Herman Melville Quotes
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It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
A smile is the chosen vehicle of all ambiguities.
I am, as I am; whether hideous, or handsome, depends upon who is made judge.
Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well- warmed, and well-fed.
Dream tonight of peacock tails, Diamond fields and spouter whales. Ills are many, blessing few, But dreams tonight will shelter you.
Toil is man's allotment; toil of brain, or toil of hands, or a grief that's more than either, the grief and sin of idleness.
Meditation and water are wedded for ever.
I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.
Aye, aye! and I'll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition's flames before I give him up.
War should be carried on like a monsoon; one changeless determination of every particle towards the one unalterable aim.
It is better to fail in originality, than to succeed in imitation. He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great. Failure is the true test of greatness.
There is a savor of life and immortality in substantial fare. Like balloons, we are nothing till filled.
No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses.
We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.
A whale ship was my Yale College and my Harvard.
Give me a condor's quill! Give me Vesuvius crater for an inkstand!
It is not down in any map; true places never are.
To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.
for there is no folly of the beast of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men
Let us only hate hatred; and once give love a play, we will fall in love with a unicorn.
I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.
A book in a man's brain is better off than a book bound in calf - at any rate it is safer from criticism.
There is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself.
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.
Faith, like a jackal, feeds among the tombs, and even from these dead doubts she gathers her most vital hope.
Nature is nobody's ally.
Any appellative at all savouring of arbitrary rank is unsuitable to a man of liberal and catholic mind.
Hope is the struggle of the soul, breaking loose from what is perishable, and attesting her eternity.
There is a touch of divinity even in brutes, and a special halo about a horse, that should forever exempt him from indignities.
All wars are boyish, and are fought by boys.
Ignorance is the parent of fear.
There never was a great man yet who spent all his life inland.
Life’s a voyage that’s homeward bound.
You cannot spill a drop of American blood without spilling the blood of the whole world.... We are not a nation, so much as a world.
Talk not to me of blasphemy, man; I'd strike the sun if it insulted me.
Art is the objectification of feeling.
For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half known life.
The most mighty of nature's laws is this, that out of Death she brings Life.
There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method.
Silence is the only Voice of our God.
They talk of the dignity of work. The dignity is in leisure.
Heaven have mercy on us all - Presbyterians and Pagans alike - for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending.
You know nothing till you know all; which is the reason we never know any thing.
An utterly fearless man is a far more dangerous comrade than a coward.
Friendship at first sight, like love at first sight, is said to be the only truth.
We are only what we are; not what we would be; nor every thing we hope for. We are but a step in a scale, that reaches further above us than below.
A man of true science... thinks, that by mouthing hard words, he proves that he understands hard things.
To know how to grow old is the master work of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living.
Why, ever since Adam, who has got to the meaning of this great allegory - the world? Then we pygmies must be content to have out paper allegories but ill comprehended.
Immortality is but ubiquity in time.