Richard Steele

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The hardest habit of all to break is the terrible habit of happiness.
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A favor well bestowed is almost as great an honor to him who confers it as to him who receives it.

Sir Richard Steele (bap. March 12, 1672 - September 1, 1729) was an Irish writer and politician, remembered, along with his friend, Joseph Addison, as co-founder of The Spectator magazine.

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  • Though her mien carries much more invitation than command, to behold her is an immediate check to loose behavior; to love her is a liberal education.
    • Tatler (1709-1711), no. 49. On Lady Elizabeth Hastings.
  • Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
    • Tatler (1709-1711), no. 147.

Letters to His Wife (1707-1712)

  • I am come to a tavern alone to eat a steak, after which I shall return to the office.
    • October 28, 1707.
  • I was going home two hours ago, but was met by Mr. Griffith, who has kept me ever since. I will come within a pint of wine.
    • Eleven at night, January 5, 1708.
  • A little in drink, but at all times yr faithful husband.
    • September 27, 1708.
  • The finest woman in nature should not detain me an hour from you; but you must sometimes suffer the rivalship of the wisest men.
    • September 17, 1712.

The Spectator (1711-1714)

  • When you fall into a man's conversation, the first thing you should consider is, whether he has a greater inclination to hear you, or that you should hear him.
    • No. 49 (April 26, 1711).
  • Of all the affections which attend human life, the love of glory is the most ardent.
    • No. 139 (August 9, 1711).
  • Age in a virtuous person, of either sex, carries in it an authority which makes it preferable to all the pleasures of youth.
    • No. 153 (August 25, 1711).
  • Among all the diseases of the mind there is not one more epidemical or more pernicious than the love of flattery.
    • No. 238 (December 3, 1711).
  • Will Honeycomb calls these over-offended ladies the outrageously virtuous.
    • No. 266 (January 4, 1712).
  • A favor well bestowed is almost as great an honor to him who confers it as to him who receives it.
    • No. 497 (September 30, 1712).
  • No man was ever so completely skilled in the conduct of life, as not to receive new information from age and experience…
    • No. 544 (November 24, 1712).

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