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OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, SR.
American author, wit and poet
(1809 - 1894)
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Habit is the approximation of the animal system to the organic. It is a confession of failure in the highest function of being, which involves a perpetual self-determination, in full view of all existing, circumstances.
      - [Habit]

He knew how to weaken his divinity, on occasion, as well as an old housewife to weaken her tea, lest it should keep people awake.
      - [Doctrine]

He who ordained the Sabbath loved the poor.
      - [Sabbath]

High on the world, see where religion stands
  And bears the open volume in her hands.
      - [Religion]

Honest thinkers are always stealing from each other.
      - [Plagiarism]

How many people live on the reputation of the reputation they might have made!
      - [Reputation]

How many women are born too finely organized in sense and soul for the highway they must walk with feet unshod.
      - [Emotion]

Humility is the first of the virtues--for other people.
      - [Humility]

I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
      - [Direction]

I like books. I was born and bred among them, and have the easy feeling when I get in their presence, that a stable-boy has among horses.
      - [Books]

I say that conceit is just as natural a thing to human minds as a centre to a circle.
      - [Conceit]

I think most readers of Shakespeare sometimes find themselves thrown into exalted mental conditions like those produced by music.
      - [Shakespeare]

I think you will find that people who honestly mean to be true really contradict themselves much more rarely than those who try to be "consistent."
      - [Sincerity]

If a man really loves a woman, of course he wouldn't marry her for the world, if he were not quite sure that he was the best person she could by any possibility marry.
      - [Love]

Immortal art! where'er the rounded sky
  Bends o'er the cradle where thy children lie,
    Their home is earth, their herald every tongue.
      - [Art]

In dim cathedrals, dark with vaulted gloom,
  What holy awe invests the sacred tomb!
    There pride will bow, and anxious care expand,
      And creeping avarice come with open hand;
        The gay can weep, the impious can adore,
          From morn's first glimmerings on the chancel floor
            Till dying sunset shed his crimson stains
              Through the faint halos of the iris'd panes.
      - [Churches]

Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked.
      - [Madness]

It is the most momentous question a woman is ever called upon to decide, whether the faults of the man she loves are beyond remedy and will drag her down, or whether she is competent to be his earthly redeemer and lift him to her own level.
      - [Matrimony]

Language! the blood of the soul, sir, into which our thoughts run, and out of which they grow.
      - [Language]

Laughter and tears are meant to turn the wheels of the same machinery of sensibility; one is wind-power, and the other water-power, that is all.
      - [Sensibility]

Life, as we call it, is nothing but the edge of the boundless ocean of existence where it comes upon soundings.
      - [Life]

Literature is full of coincidences which some love to believe plagiarisms.
      - [Plagiarism]

Love is sparingly soluble in the words of men, therefore they speak much of it; but one syllable of woman's speech can dissolve more of it than a man's heart can hold.
      - [Love]

Love prefers twilight to daylight.
      - [Retirement]

Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprung up. That which was a weed in one intelligence becomes a flower in the other, and a flower again dwindles down to a mere weed by the same change.
      - [Ideas]


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