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Herman Melville Quotes

A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things.

A smile is the chosen vehicle of all ambiguities.

A whale ship was my Yale College and my Harvard.

Art is the objectification of feeling.

At sea a fellow comes out. Salt water is like wine, in that respect.

Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.

Better to sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.

Faith, like a jackal, feeds among the tombs, and even from these dead doubts she gathers her most vital hope.

Friendship at first sight, like love at first sight, is said to be the only truth.

He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart's shell upon it.

He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great.

Heaven have mercy on us all - Presbyterians and Pagans alike - for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending.

Hope is the struggle of the soul, breaking loose from what is perishable, and attesting her eternity.

I am, as I am; whether hideous, or handsome, depends upon who is made judge.

In this world, shipmates, sin that pays its way can travel freely, and without passport; whereas Virtue, if a pauper, is stopped at all frontiers.

Is there some principal of nature which states that we never know the quality of what we have until it is gone?

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.

It is impossible to talk or to write without apparently throwing oneself helplessly open.

It is not down in any map; true places never are.

Know, thou, that the lines that live are turned out of a furrowed brow.