Herman Melville Quotes
443 Sourced Quotes
Whoever is not in the possession of leisure can hardly be said to possess independence. They talk of the dignity of work. Bosh. True Work is the necessity of poor humanity's earthly condition. The dignity is in leisure. Besides, 99 hundreths of all the work done in the world is either foolish and unnecessary, or harmful and wicked.
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. And if it be said, that continual success is a proof that a man wisely knows his powers, — it is only to be added, that, in that case, he knows them to be small. Let us believe it, then, once for all, that there is no hope for us in these smooth pleasing writers that know their powers.
At my years, and with my disposition, or rather, constitution, one gets to care less and less for everything except downright goodfeeling. Life is so short, and so ridiculous and irrational (from a certain point of view) that one knows not what to make of it, unless--well, finish the sentence for yourself.
Start her, now; give 'em the long and strong stroke, Tashtego. Start her, Tash, my boy-start her, all; but keep cool, keep cool-cucumbers is the word-easy, easy-only start her like grim death and grinning devils, and raise the buried dead perpendicular out of their graves, boys-that's all. Start her!