Herman Melville Quotes

Herman Melville Quotes: The grand points in human nature are the same to-day they were a thousand years ago. The only variability in them is in expression, not in feature.
Charity, like poetry, should be cultivated, if only for its being graceful.
Fame is an accident; merit a thing absolute.
If you are poor, avoid wine as a costly luxury; if you are rich, shun it as a fatal indulgence. Stick to plain water.
Truth uncompromisingly told will always have its ragged edges.
I have written a wicked book, and feel spotless as the lamb. Ineffable socialities are in me. I would sit down and dine with you and all the gods in old Rome's Pantheon. It is a strange feeling--no hopefulness is in it, no despair. Content--that is it; and irresponsibility; but without licentious inclination.
Start her, now; give 'em the long and strong stroke, Tashtego. Start her, Tash, my boy-start her, all; but keep cool, keep cool-cucumbers is the word-easy, easy-only start her like grim death and grinning devils, and raise the buried dead perpendicular out of their graves, boys-that's all. Start her!
As in digging for precious metals in the mines, much earthy rubbish has first to be troublesomely handled and thrown out; so, in digging in one's soul for the fine gold of genius, much dullness and common-place is first brought to light.
Man is a money-making animal, which propensity too often interferes with his benevolence.
I don't know but a book in a man's brain is better off than a book bound in calf--at any rate it is safer from criticism. And taking a book off the brain, is akin to the ticklish & dangerous business of taking an old painting off a panel--you have to scrape off the whole brain in order to get at it with due safety--& even then, the painting may not be worth the trouble.
For in tremendous extremities human souls are like drowning men; well enough they know they are in peril; well enough they know the causes of that peril;--nevertheless, the sea is the sea, and these drowning men do drown.
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.
A beautiful woman is born Queen of men and women both, as Mary Stuart was born Queen of Scots, whether men or women.
A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things.
The shadows of things are greater than themselves; and the more exaggerated the shadow, the more unlike the substance.
In armies, navies, cities, or families, in nature herself, nothing more relaxes good order than misery.
That hour in the life of a man when first the help of humanity fails him, and he learns that in his obscurity and indigence humanity holds him a dog and no man: that hour is a hard one, but not the hardest. There is still another hour which follows, when he learns that in his infinite comparative minuteness and abjectness, the gods do likewise despise him, and own him not of their clan.