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Herman Melville Quotes (180 Quotes)


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  • For God's sake, be economical with your lamps and candles! not a gallon you burn, but at least one drop of man's blood was spilled for it.
    (Herman Melville, "Moby-Dick")

  • It is the easiest thing in the world for a man to look as if he had a great secret in him.
    (Herman Melville, "Moby-Dick")

  • So, when on one side you hoist in Locke's head, you go over that way; but now, on the other side, hoist in Kant's and you come back again; but in very poor plight. Thus, some minds for ever keep trimming boat. Oh, ye foolish! throw all these thunder-heads overboard, and then you will float light and right.
    (Herman Melville, "Moby-Dick")

  • Wonderfullest things are ever the unmentionable; deep memories yield no epitaphs
    (Herman Melville, "Moby-Dick")

  • Ah, happiness courts the light so we deem the world is gay. But misery hides aloof so we deem that misery there is none.
    (Herman Melville, "Bartleby, the Scrivener")


  • From beneath his slouched hat Ahab dropped a tear into the sea; nor did all the Pacific contain such wealth as that one wee drop.
    (Herman Melville, "Moby-Dick")

  • Let faith oust fact; let fancy oust memory; I look deep down and do believe.
    (Herman Melville, "Moby-Dick")

  • Talk not to me of blasphemy, man; I'd strike the sun if it insulted me.
    (Herman Melville, "Moby-Dick")

  • Yet Dives himself, he too lives like a Czar in an ice palace of frozen sighs, and being a president of a temperance society, he only drinks the tepid tears of orphans.
    (Herman Melville, "Moby-Dick")

  • To a sensitive being, pity is not seldom pain.
    (Herman Melville, "Bartleby, the Scrivener")

  • He lived in the world, as the last of the Grisly Bears lived in settled Missouri.And as Spring and Summer had departed, that wild Logan of the woods, burying himself in the hollow of a tree, lived out the winter there, sucking his own paws; so, in his inclement, howling old age, Ahab's soul, shut up in the caved trunk of his body, there fed upon the sullen paws of its gloom!
    (Herman Melville, "Moby-Dick")

  • Looking into his eyes, you seemed to see there the yet lingering images of those thousand-fold perils he had calmly confronted through life.
    (Herman Melville, "Moby-Dick")

  • That immaculate manliness we feel within ourselves, so far within us, that it remains intact though all the outer character seem gone; bleeds with keenest anguish at the undraped spectacle of a valor-ruined man.
    (Herman Melville, "Moby-Dick")

  • You might almost say, that this strange uncompromisedness in him involved a sort of unintelegence; for in his numerous trades, he did not seem to work so much by reason or instinct, or simply because he had been tuitored into it, or by any intermixture of all of these , even or uneven; but merely by a kind of deaf and dumb , sponteneous literal process.
    (Herman Melville, "Moby-Dick")

  • All mortal greatness is but disease.
    (Herman Melville, "Moby-Dick")


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