Arthur Conan Doyle
Quotations


The most winning woman I ever knew was hanged for poisoning three little children for their insurance-money, and the most repellent man of my acquaintance is a philanthropist who has spent nearly a quarter of a million upon the London poor.

My mind rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram, or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation.

When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals. He has nerve and he has knowledge.

Some facts should be suppressed, or, at least, a just sense of proportion should be observed in treating them.

Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.

Where there is no imagination there is no horror.

I should dearly love that the world should be ever so little better for my presence. Even on this small stage we have our two sides, and something might be done by throwing all one's weight on the scale of breadth, tolerance, charity, temperance, peace, and kindliness to man and beast. We can't all strike very big blows, and even the little ones count for something.

A man should keep his little brain attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use, and the rest he can put away in the lumber room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it.

I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.

There is nothing more unaesthetic than a policeman.

When you look closely it is a question whether that which is a wrong to the present community may not prove to have been a right to the interests of posterity. That sounds a little foggy; but I will make my meaning more clear when I say that I think right and wrong are both tools which are being wielded by those great hands which are shaping the destinies of the universe, that both are making for improvement; but that the action of the one is immediate, and that of the other more slow, but none the less certain. Our own distinction of right and wrong is founded too much upon the immediate convenience of the community, and does not inquire sufficiently deeply into the ultimate effect.

Our ideas must be as broad as Nature if they are to interpret Nature.

I never guess. It is a shocking habitódestructive to the logical faculty.

It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.

It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

Violence does, in truth, recoil upon the violent, and the schemer falls into the pit which he digs for another.

The highest morality may prove also to be the highest wisdom when the half-told story comes to be finished.

You are my heart, my life, my one and only thought.

The more we progress the more we tend to progress. We advance not in arithmetical but in geometrical progression. We draw compound interest on the whole capital of knowledge and virtue which has been accumulated since the dawning of time. Some eighty thousand years are supposed to have existed between paleolithic and neolithic man. Yet in all that time he only learned to grind his flint stones instead of chipping them. But within our father's lives what changes have there not been? The railway and the telegraph, chloroform and applied electricity. Ten years now go further than a thousand then, not so much on account of our finer intellects as because the light we have shows us the way to more. Primeval man stumbled along with peering eyes, and slow, uncertain footsteps. Now we walk briskly towards our unknown goal.

What can we know? What are we all? Poor silly half-brained things peering out at the infinite, with the aspirations of angels and the instincts of beasts.

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