Henry Adams, aka Henry Brooks Adams

Henry
Adams, aka Henry Brooks Adams
1838
1918

American Journalist, Historian, Academic and Novelist

Author Quotes

Unity is vision; it must have been part of the process of learning to see.

The proper study of mankind is woman.

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

The study of history is useful to the historian by teaching him his ignorance of women.

We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem.

The tourist was the great conservative who hated novelty and adored dirt.

Were half the power that fills the world with terror, were half the wealth bestowed on camps and courts, Given to redeem the human mind from error, There were no need of arsenals nor forts.

The woman who is known only through a man is known wrong.

Whatever happens at all happens as it should; thou wilt find this true, if thou shouldst watch closely.

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

Every man should have a fair-sized cemetery in which to bury the faults of his friends.

He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife.

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

Laplace would have found it child's-play to fix a ratio of progression in mathematical science between Descartes, Leibnitz, Newton and himself.

Only on the edge of the grave can man conclude anything.

The difficulty with this conversation is that it's very different from most of the ones I've had of late. Which, as I explained, have mostly been with trees.

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

Every man who has at last succeeded, after long effort, in calling up the divinity which lies hidden in a woman's heart, is startled to find that he must obey the God he summoned.

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.

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.

Law is merely the expression of the will of the strongest for the time being, and therefore laws have no fixity, but shift from generation to generation

Political and social and scientific values ? should be correlated in some relation of movement that could be expressed in mathematics, nor did one care in the least that all the world said it could not be done, or that one knew not enough mathematics even to figure a formula beyond the schoolboy s=(1/2)gt2. If Kepler and Newton could take liberties with the sun and moon, an obscure person ... could take liberties with Congress, and venture to multiply its attraction into the square of its time. He had only to find a value, even infinitesimal, for its attraction.

The first serious consciousness of Nature's gesture - her attitude towards life-took form then as a phantasm, a nightmare, all insanity of force. For the first time, the stage-scenery of the senses collapsed; the human mind felt itself stripped naked, vibrating in a void of shapeless energies, with resistless mass, colliding, crushing, wasting, and destroying what these same energies had created and labored from eternity to perfect.

Any schoolboy could see that man as a force must be measured by motion, from a fixed point. Psychology helped here by suggesting a unit ? the point of history when man held the highest idea of himself as a unit in a unified universe. Eight or ten years of study had led Adams to think he might use the century 1150-1250, expressed in Amiens Cathedral and the Works of Thomas Aquinas, as the unit from which he might measure motion down to his own time, without assuming anything as true or untrue, except relation. The movement might be studied at once in philosophy and mechanics. Setting himself to the task, he began a volume which he mentally knew as "Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres: a Study of Thirteenth-Century Unity." From that point he proposed to fix a position for himself, which he could label: "The Education of Henry Adams: a Study of Twentieth-Century Multiplicity." With the help of these two points of relation, he hoped to project his lines forward and backward indefinitely, subject to correction from anyone who should know better. Thereupon, he sailed for home.

Every mane should have a fair sized cemetery in which to bury the faults of his friend.

Author Picture
First Name
Henry
Last Name
Adams, aka Henry Brooks Adams
Birth Date
1838
Death Date
1918
Bio

American Journalist, Historian, Academic and Novelist