Henry Brooks Adams Quotes (20 Quotes)



    Every man who has at last succeeded, after long effort, in calling up the divinity which lies hidden in a woman's heart, is startled to find that he must obey the God he summoned.

    In practice, such trifles as contradictions in principle are easily set aside the faculty of ignoring them makes the practical man

    Had Grant been a Congressman one would have been on one's guard, for one knew the type. One never expected from a Congressman more than good intentions and public spirit. Newspaper-men as a rule had no great respect for the lower House Senators had less and Cabinet officers had none at all. Indeed, one day when Adams was pleading with a Cabinet officer for patience and tact in dealing with Representatives, the Secretary impatiently broke out 'You can't use tact with a Congressman A Congressman is a hog You must take a stick and hit him on the snout' The secretary who made the remark 'may well have been Adams's friend, Secretary of the Interior Jacob Dolson Cox,' according to note 18 on p. 617.

    You can't use tact with a Congressman. A Congressman is a hog. You must take a stick and hit him on the snout.


    One friend in a lifetime is much; two are many; three hardly possible.

    Women have, commonly, a very positive moral sense that which they will, is right that which they reject, is wrong and their will, in most cases, ends by settling the moral.

    If I grapple with sin in my own strength, the devil knows he may go to sleep.

    Politics, as a practise, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.

    It love is a disease to be born with patience, like any nervous complaint, and to be treated with counter-irritants.

    I tell you the solemn truth, that the doctrine of the Trinity is not so difficult to accept for a working proposition as any one of the axioms of physics.

    Some day science may have the existence of mankind in power, and the human race can commit suicide by blowing up the world.

    I am an anarchist in politics and an impressionist in art as well as a symbolist in literature. Not that I understand what these terms mean, but I take them to be all merely synonyms of pessimist.

    As for America, it is the ideal fruit of all your youthful hopes and reforms. Everybody is fairly decent, respectable, domestic, bourgeois, middle-class, and tiresome. There is absolutely nothing to revile except that it's a bore.

    I was interested in politics, thought I had good speaking abilities. I talked with Mr. Oliver about it and he suggested I go ahead.

    A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell, where his influence stops.


    You say that love is nonsense....I tell you it is no such thing. For weeks and months it is a steady physical pain, an ache about the heart, never leaving one, by night or by day a long strain on one's nerves like toothache or rheumatism, not intolerable at any one instant, but exhausting by its steady drain on the strength.

    In peace, competition had become difficult, until the British ship owner cried for war yet he already felt, without acknowledging it even to himself, that in war he was likely to enjoy little profit or pleasure on the day when the long, low, black hull of the Yankee privateer, with her tapering, bending spars, her long-range guns, and her sharp-faced captain, should appear on the western horizon, and suddenly, at the sight of heavy-lumbering British merchantman, should fling out her white wings of canvas, and fly down on her prey.

    Thank God, I never was cheerful. I come from the happy stock of the Mathers, who, as you remember, passed sweet mornings reflecting on the goodness of God and the damnation of infants.


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