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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. quotes

1809 - 1894, American author, lecturer, physician

Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble at a touch. Nay, you may kick it about all day,
and it will be round and full at evening.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the
afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

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 Sr.

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 Sr.

Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

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 Sr.

A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

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 Sr.

I hate paying taxes. But I love the civilization they give me.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Thanksgiving is the winding up of autumn. The leaves are off the trees, except here and
there on a beech or an oak; there is nothing left on the boughs but a few nuts and empty
birds' nests. The earth looks desolate, and it will be a comfort to have the snow on the
ground, and to hear the merry jingle of the sleigh-bells.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

The great thing in this world, is not so much where we are, but in which direction we are
moving.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

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

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

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.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Man has his will, but woman has her way.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

How many people live on the reputation of the reputation they might have made!
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

The books we read should be chosen with great care, that they may be, as an Egyptian king
wrote over his library, "The medicines of the soul."
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Even a dog knows the difference between being kicked and being stumbled over.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Why can't somebody give us a list of things everybody thinks and nobody says, and another list
of the things that everybody says but nobody thinks?
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Many people die with their music still in them. Too often it is because they are always getting
ready to live. Before they know it time runs out.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

I would not give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my life for
the simplicity on the other side of complexity.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of an eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will
contract.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

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 Sr.

Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

What refuge is there for the victim who is possessed with the feeling that there are a
thousand new books he ought to read, while life is only long enough for him to read a
hundred?
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

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

Whatever comes from the heart carries the heat and color of its birthplace.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Nine times out of ten, the first thing a man's companion knows of his shortcomings is from his
apology.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Science is the topography of ignorance.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

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

A child's education should begin at least one hundred years before he is born.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked. Good mental machinery ought to
break its own wheels and levers, if anything is thrust among them suddenly which tends to
stop them or reverse their motion. A weak mind does not accumulate force enough to hurt
itself; stupidity often saves a man from going mad.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

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

Learn the sweet magic of a cheerful face.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

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