The Piazza Tales

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Dix & Edwards, 1856 - American literature - 431 pages
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User Review  - Poquette - LibraryThing

Piazza Tales is a collection of six stories of varying length, which are the only collection of short pieces published during Melville's lifetime. These stories present a good cross-section of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DRFP - LibraryThing

A pretty middling collection of tales, though nothing too inaccessible for Melville. The two novellas - Benito Cereno and Barteby - are definitely the stand outs here, though even suffer from ... Read full review

Contents

I
1
II
31
III
109
IV
271
V
287
VI
401

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Page 85 - A new commandment give I unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. Hereby shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. This is my commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you.
Page 346 - midst the chase on every plain, The tender thought on thee shall dwell. Each lonely scene shall thee restore, For thee the tear be duly shed ; Belov'd, till life can charm no more ; And mourn'd, till Pity's self be dead.
Page 73 - Oh certainly, sir, if you prefer that I should." As he opened the folding-door to retire, Nippers at his desk caught a glimpse of me, and asked whether I would prefer to have a certain paper copied on blue paper or white. He did not in the least roguishly accent the word prefer. It was plain that it involuntarily rolled from his tongue.
Page 83 - ... before I had prospectively assumed that Bartleby would depart, so now I might retrospectively assume that departed he was. In the legitimate carrying out of this assumption, I might enter my office in a great hurry, and pretending not to see Bartleby at all, walk straight against him as if he were air. Such a proceeding would in a singular degree have the appearance of a homethrust.
Page 46 - ... no view at all, though it gave some light. Within three feet of the panes was a wall, and the light came down from far above, between two lofty buildings, as from a very small opening in a dome. Still further to a satisfactory arrangement, I procured a high green folding screen, which might entirely isolate Bartleby from my sight, though not remove him from my voice. And thus, in a manner, privacy and society were conjoined.
Page 270 - Some months after, dragged to the gibbet at the tail of a mule, the black met his voiceless end. The body was burned to ashes; but for many days, the head, that hive of subtlety, fixed on a pole in the Plaza, met, unabashed, the gaze of the whites; and across the Plaza looked towards St.
Page 86 - I endeavored, also, immediately to occupy myself, and at the same time to comfort my despondency. I tried to fancy, that in the course of the morning, at such time as might prove agreeable to him, Bartleby, of his own free accord, would emerge from his hermitage and take up some decided line of march in the direction of the door. But no. Half-past twelve o'clock came; Turkey began to glow in the face, overturn his inkstand, and become generally obstreperous; Nippers abated down into quietude and...
Page 85 - ... excited, was at unawares hurried into his fatal act — an act which certainly no man could possibly deplore more than the actor himself. Often it had occurred to me in my ponderings upon the subject, that had that altercation taken place in the public street, or at a private residence, it would not have terminated as it did. It was the circumstance of being alone in a solitary office, up stairs, of a building entirely unhallowed by humanizing domestic associations...
Page 65 - For the first time in my life a feeling of overpowering stinging melancholy seized me. Before, I had never experienced aught but a not nnpleasing sadness. The bond of a common humanity now drew me irresistibly to gloom. A fraternal melancholy ! For both I and Bartleby were sons of Adam.
Page 84 - What earthly right have you to stay here? Do you pay any rent? Do you pay my taxes? Or is this property yours? He answered nothing. "Are you ready to go on and write now? Are your eyes recovered? Could you copy a small paper for me this morning? or help examine a few lines? or step round to the post-office? In a word, will you do any thing at all, to give a coloring to your refusal to depart the premises?

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