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Joseph Addison

(1672 - 1719)


English Essayist, Poet, Playwright and Politician

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; and I believe the story of Argus implies no more than that the eye is in every part; that is to say, every other part would be mutilated were not its force represented more by the eye than even by itself.
A believer may be excused by the most hardened atheist for endeavoring to make him a convert.
A British ministry ought to be satisfied if, allowing to every particular man that his private scheme is wisest, they can persuade him that, next to his own plan, that of the government is the most eligible.
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.
A cloudy day or a little sunshine have as great an influence on many constitutions as the most real blessings or misfortunes.
A cobbler, ... produced several new grins of his own invention, having been used to cut faces for many years together over his last.
A common civility to an impertinent fellow, often draws upon one a great many unforeseen troubles; and if one doth not take particular care, will be interpreted by him as an overture of friendship and intimacy.
A contemplation of God's works, a generous concern for the good of mankind, and the unfeigned exercise of humility only, denominate men great and glorious.
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.