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Joseph Addison Quotes


English politician and writer.
(1672 - 1719)

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'Tis not my talent to conceal my thoughts, or carry smiles and sunshine in my face, when discontent sits heavy at my heart.
 

'Tis the divinity that stirs within us; 'tis heaven itself that points out an hereafter and intimates eternity to man.
[Immortality]
 

A beautiful eye makes silence eloquent; a kind eye makes contradiction an assent; an enraged eye makes beauty deformed. - This little member gives life to every other part about us.
 

A cheerful temper joined with innocence will make beauty attractive, knowledge delightful, and wit good-natured. It will lighten sickness, poverty, and affliction; convert ignorance into an amiable simplicity, and render deformity itself agreeable.
[Cheerfulness]
 

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

A contemplation of God's works, a generous concern for the good of mankind, and the unfeigned exercise of humility - these only, denominate men great and glorious.
[Greatness]
 

A contented mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in this world; and if, in the present life, his happiness arises from the subduing of his desires, it will arise in the next from the gratification of them.
[Contentment]
 

A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty is worth a whole eternity in bondage.
[Liberty]
 

A fine coat is but a livery when the person who wears it discovers no higher sense than that of a footman.
 

A good conscience is to the soul what health is to the body; it preserves constant ease and serenity within us; and more than countervails all the calamities and afflictions which can befall us from without.
[Conscience]
 

A good disposition is more valuable than gold; for the latter is the gift of fortune, but the former is the dower of nature.
 

A great deal of knowledge, which is not capable of making a man wise, has natural tendency to make him vain and arrogant.
[Knowledge]
 

A just and reasonable modesty does not only recommend eloquence, but sets off every great talent which a man can be possessed of. It heightens all the virtues which it accompanies; like the shades in paintings, it raises and rounds every figure, and makes the colors more beautiful, though not so glaring as they would be without it.
[Modesty]
 

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

A man should always consider how much he has more than he wants, and how much more unhappy he might be than he really is.
[Forgiveness]
 

A man that has a taste of music, painting, or architecture, is like one that has another sense, when compared with such as have no relish of those arts
 

A man who has been brought up among books, and is able to talk of nothing else, is a very indifferent companion, and what we call a pedant. But we should enlarge the title, and give it to every one that does not know how to think out of his profession and particular way of life.
 

A man who is furnished with arguments from the mint, will convince his antagonist much sooner than one who draws them from reason and philosophy. - Gold is a wonderful clearer of the understanding; it dissipates every doubt and scruple in an instant; accommodates itself to the meanest capacities; silences the loud and clamorous, and cringes over the most obstinate and inflexible. - Philip of Macedon was a man of most invincible reason this way. He refuted by it all the wisdom of Athens; confounded their statesmen; struck their orators dumb; and at length argued them out of all their liberties.
[Bribery]
 

A man with great talents, but void of discretion, is like Polyphemus in the fable, strong and blind, endued with an irresistible force, which for want of sight is of no use to him
 

A man's first care should be to avoid the reproaches of his own heart; his next, to escape the censures of the world. If the last interferes with the former, it ought to be entirely neglected; but otherwise there cannot be a greater satisfaction to an honest mind, than to see those approbations which it gives itself, seconded by the applauses of the public. A man is more sure of his conduct, when the verdict which he passes upon his own behavior is thus warranted and confirmed by the opinion of all that know him.
 


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