He who does what many others like him do In similar situations will seem absurd to few; If he wishes to be dissimilar to a fellow like himself, He will be contemptible to many for living the low life. Anyone who spurns the methods of those like him Or better at his craft is hardly well taught; Any wise man who loves his calling follows the best In his field unless he loves it in bad faith. So banish your circumlocutions and words Inconsistent with customary usage and measure; For whoever chooses new measure and usage for himself Will seem respectable to almost no one.
[1.] After my companion had poured forth these words at such length, as if he were party to some conflict or dispute, I chose to pay him back with equally harsh terms of disagreement: Truly, my friend, it astonishes me beyond the bounds of customary measure that you should act so obstinately rash and deluded. That a mortal should sometimes be deluded is no cause for surprise or consternation, for there is nothing, or practically nothing, to be found in human inventions or affairs which is perfectly achieved in all its parts. But I imagine it will utterly astonish any wise person that a fool of his own volition constantly seeks to wallow in the slough of his impetuosity.