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Oliver Wendell Holmes Quotes
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Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “The mind of a bigot to the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour on it, the more it contracts.”

The mind of a bigot to the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour on it, the more it contracts.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes



Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “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.”

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.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “Learn the sweet magic of a cheerful face.”

Learn the sweet magic of a cheerful face.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


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

Sweet is the scene where genial friendship plays the pleasing game of interchanging praise.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “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.”

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


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “The best servant does his work unseen.”

The best servant does his work unseen.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “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.”

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


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “Science is a first-rate piece of furniture for a man’s upper chamber, if he has common sense on the ground-floor. But if a man hasn’t got plenty of good common sense, the more science he has, the worse for his patient.”

Science is a first-rate piece of furniture for a man’s upper chamber, if he has common sense on the ground-floor. But if a man hasn’t got plenty of good common sense, the more science he has, the worse for his patient.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “Man is born a predestined idealist, for he is born to act. To act is to affirm the worth of an end, and to persist in affirming the worth of an end is to make an ideal.”

Man is born a predestined idealist, for he is born to act. To act is to affirm the worth of an end, and to persist in affirming the worth of an end is to make an ideal.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “I firmly believe that if the whole material medica, as now used, could be sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be better for mankind-and all the worse for the fishes.”

I firmly believe that if the whole material medica, as now used, could be sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be better for mankind-and all the worse for the fishes.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes



Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “I like children; I like ’em, and I respect ’em. Pretty much all the honest truth-telling there is in the world is done by them.”

I like children; I like ’em, and I respect ’em. Pretty much all the honest truth-telling there is in the world is done by them.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “Stupidity often saves a man from going mad.”

Stupidity often saves a man from going mad.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “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.”

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


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “The very aim and end of our institutions is just this: that we may think what we like and say what we think.”

The very aim and end of our institutions is just this: that we may think what we like and say what we think.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


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

A goose flies by a chart which the Royal Geographical Society could not mend.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “A person is always startled when he hears himself seriously called an old man for the first time.”

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

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “Apology is only egotism wrong side out.”

Apology is only egotism wrong side out.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “What a blessed thing it is, that Nature, when she invented, manufactured, and patented her authors, contrived to make critics out of the chips that were left!”

What a blessed thing it is, that Nature, when she invented, manufactured, and patented her authors, contrived to make critics out of the chips that were left!

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “The sea drowns out humanity and time. It has no sympathy with either, for it belongs to eternity; and of that it sings its monotonous song forever and ever.”

The sea drowns out humanity and time. It has no sympathy with either, for it belongs to eternity; and of that it sings its monotonous song forever and ever.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “We call those poets who are first to mark, Through earth’s dull mist the coming of the dawn, Who see in twilight’s gloom the first pale spark, While others only note that day is gone.”

We call those poets who are first to mark, Through earth’s dull mist the coming of the dawn, Who see in twilight’s gloom the first pale spark, While others only note that day is gone.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes



Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “What we most want to ask of our Maker is an unfolding of the divine purpose in putting human beings into conditions in which such numbers of them would be sure to go wrong.”

What we most want to ask of our Maker is an unfolding of the divine purpose in putting human beings into conditions in which such numbers of them would be sure to go wrong.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “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.”

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


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “Youth longs and manhood strives, but age remembers.”

Youth longs and manhood strives, but age remembers.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “America is the only place where man is full-grown!”

America is the only place where man is full-grown!

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “The world’s great men have not commonly been great scholars, nor its great scholars great men.”

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

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “Life as we call it, is nothing but the edge of the boundless ocean of existence when it comes upon soundings.”

Life as we call it, is nothing but the edge of the boundless ocean of existence when it comes upon soundings.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “Science is the topography of ignorance.”

Science is the topography of ignorance.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “Whatever comes from the brain carries the hue of the place it came from, and whatever comes from the heart carries the heat and color of its birthplace.”

Whatever comes from the brain carries the hue of the place it came from, and whatever comes from the heart carries the heat and color of its birthplace.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “Don’t be ‘consistent,’ but be simply true.”

Don’t be ‘consistent,’ but be simply true.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “Truth, when not sought after, rarely comes to light.”

Truth, when not sought after, rarely comes to light.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “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?”

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?

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “Don’t flatter yourselves that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. On the contrary, the nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become.”

Don’t flatter yourselves that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. On the contrary, the nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


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

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


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “What refuge is there for the victim who is oppressed with the feeling that there are a thousand new books he ought to read, while life is only long enough for him to attempt to read a hundred?”

What refuge is there for the victim who is oppressed with the feeling that there are a thousand new books he ought to read, while life is only long enough for him to attempt to read a hundred?

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “No families take so little medicine as those of doctors, except those of apothecaries.”

No families take so little medicine as those of doctors, except those of apothecaries.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “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?”

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?

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “For nothing burns with such amazing speed, As the dry sticks of a religious creed.”

For nothing burns with such amazing speed, As the dry sticks of a religious creed.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “Trouble makes us one with every human being in the world – and unless we touch others, we’re out of touch with life.”

Trouble makes us one with every human being in the world – and unless we touch others, we’re out of touch with life.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “Cupid “the little greatest enemy.””

Cupid “the little greatest enemy.”

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


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

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

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “It is a good plan to have a book with you in all places and at all times. If you are presently without, hurry without delay to the nearest shop and buy one of mine.”

It is a good plan to have a book with you in all places and at all times. If you are presently without, hurry without delay to the nearest shop and buy one of mine.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “The man who is always worrying about whether or not his soul would be damned generally has a soul that isn’t worth a damn.”

The man who is always worrying about whether or not his soul would be damned generally has a soul that isn’t worth a damn.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “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.”

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


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “Chicago sounds rough to the maker of verse. One comfort we have – Cincinnati sounds worse.”

Chicago sounds rough to the maker of verse. One comfort we have – Cincinnati sounds worse.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “I would never use a long word, even, where a short one would answer the purpose.”

I would never use a long word, even, where a short one would answer the purpose.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote: “Civilization is the process of reducing the infinite to the finite.”

Civilization is the process of reducing the infinite to the finite.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes Quotes: “Nothing is more common than the wish to be remarkable” — Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Nothing is more common than the wish to be remarkable

— Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

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