Herman Melville Quotes

I felt a melting in me. No more my splintered heart and maddened hand were turned against the wolfish world.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 10, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988). Concerns the effect of Queequeg on Ishmael.
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There is no dignity in wickedness, whether in purple or rags; and hell is a democracy of devils, where all are equals.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 55, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
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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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Let us pray that the great historic tragedy of our time may not have been enacted without instructing our whole beloved country through terror and pity; and may fulfillment verify in the end those expectations which kindle the bards of Progress and Humanity.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Supplement." "Battle-Pieces" (1866), p. 467, Collected Poems of Herman Melville, ed. Howard P. Vincent (1947). A retrospective consideration of the Civil War.
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How thou faintest for thy children, torn from thy soil, to till a stranger's.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 168, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Yoomy, the poet, about Africa ("Hamora").
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Much of a man's character will be found betokened in his backbone. I would rather feel your spine than your skull, whoever you are. A thin joist of a spine never yet upheld a full and noble soul.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 80, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
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We are not a nation, so much as a world; for unless we claim all the world for our sire, like Melchisedec, we are without father or mother.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 33, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
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To study the stars upon the wide, boundless sea, is divine as it was to the Chaldean Magi, who observed their revolutions from the plains.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 19, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
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I seem, in most of these verses, to have but placed a harp in a window, and noted the contrasted airs which wayward winds have played upon the strings.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Prefatory words. "Battle-Pieces" (1866), p. 446, Collected Poems of Herman Melville, ed. Howard P. Vincent (1947). Describing the composition of his Civil War poetry.
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The strong arm, my lord, is no argument, though it overcomes all logic.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 104, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Babbalanja, the philosopher.
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