Billy Budd
by Herman Melville

First Paragraph



IN THE time before steamships, or then more frequently than now, a stroller along the docks of any considerable sea-port would occasionally have his attention arrested by a group of bronzed mariners, man-of-war's men or merchant-sailors in holiday attire ashore on liberty. In certain instances they would flank, or, like a body-guard quite surround some superior figure of their own class, moving along with them like Aldebaran among the lesser lights of his constellation. That signal object was the "Handsome Sailor" of the less prosaic time alike of the military and merchant navies. With no perceptible trace of the vainglorious about him, rather with the off-hand unaffectedness of natural regality, he seemed to accept the spontaneous homage of his shipmates. A somewhat remarkable instance recurs to me. In Liverpool, now half a century ago, I saw under the shadow of the great dingy street-wall of Prince's Dock (an obstruction long since removed) a common sailor, so intensely black that he must needs have been a native African of the unadulterate blood of Ham. A symmetric figure much above the average height. The two ends of a gay silk handkerchief thrown loose about the neck danced upon the displayed ebony of his chest; in his ears were big hoops of gold, and a Scotch Highland bonnet with a tartan band set off his shapely head.

First Paragraphs of Books (Index)

MemorableQuotations.com

Memorable Quotations: Herman Melville (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: Novelists (A - B)

Memorable Quotations: Novelists (C - E)

Memorable Quotations: Novelists (F - I)

Memorable Quotations: Novelists (J - L)

Memorable Quotations: Novelists (M - O)

Memorable Quotations: Novelists (P - R)

Memorable Quotations: Novelists (S - U)

Memorable Quotations: Novelists (V - Z)

Memorable Quotations: Novelists of the Past
(Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: Jane Austen (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: James Baldwin (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: Samuel Butler (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: Thomas Carlyle (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: Miguel de Cervantes (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations from Joseph Conrad (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: Charles Dickens (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: George Eliot (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: F. Scott Fitzgerald (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: E.M. Forster (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: Oliver Goldsmith (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: Thomas Hardy (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: William Hazlitt (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: Victor Hugo (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations from Aldous Huxley (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: Samuel Johnson (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: D.H. Lawrence (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations from Henry Miller (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations from George Orwell (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: Marcel Proust (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations from The Marquis de Sade (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: George Santayana (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: Jonathan Swift (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations from James Thurber (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: Leo Tolstoy (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: Anthony Trollope (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: Voltaire (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: Simone Weil (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations from Oscar Wilde (Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: Virginia Woolf (Kindle Book)

MemorableQuotations.com
http://www.memorablequotations.com