Zitate von Samuel Johnson

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Samuel Johnson

Geburtstag: 18. September 1709
Todesdatum: 13. Dezember 1784

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Samuel Johnson , wegen seiner Gelehrsamkeit meist Dr. Johnson genannt , war ein englischer Gelehrter, Lexikograf, Schriftsteller, Dichter und Kritiker. Er ist nach William Shakespeare der meistzitierte englische Autor und war im 18. Jahrhundert die wichtigste Person im literarischen Leben Englands, vergleichbar mit Gottsched in Deutschland.

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Zitate Samuel Johnson

„Eine Frau, die versucht zu predigen, ist wie ein Hund, der versucht, auf den Hinterbeinen zu laufen. Es klappt nicht gut, aber man ist überrascht, dass es überhaupt funktioniert.“

—  Samuel Johnson
"The Life of Samuel Johnson, L.L.D." von James Boswell, Eintrag vom 31. Juli 1763. London: Hutchinson & Co., 1791. Band 1, S. 112 Source: Übersetzung Wikiquote Original engl. "Sir, a woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."

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„Patriotismus ist die letzte Zuflucht des Halunken.“

—  Samuel Johnson
"The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D." von James Boswell, Eintrag vom 7. April 1775. London: Hutchinson & Co., 1791. Band 1, S. 211 Original engl. "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

„Wenn jemand Londons überdrüssig ist, ist er des Lebens überdrüssig; denn in London hat man alles, was das Leben bieten kann.“

—  Samuel Johnson
"The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D." von James Boswell, Eintrag vom 20. September 1777. London: Hutchinson & Co., 1791. Band 2, S. 160 Original engl. "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."

„Sir, what is Poetry? Why, Sir, it is much easier to say what it is not. We all know what light is: but it is not easy to tell what it is.“

—  Samuel Johnson
Letter to James Macpherson, 20 June 1778. (Quotation used as epigram to Władysław Tatarkiewicz, "Dwa pojęcia poezji" ("Two Concepts of Poetry"), in Tatarkiewicz's book, Parerga, Warsaw, Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1978, pp. 20–38.)

„It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives.“

—  Samuel Johnson
Context: It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not of importance, it lasts so short a time. October 26, 1769, p. 174

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„Unmoved though Witlings sneer and Rivals rail,
Studious to please, yet not ashamed to fail.“

—  Samuel Johnson
Context: Unmoved though Witlings sneer and Rivals rail, Studious to please, yet not ashamed to fail. He scorns the meek address, the suppliant strain. With merit needless, and without it vain. In Reason, Nature, Truth, he dares to trust: Ye Fops, be silent: and ye Wits, be just. The Tragedy of Irene (1749), Prologue

„I will not undertake to maintain against the concurrent and unvaried testimony of all ages and of all nations. There is no people, rude or learned, among whom apparitions of the dead are not related and believed.“

—  Samuel Johnson
Context: “That the dead are seen no more,” said Imlac, “I will not undertake to maintain against the concurrent and unvaried testimony of all ages and of all nations. There is no people, rude or learned, among whom apparitions of the dead are not related and believed. This opinion, which perhaps prevails as far as human nature is diffused, could become universal only by its truth: those that never heard of one another would not have agreed in a tale which nothing but experience can make credible. That it is doubted by single cavillers can very little weaken the general evidence, and some who deny it with their tongues confess it by their fears. “Yet I do not mean to add new terrors to those which have already seized upon Pekuah. There can be no reason why spectres should haunt the Pyramid more than other places, or why they should have power or will to hurt innocence and purity. Our entrance is no violation of their privileges: we can take nothing from them; how, then, can we offend them?” Chapter 31

„All the performances of human art, at which we look with praise or wonder, are instances of the resistless force of perseverance: it is by this that the quarry becomes a pyramid, and that distant countries are united with canals.“

—  Samuel Johnson
Context: All the performances of human art, at which we look with praise or wonder, are instances of the resistless force of perseverance: it is by this that the quarry becomes a pyramid, and that distant countries are united with canals. If a man was to compare the effect of a single stroke of the pick-axe, or of one impression of the spade, with the general design and last result, he would be overwhelmed by the sense of their disproportion; yet those petty operations, incessantly continued, in time surmount the greatest difficulties, and mountains are levelled, and oceans bounded, by the slender force of human beings. It is therefore of the utmost importance that those, who have any intention of deviating from the beaten roads of life, and acquiring a reputation superior to names hourly swept away by time among the refuse of fame, should add to their reason, and their spirit, the power of persisting in their purposes; acquire the art of sapping what they cannot batter, and the habit of vanquishing obstinate resistance by obstinate attacks. No. 43 (14 August 1750) http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=Joh1Ram.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=43&division=div1

„Among these unhappy mortals is the writer of dictionaries, whom mankind have considered, not as the pupil, but the slave of science, the pioneer of literature, doomed only to remove rubbish and clear obstructions from the paths through which Learning and Genius press forward to conquest and glory, without bestowing a smile on the humble drudge that facilitates their progress. Every other author may aspire to praise; the lexicographer can only hope to escape reproach, and even this negative recompense has been yet granted to very few.“

—  Samuel Johnson
Context: It is the fate of those, who toil at the lower employments of life, to be rather driven by the fear of evil, than attracted by the prospect of good; to be exposed to censure, without hope of praise; to be disgraced by miscarriage, or punished for neglect, where success would have been without applause, and diligence without reward. Among these unhappy mortals is the writer of dictionaries, whom mankind have considered, not as the pupil, but the slave of science, the pioneer of literature, doomed only to remove rubbish and clear obstructions from the paths through which Learning and Genius press forward to conquest and glory, without bestowing a smile on the humble drudge that facilitates their progress. Every other author may aspire to praise; the lexicographer can only hope to escape reproach, and even this negative recompense has been yet granted to very few. Preface http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Texts/preface.html

„Hope is itself a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords“

—  Samuel Johnson
Context: Hope is itself a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords: but, like all other pleasures immoderately enjoyed, the excesses of hope must be expiated by pain; and expectations improperly indulged must end in disappointment. If it be asked, what is the improper expectation which it is dangerous to indulge, experience will quickly answer, that it is such expectation as is dictated not by reason, but by desire; expectation raised, not by the common occurrences of life, but by the wants of the expectant; an expectation that requires the common course of things to be changed, and the general rules of action to be broken. Letter, June 8, 1762 [to an unnamed recipient], p. 103

„Truth, Sir, is a cow which will yield such people no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull.“

—  Samuel Johnson
Context: Hume, and other sceptical innovators, are vain men, and will gratify themselves at any expence. Truth will not afford sufficient food to their vanity; so they have betaken themselves to errour. Truth, Sir, is a cow which will yield such people no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull. If I could have allowed myself to gratify my vanity at the expence of truth, what fame might I have acquired. July 21, 1763, p 514 http://books.google.com/books?id=JOseAAAAMAAJ&q="Truth+Sir+is+a+cow+which+will+yield+such+people+no+more+milk+and+so+they+are+gone+to+milk+the+bull1"&pg=PA514#v=onepage

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

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