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 :: Famous Quotations by Oliver Wendell Holmes (120 Quotations)

 :: 1809-1894, American Author, Wit, Poet

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... the hydrostatic paradox of controversy. Don't you know what that means? Well, I will tell you. You know that, if you had a bent tube, one arm of which was of the size of a pipe-stem, and the other big enough to hold the ocean, water would stand at the same height in one as in the other. Controversy equalizes fools and wise men in the same way. And the fools know it.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes - [Controversy]

 

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A child's education should begin at least one hundred years before he is born.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes - [Children]

 

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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 - [Death and Dying]

 

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A good soldier, like a good horse, cannot be of a bad color.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes - [Soldier]

 

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A goose flies by a chart which the Royal Geographical Society could not mend.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes - [Instinct]

 

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A great calamity is as old as the trilobites an hour after it has happened.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes - [Disasters]

 

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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 - [Achievement]

 

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A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes - [Ideas]

 

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A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes - [Insights]

 

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A new and valid idea is worth more than a regiment and fewer men can furnish the former than command the latter.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes - [Ideas]

 

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A new untruth is better than an old truth.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes - [Truth]

 

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A page of history is worth a pound of logic.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes - [History and Historians]

 

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A person is always startled when he hears himself called old for the first time.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes - [Age and Aging]

 

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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 - [Jokes and Jokers]

 

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A thought is often original, though you have uttered it a hundred times.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes - [Originality]

 

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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.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes - [Words]

 

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Age, like distance lends a double charm.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes - [Age and Aging]

 

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All generous minds have a horror of what are commonly called ''facts.'' They are the brute beasts of the intellectual domain. Who does not know fellows that always have an ill-conditioned fact or two that they lead after them into decent company like so many bull-dogs, ready to let them slip at every ingenious suggestion, or convenient generalization, or pleasant fancy? I allow no ''facts'' at this table.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes - [Facts]

 

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And Silence, like a poultice, comes to heal the blows of sound.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes - [Silence]

 

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And when you stick on conversation's burrs, don't strew your pathway with those dreadful urs.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes - [Conversation]

 

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