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[4] Hence, inasmuch as to hit the mean extremely well is difficult,1 the second best way to sail,2 as the saying goes, is to take the least of the evils; and the best way to do this will be the way we enjoin.

The second rule is to notice what are the errors to which we are ourselves most prone (as different men are inclined by nature to different faults)—and we shall discover what these are by observing the pleasure or pain that we experience—;

1 Or ‘to hit the mean is extremely difficult.’

2 A proverb, meaning to take to the oars when the wind fails.

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