Herman Melville Quotes

That great America on the other side of the sphere, Australia.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 24, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
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As St. Peter's church was built in great part of the ruins of old Rome, so in all our erections, however imposing, we but form quarries and supply ignoble materials for the grander domes of posterity.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 30, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
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All experience teaches that, whenever there is a great national establishment, employing large numbers of officials, the public must be reconciled to support many incompetent men; for such is the favoritism and nepotism always prevailing in the purlieus of these establishments, that some incompetent persons are always admitted, to the exclusion of many of the worthy.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 27, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
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There is nothing namable but that some men will, or undertake to, do it for pay.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Billy Budd, Sailor (posthumous), ch 21, eds. Harrison Hayford and Merton M. Sealts, Jr. (1962).
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Niggards are oftentimes neat.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 94, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970).
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Amid the tornadoed Atlantic of my being, do I myself still for ever centrally disport in mute calm; and while ponderous planets of unwaning woe revolve round me, deep down and deep inland there I still bathe me in eternal mildness of joy.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 87, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
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Poor people make a very poor business of it when they try to seem rich.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 3, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
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Soldier or sailor, the fighting man is but a fiend; and the staff and body-guard of the Devil musters many a baton.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 75, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
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His duty he always faithfully did; but duty is sometimes a dry obligation, and he was for irrigating its aridity, whensoever possible, with a fertilizing decoction of strong waters.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Billy Budd, Sailor (posthumous), ch 1, eds. Harrison Hayford and Merton M. Sealts, Jr. (1962). Referring to a British impressment officer visiting a merchant ship.
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As for the possible hereafter of the whales; a creature eighty feet long without stockings, and thirty feet round the waist before dinner, is not inconsiderately to be consigned to annihilation.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 94, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970).
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