Herman Melville

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

Herman Melville Quotes

  • ''We die, because we live.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 178, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Babbalanja, the philosopher.
    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • ''There seems no reason why patriotism and narrowness should go together, or why intellectual fairmindedness should be confounded with political trimming, or why serviceable truth should keep cloistered because not partisan.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Supplement." "Battle-Pieces" (1866), p. 461, Collected Poems of Herman Melville, ed. Howard P. Vincent (1947). Referring to political debate.
  • ''To be called one thing, is oftentimes to be another.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 89, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970).
  • ''Ladies are like creeds; if you cannot speak well of them, say nothing.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 51, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
  • ''We should, if possible, prove a teacher to posterity, instead of being the pupil of by-gone generations. More shall come after us than have gone before; the world is not yet middle-aged.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 36, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
  • ''Those of us who always abhorred slavery as an atheistical iniquity, gladly we join in the exulting chorus of humanity over its downfall.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Supplement." "Battle-Pieces" (1866), p. 465, Collected Poems of Herman Melville, ed. Howard P. Vincent (1947).
  • ''The knave of a thousand years ago seems a fine old fellow full of spirit and fun, little malice in his soul; whereas, the knave of to-day seems a sour-visaged wight, with nothing to redeem him.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 89, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Mohi, the historian.
  • ''I felt a melting in me. No more my splintered heart and maddened hand were turned against the wolfish world.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 10, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988). Concerns the effect of Queequeg on Ishmael.
  • ''There is no dignity in wickedness, whether in purple or rags; and hell is a democracy of devils, where all are equals.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 55, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
  • ''So long as a man-of-war exists, it must ever remain a picture of much that is tyrannical and repelling in human nature.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 49, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).

Read more quotations »
Best Poem of Herman Melville

Art

In placid hours well-pleased we dream
Of many a brave unbodied scheme.
But form to lend, pulsed life create,
What unlike things must meet and mate:
A flame to melt--a wind to freeze;
Sad patience--joyous energies;
Humility--yet pride and scorn;
Instinct and study; love and hate;
Audacity--reverence. These must mate,
And fuse with Jacob's mystic heart,
To wrestle with the angel--Art.

Read the full of Art

Shiloh - A Requiem

Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
The swallows fly low
Over the field in clouded days,
The forest-field of Shiloh --
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched one stretched in pain
Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
Around the church of Shiloh--

[Report Error]