Quotation by Herman Melville

Bless my soul, Sir, will you Britons not credit that an American can be a gentleman, & have read the Waverly Novels, tho every digit may have been in the tar-bucket?
Herman Melville (1819–1891), U.S. author. letter, Mar. 25, 1848, to his publisher, John Murray. Correspondence, vol. 14, The Writings of Herman Melville, ed. Lynn Horth (1993).

In performing his duties as a common sailor, Melville would have dipped his hand in tar.
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