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PinkMonkey.com-MonkeyNotes-Typee, by Herman Melville
PinkMonkey® Quotations on . . .
By Herman Melville
QUOTATION: A gentleman of Typee can bring up a numerous family of children
and give them all a highly respectable cannibal education, with infinitely
less toil and anxiety than he expends in the simple process of striking
a light; whilst a poor European artisan, who through the instrumentality
of a lucifer performs the same operation in one second, is put to his
wits end to provide for his starving offspring that food which the
children of a Polynesian father, without troubling their parent, pluck
from the branches of every tree around them.
QUOTATION: Unsophisticated and confiding, they are easily led into every
vice, and humanity weeps over the ruin thus remorselessly inflicted upon
them by their European civilizers.
QUOTATION: By many a legendary tale of violence and wrong, as well as
by events which have passed before their eyes, these people have been
taught to look upon white men with abhorrence.... I can sympathize with
the spirit which prompts the Typee warrior to guard all the passes to
his valley with the point of his levelled spear, and, standing upon the
beach, with his back turned upon his green home, to hold at bay the intruding
QUOTATION: Stripped of the cunning artifices of the tailor, and standing
forth in the garb of Eden,what a sorry set of round-shouldered,
spindle-shanked, crane-necked varlets would civilized men appear!
QUOTATION: Were civilization itself to be measured by some of its results,
it would seem perhaps better for what we call the barbarous part of the
world to remain unchanged.
QUOTATION: How feeble is all language to describe the horrors we inflict
upon these wretches, whom we mason up in the cells of our prisons, and
condemn to perpetual solitude in the very heart of our population.
QUOTATION: The women, who had congregated in the groves, set up the most
violent clamors, as they invariably do here as elsewhere on every occasion
of excitement and alarm, with a view of tranquilizing their own minds
and disturbing other people.
QUOTATION: Civilization, for every advantage she imparts, holds a hundred
evils in reserve;the heart burnings, the jealousies, the social rivalries,
the family dissensions, and the thousand self-inflicted discomforts of
refined life, which make up in units the swelling aggregate of human misery.
QUOTATION: The grand principles of virtue and honor, however they may
be distorted by arbitrary codes, are the same the world over: and where
these principles are concerned, the right or wrong of any action appears
the same to the uncultivated as to the enlightened mind.
QUOTATION: I should like to have seen a gallery of coronation beauties,
at Westminster Abbey, confronted for a moment by this band of Island girls;
their stiffness, formality, and affectation contrasted with the artless
vivacity and unconcealed natural graces of these savage maidens. It would
be the Venus de Medici placed beside a milliners doll.
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