Joseph Addison Quotes

Most popular Joseph Addison Quotes

He who hesitates is lost.
Colors speak all languages.


Let freedom never perish in your hands.
— Joseph Addison


A good face is a letter of recommendation.
— Joseph Addison


Absence is what the poets call death in love.


Courage is the thing. All goes if courage goes.
— Joseph Addison
Health and cheerfulness mutually beget each other.


Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.


The hours of a wise man are lengthened by his ideas.


Better to die ten thousand deaths than wound my honor.
— Joseph Addison
As vivacity is the gift of women, gravity is that of men.

men and women

There is no virtue so truly great and godlike as justice.


There is not a more unhappy being than a superannuated idol.


Modesty is not only an ornament, but also a guard to virtue.
— Joseph Addison
The wildness of those compositions which go by the name of essays.


What sculpture is to a block of a marble, education is to the soul.
— Joseph Addison
A woman seldom asks advice before she has bought her wedding clothes.


Young men soon give and soon forget affronts;Old age is slow in both.

youth & age

What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to an human soul.


A day, an hour of virtuous liberty is worth a whole eternity of bondage.
— Joseph Addison
Man is distinguished from all other creatures by the faculty of laughter.


A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty
Is worth a whole eternity in bondage.
— Joseph Addison Cato


Among these several kinds of beauty, the eye takes most delight in colors.


There is nothing that makes its way more directly to the soul than beauty.


Music, the greatest good that mortals know,
And all of heaven we have below.
— Joseph Addison


Man is the merriest species of the creation; all above or below us are serious.
— Joseph Addison
So pernicious a thing is wit, when it is not tempered with virtue and humanity.


I shall endeavor to enliven morality with wit, and to temper wit with morality.
— Joseph Addison
I live in the world rather as a spectator of mankind, than as one of the species.


The friendships of the world are oft confederacies in vice, or leagues of pleasure.
— Joseph Addison
When men are easy in their circumstances, they are naturally enemies to innovations.
— Joseph Addison
Justice discards party, friendship, and kindred, and is therefore represented as blind.
— Joseph Addison
Temperance gives nature her full play, and enables her to exert herself in all her force and vigor.
— Joseph Addison
Knowledge is, indeed, that which, next to virtue, truly and essentially raises one man above another.


Admiration is a very short-lived passion, that immediately decays upon growing familiar with its object.


Man is the merriest, the most joyous of all the species of creation. Above and below man all are serious.
— Joseph Addison
Silence never shows itself to so great an advantage as when it is made the reply to calumny and defamation.
— Joseph Addison
The jealous man's disease is of so malignant a nature that it converts all he takes into its own nourishment.


Whether zeal or moderation be the point we aim at, let us keep fire out of the one, and frost out of the other.

moderation zeal

The man of pleasure little knows the perfect joy he loses for the disappointing gratifications which he pursues.
— Joseph Addison
Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.
— Joseph Addison
Tradition is an important help to history, but its statements should be carefully scrutinized before we rely on them.
— Joseph Addison
The epitaph of a charitable man: What I spent I lost; what I possessed is left to others; what I gave away remains with me.
— Joseph Addison
Content thyself to be obscurely good.
When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway,
The post of honor is a private station.


Music is the only sensual gratification in which mankind may indulge to excess without injury to moral or religious feelings.
— Joseph Addison
A cloudy day, or a little sunshine, have as great an influence on many constitutions as the most real blessings or misfortunes.
— Joseph Addison

psychology weather

A just and reasonable modesty does not only recommend eloquence, but sets off every great talent which a man can be possessed of.


I consider woman as a beautiful romantic animal, that may be adorned with furs and feathers, pearls and diamonds, ores and silks.


A noble metaphor, when it is placed to an advantage, casts a kind of glory around it, and darts a luster through a whole sentence.


Jealousy is that pain which a man feels from the apprehension that he is not equally beloved by the person whom he entirely loves.
— Joseph Addison


A man should always consider how much he has more than he wants; and, secondly, how much more unhappy he might be than he really is.
— Joseph Addison


A happy marriage has in it all the pleasures of friendship, all the enjoyments of sense and reason, and, indeed, all the sweets of life.
— 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.


Nothing is more amiable than true modesty, and nothing is more contemptible than the false.  The one guards virtue, the other betrays it.


Charity is a virtue of the heart, and not of the hands, says an old writer.  Gifts and alms are the expressions, not the essence of this virtue.
— Joseph Addison


Blessings may appear under the shape of pains, losses, and disappointments; but let him have patience, and he will see them in their proper figures.

disappointment loss patience

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.


Had Cicero himself pronounced one of his orations with a blanket about his shoulders, more people would have laughed at his dress than admired his eloquence.
— Joseph Addison
True happiness...arises, in the first place, from the enjoyment of one's self; and, in the next, from the friendship and conversation of a few select companions.


Pleasure seizes the whole man who addicts himself to it, and will not give him leisure for any good office in life which contradicts the gaiety of the present hour.


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.

appetite hunger lust

Half the misery of human life might be extinguished, would men alleviate the general curse they lie under, by mutual offices of compassion, benevolence, and humanity.


Among all kinds of writing, there is none in which authors are more apt to miscarry than in works of humor, as there is none in which they are more ambitious to excel.

humor writing

Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind, which are delivered down from generation to generation, as presents to the posterity of those who are yet unborn.

books legacy

There is not a more pleasing exercise of the mind than gratitude.  It is accompanied with such an inward satisfaction that the duty is sufficiently rewarded by the performance.


I have always preferred cheerfulness to mirth.  The latter I consider as an act, the former as an habit of mind.  Mirth is short and transient, cheerfulness fixed and permanent.
— Joseph Addison


There is more beauty in the works of a great genius who is ignorant of all the rules of art, than in the works of a little genius, who not only knows but scrupulously observes them.


Our delight in any particular study, art or science rises in proportion to the application which we bestow upon it. Thus, what was at first an exercise becomes at length an entertainment.
— Joseph Addison

hard work

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.


A man must be excessively stupid, as well as uncharitable, who believes there is no virtue but on his own side, and that there are not men as honest as himself who may differ from him in political principles.

politics stupidity virtue

Everything that is new or uncommon raises a pleasure in the imagination, because it fills the soul with an agreeable surprise, gratifies its curiosity, and gives it an idea of which it was not before possessed.
— Joseph Addison


I consider an human soul without education like marble in the quarry, which shows none of its inherent beauties till the skill of the polisher fetches out the colours, makes the surface shine, and discovers every ornamental cloud, spot and vein that runs through the body of it.
— Joseph Addison

education potential