hampden,” Essays Contributed to the Edinburgh Review, Vol. 1 (1843)

Review of Lord Nugent, Some Memorials of John Hampden, His Party, and His Times (1831).
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I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) American politician
Speech, accepting the GOP Presidential Nomination, San Francisco (16 Jul 1964)

Goldwater believed the phrase originated in Cicero, though the source he used is questionable. Karl Hess was Goldwater's speech writer, and he said he derived the turn of phrase from Lincoln's "House Divided" speech. A closer match is this Thomas Paine passage.

More discussion of this quotation and its origins: On the Saying that "Extremism in Defense of Liberty is No Vice" - Niskanen Center
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So also anybody can become angry — that is easy, and so it is to give and spend money; but to be angry with or give money to the right person, and to the right amount, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way — this is not within everybody’s power and is not easy; so that to do these things properly is rare, praiseworthy, and noble.

[οὕτω δὲ καὶ τὸ μὲν ὀργισθῆναι παντὸς καὶ ῥᾴδιον, καὶ τὸ δοῦναι ἀργύριον καὶ δαπανῆσαι: τὸ δ᾽ ᾧ καὶ ὅσον καὶ ὅτε καὶ οὗ ἕνεκα καὶ ὥς, οὐκέτι παντὸς οὐδὲ ῥᾴδιον: διόπερ τὸ εὖ καὶ σπάνιον καὶ ἐπαινετὸν καὶ καλόν.]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Nicomachean Ethics [Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια], Book 2, ch. 9 (2.9, 1109a.27) (c. 325 BC) [tr. Rackham (1934)]

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

Just so to be angry, to give money, and be expensive, is what any man can do, and easy: but to do these to the right person, in due proportion, at the right time, with a right object, and in the right manner, this is not as before what any man can do, nor is it easy; and for this cause goodness is rare, and praiseworthy, and noble.
[tr. Chase (1847)]

And so, too, to get angry is an easy matter, and in any man's power; or to give away money or to spend it: but to decide to whom to give it, and how large a sum, and when, and for what purpose, and how, is neither in every many's power, nor an easy matter. And hence it is that excellence herein is rare and praiseworthy and noble.
[tr. Williams (1869), sec. 37]

So too anybody can get angry -- that is an easy matter -- and anybody can give or spend money, but to give it to the right persons, to give the right amount of it and to give it at the right time and for the right cause and in the right way, this is not what anybody can do, nor is it easy. That is the reason why it is rare and laudable and noble to do well.
[tr. Welldon (1892)]

Thus anyone can be angry -- that is quite easy; anyone can give money away or spend it: but to do these things to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right object, and in the right manner, is not what everybody can do, and is by no means easy; and that is the reason why right doing is rare and praiseworthy and noble.
[tr. Peters (1893)]

So, too, anyone can get angry -- that is easy -- or give or spend money; but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for everyone, nor is it easy; wherefore goodness is both rare and laudable and noble.
[tr. Ross (1908)]

In the same way, getting angry is also something everyone can do and something easy, as is giving or spending money. Determining whom to give it to, though, and how much, when, for the sake of what, and in what way -- that is no longer something everyone can do or something easy. That is why doing it well is a rare thing and a praiseworthy and noble one.
[tr. Reeve (1948)]

So, too, anyone can get angry or give money or spend it, and it is easy. But to give to the right person, the right amount, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right manner, this is not something anyone can do nor is it easy to do; and it is in view of this that excellence is rare and praiseworthy and noble.
[tr. Apostle (1975)]

So too it is easy to get angry -- anyone can do that -- or to give and spend money; but to feel or act towards the right person to the right extent at the right time for the right reason in the right way -- that is not easy, and it is not everyone that can do it. Hence to do these things well is a rare, laudable, and fine achievement.
[tr. Thomson/Tredennick (1976)]

So too anyone can get angry, or give and spend money -- these are easy, but doing them in relation to the right person, in the right amount, at the right time, with the right aim in view, and in the right way -- that is not something anyone can do, nor is it easy. This is why excellence in these things is rare, praiseworthy, and noble.
[tr. Crisp (2000)]

And so too, to become angry belongs to everyone and is an easy thing, as is also giving and spending money; but to whom [one ought to do so], how much, when for the sake fo what, and how -- these no longer belong to everyone nor are easy. Thus in fact acting well is rare, praiseworthy, and noble.
[tr. Bartlett/Collins (2011)]

Note that some translations paraphrase this only to speak of anger, e.g., Edith M. Leonard, et al., The Child: At Home and School (1944):

Anybody can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.
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I have not been afraid of excess: excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) English novelist and playwright [William Somerset Maugham]
The Summing Up, ch. 15 (1938)
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For he that makes any thing his chiefest good, wherein justice or virtue does not bear a part, and sets up profit, not honesty, for the measure of his happiness; as long as he acts in conformity with his own principles, and is not overruled by the mere dictates of reason and humanity, can never do the offices of friendship, justice, or liberality: nor can he ever be a man of courage, who thinks that pain is the greatest evil; or he of temperance, who imagines pleasure to be the sovereign good.

[Nam qui summum bonum sic instituit, ut nihil habeat cum virtute coniunctum, idque suis commodis, non honestate metitur, hic, si sibi ipse consentiat et non interdum naturae bonitate vincatur neque amicitiam colere possit nec iustitiam nec liberalitatem; fortis vero dolorem summum malum iudicans aut temperans voluptatem summum bonum statuens esse certe nullo modo potest.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Officiis [On Duties; On Moral Duty; The Offices], Book 1, ch. 2 (1.2) / sec. 5 (44 BC) [tr. Cockman (1699)]

Attacking the Epicurean "highest good" of avoiding pain and seeking personal detachment; Cicero supported the Stoic virtues of courage and moderation.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

He who teaches that to be the chief good which hath no connection with virtue, which is measured by personal advantage, and not by honor; if he be consistent with himself, and not sometimes overcome by the benignity of nature, can neither cultivate friendship nor practice justice nor liberality. That man cannot be brave who believes pain the greatest evil; nor temperate, who believes pleasure the supreme good.
[tr. McCartney (1798)]

For if a man should lay down as the chief good, that which has no connexion with virtue, and measure it by his own interests, and not according to its moral merit; if such a man shall act consistently with his own principles, and is not sometimes influenced by the good ness of his heart, he can cultivate neither friendship, justice, nor generosity. In truth, it is impossible for the man to be brave who shall pronounce pain to be the greatest evil, or temperate who shall propose pleasure as the highest good.
[tr. Edmonds (1865)]

For he who so interprets the supreme good as to disjoin it from virtue, and measures it by his own convenience, and not by the standard of right, -- he, I say, if he be consistent with himself, and be not sometimes overcome by natural goodness, can cultivate neither friendship, nor justice, nor generosity; nor can he possibly be brave while he esteems pain as the greatest of evils, or temperate while he regards pleasure as the supreme good.
[tr. Peabody (1883)]

He who severs the highest good from virtue and measures it by interest and not by honour, if he were true to his principles and did not at times yield to his better nature, could not cultivate friendship, justice or liberality; and no one can be brave who declares pain the greatest evil, or temperate who maintains pleasure to be the highest good.
[tr. Gardiner (1899)]

For he who posits the supreme good as having no connection with virtue and measures it not by a moral standard but by his own interests -- if he should be consistent and not rather at times over-ruled by his better nature, he could value neither friendship nor justice nor generosity; and brave he surely cannot possibly be that counts pain the supreme evil, nor temperate he that holds pleasure to be the supreme good.
[tr. Miller (1913)]

Take, for example, the man who has established the kind of highest good that has nothing to do with virtue, that is, measured by the individual's convenience, not by his morality. If that man is consistent and is not in the meantime overcome by natural goodness, he cannot cultivate friendship, or justice, or openness of character. In fact, a man of courage who considers pain the greatest evil, or a temperate man who declares indulgence to be the greatest good, is surely an impossible contradiction.
[tr. Edinger (1974)]

No man can be brave who thinks pain the greatest evil; nor temperate, who considers pleasure the highest good.

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There is, however, a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue.

Edmund Burke (1729-1797) Anglo-Irish statesman, orator, philosopher
Observations on a Late Publication, “The Present State of the Nation” (1769)
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