However, a good laugh is a mighty good thing, and rather too scarce a good thing; the more’s the pity. So, if any one man, in his own proper person, afford stuff for a good joke to anybody, let him not be backward, but let him cheerfully allow himself to spend and to be spent… Continue reading Herman Melville
Eternally inexorable and unconcerned is Fate, a mere heartless trader in men’s joys and woes. — Herman Melville, Pierre: or, the Ambiguities. (Harper; First Edition edition, November 16, 1995) Originally published 1852.
I would prefer not to. ― Herman Melville, Bartleby, the Scrivener. (Melville House; 58087th edition May 1, 2004) Originally published November 1853.
The warmly cool, clear, ringing, perfumed, overflowing, redundant days, were as crystal goblets of Persian sherbet, heaped up—flaked up, with rose-water snow. ― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale. Richard Bentley October 18, 1851 (Britain), Harper & Brothers November 14, 1851 (U.S.)
It is not good for man to cherish a solitary ambition. Unless there be those around him, by whose example he may regulate himself, his thoughts, desires, and hopes will become extravagant, and he the semblance, perhaps the reality, of a madman. ― Nathaniel Hawthorne, from “The Prophetic Pictures,” Twice-Told Tales. (Palala Press September 21,… Continue reading Nathaniel Hawthorne
All men live enveloped in whale-lines. All are born with halters round their necks; but it is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals realize the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life. And if you be a philosopher, though seated in the whale-boat, you would not at heart feel one… Continue reading Herman Melville
The death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world. ― Edgar Allan Poe, “The Philosophy of Composition.” (1846)