Herman Melville

“In the operative opinion of this world, he who is already fully provided what what is necessary for him, that man shall have more; while he who is deplorably destitute of the same, he shall have taken away from him even that which he hath. Yet the world vows it is a very plain, downright matter-of-fact, plodding, humane sort of world. It is governed only by the simplest principles, and scorns all ambiguities, all transcendentals, and all manner of juggling. Now some imaginatively heterodoxical men are often surprisingly twitted upon their willful inverting of all common-sense notions, their absurd and all-displacing transcendentals, which say three is four, and two and two make ten. But if the eminent Juggularius himself ever advocated in mere words a doctrine one thousandth part so ridiculous and subversive of all practical sense, as that doctrine which the world actually and eternally practices, of giving unto him who already hath more than enough, still more of that superfluous article, and taking away from him who hath nothing at all, even that which he hath,—then is the truest book in the world a lie.”


Herman Melville, Pierre; or, The Ambiguities
Read more quotes from Herman Melville


Share this quote:
Share twitter circle

Friends Who Liked This Quote


To see what your friends thought of this quote, please sign up!

2 likes
All Members Who Liked This Quote



This Quote Is From

Pierre; or, The Ambiguities Pierre; or, The Ambiguities by Herman Melville
1,032 ratings, average rating, 105 reviews
Open Preview

Browse By Tag