Oliver Wendell Holmes Quotes (205 Quotes)



    The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men - from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls in their bosoms.






    A man may fulfill the object of his existence by asking a question he cannot answer, and attempting a task he cannot achieve.

    People who honestly mean to be true really contradict themselves much more rarely than those who try to be 'consistent'.

    Don't you stay at home of evenings? Don't you love a cushioned seat in a corner, by the fireside, with your slippers on your feet?

    The world's great men have not commonly been great scholars, nor its great scholars great men.


    Why can't somebody give us a list of things that everybody thinks and nobody says, and another list of things that everybody says and nobody thinks.

    Every library should try to be complete on something, if it were only the history of pinheads.

    To brag little, to lose well, To crow gently if in luck, To pay up, to own up, To shut up if beaten, Are the virtues of a sportingman.

    To be civilized is to be potentially master of all possible ideas, and that means that one has got beyond being shocked, although one preserves one's own moral aesthetic preferences.

    Yes, child of suffering, thou mayst well be sure He who ordained the Sabbath loves the poor.

    To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.

    the hydrostatic paradox of controversy. Don't you know what that means Well, I will tell you. You know that, if you had a bent tube, one arm of which was of the size of a pipe-stem, and the other big enough to hold the ocean, water would stand at the same height in one as in the other. Controversy equalizes fools and wise men in the same way. And the fools know it.


    I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.


    The movements of exaltation which belong to genius are egotistic by their very nature. A calm, clear mind, not subject to the spasms and crises which are so often met with in creative or intensely perceptive natures, is the best basis for love or friendship. Observe, I am talking about minds. I won't say, the more intellect, the less capacity for loving for that would do wrong to the understanding and reason but on the other hand, that the brain runs away with the heart's best blood, which gives the world a few pages of wisdom or sentiment or poetry, instead of making one other heart happy, I have no question.

    Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.


    Memory is a net: one that finds it full of fish when he takes it from the brook, but a dozen miles of water have run through it without sticking.

    Men are idolaters, and want something to look at and kiss And hug, or throw themselves down before they always did, they always will, and if you don't make it of wood, you must make it of words.

    Descartes commanded the future from his study more than Napoleon from the throne.

    A person is always startled when he hears himself called old for the first time.

    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

    The advice of the elders to young men is very apt to be as unreal as a list of the hundred best books.


    Related Authors


    Pablo Neruda - O. Henry - Napoleon Hill - Paul Davies - Oliver Wendell Holmes - Michael Cunningham - Ivo Andric - Henry Lawson - Henry Drummond - Abraham Polonsky


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