The Golden Mean

10 Apr

Men in their prime will evidently be of a character intermediate between these, abating the excess of each:—neither excessively bold, for this is rashness, nor over-timid, but rightly disposed in both respects, neither trusting nor distrusting all things, but rather judging by the true standard, and living neither for the honourable alone, nor for the expedient alone, but for both; inclining neither to frugality nor to extravagance, but to the just mean.  And so, too, in regard to passion and desire, they will be courageously temperate and temperately courageous.  Young men and old men share these qualities between them; young men are courageous and intemperate, old men are temperate and cowardly.  To speak generally—those useful qualities which youth and age divide between them, are joined in the prime of life, between their excesses and defects, it has  a fitting mean.  The body is in its full vigour from thirty to five and thirty; the mind at about forty-nine.

Eds: J.L. Golden, G.F. Berquist, W.E. Coleman J. M. Sproule;  The Rhetoric of Western Thought   From  the Mediterranean World to the Global Setting Eighth Ed. (Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company Dubuque Iowa  ©1976- 2004) p.75

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