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"All men live enveloped in whale-lines. All are born with halters round their necks; but it is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals realize the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life. And if you be a philosopher, though seated in the whale-boat, you would not at heart feel one whit more of terror, than though seated before your evening fire with a poker, and not a harpoon, by your side."

Herman Melville in Moby-Dick

"I try all things; I achieve what I can."

Herman Melville in Moby-Dick

"What is best let alone, that accursed thing is not always what least allures."

Herman Melville in Moby-Dick

"'Why do you doubt your senses?'
'Because,' said Scrooge, 'a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!'"

Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol

"[F]or it is always the person not in the predicament who knows what ought to have been done in it, and would unquestionably have done it."

Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol

"Falling in love and falling to your death feel about the same, I thought. And I almost laughed."

Shannon Hale in Dangerous

"Generally speaking, if a guy breaks your jaw and leg and cuts off your robotic arm, you file charges and get a restraining order. The only exception is when subtle machinations are needed to save the world from a massive, catastrophic alien takeover. But in no other circumstance."

Shannon Hale in Dangerous

"'The ultimate meaning to which all stories refer has two face: the continuity of life, the inevitability of death.'"

Italo Calvino in If On a Winter's Night a Traveler

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