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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

After looking at the Alps, I felt that my mind had been stretched beyond the limits of its elasticity, and fitted so loosely on my old ideas of space that I had to spread these to fit it.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table

Mountains have a grand, stupid, lovable tranquility.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES,"The Majesty of the Sea", Country Life in America, 1910

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.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, "The Professor at the Breakfast Table", Atlantic Monthly, May 1859

If you wish to keep as well as possible, the less you think about your health the better.


Good mental machinery ought to break its own wheels and levers, if anything is thrust among them suddenly which tends to stop them or reverse their motion. A weak mind does not accumulate force enough to hurt itself; stupidity often saves a man from going mad.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, The Autocrat at the Breakfast Table

I like children ... pretty much all the honest truth-telling there is in the world is done by them.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, The Poet at the Breatfast Table

Heredity is an omnibus in which all our ancestors ride, and every now and then one of them puts his head out and embarrasses us.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, attributed, The Wordsworth Book of Humorous Quotations

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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