process of eliminating or lessening extremes
- Virtue ... is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect; and again it is a mean because the vices respectively fall short of or exceed what is right in both passions and actions, while virtue both finds and chooses that which is intermediate. Hence in respect of its substance and the definition which states its essence virtue is a mean, with regard to what is best and right an extreme.
- Monks, these two extremes ought not to be practiced by one who has gone forth from the household life. What are the two? There is addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy, and unprofitable; and there is addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable. Avoiding both these extremes, the Tathagata has realized the Middle Path; it gives vision, gives knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment and to Nibbana. And what is that Middle Path realized by the Tathagata? ... It is the Noble Eightfold Path, and nothing else, namely: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.
- A formative experience of my life was a lesson that one can have too much of a good thing. I used to love rose- and violet-petal chocolate creams, and once bought a big bag of them to eat in the theater. I finished them before the curtain went up and sat through the play — Ibsen, I think it was — in a state of nausea. I expect that if I read too much Agatha Christie in succession, I should experience the literary equivalent of that sensation. Not too much of a good thing: there must be worse mottos for life.
- Immoderate desire is the mark of a child, not a man.
- You may ask what then will become of the fundamental principles of equity and fair play which our constitutions enshrine; and whether I seriously believe that unsupported they will serve merely as counsels of moderation. I do not think that anyone can say what will be left of those principles; I do not know whether they will serve only as counsels; but this much I think I do know — that a society so riven that the spirit of moderation is gone, no court can save; that a society where that spirit flourishes, no court need save; that in a society which evades its responsibility by thrusting upon the courts the nurture of that spirit, that spirit in the end will perish. What is the spirit of moderation? It is the temper which does not press a partisan advantage to its bitter end, which can understand and will respect the other side, which feels a unity between all citizens—real and not the factitious product of propaganda—which recognizes their common fate and their common aspirations—in a word, which has faith in the sacredness of the individual.
- Learned Hand, "The Contribution of an Independent Judiciary to Civilization" (1942).
- I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
- The most necessary disposition to relish pleasures is to know how to be without them.
- Marquise de Lambert, A Mother's Advice to Her Son (1726), p. 160.
- 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, letter to the addressers on the late proclamation against seditious writings; in Moncure D. Conway, ed., The Writings of Thomas Paine (1895), vol. 3, p. 94–95.
- Souhaitez donc mediocrité.
- Wish then for mediocrity.
- François Rabelais, Pantagruel (1532), Book IV. Prologue.
- Magni pectoris est inter secunda moderatio.
- It is the sign of a great spirit to be moderate in prosperity.
- Seneca the Elder, Suasoriae, ch. 1, sect. 3; translation from Michael Winterbottom (trans.) Declamations of the Elder Seneca (London: Heinemann, 1974) vol. 2, p. 489.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 520.
- This only grant me, that my means may lie
Too low for envy, for contempt too high.
- Abraham Cowley, Essays in Prose and Verse, Of Myself. (Translation of Horace).
- Aus Mässigkeit entspringt ein reines Glück.
- True happiness springs from moderation.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Die Naturliche Tochter, II. 5. 79.
- Auream quisquis mediocritatem deligit tutus caret obsoleti sordibus tecti, caret invidenda sobrius aula.
- Who loves the golden mean is safe from the poverty of a tenement, is free from the envy of a palace.
- Horace, Carmina, II. 10. 5.
- Est modus in rebus, sunt certi denique fines
Quos ultra citraque nequit consistere rectum.
- There is a mean in all things; and, moreover, certain limits on either side of which right cannot be found.
- Horace, Satires, I. 1. 106.
- The moderation of fortunate people comes from the calm which good fortune gives to their tempers.
- François de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims. No. 18.
- Le juste milieu.
- Medio tutissimus ibis.
- Safety lies in the middle course.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book II, line 136.
- Take this at least, this last advice, my son:
Keep a stiff rein, and move but gently on:
The coursers of themselves will run too fast,
Your art must be to moderate their haste.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses, Story of Phaeton, Book II, line 147. Addison's translation.
- Modus omnibus in rebus, soror, optimum est habitu;
Nimia omnia nimium exhibent negotium hominibus ex se.
- In everything the middle course is best: all things in excess bring trouble to men.
- Plautus, Pænulus, I. 2. 29.
- He knows to live who keeps the middle state,
And neither leans on this side nor on that.
- Alexander Pope, Book II. Satire II, line 61.
- Give me neither poverty nor riches.
- Proverbs, XXX. 8.
- Modica voluptas laxat animos et temperat.
- Moderate pleasure relaxes the spirit, and moderates it.
- Seneca the Younger, De Ira, II. 20.
- Bonarum rerum consuetudo pessima est.
- The too constant use even of good things is hurtful.
- Syrus, Maxims.
- Id arbitror
Adprime in vita esse utile, Ut ne quid nimis.
- Excess in nothing,—this I regard as a principle of the highest value in life.
- Terence, Andria, I. 1. 33.
- There is a limit to enjoyment, though the sources of wealth be boundless,
And the choicest pleasures of life lie within the ring of moderation.
- Martin Farquhar Tupper, Proverbial Philosophy, Of Compensation, line 15.
- Give us enough but with a sparing hand.
- Edmund Waller, Reflections.