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Those edges soonest turn, that are most keen;
A sober moderation stands secure,
No violent extremes endure.
Extreme old age is childhood; extreme wisdom is ignorance, for so it may be called, since the man whom the oracle pronounced the wisest of men professed that he knew nothing; yea, push a coward to the extreme and he will show courage; oppress a man to the last, and he will rise above oppression.
- J. Beaumont
We must remember how apt man is to extremes--rushing from credulity and weakness to suspicion and distrust.
- Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton
Men are as much blinded by the extremes of misery as by the extremes of prosperity.
- Edmund Burke
The fierce extremes of good and ill to brook.
- Thomas Campbell, Gertrude of Wyoming
No violent extreme endures.
- Thomas Carlyle
All extremes are error. The reverse of error is not truth, but error still. Truth lies between these extremes.
- Lord David Cecil (Edward Christian David Cecil)
Extremes, though contrary, have the like effect; extreme heat mortifies, like extreme cold; extreme love breeds satiety, as well as extreme hatred.
- George Chapman
Pleasure and pain, though directly opposite, are yet so contrived by nature as to be constant companions; and it is a fact that the same motions and muscles of the face are employed both laughing and crying.
- Pierre Charron
Extremes touch: he who wants no favors :from Fortune may be said to have obtained the very greatest that she can bestow, in realizing an independence which no changes can diminish.
- Paul Chatfield (a/k/a Horace Smith)
- attributed to Cleobulus of Lindos
That extremes beget extremes is an apothegm built on the most profound observation of the human mind.
- Charles Caleb Colton
Thus each extreme to equal danger tends,
Plenty, as well as Want, can separate friends.
- Abraham Cowley, Davideis (bk. III, l. 205)
'T is in worldly accidents,
As in the world itself, where things most distant
Meet one another: Thus the east and west,
Upon the globe a mathematical point
Only divides: Thus happiness and misery,
And all extremes, are still contiguous.
- Sir John Denham
Extreme views are never just; something always turns up which disturbs the calculations formed upon their data.
- Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield
Extremes meet, and there is no better example than the haughtiness of humility.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson,
Letters and Social Aims--Greatness
Too austere a philosophy makes few wise men; too rigorous politics, few good subjects; too hard a religion, few religious persons whose devotion is of long continuance.
- Charles de Marguetel de Saint-Denis de Saint-Evremond
It is a hard but good law of fate, that as every evil, so every excessive power, wears itself out.
- Johann Gottfried von Herder
Let wealth come in by comely thrift,
And not by any sordid shift;
'T is haste
Extremes have still their fault.
Who gripes too hard the dry and slipp'ry sand,
Holds none at all, or little, in his hand.
- Robert Herrick
Extremes are ever neighbors; 'tis a step from one to the other.
- James Sheridan Knowles
Extremes are vicious, and proceed from men; compensation is just, and proceeds from God.
- Jean de la Bruyere
Women are ever in extremes; they are either better or worse than men.
- Jean de la Bruyere
Extremes are faulty and proceed from men: compensation is just, and proceeds from God.
- Jean de la Bruyere,
The Characters or Manners of the Present Age
So near are the boundaries of panegyric and invective, that a worn-out sinner is sometimes found to make the best declaimer against sin. The same high-seasoned descriptions which in his unregenerate state served to inflame his appetites, in his new province of a moralist will serve him (a little turned) to expose the enormity of those appetites in other men.
- Charles Lamb (used pseudonym Elia)
Both in individuals and in masses violent excitement is always followed by remission, and often by reaction. We are all inclined to depreciate whatever we have overpraised, and, on the other hand, to show undue indulgence where we have shown undue rigor.
- Thomas Babington Macaulay
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