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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr Quotations

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr



29 Quotation(s) Total:

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...have you not a small store of recollections, such as these I am uncovering, buried beneath the dead leaves of many summers, perhaps under the unmelting snows of fast returning winters,-- a few such recollections, which, if you should write them all out, would be swept into some careless editor's drawer, and might cost a scanty half hour's lazy reading to his subscribers- and yet, if death should cheat you out of them, you would not know yourse...
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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

A thought is often original, though you have uttered it a hundred times,

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

All economical and practical wisdom is an extension or variation of the following arithmetical formula: 2+2=4. Every philosophical proposition has the more general character of the expression a+b=c. We are mere operatives, empirics, and egotists, until we learn to think in letters instead of figures."

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

Any new formula which suddenly emerges in our consciousness has its roots in long trains of thought; it is virtually old when it first makes its appearance among the recognized growths of our intellect. Any crystalline group of musical words has had a long and still period to form in."

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

But to come back to poets and artists;-- if they really are more prone to the abuse of stimulants,-- and I fear that this is true,-- the reason of it is only too clear. A man abandons himself to a fine frenzy, and the power which flows through him as I once explained to you, makes him the medium of a great power or a great picture. The creative action is not voluntary at all, but automatic; we can only put the mind into the proper attitude, and w...
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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

Empty heads,-- heads without ideas in the wholesome variety and sufficient number to furnish food for the mental clockwork,-- ill regulated heads, where the faculties are not under the control of the will,-- these are the ones that hold the brains which their owners are so apt to tamper with, by introducing the appliances we have been talking about (alcohol, bad habits) Now, when a gentleman's brain is empty or ill-regulated, it is, to a great ex...
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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

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 by him.

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

Every person's feelings have a front-door and a side-door by which they may be entered. The front door is on the street. Some keep it always open; some keep it latched; some locked; some bolted,-- with a chain that will let you peep in, but not get in; and some nail it up, so that nothing can pass its threshold. This front door leads into a passage which opens into an ante-room, and this into the interior apartments. The side door opens at once i...
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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we all 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.

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

It is a capital plan to carry a tablet with you, and, when you find yourself felicitious, take notes of your own conversation."

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

It is not our beliefs that frighten us half so much as our fancies. ....It is not what we believe... that frightens us commonly, but what we conceive"

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

It would be a curious experiment to shake the same bough again, and see if the ripe fruit were better or worse than the early windfalls.

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

Life is action and passion; therefore, 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.

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

Like a breath from the wood, like a breeze from the hill.

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness."

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

Man has his will-- but woman has her way.

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up.

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle that fits them all.

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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."

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

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