Herman Melville Quotes

To certain temperaments, especially when previously agitated by any deep feeling, there is perhaps nothing more exasperating, and which sooner explodes all self-command, than the coarse, jeering insolence of a porter, cabman, or hack-driver.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. XVI, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).
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All dripping in tangles green, Cast up by a lonely sea,
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. poet, novelist. The Tuft of Kelp (l. 1-2). . . Selected Poems of Herman Melville. Hennig Cohen, ed. (1991) Fordham University Press.
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If you are poor, avoid wine as a costly luxury; if you are rich, shun it as a fatal indulgence. Stick to plain water.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Israel Potter (1855), ch. 7, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 8, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1982). Spoken by a fictional Benjamin Franklin.
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Now small fowls flew screaming over the yet yawning gulf; a sullen white surf beat against its steep sides; then all collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 135, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988). The sinking of the Pequod.
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Juxtaposition marries men.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. III, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971). Spoken by Pierre's mother, Mary Glendinning.
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all mankind, not excluding Americans, are sinners—miserable sinners, as even no few Bostonians themselves nowadays contritely respond in the liturgy.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "To Major John Gentian, Dean of the Burgundy Club" (posthumous), p. 358, Billy Budd and Other Prose Pieces, The Works of Herman Melville, vol. 13, ed. Raymond M. Weaver (1924).
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A hermitage in the forest is the refuge of the narrow-minded misanthrope; a hammock on the ocean is the asylum for the generous distressed.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Israel Potter (1855), ch. 2, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 8, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1982).
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A king's head is solemnly oiled at his coronation, even as a head of salad.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 25, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
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It is not for man to follow the trail of truth too far, since by so doing he entirely loses the directing compass of his mind.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. IX, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).
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Where is the world we roved, Ned Bunn? Hollows thereof lay rich in shade By voyagers old inviolate thrown Ere Paul Pry cruised with Pelf and Trade. To us old lads some thoughts come home Who roamed a world young lads no more shall roam.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. poet, novelist. To Ned (l. 1-6). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.
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