Henry Adams, aka Henry Brooks Adams

Henry
Adams, aka Henry Brooks Adams
1838
1918

American Journalist, Historian, Academic and Novelist

Author Quotes

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

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.

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.

For the first time in his life, Mont Blanc for a moment looked to him what it was - a chaos of anarchic and purposeless forces - and he needed days of repose to see it clothe itself again with the illusions of his senses, the white purity of its snows, the splendor of its light, and the infinity of its heavenly peace. Nature was kind; Lake Geneva was beautiful beyond itself, and the Alps put on charms real as terrors.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.

Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?

No man means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.

Susceptibility to the highest forces is the highest genius.

A professor can never better distinguish himself in his work than by encouraging a clever pupil, for the true discoverers are among them, as comets amongst the stars.

Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man.

Friends are born not made.

I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be.

It [love] is a disease to be born with patience, like any nervous complaint, and to be treated with counter-irritants.

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 mesmerized the subject.

Symbol or energy, the Virgin had acted as the greatest force the Western world had ever felt, and had drawn man's activities to herself more strongly than any other power, natural or supernatural had ever done.

Accident counts for as much in companionship as in marriage.

Charles Francis Adams was singular for mental poise ? absence of self-assertion or self-consciousness ? the faculty of standing apart without seeming aware that he was alone ? a balance of mind and temper that neither challenged nor avoided notice, nor admitted question of superiority or inferiority, of jealousy, of personal motives, from any source, even under great pressure.

General Grant seriously remarked to a particularly bright young woman that Venice would be a fine city if it were drained.

I tell you the solemn truth, that the doctrine of the Trinity is not so difficult to accept for a working proposition as any one of the axioms of physics.

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

Of all studies, the one he would rather have avoided was that of his own mind. He knew no tragedy so heartrending as introspection.

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.

After Gibbs, one the most distinguished [American scientists] was Langley, of the Smithsonian. ? He had the physicist's heinous fault of professing to know nothing between flashes of intense perception. ? Rigidly denying himself the amusement of philosophy, which consists chiefly in suggesting unintelligible answers to insoluble problems, and liked to wander past them in a courteous temper, even bowing to them distantly as though recognizing their existence, while doubting their respectability.

Clover is off her feed (in reference to the depression of his wife, who subsequently caused her suicide.. which was deeply painful to him).

Good men do the most harm.

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