Born: February 16, 1838
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Died: March 28, 1918
Profile: Best known for The Education of Henry Adams. Grandson of President John Quincy Adams.
Number of Quotes: 53
A friend in power is a friend lost.
A man must now swallow more belief than he can digest.
A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.
Absolute liberty is absence of restraint; responsibility is restraint; therefore, the ideally free individual is responsible to.
Accident counts for as much in companionship as in marriage.
All experience is an arch, to build upon.
American society is a sort of flat, fresh-water pond which absorbs silently, without reaction, anything which is thrown into it.
At best, the renewal of broken relations is a nervous matter.
Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.
Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man.
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.
Everyone carries his own inch rule of taste, and amuses himself by applying it, triumphantly, wherever he travels.
Friends are born, not made.
He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers.
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.
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.
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.
Intimates are predestined.
It is always good men who do the most harm in the world.
It is impossible to underrate human intelligence - beginning with one's own.
Knowledge of human nature is the beginning and end of political education.
Man is an imperceptible atom always trying to become one with God.
Morality is a private and costly luxury.
No man, however strong, can serve ten years as schoolmaster, priest, or Senator, and remain fit for anything else.
No man likes to have his intelligence or good faith questioned, especially if he has doubts about it himself.
No man means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
No man should be in politics unless he would honestly rather not be there.
No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.
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.
Only on the edge of the grave can man conclude anything.
Philosophy: Unintelligible answers to insoluble problems.
Politics are a very unsatisfactory game.
Politics, as a practise, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.
Power is poison. Its effect on Presidents had always been tragic.
Power when wielded by abnormal energy is the most serious of facts.
Practical politics consists in ignoring facts.
Simplicity is the most deceitful mistress that ever betrayed man.
Some day science may have the existence of mankind in power, and the human race can commit suicide by blowing up the world.
Susceptibility to the highest forces is the highest genius.
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.
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.
The difference is slight, to the influence of an author, whether he is read by five hundred readers, or by five hundred thousand; if he can select the five hundred, he reaches the five hundred thousand.
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.
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.
The press is the hired agent of a monied system, and set up for no other purpose than to tell lies where their interests are involved. One can trust nobody and nothing.
The progress of evolution from President Washington to President Grant was alone evidence to upset Darwin.
The proper study of mankind is woman.
The woman who is known only through a man is known wrong.
There is no such thing as an underestimate of average intelligence.
They know enough who know how to learn.
We combat obstacles in order to get repose, and when got, the repose is insupportable.
Young men have a passion for regarding their elders as senile.