Quotes by Joseph Addison

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Joseph Addison (May 1, 1672 June 17, 1719) was an English politician and writer. His name is usually remembered alongside that of his long-standing friend, Richard Steele, with whom he founded The Spectator magazine. more

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There is not a more unhappy being than a superannuated idol.

Our delight in any particular study, art, or science rises and improves in proportion to the application which we bestow upon it. Thus, what was at first an exercise becomes at length an entertainment.
Suspicion is not less an enemy to virtue than to happiness; he that is already corrupt is naturally suspicious, and he that becomes suspicious will quickly be corrupt.
If we may believe our logicians, man is distinguished from all other creatures by the faculty of laughter. He has a heart capable of mirth, and naturally disposed to it.
Young people soon give, and forget insults, but old age is slow in both.
There is not, in my opinion, anything more mysterious in nature than this instinct in animals, which thus rise above reason, and yet fall infinitely short of it.
Mutability of temper and inconsistency with ourselves is the greatest weakness of human nature.
The post of honor is a private station.
Authors have established it as a kind of rule, that a man ought to be dull sometimes; as the most severe reader makes allowances for many rests and nodding-places in a voluminous writer.
I will indulge my sorrows, and give way to all the pangs and fury of despair.
The fear of death often proves mortal, and sets people on methods to save their Lives, which infallibly destroy them.
Courage that grows from constitution often forsakes a man when he has occasion for it; courage which arises from a sense of duty acts ;in a uniform manner.
There is not any present moment that is unconnected with some future one. The life of every man is a continued chain of incidents, each link of which hangs upon the former. The transition from cause to effect, from event to event, is often carried on by secret steps, which our foresight cannot divine, and our sagacity is unable to trace. Evil may at some future period bring forth good; and good may bring forth evil, both equally unexpected.
Mere bashfulness without merit is awkwardness.
A man's first care should be to avoid the reproaches of his own heart, and his next to escape the censures of the world.
It is folly for an eminent man to think of escaping censure, and a weakness to be affected with it. All the illustrious persons of ;antiquity, and indeed of every age in the world, have passed through this fiery persecution.
There is nothing more requisite in business than dispatch.
A man must be both stupid and uncharitable who believes there is no virtue or truth but on his own side.
With regard to donations always expect the most from prudent people, who keep their own accounts.
No oppression is so heavy or lasting as that which is inflicted by the perversion and exorbitance of legal authority.
The most violent appetites in all creatures are lust and hunger; the first is a perpetual call upon them to propagate their kind, the latter to preserve themselves.
Animals, in their generation, are wiser than the sons of men; but their wisdom is confined to a few particulars, and lies in a very narrow compass.
A cloudy day or a little sunshine have as great an influence on many constitutions as the most recent blessings or misfortunes.