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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Holmes Quotes: On the Intersection of Law and Life

This is the second in a series of posts where I posts quotes from Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. This post's selection reveals Holmes' enthusiasm for the deep relationship between law and various aspects of life, and how true engagement with the discipline of law requires deep devotion of one's thoughts and efforts:

And what a profession it is! No doubt everything is interesting when it is understood and seen in its connection with the rest of things. Every calling is great when greatly pursued. But what other gives such scope to realize the spontaneous energy of one's soul? In what other does one plunge so deep in the stream of life--so share its passion, its battles, its despair, its triumphs, both as witness and actor? 
. . . 
If we are to speak of the law as our mistress, we who are here know that she is a mistress only to be wooed with sustained and onlely passion--only to be won by straining all the faculties by which man is likest to a god.

(From Arthur Dehon Hill, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, 39 Harvard Graduates Magazine 265-289 (March, 1931)) (Marke, The Holmes Reader, p.14).

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