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Richard Francis Burton

Geburtstag: 19. März 1821
Todesdatum: 20. Oktober 1890

Sir Richard Francis Burton KCMG war ein britischer Afrikaforscher, Offizier, Konsul, Übersetzer, Orientalist und Mitglied der Royal Geographical Society.

Zitate Richard Francis Burton

„Is not the highest honour his who from the worst hath drawn the best;
May not your Maker make the world from matter, an it suit His hest?“

—  Richard Francis Burton

The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî (1870)
Kontext: Is not the highest honour his who from the worst hath drawn the best;
May not your Maker make the world from matter, an it suit His hest? Nay more, the sordider the stuff the cunninger the workman's hand:
Cease, then, your own Almighty Power to bind, to bound, to understand.

„And still the Weaver plies his loom, whose warp and woof is wretched Man
Weaving th' unpattern'd dark design, so dark we doubt it owns a plan.“

—  Richard Francis Burton

The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî (1870)
Kontext: How Thought is imp'otent to divine the secret which the gods defend,
The Why of birth and life and death, that Isis-veil no hand may rend.
Eternal Morrows make our day; our is is aye to be till when
Night closes in; 'tis all a dream, and yet we die, — and then and then?
And still the Weaver plies his loom, whose warp and woof is wretched Man
Weaving th' unpattern'd dark design, so dark we doubt it owns a plan.

„I am an individual … a circle touching and intersecting my neighbours at certain points, but nowhere corresponding, nowhere blending.“

—  Richard Francis Burton

The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî (1870), Note I : Hâjî Abdû, The Man
Kontext: I am an individual … a circle touching and intersecting my neighbours at certain points, but nowhere corresponding, nowhere blending. Physically I am not identical in all points with other men. Morally I differ from them: in nothing do the approaches of knowledge, my five organs of sense (with their Shelleyan "interpenetration"), exactly resemble those of any other being. Ergo, the effect of the world, of life, of natural objects, will not in my case be the same as with the beings most resembling me. Thus I claim the right of creating or modifying for my own and private use, the system which most imports me; and if the reasonable leave be refused to me, I take it without leave.
But my individuality, however all-sufficient for myself, is an infinitesimal point, an atom subject in all things to the Law of Storms called Life. I feel, I know that Fate is. But I cannot know what is or what is not fated to befall me. Therefore in the pursuit of perfection as an individual lies my highest, and indeed my only duty, the "I" being duly blended with the "We." I object to be a "self-less man," which to me denotes an inverted moral sense. I am bound to take careful thought concerning the consequences of every word and deed. When, however, the Future has become the Past, it would be the merest vanity for me to grieve or to repent over that which was decreed by universal Law.

„How melancholy a thing is success.“

—  Richard Francis Burton, First Footsteps in East Africa

First Footsteps in East Africa (1856)
Kontext: How melancholy a thing is success. Whilst failure inspirits a man, attainment reads the sad prosy lesson that all our glories "Are shadows, not substantial things." Truly said the sayer, "disappointment is the salt of life" a salutary bitter which strengthens the mind for fresh exertion, and gives a double value to the prize.

„The Now, that indivisible point which studs the length of infinite line
Whose ends are nowhere, is thine all, the puny all thou callest thine.“

—  Richard Francis Burton

The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî (1870)
Kontext: And hold Humanity one man, whose universal agony
Still strains and strives to gain the goal, where agonies shall cease to be.
Believe in all things; none believe; judge not nor warp by "Facts" the thought;
See clear, hear clear, tho' life may seem Mâyâ and Mirage, Dream and Naught.
Abjure the Why and seek the How: the God and gods enthroned on high,
Are silent all, are silent still; nor hear thy voice, nor deign reply.
The Now, that indivisible point which studs the length of infinite line
Whose ends are nowhere, is thine all, the puny all thou callest thine.

„Haply the Law that rules the world allows to man the widest range;
And haply Fate's a Theist-word, subject to human chance and change.
This "I" may find a future Life, a nobler copy of our own,
Where every riddle shall be ree'd, where every knowledge shall be known;
Where 'twill be man's to see the whole of what on Earth he sees in part;“

—  Richard Francis Burton

The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî (1870)
Kontext: Haply the Law that rules the world allows to man the widest range;
And haply Fate's a Theist-word, subject to human chance and change.
This "I" may find a future Life, a nobler copy of our own,
Where every riddle shall be ree'd, where every knowledge shall be known;
Where 'twill be man's to see the whole of what on Earth he sees in part;
Where change shall ne'er surcharge the thought; nor hope defer'd shall hurt the heart.

„There is no Heav'en, there is no Hell; these be the dreams of baby minds“

—  Richard Francis Burton

The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî (1870)
Kontext: There is no Heav'en, there is no Hell; these be the dreams of baby minds,
Tools of the wily Fetisheer, to 'fright the fools his cunning blinds.
Learn from the mighty Spi'rits of old to set thy foot on Heav'en and Hell;
In Life to find thy hell and heav'en as thou abuse or use it well.

„Indeed he knows not how to know who knows not also how to 'unknow.“

—  Richard Francis Burton

The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî (1870)
Kontext: Yes Truth may be, but 'tis not Here; mankind must seek and find it There,
But Where nor I nor you can tell, nor aught earth-mother ever bare.Enough to think that Truth can be: come sit we where the roses glow,
Indeed he knows not how to know who knows not also how to 'unknow.

„He regards it, with many moderns, as a state of things, not a thing; a convenient word denoting the sense of personality, of individual identity.“

—  Richard Francis Burton

The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî (1870), Note I : Hâjî Abdû, The Man
Kontext: With Hâjî Abdû the soul is not material, for that would be a contradiction of terms. He regards it, with many moderns, as a state of things, not a thing; a convenient word denoting the sense of personality, of individual identity.

„The recruit must be carefully and sedulously taught when meeting the enemy, even at a trot or canter, to use no force whatever, otherwise his sword will bury itself to the hilt, and the swordsman will either be dragged from his horse, or will be compelled to drop his weapon — if he can.“

—  Richard Francis Burton

A New System of Sword Exercise for Infantry (1876)
Kontext: The recruit must be carefully and sedulously taught when meeting the enemy, even at a trot or canter, to use no force whatever, otherwise his sword will bury itself to the hilt, and the swordsman will either be dragged from his horse, or will be compelled to drop his weapon — if he can. Upon this point I may quote my own System of Bayonet Exercise (p. 27): —
"The instructor must spare no pains in preventing the soldier from using force, especially with the left or guiding arm, as too much exertion generally causes the thrust to miss. A trifling body-stab with the bayonet (I may add with the sword) is sufficient to disable a man; and many a promising young soldier has lost his life by burying his weapon so deep in the enemy's breast that it could not be withdrawn quickly enough to be used against a second assailant. To prevent this happening, the point must be delivered smartly, with but little exertion of force, more like a dart than a thrust, and instantly afterwards the bayonet must be smartly withdrawn." In fact the thrust should consist of two movements executed as nearly simultaneously as possible; and it requires long habit, as the natural man, especially the Englishman, is apt to push home, and to dwell upon his slouching push.

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„But he is too wise to affirm or to deny the existence of another world. For life beyond the grave there is no consensus of mankind…“

—  Richard Francis Burton

The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî (1870), Note I : Hâjî Abdû, The Man
Kontext: The Hâjî regrets the excessive importance attached to a possible future state: he looks upon this as a psychical stimulant, a day dream, whose revulsion and reaction disorder waking life. The condition may appear humble and prosaic to those exalted by the fumes of Fancy, by a spiritual dram-drinking which, like the physical, is the pursuit of an ideal happiness. But he is too wise to affirm or to deny the existence of another world. For life beyond the grave there is no consensus of mankind… Even the instinctive sense of our kind is here dumb. We may believe what we are taught: we can know nothing. He would, therefore, cultivate that receptive mood which, marching under the shadow of mighty events, leads to the highest of goals, — the development of Humanity. With him suspension of judgment is a system.

„Words, words that gender things!“

—  Richard Francis Burton

The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî (1870)
Kontext: Words, words that gender things! The soul is a new-comer on the scene;
Sufficeth not the breath of Life to work the matter-born machine? The race of Be'ing from dawn of Life in an unbroken course was run;
What men are pleased to call their Souls was in the hog and dog begun: Life is a ladder infinite-stepped, that hides its rungs from human eyes;
Planted its foot in chaos-gloom, its head soars high above the skies: No break the chain of Being bears; all things began in unity;
And lie the links in regular line though haply none the sequence see.

„You pray, but hath your thought e'er weighed how empty vain the prayer must be,
That begs a boon already giv'en, or craves a change of law to see?“

—  Richard Francis Burton

The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî (1870)
Kontext: Your childish fears would seek a Sire, by the non-human God defined,
What your five wits may wot ye weet; what is you please to dub "designíd;"
You bring down Heavíen to vulgar Earth; your maker like yourselves you make,
You quake to own a reign of Law, you pray the Law its laws to break;
You pray, but hath your thought e'er weighed how empty vain the prayer must be,
That begs a boon already giv'en, or craves a change of law to see?

„The race of Be'ing from dawn of Life in an unbroken course was run;
What men are pleased to call their Souls was in the hog and dog begun: Life is a ladder infinite-stepped, that hides its rungs from human eyes;
Planted its foot in chaos-gloom, its head soars high above the skies: No break the chain of Being bears; all things began in unity;
And lie the links in regular line though haply none the sequence see.“

—  Richard Francis Burton

The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî (1870)
Kontext: Words, words that gender things! The soul is a new-comer on the scene;
Sufficeth not the breath of Life to work the matter-born machine? The race of Be'ing from dawn of Life in an unbroken course was run;
What men are pleased to call their Souls was in the hog and dog begun: Life is a ladder infinite-stepped, that hides its rungs from human eyes;
Planted its foot in chaos-gloom, its head soars high above the skies: No break the chain of Being bears; all things began in unity;
And lie the links in regular line though haply none the sequence see.

„The Hâjî regrets the excessive importance attached to a possible future state: he looks upon this as a psychical stimulant, a day dream, whose revulsion and reaction disorder waking life.“

—  Richard Francis Burton

The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî (1870), Note I : Hâjî Abdû, The Man
Kontext: The Hâjî regrets the excessive importance attached to a possible future state: he looks upon this as a psychical stimulant, a day dream, whose revulsion and reaction disorder waking life. The condition may appear humble and prosaic to those exalted by the fumes of Fancy, by a spiritual dram-drinking which, like the physical, is the pursuit of an ideal happiness. But he is too wise to affirm or to deny the existence of another world. For life beyond the grave there is no consensus of mankind… Even the instinctive sense of our kind is here dumb. We may believe what we are taught: we can know nothing. He would, therefore, cultivate that receptive mood which, marching under the shadow of mighty events, leads to the highest of goals, — the development of Humanity. With him suspension of judgment is a system.

„How Thought is imp'otent to divine the secret which the gods defend,
The Why of birth and life and death, that Isis-veil no hand may rend.“

—  Richard Francis Burton

The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî (1870)
Kontext: How Thought is imp'otent to divine the secret which the gods defend,
The Why of birth and life and death, that Isis-veil no hand may rend.
Eternal Morrows make our day; our is is aye to be till when
Night closes in; 'tis all a dream, and yet we die, — and then and then?
And still the Weaver plies his loom, whose warp and woof is wretched Man
Weaving th' unpattern'd dark design, so dark we doubt it owns a plan.

„But my individuality, however all-sufficient for myself, is an infinitesimal point, an atom subject in all things to the Law of Storms called Life.“

—  Richard Francis Burton

The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî (1870), Note I : Hâjî Abdû, The Man
Kontext: I am an individual … a circle touching and intersecting my neighbours at certain points, but nowhere corresponding, nowhere blending. Physically I am not identical in all points with other men. Morally I differ from them: in nothing do the approaches of knowledge, my five organs of sense (with their Shelleyan "interpenetration"), exactly resemble those of any other being. Ergo, the effect of the world, of life, of natural objects, will not in my case be the same as with the beings most resembling me. Thus I claim the right of creating or modifying for my own and private use, the system which most imports me; and if the reasonable leave be refused to me, I take it without leave.
But my individuality, however all-sufficient for myself, is an infinitesimal point, an atom subject in all things to the Law of Storms called Life. I feel, I know that Fate is. But I cannot know what is or what is not fated to befall me. Therefore in the pursuit of perfection as an individual lies my highest, and indeed my only duty, the "I" being duly blended with the "We." I object to be a "self-less man," which to me denotes an inverted moral sense. I am bound to take careful thought concerning the consequences of every word and deed. When, however, the Future has become the Past, it would be the merest vanity for me to grieve or to repent over that which was decreed by universal Law.

„And hold Humanity one man, whose universal agony
Still strains and strives to gain the goal, where agonies shall cease to be.
Believe in all things; none believe; judge not nor warp by "Facts" the thought;
See clear, hear clear, tho' life may seem Mâyâ and Mirage, Dream and Naught.“

—  Richard Francis Burton

The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî (1870)
Kontext: And hold Humanity one man, whose universal agony
Still strains and strives to gain the goal, where agonies shall cease to be.
Believe in all things; none believe; judge not nor warp by "Facts" the thought;
See clear, hear clear, tho' life may seem Mâyâ and Mirage, Dream and Naught.
Abjure the Why and seek the How: the God and gods enthroned on high,
Are silent all, are silent still; nor hear thy voice, nor deign reply.
The Now, that indivisible point which studs the length of infinite line
Whose ends are nowhere, is thine all, the puny all thou callest thine.

„Unknown, Incomprehensible, whateíer you choose to call it, call;
But leave it vague as airy space, dark in its darkness mystical.“

—  Richard Francis Burton

The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî (1870)
Kontext: Grant an Idea, Primal Cause, the Causing Cause, why crave for more?
Why strive its depth and breadth to mete, to trace its work, its aid to íimplore?
Unknown, Incomprehensible, whateíer you choose to call it, call;
But leave it vague as airy space, dark in its darkness mystical.

„Both propose a reward for mere belief, and a penalty for simple unbelief; rewards and punishments being, by the way, very disproportionate. Thus they reduce everything to the scale of a somewhat unrefined egotism; and their demoralizing effects become clearer to every progressive age.“

—  Richard Francis Burton

The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî (1870), Note I : Hâjî Abdû, The Man
Kontext: Christianity and Islamism have been on their trial for the last eighteen and twelve centuries. They have been ardent in proselytizing, yet they embrace only one-tenth and one-twentieth of the human race. Hâjî Abdû would account for the tardy and unsatisfactory progress of what their votaries call "pure truths," by the innate imperfections of the same. Both propose a reward for mere belief, and a penalty for simple unbelief; rewards and punishments being, by the way, very disproportionate. Thus they reduce everything to the scale of a somewhat unrefined egotism; and their demoralizing effects become clearer to every progressive age.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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