Herman Melville (1819-1891)

"Men may seem detestable as joint stock-companies and nations; knaves, fools, and murderers there may be; men may have mean and meagre faces; but man, in the ideal, is so noble and so sparkling, such a grand and glowing creature, that over any ignominious blemish in him all his fellows should run to throw their costliest robes."

"He's a grand, ungodly, god-like man."

"What I feel most moved to write, that is banned,—it will not pay. Yet, altogether, write the other way I cannot."

"I have written a wicked book [Moby Dick], and feel spotless as the lamb. Ineffable social ties are in me. I would sit down and dine with you and all the gods in old Rome's Pantheon. It is a strange feeling—no hopefulness is in it, no despair. Content—that is it; and irresponsibility; but without licentious inclination."

"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 the leisure. Besides, 99 hundredths of all the work days in the world is either foolish or unnecessary, or harmful and wicked."

"Though the ancients were ignorant of the principles of Christianity, there were in them the germs of its spirit."