Herman Melville

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

Herman Melville Quotes

  • ''After many centuries, those crescents yet unwaning shine, and count a devotee for every worshiper of yonder crosses. Truth and Merit have other symbols than success.''
    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, about the Christian and Muslim faiths.
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  • ''There is something wrong about the man who wants help. There is somewhere a deep defect, a want, in brief, a need, a crying need, somewhere about that man.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Charlie Noble, in The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade, ch. 39 (1857). To Frank Goodman, who had asked Noble for a loan and assistance.
  • ''Are twelve wise men more wise than one? or will twelve fools, put together, make one sage? Are twelve honest men more honest than one?''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 60, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by King Media about juries.
  • ''Faith, like a jackal, feeds among the tombs, and even from these dead doubts she gathers her most vital hope.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby Dick, ch. 7 (1851).
  • ''There are doubts, sir, which, if man have them, it is not man that can solve them.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. The Confidence-Man (1857), ch. 45, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 10, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1984). Spoken by an old man.
  • ''Man lording it over man, man kneeling to man, is a spectacle that Gabriel might well travel hitherward to behold; for never did he behold it in heaven.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 60, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970).
  • ''Old age is always wakeful; as if, the longer linked with life, the less man has to do with aught that looks like death.''
    Herman Melville (1819-91), U.S. author. Moby Dick, ch. 29 (1851).
  • ''What is an atheist, but one who does not, or will not, see in the universe a ruling principle of love; and what a misanthrope, but one who does not, or will not, see in man a ruling principle of kindness?''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. The Confidence-Man (1857), ch. 28, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 10, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1984). Spoken by the cosmopolitan.
  • ''Some dying men are the most tyrannical; and certainly, since they will shortly trouble us so little for evermore, the poor fellows ought to be indulged.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby Dick, ch. 110 (1851).
  • ''There is sorrow in the world, but goodness too; and goodness that is not greenness, either, no more than sorrow is.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. The Confidence-Man (1857), ch. 5, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 10, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1984). Spoken by the man with a weed.

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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

The Berg (A Dream)

I saw a ship of material build
(Her standards set, her brave apparel on)
Directed as by madness mere
Against a solid iceberg steer,
Nor budge it, though the infactuate ship went down.
The impact made huge ice-cubes fall
Sullen in tons that crashed the deck;
But that one avalanche was all--
No other movement save the foundering wreck.

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