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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Joseph Addison

  • [An English poet and essayist, born in Wiltshire, May 1, 1672; educated at Oxford; under-secretary of state, 1705; entered Parliament, 1708; commenced writing for the “Tatler,” 1709, and “Spectator,” 1711; chief secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, member of the Board of Trade, 1715; married the dowager-countess of Warwick, 1716; one of the principal secretaries of state, 1717; died June 17, 1719, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.]
  • I have sent for you that you may see how a Christian can die.

  • Shortly before his death, to his step-son, Lord Warwick, who was a young man of irregular life. “What effect this interview had,” says Johnson, “I know not: he likewise died himself in a short time.”—Life.
  • “There taught us how to live; and (oh! too high
  • The price for knowledge) taught us how to die.”
  • TICKELL: On the Death of Addison.
  • Marshal Ney exclaimed to the handful of men with whom he dashed upon the enemy at the close of the battle of Waterloo, “Come and see how a marshal of France can die!” (Venez voir comment meurt un maréchal de France!)
  • Once when a lady complained to Addison that he took but little part in conversation, he replied, “Madam, I have but ninepence in ready money, but I can draw for a thousand pounds.”—BOSWELL’S Johnson, 1773. Lady Mary Montague, however, declared him to be “the best company in the world;” but Pope’s testimony confines the “Spectator’s” agreeability to his friends: before strangers he maintained a stiff silence.