Herman Melville Quotes

The western spirit is, or will yet be (for no other is, or can be) the true American one.
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).
(1) (0)
The sea had jeeringly kept his finite body up, but drowned the infinite of his soul. Not drowned entirely, though. Rather carried down alive to wondrous depths, where strange shapes of the unwarped primal world glided to and fro before his passive eyes; and the miser-merman, Wisdom, revealed his hoarded heaps; and among the joyous, heartless, ever-juvenile eternities, Pip saw the multitudinous, God-omnipresent, coral insects, that out of the firmament of waters heaved the colossal orbs. He saw God's foot upon the treadle of the loom, and spoke it.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 93, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988). Referring to Pip, who had been cast away during a whale-chase.
(0) (0)
The most mighty of nature's laws is this, that out of Death she brings Life.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. I, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).
(1) (0)
But we, in anchor-watches calm, The Indian Psyche's languor won, And, musing, breathed primeval balm From Edens ere yet over-run; Marvelling mild if mortal twice, Here and hereafter, touch a Paradise.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. poet, novelist. To Ned (l. 25-30). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.
(1) (0)
An indiscriminate distrust of human nature is the worst consequence of a miserable condition, whether brought about by innocence or guilt. And though want of suspicion more than want of sense, sometimes leads a man into harm; yet too much suspicion is as bad as too little sense.
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.
(0) (0)
All the rest was indefinite, as the soundest advice ever is.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 93, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988). With reference to advice.
(0) (0)
It is a very common error of some unscrupulously infidel-minded, selfish, unprincipled, or downright knavish men, to suppose that believing men, or benevolent-hearted men, or good men, do not know enough to be unscrupulously selfish, do not know enough to be unscrupulous knaves.
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)
God is liberal of color; so should man be.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Travel" (1859-60), 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.
(1) (0)
Man, "poor player," succeeds better in life's tragedy than comedy.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Israel Potter (1855), ch. 24, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 8, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1982).
(0) (0)
Life folded Death; Death trellised Life; the grim god wived with youthful Life, and begat him curly-headed glories.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 102, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
(0) (0)