Oliver Wendell Holmes

United States
29 Aug 1809 // 7 Nov 1894

Busy Minds

The movements of exaltation which belong to genius are egotistic by their very nature. A calm, clear mind, not subject to the spasms and crises which are so often met with in creative or intensely perceptive natures, is the best basis for love or friendship. - Observe, I am talking about minds. I won't say, the more intellect, the less capacity for loving; for that would do wrong to the understanding and reason; - but on the other hand, that the brain runs away with the heart's best blood, which gives the world a few pages of wisdom or sentiment or poetry, instead of making one other heart happy, I have no question.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, in 'The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table'


On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."