Justice Oliver W. Holmes

“That the universe has in it more than we understand, that the private soldiers have not been told of the plan of campaign, or even that there is one, rather than some caster unthinkable to which every predicate is an impertinence no bearing upon our conduct. We still shall fight. All of us, because we want to survive, some, at least because we want to realize our spontaneity, and to prove our powers, for the joy of it. And we may leave to the unknown the supposed final evaluation of that which, in any event has value to us. It is enough for us that the universe has produced us and has within it, as less than it, all that we believe and love.”

 

“It is not enough for the Knight of Romance that you agree that his lady is a very nice girl – if you do not agree that she is the best that God has ever made or will make, you must fight. There is in all men the demand for the superlative, so much that the poor devil who has no other way of reaching it attains it by getting drunk. It seems that this demand is at the bottom of the philosopher’s effort to prove that truth is absolute and of the jurists search for criteria of universal validity which he collects under the heading of Natural Law.”

Justice Oliver W. Holmes

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