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Joseph Addison

Date de naissance: 1. mai 1672
Date de décès: 17. juin 1719

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Joseph Addison est un homme d'État, écrivain et poète anglais. Il est connu surtout pour avoir fondé avec son ami Richard Steele le magazine The Spectator en 1711.

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Citations Joseph Addison

„When I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out“

—  Joseph Addison
Context: When I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out; when I meet with the grief of parents upon a tombstone, my heart melts with compassion; when I see the tomb of the parents themselves, I consider the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow: when I see kings lying by those who deposed them, when I consider rival wits placed side by side, or the holy men that divided the world with their contests and disputes, I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little competitions, factions, and debates of mankind. Thoughts in Westminster Abbey (1711).

„Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body.“

—  Joseph Addison
Context: Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body. As by the one, health is preserved, strengthened, and invigorated: by the other, virtue (which is the health of the mind) is kept alive, cherished, and confirmed. No. 147.

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„Discretion has large and extended views, and, like a well-formed eye, commands a whole horizon: cunning is a kind of short-sightedness, that discovers the minutest objects which are near at hand, but is not able to discern things at a distance. Discretion the more it is discovered, gives a greater authority to the person who possesses it: cunning, when it is once detected, loses its force, and makes a man incapable of bringing about even those events which he might have done had he passed only for a plain man.“

—  Joseph Addison
Context: At the same time that I think discretion the most useful talent a man can be master of, I look upon cunning to be the accomplishment of little, mean, ungenerous minds. Discretion points out the noblest ends to us, and pursues the most proper and laudable methods of attaining them: cunning has only private selfish aims, and sticks at nothing which may make them succeed. Discretion has large and extended views, and, like a well-formed eye, commands a whole horizon: cunning is a kind of short-sightedness, that discovers the minutest objects which are near at hand, but is not able to discern things at a distance. Discretion the more it is discovered, gives a greater authority to the person who possesses it: cunning, when it is once detected, loses its force, and makes a man incapable of bringing about even those events which he might have done had he passed only for a plain man. Discretion is the perfection of reason, and a guide to us in all the duties of life: cunning is a kind of instinct, that only looks out after our immediate interest and welfare. Discretion is only found in men of strong sense and good understandings, cunning is often to be met with in brutes themselves, and in persons who are but the fewest removes from them. No. 225.

„Music, the greatest good that mortals know,
And all of heaven we have below.“

—  Joseph Addison
Context: Music, the greatest good that mortals know, And all of heaven we have below. Song for St. Cecilia's Day (1692), st. 3.

„Great souls by instinct to each other turn,
Demand alliance, and in friendship burn“

—  Joseph Addison
Context: Great souls by instinct to each other turn, Demand alliance, and in friendship burn; A sudden friendship, while with stretched-out rays They meet each other, mingling blaze with blaze. Polished in courts, and hardened in the field, Renowned for conquest, and in council skilled, Their courage dwells not in a troubled flood Of mounting spirits, and fermenting blood: Lodged in the soul, with virtue overruled, Inflamed by reason, and by reason cooled, In hours of peace content to be unknown. And only in the field of battle shown: To souls like these, in mutual friendship joined, Heaven dares intrust the cause of humankind. Line 101.

„The discreet man finds out the talents of those he converses with, and knows how to apply them to proper uses.“

—  Joseph Addison
Context: The discreet man finds out the talents of those he converses with, and knows how to apply them to proper uses. Accordingly, if we look into particular communities and divisions of men, we may observe that it is the discreet man, not the witty, nor the learned, nor the brave, who guides the conversation, and gives measures to the society. No. 225.

„Every star, and every pow'r,
Look down on this important hour“

—  Joseph Addison
Context: Every star, and every pow'r, Look down on this important hour: Lend your protection and defence Every guard of innocence! Help me my Henry to assuage, To gain his love or bear his rage. Mysterious love, uncertain treasure, Hast thou more of pain or pleasure! Chill'd with tears, Kill'd with fears, Endless torments dwell about thee: Yet who would live, and live without thee! Queen Elinor in Rosamond (c. 1707), Act III, sc. ii.

„Perhaps some arm, more lucky than the rest,
May reach his heart, and free the world from bondage.“

—  Joseph Addison
Context: My voice is still for war. Gods! Can a Roman senate long debate Which of the two to choose, slavery or death? No, let us rise at once, Gird on our swords, and, At the head of our remaining troops, attack the foe, Break through the thick array of his throng'd legions, And charge home upon him. Perhaps some arm, more lucky than the rest, May reach his heart, and free the world from bondage. Act II, scene i.

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„Strain not the laws to make their tortures grievous.“

—  Joseph Addison
Context: See they suffer death, But in their deaths remember they are men, Strain not the laws to make their tortures grievous. Act III, scene v.

„Cheerfulness is...the best promoter of health.“

—  Joseph Addison
Context: Cheerfulness is... the best promoter of health. No. 387 (24 May 1712).

„Consecrate the place and day
To music and Cecilia.
Let no rough winds approach, nor dare
Invade the hallow'd bounds,
Nor rudely shake the tuneful air,
Nor spoil the fleeting sounds.“

—  Joseph Addison
Context: Consecrate the place and day To music and Cecilia. Let no rough winds approach, nor dare Invade the hallow'd bounds, Nor rudely shake the tuneful air, Nor spoil the fleeting sounds. Nor mournful sigh nor groan be heard, But gladness dwell on every tongue; Whilst all, with voice and strings prepar'd, Keep up the loud harmonious song, And imitate the blest above, In joy, and harmony, and love. Song for St. Cecilia's Day (1692).

„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“

—  Joseph Addison
Context: 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. Song for St. Cecilia's Day (1692).

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„Where have my ravish'd senses been!
What joys, what wonders, have I seen!“

—  Joseph Addison
Context: Where have my ravish'd senses been! What joys, what wonders, have I seen! The scene yet stands before my eye, A thousand glorious deeds that lie In deep futurity obscure, Fights and triumphs immature, Heroes immers'd in time's dark womb, Ripening for mighty years to come, Break forth, and, to the day display'd, My soft inglorious hours upbraid. Transported with so bright a scheme, My waking life appears a dream. Henry in Rosamond (c. 1707), Act III, sc. i.

„Though a man has all other perfections, and wants discretion, he will be of no great consequence in the world“

—  Joseph Addison
Context: 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. No. 225.

„There are many more shining qualities in the mind of man, but there is none so useful as discretion“

—  Joseph Addison
Context: There are many more shining qualities in the mind of man, but there is none so useful as discretion; it is this, indeed, which gives a value to all the rest, which sets them at work in their proper times and places, and turns them to the advantage of the person who is possessed of them. Without it, learning is pedantry, and wit impertinence; virtue itself looks like weakness; the best parts only qualify a man to be more sprightly in errors, and active to his own prejudice. No. 225.

„What pity is it
That we can die but once to serve our country!“

—  Joseph Addison
Context: How beautiful is death, when earn'd by virtue! Who would not be that youth? What pity is it That we can die but once to serve our country! Act IV, scene iv.

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