Submit Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

Best Famous Herman Melville Quotes

Best famous Herman Melville quotes. Find, read, and share the best famous quotations by Herman Melville. These are the most popular quotations and best examples of quotes by Herman Melville.

Famous Herman Melville Quotes

Quote Left Life's a voyage that's homeward bound. Quote Right
Quote Left 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 encompasse... Quote Right

Quote Left There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes the whole universe for a vast practical joke. Quote Right
Quote Left Look you, Doubloon, your zodiac here is the life of man in one round chapter. To begin: there's Aries, or the Ram -- lecherous dog, he begets us; then, Taurus, or the Bull -- he bumps us the first thing; then Gemini, or the Twins -- that is, Virtue and Vice; we try to reach Virtue, when lo! comes Cancer the Crab, and drags us back; and here, going from Virtue, Leo, a roaring Lion, lies in the path -- he gives a few fierce bites and surly dabs with his paw; we escape, and hail Virgo, the virgin! that's our first love; we marry and think to be happy for aye, when pop comes Libra, or the Scales -- happiness weighed and found wanting; and while we are very sad about that, Lord! how we suddenly jump, as Scorpio, or the Scorpion, stings us in rear; we are curing the wound, when come the arrows all round; Sagittarius, or the Archer, is amusing himself. As we pluck out the shafts, stand aside! here's the battering-ram, Capricornus, or the Goat; full tilt, he comes rushing, and headlong we are tossed; when Aquarius, or the Waterbearer, pours out his whole deluge and drowns us; and, to wind up, with Pisces, or the Fishes, we sleep. Quote Right
Quote Left There is no faith, and no stoicism, and no philosophy, that a mortal man can possibly evoke, which will stand the final test of a real impassi... Quote Right
Quote Left Men may seem detestable as joint stock-companies and nations; knaves, fools, and murderers there may be; men may have mean and meagre faces; but man, in the ideal, is so noble and so sparkling, such a grand and glowing creature, that over any ignominious blemish in him all his fellows should run to throw their costliest robes. Quote Right
Quote Left How it is I know not; but there is no place like a bed for confidential disclosures between friends. Man and wife, they say, there open the very bottom of their souls to each other; and some old couples often lie and chat over old times till nearly morning. Thus, then, in our hearts honeymoon, lay I and Queequeg -- a cozy, loving pair. Quote Right
Quote Left In childhood, death stirred me not; in middle age, it pursued me like a prowling bandit on the road; now, grown an old man, it boldly leads th... Quote Right
Quote Left Toward the accomplishment of an aim, which in wantonness of atrocity would seem to partake of the insane, he will direct a cool judgement, sagacious and sound. These men are madmen, and of the most dangerous sort. Quote Right
Quote Left However baby man may brag of his science and skill, and however much, in a flattering future, that science and skill may augment; yet for ever... Quote Right
Quote Left Life is a long Dardenelles, My Dear Madam, the shores whereof are bright with flowers, which we want to pluck, but the bank is too high; and so ... Quote Right
Quote Left When I think of this life I have led; the desolation of solitude it has been; the masoned, walled-town of a Captain's exclusiveness, which admits but small entrance to any sympathy from the green country without -- oh, weariness! heaviness! Guinea-coast slavery of solitary command! Quote Right
Quote Left Through the port comes the moon-shine astray! It tips the guard's cutlass and silvers this nook;... Quote Right
Quote Left For all men tragically great are made so through a certain morbidness. Quote Right
Quote Left Where does the violet tint end and the orange tint begins? Distinctly we see the difference of the colors, but where exactly does the one first blending enter into the other. So with sanity and insanity. Quote Right
Quote Left 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. Quote Right
Quote Left It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. Quote Right
Quote Left There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practica... Quote Right
Quote Left A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things. Quote Right
Quote Left Were this world an endless pain, and by sailing eastward we could forever reach new distances, and discover sights more sweet and strange than any Cyclades or Islands of King Solomon, then there were promise in the voyage. Quote Right
Quote Left Evil is unspectacular and always human, and shores our bed and eats at our own table. Quote Right
Quote Left Old age is always wakeful; as if, the longer linked with life, the less man has to do with aught that looks like death. Quote Right
Quote Left The beauty myth moves for men as a mirage; its power lies in its ever-receding nature. When the gap is closed, the lover embraces only his own disillusion. Quote Right
Quote Left He who has never failed somewhere. . . that man can not be great. Quote Right
Quote Left They talk of the dignity of work. Bosh. The dignity is in leisure. Quote Right
Quote Left From without, no wonderful effect is wrought within ourselves, unless some interior, responding wonder meets it. Quote Right
Quote Left We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects. Quote Right
Quote Left Life is a long Dardenelles, My Dear Madam, the shores whereof are bright with flowers, which we want to pluck, but the bank is too high; & so ... Quote Right
Quote Left The chief mate of the Pequod was Starbuck, a native of Nantucket, and a Quaker by descent. He was a long, earnest man, and though born on an icy coast, seemed well adapted to endure hot latitudes, his flesh being hard as twice-baked biscuit. Transported to the Indies, his live blood would not spoil like bottled ale. He must have been born in some time of general drought and famine, or upon one of those fast days for which his state is famous. Only some thirty arid summers had he seen; those summers had dried up all his physical superfluousness. But this, his thinness, so to speak, seemed no more the token of wasting anxieties and cares, than it seemed the indication of any bodily blight. It was merely the condensation of the man. He was by no means ill-looking; quite the contrary. His pure tight skin was an excellent fit; and closely wrapped up in it, and embalmed with inner health and strength, like a revivified Egyptian, this Starbuck seemed prepared to endure for long ages to come, and to endure always, as now; for be it Polar snow or torrid sun, like a patent chronometer, his interior vitality was warranted to do well in all climates. Looking into his eyes, you seemed to see there the yet lingering images of those thousand-fold perils he had calmly confronted through life. A staid, steadfast man, whose life for the most part was a telling pantomime of action, and not a tame chapter of sounds. Yet, for all his hardy sobriety and fortitude, there were certain qualities in him which at times affected, and in some cases seemed well nigh to overbalance all the rest. Uncommonly conscientious for a seaman, and endued with a deep natural reverence, the wild watery loneliness of his life did therefore strongly incline him to superstition; but to that sort of superstition, which in some organizations seems rather to spring, somehow, from intelligence than from ignorance. Outward portents and inward presentiments were his. Quote Right
Quote Left We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men. Quote Right