Authors - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Brief Biography

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (August 29, 1809 - October 7, 1894) was an American physician, poet, professor, lecturer, and author. Regarded by his peers as one of the best writers of the 19th century, he is considered a member of the Fireside Poets. His most famous prose works are the "Breakfast-Table" series, which began with The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table (1858). He is also recognized as an important medical reformer. - Wikipedia

Quotes by Oliver Wendell HolmesBrowse all of these

Quote 454by Anonymous on 04/01/2011

Civilization is the process of reducing the infinite to the finite.
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    Quote 480by Anonymous on 04/01/2011

    A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.
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      Quote 496by Anonymous on 04/01/2011

      To have doubted one's own first principles is the mark of a civilized man.
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        Quote 528by Anonymous on 05/01/2011

        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."
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          Quote 960by Anonymous on 08/01/2011

          When in doubt, do it.
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            Quote 1194by Anonymous on 11/01/2011

            I don't generally feel anything until noon, then it's time for my nap.
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              Quote 1200by Anonymous on 11/01/2011

              Don't be "consistent" but be simply true.
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                Quote 1273by Anonymous on 11/01/2011

                Between two groups of people who want to make inconsistent kinds of worlds, I see no remedy but force.
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                  Quote 1349by Anonymous on 12/01/2011

                  The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins.
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                    Quote 1351by Anonymous on 12/01/2011

                    The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.
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                      Quote 1357by Anonymous on 12/01/2011

                      Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum.
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                        Quote 1461by Anonymous on 13/01/2011

                        Without wearing any mask we are conscious of, we have a special face for each friend.
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                          Quote 1486by Anonymous on 13/01/2011

                          Chicago sounds rough to the maker of verse. One comfort we have: Cincinnati sounds worse.
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                            Quote 1561by Anonymous on 14/01/2011

                            Old age is fifteen years older than I am.
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                              Quote 1571by Anonymous on 14/01/2011

                              The main part of intellectual education is not the acquisition of facts but learning how to make facts live.
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                                Quote 1604by Anonymous on 14/01/2011

                                Love is the master key which opens the gates of happiness.
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                                  Quote 1706by Anonymous on 15/01/2011

                                  I don't embrace trouble; that's as bad as treating it as an enemy. But I do say meet it as a friend, for you'll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it.
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                                    Quote 1816by Anonymous on 16/01/2011

                                    A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.
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                                      Quote 2016by Anonymous on 20/01/2011

                                      Death tugs at my ear and says: "Live, I am coming."
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                                        Quote 2108by Anonymous on 22/01/2011

                                        You may have genius. The contrary is, of course, probable.
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                                          Quote 2352by Anonymous on 28/01/2011

                                          The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving.
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                                            Quote 2635by Anonymous on 02/02/2011

                                            The mode by which the inevitable comes to pass is effort.
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                                              Quote 2920by Anonymous on 02/02/2011

                                              The advice of their elders to young men is very apt to be as unreal as a list of the hundred best books.
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                                                Quote 2944by Anonymous on 02/02/2011

                                                A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used.
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                                                  Quote 2986by Anonymous on 02/02/2011

                                                  The world is always ready to receive talent with open arms. Very often it does not know what to do with genius.
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                                                    Quote 3003by Anonymous on 02/02/2011

                                                    Pretty much all the honest truth-telling there is in the world is done by children.
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                                                      Quote 3108by Anonymous on 03/02/2011

                                                      Science is a first-rate piece of furniture for a man's upper chamber, if he has common sense on the ground floor.
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                                                        Quote 3135by Anonymous on 03/02/2011

                                                        Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.
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                                                          Quote 3174by Anonymous on 05/02/2011

                                                          Life is a fatal complaint, and an eminently contagious one.
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                                                            Quote 3278by Anonymous on 05/02/2011

                                                            It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.
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                                                              Quote 3629by Anonymous on 08/02/2011

                                                              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.
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                                                                Quote 3634by Anonymous on 08/02/2011

                                                                Happiness consists in activity. It is running stream, not a stagnant pool.
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                                                                  Quote 3676by Anonymous on 09/02/2011

                                                                  Beware how you take away hope from another human being.
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                                                                    Quote 3840by Anonymous on 11/02/2011

                                                                    Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.
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                                                                      Quote 3942by Anonymous on 11/02/2011

                                                                      Greatness is not where we stand but in what direction we are moving.
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                                                                        Quote 3960by Anonymous on 11/02/2011

                                                                        The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract.
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                                                                          Quote 4425by Anonymous on 21/02/2011

                                                                          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.
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                                                                            Quote 4517by Anonymous on 22/02/2011

                                                                            The only prize much cared for by the powerful is power.
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                                                                              Quote 4522by Anonymous on 22/02/2011

                                                                              We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but sail we must and not drift nor lie at anchor.
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                                                                                Quote 4546by Anonymous on 23/02/2011

                                                                                Sweet is the scene where genial friendship plays the pleasing game of interchanging praise.
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                                                                                  Quote 4635by Anonymous on 25/02/2011

                                                                                  Eloquence may set fire to reason.
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                                                                                    Quote 5323by Anonymous on 19/06/2011

                                                                                    Rough work, iconoclasm, but the only way to get at truth.
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                                                                                      Quote 5352by Anonymous on 21/06/2011

                                                                                      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?
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                                                                                        Quote 6019by Anonymous on 12/09/2011

                                                                                        I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.
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                                                                                          Quote 7681by Anonymous on 17/01/2012

                                                                                          Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
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                                                                                            Quote 8920by Anonymous on 05/06/2012

                                                                                            Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
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                                                                                              Quote 10025by Anonymous on 08/09/2012

                                                                                              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.
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                                                                                                Quote 10691by Anonymous on 19/10/2012

                                                                                                Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.
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                                                                                                  Quote 13038by Anonymous on 13/06/2013

                                                                                                  Science is good furniture for one's upper chamber, if there is common sense below.
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