Extreme

The essence of envy is a deep desire to be someone else. In its extreme form it is a complete nullification of oneself.

Incredulity is not wisdom, but the worst kind of folly. It is folly, because it causes ignorance and mistake, with all the consequents of these; and it is very bad, as being accompanied with disingenuity, obstinacy, rudeness, uncharitableness, and the like, bad dispositions; from which credulity itself, the other extreme sort of folly, is exempt.

Extreme vanity sometimes hides under the garb of ultra modesty.

In truth, knowledge is a great and very useful quality; those who despise it give evidence enough of their stupidity. But yet I do not set its value at that extreme measure that some attribute to it, like Herillus the philosopher, who placed in it the sovereign good, and held that it was in its power to make us wise and content. That I do not believe, nor what others have said, that knowledge is the mother of all virtue, and all vice is produced by ignorance. If that is true, it is subject to a long interpretation.

One will seldom go wrong if one attributes extreme actions to vanity, average ones to habit, and petty ones to fear.

One extreme produces another.

To lose one’s self in revery, one must be either very happy or very unhappy. Revery is the child of extreme.

It is an extreme evil to depart from the company of the living before you die.

Extreme happiness invites religion almost as much as extreme misery.

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.

Partial culture runs to the ornate; extreme culture to simplicity.

In extreme danger fear feels no pity.

Extreme terror gives us back the gestures of our childhood.

Extreme exactness is the sublime of fools.

Mankind likes to think in terms of extreme opposites. It is given to formulating its beliefs in terms of Either-Ors, between which it recognizes no intermediate possibilities. When forced to recognize that the extremes cannot be acted upon, it is still inclined to hold that they are all right in theory but that when it comes to practical matters circumstances compel us to compromise.

It is more common to see an extreme love than a perfect friendship.

When a man thinks he is reading the character of another, he is often unconsciously betraying his own; and this is especially the case with those persons whose knowledge of the world is of such sort that it results in extreme distrust of men.

Fools, in avoiding vice, run to the opposite extreme.

The principle of democracy is corrupted not only when the spirit of equality is extinct, but likewise when they fall into a spirit of extreme equality, and when each citizen would fain to be upon a level with those whom he has chosen to command him. Then the people, incapable of bearing the very power they have delegated, want to manage everything themselves, to debate for the senate, to execute for the magistrate, and to decide for the judges.

Nature I believe in. True art aims to represent men and women, not as my little self would have them, but as they appear. My heroes and heroines I want not extreme types, all good or all bad; but human, mortal—partly good, partly bad. Realism I need. Pure mental abstractions have no significance for me.