Herman Melville Quotes

All the world over, the picturesque yields to the pocketesque.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "I and My Chimney" (1856), 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).
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Oh! shipmates! on the starboard hand of every woe, there is a sure delight; and the higher the top of that delight, than the bottom of the woe is deep.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 9, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988). Spoken by Father Mapple.
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While nature thus very early and very abundantly feeds us, she is very late in tutoring us as to the proper methodization of our diet.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. XVIII, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).
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The result of civilization, at the Sandwich Islands and elsewhere, is found productive to the civilizers, destructive to the civilizees. It is said to be compensation—a very philosophical word; but it appears to be very much on the principle of the old game, "You lose, I win": good philosophy for the winner.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "The South Seas" (1858-59), 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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When among wild beasts, if they menace you, be a wild beast.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Israel Potter (1855), ch. 22, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 8, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1982).
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De god wat made shark must be one dam Ingin.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 66, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988). Spoken by Queequeg, the harpooner.
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As in digging for precious metals in the mines, much earthy rubbish has first to be troublesomely handled and thrown out; so, in digging in one's soul for the fine gold of genius, much dullness and common-place is first brought to light.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. XVIII, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).
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I am sorry to say we whites have a sad reputation among many of the Polynesians. The natives of these islands are naturally of a kindly and hospitable temper, but there has been implanted among them an almost instinctive hate of the white man. They esteem us, with rare exceptions, such as some of the missionaries, the most barbarous, treacherous, irreligious, and devilish creatures on the earth.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "The South Seas" (1858-59), 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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Intrepid, unprincipled, reckless, predatory, with boundless ambition, civilized in externals but a savage at heart, America is, or may yet be, the Paul Jones of nations.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Israel Potter (1855), ch. 19, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 8, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1982).
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The subterranean miner that works in us all, how can one tell whither leads his shaft by the ever shifting, muffled sound of his pick?
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 41, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
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