Treasure Island

Herman Melville

(1 August 1819 – 28 September 1891 / New York City, New York)

Quotations

  • ''The god Janus never had two more decidedly different faces than your sea captain.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Etchings of a Whaling Cruise" (1847), 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).
    15 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • ''If not against us, nature is not for us.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 69, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Babbalanga, the philosopher.
  • ''Surely a gentle sister is the second best gift to a man; and it is first in point of occurrence; for the wife comes after.''
    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).
  • ''Let us speak, though we show all our faults and weaknesses,—for it is a sign of strength to be weak, to know it, and out with it,—not in a set way and ostentatiously, though, but incidentally and without premeditation.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Letter, June 29, 1851, to Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Letters of Herman Melville, eds. Merrell R. Davis and William H. Gilman (1960).
  • ''Indolence is heaven's ally here,
    And energy the child of hell:
    The Good Man pouring from his pitcher clear
    But brims the poisoned well.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. poet, novelist. Fragments of a Lost Gnostic Poem of the Twelfth Century (l. 5-8). . . Selected Poems of Herman Melville. Hennig Cohen, ed. (1991) Fordham University Press.
  • ''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.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 175, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Babbalanja, the philosopher.
  • ''There is something in the breast of almost every man, which at bottom takes offense at the attentions of any other man offered to a woman, the hope of whose nuptial love he himself may have discarded. Fain would a man selfishly appropriate all the hearts which have ever in any way confessed themselves his.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. XXI, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).
  • ''People think that if a man has undergone any hardship, he should have a reward; but for my part, if I have done the hardest possible day's work, and then come to sit down in a corner and eat my supper comfortably—why, then I don't think I deserve any reward for my hard day's work—for am I not now at peace? Is not my supper good?''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. letter, Nov. 17, 1851, to Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Letters of Herman Melville, eds. Merrell R. Davis and William H. Gilman (1960).
  • ''Found a family, build a state,
    The pledged event is still the same:
    Matter in end will never abate
    His ancient brutal claim.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. poet, novelist. Fragments of a Lost Gnostic Poem of the Twelfth Century (l. 1-4). . . Selected Poems of Herman Melville. Hennig Cohen, ed. (1991) Fordham University Press.
  • '''Tis no great valor to perish sword in hand, and bravado on lip; cased all in panoply complete. For even the alligator dies in his mail, and the swordfish never surrenders. To expire, mild-eyed, in one's bed, transcends the death of Epaminondas.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 9, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970).

Read more quotations »

America

I

Where the wings of a sunny Dome expand
I saw a Banner in gladsome air-
Starry, like Berenice's Hair-
Afloat in broadened bravery there;
With undulating long-drawn flow,
As rolled Brazilian billows go
Voluminously o'er the Line.

[Hata Bildir]