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quotations The Best Herman Melville Quotes  

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A list of the best Herman Melville quotes. This list is arranged by which famous Herman Melville quotes have received the most votes, so only the greatest Herman Melville quotes are at the top of the list. All the most popular quotes from Herman Melville should be listed here, but if any were missed you can add more at the end of the list. This list includes notable Herman Melville quotes on various subjects, many of which are inspirational and thought provoking.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best Herman Melville quotes?" and "What is the most famous Herman Melville quote?"

You can see what subjects these historic Herman Melville quotes fall under displayed to the right of the quote. Be sure to vote so your favorite Herman Melville saying won't fall to the bottom of the list.

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And all from looking at a piece of gold, which did I have it now on Negro Hill or in Corlaer’s Hook, I’d not look at it very long ere spending it. Humph! in my poor, insignificant opinion, I regard this as queer. I have seen doubloons before now in my voyagings; your doubloons of old Spain, your doubloons of Peru, your doubloons of Chili, your doubloons of Bolivia, your doubloons of Popayan; with plenty of gold moidores and pistoles, and joes, and half joes, and quarter joes. What then should there be in this doubloon of the Equator that is so killing wonderful? Herman Melville

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We may have civilized bodies and yet barbarous souls. We are blind to the real sights of this world; deaf to its voice; and dead to its death. And not till we know, that one grief outweighs ten thousand joys will we become what Christianity is striving to make us. Herman Melville

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I see nothing here, but a round thing made of gold, and whoever raises a certain whale, this round thing belongs to him. So, what’s all this staring been about? It is worth sixteen dollars, that’s true; and at two cents the cigar, that’s nine hundred and sixty cigars. I won’t smoke dirty pipes like Stubb, but I like cigars, and here’s nine hundred and sixty of them. Herman Melville

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All ye mast-headers have before now heard me give orders about a white whale. Look ye! d’ye see this Spanish ounce of gold? It is a sixteen dollar piece, men. D’ye see it? Mr. Starbuck, hand me yon top-maul. Herman Melville

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

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

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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

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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

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Let America first praise mediocrity even, in her children, before she praises... the best excellence in the children of any other land. Herman Melville

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

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He says NO! in thunder; but the Devil himself cannot make him say yes. Herman Melville

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The lightning flashes through my skull; mine eyeballs ache and ache; my whole beaten brain seems as beheaded, and rolling on some stunning ground. Herman Melville

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I feel that the Godhead is broken up like the bread at the Supper, and that we are the pieces. Hence this infinite fraternity of feeling. Herman Melville

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When I think of this life I have led; the desolation of solitude it has been; the masoned, walled-town of a Captain's exclusiveness, which admits but small entrance to any sympathy from the green country without -- oh, weariness! heaviness! Guinea-coast slavery of solitary command! Herman Melville

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If some books are deemed most baneful and their sale forbid, how, then, with deadlier facts, not dreams of doting men? Those whom books will hurt will not be proof against events. Events, not books, should be forbid. Herman Melville

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In our own hearts, we mold the whole world's hereafters; and in our own hearts we fashion our own gods. Herman Melville

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Toil is man's allotment; toil of brain, or toil of hands, or a grief that's more than either, the grief and sin of idleness. Herman Melville

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But it is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. Herman Melville

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They talk of the dignity of work. The dignity is in leisure. Herman Melville

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Let me look into a human eye; it is better than to gaze into sea or sky; better than to gaze upon God. Herman Melville

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We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as courses, and they come back to us as effects. Herman Melville

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For whatever is truly wondrous and fearful in man, never yet was put into words or books. Herman Melville

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People think that if a man has undergone any hardship, he should have a reward; but for my part, if I have done the hardest possible day's work, and then come to sit down in a corner and eat my supper comfortably --why, then I don't think I deserve any reward for my hard day's work --for am I not now at peace? Is not my supper good? Herman Melville

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So, cutting the lashing of the waterproof match keg, after many failures Starbuck contrived to ignite the lamp in the lantern; then stretching it on a waif pole, handed it to Queequeg as the standard-bearer of this forlorn hope. There, then, he sat, holding up that imbecile candle in the heart of that almighty forlornness. There, then, he sat, the sign and symbol of a man without faith, hopelessly holding up hope in the midst of despair. Herman Melville

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There is the grand truth about Nathaniel Hawthorne. He says NO! in thunder; but the Devil himself cannot make him say yes. For all men who say yes, lie; and all men who say no,why, they are in the happy condition of judicious, unincumbered travellers in Europe; they cross the frontiers into Eternity with nothing but a carpet-bag,that is to say, the Ego. Whereas those yes-gentry, they travel with heaps of baggage, and, damn them! they will never get through the Custom House. Herman Melville

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Give me a condor's quill! Give me Vesuvius crater for an inkstand! Herman Melville

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How it is I know not; but there is no place like a bed for confidential disclosures between friends. Man and wife, they say, there open the very bottom of their souls to each other; and some old couples often lie and chat over old times till nearly morning. Thus, then, in our hearts honeymoon, lay I and Queequeg -- a cozy, loving pair. Herman Melville

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The consciousness of being deemed dead, is next to the presumable unpleasantness of being so in reality. One feels like his own ghost unlawfully tenanting a defunct carcass. Herman Melville

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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, though, but incidentally and without premeditation. Herman Melville

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Look you, Doubloon, your zodiac here is the life of man in one round chapter. To begin: there's Aries, or the Ram -- lecherous dog, he begets us; then, Taurus, or the Bull -- he bumps us the first thing; then Gemini, or the Twins -- that is, Virtue and Vice; we try to reach Virtue, when lo! comes Cancer the Crab, and drags us back; and here, going from Virtue, Leo, a roaring Lion, lies in the path -- he gives a few fierce bites and surly dabs with his paw; we escape, and hail Virgo, the virgin! that's our first love; we marry and think to be happy for aye, when pop comes Libra, or the Scales -- happiness weighed and found wanting; and while we are very sad about that, Lord! how we suddenly jump, as Scorpio, or the Scorpion, stings us in rear; we are curing the wound, when come the arrows all round; Sagittarius, or the Archer, is amusing himself. As we pluck out the shafts, stand aside! here's the battering-ram, Capricornus, or the Goat; full tilt, he comes rushing, and headlong we are tossed; when Aquarius, or the Waterbearer, pours out his whole deluge and drowns us; and, to wind up, with Pisces, or the Fishes, we sleep. Herman Melville

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Why, ever since Adam, who has got to the meaning of this great allegory -- the world? Then we pygmies must be content to have out paper allegories but ill comprehended. Herman Melville

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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