Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894)

“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?”

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”

“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.”

“It’s faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living.”

“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.’”

“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.”

“Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked”

“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.”

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

“Death tugs at my ear and says, ‘Live. I am coming.”

“A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.”

“The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer.”

“Science is the topography of ignorance.”

“Beware how you take away hope from another human being”

“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.”

“Man has his will, but woman has her way.”

“Speak clearly if you speak at all, carve every word before you let it fall.”

“Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts”

“The great thing in this world, is not so much where we are, but in which direction we are moving.”

“For the simplicity on this side of complexity, I wouldn’t give you a fig. But for the simplicity on the other side of complexity, for that I would give you anything I have.”

“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?”

“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.”

“Alas for those that never sing, But die with all their music in them!”

“To obtain a man’s opinion of you, make him mad.”

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

“Youth fades, love droops, the leaves of friendship fall; A mother’s secret hope outlives them all. ”

“The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of an eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract.”

“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.”

“A child’s education should begin at least one hundred years before he is born.”

“Learn the sweet magic of a cheerful face.”

“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. ”

“Even a dog knows the difference between being kicked and being stumbled over.”

“Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust.”

“It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.”

“Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern; it will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that – one stitch at a time taken patiently and the pattern will come out all right like the embroidery.”

“When men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe… that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas– that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment. As all life is an experiment. Every year if not every day we wager our salvation upon some prophecy based upon imperfect knowledge. ”

“Life is a fatal complaint, and an eminently contagious one.”

“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.”

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

“Nature, when she invented, manufactured, and patented her authors, contrived to make critics out of the chips that were left.”

“I hate paying taxes. But I love the civilization they give me”

“A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.”

“How many people live on the reputation of the reputation they might have made!”

“The morning cup of coffee has an exhiliration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.”

“Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust.”

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