Be careful in the hunt, ye mates.

Herman Melville

Herman Melville

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: American

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The act of paying is perhaps the most uncomfortable infliction that the two orchard thieves entailed upon us. But being paid--what will compare with it?

For we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending.

Because a laugh's the wisest, easiest answer to all that's queer; and come what will, one comfort's always left--that unfailing comfort is, it's all predestinated.

Some certain significance lurk in all things, else all things are little worth, and the round world itself but an empty cipher except to sell by the cartload, as they do hills about Boston, to fill up some morass in the Milky Way.

For all his tattooings he was on the whole a clean, comely looking cannibal...

But indeed, nature herself seemed to have been his vintner, and at his birth charged him so thoroughly with an irritable, brandy-like disposition, that all subsequent potations were needless.

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.

But if I know not even the tail of this whale, how understand his head? much more, how comprehend this face, when face he has none? Thou shalt see my back parts, my tail, he seems to say, but my face shall not be seen. But I cannot completely make out his back parts; and hint what he will about his face, I say again he has no face.

Man has lost that sense of the full awfulness of the sea which aboriginally belongs to it.

And the only mode in which you can derive even a tolerable idea of his living contour, is by going a whaling yourself; but by so doing, you run no small risk of being eternally stove and sunk by him. Wherefore, it seems to me you had best not be too fastidious in your curiosity touching this Leviathan.

But the mingled, mingling threads of life are woven by warp and woof: calms crossed by storms, a storm for every calm. There is no steady unretracing progress in this life; we do not advance through fixed gradations, and at the last one pause.

Yes, these eyes are windows, and this body of mine is the house. What a pity they didn't stop up the chinks and crannies though, and thrust in a little lint here and there. But it's too late to make any improvements now. The universe is finished; the copestone is on, and the chips were carted off a million years ago.

At sea a fellow comes out. Salt water is like wine, in that respect.

But Ahab's glance was averted; like a blighted fruit tree he shook, and cast his last, cindered apple to the soil.