Herman Melville Quotes

In this world of lies, Truth is forced to fly like a scared white doe in the woodlands; and only by cunning glimpses will she reveal herself.
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).
Dissenters only assent to more than we.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 97, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970).
He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great. Failure is the true test of greatness. And if it be said, that continual success is a proof that a man wisely knows his powers,—it is only to be added, that, in that case, he knows them to be small.
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).
The consciousness of being deemed dead, is next to the presumable unpleasantness of being so in reality. One feels like his own ghost unlawfully tenanting a defunct carcass.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi: And a Voyage Thither, ch. 9 (1849). On being lost at sea.
Toil is man's allotment; toil of brain, or toil of hands, or a grief that's more than either, the grief and sin of idleness.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi: and a Voyage Thither, ch. 63 (1849).
That greatest real miracle of all religions, the Sermon on the Mount.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. XIV, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).
For whatever is truly wondrous and fearful in man, never yet was put into words or books.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick, ch. 110 (1851).
Any appellative at all savouring of arbitrary rank is unsuitable to a man of liberal and catholic mind.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "The Marquis de Grandvin" (posthumous), p. 348, Billy Budd and Other Prose Pieces, The Works of Herman Melville, vol. 13, ed. Raymond M. Weaver (1924).
It is hard to be finite upon an infinite subject, and all subjects are infinite.
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).
Warmest climes but nurse the cruelest fangs: the tiger of Bengal crouches in spiced groves of ceaseless verdure. Skies the most effulgent but basket the deadliest thunders: gorgeous Cuba knows tornadoes that never swept tame northern lands.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick, ch. 119 (1851).