65 Herman Melville Quotes On Success In Life

Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period. Among his best-known works are Moby-Dick (1851), Typee (1846), a romanticized account of his experiences in Polynesia, and Billy Budd, Sailor, a posthumously published novella. Although his reputation was not high at the time of his death, the centennial of his birth in 1919 was the starting point of a Melville revival and Moby-Dick grew to be considered one of the great American novels. These Herman Melville quotes will motivate you.

Best Herman Melville Quotes

  1. “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
  2. “It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” ~ Herman Melville
  3. “True places are not found on maps.” ~ Herman Melville
  4. “Only the man who says no is free” ~ Herman Melville
  5. “Ignorance is the parent of fear.” ~ Herman Melville

  6. “No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses.” ~ Herman Melville
  7. “It is not down in any map; true places never are.” ~ Herman Melville
  8. “Life’s a voyage that’s homeward bound.” ~ Herman Melville
  9. “The Past is dead, and has no resurrection; but the Future is endowed with such a life, that it lives to us even in anticipation. The Past is, in many things, the foe of mankind; the Future is, in all things, our friend. In the Past is no hope; The Future is both hope and fruition. The Past is the text-book of tyrants; the Future is the Bible of the Free. Those who are solely governed by the Past stand like Lot’s wife, crystallized in the act of looking backward, and forever incapable of looking before.” ~ Herman Melville
  10. “Whatever my fate, I’ll go to it laughing.” ~ Herman Melville

  11. “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
  12. “The eyes are the gateway to the soul.” ~ Herman Melville
  13. “We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.” ~ Herman Melville
  14. “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.” ~ Herman Melville
  15. “When among wild beasts, if they menace you, be a wild beast.” ~ Herman Melville

  16. “Is there some principle of nature which states that we never know the quality of what we have until it is gone?” ~ Herman Melville
  17. “Art is the objectification of feeling.” ~ Herman Melville
  18. “Truth is in things, and not in words.” ~ Herman Melville
  19. “I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.” ~ Herman Melville
  20. “You know nothing till you know all; which is the reason we never know anything.” ~ Herman Melville
  21. “Truth uncompromisingly told will always have its ragged edges.” ~ Herman Melville
  22. “The sweetest joys of life grow in the very jaws of its perils.” ~ Herman Melville
  23. “Meditation and water are wedded forever.” ~ Herman Melville

  24. “He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great.” ~ Herman Melville
  25. “Silence is the only Voice of our God.” ~ Herman Melville
  26. “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. But when a man’s religion becomes really frantic; when it is a positive torment to him; and, in fine, makes this earth of ours an uncomfortable inn to lodge in; then I think it high time to take that individual aside and argue the point with him.” ~ Herman Melville
  27. “If you can get nothing better out of the world, get a good dinner out of it, at least.” ~ Herman Melville
  28. “An utterly fearless man is a far more dangerous comrade than a coward.” ~ Herman Melville

  29. “The most mighty of nature’s laws is this, that out of Death she brings Life.” ~ Herman Melville
  30. “They talk of the dignity of work. The dignity is in leisure.” ~ Herman Melville
  31. “A smile is the chosen vehicle of all ambiguities.” ~ Herman Melville
  32. “I am, as I am; whether hideous or handsome, depends upon who is made judge.” ~ Herman Melville

  33. “Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off – then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.” ~ Herman Melville
  34. “Stay true to the dreams of thy youth.” ~ Herman Melville
  35. “Beneath those stars is a universe of gliding monsters.” ~ Herman Melville
  36. “There is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself.” ~ Herman Melville
  37. “The only true infidelity is for a live man to vote himself dead.” ~ Herman Melville
  38. “Nature is nobody’s ally.” ~ Herman Melville

  39. “I cherish the greatest respect towards everybody’s religious obligations, no matter how comical.” ~ Herman Melville
  40. “Fame is an accident; merit a thing absolute.” ~ Herman Melville
  41. “All Profound things, and emotions of things are preceded and attended by Silence… Silence is the general consecration of the universe. Silence is the invisible laying on of the Divine Pontiff’s hands upon the world. Silence is at once the most harmless and the most awful thing in all nature. It speaks of the Reserved Forces of Fate. Silence is the only Voice of our God.” ~ Herman Melville
  42. “One of the coolest and wisest hours a man has, is just after he awakes in the morning.” ~ Herman Melville
  43. “It is hard to be finite upon an infinite subject, and all subjects are infinite.” ~ Herman Melville

  44. “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
  45. “Think not, is my eleventh commandment; and sleep when you can, is my twelfth.” ~ Herman Melville
  46. “To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.” ~ Herman Melville
  47. “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.” ~ Herman Melville quotes
  48. “There’s magic in the water that draws all men away form the land, that leads them over hills, down creeks and streams and rivers to the sea.” ~ Herman Melville
  49. “The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails whereon my soul is grooved to run” ~ Herman Melville

  50. “Why did the old Persians hold the sea holy? Why did the Greeks give it a separate deity, and own brother Jove? Surely all this is not without meaning. And still deeper the meaning of that story of Narcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting mild image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and was drowned. But that same image, we ourselves see in all rivers and oceans. It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all.” ~ Herman Melville
  51. “Ladies are like creeds; if you cannot speak well of them, say nothing.” ~ Herman Melville
  52. “When the passage “All men are born free and equal,” when that passage was being written were not some of the signers legalised owners of slaves?” ~ Herman Melville
  53. “Failure is the true test of greatness” ~ Herman Melville

  54. “I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.” ~ Herman Melville
  55. “There is nothing so slipperily alluring as sadness; we become sad in the first place by having nothing stirring to do; we continue in it, because we have found a snug sofa at last.” ~ Herman Melville
  56. “In a multitude of acquaintances is less security, than in one faithful friend.” ~ Herman Melville
  57. “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.” ~ Herman Melville
  58. “There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method.” ~ Herman Melville

  59. “Faith, like a jackal, feeds among the tombs, and even from these dead doubts she gathers her most vital hope.” ~ Herman Melville
    “I’ll try a pagan friend, thought I, since Christian kindness has proved but hollow courtesy.” ~ Herman Melville
  60. “Do not presume, well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed, to criticize the poor” ~ Herman Melville
  61. “A whale ship was my Yale College and my Harvard.” ~ Herman Melville
  62. “As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.” ~ Herman Melville
  63. “Friendship at first sight, like love at first sight, is said to be the only truth.” ~ Herman Melville
  64. “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.” ~ Herman Melville
  65. “for there is no folly of the beast of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men” ~ Herman Melville

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