All experience is an arch, to build upon.

— Henry Adams

The most empowering Henry Adams quotes that may be undiscovered and unusual

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.

98

A parent gives life, but as parent, gives no more.

A murderer takes life, but his deed stops there. A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.

96

They know enough who know how to learn.

83

The Indian Summer of life should be a little sunny and a little sad, like the season, and infinite in wealth and depth of tone, but never hustled.

81

Morality is a private and costly luxury.

73

[regarding US conquest of the Philippines] I turn green in bed at midnight if I think of the horror of a year's warfare in the Philippines ... We must slaughter a million or two foolish Malays in order to give them the comforts of flannel petticoats and electric railways.

55

Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man.

45

One friend in a lifetime is much; two are many; three are hardly possible.

44

I firmly believe, that before many centuries more, science will be the master of man. The engines he will have invented will be beyond his strength to control. Someday, science shall have the existence of mankind in its power, and the human race commit suicide by blowing up the world.

37

Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.

30

The American President resembles the commander of a ship at sea.

He must have a helm to grasp, a course to steer, a port to seek.

23

Thank God, I never was cheerful. I come from the happy stock of the Mathers, who, as you remember, passed sweet mornings reflecting on the goodness of God and the damnation of infants.

18

About Henry Adams

Quotes 218 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Historian
Birthday October 16

You say that love is nonsense. I tell you it is no such thing. For weeks and months it is a steady physical pain, an ache about the heart, never leaving one, by night or by day; a long strain on one's nerves like toothache or rheumatism, not intolerable at any one instant, but exhausting by its steady drain on the strength.

17

The proper study of mankind is woman.

17

There is no such thing as an underestimate of average intelligence.

16

Practical politics consists in ignoring facts.

15

Unity is vision; it must have been part of the process of learning to see.

13

Friends are born, not made.

13

The Jewish question is really the most serious of our problems.

12

Knowledge of human nature is the beginning and end of political education.

12

The world is coming to an end in 1950.

12

Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.

12

Simplicity is the most deceitful mistress that ever betrayed man.

12

The scientific mind is atrophied, and suffers under inherited cerebral weakness, when it comes in contact with the eternal woman--Astarte, Isis, Demeter, Aphrodite, and the last and greatest deity of all, the Virgin.

11

A friend in power is a friend lost.

11

As for piracy, I love to be pirated. It is the greatest compliment an author can have. The wholesale piracy of Democracy was the single real triumph of my life. Anyone may steal what he likes from me.

11

Society is immoral and immortal; it can afford to commit any kind of folly, and indulge in any sort of vice; it cannot be killed, and the fragments that survive can always laugh at the dead.

11

No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is vicious.

10

The effect of power and publicity on all men is the aggravation of self, a sort of tumor that ends by killing the victim's sympathies.

10

The woman who is known only through a man is known wrong.

9

My belief is that science is to wreck us, and that we are like monkeys monkeying with a loaded shell; we don't in the least know or care where our practically infinite energies come from or will bring us to.

8

It is always good men who do the most harm in the world.

8

[Adams] supposed that, except musicians, everyone thought Beethoven a bore, as every one except mathematicians thought mathematics a bore.

8

I think that Lee should have been hanged.

It was all the worse that he was a good man and a fine character and acted conscientiously... It's always the good men who do the most harm in the world.

7

It is impossible to underrate human intelligence -- beginning with one's own.

7

As for America, it is the ideal fruit of all your youthful hopes and reforms.

Everybody is fairly decent, respectable, domestic, bourgeois, middle-class, and tiresome. There is absolutely nothing to revile except that it's a bore.

7

The progress of evolution from President Washington to President Grant was alone evidence to upset Darwin.

7

Politics, as a practise, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.

7

I am an anarchist in politics and an impressionist in art as well as a symbolist in literature. Not that I understand what these terms mean, but I take them to be all merely synonyms of pessimist.

7

Absolute liberty is absence of restraint;

responsibility is restraint; therefore, the ideally free individual is responsible to himself.

7

Accident counts for as much in companionship as in marriage.

7

A senator is like a begonia - showy but useless.

6

At best, the renewal of broken relations is a nervous matter.

6

The historian must not try to know what is truth, if he values his honesty;

for if he cares for his truths, he is certain to falsify his facts.

5

He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers.

5

The press is the hired agent of a monied system, and set up for no other purpose than to tell lies where their interests are involved. One can trust nobody and nothing.

5

A society in stable equilibrium is-by definition-one that has no history and wants no historians.

5

Everyone carries his own inch rule of taste, and amuses himself by applying it, triumphantly, wherever he travels.

5

American society is a sort of flat, fresh-water pond which absorbs silently, without reaction, anything which is thrown into it.

5
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