"If these Essays were worthy of being judged, it might fall out, in my opinion, that they would not find much favour, either with common and vulgar minds, or with uncommon and eminent ones: the former would not find enough in them, the latter would find too much; they might manage to live somewhere in the middle region."
"Our senses perceive no extreme. Too much sound deafens us; too much light dazzles us; too great distance or proximity hinders our view. Too great length and too great brevity of discourse tends to obscurity; too much truth is paralyzing.... In short, extremes are for us as though they were not, and we are not within their notice. They escape us, or we them."
"Moderation has been called golden by all the sages, which is to say precious, praised by all, and everywhere laudable. Go through the Bible: you will discover that those who requested moderation never had their prayers rejected."
"Therefore, wish for moderation, it will come to you, and even better, duly as you work and labor. "Indeed, but (you say) God could have just as soon given me seventy-eight thousand as easily as the thirteenth part of one half. Because he is all powerful. A million in Gold is as easy for him as a penny." Ha, ha, has. And who taught you to make speeches on the power and predestination of God, my poor fellows?"
"All things have their ends and cycles. And when they have reached their highest point, they are in their lowest ruin, for they cannot last for long in such a state. Such is the end for those who cannot moderate their fortune and prosperity with reason and temperance."
"That moderation which nature prescribes, which limits our desires by resources restricted to our needs, has abandoned the field; it has now come to this that to want only what is enough is a sign both of boorishness and of utter destitution."
"The golden mean in ethics, as in physics, is the centre of the system and that about which all revolve, and though to a distant and plodding planet it be an uttermost extreme, yet one day, when that planet's year is completed, it will be found to be central."