Every now and then a man's mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
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.
To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.
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.
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.
Wisdom is the abstract of the past, but beauty is the promise of the future.
Memory is a net: one finds it full of fish when he takes it from the brook, but a dozen miles of water have run through it without sticking.
Apology is only egotism wrong side out.
We do not quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing.
Stupidity often saves a man from going mad.
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?
A thought is often original, though you have uttered it a hundred times.
Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked.
Memories, imagination, old sentiments, and associations are more readily reached through the sense of smell than through any other channel.
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?
Grow we must, if we outgrow all that loves us.
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!'.
Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust.
Every library should try to be complete on something, if it were only the history of pinheads.
Nothing is so common-place as to wish to be remarkable.
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!
It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.
Controversy equalizes fools and wise men in the same way - and the fools know it.
Rough work, iconoclasm, but the only way to get at truth.
People who honestly mean to be true really contradict themselves much more rarely than those who try to be 'consistent'.
Truth, when not sought after, rarely comes to light.
The world's great men have not commonly been great scholars, nor its great scholars great men.
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.
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.
Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprang up.
It's faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living.
Every real thought on every real subject knocks the wind out of somebody or other.
A person is always startled when he hears himself seriously called an old man for the first time.
A man may fulfill the object of his existence by asking a question he cannot answer, and attempting a task he cannot achieve.
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!
A great calamity is as old as the trilobites an hour after it has happened.
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.
There is no friend like an old friend who has shared our morning days, no greeting like his welcome, no homage like his praise.
Stillness of person and steadiness of features are signal marks of good breeding.
But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.
A goose flies by a chart which the Royal Geographical Society could not mend.
Without wearing any mask we are conscious of, we have a special face for each friend.
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.
Love prefers twilight to daylight.
Simple people... are very quick to see the live facts which are going on about them.
Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.
The Amen of nature is always a flower.
Do not be bullied out of your common sense by the specialist; two to one, he is a pedant.
Some people are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.
To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.