Joseph Addison


English Essayist, Poet, Playwright and Politician

Author Quotes

Tis pride, rank pride, and haughtiness of soul: I think the Romans call it Stoicism.

To souls like these, in mutual fiendship join?d,

Two persons who have chosen each other out of all the species with a design to be each other's mutual comfort and entertainment have, in that action, bound themselves to be good-humored, affable, discreet, forgiving, patient, and joyful, with respect to each other's frailties and perfections, to the end of their lives.

We cannot be guilty of a greater act of uncharitableness than to interpret the afflictions which befall our neighbors as punishments and judgments. It aggravates the evil to him who suffers, when he looks upon himself as the mark of divine vengeance, and abates the compassion of those towards him who regard him in so dreadful a light. This humor of turning every misfortune into a judgment, proceeds from wrong notions of religion, which in its own nature produces good will towards men, and puts the mildest construction upon every accident that befalls them. In this case, therefore, it is not religion that sours a man?s temper, but it is his temper that sours his religion.

We would establish our souls in such a solid and substantial virtue as will turn to account in that great day when it must stand the test of infinite wisdom and justice.

What man can think of himself as called out and separated from nothing, of his being made a conscious, a reasonable, and a happy creature, in short, of being taken in as a sharer of existence, and a kind of partner in eternity, without being swallowed up in wonder, in praise, in adoration! It is indeed a thought too big for the mind of man, and rather to be entertained in the secrecy of devotion, and in the silence of the soul, than to be expressed by words. The Supreme Being has not given us powers or faculties sufficient to extol and magnify such unutterable goodness.

When all thy mercies, O my God, my rising soul surveys, transported with the view, i'm lost in wonder, love and praise.

When I read the several dates of the tombs, of some that died yesterday, and some six hundred years ago, I consider that great day when we shall all of us be contemporaries, and make our appearance together.

When time itself shall be no more and all things in confusion hurl'd music shall then exert it's power and sound survive the ruins of the world . Then saints and angels shall agree in one eternal jubilee all Heaven shall echo with their hymns divine and God himself with pleasure see the whole creation in a chorus join.

Who rant by note, and through the gamut rage; in songs and airs express their martial fire; combat in trills, and in a fugue expire.

Yet then from all my grief, O Lord, Thy mercy set me free, whilst in the confidence of pray'r my soul took hold on thee.

Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.

Tis the divinity that stirs within us; 'tis Heaven itself that points out an hereafter, and intimates eternity to man.

To stick at nothing for the public interest is represented as the refined part of the Venetian wisdom.

Unbounded courage and compassion join'd, Tempering each other in the victor's mind, Alternately proclaim him good and great, And make the hero and the man complete.

We cannot believe our posterity will think so disrespectfully of their great-grandmothers as that they made themselves monstrous to appear amiable.

Were a man's sorrows and disquietudes summed up at the end of his life, it would generally be found that he had suffered more from the apprehension of such evils as never happened to him than from those evils which had really befallen him.

What means this heaviness that hangs upon me? This lethargy that creeps through all my senses? Nature, oppress'd and harrass'd out with care, sinks down to rest.

When arguments press equally in matters indifferent, the safest method is to give up ourselves to neither.

When I reflect upon the various Fate of those Multitudes of Ancient Writers who flourished in Greece and Italy, I consider Time as an Immense Ocean, in which many noble Authors are entirely swallowed up, many very much shattered and damaged, Some quite disjointed and broken into pieces, while some have wholly escaped the Common Wreck; but the Number of the last is very small. (Spectator 223)

When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway, The post of honor is a private station.

Who would not believe that our Saviour healed the sick and raised the dead when it was published by those who themselves often did the same miracles?

You will never, with all your medallic eloquence, persuade Eugenius that it is better to have a pocketful of Othos than of Jacobuses.

Through all eternity to thee, a joyful song I'll raise; for oh! Eternity's too short to utter all thy praise.

Title and ancestry render a good man more illustrious, but an ill one more contemptible. Vice is infamous, though in a prince, and virtue honorable, though in a peasant.

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English Essayist, Poet, Playwright and Politician