Quotations From HERMAN MELVILLE


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  • Your Englishman is rather reserved, and your Yankee, he does not fancy that sort of thing in anybody but himself.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 53, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988). On the coolness between crewmen.
  • Here, shipmates, is true and faithful repentance; not clamorous for pardon, but grateful for punishment.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 9, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988). Spoken by Father Mapple.
  • Appalling is the soul of a man! Better might one be pushed off into the material spaces beyond the uttermost orbit of our sun, than once feel himself fairly afloat in himself.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. XXI, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).

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  • Of all nature's animated kingdoms, fish are the most unchristian, inhospitable, heartless, and cold-blooded of creatures.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 94, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970).

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  • Nobody is so heartily despised as a pusillanimous, lazy, good-for-nothing, land-lubber; a sailor has no bowels of compassion for him.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Omoo (1846), ch. 14, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 2, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1968).
  • Doubts of all things earthly, and intuitions of some things heavenly; this combination makes neither believer nor infidel, but makes a man who regards them both with equal eye.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 85, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
  • flight from tyranny does not of itself insure a safe asylum, far less a happy home.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "The Encantadas" (1854), sketch tenth, 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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  • So long as a man-of-war exists, it must ever remain a picture of much that is tyrannical and repelling in human nature.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 49, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).

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  • Thus—thanks to the world!—are there many spies in the world's camp, who are mistaken for strolling simpletons.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. XV, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).

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  • Man is a money-making animal, which propensity too often interferes with his benevolence.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 93, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).

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