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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1089
AUTHOR: Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841–1935)
QUOTATION: Life is a romantic business. It is painting a picture, not doing a sum—but you have to make the romance, and it will come to the question how much fire you have in your belly.
ATTRIBUTION: Justice OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, letter to Oswald Ryan, March 8, 1911.—Francis Biddle, Mr. Justice Holmes, pp. 138–39 (1942).