Herman Melville Quotes

Where do murderers go, man! Who's to doom, when the judge himself is dragged to the bar?
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 132, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988). Spoken by Captain Ahab.
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Whatever has made, or does make, or may make music, should be held sacred as the golden bridle-bit of the Shah of Persia's horse, and the golden hammer, with which his hoofs are shod.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 49, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
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We are the pioneers of the world; the advance-guard, sent on through the wilderness of untried things, to break a new path in the New World that is ours.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
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The retaliation is apt to be in monstrous disproportion to the supposed offense; for when in anybody was revenge in its exactions aught else but an inordinate usurer?
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Billy Budd, Sailor (posthumous), ch 13, eds. Harrison Hayford and Merton M. Sealts, Jr. (1962).
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I will live and die by this testimony: that I loved a good conscience; that I never invaded another man's liberty; and that I preserved my own.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 124, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Babbalanja, the philosopher, reading from a book.
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Man's insanity is heaven's sense; and wandering from all mortal reason, man comes at last to that celestial thought, which, to reason, is absurd and frantic; and weal or woe, feels then uncompromised, indifferent as his God.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 93, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
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There is a touch of divinity even in brutes, and a special halo about a horse, that should forever exempt him from indignities.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 40, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
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Like all high functionaries, he deemed it indispensable religiously to sustain his dignity; one of the most troublesome things in the world, and one calling for the greatest self-denial.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 6, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969). Concerning the commodore aboard the Neversink.
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Coke and Blackstone hardly shed so much light into obscure spiritual places as the Hebrew prophets.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Billy Budd, Sailor (posthumous), ch 11, eds. Harrison Hayford and Merton M. Sealts, Jr. (1962). Coke and Blackstone were authorities on the law.
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Better to sink in boundless deeps, than float on vulgar shoals; and give me, ye gods, an utter wreck, if wreck I do.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 169, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970).
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