Oliver Wendell Holmes

United States writer of humorous essays (1809-1894)

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Beware how you take away hope from another human being.Rate it:
Death tugs at my ear and says: "Live, I am coming."Rate it:
Greatness is not in were we stand, but in what direction we are moving. We must sail sometimes with the wind, and somtimes agaisnt it - but sail we must. And not drift, nor lie at anchor.Rate it:
People can be divided into two classes those who go ahead and do something, and those who sit still and inquire, 'Why wasn't it done the other way'Rate it:
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.Rate it:
Taxes are the price we pay for civilization.Rate it:
The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins.Rate it:
Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.Rate it:
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.Rate it:
A thought is often original, though you have uttered it a hundred times.Rate it:
A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.Rate it:
A person is always startled when he hears himself seriously called an old man for the first time.Rate it:
A person's mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original dimensions.Rate it:
A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanging, it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in colour and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used.Rate it:
Any two philosophers can tell each other all they know in two hours.Rate it:
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.Rate it:
Beat a man with the strength of you argument, not with the strength of your arm.Rate it:
Between two groups of men that want to make inconsistent kinds of worlds I see no remedy except force... It seems to me that every society rests on the death of men.Rate it:
Civilization is the process of reducing the infinite to the finite.Rate it:
Consciously or unconsciously we all strive to make the kind of a world we like.Rate it:
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. Except in cases of necessity, which are rare, leave your friend to learn unpleasant things from his enemies they are ready enough to tell them.Rate it:
Every calling is great when greatly pursued.Rate it:
Every pursuit is great when greatly pursued.Rate it:
I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving -- we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it -- but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.Rate it:
I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.Rate it:
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.Rate it:
If I were dying, my last words would be, Have faith and pursue the unknown end.Rate it:
Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtaxed.Rate it:
It is by no means certain that our individual personality is the single inhabitant of these our corporeal frames... We all do things both awake and asleep which surprise us. Perhaps we have cotenants in this house we live in.Rate it:
It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.Rate it:
It's faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes life worth living.Rate it:
Knowledge and timber shouldn't be much used till they are seasoned.Rate it:
Lawyers spend a great deal of their time shoveling smoke.Rate it:
Life is a fatal complaint, and an eminently contagious one.Rate it:
Life is action and passion therefore, it is required of a man that he should share the passion and action of the time, at peril of being judged not to have lived.Rate it:
Man has his will - but woman has her way.Rate it:
No families take so little medicine as those of doctors, except those of apothecaries.Rate it:
No stranger can get a great many notes of torture out of a human soul it takes one that knows it well -- parent, child, brother, sister, intimate.Rate it:
Old age is fifteen years older than I am.Rate it:
One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.Rate it:
Our test of truth is a reference to either a present or imagined future majority in favour of our view.Rate it:
Pretty much all the honest truth-telling there is in the world is done by children.Rate it:
Rough work, iconoclasm, but the only way to get at truth.Rate it:
Science is a first-rate piece of furniture for a man's upper chamber, if he has common sense on the ground floor.Rate it:
Speak clearly, if you speak at all carve every word before you let it fall.Rate it:
Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.Rate it:
The advice of their elders to young men is very apt to be as unreal as a list of the hundred best books.Rate it:
The character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done.Rate it:
The great act of faith is when a man decides he is not God.Rate it:
The great thing in this world is not so much where you stand, as in what direction you are moving.Rate it:
The individual will always be a minority. If a man is in a minority of one, we lock him up.Rate it:
The life of the law has not been logic but experience.Rate it:
The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract.Rate it:
The mode by which the inevitable comes to pass is effort.Rate it:
The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.Rate it:
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.Rate it:
There are one-story intellects, two-story intellects, and three-story intellects with skylights. All fact collectors with no aim beyond their facts are one-story men. Two-story men compare reason and generalize, using labors of the fact collectors as well as their own. Three-story men idealize, imagine, and predict. Their best illuminations come from above through the skylight.Rate it:
There is no friend like an old friend who has shared our morning days, no greeting like his welcome, no homage like his praise.Rate it:
There's nothing that keeps its youth, So far as I know, but a tree and truth.Rate it:
To be 70 years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be 40 years old.Rate it:
To obtain a man's opinion of you, make him mad.Rate it:
We should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe.Rate it:
When I think of talking, it is of course with a woman. For talking at its best being an inspiration, it wants a corresponding divine quality of receptiveness, and where will you find this but in a womanRate it:
When I think of talking, it is of course with a woman. For talking at its best being an inspiration, it wants a corresponding divine quality of receptiveness, and where will you find this but in a woman?Rate it:
Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.Rate it:

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