Herman Melville Quotes

A beautiful woman is born Queen of men and women both, as Mary Stuart was born Queen of Scots, whether men or women.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. II, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).
(0) (0)
To be the subject of alms-giving is trying, and to feel in duty bound to appear cheerfully grateful under the trial, must be still more so.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. The Confidence-Man (1857), ch. 3, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 10, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1984).
(0) (0)
The calm, the coolness, the silent grass-growing mood in which a man ought always to compose,—that, I fear, can seldom be mine. Dollars damn me; and the malicious Devil is forever grinning in upon me, holding the door ajar. My dear Sir, a presentiment is on me,—I shall at last be worn out and perish, like an old nutmeg-grater, grated to pieces by the constant attrition of the wood, that is, the nutmeg. What I feel most moved to write, that is banned,—it will not pay. Yet, altogether, write the other way I cannot. So the product is a final hash, and all my books are botches.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. letter, June 1?, 1851, to Nathaniel Hawthorne. Correspondence, vol. 14, The Writings of Herman Melville, ed. Lynn Horth (1993).
(0) (0)
The poor man wants many things; the covetous man, all.
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.
(0) (0)
The wonderful scope and variety of female loveliness, if too long suffered to sway us without decision, shall finally confound all power of selection. The confirmed bachelor is, in America, at least, quite as often the victim of a too profound appreciation of the infinite charmingness of woman, as made solitary for life by the legitimate empire of a cold and tasteless temperament.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. XV, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).
(1) (0)
Cripples, above all men, should be companionable, or, at least, refrain from picking a fellow-limper to pieces.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. The Confidence-Man (1857), ch. 3, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 10, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1984).
(0) (0)
Whoever is not in the possession of leisure can hardly be said to possess independence. They talk of the dignity of work. Bosh. True work is the necessity of poor humanity's earthly condition. The dignity is in leisure. Besides, 99 hundredths of all the work done in the world is either foolish and unnecessary, or harmful and wicked.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. letter, Sept. 5, 1877, to his cousin, Catherine Gansevoort Lansing. Correspondence, vol. 14, The Writings of Herman Melville, ed. Lynn Horth (1993). Melville was working in the customs service.
(0) (0)
Murder is catching.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 35, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970).
(0) (0)
In metropolitan cases, the love of the most single-eyed lover, almost invariably, is nothing more than the ultimate settling of innumerable wandering glances upon some one specific object.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. XV, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).
(0) (0)
Oath and anchors equally will drag; nought else abides on fickle earth but unkept promises of joy.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "The Encantadas" (1854), Sketch Eighth, 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).
(0) (1)