Henry Adams citáty

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Henry Adams

Datum narození: 16. únor 1838
Datum úmrtí: 27. březen 1918
Další jména: 亨利·亞當斯, Henry Brooks Adams

Reklama

Henry Adams byl americký spisovatel-romanopisec, historik, esejista a tvůrce vícerých životopisných děl.

Narodil se ve významné americké rodině Adamsových, která byla známa díky své politické angažovanosti. Jeho praděd John Adams byl 2. prezidentem USA, jeho děd byl John Quincy Adams, což byl 6. prezident USA. Místo toho, aby využil rodinné konexe a vliv, začal se věnovat literatuře.

Působil jako profesor evropských a amerických dějin na Harvardově univerzitě v letech 1870–1877, přispíval do North American Revue. Později se věnoval cestování, literatuře a vědě. Ve svých dílech se kriticky zamýšlel nad současným světem a nad jeho budoucím vývojem. Jeho díla přinášejí svědectví o změně amerického smýšlení, které se od náboženského základu přesouvá ke konfrontaci s novými společenskými problémy. Pro mnohé studie se stal literárním vzorem a zdrojem.

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Citáty Henry Adams

„Morálka je soukromý a nákladný luxus.“

—  Henry Adams, kniha The Education of Henry Adams
(en) Morality is a private and costly luxury. Source: [Adams, Henry, 1961, The Education of Henry Adams, Forgotten Books, 271, angličtina]

Reklama

„With the help of these two points of relation, he hoped to project his lines forward and backward indefinitely, subject to correction from any one who should know better. Thereupon, he sailed for home.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: Any schoolboy could see that man as a force must be measured by motion, from a fixed point. Psychology helped here by suggesting a unit — the point of history when man held the highest idea of himself as a unit in a unified universe. Eight or ten years of study had led Adams to think he might use the century 1150-1250, expressed in Amiens Cathedral and the Works of Thomas Aquinas, as the unit from which he might measure motion down to his own time, without assuming anything as true or untrue, except relation. The movement might be studied at once in philosophy and mechanics. Setting himself to the task, he began a volume which he mentally knew as "Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres: a Study of Thirteenth-Century Unity." From that point he proposed to fix a position for himself, which he could label: "The Education of Henry Adams: a Study of Twentieth-Century Multiplicity." With the help of these two points of relation, he hoped to project his lines forward and backward indefinitely, subject to correction from any one who should know better. Thereupon, he sailed for home. On the genesis of two of his historical and autobiographical works.

„What one knows is, in youth, of little moment; they know enough who know how to learn.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: ... education should try to lessen the obstacles, diminish the friction, invigorate the energy, and should train minds to react, not at haphazard, but by choice, on the lines of force that attract their world. What one knows is, in youth, of little moment; they know enough who know how to learn. Throughout human history the waste of mind has been appalling, and, as this story is meant to show, society has conspired to promote it. No doubt the teacher is the worst criminal, but the world stands behind him and drags the student from his course. The moral is stentorian. Only the most energetic, the most highly fitted, and the most favored have overcome the friction or the viscosity of inertia, and these were compelled to waste three-fourths of their energy in doing it.

„Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, had always been the systematic organization of hatreds“

—  Henry Adams
Context: Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, had always been the systematic organization of hatreds, and Massachusetts politics had been as harsh as the climate.

„The effort is as evident and quite as laborious in modern science, starting as it does from multiplicity, as in Thomas Aquinas who started from unity, and it is necessarily less successful, for its true aims as far as it is Science and not disguised Religion, were equally attained by reaching infinite complexity; but the assertion or assumption of ultimate unity has characterised the Law of Energy as emphatically as it has characterised the definition of God in Theology. If it is a reproach to Saint Thomas, it is equally a reproach to Clerk-Maxwell. In truth it is what most men admire in both — the power of broad and lofty generalisation.“

—  Henry Adams
Mont Saint Michel and Chartres (1904), Context: ... the quality that arouses most surprise in Thomism is its astonishingly scientific method. [... ] Avowedly science has aimed at nothing but the reduction of multiplicity to unity, and has excommunicated, as though it were itself a Church, anyone who doubted or disputed its object, its method, or its results. The effort is as evident and quite as laborious in modern science, starting as it does from multiplicity, as in Thomas Aquinas who started from unity, and it is necessarily less successful, for its true aims as far as it is Science and not disguised Religion, were equally attained by reaching infinite complexity; but the assertion or assumption of ultimate unity has characterised the Law of Energy as emphatically as it has characterised the definition of God in Theology. If it is a reproach to Saint Thomas, it is equally a reproach to Clerk-Maxwell. In truth it is what most men admire in both — the power of broad and lofty generalisation.

„At best, the renewal of broken relations is a nervous matter,“

—  Henry Adams
Context: As was sure, sooner or later, to happen, Adams one day met Charles Sumner on the street, and instantly stopped to greet him. As though eight years of broken ties were the natural course of friendship, Sumner at once, after an exclamation of surprise, dropped back into the relation of hero to the school boy. Adams enjoyed accepting it. He was then thirty years old and Sumner was fifty-seven; he had seen more of the world than Sumner ever dreamed of, and he felt a sort of amused curiosity to be treated once more as a child. At best, the renewal of broken relations is a nervous matter, and in this case it bristled with thorns.

„For reasons which many persons thought ridiculous, Mrs. Lightfoot Lee decided to pass the winter in Washington.“

—  Henry Adams, book Democracy: An American Novel
Democracy: An American Novel (1880), Context: For reasons which many persons thought ridiculous, Mrs. Lightfoot Lee decided to pass the winter in Washington. She was in excellent health, but she said that the climate would do her good. Ch. I, first lines

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„At the same time we had best try, as innocently as may be, to realise that no final judgement has yet been pronounced, either by the Church or by Society or by Science, on either or any of these points; and until mankind finally settles to a certainty where it means to go, or whether it means to go anywhere,— what its object is, or whether it has an object,— Saint Francis may still prove to have been its ultimate expression. In that case, his famous Chant,— the Cantico del Sole,— will be the last word of religion, as it was probably its first.“

—  Henry Adams
Mont Saint Michel and Chartres (1904), Context: The schoolmen saw their duty in one direction; Francis saw his in another; and [... ] the two paths seem to be the only roads that can exist, if man starts by taking for granted that there is an object to be reached at the end of his journey. The Church embracing all mankind, had no choice but to march with caution, seeking God by every possible means of intellect and study. Francis, acting only for himself, could throw caution aside and trust implicitly in God [.... ] He carried to its last point the mystical Union wth God, and its necessary consequence of contempt and hatred of human intellectual processes. Even Saint Bernard would have thought his ideas wanting in that mesure which the French mind so much prizes. At the same time we had best try, as innocently as may be, to realise that no final judgement has yet been pronounced, either by the Church or by Society or by Science, on either or any of these points; and until mankind finally settles to a certainty where it means to go, or whether it means to go anywhere,— what its object is, or whether it has an object,— Saint Francis may still prove to have been its ultimate expression. In that case, his famous Chant,— the Cantico del Sole,— will be the last word of religion, as it was probably its first.

„No man, however strong, can serve ten years as schoolmaster, priest, or Senator, and remain fit for anything else.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: No man, however strong, can serve ten years as schoolmaster, priest, or Senator, and remain fit for anything else. All the dogmatic stations in life have the effect of fixing a certain stiffness of attitude forever, as though they mesmerised the subject.

„The Abbey was the highest administrative creation of the middle ages.“

—  Henry Adams
Mont Saint Michel and Chartres (1904), Context: Every ounce of food must be brought from the mainland, or fished from the sea. All the tenants and their farms, their rents and contributions, must be looked after. No secular prince had a more serious task of administration, and none did it so well. Tenants always preferred an Abbot or Bishop for landlord. The Abbey was the highest administrative creation of the middle ages.

„An economic civilisation troubles itself about the universe much as a hive of honey-bees troubles about the ocean, only as a region to be avoided. The hive of Saint Thomas sheltered God and Man, Mind and Matter, The Universe and the Atom, the One and the Multiple, within the walls of a harmonious home.“

—  Henry Adams
Mont Saint Michel and Chartres (1904), Context: Saint Thomas is still alive and overshadows as many schools as he ever did; at all events as many as the Church maintains. He has outlived Descartes and Leibnitz and a dozen other schools of philosophy more or less serious in their day. He has mostly outived Hume, Voltaire and the militant sceptics. His method is typical and classic; his sentences, when interpreted by the Church, seem, even to an untrained mind, intelligible and consistent; his Church Intellectual remains practically unchanged, and, like the Cathedral of Beauvais, erect although the storms of six or seven centuries have prostrated, over and over again, every other social or political or juristic shelter. Compared with it, all modern systems are complex and chaotic, crowded with self-contradictions, anomalies, impracticable functions and out-worn inheritances; but beyond all their practical shortcomings is their fragmentary character. An economic civilisation troubles itself about the universe much as a hive of honey-bees troubles about the ocean, only as a region to be avoided. The hive of Saint Thomas sheltered God and Man, Mind and Matter, The Universe and the Atom, the One and the Multiple, within the walls of a harmonious home.

„Man is an imperceptible atom always trying to become one with God.“

—  Henry Adams
Mont Saint Michel and Chartres (1904), Context: The art of this poetry of love and hope which marked the mystics, lay of course in the background of shadows which marked the cloister. "Inter Vania nihil vanius est homine." [Among vain things nothing is more vain than man. ] Man is an imperceptible atom always trying to become one with God. If ever modern science achieves a definition of Energy, possibly it may borrow the figure:— Energy is the inherent effort of every multiplicity to become unity. Adam's poetry was an expression of the effort to reach absorption through love, not through fear, but to do this thoroughly he had to make real to himself his own nothingness; most of all to annihilate pride, for the loftiest soul can comprehend that an atom — say, of hydrogen,— which is proud of its personality, will never merge in a molecule of water.

„It's always the good men who do the most harm in the world.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: I disagree with my brother Charles and Theodore Roosevelt. I think that Lee should have been hanged. It was all the worse that he was a good man and a fine character and acted conscientiously. These facts have nothing to do with the case and should not have been allowed to interfere with just penalties. It's always the good men who do the most harm in the world. As quoted in American Heritage (December 1955), p. 44

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

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