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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1272
AUTHOR: Herman Melville (1819–91)
QUOTATION: There is the grand truth about Nathaniel Hawthorne. He says NO! in thunder; but the Devil himself cannot make him say yes. For all men who say yes, lie; and all men who say no,—why, they are in the happy condition of judicious, unincumbered travellers in Europe; they cross the frontiers into Eternity with nothing but a carpet-bag,—that is to say, the Ego. Whereas those yes-gentry, they travel with heaps of baggage, and, damn them! they will never get through the Custom House.
ATTRIBUTION: HERMAN MELVILLE, letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne, April 16, 1851.—Melville, Moby-Dick: An Authoritative Text, Reviews and Letters…, ed. Harrison Hayford and Hershel Parker, p. 555 (1967).
SUBJECTS: Opinions