Quotations by Melville, Herman


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

Herman Melville (1819-1891) American writer
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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If the gods think to speak outright to man, they will honorably speak outright; not shake their heads, and give an old wives’ darkling hint.

Herman Melville (1819-1891) American writer
Moby-Dick, ch. 133 [Ahab] (1851)
Added on 30-Oct-07 | Last updated 30-Oct-07
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Being paid — what will compare with it? The urbane activity with which a man receives money is really marvelous, considering that we so earnestly believe money to be the root of all earthly ills, and on no account can a monied man enter heaven. Ah! how cheerfully we consign ourself to perdition!

Herman Melville (1819-1891) American writer
Moby-Dick, ch. 1 [Ishmael] (1851)
Added on 15-Dec-11 | Last updated 15-Dec-11
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Whoever afflict us, whatever surround,
Life is a voyage that’s homeward-bound!

Herman Melville (1819-1891) American writer
White-Jacket (1850)
Added on 24-Oct-07 | Last updated 24-Oct-07
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Whoever is not in the possession of leisure can hardly be said to possess independence. They talk of the dignity of work. Bosh. True work is the necessity of poor humanity’s earthly condition. The dignity is in leisure.

Herman Melville (1819-1891) American writer
Letter to his cousin, Kate Gansevoort Lansing (5 Sep 1877)

Full text.
Added on 8-Jul-11 | Last updated 8-Jul-11
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Let us speak, though we show all our faults and weaknesses — for it is a sign of strength to be weak, to know it, and out with it — not in a set way and ostentatiously, but incidentally and without premeditation.

Herman Melville (1819-1891) American writer
Letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne (29 Jun 1851)
Added on 9-Jul-14 | Last updated 9-Jul-14
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