Citações John Buchan

„Civilisation needs more than the law to hold it together.“

—  John Buchan
Context: Civilisation needs more than the law to hold it together. You see, all mankind are not equally willing to accept as divine justice what is called human law. Ch. 3 "Tells of a Midsummer Night"

„Civilisation knows how to use such powers as it has, while the immense potentiality of the unlicensed is dissipated in vapour.“

—  John Buchan
Context: Civilisation knows how to use such powers as it has, while the immense potentiality of the unlicensed is dissipated in vapour. Civilisation wins because it is a world-wide league; its enemies fail because they are parochial. But supposing … supposing anarchy learned from civilisation and became international. Oh, I don't mean the bands of advertising donkeys who call themselves International Unions of Workers and suchlike rubbish. I mean if the real brain-stuff of the world were internationalised. Suppose that the links in the cordon of civilisation were neutralised by other links in a far more potent chain. The earth is seething with incoherent power and unorganised intelligence. Ch. 3 "Tells of a Midsummer Night"

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„By a principle I mean something that is an eternal and universal truth.“

—  John Buchan
Context: To-day we have fewer dogmas, but I think that we have stronger principles. By a dogma I mean a deduction from facts which is only valid under certain conditions, and which becomes untrue if those conditions change. By a principle I mean something that is an eternal and universal truth. "A University's Bequest to Youth" (10 October 1936)

„That kind of man is not the danger. He is a bit of the machine, a party to the compact. It is the men who stand outside it that are to be reckoned with, the artists in discovery who will never use their knowledge till they can use it with full effect.“

—  John Buchan
Context: I read now and then in the papers that some eminent scientist had made a great discovery. He reads a paper before some Academy of Science, and there are leading articles on it, and his photograph adorns the magazines. That kind of man is not the danger. He is a bit of the machine, a party to the compact. It is the men who stand outside it that are to be reckoned with, the artists in discovery who will never use their knowledge till they can use it with full effect. Ch. 3 "Tells of a Midsummer Night"

„This crowded world of Space was perfectly real to him. How he had got to it I do not know.“

—  John Buchan
Context: This crowded world of Space was perfectly real to him. How he had got to it I do not know. Perhaps his mind, dwelling constantly on the problem, had unsealed some atrophied cell and restored the old instinct. Anyhow, he was living his daily life with a foot in each world.

„Suppose that the links in the cordon of civilisation were neutralised by other links in a far more potent chain. The earth is seething with incoherent power and unorganised intelligence.“

—  John Buchan
Context: Civilisation knows how to use such powers as it has, while the immense potentiality of the unlicensed is dissipated in vapour. Civilisation wins because it is a world-wide league; its enemies fail because they are parochial. But supposing … supposing anarchy learned from civilisation and became international. Oh, I don't mean the bands of advertising donkeys who call themselves International Unions of Workers and suchlike rubbish. I mean if the real brain-stuff of the world were internationalised. Suppose that the links in the cordon of civilisation were neutralised by other links in a far more potent chain. The earth is seething with incoherent power and unorganised intelligence. Ch. 3 "Tells of a Midsummer Night"

„Generations follow, oblivious of the high beginnings, but there is that in the stock which is fated to endure. The sons and daughters blunder and sin and perish, but the race goes on, for there is a fierce stuff of life in it.“

—  John Buchan
Context: Generations follow, oblivious of the high beginnings, but there is that in the stock which is fated to endure. The sons and daughters blunder and sin and perish, but the race goes on, for there is a fierce stuff of life in it. It sinks and rises again and blossoms at haphazard into virtue or vice, since the ordinary moral laws do not concern its mission. Some rags of greatness always cling to it, the dumb faith that sometime and somehow that blood drawn from kings it never knew will be royal again. Though nature is wasteful of material things, there is no waste of spirit. And then after long years there comes, unheralded and unlooked-for, the day of the Appointed Time... Prologue

„If his "magna imago" could return to earth, he would be puzzled at some of our experiments in empire, and might well complain that the imperfections of his work were taken as its virtues, and that so many truths had gone silently out of mind. He had prided himself on having given the world peace, and he would be amazed by the loud praise of war as a natural and wholesome concomitant of a nation's life.“

—  John Buchan
Context: If his "magna imago" could return to earth, he would be puzzled at some of our experiments in empire, and might well complain that the imperfections of his work were taken as its virtues, and that so many truths had gone silently out of mind. He had prided himself on having given the world peace, and he would be amazed by the loud praise of war as a natural and wholesome concomitant of a nation's life. Wars he had fought from an anxious desire to safeguard his people, as the shepherd builds the defences of his sheepfold; but he hated the thing, because he knew well the deadly "disordering," which the Greek historian noted as the consequence of the most triumphant campaign. He would marvel, too, at the current talk of racial purity, the exaltation of one breed of men as the chosen favourites of the gods. That would seem to him not only a defiance of the new Christian creed, but of the Stoicism which he had sincerely professed.

„He would listen, he said, to a great man talking, with one eye on the cat on the rug, thinking to himself how much more the cat knew than the man.“

—  John Buchan
Context: Remember his mind and no other part of him lived in his new world. He said it gave him an odd sense of detachment to sit in a room among people, and to know that nothing there but himself had any relation at all to the infinite strange world of Space that flowed around them. He would listen, he said, to a great man talking, with one eye on the cat on the rug, thinking to himself how much more the cat knew than the man.

„Supposing you knew — not by sight or by instinct, but by sheer intellectual knowledge, as I know the truth of a mathematical proposition — that what we call empty space was full, crammed.“

—  John Buchan
Context: Supposing you knew — not by sight or by instinct, but by sheer intellectual knowledge, as I know the truth of a mathematical proposition — that what we call empty space was full, crammed. Not with lumps of what we call matter like hills and houses, but with things as real — as real to the mind.

„I venerate the intellect of man. I believe in its undreamed-of possibilities, when it grows free like an oak in the forest and is not dwarfed in a flower-pot. From that allegiance I have never wavered. That is the God I have never forsworn.“

—  John Buchan
Context: I am a sceptic about most things... but, believe me, I have my own worship. I venerate the intellect of man. I believe in its undreamed-of possibilities, when it grows free like an oak in the forest and is not dwarfed in a flower-pot. From that allegiance I have never wavered. That is the God I have never forsworn. Ch. 8 "The Power-House"

„I have heard an atheist defined as a man who had no invisible means of support.“

—  John Buchan
A play on words commonly used referring to vagrants or paupers as having "no visible means of support" financially, speaking to the Law Society of Upper Canada, (21 February 1936); published in Canadian Occasions (1940), p. 201. Buchan's source for this definition remains unknown. The witticism was repeated by Harry Emerson Fosdick in his On Being a Real Person (1943), ch. 1, with due acknowledgement to Buchan, and was again used by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen in Look magazine (December 14, 1955). The credit for this line is therefore often wrongly given to Fosdick or to Sheen. Credit has also been given to the conductor Walter Damrosch (1862-1950).

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