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Oliver Wendell Holmes Quotes

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All limitations are self-imposed.

All limitations are self-imposed.


         

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

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


         


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.

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.


         

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

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


         


The Amen of nature is always a flower.

The Amen of nature is always a flower.


         

Love prefers twilight to daylight.

Love prefers twilight to daylight.


         

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

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


         

Sweet is the scene where genial friendship plays the pleasing game of interchanging praise.

Sweet is the scene where genial friendship plays the pleasing game of interchanging praise.


         

Men do not quit playing because they grow old they grow old because they quit playing.

Men do not quit playing because they grow old they grow old because they quit playing.


         

Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.

Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.


         

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

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


         


The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.

The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.


         

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

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


         

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.

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.


         

But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.

But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.


         

Wisdom is the abstract of the past, but beauty is the promise of the future.

Wisdom is the abstract of the past, but beauty is the promise of the future.


         

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

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


         

Truth, when not sought after, rarely comes to light.

Truth, when not sought after, rarely comes to light.


         

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

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


         

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

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


         

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

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


         

The secret of my success is that at an early age I discovered I was not God.

The secret of my success is that at an early age I discovered I was not God.


         

When I feel inclined to read poetry I take down my dictionary. The poetry of words is quite as beautiful as the poetry of sentences.

When I feel inclined to read poetry I take down my dictionary. The poetry of words is quite as beautiful as the poetry of sentences.


         

When in doubt do it.

When in doubt do it.


         

There's nothing that keeps its youth, so far as I know, but a tree and truth.

There's nothing that keeps its youth, so far as I know, but a tree and truth.


         

Life is a great bundle of little things.

Life is a great bundle of little things.


         

Talking is like playing on the harp there is as much in laying the hand on the strings to stop their vibrations as in twanging them to bring out their music.

Talking is like playing on the harp there is as much in laying the hand on the strings to stop their vibrations as in twanging them to bring out their music.


         

The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye the more light you pour upon it the more it will contract.

The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye the more light you pour upon it the more it will contract.


         

A man may fulfill the object of his existence by asking a question he cannot answer and attempting a task he cannot achieve.

A man may fulfill the object of his existence by asking a question he cannot answer and attempting a task he cannot achieve.


         

We are very quiet there, but it is the quiet of a storm centre. .

We are very quiet there, but it is the quiet of a storm centre. .


         

I firmly believe that if the whole materia medica as now used could be sunk to the bottom of the sea it would be all the better for mankind and all the worse for the fishes.

I firmly believe that if the whole materia medica as now used could be sunk to the bottom of the sea it would be all the better for mankind and all the worse for the fishes.


         

After sixty years the stern sentence of the burial service seems to have a meaning that one did not notice in former years. There begins to be something personal about it.

After sixty years the stern sentence of the burial service seems to have a meaning that one did not notice in former years. There begins to be something personal about it.


         

The main part of intellectual education is not the acquisition of facts, but learning how to make facts live.

The main part of intellectual education is not the acquisition of facts, but learning how to make facts live.


         

Trouble makes us one with every human being in the world - and unless we touch others, we're out of touch with life.

Trouble makes us one with every human being in the world - and unless we touch others, we're out of touch with life.


         

Systems die instincts remain.

Systems die instincts remain.


         

Share the passion and action of your time at peril of being judged not to have lived.

Share the passion and action of your time at peril of being judged not to have lived.


         

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.

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.


         

What refuge is there for the victim who is oppressed with the feeling that there are a thousand new books he ought to read, while life is only long enough for him to attempt to read a hundred?

What refuge is there for the victim who is oppressed with the feeling that there are a thousand new books he ought to read, while life is only long enough for him to attempt to read a hundred?


         

A weak mind does not accumulate force enough to hurt itself stupidity often saves a man from going mad.

A weak mind does not accumulate force enough to hurt itself stupidity often saves a man from going mad.


         

A man must get a thing before he can forget it.

A man must get a thing before he can forget it.


         

One unquestioned text we read All doubt beyond all fear above Nor crackling pile nor cursing creed Can burn or blot it: God is Love.

One unquestioned text we read All doubt beyond all fear above Nor crackling pile nor cursing creed Can burn or blot it: God is Love.


         

It seems to me that at this time we need education in the obvious more than investigation of the obscure.

It seems to me that at this time we need education in the obvious more than investigation of the obscure.


         

I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization.

I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization.


         

Life is a romantic business but you have to make the romance.

Life is a romantic business but you have to make the romance.


         

The greatest act of faith is when a man understands he is not God.

The greatest act of faith is when a man understands he is not God.


         

We have shared the incommunicable experience of war, we have felt, we still feel, the passion of life to its top. In our youth our hearts were touched with fire.

We have shared the incommunicable experience of war, we have felt, we still feel, the passion of life to its top. In our youth our hearts were touched with fire.


         

Youth fades love droops the leaves of friendship fall A mother's secret hope outlives them all.

Youth fades love droops the leaves of friendship fall A mother's secret hope outlives them all.


         

The man who thinks his wife his baby his house his horse his dog and himself severely unequalled is almost sure to be a good-humored person.

The man who thinks his wife his baby his house his horse his dog and himself severely unequalled is almost sure to be a good-humored person.


         

A goose flies by a chart the Royal Geographic Society could not improve.

A goose flies by a chart the Royal Geographic Society could not improve.


         

Life is an end in itself and the only question as to whether it is worth living is whether you have had enough of it.

Life is an end in itself and the only question as to whether it is worth living is whether you have had enough of it.