115+ Joseph Addison Quotes


Joseph Addison quotes
Biography Author’s Book
Name: Joseph AddisonFind on Amazon India: Link
Nationality: EnglishFind on Amazon: Link
Profession: Writer
Born: 01-May-1672 
Death: 17-Jun-1719

To a man of pleasure every moment appears to be lost, which partakes not of the vivacity of amusement.

To be an atheist requires an indefinitely greater measure of faith than to recieve all the great truths which atheism would deny.

To be perfectly just is an attribute of the divine nature; to be so to the utmost of our abilities, is the glory of man.

That he delights in the misery of others no man will confess, and yet what other motive can make a father cruel?

The union of the Word and the Mind produces that mystery which is called Life… Learn deeply of the Mind and its mystery, for therein lies the secret of immortality.

Jesters do often prove prophets.

Talking with a friend is nothing else but thinking aloud.

To say that authority, whether secular or religious, supplies no ground for morality is not to deny the obvious fact that it supplies a sanction.

Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week.

The fear of death often proves mortal, and sets people on methods to save their Lives, which infallibly destroy them.

The greatest sweetener of human life is Friendship. To raise this to the highest pitch of enjoyment, is a secret which but few discover.

The important question is not, what will yield to man a few scattered pleasures, but what will render his life happy on the whole amount.

The Mind that lies fallow but a single Day, sprouts up in Follies that are only to be killed by a constant and assiduous Culture.

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.

The post of honour is a private station.

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.

The unassuming youth seeking instruction with humility gains good fortune.

Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.

The unjustifiable severity of a parent is loaded with this aggravation, that those whom he injures are always in his sight.

The utmost extent of man’s knowledge, is to know that he knows nothing.

The woman that deliberates is lost.

Their is no defense against criticism except obscurity.

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

There is not so variable a thing in nature as a lady’s head-dress.

There is nothing more requisite in business than despatch.

There is nothing that makes its way more directly into the soul than beauty.

There is nothing which we receive with so much reluctance as advice.

Those Marriages generally abound most with Love and Constancy, that are preceded by a long Courtship.

The stars shall fade away, the sun himself Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years, But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth, Unhurt amidst the wars of elements, The wrecks of matter, and the crush of worlds.

Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind, which are delivered down from generation to generation as presents to the posterity of those who are yet unborn.

Man is subject to innumerable pains and sorrows by the very condition of humanity, and yet, as if nature had not sown evils enough in life, we are continually adding grief to grief and aggravating the common calamity by our cruel treatment of one another.

Irregularity and want of method are only supportable in men of great learning or genius, who are often too full to be exact, and therefore they choose to throw down their pearls in heaps before the reader, rather than be at the pains of stringing them.

If you wish to succeed in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.

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.

If we hope for what we are not likely to possess, we act and think in vain, and make life a greater dream and shadow than it really is.

I will indulge my sorrows, and give way to all the pangs and fury of despair.

I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs.

I have somewhere met with the epitaph on a charitable man which has pleased me very much. I cannot recollect the words, but here is the sense of it: “What I spent I lost; what I possessed is left to others; what I gave away remains with me.”

He who would pass his declining years with honor and comfort, should, when young, consider that he may one day become old, and remember when he is old, that he has once been young.

Friendships, in general, are suddenly contracted; and therefore it is no wonder they are easily dissolved.

Everything that is new or uncommon raises a pleasure in the imagination, because it fills the soul with an agreeable surprise, gratifies its curiosity, and gives it an idea of which it was not before possessed.

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.

Cheerfulness is the best promoter of health and is as friendly to the mind as to the body.

It is only imperfection that complains of what is imperfect. The more perfect we are the more gentle and quiet we become towards the defects of others.

Better to die ten thousand deaths than wound my honor.

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.

An ostentatious man will rather relate a blunder or an absurdity he has committed, than be debarred from talking of his own dear person.

Among all kinds of Writing, there is none in which Authors are more apt to miscarry than in Works of Humour, as there is none in which they are more ambitious to excel.

Admiration is a very short-lived passion, that immediately decays upon growing familiar with its object.

A woman seldom asks advice before she has bought her wedding clothes.

A true critic ought to dwell upon excellencies rather than imperfections, to discover the concealed beauties of a writer, and communicate to the world such things as are worth their observation.

A man should always consider how much he has more than he wants.

A man must be both stupid and uncharitable who believes there is no virtue or truth but on his own side.

A just and reasonable modesty does not only recommend eloquence, but sets off every great talent which a man can be possessed of.

A contented mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in this world.

A cloudy day or a little sunshine have as great an influence on many constitutions as the most recent blessings or misfortunes.

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.

Nothing is more gratifying to the mind of man than power or dominion.

We are always doing something for posterity, but I would fain see posterity do something for us.

What pity is it That we can die, but once to serve our country.

What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the soul.

Some virtues are only seen in affliction and others only in prosperity.

Young men soon give, and soon forget, affronts; old age is slow in both.

With regard to donations always expect the most from prudent people, who keep their own accounts.

When men are easy in their circumstances, they are naturally enemies to innovations.

When men are easy in their circumstances, they are naturally enemies to innovations.

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.

Plenty of people wish to become devout, but no one wishes to be humble.

Is there not some chosen curse, some hidden thunder in the stores of heaven, red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man who owes his greatness to his country’s ruin!

One should take good care not to grow too wise for so great a pleasure of life as laughter.

True happiness arises, in the first place, from the enjoyment of one’s self, and in the next, from the friendship and conversation of a few select companions.

Nothing is capable of being well set to music that is not nonsense.

No oppression is so heavy or lasting as that which is inflicted by the perversion and exorbitance of legal authority.

Mysterious love, uncertain treasure, hast thou more of pain or pleasure! Endless torments dwell about thee: Yet who would live, and live without thee!

Mutability of temper and inconsistency with ourselves is the greatest weakness of human nature.

Music, the greatest good that mortals know and all of heaven we have hear below.

Modesty is not only an ornament, but also a guard to virtue.

Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.

Mere bashfulness without merit is awkwardness.

Men may change their climate, but they cannot change their nature. A man that goes out a fool cannot ride or sail himself into common sense.

The chief ingredients in the composition of those qualities that gain esteem and praise, are good nature, truth, good sense, and good breeding.

Justice is an unassailable fortress, built on the brow of a mountain which cannot be overthrown by the violence of torrents, nor demolished by the force of armies.

Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.


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