36 Henry Adams Quotes On Friends And Power

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.

Some day science may have the existence of mankind in power, and the human race can commit suicide by blowing up the world.

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

Accident counts for as much in companionship as in marriage.

Young men have a passion for regarding their elders as senile.

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


Friends are born, not made.

All experience is an arch, to build upon.

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

Power is poison. Its effect on Presidents had always been tragic.

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.

Simplicity is the most deceitful mistress that ever betrayed man.


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

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.

A friend in power is a friend lost.

They know enough who know how to learn.

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.

No man should be in politics unless he would honestly rather not be there.


Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.

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

Philosophy: Unintelligible answers to insoluble problems.

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.

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.

Politics… have always been the systematic organization of hatreds.

It is impossible to underrate human intelligence – beginning with one’s own.

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

He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers.

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

Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.

No man likes to have his intelligence or good faith questioned, especially if he has doubts about it himself.


Politics are a very unsatisfactory game.

The progress of evolution from President Washington to President Grant was alone evidence to upset Darwin.

There is no such thing as an underestimate of average intelligence.

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

The proper study of mankind is woman.

Absolute liberty is absence of restraint; responsibility is restraint; therefore, the ideally free individual is responsible to himself.

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