The good of man is the active exercise of his soul’s faculties In conformity with excellence or virtue . . . Moreover this activity must occupy a complete lifetime; for one swallow does not make spring, nor does one fine day; arid similarly one day or a brief period of happiness does not make a man supremely blessed and happy.
Pleasure, most often delusive, may be born of delusion. Pleasure, herself a sorceress, may pitch her tents on enchanted ground. But happiness (or, to use a more accurate and comprehensive term, solid well-being) can be built on virtue alone, and must of necessity have truth for its foundation.
Limbo is the place. In Limbo one has natural happiness without the beatific vision; no harps; no communal order, but wine and conversation and imperfect, various humanity. Limbo for the unbaptized, for the pious heathen, the sincere skeptic.
Frugality is good if Liberality be joined with it. The first leaving off superfluous expenses; the last bestowing them to the benefit of others that need. The first without the last begins covetousness; the last without the first begins prodigality: both together make an excellent temper. Happy the place where ever that is found. Were it universal, we should be cured of two extremes, want and excess: and the one would supply the other, and so bring both nearer to a mean; the just degree of earthly happiness
There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year’s course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.