Oliver Wendell Holmes Quotes (205 Quotes)

    And when you stick on conversation's burrs, Don't strew your pathway with those dreadful urs.

    I was just going to say, when I was interrupted, that one of the many ways of classifying minds is under the heads of arithmetical and algebraical intellects. All economical and practical wisdom is an extension of the following arithmetical formula 2 2 4. Every philosophical proposition has the more general character of the expression a b c. We are mere operatives, empirics, and egotists until we learn to think in letters instead of figures.

    The longing for certainty... is in every human mind. But certainty is generally illusion.

    The greatest tragedy in America is not the destruction of our natural resources, though that tragedy is great. The truly great tragedy is the destruction of our human resources by our failure to fully utilize our abilities, which means that most men and women go to their graves with their music still in them.

    Youth fades love droops the leaves of friendship fall A mother's secret hope outlives them all.

    Even for practical purposes theory generally turns out the most important thing in the end.

    I firmly believe that if the whole materia medica could be sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind and all the worse for the fishes. Substances used in the composition of medical remedies.

    One unquestioned text we read, All doubt beyond, all fear above Nor crackling pile nor cursing creed Can burn or blot it God is love.

    Simple people... are very quick to see the live facts which are going on about them.

    I think, I said, I can make it plain to Benjamin Franklin here that there are at least six personalities distinctly to be recognized as taking part in that dialogue between John and Thomas. Three Johns 1. The real John known only to his Maker. 2. Johns ideal John never the real one, and often very unlike him. 3. Thomas ideal John never the real John, nor Johns John, but often very unlike either. Three Thomases 1. The real Thomas. 2. Thomas ideal Thomas. 3. Johns ideal Thomas.

    For I say unto you in all sadness of conviction that to think great thoughts you must be heroes as well as idealists. Only when you have worked alone when you have felt around you are a black gulf of solitude more isolating than that which surrounds the dying man, and in hope and despair have trusted to your own unshaken will then only can you gain the secret isolated joy of the thinker, who knows that a hundred years after he is dead and forgotten men who have never heard of him will be moving to the measure of his thought the subtle rapture of postponed power, which the world knows not because it has no external trappings, but which to his prophetic vision is more real than that which commands an army. And if this joy should not be yours, still it is only thus you can know that you have done what lay in you to do can say that you have lived, and be ready for the end.

    And hast thou cities, domes, and towers,
    And life, and love that makes it dear,
    And death that fills thy tribes with fear?

    Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul, As the swift seasons roll Leave thy low-vaulted past Let each new temple, nobler than the last, Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, Till thou at length art free, Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea.

    There is a little plant called reverence in the corner of my soul's garden, which I love to have watered once a week.

    Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water-bath is to the body.

    But Memory blushes at the sneer, And Honor turns with frown defiant, And Freedom, leaning on her spear, Laughs louder than the laughing giant.

    It went to pieces all at once All at once and nothing first, Just as bubbles do when they burst.

    Related Authors

    Voltaire - Pablo Neruda - Oliver Wendell Holmes - Milan Kundera - Michael Cunningham - Ivo Andric - Edward Fairfax - Denis Waitley - Catherine Crowe - Abraham Polonsky

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