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Quotations From HERMAN MELVILLE


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  • We talk of the Turks, and abhor the cannibals; but may not some of them, go to heaven, before some of us?
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 58, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).

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  • A thorough tar is unfit for any thing else; and what is more, this fact is the best evidence of his being a true sailor.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Omoo (1846), ch. 29, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 2, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1968).
  • The dinner-hour is the summer of the day: full of sunshine, I grant; but not like the mellow autumn of supper.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 181, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by King Media.

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  • Praise when merited is not a boon: yet to a generous nature, is it pleasant to utter it.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. letter, [between 7 Apr. and 21 July 1886?], to [W. Clark Russell?].. Correspondence, vol. 14, The Writings of Herman Melville, ed. Lynn Horth (1993).

    Read more quotations about / on: nature
  • Madam, or sir, would you visit on the butterfly the sins of the caterpillar?
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. The Confidence-Man (1857), ch. 22, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 10, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1984). Spoken by the bachelor.

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  • As well hate a seraph, as a shark.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 13, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970).

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  • If you begin the day with a laugh, you may, nevertheless, end it with a sob and a sigh.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 33, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
  • If Shakespeare has not been equalled, he is sure to be surpassed, and surpassed by an American born now or yet to be born.
    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).
  • To certain temperaments, especially when previously agitated by any deep feeling, there is perhaps nothing more exasperating, and which sooner explodes all self-command, than the coarse, jeering insolence of a porter, cabman, or hack-driver.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. XVI, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).
  • The subterranean miner that works in us all, how can one tell whither leads his shaft by the ever shifting, muffled sound of his pick?
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 41, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
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