Jun 162013
 

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Should we distrust the man because his manners are not our manners, and that his skin is dark?

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Sir, replied the commander, I am nothing to you but Captain Nemo; and you and your companions are nothing to me but the passengers of the Nautilus.

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So much has religion done for me; turning the original materials to the best account; pruning and training nature. But she could not eradicate nature: nor will it be eradicated ’till this mortal shall put on immortality.

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Soldiering, my dear madam, is the coward’s art of attacking mercilessly when you are strong, and keeping out of harm’s way when you are weak. That is the whole secret of successful fighting. Get your enemy at a disadvantage; and never, on any account, fight him on equal terms.

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Some of the craftiest scoundrels that ever walked this earth . . . will gravely jot down in diaries the events of every day, and keep a regular debtor and creditor account with heaven, which shall always show a floating balance in their own favour.

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Some twenty years her senior, he preserved a gift that she supposed herself to have already lost–not youth’s creative power, but its self-confidence and optimism.

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Speak of the moderns without contempt, and of the ancients without idolatry.

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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!

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Such young men are often awkward, ungainly, and not yet formed in their gait; they straggle with their limbs, and are shy; words do not come to them with ease, when words are required, among any but their accustomed associates. Social meetings are periods of penance to them, and any appearance in public will unnerve them. They go much about alone, and blush when women speak to them. In truth, they are not as yet men, whatever the number may be of their years; and, as they are no longer boys, the world has found for them the ungraceful name of hobbledehoy.

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Terror made me cruel . . .

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That big muscular frame of his held plenty of animal courage, but helped him to no decision when the dangers to be braved were such as could neither be knocked down nor throttled.

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That is one good thing about this world. . .there are always sure to be more springs.

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That quiet mutual gaze of a trusting husband and wife is like the first moment of rest or refuge from a great weariness or a great danger–not to be interfered with by speech or action which would distract the sensations from the fresh enjoyment of repose.

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That terrifying product of the social system he belonged to and believed in, the young girl who knew nothing and expected everything, looked back at him like a stranger through May Welland’s familiar features; and once more it was borne in on him that marriage was not the safe anchorage he had been taught to think, but a voyage on uncharted seas.

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That’s Harris all over – so ready to take the burden of everything himself, and put it on the backs of other people.

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That’s the way we all begin, said Tom Platt. The boys they make believe all the time till they’ve cheated ’emselves into bein’ men, an’ so till they die – pretendin’ an’ pretendin’ .

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The art of letters will come to an end before A.D. 2000. I shall survive as a curiosity.

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The atmosphere of orthodoxy is always damaging to prose, and above all it is completely ruinous to the novel, the most anarchical of all forms of literature.

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The attempt to devote oneself to literature alone is a most deceptive thing, and often, paradoxically, it is literature that suffers for it.

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The average man don’t like trouble and danger.

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