Herman Melville Quotes

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).
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.
To be a born American citizen seems a guarantee against pauperism; and this, perhaps, springs from the virtue of a vote.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 41, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
They were in the jelly of youth.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 83, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969). Referring to adolescent boys.
Fathoms down, fathoms down, how I'll dream fast asleep.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. poet, novelist. Billy Budd, Foretopman (l. 28). . . Selected Poems of Herman Melville. Hennig Cohen, ed. (1991) Fordham University Press.
This were to be truly immortal;Mto be perpetuated in our works, and not in our names.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 142, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Babbalanja, the philosopher.
A laugh is a mighty good thing, and rather too scarce a good thing.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 5, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
Though gilded and golden, the serpent of vice is a serpent still.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 46, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
Of all insults, the temporary condescension of a master to a slave is the most outrageous and galling. That potentate who most condescends, mark him well; for that potentate, if occasion come, will prove your uttermost tyrant.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 66, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
A true military officer is in one particular like a true monk. Not with more self-abnegation will the latter keep his vows of monastic obedience than the former his vows of allegiance to martial duty.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Billy Budd, Sailor (c. 1889), ch. 21, eds. Harrison Hayford and Merton M. Sealts, Jr. (1962).