Today is January 6, Twelfth Night. Although Arthur Conan Doyle doesn't mention it in the Holmes canon, Sherlock Holmes fans and scholars generally propose Holmes was born on January 6, 1854. Today, thanks to a vigorous regime of exercise and royal jelly from the queen bee, he quietly celebrates his 154th birthday from his retirement cottage in Sussex.
Raise a glass of port or your preferred drink of toasting (I'm fond of cocoa or steaming bishop myself) to Mister Holmes today, and celebrate his life and legacy by diving back into the words of Doctor John H. Watson, his confidante, best friend, and biographer:
Sherlock Holmes seemed delighted at the idea of sharing his rooms with me. "I have my eye on a suite in Baker Street," he said, "which would suit us down to the ground. You don't mind the smell of strong tobacco, I hope?"
"I always smoke 'ship's' myself," I answered.
from A Study in Scarlet
"But one false statement was made by Barrymore at the inquest. He said that there were no traces upon the ground round the body. He did not observe any. But I didsome little distance off, but fresh and clear."
"A man's or a woman's?"
Dr. Mortimer looked strangely at us for an instant, and his voice sank almost to a whisper as he answered:
"Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!"
from The Hound of the Baskervilles
Holmes had been seated for some hours in silence with his long, thin back curved over a chemical vessel in which he was brewing a particularly malodorous product. His head was sunk upon his breast, and he looked from my point of view like a strange, lank bird, with dull gray plumage and a black top-knot.
"So, Watson," said he, suddenly, "you do not propose to invest in South African securities?"
I gave a start of astonishment. Accustomed as I was to Holmes's curious faculties, this sudden intrusion into my most intimate thoughts was utterly inexplicable.
"How on earth do you know that?" I asked.
He wheeled round upon his stool, with a steaming test-tube in his hand, and a gleam of amusement in his deep-set eyes.
"Now, Watson, confess yourself utterly taken aback," said he.
"I ought to make you sign a paper to that effect."
"Because in five minutes you will say that it is all so absurdly simple."
from "The Adventure of the Dancing Men"
"There's an east wind coming, Watson."
"I think not, Holmes. It is very warm."
"Good old Watson! You are the one fixed point in a changing age. There's an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it's God's own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared. Start her up, Watson, for it's time that we were on our way."
from "His Last Bow"
...If I have now been compelled to make a clear statement of his career, it is due to those injudicious champions who have endeavored to clear his memory by attacks upon him whom I shall ever regard as the best and the wisest man whom I have ever known.
from "The Final Problem"