Marginalia, no.288

The ascetic is the inverted libertine.

~ Gilbert Seldes, The Stammering Century

Montaigne observes that “it is much easier to go along the sides, where the outer edge serves as a limit and a guide, than by the middle way, wide and open.” It seems true, at least, that one extremity is more readily traded for another than for anything in-between. The righteous Puritan is less tempted by lukewarm agnosticism than by outright devil-worship.

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