Herman Melville Quotes

I have ever found your plain things the knottiest of all.
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).
(0) (0)
In the operative opinion of the world, he who is already fully provided with what is necessary for him, that man shall have more; while he who is deplorably destitute of the same, he shall have taken away from him even that which he hath. Yet the world vows it is a very plain, downright matter-of-fact, plodding, humane sort of world.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. XVIII, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).
(0) (0)
A gentleman of Typee can bring up a numerous family of children and give them all a highly respectable cannibal education, with infinitely less toil and anxiety than he expends in the simple process of striking a light; whilst a poor European artisan, who through the instrumentality of a lucifer performs the same operation in one second, is put to his wits' end to provide for his starving offspring that food which the children of a Polynesian father, without troubling their parent, pluck from the branches of every tree around them.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Typee (1846), ch. 14, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 1, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1968).
(0) (0)
It is not the purpose of literature to purvey news. For news consult the Almanac de Gotha.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "At the Hostelry" (posthumous), p. 353, Poems, The Works of Herman Melville, vol. 16, ed. Raymond M. Weaver (1924).
(0) (0)
The Cave of Jeremiah is in this part. In its lamentable recesses he composed his lamentable Lamentations.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. journal, Jan. 26, 1857. Journals, vol. 15, The Writings of Herman Melville, eds. Howard C. Horsford and Lynn Horth (1989).
(0) (0)
Old age is always wakeful; as if, the longer linked with life, the less man has to do with aught that looks like death.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 29, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
(0) (0)
On the threshold of any wholly new and momentous devoted enterprise, the thousand ulterior intricacies and emperilings to which it must conduct; these, at the outset, are mostly withheld from sight.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. X, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).
(0) (0)
The grand principles of virtue and honor, however they may be distorted by arbitrary codes, are the same the world over: and where these principles are concerned, the right or wrong of any action appears the same to the uncultivated as to the enlightened mind.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Typee (1846), ch. 27, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 1, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1968).
(0) (0)
Our souls belong to our bodies, not our bodies to our souls.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Babbalanja, in Mardi: and a Voyage Thither, ch. 155 (1849).
(1) (0)
Pyramids still loom before me—something vast, indefinite, incomprehensible, and awful.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. journal, Jan. 3, 1857. Journals, vol. 15, The Writings of Herman Melville, eds. Howard C. Horsford and Lynn Horth (1989).
(0) (0)