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)
Death should take me while I am in the mood. ― Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance. (Dodo Press October 25, 2005) Originally published 1852.
Methinks we have hugely mistaken this matter of Life and Death. Methinks that what they call my shadow here on earth is my true substance. Methinks that in looking at things spiritual, we are too much like oysters observing the sun through the water, and thinking that thick water the thinnest of air. Me thinks… Continue reading Herman Melville
There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody’s expense but his own. ― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The… Continue reading Herman Melville
And he piled upon the whale’s white hump. A sum of all the rage and hate felt by his own race. If his chest had been a cannon, he would have shot his heart upon it. – Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale. Richard Bentley October 18, 1851 (Britain), Harper & Brothers November 14, 1851… Continue reading Herman Melville