A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
The most sentimental Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. quotes that are glad to read
I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization.
Three generations of imbeciles are enough.
Certitude is not the test of certainty.
A mind that is stretched by new experiences can never go back to its old dimensions.
The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience.
Fame is the scentless sunflower, with gaudy crown of gold;
But friendship is the rose, with sweets in every fold.
The character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done.
Reason means truth and those who are not governed by it take the chance that someday the sunken fact will rip the bottom out of their boat.
Reason may be the lever, but sentiment gives you the fulcrum and the place to stand on if you want to move the world.
The provisions of the Constitution are not mathematical formulas having their essence in their form; they are organic, living institutions transplanted from English soil. Their significance is vital, not formal; it is to be gathered not simply by taking the words and a dictionary, but by considering their origin and the line of their growth.
The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic.
To us who remain behind is left this day of memories.
Every year--in the full tide of spring, at the height of the symphony of flowers and love and life--there comes a pause, and through the silence we hear the lonely pipe of death.
Pretty much all the honest truth-telling there is in the world is done by children.
There is no friend like the old friend, who has shared our morning days, No greeting like his welcome, no homage like his praise: Fame is the scentless sunflower, with gaudy crown of gold; But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.
For my part I think it is a less evil that some criminals should escape, than that the government should play an ignoble part.
A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure.
There is a little plant called reverence in the corner of my soul's garden, which I love to have watered once a week.
Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum.
There was never an idea started that woke up men out of their stupid indifference but its originator was spoken of as a crank.
The man of action has the present, but the thinker controls the future.
No generalization is wholly true—not even this one.
Liberty is often a heavy burden on a man.
It involves the necessity for perpetual choice which is the kind of labor men have always dreaded.
Carve every word before you let it fall.
We should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe.
Old age is fifteen years older than I am.
Eloquence may set fire to reason.
We are all sentenced to capital punishment for the crime of living, and though the condemned cell of our earthly existence is but a narrow and bare dwelling-place, we have adjusted ourselves to it, and made it tolerably comfortable for the little while we are to be confined in it.
There is no time like the old time, when you and I were young!
Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.
History has to be rewritten because history is the selection of those threads of causes or antecedents that we are interested in.
Apologizing - a very desperate habit - one that is rarely cured.
Apology is only egotism wrong side out.
If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I wouldn't pass it around.
Wouldn't be doing anybody a favor. Trouble creates a capacity to handle it. I don't say embrace trouble. That's as bad as treating it as an enemy. But I do say, meet it as a friend, for you'll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it.
But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe...that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market... That at any rate is the theory of our constitution.
When I want to understand what is happening today or try to decide what will happen tomorrow, I look back.
Life is an end in itself, and the only question as to whether it is worth living is whether you have had enough of it.
Leisure only means a chance to do other jobs that demand attention.
Longevity is having a chronic disease - and taking care of it.
To brag little, to lose well, / To crow gently if in luck, / To pay up, to own up, / To shut up if beaten, / Are the virtues of a sportingman.
If you don't know what you want, you will probably never get it.
To have doubted one's own first principles is the mark of a civilized man.
A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged;
it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used.
The main part of intellectual education is not the acquisition of facts but learning how to make facts live.
Old age is like an opium dream. Nothing seems real except the unreal.
We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe;
the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible.
On the whole, I am on the side of the unregenerate who affirms the worth of life as an end in itself, as against the saints who deny it.
Under bad manners, as under graver faults, lies very commonly an overestimate of our special individuality, as distinguished from our generic humanity.
Lord, bid war's trumpet cease; Fold the whole earth in peace.
Beware of making your moral staple consist of the negative virtues.
You make me chuckle when you say that you are no longer young, that you have turned twenty-four. A man is or may be young to after sixty, and not old before eighty.
The mark of a civilized man is his willingness to re-examine his most cherished beliefs.