Men may seem detestable as joint stock-companies and nations; knaves, fools, and murderers there may be; men may have mean and meagre faces; but, man, in the ideal, is so noble and so sparkling, such a grand and glowing creature, that over any ignominious blemish in him all his fellows should run to throw their costliest robes.”
In my opinion and from my own experience, forgiveness is our collective soul’s only chance of survival. Rather than punishing someone for their fatal flaw–and is it really so “fatal”?–which has caused them to stumble and fall, perhaps you must kneel down and hand them back up. Abasement and disregard for your fellow man is the true sign of a mean and meagre soul. You are violating your own self in doing so, for you too are naught but a hominid; and despite all the things the world has to offer, there is no cure for a lonely soul full of remorse other than giving love and forgiveness. These things are difficult to give–they are those costliest robes which, upon throwing them about the naked and prostrate one’s shoulders, will subsequently leave you naked and exposed to the elements. But you are a grand and glowing creature: stand tall, stand naked and unashamed, and see now the fallen one too become noble and sparkling.
And I don’t mean like Edward Cullen. Pretty sure Melville didn’t either.