Herman Melville · 416 pages
Rating: (4.5K votes)
“Passion, and passion in its profoundest, is not a thing demanding a palatial stage whereon to play its part. Down among the groundlings, among the beggars and rakers of the garbage, profound passion is enacted. And the circumstances that provoke it, however trivial or mean, are no measure of its power. In the present instance the stage is a scrubbed gun deck, and one of the external provocations a man-of-war's-man's spilled soup.”
“In this particular Billy was a striking instance that the arch interferer, the envious marplot of Eden, still has more or less to do with every human consignment to this planet of Earth. In every case, one way or another he is sure to slip in his little card, as much as to remind us—I too have a hand here. The”
“His duty he always faithfully did; but duty is sometimes a dry obligation, and he was for irrigating its aridity, whensoever possible, with a fertilizing decoction of strong waters.”
“Such events cannot be ignored, but there is a considerate way of historically treating them. If a well-constituted individual refrains from blazoning aught amiss or calamitous in his family, a nation in the like circumstance may without reproach be equally discreet. Though”
“For what can more partake of the mysterious than an antipathy spontaneous and profound such as is evoked in certain exceptional mortals by the mere aspect of some other mortal, however harmless he may be, if not called forth by this very harmlessness itself?”
“The maintenance of secrecy in the matter, the confining all knowledge of it for a time to the place where the homicide occurred, the quarter-deck cabin; in these particulars lurked some resemblance to the policy adopted in those tragedies of the palace which have occurred more than once in the capital founded by Peter the Barbarian.”
“If in some cases a bit of a nautical Murat in setting forth his person ashore, the Handsome Sailor of the period in question evinced nothing of the dandified Billy-be-Dam, an amusing character all but extinct now, but occasionally to be encountered, and in a form yet more amusing than the original, at the tiller of the boats on the tempestuous Erie Canal or, more likely, vaporing in the groggeries along the towpath.”
“He loved books, never going to sea without a newly replenished library, compact but of the best.”
“In certain matters, some sailors even in mature life remain unsophisticated enough. But a young seafarer of the disposition of our athletic foretopman is much of a child-man. And yet a child’s utter innocence is but its blank ignorance, and the innocence more or less wanes as intelligence waxes. But in Billy Budd intelligence, such as it was, had advanced while yet his simplemindedness remained for the most part unaffected.”
“Finally, the continuing war in Colombia offers a glimpse of the postmodern network scenario, where all sides in the conflict have linked up with privatized military help. While the government and multinational corporations have hired PMFs, the opposition as well has contracted out much of its intelligence and military functions. Flush with resources, Colombian political insurgents, drug cartels, international mafias, hired advisors, and other affiliates have also made their own alliances. Thus, they are able to limit the exposure of their core, while making use of the latest technology.”
“Say again, over,” he announced.
“I was saying that I’m going from here on foot,” Arkeley told them. “You can follow however you choose but this place was never meant for a military parade.”
“He’s making fun of your truck,” Caxton told Captain Suzie.”
“failure at one point could throw the momentum out of balance and result in chaos. All in that room were aware”
“It is amazing how much you can see in other people - the good and the bad, we won't even talk about the ugly - if you just shut up and watch them.”
“I was the girl who had hair like blood.”
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