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Joseph Addison Quotes


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The virtue which we gather from a fable or an allegory, is like the health we get by hunting, as we are engaged in an agreeable pursuit that draws us on with pleasure, and makes us insensible of the fatigues that accompany it.
 

The voice of reason is more to be regarded than the bent of any present inclination; since inclination will at length come over to reason, though we can never force reason to comply with inclination.
[Reason]
 

The wise man endeavors to shine in himself; the fool to outshine others. The first is humbled by the sense of his own infirmities, the last is lifted up by the discovery of those which he observes in other men. The wise man considers what he wants, and the fool what he abounds in. The wise man is happy when he gains his own approbation, and the fool when he recommends himself to the applause of those about him.
[Wisdom]
 

The woman that deliberates is lost.
 

Their is no defense against criticism except obscurity.
 

There is a sort of economy in Providence that one shall excel where another is defective, in order to make them more useful to each other, and mix them in society.
[Society]
 

There is no defence against reproach but obscurity; it is a kind of concomitant to greatness, as satires and invectives were an essential part of a Roman triumph.
[Obscurity]
 

There is no greater sign of a general decay of virtue in a nation, than a want of zeal in its inhabitants for the good of their country
 

There is no society or conversation to be kept up in the world without good nature, or something which must bear its appearance and supply its place. For this reason, mankind have been forced to invent a kind of artificial humanity, which is what we express by the word Good Breeding.
[Human Relations]
 

There is no virtue so truly great and godlike as justice.
[Justice]
 

There is nobody so weak of invention that he cannot make up some little stories to vilify his enemy.
[Slander]
 

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

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.
 

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

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
 

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.
 

There is something very sublime, though very fanciful in Plato's description of God - "That truth is his body, and light his shadow."
[God]
 

These poor gentlemen endeavor to gain themselves the reputation of wits and humorists by such monstrous conceits as almost qualify them for bedlam; not considering that humor should always lie under the check of reason, and that it requires the direction of the nicest Judgment, by so much the more as it indulges itself in the most boundless freedoms.
[Humor]
 


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