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Top 53 Herman Melville Quotes (MOBY DICK)

Top 10 Most Famous Herman Melville Quotes (BEST)

“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 causes, and they come back to us as effects.”

Herman Melville
I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.
I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.
It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great. Failure is the true test of greatness.
He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great. Failure is the true test of greatness.
I am, as I am; whether hideous, or handsome, depends upon who is made judge.
I am, as I am; whether hideous, or handsome, depends upon who is made judge.

“Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.”

Herman Melville
Friendship at first sight, like love at first sight, is said to be the only truth.
Friendship at first sight, like love at first sight, is said to be the only truth.
A smile is the chosen vehicle of all ambiguities.
A smile is the chosen vehicle of all ambiguities.
It is not down in any map; true places never are.
It is not down in any map; true places never are.
Better to sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.
Better to sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.

4 Herman Melville Quotes on Sailing and Traveling

As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.
As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.
In this world, shipmates, sin that pays its way can travel freely and without a passport; whereas Virtue, if a pauper, is stopped at all frontiers.
In this world, shipmates, sin that pays its way can travel freely and without a passport; whereas Virtue, if a pauper, is stopped at all frontiers.
Life’s a voyage that’s homeward bound.
Life’s a voyage that’s homeward bound.
At sea a fellow comes out. Salt water is like wine, in that respect.
At sea a fellow comes out. Salt water is like wine, in that respect.

9 Herman Melville Quotes About Life

Think not, is my eleventh commandment; and sleep when you can, is my twelfth.
Think not, is my eleventh commandment; and sleep when you can, is my twelfth.
Talk not to me of blasphemy, man; I'd strike the sun if it insulted me.
Talk not to me of blasphemy, man; I’d strike the sun if it insulted me.
See how elastic our prejudices grow when once love comes to bend them.
See how elastic our prejudices grow when once love comes to bend them.
I am a man who, from his youth upwards, has been filled with a profound conviction that the easiest way of life is the best.
I am a man who, from his youth upwards, has been filled with a profound conviction that the easiest way of life is the best.
Truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself.
Truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself.
If you can get nothing better out of the world, get a good dinner out of it, at least.
If you can get nothing better out of the world, get a good dinner out of it, at least.
To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell's heart, I stab at thee; For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee.
To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee; For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee.
There is sorrow in the world, but goodness too; and goodness that is not greenness, either, no more than sorrow is.
There is sorrow in the world, but goodness too; and goodness that is not greenness, either, no more than sorrow is.
Is there some principal of nature which states that we never know the quality of what we have until it is gone?
Is there some principal of nature which states that we never know the quality of what we have until it is gone?

8 Herman Melville Quotes on Success

Whatever fortune brings, don't be afraid of doing things.
Whatever fortune brings, don’t be afraid of doing things.
I try all things, I achieve what I can.
I try all things, I achieve what I can.
Real strength never impairs beauty or harmony, but it often bestows it, and in everything imposingly beautiful, strength has much to do with the magic.
Real strength never impairs beauty or harmony, but it often bestows it, and in everything imposingly beautiful, strength has much to do with the magic.
Yet habit - strange thing! What cannot habit accomplish
Yet habit – strange thing! What cannot habit accomplish?
Not one man in five cycles, who is wise, will expect appreciative recognition from his fellows.
Not one man in five cycles, who is wise, will expect appreciative recognition from his fellows.
To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.
To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.
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.
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.
When among wild beasts, if they menace you, be a wild beast.
When among wild beasts, if they menace you, be a wild beast.

3 Herman Melville Quotes on Religion

I have no objection to any person’s religion, be it what it may, so long as that person does not kill or insult any other person, because that other person don’t believe it also.
I have no objection to any person’s religion, be it what it may, so long as that person does not kill or insult any other person, because that other person don’t believe it also.
Heaven have mercy on us all - Presbyterians and Pagans alike - for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending.
Heaven have mercy on us all – Presbyterians and Pagans alike – for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending.
There is no dignity in wickedness, whether in purple or rags; and hell is a democracy of devils, where all are equals.
There is no dignity in wickedness, whether in purple or rags; and hell is a democracy of devils, where all are equals.

10 Herman Melville Quotes that will Make You Think

Wonderfullest things are ever the unmentionable; deep memories yield no epitaphs.
Wonderfullest things are ever the unmentionable; deep memories yield no epitaphs.
Ignorance is the parent of fear.
Ignorance is the parent of fear.
Hope is the struggle of the soul, breaking loose from what is perishable, and attesting her eternity.
Hope is the struggle of the soul, breaking loose from what is perishable, and attesting her eternity.
For there is no folly of the beast of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men.
For there is no folly of the beast of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men.
It is the easiest thing in the world for a man to look as if he had a great secret in him.
It is the easiest thing in the world for a man to look as if he had a great secret in him.
I do not think I have any uncharitable prejudice against the rattlesnake, still, I should not like to be one.
I do not think I have any uncharitable prejudice against the rattlesnake, still, I should not like to be one.
Yes, as everyone knows, meditation and water are wedded forever.
Yes, as everyone knows, meditation and water are wedded forever.
Human madness is oftentimes a cunning and most feline thing. When you think it fled, it may have but become transfigured into some still subtler form.
Human madness is oftentimes a cunning and most feline thing. When you think it fled, it may have but become transfigured into some still subtler form.
We are only what we are; not what we would be; nor every thing we hope for. We are but a step in a scale, that reaches further above us than below.
We are only what we are; not what we would be; nor every thing we hope for. We are but a step in a scale, that reaches further above us than below.
To be hated cordially, is only a left-handed compliment.
To be hated cordially, is only a left-handed compliment.

3 Herman Melville Quotes on Truth

“In this world of lies, Truth is forced to fly like a scared white doe in the woodlands; and only by cunning glimpses will she reveal herself, as in Shakespeare and other masters of the great Art of Telling the Truth, even though it be covertly, and by snatches.”

Herman Melville
Truth uncompromisingly told will always have its jagged edges.
Truth uncompromisingly told will always have its jagged edges.
There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method.
There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method.

3 Herman Melville Quotes on Words and Knowledge

A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things.
A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things.
You know nothing till you know all; which is the reason we never know anything.
You know nothing till you know all; which is the reason we never know anything.
They talk of the dignity of work. The dignity is in leisure.
They talk of the dignity of work. The dignity is in leisure.

3 Herman Melville Quotes on America and Government

Let America first praise mediocrity even, in her children, before she praises… the best excellence in the children of any other land.
Let America first praise mediocrity even, in her children, before she praises… the best excellence in the children of any other land.
There are times when even the most potent governor must wink at transgression, in order to preserve the laws inviolate for the future.
There are times when even the most potent governor must wink at transgression, in order to preserve the laws inviolate for the future.
You cannot spill a drop of American blood without spilling the blood of the whole world... We are not a nation, so much as a world.
You cannot spill a drop of American blood without spilling the blood of the whole world… We are not a nation, so much as a world.

(MUST READ) Moby Dick: By Herman Melville & Illustrated

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