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Joseph Addison Quotes


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Cunning is only the mimic of discretion, and may pass upon weak men, as vivacity is often mistaken for wit, and gravity for wisdom.
[Cunning]
 

Discourses on morality and reflection on human nature, are the best means we can make use of to improve our minds, gain a true knowledge of ourselves, and recover our souls out of the vice, ignorance, and prejudice which naturally cleave to them.
[Morality]
 

Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate,no despotism can enslave. At home, a friend, abroad, an introduction, in solitude a solace and in society an ornament.It chastens vice, it guides virtue, it gives at once grace and government to genius. Without it, what is man? A splendid slave, a reasoning savage.
[Education]
 

Eternity, thou pleasing dreadful thought! through what variety of untried being! through what new scenes and changes must we pass! The wide, the unbounded prospect lies before me; but shadows, clouds, and darkness rest upon it.
 

Every man is ready to give in a long catalogue of those virtues and good qualities he expects to find in the person of a friend; but very few of us are careful to cultivate them in ourselves.
[Virtue]
 

Every one that has been long dead has a due proportion of praise allotted him, in which, whilst he lived, his friends were too profuse and his enemies too sparing.
[Praise]
 

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.
[Imagination]
 

Exercise ferments the humors, casts them into their proper channels, throws off redundancies, and helps nature in those secret distributions, without which the body cannot subsist in its vigor, nor the soul act with cheerfulness.
 

Fables take off from the severity of instruction, and enforce at the same time that they conceal it.
 

Fain would I Raphael's god-like art rehearse, where, from the mingled strength of shade and light, a new creation rises to my sight; such heavenly figures from his pencil flow, so warrn with life his blended colors glow.
 

Falsehood and fraud grow up in every soil, the product of all climes.
[Lying]
 

Few consider how much we are indebted to government, because few can represent how wretched mankind would be without it.
[Government]
 

Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery, by doubling our joys, and dividing our grief.
[Friendship]
 

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

From hence, let fierce contending nations know, What dire effects from civil discord flow
 

From social intercourse are derived some of the highest enjoyments of life; where there is a free interchange of sentiments the mind acquires new ideas, and by frequent exercise of its powers, the understanding gains fresh vigor.
[Society]
 

God discovers the martyr and confessor without the trial of flames and tortures, and will thereafter entitle many to the reward of actions which they never had the opportunity of performing.
 

Good breeding shows itself most, where to an ordinary eye it appears least.
[Manners]
 

Good nature is more agreeable in conversation than wit, and gives a certain air to the countenance which is more amiable than beauty. - It shows virtue in the fairest light; takes off, in some measure, from the deformity of vice; and makes even folly and impertinence supportable.
 

Good-breeding shows itself most, where to an ordinary eye it appears the least.
 


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