Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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, Sr.

The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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, Sr.

Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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, Sr.

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, Sr.

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

Top 10
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
QUOTES
Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle which fits them all.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

A woman never forgets her sex. She would rather talk with a man than an angel, any day.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Have the courage to act instead of react.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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

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

Sweet is the scene where genial friendship plays the pleasing game of interchanging praise.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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, Sr.

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

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, Sr.

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, Sr.

The world is always ready to receive talent with open arms. Very often it does not know what to do with genius.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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

Chicago sounds rough to the maker of verse. One comfort we have – Cincinnati sounds worse.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness, of hatred, of jealousy, and, most easily of all, the gate of fear.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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, Sr.

Fame usually comes to those who are thinking about something else – very rarely to those who say to themselves, ‘Go to, now, let us be a celebrated individual!’.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.
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.

Grow we must, if we outgrow all that loves us.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Some people are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Every real thought on every real subject knocks the wind out of somebody or other.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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, Sr.

Do not be bullied out of your common sense by the specialist; two to one, he is a pedant.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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

Memories, imagination, old sentiments, and associations are more readily reached through the sense of smell than through any other channel.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

The Amen of nature is always a flower.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprang up.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

I think that, as life is action and passion, 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.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

A thought is often original, though you have uttered it a hundred times.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Simple people… are very quick to see the live facts which are going on about them.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Fresh air is good if you do not take too much of it; most of the achievements and pleasures of life are in bad air.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Don’t you stay at home of evenings? Don’t you love a cushioned seat in a corner, by the fireside, with your slippers on your feet?
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Love prefers twilight to daylight.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

The world’s great men have not commonly been great scholars, nor its great scholars great men.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Stupidity often saves a man from going mad.
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 past him.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Truth, when not sought after, rarely comes to light.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

We do not quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Without wearing any mask we are conscious of, we have a special face for each friend.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

People who honestly mean to be true really contradict themselves much more rarely than those who try to be ‘consistent’.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Apology is only egotism wrong side out.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

A goose flies by a chart which the Royal Geographical Society could not mend.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Rough work, iconoclasm, but the only way to get at truth.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Memory is a net: one 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, Sr.

But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Controversy equalizes fools and wise men in the same way – and the fools know it.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Wisdom is the abstract of the past, but beauty is the promise of the future.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Stillness of person and steadiness of features are signal marks of good breeding.
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.

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.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

There is no friend like an old friend who has shared our morning days, no greeting like his welcome, no homage like his praise.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

A few can touch the magic string, and noisy fame is proud to win them: Alas for those that never sing, but die with all their music in them!
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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, Sr.

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

Nothing is so common-place as to wish to be remarkable.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

A great calamity is as old as the trilobites an hour after it has happened.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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

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, Sr.

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

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