Zitate von Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Oliver Wendell Holmes

Geburtstag: 29. August 1809
Todesdatum: 7. Oktober 1894

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. war ein amerikanischer Arzt und Schriftsteller.

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Zitate Oliver Wendell Holmes

„We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible. You cannot educate a man wholly out of the superstitious fears which were early implanted in his imagination; no matter how utterly his reason may reject them, he will still feel as the famous woman did about ghosts, Je n'y crois pas, mais je les crains,—"I don't believe in them, but I am afraid of them, nevertheless".

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„A thought is often original, though you have uttered it a hundred times. It has come to you over a new route, by a new and express train of associations.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: He must be a poor creature that does not often repeat himself. Imagine the author of the excellent piece of advice, "Know thyself," never alluding to that sentiment again during the course of a protracted existence! Why, the truths a man carries about with him are his tools; and do you think a carpenter is bound to use the same plane but once to smooth a knotty board with, or to hang up his hammer after it has driven its first nail? I shall never repeat a conversation, but an idea often. I shall use the same types when I like, but not commonly the same stereotypes. A thought is often original, though you have uttered it a hundred times. It has come to you over a new route, by a new and express train of associations.

„Man has his will,—but woman has her way!“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: Though fortune scowl, though prudence interfere, One thing is certain: Love will triumph here! Lords of creation, whom your ladies rule,— The world's great masters, when you 're out of school,— Learn the brief moral of our evening's play Man has his will,—but woman has her way!

„The god looked out upon the troubled deep
Waked into tumult from its placid sleep“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: The god looked out upon the troubled deep Waked into tumult from its placid sleep; The flame of anger kindles in his eye As the wild waves ascend the lowering sky; He lifts his head above their awful height And to the distant fleet directs his sight. "Translation From The Æneid, Book I" written while at Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts (c. 1824).

„If a man has a genuine, sincere, hearty wish to get rid of his liberty, if he is really bent upon becoming a slave, nothing can stop him.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: If a man has a genuine, sincere, hearty wish to get rid of his liberty, if he is really bent upon becoming a slave, nothing can stop him. And the temptation is to some natures a very great one. Liberty is often a heavy burden on a man. It involves that necessity for perpetual choice which is the kind of labor men have always dreaded. In common life we shirk it by forming habits, which take the place of self-determination. In politics party-organization saves us the pains of much thinking before deciding how to cast our vote.

„Call him not old whose visionary brain
Holds o’er the post its undivided reign“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: Call him not old whose visionary brain Holds o’er the post its undivided reign, For him in vain the envious seasons roll, Who bears eternal summer in this soul. "The Old Player" (1861), in Songs in Many Keys (1862).

„A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: Poets are never young, in one sense. Their delicate ear hears the far-off whispers of eternity, which coarser souls must travel towards for scores of years before their dull sense is touched by them. A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience. Ch. X.

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„Treat bad men exactly as if they were insane.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: I do not know in what shape the practical question may present itself to you; but I will tell you my rule in life, and I think you will find it a good one. Treat bad men exactly as if they were insane. They are in-sane, out of health, morally. Reason, which is food to sound minds, is not tolerated, still less assimilated, unless administered with the greatest caution; perhaps, not at all. Avoid collision with them, so far as you honorably can; keep your temper, if you can,—for one angry man is as good as another; restrain them from violence, promptly, completely, and with the least possible injury, just as in the case of maniacs,—and when you have got rid of them, or got them tied hand and foot so that they can do no mischief, sit down and contemplate them charitably...

„Controversy equalizes fools and wise men in the same way, — and the fools know it.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: Do you think I don't understand what my friend, the Professor, long ago called the hydrostatic paradox of controversy? Don't know what it means? - Well, I will tell you. You know, that, if you had a bent tube, one arm of which was of the size of a pipe-stem, and the other big enough to hold the ocean, water would stand at the same height in one as in the other. Controversy equalizes fools and wise men in the same way, — and the fools know it.

„Lord of all being, thronèd afar,
Thy glory flames from sun and star;
Center and soul of every sphere,
Yet to each loving heart how near!“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: Lord of all being, thronèd afar, Thy glory flames from sun and star; Center and soul of every sphere, Yet to each loving heart how near! Sun of our life, Thy quickening ray, Sheds on our path the glow of day; Star of our hope, Thy softened light Cheers the long watches of the night. "Lord Of All Being" (1848).

„Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked. Good mental machinery ought to break its own wheels and levers, if anything is thrust among them suddenly which tends to stop them or reverse their motion. A weak mind does not accumulate force enough to hurt itself; stupidity often saves a man from going mad.

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„It is by little things that we know ourselves“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: It is by little things that we know ourselves; a soul would very probably mistake itself for another, when once disembodied, were it not for individual experiences which differ from those of others only in details seemingly trifling.

„Knowledge—it excites prejudices to call it science—is advancing as irresistibly, as majestically, as remorselessly as the ocean moves in upon the shore.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: Knowledge—it excites prejudices to call it science—is advancing as irresistibly, as majestically, as remorselessly as the ocean moves in upon the shore.<!-- p. 267 The Writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Vol. 3 (1892)

„Nothing is so common-place as to wish to be remarkable.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: 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!"

„He must be a poor creature that does not often repeat himself.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: He must be a poor creature that does not often repeat himself. Imagine the author of the excellent piece of advice, "Know thyself," never alluding to that sentiment again during the course of a protracted existence! Why, the truths a man carries about with him are his tools; and do you think a carpenter is bound to use the same plane but once to smooth a knotty board with, or to hang up his hammer after it has driven its first nail? I shall never repeat a conversation, but an idea often. I shall use the same types when I like, but not commonly the same stereotypes. A thought is often original, though you have uttered it a hundred times. It has come to you over a new route, by a new and express train of associations.

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