Herman Melville

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

Herman Melville Quotes

  • ''I love all men who dive. Any fish can swim near the surface, but it takes a great whale to go down stairs five miles or more; & if he don't attain the bottom, why, all the lead in Galena can't fashion the plummet that will.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. letter, Mar. 3, 1849, to Evert A. Duyckinck. Correspondence, vol. 14, The Writings of Herman Melville, ed. Lynn Horth (1993).
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  • ''We are idiot, younger-sons of gods, begotten in dotages divine; and our mothers all miscarry.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 180, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Babbalanja, the philosopher.
  • ''Traveling takes the ink out of one's pen as well as the cash out of one's purse.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. letter, Dec. 2, 1849, to Evert A. Duyckinck. Correspondence, vol. 14, The Writings of Herman Melville, ed. Lynn Horth (1993).
  • ''Deeper and deeper into Time's endless tunnel, does the winged soul, like a night-hawk, wend her wild way; and finds eternities before and behind; and her last limit is her everlasting beginning.''
    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).
  • ''There is nothing so slipperily alluring as sadness; we become sad in the first place by having nothing stirring to do; we continue in it, because we have found a snug sofa at last.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. XVIII, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).
  • ''Of all human events, perhaps, the publication of a first volume of verses is the most insignificant; but though a matter of no moment to the world, it is still of some concern to the author.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Letter, May 22, 1860, to his brother, Allan Melville. Correspondence, vol. 14, The Writings of Herman Melville, ed. Lynn Horth (1993).
  • ''In childhood, death stirred me not; in middle age, it pursued me like a prowling bandit on the road; now, grown an old man, it boldly leads the way, and ushers me on.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 185, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Mohi, the historian.
  • ''All round and round does the world lie as in a sharp-shooter's ambush, to pick off the beautiful illusions of youth, by the pitiless cracking rifles of the realities of age.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. XV, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971).

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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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