Henry Adams Quotes & Wallpapers

Henry Adams
Total Quotes: 241

Just as the French of the nineteenth century invested their surplus capital in a railway-system in the belief that they would makemoney by it in this life, in the thirteenth they trusted their money to the Queen of Heaven because of their belief in her power to repay it with interest in the life to come. Henry Adams

If I grapple with sin in my own strength, the devil knows he may go to sleep. Henry Adams

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

Power is poison. Its effect on Presidents has been always tragic, chiefly as an almost indecent excitement at first, and a worse reaction afterwards; but also because no mind is so well balanced as to bear the strain of seizing unlimited force without habit or knowledge of it; and finding it disputed with him by hungry packs of wolves and hounds whose lives depend on snatching the carion. Henry Adams

Modern politics is, at bottom, a struggle not of men but of forces. The men become every year more and more creatures of force, massed about central powerhouses. The conflict is no longer between the men, but between the motors that drive the men, and the men tend to succumb to their own motive forces. Henry Adams

All taxation is an evil, but heavy taxes, indiscriminately levied on every everything are one of the greatest curses that can afflict a people Henry Adams

I would rather starve and rot and keep the privilege of speaking the truth as I see it, than of holding all the offices that capital has to give from the presidency down. Henry Adams

For reasons which many persons thought ridiculous, Mrs. Lightfoot Lee decided to pass the winter in Washington. She was in excellent health, but she said that the climate would do her good. Henry Adams

Nothing is easier to teach than historical method, but, when learned, it has little use. Henry Adams

It is always good men who do the most harm in the world. Henry Adams

We combat obstacles in order to get repose, and when got, the repose is insupportable. Henry Adams

I have written too much history to have faith in it; and if anyone thinks I'm wrong, I am inclined to agree with him. Henry Adams

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

Teachers affect eternity; no one can tell where their influence stops. Henry Adams

There are two things that seem to be at the bottom of our constitutions; one is a continual tendency towards politics; the other is family pride; and it is strange how these two feelings run through all of us. Henry Adams

Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds. Henry Adams

What one knows is, in youth, of little moment; they know enough who know how to learn. Henry Adams

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

Nothing is more tiresome than a superannuated pedagogue. Henry Adams

The world is coming to an end in 1950. Henry Adams

A senator is like a begonia - showy but useless. Henry Adams

Teachers affect eternity. There is no telling where their influence stops. Henry Adams

During an election campaign the air is full of speeches and vice versa. Henry Adams

Any large body of students stifles the student. No man can instruct more than half-a-dozen students at once. Henry Adams

Even in America, 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

History is only a catalogue of the forgotten. Henry Adams

Practical politics consists in ignoring facts. Henry Adams

Thank God, I never was cheerful. I come from the happy stock of the Mathers, who, as you remember, passed sweet mornings reflecting on the goodness of God and the damnation of infants. Henry Adams

Politics, as a practise, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds. Henry Adams

The effect of power and publicity on all men is the aggravation of self, a sort of tumor that ends by killing the victim's sympathies. Henry Adams

At best, the renewal of broken relations is a nervous matter. Henry Adams

American society is a sort of flat, fresh-water pond which absorbs silently, without reaction, anything which is thrown into it. Henry Adams

A man must now swallow more belief than he can digest. Henry Adams

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

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

Chaos breeds life; Order creates habit. Henry Adams

As History stands, it is a sort of Chinese Play, without end and without lesson. Henry Adams

A certain secret jealousy of the British Minister is always lurking in the breast of every American Senator, if he is truly democratic; for democracy, rightly understood, is the government of the people, by the people, for the benefit of Senators, and there is always a danger that the British Minister may not understand this political principle as he should. Henry Adams

The outline of the city became frantic in its effort to explain something that defied meaning. Power seemed to have outgrown its servitude and to have asserted its freedom. The cylinder had exploded, and thrown great masses of stone and steam against the sky. Henry Adams

The gothic is singular in this; one seems easily at home in the renaissance; one is not too strange in the Byzantine; as for the Roman, it is ourselves; and we could walk blindfolded through every chink and cranny of the Greek mind; all these styles seem modern when we come close to them; but the gothic gets away. Henry Adams

Every one must bear his own universe, and most persons are moderately interested in learning how their neighbors have managed to carry theirs. Henry Adams

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

Mathematicians practice absolute freedom. Henry Adams

[P]hilosophy . . .consists chiefly in suggesting unintelligible answers to insoluble problems. Henry Adams

The proof that a philosopher does not know what he is talking about is apt to sadden his followers before it reacts on himself. Henry Adams

I am not prepared to deny or assert any proposition which concerns myself; but certainly this solitary struggle with platitudinous atoms, called men and women by courtesy, leads me to wish for my wife again. How did I ever hit on the only woman in the world who fits my cravings and never sounds hollow anywhere? Social chemistry-the mutual attraction of equivalent human molecules-is a science yet to be created, for the fact is my daily study and only satisfaction in life. Henry Adams

In the one branch he most needed Henry Adams

The photograph is a coarse fraud, and seems to delight only in taking the whole beauty out of the picture. Henry Adams

Sumner's mind had reached the calm of water which receives and reflects images without absorbing them; it contained nothing but itself. Henry Adams

Friends are born, not made. Henry Adams

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

A friend in power is a friend lost. Henry Adams

Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit. Henry Adams

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

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

I am an anarchist in politics and an impressionist in art as well as a symbolist in literature. Not that I understand what these terms mean, but I take them to be all merely synonyms of pessimist. Henry Adams

No man, however strong, can serve ten years as schoolmaster, priest, or Senator, and remain fit for anything else. Henry Adams

The proper study of mankind is woman. Henry Adams

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

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

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

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

Silence alone is respectable and respected. I believe God to be silence. Henry Adams

One friend in a lifetime is much; two are many; three are hardly possible. Henry Adams

American art, like the American language and American education, was as far as possible sexless. Henry Adams

The American man is a very simple and cheap mechanism. The American woman I find a complicated and expensive one. Contrasts of feminine types are possible. I am not absolutely sure that there is more than one American man. Henry Adams

[After viewing the Palace of Electricity at the 1900 Trocadero Exposition in Paris] [Saint-Gaudens and Matthew Arnold] felt a railway train as power; yet they, and all other artists, constantly complained that the power embodied in a railway train could never be embodied in art. All the steam in the world could not, like the Virgin, build Chartres. Henry Adams

We combat obstacles in order to get repose, and, when got, the repose is insupportable. Henry Adams

By nature, man is lazy, working only under compulsion; and when he is strong we will always live, as far as he can, upon the labor or the property of the weak. Henry Adams

The chief wonder of education is that it does not ruin everybody concerned in it, teachers and taught. Henry Adams

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