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Joseph Addison Quotes


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The man who will live above his present circumstances, is in great danger of soon living beneath them; or as the Italian proverb says, The man that lives by hope, will die by despair
[Economy]
 

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 moral virtues, without religion, are but cold, lifeless, and insipid; it is only religion which opens the mind to great conceptions, fills it with the most sublime ideas, and warns the soul with more than sensual pleasures.
[Religion]
 

The most skilful flattery is to let a person talk on, and be a listener.
[Flattery]
 

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 person who has a firm trust in the Supreme Being is powerful in his power, wise by his wisdom, happy by his happiness.
[God]
 

The pleasantest part of a man's life is generally that which passes in courtship, provided his passion be sincere, and the party beloved, kind, with discretion. Love, desire, hope, all the pleasing motions of the soul, rise in the pursuit.
 

The post of honour is a private station.
 

The religious man fears, the man of honor scorns, to do an ill action
 

The sense of honour is of so fine and delicate a nature, that it is only to be met with in minds which are naturally noble, or in such as have been cultivated by good examples, or a refined education. 
 

The soul, considered with its Creator, is like one of those mathematical lines that may draw nearer to another for all eternity without a possibility of touching it; and can there be a thought so transporting as to consider ourselves in these perpetual approaches to Him, who is not only the standard of perfection, but of happiness?
[Soul]
 

The spacious firmament on high, / And all the blue ethereal sky, / And spangled heavens, a shining frame, / Their great Original proclaim.
 

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.
 

The talent of turning men into ridicule, and exposing to laughter those one converses with, is the gratification of little minds and ungenerous tempers. A young man with this cast of mind cuts himself off from all manner of improvement.
[Ridicule]
 

The true art of being agreeable is to appear well pleased with all the company, and rather to seem well entertained with them than to bring entertainment to them. A man thus disposed may have not much learning, nor any wit; but if he has common sense, and something friendly in his behavior, it conciliates men's minds more than the brightest parts without this disposition.
[Manners]
 

The true happiness is of a retired nature, and an enemy to pomp and noise; it 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; it loves shade and solitude, and naturally haunts groves and fountains, fields and meadows; in short, it feels everything it wants within itself, and receives no addition from multitudes of witnesses and spectators. On the contrary, false happiness loves to be in a crowd, and to draw the eyes of the world upon her. She does not receive satisfaction from the applauses which she gives herself, but from the admiration which she raises in others. She flourishes in courts and palaces, theatres and assemblies, and has no existence but when she is looked upon.
[Happiness]
 

The unassuming youth seeking instruction with humility gains good fortune.
 

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.
 

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.
 


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