Joseph Addison

(1672-1719 / England)

Joseph Addison Quotes

  • ''Suspicion is not less an enemy to virtue than to happiness; he that is already corrupt is naturally suspicious, and he that becomes suspicious will quickly be corrupt.''
    Joseph Addison (1672-1719), British essayist. "On Suspicion," Interesting Anecdotes, Memoirs, Allegories, Essays, and Poetical Fragments (1794).
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  • '''Tis not in mortals to command success,
    But we'll do more, Sempronius, we'll deserve it.''
    Joseph Addison (1672-1719), British essayist. repr. In Works of Addison, ed. R. Hurd (1883). Portius, in Cato, act 1, sc. 2 (1713). "Curse on the stripling!" responds Sempronius, father of Portius, "... ambitiously sententious."
  • ''"We are always doing," says he, "something for posterity, but I would fain see posterity do something for us."''
    Joseph Addison (1672-1719), British essayist. Spectator (London, Aug. 20, 1714), no. 583, The Spectator, ed. D.F. Bond (1965). In the style of an old fellow of a college, articulating the feelings of "most people."
  • ''The most violent appetites in all creatures are lust and hunger; the first is a perpetual call upon them to propagate their kind, the latter to preserve themselves.''
    Joseph Addison (1672-1719), British essayist. Spectator (London, July 18, 1711).
  • ''Animals, in their generation, are wiser than the sons of men; but their wisdom is confined to a few particulars, and lies in a very narrow compass.''
    Joseph Addison (1672-1719), British essayist. Spectator (London, July 18, 1711).
  • ''Authors have established it as a kind of rule, that a man ought to be dull sometimes; as the most severe reader makes allowances for many rests and nodding-places in a voluminous writer.''
    Joseph Addison (1672-1719), British essayist. Spectator (London, July 23, 1711), no. 124, The Spectator, ed. D.F. Bond (1965).
  • ''Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week.''
    Joseph Addison (1672-1719), British essayist. Spectator (London, July 9, 1711), no. 112.
  • ''Of all the diversions of life, there is none so proper to fill up its empty spaces as the reading of useful and entertaining authors.''
    Joseph Addison (1672-1719), British essayist. Spectator (London, June 16, 1711), no. 93.
  • ''There is not so variable a thing in nature as a lady's head-dress.''
    Joseph Addison (1672-1719), British essayist. Spectator (London, June 22, 1711), no. 98, The Spectator, ed. D.F. Bond (1965).
  • ''Nothing is capable of being well set to music that is not nonsense.''
    Joseph Addison (1672-1719), British essayist. Spectator (London, March 21, 1711), no. 18. On the effect of Italian opera on the English stage.

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The Spacious Firmament

The Spacious Firmament on high,
With all the blue Ethereal Sky,
And spangled Heav'ns, a Shining Frame,
Their great Original proclaim:
Th' unwearied Sun, from day to day,
Does his Creator's Pow'r display,
And publishes to every Land
The Work of an Almighty Hand.

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