JOSEPH ADDISON QUOTES

English essayist, poet & playwright (1672-1719)

Joseph Addison quote

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

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Spectator, Nov. 6, 1711

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Tags: education


Arguments out of a pretty mouth are unanswerable.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Freeholder, Jan. 2, 1716

5 likes

Tags: beauty


Sweet are the slumbers of the virtuous man.

JOSEPH ADDISON, Cato

5 likes

Tags: virtue, sleep


I have often wondered that learning is not thought a proper ingredient in the education of a woman of quality or fortune. Since they have the same improvable minds as the male part of their species.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Guardian, Sep. 8, 1713

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Tags: learning, women


The Fear of Death often proves Mortal.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Spectator, Mar. 29, 1711

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Tags: fear, death


It would be a good appendix to the Art of Living and Dying, if any one would write the Art of Growing Old, and teach men to resign their pretensions to the pleasures and gallantries of youth, in proportion to the alteration they find in themselves by the approach of age and infirmities. The infirmities of this stage of life would be much fewer, if we did not affect those which attend the more vigorous and active part of our days; but, instead of studying to be wiser, or being contented with our present follies, the ambition of many of us is also to be the same sort of fools we formerly have been.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Tatler, Dec. 21, 1710

4 likes

Tags: old age


Beauty soon grows familiar to the lover, fades in his eye, and palls upon the sense.

JOSEPH ADDISON, Cato

3 likes

Tags: beauty


One hope no sooner dies in us but another rises up in its stead. We are apt to fancy that we shall be happy and satisfied if we possess ourselves of such and such particular enjoyments; but either by reason of their emptiness, or the natural inquietude of the mind, we have no sooner gained one point, but we extend our hopes to another. We still find new inviting scenes and landscapes lying behind those which at a distance terminated our view.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Spectator, Nov. 13, 1712

3 likes

Tags: hope


Content thyself to be obscurely good. When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway, the post of honor is a private station.

JOSEPH ADDISON, Cato

3 likes

Tags: vice, honor


Silence is sometimes more significant and sublime than the most noble and most expressive eloquence, and is on many occasions the indication of a great mind.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Tatler, Feb. 14, 1709

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Tags: silence


There is not so variable a thing in Nature as a lady's head-dress.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Spectator, Jun. 22, 1711

3 likes

Tags: fashion


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.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Spectator, Sep. 13, 1711

3 likes

Tags: cruelty, grief


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

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Spectator, Oct. 12, 1712

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Tags: advice


In doing what we ought we deserve no praise, because it is our duty.

JOSEPH ADDISON, Cato

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Tags: praise, duty


Men of warm imaginations and towering thoughts are apt to overlook the goods of fortune which are near them, for something that glitters in the sight at a distance; to neglect solid and substantial happiness for what is showy and superficial; and to contemn that good which lies within their reach, for that which they are not capable of attaining. Hope calculates its schemes for a long and durable life; presses forward to imaginary points of bliss; grasps at impossibilities; and consequently very often ensnares men into beggary, ruin, and dishonour.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Spectator, Nov. 13, 1712

2 likes

Tags: hope, imagination


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

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Spectator, Feb. 2, 1712

2 likes

Tags: criticism


Admiration is a very short-lived passion that immediately decays upon growing familiar with its object, unless it be still fed with fresh discoveries, and kept alive by a new perpetual succession of miracles rising up to its view.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Spectator, Dec. 24, 1711

2 likes

Tags: admiration


Were not this desire of fame very strong, the difficulty of obtaining it, and the danger of losing it when obtained, would be sufficient to deter a man from so vain a pursuit.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Spectator, Dec. 22, 1711

2 likes

Tags: fame


A man must be excessively stupid, as well as uncharitable, who believes that there is no virtue but on his own side, and that there are not men as honest as himself who may differ from him in political principles.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Spectator, Dec. 8, 1711

2 likes

Tags: virtue, politics


Men who profess a state of neutrality in times of public danger, desert the common interest of their fellow subjects; and act with independence to that constitution into which they are incorporated. The safety of the whole requires our joint endeavours. When this is at stake, the indifferent are not properly a part of the community; or rather are like dead limbs, which are an encumbrance to the body, instead of being of use to it.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Freeholder, Feb. 3, 1716

2 likes

Tags: neutrality