A client is to me a mere unit, a factor in a problem.
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.
A trusty comrade is always of use; and a chronicler still more so.
Any truth is better than indefinite doubt.
As a rule, said Holmes, the more bizarre a thing is the less mysterious it proves to be. It is your commonplace, featureless crimes which are really puzzling, just as a commonplace face is the most difficult to identify.
As Cuvier could correctly describe a whole animal by the contemplation of a single bone, so the observer who has thoroughly understood one link in a series of incidents should be able to accurately state all the other ones, both before and after.
Circumstantial evidence is occasionally very convincing, as when you find a trout in the milk, to quote Thoreau’s example.
Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.
For strange effects and extraordinary combinations we must go to life itself, which is always far more daring than any effort of the imagination.
From a drop of water a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other.
His ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge.
How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?
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.
I have frequently gained my first real insight into the character of parents by studying their children.
I have seen too much not to know that the impression of a woman may be more valuable than the conclusion of an analytical reasoner.
I never guess. It is a shocking habit destructive to the logical faculty.
It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.
It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.
It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained.
Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.
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. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation.
Nothing clears up a case so much as stating it to another person.
Of all ghosts the ghosts of our old loves are the worst.
Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
Our ideas must be as broad as Nature if they are to interpret Nature.
Sir Walter, with his 61 years of life, although he never wrote a novel until he was over 40, had, fortunately for the world, a longer working career than most of his brethren.
Some facts should be suppressed, or, at least, a just sense of proportion should be observed in treating them.
The ideal reasoner, he remarked, would, when he had once been shown a single fact in all its bearings, deduce from it not only all the chain of events which led up to it but also all the results which would follow from it.
The lowest and vilest alleys of London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside.
The most difficult crime to track is the one which is purposeless.
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.
There is nothing more unaesthetic than a policeman.
To the man who loves art for its own sake, it is frequently in its least important and lowliest manifestations that the keenest pleasure is to be derived.
Violence does, in truth, recoil upon the violent, and the schemer falls into the pit which he digs for another.
We can’t command our love, but we can our actions.
When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals. He has nerve and he has knowledge.
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
Where there is no imagination there is no horror.
Women are naturally secretive, and they like to do their own secreting.
You will, I am sure, agree with me that… if page 534 only finds us in the second chapter, the length of the first one must have been really intolerable.