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Oliver Wendell Holmes quotes (92)

A few can touch the magic string, and noisy fame is proud to win them: Alas for those that never sing, but die with all their music in them!
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

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

A great calamity is as old as the trilobites an hour after it has happened.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

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

A new untruth is better than an old truth.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

A person is always startled when he hears himself called old for the first time.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

A pun does not commonly justify a blow in return. But if a blow were given for such cause, and death ensued, the jury would be judges both of the facts and of the pun, and might, if the latter were of an aggravated character, return a verdict of justifiable homicide.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

A thought is often original, though you have uttered it a hundred times.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Apology is only egotism wrong side out.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

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

Beware how you take away hope from another human being.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Friendship

Chicago sounds rough to the maker of verse. One comfort we have - Cincinnati sounds worse.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

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

Do not be bullied out of your common sense by the specialist; two to one, he is a pedant.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Don't be "consistent" but be simple true.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

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   Category:

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?
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Even for practical purposes theory generally turns out the most important thing in the end.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

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

Every idea is an incitement... Eloquence may set fire to reason.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Every library should try to be complete on something, if it were only the history of pinheads.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Every real thought on every real subject knocks the wind out of somebody or other.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Fame usually comes to those who are thinking about something else.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Fresh air is good if you do not take too much of it; most of the achievements and pleasures of life are in bad air.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Grow we must, if we outgrow all that loves us.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Happiness consists in activity. It is running steam, not a stagnant pool.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Have the courage to act instead of react.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

He has half the deed done who has made a beginning.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

I don't generally feel anything until noon, then it's time for my nap.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

I hate facts. I always say the chief end of man is to form general propositions - adding that no general proposition is worth a damn.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Science

I think that, as life is action and passion, it is required of a man that he should share the passion and action of his time at peril of being judged not to have lived.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

I won't accept anything less than the best a player's capable of doing... and he has the right to expect the best that I can do for him and the team!
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

If I were dying my last words would be: Have faith and pursue the unknown end.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

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   Category:

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

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

It is very lonely sometimes, trying to play God.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

It's faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Knowledge like timber shouldn't be mush use till they are seasoned.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: Art

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

Love prefers twilight to daylight.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

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

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.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Memories, imagination, old sentiments, and associations are more readily reached through the sense of smell than through any other channel.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

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.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Nature, when she invented, manufactured, and patented her authors, contrived to make critics out of the chips that were left.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Nothing is so common-place as to wish to be remarkable.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

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

One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Our brains are seventy-year clocks. The Angel of Life winds them up once for all, then closes the case, and gives the key into the hand of the Angel of the Resurrection.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

People who honestly mean to be true really contradict themselves much more rarely than those who try to be 'consistent'.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

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

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

Rough work, iconoclasm, but the only way to get at truth.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

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: Science

Simple people... are very quick to see the live facts which are going on about them.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Some people are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

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

Stillness of person and steadiness of features are signal marks of good breeding.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

Stupidity often saves a man from going mad.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

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

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

The Amen of nature is always a flower.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category:

The main part of intellectual education is not the acquisition of facts but learning how to make facts live.
Oliver Wendell Holmes   Category: