Indeed, the abuse of the bounties of Nature, much more surely than any partial privation of them, tends to intercept that precious boon of a second and dearer life in our progeny, which was bestowed in the first great command to man from the All-Gracious Giver of all,whose name be blessed, whether He gives or takes away! His hand, in every page of His book, has written the lesson of moderation. Our physical well-being, our moral worth, our social happiness, our political tranquillity, all depend on that control of all our appetites and passions which the ancients designed by the cardinal virtue of temperance.
Edmund Burke: Letters on a Regicide Peace, Letter III., 1797.
Temperance first, as it tends to procure that coolness and clearness of head which is so necessary where constant vigilance was to be kept up, and a guard maintained against the unremitting attraction of ancient habits, and the force of perpetual temptations.
Temperance, that virtue without pride, and fortune without envy, that gives indolence of body with an equality of mind; the best guardian of youth and support of old age; the precept of reason as well as religion, and physician of the soul as well as the body; the tutelar goddess of health and universal medicine of life.