Herman Melville Quotes

Talk to me not of blasphemy, man; I'd strike the sun if it insulted me.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 36, 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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Though the ancients were ignorant of the principles of Christianity there were in them the germs of its spirit.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Statues in Rome" (1857-58), 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). A lecture.
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There are times when even the most potent governor must wink at transgression, in order to preserve the laws inviolate for the future.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 85, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
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When I think of this life I have led; the desolation of solitude it has been; the masoned, walled-town of a Captain's exclusiveness, which admits but small entrance to any sympathy from the green country without—oh, weariness! heaviness! Guinea-coast slavery of solitary command!
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Captain Ahab, in Moby-Dick, ch. 132 (1851).
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Truth is in things, and not in words.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 93, 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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Of all mortals, some dying men are the most tyrannical; and certainly, since they will shortly trouble us so little for evermore, the poor fellows ought to be indulged.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 110, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
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These marbles, the works of the dreamers and idealists of old, live on, leading and pointing to good. They are the works of visionaries and dreamers, but they are realizations of soul, the representations of the ideal. They are grand, beautiful, and true, and they speak with a voice that echoes through the ages. Governments have changed; empires have fallen; nations have passed away; but these mute marbles remain—the oracles of time, the perfection of art.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Statues of Rome" (1857-58), 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). A lecture.
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The public is one thing, Jack, and the people another.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 45, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969). Spoken by the poet Lemsford to Jack Chase.
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Let me look into a human eye; it is better than to gaze into sea or sky; better than to gaze upon God.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Captain Ahab, in Moby-Dick, ch. 132 (1851).
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Fame is an accident; merit a thing absolute.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 126, 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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