But oh! shipmates! on the starboard hand of every woe, there is a sure delight; and higher the top of that delight, than the bottom of the woe is deep.
Say what some poets will, Nature is not so much her own ever-sweet interpreter, as the mere supplier of that cunning alphabet, whereby selecting and combining as he pleases, each man reads his own peculiar lesson according to his own peculiar mind and mood.
I baptize you not in the name of the father, but in the name of the devil. (Ego baptizo te in nomine patris, sed in nomine diaboli.)
Queegqueg no care what god made him shark ... wedder Fejee god or Nantucket god; but de god what made him shark must be one dam Ingin.
When my eye rested on an arid height, spirit partook of the barrenness. - Heartily wish Niebuhr & Strauss to the dogs. The deuce take their penetration & acumen. They have robbed us of the bloom.
The idea of Jehovah was born here... Out of the rude elements of the insignificant thoughts thoughts that are in all men, they reared the transcendent conception of a God.
The reason the mass of men fear God, and at bottom dislike Him, is because they rather distrust His heart, and fancy Him all brain like a watch. (You perceive I employ a capital initial in the pronoun referring to the Deity; don't you think there is a slight dash of flunkeyism in that usage?).
Of all nature's animated kingdoms, fish are the most unchristian, inhospitable, heartless, and cold-blooded of creatures.
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.
I cherish the greatest respect towards everybody's religious obligations, no matter how comical.
It is hard to be finite upon an infinite subject, and all subjects are infinite.
From without, no wonderful effect is wrought within ourselves, unless some interior, responding wonder meets it. That the starry vault shall surcharge the heart with all rapturous marvelings, is only because we ourselves are greater miracles, and superber trophies than all the stars in universal space.
Erie, and Ontario, and Huron, and Superior, and Michigan possess an ocean-like expansiveness, with many of the ocean's noblest traits... they are swept by Borean and dismasting blasts as direful as any that lash the salted wave; they know what shipwrecks are, for out of sight of land, however inland, they have drowned full many a midnight ship with all its shrieking crew.
Seat thyself sultanically among the moons of Saturn, and take high abstracted man alone; and he seems a wonder, a grandeur, and a woe. But from that same point, take mankind in mass, and for the most part, they seem a mob of unnecessary duplicates, both contemporary and hereditary.
There is no life in thee, now, except that rocking life imparted by a gently rolling ship; by her, borrowed from the sea; by the sea, from the inscrutable tides of God.
But when that smoking chowder came in, the mystery was delightfully explained. Oh! sweet friends, hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuits and salted pork cut up into little flakes! the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt... we dispatched it with great expedition.
There seems no reason why patriotism and narrowness should go together, or why intellectual fairmindedness should be confounded with political trimming, or why serviceable truth should keep cloistered because not partisan.
There is no figure more common in scripture, and none more beautiful, than that by which Christ is likened unto light. Incomprehensible in its nature, itself the first visible, and that by which all things are seen, light represents to us Christ. Whose generation none can declare, but Who must shine upon us ere we can know aught aright, whether of things Divine or human.
Our souls belong to our bodies, not our bodies to our souls.
There never was a great man yet who spent all his life inland.
Let us pray that the great historic tragedy of our time may not have been enacted without instructing our whole beloved country through terror and pity; and may fulfillment verify in the end those expectations which kindle the bards of Progress and Humanity.
A chaplain is the minister of the Prince of Peace serving the host of the God of War-Mars. As such, he is as incongruous as a musket would be on the altar at Christmas. Why, then, is he there? Because he indirectly subserves the purpose attested by the cannon; because too he lends the sanction of the religion of the meek to that which practically is the abrogation of everything but brute Force.
beauty is like piety-you cannot run and read it; tranquility and constancy, with, now-a-days, an easy chair, are needed.
A beautiful woman is born Queen of men and women both, as Mary Stuart was born Queen of Scots, whether men or women.
The only ugliness is that of the heart, seen through the face. And though beauty be obvious, the only loveliness is invisible.
The names of all fine authors are fictitious ones, far more so than that of Junius,-simply standing, as they do, for the mystical, ever-eluding Spirit of all Beauty, which ubiquitously possesses men of genius.
Nothing can lift the heart of man like manhood in a fellow man.
It is with fiction as with religion: it should present another world, and yet one to which we feel the tie.
Where is there such an one who has not a thousand times been struck with a sort of infidel idea, that whatever other worlds God may be Lord of, he is not the Lord of this; for else this world would seem to give the lie to Him; so utterly repugnant seem its ways to the instinctively known ways of Heaven.
The world's a ship on its voyage out, and not a voyage complete; and the pulpit is its prow.
Soldier or sailor, the fighting man is but a fiend; and the staff and body-guard of the Devil musters many a baton.
Standing navies, as well as standing armies, serve to keep alive the spirit of war even in the meek heart of peace. In its very embers and smoulderings, they nourish that fatal fire, and half-pay officers, as the priests of Mars, yet guard the temple, though no god be there.
So long as a man-of-war exists, it must ever remain a picture of much that is tyrannical and repelling in human nature.
Did all the lets and bars appearTo every just or larger end,Whence should come the trust and cheer?Youth must its ignorant impulse lend-Age finds place in the rear.All wars are boyish, and are fought by boys,The champions and enthusiasts of the state
Better be secure under one king, than exposed to violence from twenty millions of monarchs, though oneself be one of them.
Only the man who says no is free
Familiarity with danger makes a brave man braver, but less daring. Thus with seamen: he who goes the oftenest round Cape Horn goes the most circumspectly.
Cannibalism to a certain moderate extent is practised among several of the primitive tribes in the Pacific, but it is upon the bodies of slain enemies alone; and horrible and fearful as the custom is, immeasurably as it is to be abhorred and condemned, still I assert that those who indulge in it are in other respects humane and virtuous.
A ship is a bit of terra firma cut off from the main; it is a state in itself; and the captain is its king.
To anybody who can hold the Present at its worth without being inappreciative of the Past, it may be forgiven, if to such an one the solitary old hulk at Portsmouth, Nelson's Victory, seems to float there, not alone as the decaying monument of a fame incorruptible, but also as a poetic approach, softened by its picturesqueness, to the Monitors and yet mightier hulls of the European ironclads.