Herman Melville was a novelist, short story writer, and poet who lived during the American Renaissance.

Moby-Dick (1851), Typee (1846), a romanticized description of his travels in Polynesia, and Billy Budd, Sailor, a posthumously released novella, are among his best-known works.

Despite his not so good reputation at the time of his death, the centennial of his birth in 1919 sparked a Melville resurgence, and Moby-Dick became regarded as one of the great American novels.

We have made a list of the top quotes from Herman Melville for you.


Best Herman Melville Quotes

1. “I would prefer not to.” ~ (Herman Melville).

quotes-about-herman-melville

2. “It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” ~ (Herman Melville).

3. “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.” ~ (Herman Melville).

4. “God’s one and only voice is silence.” ~ (Herman Melville).

5. “I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.” ~ (Herman Melville).

6. “It is not down in any map; true places never are.” ~ (Herman Melville).

7. “Call me Ishmael.” ~ (Herman Melville).

8. “The eyes are the gateway to the soul.” ~ (Herman Melville).

9. “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).

10. “Ah, Bartleby! Ah, humanity!” ~ (Herman Melville).

quotes-on-herman-melville

11. “Life’s a voyage that’s homeward bound.” ~ (Herman Melville).

12. “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).

Top Herman Melville Quotes

13. “For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half known life.” ~ (Herman Melville).

14. “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.” ~ (Herman Melville).

15. “Who in the rainbow can draw the line where the violet tint ends and the orange tint begins? Distinctly we see the difference of the colors, but where exactly does the one first blendingly enter into the other? So with sanity and insanity.” ~ (Herman Melville).

16. “There’s magic in the water that draws all men away from the land, that leads them over hills, down creeks and streams and rivers to the sea.” ~ (Herman Melville).

17. “Beneath those stars is a universe of gliding monsters.” ~ (Herman Melville).

18. “Failure is the true test of greatness.” ~ (Herman Melville).

19. “A smile is the chosen vehicle of all ambiguities.” ~ (Herman Melville).

20. “Death is only a launching into the region of the strange Untried; it is but the first salutation to the possibilities of the immense Remote, the Wild, the Watery, the Unshored.” ~ (Herman Melville).

Famous Herman Melville Quotes

21. “Friendship at first sight, like love at first sight, is said to be the only truth.” ~ (Herman Melville).

22. “Only the man who says no is free.” ~ (Herman Melville).

best-herman-melville-quotes

23. “Stay true to the dreams of thy youth.” ~ (Herman Melville).

24. “Dream tonight of peacock tails, Diamond fields and spouter whales. Ills are many, blessing few, But dreams tonight will shelter you.” ~ (Herman Melville).

25. “I try all things, I achieve what I can.” ~ (Herman Melville).

26. “I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.” ~ (Herman Melville).

27. “No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses.” ~ (Herman Melville).

28. “We Americans are the peculiar, chosen people – the Israel of our time; we bear the ark of the liberties of the world.” ~ (Herman Melville).

29. “All Profound things, and emotions of things are preceded and attended by Silence.” ~ (Herman Melville).

30. “Where lies the final harbor, whence we unmoor no more?” ~ (Herman Melville).

Popular Herman Melville Quotes

31. “We cannot live for ourselves alone.” ~ (Herman Melville).

32. “To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it.” ~ (Herman Melville).

33. “We should, if possible, prove a teacher to posterity, instead of being the pupil of by-gone generations. More shall come after us than have gone before; the world is not yet middle-aged.” ~ (Herman Melville).

34. “Ah, happiness courts the light so we deem the world is gay. But misery hides aloof so we deem that misery there is none.” ~ (Herman Melville).

top-herman-melville-quotes

35. “A good laugh is a mighty good thing, a rather too scarce a good thing.” ~ (Herman Melville).

36. “Until we understand that our grief outweighs a thousand joys, we will never understand what Christianity is all about.” ~ (Herman Melville).

37. “All wars are boyish, and are fought by boys.” ~ (Herman Melville).

38. “The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails whereon my soul is grooved to run.” ~ (Herman Melville).

39. “I am, as I am; whether hideous, or handsome, depends upon who is made judge.” ~ (Herman Melville).

40. “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes his whole universe for a vast practical joke.” ~ (Herman Melville).

Inspiring Herman Melville Quotes

41. “There is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself.” ~ (Herman Melville).

42. “Talk not to me of blasphemy, man; I’d strike the sun if it insulted me.” ~ (Herman Melville).

43. “See how elastic our prejudices grow when once love comes to bend them.” ~ (Herman Melville).

44. “Yea, foolish mortals, Noah’s flood is not yet subsided; two thirds of the fair world it yet covers.” ~ (Herman Melville).

45. “Our souls are like those orphans whose unwedded mothers die in bearing them: the secret of our paternity lies in their grave, and we must there to learn it.” ~ (Herman Melville).

46. “He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it.” ~ (Herman Melville).

47. “Ni**ards are oftentimes neat.” ~ (Herman Melville).

48. “But I shall follow the endless, winding way, – the flowing river in the cave of man; careless whither I be led, reckless where I land.” ~ (Herman Melville).

49. “I rejoice in my spine, as in the firm audacious staff of that flag which I fling half out to the world.” ~ (Herman Melville).

50. “Youth is immortal; Tis the elderly only grow old!” ~ (Herman Melville).


You Might Like