Herman Melville

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

Herman Melville Quotes

  • ''Better be an old maid, a woman with herself as a husband, than the wife of a fool; and Solomon more than hints that all men are fools; and every wise man knows himself to be one.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 15, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970).
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • ''Oh! my dear fellow beings, why should we longer cherish any social acerbities, or know the slightest ill-humor or envy! Come; let us squeeze hands all round.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 94, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
  • ''We talk of the Turks, and abhor the cannibals; but may not some of them, go to heaven, before some of us?''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 58, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
  • ''We Americans are the peculiar, chosen people—the Israel of our time; we bear the ark of the liberties of the world.''
    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).
  • ''To an immature nature essentially honest and humane, forewarning intimations of subtler danger from one's kind come tardily if at all.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Billy Budd, Sailor (c. 1889), ch. 19, eds. Harrison Hayford and Merton M. Sealts, Jr. (1962).
  • ''The march of conquest through wild provinces, may be the march of Mind; but not the march of Love.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 168, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Babbalanja, the philosopher.
  • ''The Navy is the asylum for the perverse, the home of the unfortunate. Here the sons of adversity meet the children of calamity, and here the children of calamity meet the offspring of sin.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 18, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
  • ''Great towers take time to construct.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 75, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970).
  • ''To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be who have tried it.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 104, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
  • ''Were they to emigrate in a body to man the navies of the moon, almost every thing would stop here on earth except its revolution on its axis, and the orators in the American Congress.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 29, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969). Referring to sailors.

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

Gettysburg

O Pride of the days in prime of the months
Now trebled in great renown,
When before the ark of our holy cause
Fell Dagon down-
Dagon foredoomed, who, armed and targed,
Never his impious heart enlarged
Beyond that hour; God walled his power,
And there the last invader charged.

[Report Error]