Challenge The challenge is not to win, but to conquer the fear. It is not the other people you have to beat, it is your self.
So, cutting the lashing of the waterproof match keg, after many failures Starbuck contrived to ignite the lamp in the lantern; then stretching it on a waif pole, handed it to Queequeg as the standard-bearer of this forlorn hope. There, then, he sat, holding up that imbecile candle in the heart of that almighty forlornness. There, then, he sat, the sign and symbol of a man without faith, hopelessly holding up hope in the midst of despair.
If some books are deemed most baneful and their sale forbid, how, then, with deadlier facts, not dreams of doting men? Those whom books will hurt will not be proof against events. Events, not books, should be forbid.
I feel that the Godhead is broken up like the bread at the Supper, and that we are the pieces. Hence this infinite fraternity of feeling.
The sailor is frankness, the landsman is finesse. Life is not a game with the sailor, demanding the long head
Why, ever since Adam, who has got to the meaning of this great allegory—the world? Then we pygmies must be content to have out paper allegories but ill comprehended.
Topics: Philosophy, Philosophers
When I think of this life I have led; the desolation of solitude it has been; the masoned, walled-town of a Captain’s exclusiveness, which admits but small entrance to any sympathy from the green country without—oh, weariness! heaviness! Guinea-coast slavery of solitary command!
Topics: Leaders, Leadership
Let America first praise mediocrity even, in her children, before she praises… the best excellence in the children of any other land.
There is something wrong about the man who wants help. There is somewhere a deep defect, a want, in brief, a need, a crying need, somewhere about that man.
Topics: Assistance, Help, Aid
Silence is the only Voice of our God.
Faith, like a jackal, feeds among the tombs, and even from these dead doubts she gathers her most vital hope.
In glades they meet skull after skull
Where pine cones lay-the rusted gun,
Green shoes full of bones, the mouldering coat
And cuddled up skeleton;
And scores of such. Some start as in dreams,
And comrades lost bemoan;
By the edge of those wilds Stonewall had charged-
But the year and the Man were gone.
It is not down in any map, true places never are.
Look you, Doubloon, your zodiac here is the life of man in one round chapter. To begin: there’s Aries, or the Ram—lecherous dog, he begets us; then, Taurus, or the Bull—he bumps us the first thing; then Gemini, or the Twins—that is, Virtue and Vice; we try to reach Virtue, when lo! comes Cancer the Crab, and drags us back; and here, going from Virtue, Leo, a roaring Lion, lies in the path—he gives a few fierce bites and surly dabs with his paw; we escape, and hail Virgo, the virgin! that’s our first love; we marry and think to be happy for aye, when pop comes Libra, or the Scales—happiness weighed and found wanting; and while we are very sad about that, Lord! how we suddenly jump, as Scorpio, or the Scorpion, stings us in rear; we are curing the wound, when come the arrows all round; Sagittarius, or the Archer, is amusing himself. As we pluck out the shafts, stand aside! here’s the battering-ram, Capricornus, or the Goat; full tilt, he comes rushing, and headlong we are tossed; when Aquarius, or the Waterbearer, pours out his whole deluge and drowns us; and, to wind up, with Pisces, or the Fishes, we sleep.
Prayer draws us near to our own souls.
People think that if a man has undergone any hardship, he should have a reward; but for my part, if I have done the hardest possible day’s work, and then come to sit down in a corner and eat my supper comfortably—why, then I don’t think I deserve any reward for my hard day’s work—for am I not now at peace? Is not my supper good?
Topics: Eating, Results
I saw a ship of material build
(Her standards set, her brave apparel on)
Directed as by madness mere
Against a solid iceberg steer,
Nor budge it, though the infactuate ship went down.
The impact made huge ice-cubes fall
Sullen in tons that crashed the deck;
But that one avalanche was all—
No other movement save the foundering wreck.
Along the spurs of ridges pale,
Not any slenderest shaft and frail,
A prism over glass-green gorges lone,
Toppled; or lace or traceries fine,
Nor pendant drops in grot or mine
Were jarred, when the stunned ship went down.
Nor sole the gulls in cloud that wheeled
Circling one snow-flanked peak afar,
But nearer fowl the floes that skimmed
And crystal beaches, felt no jar.
No thrill transmitted stirred the lock
Of jack-straw neddle-ice at base;
Towers indermined by waves—the block
Atilt impending—kept their place.
Seals, dozing sleek on sliddery ledges
Slipt never, when by loftier edges
Through the inertia overthrown,
The impetuous ship in bafflement went down.
Hard Berg (methought), so cold, so vast,
With mortal damps self-overcast;
Exhaling still thy dankish breath—
Adrift dissolving, bound for death;
Though lumpish thou, a lumbering one—
A lumbering lubbard loitering slow,
Impingers rue thee ad go slow
Sounding thy precipice below,
Nor stir the slimy slug that sprawls
Along thy dead indifference of walls.
A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things.
The Past is the textbook of tyrants; the Future the Bible of the Free. Those who are solely governed by the Past stand like Lot’s wife, crystallized in the act of looking backward, and forever incapable of looking before.
Meditation and water are wedded for ever.
Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Langston Hughes American Poet, Writer
- Joyce Carol Oates American Novelist
- Ken Kesey American Novelist
- David Foster Wallace American Novelist, Essayist
- William S. Burroughs American Novelist
- Reynolds Price American Novelist
- Barbara Kingsolver American Novelist, Essayist
- Ray Bradbury American Science-Fiction Writer
- Kurt Vonnegut American Novelist
- Robert A. Heinlein American Science Fiction Writer