Herman Melville

Harrison Hayford, Alma A. MacDougall, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (eds), The Writings of Herman Melville: The Northwestern-Newberry Edition, Vol. 12: Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land

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Editor’s Note
Since melville was a learned amateur with an extraordinary memory, the majority of these discussions identify his biblical and classical allusions, demonstrate his use of sources, and provide cross-references to his Journals and, when especially relevant, to other Melville writings and biographical data; other discussions comment on emendations and decisions not to emend (for commentary on special classes of textual decisions, see the Note on the Text, pp. 680–99). The discussions are preceded by a list of abbreviations and short titles of frequently cited works, a chronology of the pilgrimage, and two maps: Jerusalem and Environs (Map A, p. 707) and Route of the Pilgrims (Map B, p. 709).
Unless otherwise specified, all quotations from Melville's writings (and page references cited) follow the Northwestern-Newberry (NN) Edition (e.g., Volume 15, Journals). All quotations are presented literatim (except for the silent correction of typographical errors in secondary sources); any variation between a document as transcribed in the works listed below and as printed here is based on an examination of the original. Illustrations (some reduced) are drawn mainly from nineteenth-century books cited in the discussions.

Bartlett, Forty Days

W[illiam]. H[enry]. Bartlett, Forty Days in the Desert. New York: Scribner, [186–?]. Sealts 48.

Bartlett, Walks

W[illiam]. H[enry]. Bartlett, Walks about the City and Environs of Jerusalem. London: Virtue, [second ed., revised, 186–?]. Sealts 50.

Bercaw (followed by entry number)

Mary K. Bercaw, Melville's Sources. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1987.


Walter E. Bezanson, "Herman Melville's Clarel." Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 1943.

Bezanson, "Arnold's Poetry"

Walter E. Bezanson, "Melville's Reading of Arnold's Poetry," PMLA, LXIX (June, 1954), 365–91.


F. A. de Chateaubriand, Travels in Greece, Palestine, Egypt, and Barbary, During the Years 1806 and 1807. Trans. F. Shoberl. [London: Colburn, 1811–12]; New York: Van Winkle & Wiley, 1814.

Copy B

Clarel, a custom-bound copy of the first edition with revisions in Melville's hand; now in the Houghton Library of Harvard University. See pp. 849–63 below.


Robert Curzon, A Visit to Monasteries in the Levant. New York: Putnam; London: Murray, 1849.


Melville Collection (Harvard College Library) of the Houghton Library of Harvard University


A Critical Index of the Characters (in the present volume, pp. 613–35).


The Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature. Ed. John Kitto. 2 vols. [Edinburgh: Black, 1845]; New York, 1845, and later printings from the same plates, with the same pagination, various publishers.


Jay Leyda, The Melville Log: A Documentary Life of Herman Melville, 1819–1891. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1951; Gordian Press, 1969. 2 vols.

[Forthcoming: The New Melville Log, ed. Jay Leyda and Hershel Parker. New York: Gordian Press].


A Handbook for Travellers in Syria and Palestine. 2 vols. London: Murray, 1858.


Northwestern-Newberry Edition

Sealts (followed by entry number)

Merton M. Sealts, Jr., Melville's Reading. Revised and Enlarged Edition. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1988.


Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, Sinai and Palestine in Connection with Their History. New York: Redfield, 1857; reprinted from the same plates, New York: Widdleton, 1863 [Sealts 488], 1865.


William McClure Thomson, The Land and the Book; or, Biblical Illustrations Drawn from the Manners and Customs, the Scenes and Scenery of the Holy Land. 2 vols. New York: Harper, 1858; reprinted 1859 [Sealts 523].


Eliot Warburton, The Crescent and the Cross; or, Romance and Realities of Eastern Travel. [London: Colburn, 1844]; New York: Wiley & Putnam, 1845; later printings 1848, 1849, 1850, 1859.


Early Travels in Palestine. Ed. Thomas Wright. London: Bohn, 1848.







Editor’s Note
In this list of changes made in the first-edition copy-text by the present editors, the following abbreviations are used to designate the sources of readings:


Melville's annotations in Harvard Copy B


Northwestern-Newberry Edition

For further comment on this list, see p. 700 above; for discussions of the emendations marked with an asterisk (*), see the Discussions (where the entries are not always keyed to the same words as here, because more than one crux may be taken up in a single discussion). Citations of readings in the table of contents are to page and line (and thus contain only one period, separating the two elements, the first of which is a roman numeral); citations of readings in the text of the poem itself are to part, canto, and line (and thus contain two periods, separating the three elements, all of which are arabic numerals). The wavy dash (~) stands for the word cited in the left column and signals that only a mark of punctuation is emended. The caret (‸) indicates the absence of a punctuation mark (but does not necessarily imply the presence of a space). Empty brackets ([  ]) indicate space where a letter or mark of punctuation failed to print.
There are two categories of textual decisions not entered in this list because they do not involve emendations; but they do require editorial judgment as to what readings the copy-text in fact contains. (1) Line-end hyphens. Relatively few verse lines in the first edition of Clarel run on to a second type line, and of those that do only six break a word at the end of the first line. In four instances there is no question of retaining the line-end hyphen ("ex-/pand" at 2.21.95; "Me-/thinks" at 2.31.74; "sam-/ple" at 3.13.94; and "trem-/bler" at 3.28.41); and in one instance it is nearly as obvious that the hyphen should be retained ("ill-/resigned" at 4.35.27). The only line-end hyphen that necessitates an editorial decision is "over-/night" at 3.21.49; NN prints the word in unhyphenated form because it occurs that way at three other places (2.25.29; 2.39.13; 4.28.5)—although it appears as two separate words at 1.5.97. (Two other line-end hyphens appear in the front matter: one—"PUBLICA-/TION"—in the dedication, and one—"before-/hand"—in the prefatory note. Clearly neither hyphen should be retained.) There are no line-end hyphens in the text of the present edition (except for two in the prefatory note that should obviously not be retained in quotation). (2) Page-end line-spaces. The NN editors have decided that at nine places the end of a page in the first edition coincides with an intended line-space, and they therefore provide line-spaces preceding 2.1.57, 230; 2.39.108; 3.17.37, 50; 3.20.25; 3.25.85; 3.32.65; and 4.15.66. For discussion of this matter, see the Note on the Text, pp. 696–97. No line-spaces coincide with the ends of pages in the present edition.
It should also be noted here that as a matter of design NN begins cantos (except for the first canto of each of the four parts) with regular capitals, not display capitals as in the first edition, and therefore supplies opening quotation marks at the beginnings of the twenty-eight cantos where in the first edition they did not appear because the design of that edition called for their omission preceding display capitals. See the Note on the Text, p. 701, footnote 40.
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