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 Google Books

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„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 Google Books

„Patriotismus ist die letzte Zuflucht des Halunkens.“

—  Samuel Johnson
"The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL. D." von James Boswell, Eintrag vom 7. April 1775. London: Hutchinson & Co., 1791. Band 1, S. 112 Google Books

„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

„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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„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
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

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

—  Samuel Johnson
Context: 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. The Tragedy of Irene (1749), Act III, Sc. 2

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

—  Samuel Johnson
Context: 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. No. 58 (May 26, 1759)

„Every man is rich or poor according to the proportion between his desires and his enjoyments“

—  Samuel Johnson
Context: 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. No. 163 (8 October 1751)

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

—  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

„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
Context: 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.

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

—  Samuel Johnson
Context: 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. No. 40 (January 20, 1759)

„An individual may, indeed, forfeit his liberty by a crime; but he cannot by that crime forfeit the liberty of his children.“

—  Samuel Johnson
Context: It must be agreed that in most ages many countries have had part of their inhabitants in a state of slavery; yet it may be doubted whether slavery can ever be supposed the natural condition of man. It is impossible not to conceive that men in their original state were equal; and very difficult to imagine how one would be subjected to another but by violent compulsion. An individual may, indeed, forfeit his liberty by a crime; but he cannot by that crime forfeit the liberty of his children. September 23, 1777, p. 363

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