Zitate von Samuel Johnson

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Samuel Johnson

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

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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London
Samuel Johnson

Zitate Samuel Johnson

„Patriotismus ist die letzte Zuflucht des Halunken.“

—  Samuel Johnson, London

"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, London

"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."

„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, London

"The Life of Samuel Johnson, L.L.D." von James Boswell, Eintrag vom 31. Juli 1763. London: Hutchinson & Co., 1791. Band 1, S. 112
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."
Quelle: Übersetzung Wikiquote

„A man sometimes starts up a patriot, only by disseminating discontent, and propagating reports of secret influence, of dangerous counsels, of violated rights, and encroaching usurpation. This practice is no certain note of patriotism. To instigate the populace with rage beyond the provocation, is to suspend publick happiness, if not to destroy it. He is no lover of his country, that unnecessarily disturbs its peace.“

—  Samuel Johnson

The Patriot (1774)
Kontext: A man sometimes starts up a patriot, only by disseminating discontent, and propagating reports of secret influence, of dangerous counsels, of violated rights, and encroaching usurpation. This practice is no certain note of patriotism. To instigate the populace with rage beyond the provocation, is to suspend publick happiness, if not to destroy it. He is no lover of his country, that unnecessarily disturbs its peace. Few errours and few faults of government, can justify an appeal to the rabble; who ought not to judge of what they cannot understand, and whose opinions are not propagated by reason, but caught by contagion. The fallaciousness of this note of patriotism is particularly apparent, when the clamour continues after the evil is past.

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

—  Samuel Johnson

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
Vol I
Kontext: 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.

„It is seldom that we find either men or places such as we expect them.“

—  Samuel Johnson, The Idler

No. 58 (May 26, 1759)
The Idler (1758–1760)
Kontext: It is seldom that we find either men or places such as we expect them.... Yet it is necessary to hope, though hope should always be deluded, for hope itself is happiness, and its frustrations, however frequent, are yet less dreadful than its extinction.

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

—  Samuel Johnson

Letter, June 8, 1762 [to an unnamed recipient], p. 103
Vol I
Kontext: 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.

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

—  Samuel Johnson

October 26, 1769, p. 174
Vol II
Kontext: 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.

„Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement.“

—  Samuel Johnson, The Idler

No. 40 (January 20, 1759)
The Idler (1758–1760)
Kontext: Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused, and it is, therefore, become necessary to gain attention by magnificence of promises, and by eloquence sometimes sublime and sometimes pathetick. Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement.

„Hope is necessary in every condition.“

—  Samuel Johnson, The Rambler

No. 67 (6 November 1750)
The Rambler (1750–1752)
Kontext: Hope is necessary in every condition. The miseries of poverty, of sickness, or captivity, would, without this comfort, be insupportable; nor does it appear that the happiest lot of terrestrial existence can set us above the want of this general blessing; or that life, when the gifts of nature and of fortune are accumulated upon it, would not still be wretched, were it not elevated and delighted by the expectation of some new possession, of some enjoyment yet behind, by which the wish shall at last be satisfied, and the heart filled up to its utmost extent.

„Ye Fops, be silent: and ye Wits, be just.“

—  Samuel Johnson

The Tragedy of Irene (1749), Prologue
Kontext: 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.

„Strange! that this general fraud from day to day
Should fill the world with wretches undetected.“

—  Samuel Johnson

The Tragedy of Irene (1749), Act III, Sc. 2
Kontext: To-morrow's action! Can that hoary wisdom,
Borne down with years, still doat upon tomorrow!
That fatal mistress of the young, the lazy,
The coward, and the fool, condemn'd to lose
A useless life in waiting for to-morrow,
To gaze with longing eyes upon to-morrow,
Till interposing death destroys the prospect
Strange! that this general fraud from day to day
Should fill the world with wretches undetected.
The soldier, labouring through a winter's march,
Still sees to-morrow drest in robes of triumph;
Still to the lover's long-expecting arms
To-morrow brings the visionary bride.
But thou, too old to hear another cheat,
Learn, that the present hour alone is man's.

„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.)

„Learn, that the present hour alone is man's.“

—  Samuel Johnson

The Tragedy of Irene (1749), Act III, Sc. 2
Kontext: To-morrow's action! Can that hoary wisdom,
Borne down with years, still doat upon tomorrow!
That fatal mistress of the young, the lazy,
The coward, and the fool, condemn'd to lose
A useless life in waiting for to-morrow,
To gaze with longing eyes upon to-morrow,
Till interposing death destroys the prospect
Strange! that this general fraud from day to day
Should fill the world with wretches undetected.
The soldier, labouring through a winter's march,
Still sees to-morrow drest in robes of triumph;
Still to the lover's long-expecting arms
To-morrow brings the visionary bride.
But thou, too old to hear another cheat,
Learn, that the present hour alone is man's.

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

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