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OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, SR.
American author, wit and poet
(1809 - 1894)
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A goose flies by a chart which the Royal Geographical Society could not mend.
      - [Instinct]

A man may fulfill the object of his existence by asking a question he cannot answer, and attempting a task he cannot achieve.
      - [Existence]

A man's opinions, look you, are generally of much more value than his arguments.
      - [Opinion]

A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.
      - [Invention]

A very desperate habit; one that is rarely cured. Apology is only egotism wrong side out. Nine times out of ten, the first thing a man's companion knows of his short-comings is from his apology.
      - [Apologies]

All is holy where devotion kneels.
      - [Devotion]

An artist that works in marble or colors has them all to himself and his tribe; but the man who moulds his thoughts in verse has to employ the materials vulgarized by everybody's use, and glorify them by his handling.
      - [Poetry]

Apology is only egotism wrong side out.
      - [Apologies]

Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
  Long has it waved on high,
    And many an eye has danced to see
      That banner in the sky.
      - [Flags]

Books are the negative pictures of thought, and the more sensitive the mind that receives their images, the more nicely the finest lines are reproduced.
      - [Books]

Children of wealth or want, to each is given
  One spot of green, and all the blue of heaven!
      - [Equality]

Conceit is just as natural a thing to human minds as a centre is to a circle. But little-minded people's thoughts move in such small circles that five minutes' conversation gives you an arc long enough to determine their whole curve. An arc in the movement of a large intellect does not differ sensibly from a straight line.
      - [Conceit]

Don't be "consistent," but be simply true.
      - [Sincerity]

Easy-crying widows take new husbands soonest; there is nothing like wet weather for transplanting.
      - [Tears]

Every event that a man would master must be mounted on the run, and no man ever caught the reins of a thought except as it galloped by him.
      - [Action]

Every real master of speaking or writing ores his personality as he would any other serviceable material; the very moment a speaker or writer begins to use it, not for his main purpose, but for vanity's sake, as all weak people are sure to do, hearers, and readers feel the difference in a moment.
      - [Egotism]

Faith always implies the disbelief of a lesser fact in favor of a greater.
      - [Faith]

Faith loves to lean on time's destroying arm.
      - [Faith]

Fame usually comes to those who are thinking about something else,--very rarely to those who say to themselves, "Go to, now let us be a celebrated individual!"
      - [Fame]

Fashion is only the attempt to realize art in living forms and social intercourse.
      - [Fashion]

Freedom is the ferment of freedom. The moistened sponge drinks up water greedily; the dry one sheds it.
      - [Freedom]

Genius does not herd with genius.
      - [Genius]

Genius grafted on womanhood is like to overgrow it and break its stem, as you may see a grafted fruit-tree spreading over the stock which cannot keep pace with its evolutions.
      - [Genius]

Genius is always impatient of its harness; its wild blood makes it hard to train.
      - [Genius]

Good-breeding is surface Christianity.
      - [Good Breeding]


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