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Quotes

The legislator is like the navigator of a ship on the high seas. He can steer the vessel on which he sails, but he cannot alter its construction, raise the wind, or stop the waves from swelling beneath his feet.

—Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

Seaward ho! Hang the treasure! It’s the glory of the sea that has turned my head.

—Robert Louis Stevenson, 1883

Seafarers go to sleep in the evening not knowing whether they will find themselves at the bottom of the sea the next morning.

—Jean de Joinville, c. 1305

In all the ancient states and empires, those who had the shipping, had the wealth.

—William Petty, 1690

Many, many steeples would have to be stacked one on top of another to reach from the bottom to the surface of the sea. It is down there that the sea folk live.

—Hans Christian Andersen, 1837

Being thus arrived in good harbor, and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and stale earth, their proper element.

—William Bradford, 1630

The sea receives us in a proper way only when we are without clothes.

—Pliny the Elder, 77

I am ill every time it blows hard, and nothing but my enthusiastic love for the profession keeps me one hour at sea.

—Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1804

He that commands the sea is at great liberty and may take as much and as little of the war as he will.

—Francis Bacon, c. 1600

You never enjoy the world aright, till the sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens, and crowned with the stars.

—Thomas Traherne, c. 1670

Alone, alone, all, all alone,

Alone on a wide, wide sea!

—Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1798

The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea.

—Vladimir Nabokov, 1941

Seamen are the nearest to death and the furthest from God.

—Thomas Fuller, 1732