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Horace on Moderation

You will do better, Lycaeneus, not to spend your life venturing out too far on the dangerous waters, or, for fear of storms, staying too close to the rocky shoreline. That man does best who chooses the middle way so he doesn't end up living under a roof that's going to ruin, or in some gorgeous mansion everyone envies. The tallest pine shakes most in a windstorm. The loftiest tower falls down with the loudest crash. The lightning bolt heads straight for the mountaintop.

Always expect reversals. Be hopeful in trouble. Be worried when things go well. That's how it is for the man whose heart is ready for anything. It is true that Jupiter brings on the hard winters. It is also true that Jupiter takes them away. If things are bad right now, they won't always be. Apollo isn't always drawing his bow. There are times when he takes up his lyre and plays and awakens the music sleeping upon the strings. Be resolute when things are going against you, but shorten sail when the fair wind blows too strong.

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