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Joseph Addison

Geburtstag: 1. Mai 1672
Todesdatum: 17. Juni 1719

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Joseph Addison war ein englischer Dichter, Politiker und Journalist in der Frühzeit der Aufklärung.

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Zitate Joseph Addison

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„Sieh, wie friedlich ein Christ sterben kann.“

— Joseph Addison
Letzte Worte zu seinem Stiefsohn Thomas Tickell, dem späteren Lord Warwick

„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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„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.

„The man resolved, and steady to his trust,
Inflexible to ill, and obstinately just,
May the rude rabble's insolence despise“

— Joseph Addison
Context: The man resolved, and steady to his trust, Inflexible to ill, and obstinately just, May the rude rabble's insolence despise, Their senseless clamours and tumultuous cries; The tyrant's fierceness he beguiles, And the stern brow, and the harsh voice defies, And with superior greatness smiles. Translation of Horace, Odes, Book III, ode iii.

„The cast of mind which is natural to a discreet man, make him look forward into futurity, and consider what will be his condition millions of ages hence, as well as what it is at present.“

— Joseph Addison
Context: The cast of mind which is natural to a discreet man, make him look forward into futurity, and consider what will be his condition millions of ages hence, as well as what it is at present. He knows that the misery or happiness which are reserved for him in another world, lose nothing of their reality by being placed at so great a distance from him. The objects do not appear little to him because they are remote. He considers that those pleasures and pains which lie hid in eternity, approach nearer to him every moment, and will be present with him in their full weight and measure, as much as those pains and pleasures which he feels at this very instant. For this reason he is careful to secure to himself that which is the proper happiness of his nature, and the ultimate design of his being. He carries his thoughts to the end of every action, and considers the most distant as well as the most immediate effects of it. He supersedes every little prospect of gain and advantage which offers itself here, if he does not find it consistent with his views of an hereafter. In a word, his hopes are full of immortality, his schemes are large and glorious, and his conduct suitable to one who knows his true interest, and how to pursue it by proper methods. No. 225.

„If men of eminence are exposed to censure on one hand, they are as much liable to flattery on the other. If they receive reproaches which are not due to them, they likewise receive praises which they do not deserve.“

— Joseph Addison
Context: If men of eminence are exposed to censure on one hand, they are as much liable to flattery on the other. If they receive reproaches which are not due to them, they likewise receive praises which they do not deserve. In a word, the man in a high post is never regarded with an indifferent eye, but always considered as a friend or an enemy. For this reason persons in great stations have seldom their true characters drawn till several years after their deaths. Their personal friendships and enmities must cease, and the parties they were engaged in be at an end, before their faults or their virtues can have justice done them. When writers have the least opportunity of knowing the truth, they are in the best disposition to tell it. It is therefore the privilege of posterity to adjust the characters of illustrious persons, and to set matters right between those antagonists who by their rivalry for greatness divided a whole age into factions. No. 101 (26 June 1711), this has sometimes been quoted as "It is the privilege of posterity to set matters right between those antagonists who, by their rivalry for greatness, divided a whole age".

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„A new creation rises to my sight“

— Joseph Addison
Context: Fain would I Raphael's godlike art rehearse, And show th' immortal labours in my verse, Where from themingled strength of shade and light A new creation rises to my sight, Such heavenly figures from his pencil flow, So warm with life his blended colours glow. From theme to theme with secret pleasure tost, Amidst the soft variety I 'm lost: Here pleasing airs my ravish'd soul confound With circling notes and labyrinths of sound; Here domes and temples rise in distant views, And opening palaces invite my Muse. A Letter from Italy (1703).

„In a word, his hopes are full of immortality, his schemes are large and glorious, and his conduct suitable to one who knows his true interest, and how to pursue it by proper methods.“

— Joseph Addison
Context: The cast of mind which is natural to a discreet man, make him look forward into futurity, and consider what will be his condition millions of ages hence, as well as what it is at present. He knows that the misery or happiness which are reserved for him in another world, lose nothing of their reality by being placed at so great a distance from him. The objects do not appear little to him because they are remote. He considers that those pleasures and pains which lie hid in eternity, approach nearer to him every moment, and will be present with him in their full weight and measure, as much as those pains and pleasures which he feels at this very instant. For this reason he is careful to secure to himself that which is the proper happiness of his nature, and the ultimate design of his being. He carries his thoughts to the end of every action, and considers the most distant as well as the most immediate effects of it. He supersedes every little prospect of gain and advantage which offers itself here, if he does not find it consistent with his views of an hereafter. In a word, his hopes are full of immortality, his schemes are large and glorious, and his conduct suitable to one who knows his true interest, and how to pursue it by proper methods. No. 225.

„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.“

— 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.

„What I spent I lost; what I possessed is left to others; what I gave away remains with me.“

— Joseph Addison
Context: I have somewhere met with the epitaph of a charitable man, which has very much pleased me. I cannot recollect the words, but the sense of it is to this purpose; What I spent I lost; what I possessed is left to others; what I gave away remains with me. No. 177 (22 September 1711).

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