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Hence the first rule in aiming at the mean is to avoid that extreme which is the more opposed to the mean, as Calypso advises1— “ Steer the ship clear of yonder spray and surge.

” For of the two extremes one is a more serious error than the other.

1 Hom. Od. 12.219: really the words are said by Odysseus, conveying to his steersman Circe's advice, to avoid the whirlpool of Charybdis which will engulf them all, and steer nearer to the monster Scylla who will devour only some of them.

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