Saturday, 12 April 2014

Golden Quotebook: Melville on Paupers and Plutocrats

The nauseating spectacle of the European rich getting away with corruption and fraud, while the crisis they caused is visited upon the most vulnerable, inspired me to quote the following terse lines from America's foremost author:

Now Jonah's captain, shipmates, was one whose discernment detects crime in any, but whose cupidity exposes it only in the penniless. In this world, shipmates, Sin that pays its way can travel freely, and without a passport, whereas Virtue, if a pauper, is stopped at all frontiers.

[Melville, Moby Dick, Chapter 9]


  1. Can one not have duel citizenship and two passports? Where one can afford it.


  2. Only those born in Liverpool manage to consider themselves both vicious and virtuous at the same time, I believe...