Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Quotes

Most popular Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Quotes

Every idea is an incitement.

ideas

Eloquence may set fire to reason.

eloquence

Don't be 'consistent,' but be simply true.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Consistency

Every calling is great when greatly pursued.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum.

life

A page of history is worth a volume of logic.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

history

The Earth has music for those who will listen.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.

taxes

Everywhere the basis of principle is tradition.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
The only prize much cared for by the powerful is power.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
To think great thoughts you must be heroes, as well as idealists.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Historic continuity with the past is not a duty, it is only a necessity.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

history

To have doubted one's own first principles is the mark of a civilized man.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

curiosity critical thinking

Speak clearly if you speak at all; Carve every word before you let if fall.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Nothing can be so perfect while we possess it as it will seem when remembered.

possessions

The root of joy, as of duty, is to put all one's powers towards some great end.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

joy

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

experiences

Certitude is not the test of certainty.  We have been cocksure of many things that were not so.

certainty

We all, whether we know it or not, are fighting to make the kind of a world that we should like.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
If I could think that I had sent a spark to those who come after I should be ready to say Goodbye.

purpose of life

Longing for certainty and for repose . . . is in every human mind.  But certainty generally is illusion, and repose is not the destiny of man.

certainty

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 the time in which it is used.

words