Henry Adams Quotes & Wallpapers

Henry Adams
Total Quotes: 241


It is always good men who do the most harm in the world. Henry Adams
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We combat obstacles in order to get repose, and when got, the repose is insupportable. Henry Adams
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Those who seek education in the paths of duty are always deceived by the illusion that power in the hands of friends is an advantage to them. Henry Adams
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He never labored so hard to learn a language as he did to hold his tongue, and it affected him for life. The habit of reticence - of talking without meaning - is never effaced. Henry Adams
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Practical politics consists in ignoring facts. Henry Adams
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As a means of variation from a normal type, sickness in childhood ought to have a certain value not to be classed under any fitness or unfitness of natural selection; and especially scarlet fever affected boys seriously, both physically and in character, though they might through life puzzle themselves to decide whether it had fitted or unfitted them for success. Henry Adams
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That the American, by temperament, worked to excess, was true; work and whiskey were his stimulants; work was a form of vice; but he never cared much for money or power after he earned them. Henry Adams
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People here are quite struck aback at Sunday's news of the capture of New Orleans. It took them three days to make up their minds to believe it. The division of American had become an idea so fixed that they had about shut out all the avenues to the reception of any other. Henry Adams
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Friends are born, not made. Henry Adams
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Some day science may have the existence of mankind in power, and the human race can commit suicide by blowing up the world. Henry Adams
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A friend in power is a friend lost. Henry Adams
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Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit. Henry Adams
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Average human nature is very coarse, and its ideals must necessarily be average. The world never loved perfect poise. What the world does love is commonly absence of poise, for it has to be amused. Henry Adams
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No historian can take part with-or against-the forces he has to study. To him even the extinction of the human race should merely be a fact to be grouped with other vital statistics. Henry Adams
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Unbroken Evolution under uniform conditions pleased every one - except curates and bishops; it was the very best substitute for religion; a safe, conservative practical, thoroughly Common-Law deity. Henry Adams
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No man, however strong, can serve ten years as schoolmaster, priest, or Senator, and remain fit for anything else. All the dogmatic stations in life have the effect of fixing a certain stiffness of attitude forever, as though they mesmerised the subject. Henry Adams
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Even theologians, even the great theologians of the thirteenth century, even Saint Thomas Aquinas himself did not trust to faith alone, or assume the existence of God. Henry Adams
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The best date movies give you something to talk about. A movie that's a downer is a great way to find out about someone. Henry Adams
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[P]hilosophy . . .consists chiefly in suggesting unintelligible answers to insoluble problems. Henry Adams
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A boy's will is his life, and he dies when it is broken, as the colt dies in harness, taking a new nature in becoming tame. Henry Adams
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Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man. Henry Adams
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Simplicity is the most deceitful mistress that ever betrayed man. Henry Adams
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One friend in a lifetime is much, two are many, three are hardly possible. Friendship needs a certain parallelism of life, a community of thought, a rivalry of aim. Henry Adams
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There is no such thing as an underestimate of average intelligence. Henry Adams
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It is impossible to underrate human intelligence - beginning with one's own. Henry Adams
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The progress of evolution from President Washington to President Grant was alone evidence to upset Darwin. Henry Adams
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A period of about twelve years measured the beat of the pendulum. After the Declaration of Independence, twelve years had been needed to create an efficient Constitution; another twelve years of energy brought a reaction against the government then created; a third period of twelve years was ending in a sweep toward still greater energy; and already a child could calculate the result of a few more such returns. Henry Adams
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Modern politics is, at bottom, a struggle not of men but of forces. Henry Adams
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Throughout human history the waste of mind has been appalling, and, as this story is meant to show, society has conspired to promote it. No doubt the teacher is the worst criminal, but the world stands behind him and drags the student from his course. Henry Adams
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A congressman is a pig. The only way to get his snout from the trough is to rap it sharply with a stick. Henry Adams
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The chief wonder of education is that it does not ruin everybody concerned in it, teachers and taught. Henry Adams
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A parent gives life, but as parent, gives no more. A murderer takes life, but his deed stops there. A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. Henry Adams
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Of all studies, the one he would rather have avoided was that of his own mind. He knew no tragedy so heartrending as introspection. Henry Adams
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No man likes to have his intelligence or good faith questioned, especially if he has doubts about it himself. Henry Adams
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Philosophy: Unintelligible answers to insoluble problems. Henry Adams
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There have been times when the church seemed afraid, but she is no longer. Analyze, dissect, use your microscope or your spectrum till the last atom of matter is reached; reflect and refine till the last element of thought is made clear; the church now knows with the certainty of science what she once knew only by the certainty of faith, that you will find enthroned behind all thought and matter only one central idea-that idea which the church has never ceased to embody-I AM! Henry Adams
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All State education is a sort of dynamo machine for polarizing the popular mind; for turning and holding its lines of force in the direction supposed to be most effective for State purposes. Henry Adams
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Man loves most that which is his own. Henry Adams
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Although the Senate is much given to admiring in its members a superiority less obvious or quite invisible to outsiders, one Senator seldom proclaims his own inferiority to another, and still more seldom likes to be told of it. Henry Adams
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A new friend is always a miracle, but at thirty-three years old, such a bird of paradise rising in the sage-brush was an avatar. One friend in a lifetime is much; two are many; three are hardly Henry Adams
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Absolute liberty is absence of restraint; responsibility is restraint; therefore, the ideally free individual is responsible to himself. Henry Adams
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All experience is an arch, to build upon. Henry Adams
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Morality is a private and costly luxury. Henry Adams
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Artists... disappeared long ago as social forces. So did the church. Henry Adams
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The common view of marriage as a primitive institution implies in the man more than arbitrary superiority, such as he exercised over the child, which still remained free. The woman's slavery was assumed to be for life. Henry Adams
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No man can instruct more than half-a-dozen students at once. The whole problem of education is one of its cost in money. Henry Adams
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Man had in the beginning no power of analysis or synthesis approaching that of the spider, or even of the honey-bee; he had acute sensibility to the higher forces. Fire taught him secrets that no other animal could learn; running water probably taught him even more, especially in his first lessons of mechanics; the animals helped to educate him, trusting themselves into his hands merely for the sake of their food, and carrying his burdens or supplying his clothing; the grasses and grains were academies of study. Henry Adams
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Any schoolboy could see that man as a force must be measured by motion, from a fixed point. Henry Adams
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One does every day and without a second thought, what at another time would be the event of a year, perhaps of a life. Henry Adams
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Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. The imagination must be given not wings but weights. Henry Adams
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A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. Henry Adams
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The Indian Summer of life should be a little sunny and a little sad, like the season, and infinite in wealth and depth of tone, but never hustled. Henry Adams
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Everyone carries his own inch rule of taste, and amuses himself by applying it, triumphantly, wherever he travels. Henry Adams
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[regarding US conquest of the Philippines] "I turn green in bed at midnight if I think of the horror of a year's warfare in the Philippines [...] We must slaughter a million or two foolish Malays in order to give them the comforts of flannel petticoats and electric railways. Henry Adams
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Good men do the most harm. Henry Adams
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Unity is vision; it must have been part of the process of learning to see. Henry Adams
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As for piracy, I love to be pirated. It is the greatest compliment an author can have. The wholesale piracy of Democracy was the single real triumph of my life. Anyone may steal what he likes from me. Henry Adams
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Wild as man was, and disgusting as the more degraded tribes and communities were, the best of them, and all those from which further advance came, were marked by good qualities, or they could never have risen to a higher stage. Henry Adams
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The hymns of David, the plays of Shakespeare, the metaphysics of Descartes, the crimes of Borgia, the virtues of Antonine, the atheism of yesterday and the materialism of today, were all emanations of divine thought, doing their appointed work. It was the duty of the church to deal with them all, not as though they existed through a power hostile to the deity, but as instruments of the deity to work out his unrevealed ends. Henry Adams
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The philosopher says-I am, and the church scouts his philosophy. She answers:-No! you are NOT, you have no existence of your own. You were and are and ever will be only a part of the supreme I AM, of which the church is the emblem. Henry Adams
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It is now conceded that all idea of British intervention is at an end... I want to hug the army of the Potomac. I want to get the whole army of Vicksburg drunk at my own expense. I want to fight some small man and lick him. Henry Adams
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From cradle to grave this problem of running order through chaos, direction through space, discipline through freedom, unity through multiplicity, has always been, and must always be, the task of education, as it is the moral of religion, philosophy, science, art, politics and economy; but a boy's will is his life, and he dies when it is broken, as the colt dies in harness, taking a new nature in becoming tame... Henry Adams
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The tourist was the great conservative who hated novelty and adored dirt. Henry Adams
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Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts. Henry Adams
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No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous. Henry Adams
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The American President resembles the commander of a ship at sea. He must have a helm to grasp, a course to steer, a port to seek. Henry Adams
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The Jewish question is really the most serious of our problems. Henry Adams
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Every syllable that can be struck out is pure profit, and every page that can be economised is a five-per-cent dividend. Nature rebels against this rule; the flesh is weak, and shrinks from the scissors; I groan in retrospect over the weak. Henry Adams
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From earliest childhood the boy was accustomed to feel that, for him, life was double. Winter and summer, town and country, law and liberty, were hostile, and the man who pretended they were not, was in his eyes a schoolmaster - that is, a man employed to tell lies to little boys. Henry Adams
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Knowledge of human nature is the beginning and end of political education. Henry Adams
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