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EXTREMES
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[ Also see End Excess Intemperance Moderation ]

Shun equally a sombre air and vivacious sallies.
      - Marcus Aurelius (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus)

Extremes meet.
      - Louis Sebastian Mercier, Tableaux de Paris
         (vol. IV, title of ch. 348)

And feel by turns the bitter change
  Of fierce extremes, extremes by change more fierce.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost
         (bk. II, l. 599)

Perfect reason avoids all extremes.
      - Moliere (pseudonym of Jean Baptiste Poquelin)

As great enmities spring from great friendships, and mortal distempers from vigorous health, so do the most surprising and the wildest frenzies from the high and lively agitations of our souls.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

He that had never seen a river imagined the first he met to be the sea; and the greatest things that have fallen within our knowledge we conclude the extremes that nature makes of the kind.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Essays
         (bk. I, ch. XXVI)

Our age knows nothing but reactions, and leaps from one extreme to another.
      - Reinhold Niebuhr

Extremes are for us as if they were not, and as if we were not in regard to them; they escape from us, or we from them.
      - Blaise Pascal

Our senses will not admit anything extreme. Too much noise confuses us, too much light dazzles us, too great distance or nearness prevents vision, too great prolixity or brevity weakens an argument, too much pleasure gives pain, too much accordance annoys.
      - Blaise Pascal

We feel neither extreme heat nor extreme cold; qualities that are in excess are so much at variance with our feelings that they are impalpable: we do not feel them, though we suffer from their effects.
      - Blaise Pascal

Avoid Extremes; and shun the fault of such
  Who still are pleas'd too little or too much.
      - Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism
         (l. 385)

Extremes in nature equal good produce;
  Extremes in man concur to general use.
      - Alexander Pope, Moral Essays
         (ep. III, l. 161)

No one tries extreme remedies at first.
  [Lat., Extrema primo nemo tentavit loco.]
      - Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca), Agamemnon
         (153)

Extremity is the trier of spirits.
      - William Shakespeare

Like to the time o' th' year between the extremes
  Of hot and cold, he was not sad nor merry.
      - William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra
         (Alexas at I, v)

When first this order was ordained, my lords,
  Knights of the Garter were of noble birth,
    Valiant and virtuous, full of haughty courage,
      Such as were grown to credit by the wars;
        Not fearing death nor shrinking for distress,
          But always resolute in most extremes.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Sixth, Part I
         (Talbot at IV, i)

Who can be patient in such extremes?
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Sixth, Part III
         (Queen Margaret at I, i)

Why, that is nothing, for I tell you, father,
  I am as peremptory as she proud-minded,
    And where two waging fires meet together
      They do consume the thing that feeds their fury.
        Though little fire grows great with little wind,
          Yet extreme gusts will blow out fire and all.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Taming of the Shrew
         (Petruchio at II, i)

O brother, speak with possibility,
  And do not break into these deep extremes.
      - William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus
         (Marcus at III, i)

The greatest flood has the soonest ebb; the sorest tempest the most sudden calm; the hottest love the coldest end; and from the deepest desire oftentimes ensues the deadliest hate.
      - Socrates

Extremes are dangerous: a middle estate is safest; as a middle temper of the sea, between a still calm and a violent tempest, is most helpful to convey the mariner to his haven.
      - George Swinnock


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