Zitate von 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.
Zitate Samuel Johnson
„Wenn wir sehen, wie die Menschen altern und nach gewisser Zeit einer nach dem anderen sterben, Jahrhundert für Jahrhundert, dann können wir nur lachen über das Elixier, das die Verlängerung des Lebens auf über tausend Jahre verspricht; mit gleichem Recht ist der Lexikograph zu verspotten, der ohne das Beispiel einer Nation anführen zu können, die ihre Wörter und Ausdrücke vor Veränderlichkeit bewahrte, sich einbildet, sein Wörterbuch könne seine Sprache einbalsamieren, vor Verfälschung schützen und Verfall, und der meint, es stehe in seiner Macht, irdische Natur zu ändern oder die Welt mit einem Schlag von Verrücktheit, Eitelkeit und Affektiertheit zu befreien.“
„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.“
"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
"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.“
"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."
„In order that all men may be taught to speak truth, it is necessary that all likewise should learn to hear it.“
— Samuel Johnson, The Rambler
No. 96 (16 February 1751)
Quelle: The Rambler (1750–1752)
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Letter, June 8, 1762 [to an unnamed recipient], p. 103
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.
— Samuel Johnson, The Rambler
No. 163 (8 October 1751)
The Rambler (1750–1752)
Kontext: Every man is rich or poor according to the proportion between his desires and his enjoyments; any enlargement of wishes is therefore equally destructive to happiness with the diminution of possession, and he that teaches another to long for what he never shall obtain is no less an enemy to his quiet than if he had robbed him of part of his patrimony.
Quelle: Works of Samuel Johnson
„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.“
— Samuel Johnson, buch The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia
Quelle: The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia (1759), Chapter 31
Kontext: “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?”
„Patriotism is not necessarily included in rebellion. A man may hate his king, yet not love his country.“
The Patriot (1774)
Kontext: Some claim a place in the list of patriots, by an acrimonious and unremitting opposition to the court. This mark is by no means infallible. Patriotism is not necessarily included in rebellion. A man may hate his king, yet not love his country.
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.
— 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.
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.
„Truth, Sir, is a cow which will yield such people no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull.“
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
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.