Portrait of Joseph Addison

Quotes by Joseph Addison

1672 – 1719

Joseph Addison (1672-1719) was educated at Oxford, served as a member of Parliament, and became widely known as an essayist, playwright, poet, and statesman. His play about Cato was very popular in the American colonies before the Revolution.


Literature & Music

In Joseph Addison’s play Cato, Cato is asked what it would take for him to be Caesar’s “friend” - his answer is that Caesar would have to first “disband his legions” and then “restore the commonwealth to liberty” (1713)

Joseph Addison

Presidents, Kings, Tyrants, & Despots

Cato denounces generals like Julius Caesar who use success on the battlefield as a stepping stone to political power (1710)

Joseph Addison