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Henry Adams (1838 – 1918)


U S historian, journalist, novelist and educator.
Henry Adams
Sumner's mind had reached the calm of water which receives and reflects images without absorbing them; it contained nothing but itself.
Adams quotes
Intimates are predestined.
Adams
All experience is an arch, to build upon.




Adams Henry quotes
Knowledge of human nature is the beginning and end of political education.
Adams Henry
Modern politics is, at bottom, a struggle not of men but of forces.
Henry Adams quotes
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
He used to say, half in jest, that his great ambition was to complete St. Augustine's Confessions, but that St. Augustine, like a great artist, had worked from multiplicity to unity, while he, like a small one, had to reverse the method and work back from unity to multiplicity.
Adams Henry quotes
We combat obstacles in order to get repose, and, when got, the repose is insupportable.
Adams
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.
Adams Henry
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
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 quotes
Morality is a private and costly luxury.
Henry Adams
As educator, Jean Jacques was, in one respect, easily first; he erected a monument of warning against the Ego. Since his time, and largely thanks to him, the Ego has steadily tended to efface itself, and, for purposes of model, to become a manikin on which the toilet of education is to be draped in order to show the fit or misfit of the clothes. The object of study is the garment, not the figure. The tailor adapts the manikin as well as the clothes to his patron's wants. The tailor's object, in this volume, is to fit young men, in universities or elsewhere, to be men of the world, equipped for any emergency; and the garment offered to them is meant to show the faults of the patchwork fitted on their fathers.
Adams quotes
Power when wielded by abnormal energy is the most serious of facts.
Adams Henry
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 any one who should know better. Thereupon, he sailed for home.
Adams Henry quotes
No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
Henry Adams
These questions of taste, of feeling, of inheritance, need no settlement. Every one carries his own inch-rule of taste, and amuses himself by applying it, triumphantly, wherever he travels.
Henry Adams quotes
A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.
Henry Adams
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.
Adams Henry
Only on the edge of the grave can man conclude anything.


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