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 :: 1819-1891, American Author

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But it is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
~ Herman Melville - [Originality]

 

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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 - [Faith]

 

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

 

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Give me a condor's quill! Give me Vesuvius crater for an inkstand!
~ Herman Melville - [Writers and Writing]

 

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He says NO! in thunder; but the Devil himself cannot make him say yes.
~ Herman Melville - [Obstinacy]

 

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He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great.
~ Herman Melville - [Failure]

 

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

 

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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 - [Bed]

 

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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 - [Human Fellowship]

 

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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 - [Censorship]

 

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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 - [Heart]

 

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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 - [Patriotism]

 

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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 - [Humankind]

 

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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 - [Speech]

 

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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 - [Astrology]

 

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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 - [Age and Aging]

 

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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 - [Rewards]

 

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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 - [Death and Dying]

 

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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 - [Survival]

 

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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 - [Madness]

 

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