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Mirth is like a flash of lightning that breaks through a gloom of clouds and glitters for a moment.
—  Joseph Addison
Nothing is more gratifying to the mind of man than power or dominance.
—  Joseph Addison
It is the privilege of posterity to set matters right between those antagonists who, by their rivalry for greatness, divided a whole age.
—  Joseph Addison
Whether zeal or moderation be the point we aim at, let us keep the fire out of the one, and the frost out of the other.
—  Joseph Addison
He who would pass his declining years with honor and comfort, should, when young, consider that he may one day become old, and remember when he is old, that he has once been young.
—  Joseph Addison
Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
—  Joseph Addison
Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.
—  Joseph Addison
A true critic ought to dwell rather upon excellencies than imperfections.
—  Joseph Addison
The Gods in bounty work up storms about us, that give mankind occasion to exert their hidden strength, and throw our into practice virtues that shun the day, and lie concealed in the smooth seasons and the calms of life.
—  Joseph Addison
Man is distinguished from all other creatures by the faculty of laughter.
—  Joseph Addison
One should take good care not to grow too wise for so great a pleasure of life as laughter.
—  Joseph Addison
Friendships, in general, are suddenly contracted; and therefore it is no wonder they are easily dissolved.
—  Joseph Addison
There is nothing which we receive with so much reluctance as advice.
—  Joseph Addison
Love is a second life; it grows into the soul, warms every vein, and beats in every pulse.
—  Joseph Addison
A contented mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in this world.
—  Joseph Addison
A man should always consider how much he has more than he wants.
—  Joseph Addison
To be exempt from the passions with which others are tormented, is the only pleasing solitude.
—  Joseph Addison
I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs.
—  Joseph Addison
A man must be both stupid and uncharitable who believes there is no virtue or truth but on his own side.
—  Joseph Addison
There is no defense against reproach but obscurity; it is a kind of concomitant to greatness, as satires and invectives were an essential part of a Roman triumph.
—  Joseph Addison
The friendships of the world are oft confederacies in vice, or leagues of pleasures.
—  Joseph Addison
'We are always doing', says he, 'something for Posterity, but I would fain see Posterity do something for us.'
—  Joseph Addison
Better to die ten thousand deaths than wound my honor.
—  Joseph Addison
Title and ancestry render a good man more illustrious, but an ill one more contemptible.
—  Joseph Addison
There is not any present moment that is unconnected with some future one. The life of every man is a continued chain of incidents, each link of which hangs upon the former.
—  Joseph Addison
There is no greater sign of a general decay of virtue in a nation, than a want of zeal in its inhabitants for the good of their country.
—  Joseph Addison
It is only imperfection that complains of what is imperfect. The more perfect we are, the more gentle and quiet we become towards the defects of others.
—  Joseph Addison
If we hope for what we are not likely to possess, we act and think in vain, and make life a greater dream and shadow than it really is.
—  Joseph Addison
The transition from cause to effect, from event to event, is often carried on by secret steps, which our foresight cannot divine, and our sagacity is unable to trace.
—  Joseph Addison
The greatest sweetener of human life is Friendship. To raise this to the highest pitch of enjoyment, is a secret which but few discover.
—  Joseph Addison
Red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man who owes his greatness to his country's ruin?
—  Joseph Addison
What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but, scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.
—  Joseph Addison
There is not a more pleasing exercise of the mind than gratitude.
—  Joseph Addison
A misery is not to be measured from the nature of the evil, but from the temper of the sufferer.
—  Joseph Addison
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
—  Joseph Addison
There is nothing more requisite in business than dispatch.
—  Joseph Addison
Laughter, while it lasts, slackens and unbraces the mind, weakens the faculties and causes a kind of remissness and dissolution in all the powers of the soul; and thus it may be looked on as weakness in the composition of human nature. But if we consider the frequent reliefs we receive from it and how often it breaks the gloom which is apt to depress the mind and damp our spirits, with transient, unexpected gleams of joy, one would take care not to grow too wise for so great a pleasure of life.
—  Joseph Addison
Our sight is the most perfect and most delightful of all our senses. It fills the mind with the largest variety of ideas, converses with its objects at the greatest distance, and continues the longest in action without being tired or satiated.
—  Joseph Addison
True benevolence, or compassion, extends itself through the whole of existence and sympathizes with the distress of every creature capable of sensation.
—  Joseph Addison
Man's first care should be to avoid the reproaches of his own heart, and next to escape the censures of the world. If the last interfere with the first it should be entirely neglected. But if not, there cannot be a greater satisfaction to an honest mind than to see its own approbation seconded by the applause of the public.
—  Joseph Addison
I think I may define taste to be that faculty of the soul which discerns the beauties of an author with pleasure, and the imperfections with dislike.
—  Joseph Addison
A good conscience is to the soul what health is to the body; it preserves a constant ease and serenity within us, and more than countervails all the calamities and afflictions that can possibly befall us.
—  Joseph Addison
It was a saying of an ancient philosopher, which I find some of our writers have ascribed to Queen Elizabeth, who perhaps might have taken occasion to repeat it, that a good face is a letter of recommendation.
—  Joseph Addison
Content thyself to be obscurely good. When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway, the post of honoris a private station.
—  Joseph Addison
There is nothing that makes its way more directly to the soul than beauty.
—  Joseph Addison
A man's first care should be to avoid the reproaches of his own heart, and his next to escape the censures of the world.
—  Joseph Addison
An ostentatious man will rather relate a blunder or an absurdity he has committed, than be debarred from talking of his own dear person.
—  Joseph Addison
Allegories, when well chosen, are like so many tracks of light in a discourse, that make everything about them clear and beautiful.
—  Joseph Addison
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
Our delight in any particular study, art, or science rises and improves in proportion to the application which we bestow upon it. Thus, what was at first an exercise becomes at length an entertainment.
—  Joseph Addison
Faith is kept alive in us, and gathers strength, more from practice than from speculation.
—  Joseph Addison
Soon as the evening shades prevail, The moon takes up the wondrous tale, And nightly to the listening earth Repeats the story of her birth.
—  Joseph Addison
An honest private man often grows cruel and abandoned when converted into an absolute prince. Give a man power of doing what he pleases with impunity, you extinguish his fear, and consequently overturn in him one of the great pillars of morality.
—  Joseph Addison
It is very wonderful to see persons of the best sense passing hours together in shuffling and dividing a pack of cards with no conversation but what is made up of a few game-phrases, and no other ideas but those of black or red spots arranged together in different figures. Would not a man laugh to hear any one of his species complaining that life is short?
—  Joseph Addison
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.
—  Joseph Addison
Our disputants put me in mind of the skuttle fish, that when he is unable to extricate himself, blackens all the water about him, till he becomes invisible.
—  Joseph Addison
Ridicule is generally made use of to laugh men out of virtue and good sense, by attacking everything praiseworthy in human life.
—  Joseph Addison
Some virtues are only seen in affliction and others only in prosperity.
—  Joseph Addison
Though we seem grieved at the shortness of life in general, we are wishing every period of it at an end. The minor longs to be at age, then to be a man of business, then to make up an estate, then to arrive at honors, then to retire.
—  Joseph Addison
A reader seldom peruses a book with pleasure until he knows whether the writer of it be a black man or a fair man, of a mild or choleric disposition, married or a bachelor.
—  Joseph Addison
A good disposition is more valuable than gold, for the latter is the gift of fortune, but the former is the dower of nature.
—  Joseph Addison
Husband a lie, and trump it up in some extraordinary emergency.
—  Joseph Addison
Knowledge is that which, next to virtue, truly raises one person above another.
—  Joseph Addison
Our real blessings often appear to us in the shapes of pains, losses and the disappointments; but let us have patience, and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.
—  Joseph Addison
Music, the greatest good that mortals know, And all of heaven we have below.
—  Joseph Addison
When a man has been guilty of any vice or folly, the best atonement he can make for it is to warn others not to fall into the like.
—  Joseph Addison
Nothing that isn't a real crime makes a man appear so contemptible and little in the eyes of the world as inconsistency.
—  Joseph Addison
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
Men may change their climate, but they cannot change their nature. A man that goes out a fool cannot ride or sail himself into common sense.
—  Joseph Addison
There are many shining qualities on the mind of man; but none so useful as discretion. It is this which gives a value to all the rest, and sets them at work in their proper places, and turns them to the advantage of their possessor. Without it, learning is pedantry; wit, impertinence; virtue itself looks like weakness; and the best parts only qualify a man to be more sprightly in errors, and active to his own prejudice. Though a man has all other perfections and wants discretion, he will be of no great consequence in the world; but if he has this single talent in perfection, and but a common share of others, he may do what he pleases in his station of life.
—  Joseph Addison
I have often thought, it happens very well that Christmas should fall out in the Middle of Winter.
—  Joseph Addison
Cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.
—  Joseph Addison
Admiration is a very short-lived passion that decays on growing familiar with its object unless it be still fed with fresh discoveries and kept alive by perpetual miracles rising up to its view.
—  Joseph Addison
But in all despotic governments, though a particular prince may favour arts and letter, there is a natural degeneracy of mankind.
—  Joseph Addison
The important question is not, what will yield to man a few scattered pleasures, but what will render his life happy on the whole amount.
—  Joseph Addison
If you wish to succeed in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.
—  Joseph Addison

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