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Oliver Wendell Holmes quotes (82)

The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon but its echo lasts a great deal longer.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Kissing

Don't flatter yourself that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. The nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Tact

Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprang up.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Idea

Sweet is the scene where genial friendship plays The pleasing game of interchanging praise.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Praise

There are one-story intellects two-story intellects and three-story intellects with skylights. All fact collectors who have no aim beyond their facts are one-story men. Two-story men compare reason generalize using the labors of fact collectors as well as their own. Three-story men idealize imagine predict; their best illumination comes from above through the skylight.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Fact

Grow we must if we outgrow all that love us.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Growth

The brightest blades grow dim with rust The fairest meadow white with snow.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Action

Yes child of suffering thou mayst well be sure He who ordained the Sabbath loves the poor!
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Sabbath

Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Civilization

People that make puns are like wanton boys that put coppers on the railroad tracks.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Pun

Between two groups of people who want to make inconsistent kinds of worlds I see no remedy but force.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Force

We should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Opinion

The best of a book is not the thought which it contains but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Book

Every event that a man would master must be mounted on the run and no man ever caught the reins of a thought except as it galloped past him.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Thief

Knowledge and timber shouldnt be much used till they are seasoned.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Knowledge

Fame is the scentless sunflower with gaudy crown of gold; But friendship is the breathing rose with sweets in every fold.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: False

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.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Medicine

Science is a first-rate piece of furniture for a man's upper chamber if he has common sense on the ground floor.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Common

Good Americans when they die go to Paris.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Ambition

The axis of the earth sticks out visibly through the center of each and every town or city.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: World

Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Love

Speak clearly if you speak at all; Carve every word before you let it fall.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Speak

A page of history is worth a pound of logic.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: History

A man's mind stretched by a new idea can never go back to its original dimensions.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Idea

There is no friend like the old friend who has shared our morning days No greeting like his welcome no homage like his praise; Fame is the scentless sunflower with gaudy crown of gold; But friendship is the breathing rose with sweets in every fold.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Friendship

Man has his will but woman has her way.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Man

To have doubted ones own first principles is the mark of a civilized man.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Civilization

The world's great men have not commonly been great scholars nor its great scholars great men.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Gravity

Ay tear her tattered ensign down! Long has it waved on high And many an eye has danced to see That banner in the sky. Beneath it rung the battle shout And burst the cannon's roar The meteor of the ocean air Shall sweep the clouds no more.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Ship

The world has to learn that the actual pleasure derived from material things is of rather low quality on the whole and less even in quantity than it looks to those who have not tried it.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Materialism

To reach the port of heaven we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it but we must sail and not drift nor lie at anchor.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Heaven

The mode by which the inevitable comes to pass is effort.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Effort

A moments insight is sometimes worth a lifes experience
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Creative

Descartes commanded the future from his study more than Napoleon from the throne.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Future

Through our great good fortune in our youth our hearts were touched with fire. It was given us to learn at the outset that life is a profound and passionate thing. While we are permitted to scorn nothing but indifference and do not pretend to undervalue the worldly rewards of ambition we have seen with our own eyes beyond and above the gold fields the snowy heights of honor and it is for us to bear the report to those who come after us.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Youth

We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial but it is indelible. You cannot educate a man wholly out of superstitious fears which were implanted in his imagination no matter how utterly his reason may reject them.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Belief

Pretty much all the honest truth telling in the world is done by children.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Children

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.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Brag

The only prize much cared for by the powerful is power. The prize of the general is not a bigger tent but command.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Power

To know is not less than to feel.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Unsorted

Beware how you take away hope from any human being.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Hope

Put not your trust in money but put your money in trust.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Plan

If a man is in a minority of one we lock him up.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Minority

If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought; not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Speak

It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Listen

A thought is often original though you have uttered it a hundred times. It has come to you over a new route by a new and express train of association.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Original

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Ahead

A goose flies by a chart which the Royal Geographical Society could not improve.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Instinct

Age like distance lends a double charm.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Age

With all humility I think Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do do it with thy might. Infinitely more important than the vain attempt to love ones neighbor as ones self. If you want to hit a bird on the wing you must have all your will in focus you must not be thinking about yourself and equally you must not be thinking about your neighbor: you must be living in your eye on that bird. Every achievement is a bird on the wing.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Achievement

To live is to function. That is all there is in living.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Life

Controversy equalizes fools and wise men - And the fools know it.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Controversy

A word is not a crystal transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and the time in which it is used.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Word

The riders in a race do not stop short when they reach the goal. There is a little finishing canter before coming to a standstill. There is time to hear the kind voice of friends and to say to one's self: the work is done. But just as one says that the answer comes: The race is over but the work never is done while the power to work remains. The canter that brings you to a standstill need not be only coming to rest. It cannot be while you still live. For to live is to function. That is all there is in living.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Age

A childs education should begin at least one hundred years before he is born.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Children

A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Creative

Nothing is so commonplace as to wish to be remarkable.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Ambition

Certitude is not the test of certainty. We have been cocksure of many things that are not so.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Certainty

A good soldier like a good horse cannot be of a bad color.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Soldier

Genius does not herd with genius.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Genius

It is now the moment when by common consent we pause to become conscious of our national life and to rejoice in it to recall what our country has done for each of us and to ask ourselves what we can do for our country in return.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Country

The power to tax is not the power to destroy while this Court sits.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Tax

Truth is tough. It will not break like a bubble At a touch; nay you may kick it about all day like a football and it will be round and full at evening.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Truth

The man who is always worrying whether or not his soul would be damned generally has a soul that isnt worth a damn.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Soul

I despise making the most of ones time. Half of the pleasures of life consist of the opportunities one has neglected.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Neglect

Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtaxed.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Accuracy

Sin has many tools but a lie is the handle which fits them all.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Lever

To obtain a mans opinion of you make him mad.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Opinion

And silence like a poultice comes To heal the blows of sound.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Sick

I know it is a sin For me to sit and grin At him here; But the old three-cornered hat And the breeches and all that Are so queer!
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Clothes

The right to swing my fist ends where the other mans nose begins.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Harm

The ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas [and] the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Trade

To live fully is to be engaged in the passions of ones times.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Passion

I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it but we must sail and not drift nor lie at anchor.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Direction

The great act of faith is when man decides that he is not God.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: God

The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye: The more light you pour upon it the more it will contract.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Prejudice

And when you stick on conversations burrs Don't strew your pathway with those dreadful urs.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Conversation

The hat is the ultimum moriens of respectability.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Respect

Every calling is great when greatly pursued.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.   Category: Gravity

Trouble creates a capacity to handle it.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Unsorted

Wisdom has taught us to be calm and meek To take one blow and turn the other cheek; It is not written what a man shall do If the rude caitiff smite the other too!
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Wisdom

Old age is fifteen years older than I am.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Old