Herman Melville quote about death from Moby-Dick - Faith, like a jackal, feeds among the tombs, and even from these dead doubts she gathers her most vital hope.
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Faith, like a jackal, feeds among the tombs, and even from these dead doubts she gathers her most vital hope.
 Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851). copy citation

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Author Herman Melville
Source Moby-Dick
Topic death hope faith
Date 1851
Language English
Reference
Note
Weblink http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2701/2701-h/2701-h.htm

Context

“In what census of living creatures, the dead of mankind are included; why it is that a universal proverb says of them, that they tell no tales, though containing more secrets than the Goodwin Sands; how it is that to his name who yesterday departed for the other world, we prefix so significant and infidel a word, and yet do not thus entitle him, if he but embarks for the remotest Indies of this living earth; why the Life Insurance Companies pay death-forfeitures upon immortals; in what eternal, unstirring paralysis, and deadly, hopeless trance, yet lies antique Adam who died sixty round centuries ago; how it is that we still refuse to be comforted for those who we nevertheless maintain are dwelling in unspeakable bliss; why all the living so strive to hush all the dead; wherefore but the rumor of a knocking in a tomb will terrify a whole city. All these things are not without their meanings.
But Faith, like a jackal, feeds among the tombs, and even from these dead doubts she gathers her most vital hope.
It needs scarcely to be told, with what feelings, on the eve of a Nantucket voyage, I regarded those marble tablets, and by the murky light of that darkened, doleful day read the fate of the whalemen who had gone before me.” source

Meaning and analysis

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