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Quotations From HERMAN MELVILLE

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  • 211.
    Vivenza was a braggadocio in Mardi; the only brave one ever known.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 146, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Vivenza, an allegorical representation of the United States.
  • 212.
    Oh, men are jailers all; jailers of themselves; and in Opinion's world ignorantly hold their noblest part a captive to their vilest.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. V, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971). Spoken by Pierre.

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  • 213.
    The incompetence of mere unaided virtue or right-mindedness ...
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 41, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988). Referring to Starbuck.
  • 214.
    His memory is like wares at the auction—going, going, and anon it will be gone.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Jack Gentian" (posthumous), p. 371, Billy Budd and Other Prose Pieces, The Works of Herman Melville, vol. 13, ed. Raymond M. Weaver (1924). Spoken by "a young Croesus" about Jack Gentian.

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  • 215.
    I can see that figure now—pallidly neat, pitiably respectable, incurably forlorn! It was Bartleby.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Bartleby" (1853), 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). Spoken by the lawyer-narrator.
  • 216.
    There are hardly five critics in America; and several of them are asleep.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Hawthorne and His Mosses" (1850), 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).

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  • 217.
    To study the stars upon the wide, boundless sea, is divine as it was to the Chaldean Magi, who observed their revolutions from the plains.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 19, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).

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  • 218.
    We are not a nation, so much as a world; for unless we claim all the world for our sire, like Melchisedec, we are without father or mother.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 33, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).

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  • 219.
    Like all high functionaries, he deemed it indispensable religiously to sustain his dignity; one of the most troublesome things in the world, and one calling for the greatest self-denial.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 6, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969). Concerning the commodore aboard the Neversink.

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  • 220.
    We are the pioneers of the world; the advance-guard, sent on through the wilderness of untried things, to break a new path in the New World that is ours.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).

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