Famous Quotes By Oliver Wendell Holmes


  1. 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!
  2. A goose flies by a chart which the Royal Geographical Society could not mend.
  3. A new untruth is better than an old truth.
  4. Beware how you take away hope from another human being.
  5. But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.
  6. Controversy equalizes fools and wise men - and the fools know it.
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. Every library should try to be complete on something, if it were only the history of pinheads.
  10. 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.
  11. Have the courage to act instead of react.
  12. 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.
  13. I won't accept anything less than the best a player's capable of doing... and he has the right to expect the best that I can do for him and the team!
  14. If I were dying my last words would be: Have faith and pursue the unknown end.
  15. 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.
  16. It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.
  17. It's faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living.
  18. Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum.
  19. Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.
  20. 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.
  21. Memories, imagination, old sentiments, and associations are more readily reached through the sense of smell than through any other channel.
  22. Men do not quit playing because they grow old they grow old because they quit playing.
  23. Nature, when she invented, manufactured, and patented her authors, contrived to make critics out of the chips that were left.
  24. Old age is fifteen years older than I am.
  25. Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust.
  26. Rough work, iconoclasm, but the only way to get at truth.
  27. Science is a first-rate piece of furniture for a man's upper chamber, if he has common sense on the ground floor.
  28. Sweet is the scene where genial friendship plays the pleasing game of interchanging praise.
  29. The advice of the elders to young men is very apt to be as unreal as a list of the hundred best books.
  30. The Amen of nature is always a flower.
  31. The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.
  32. The main part of intellectual education is not the acquisition of facts but learning how to make facts live.
  33. 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.
  34. The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer.
  35. The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.
  36. 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.
  37. Truth, when not sought after, rarely comes to light.
  38. Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
  39. Wisdom is the abstract of the past, but beauty is the promise of the future.
  40. Without wearing any mask we are conscious of, we have a special face for each friend.

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