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A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, SR., The Professor at the Breakfast Table

How many people live on the reputation of the reputation they might have made!

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, SR., The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table

The morning cup of coffee has an exhiliration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.


Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, SR., Autocrat of the Breakfast Table

Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle which fits them all.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table

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

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, SR., The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table

The memory-haunted well,
Whose waters quench a deeper thirst than thine,
Changed at my lips to sacramental wine.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, "A Family Record", The Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes: Poems 2

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, The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table

Science is a good piece of furniture for a man to have in an upper chamber, provided he has common sense on the ground floor.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, attributed, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers

And silence, like a poultice, comes
To heal the blows of sound.


Good Americans, when they die, go to Paris.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table

There are a good many real miseries in life that we cannot help smiling at, but they are the smiles that make wrinkles and not dimples.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, The Poet at the Breakfast Table

The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, "The Seasons", Pages from An Old Volume: A Collection of Essays

Oliver Wendell Holmes Poems - a collection of his poetry.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Bibliography - a bibliography, including list of critical resources.


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