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Quotations From HERMAN MELVILLE


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  • Oh! my dear fellow beings, why should we longer cherish any social acerbities, or know the slightest ill-humor or envy! Come; let us squeeze hands all round.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 94, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).

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  • Bachelors alone can travel freely, and without any twinges of their consciences touching desertion of the fire-side.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids" (1855), The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces 1839-1860, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 9, eds. Harrison Hayford, Alma A. MacDougall, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1987).

    Read more quotations about / on: travel, fire, alone
  • How feeble is all language to describe the horrors we inflict upon these wretches, whom we mason up in the cells of our prisons, and condemn to perpetual solitude in the very heart of our population.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Typee (1846), ch. 17, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 1, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1968).

    Read more quotations about / on: solitude, heart
  • Were civilization itself to be measured by some of its results, it would seem perhaps better for what we call the barbarous part of the world to remain unchanged.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Typee (1846), ch. 3, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 1, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1968).

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  • In this world of lies, Truth is forced to fly like a scared white doe in the woodlands; and only by cunning glimpses will she reveal herself.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Hawthorne and His Mosses" (1850), The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces 1839-1860, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 9, eds. Harrison Hayford, Alma A. MacDougall, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1987).

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  • The god Janus never had two more decidedly different faces than your sea captain.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Etchings of a Whaling Cruise" (1847), The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces 1839-1860, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 9, eds. Harrison Hayford, Alma A. MacDougall, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1987).

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  • Surely a gentle sister is the second best gift to a man; and it is first in point of occurrence; for the wife comes after.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. I, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).

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  • If not against us, nature is not for us.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 69, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Babbalanga, the philosopher.

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  • He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great. Failure is the true test of greatness. And if it be said, that continual success is a proof that a man wisely knows his powers,—it is only to be added, that, in that case, he knows them to be small.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Hawthorne and His Mosses" (1850), The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces 1839-1860, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 9, eds. Harrison Hayford, Alma A. MacDougall, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1987).

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  • We Americans are the peculiar, chosen people—the Israel of our time; we bear the ark of the liberties of the world.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 36, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).

    Read more quotations about / on: time, people, world
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