Herman Melville

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

Herman Melville Quotes

  • ''Truth uncompromisingly told will always have its ragged edges.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Billy Budd, Sailor (c. 1889), ch. 28, eds. Harrison Hayford and Merton M. Sealts, Jr. (1962).
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  • ''Thou wine art the friend of the friendless, though a foe to all.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 85, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by King Donjalolo.
  • ''Can it be, that the Greek grammarians invented their dual number for the particular benefit of twins?''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 53, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
  • '''Tis no dishonor when he who would dishonor you, only dishonors himself.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 87, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969). Spoken by Ushant, after being flogged.
  • ''Of the quaking recruit, three pitched battles make a grim grenadier; and he who shrank from the muzzle of a cannon, is now ready to yield his mustache for a sponge.''
    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).
  • ''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.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 26, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
  • ''As with ships, so with men; he who turns his back to his foe gives him an advantage.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 27, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
  • ''If a well-constituted individual refrains from blazoning aught amiss or calamitous in his family, a nation in the like circumstance may without reproach be equally discreet.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Billy Budd, Sailor (c. 1889), ch. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford and Merton M. Sealts, Jr. (1962).
  • ''Vivenza might be likened to St. John, feeding on locusts and wild honey, and with prophetic voice, crying to the nations from the wilderness.''
    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.
  • ''Where do murderers go, man! Who's to doom, when the judge himself is dragged to the bar?''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 132, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988). Spoken by Captain Ahab.

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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

Immolated

Children of my happier prime,
When One yet lived with me, and threw
Her rainbow over life and time,
Even Hope, my bride, and mother to you!
O, nurtured in sweet pastoral air,
And fed on flowers and light and dew
Of morning meadows -spare, ah, spare
Reproach; spare, and upbraid me not
That, yielding scarce to reckless mood,

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