What a blessed thing it is, that Nature, when she invented, manufactured, and patented her authors, contrived to make critics out of the chips that were left!
The very aim and end of our institutions is just this: that we may think what we like and say what we think.
Rough work, iconoclasm, but the only way to get at truth.
Nothing is so common-place as to wish to be remarkable.
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!'.
A pun does not commonly justify a blow in return. But if a blow were given for such cause, and death ensued, the jury would be judges both of the facts and of the pun, and might, if the latter were of an aggravated character, return a verdict of justifiable homicide.
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 past him.
A child's education should begin at least one hundred years before he is born.
Memory is a net: one that finds it full of fish when he takes it from the brook, but a dozen miles of water have run through it without sticking.
A man may fulfill the object of his existence by asking a question he cannot answer, and attempting a task he cannot achieve.
Our brains are seventy-year clocks. The Angel of Life winds them up once for all, then closes the case, and gives the key into the hand of the Angel of the Resurrection.
A goose flies by a chart which the Royal Geographical Society could not mend.
The man who is always worrying about whether or not his soul would be damned generally has a soul that isn't worth a damn.
Wisdom is the abstract of the past, but beauty is the promise of the future.
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.
A few can touch the magic string, and noisy fame is proud to win them: Alas for those that never sing, but die with all their music in them!
Stupidity often saves a man from going mad.
Every library should try to be complete on something, if it were only the history of pinheads.
Truth, when not sought after, rarely comes to light.
A person is always startled when he hears himself seriously called an old man for the first time.
Sweet is the scene where genial friendship plays the pleasing game of interchanging praise.
Stillness of person and steadiness of features are signal marks of good breeding.
Memories, imagination, old sentiments, and associations are more readily reached through the sense of smell than through any other channel.
To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.
Chicago sounds rough to the maker of verse. One comfort we have - Cincinnati sounds worse.
Science is a first-rate piece of furniture for a man's upper chamber, if he has common sense on the ground-floor. But if a man hasn't got plenty of good common sense, the more science he has, the worse for his patient.
Do not be bullied out of your common sense by the specialist; two to one, he is a pedant.
Simple people... are very quick to see the live facts which are going on about them.
I think that, as life is action and passion, it is required of a man that he should share the passion and action of his time at peril of being judged not to have lived.
A woman never forgets her sex. She would rather talk with a man than an angel, any day.
Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.
People who honestly mean to be true really contradict themselves much more rarely than those who try to be 'consistent'.
Fresh air is good if you do not take too much of it; most of the achievements and pleasures of life are in bad air.
Why can't somebody give us a list of things that everybody thinks and nobody says, and another list of things that everybody says and nobody thinks?
It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.
Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust.
Don't you stay at home of evenings? Don't you love a cushioned seat in a corner, by the fireside, with your slippers on your feet?
The mind of a bigot to the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour on it, the more it contracts.
A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.
Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.
It's faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living.
Every idea is an incitement...Eloquence may set fire to reason.
Controversy equalizes fools and wise men in the same way - and the fools know it.
To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.
There is no friend like an old friend who has shared our morning days, no greeting like his welcome, no homage like his praise.
Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked.
Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch; nay, you may kick it about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening.
The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer.
Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer.
The Amen of nature is always a flower.
Oliver Wendell Holmes was the name of two prominent men, father and son:...