Herman Melville
A Penn State Electronic Classics Series Publication

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Herman Melville

Herman Melville to dust his old grammars; it somehow mildly reminded him of his mortality. “While you take in hand to school others, and to teach them by what name a whale-fish is to be called in our tongue leaving out, through ignorance, the letter H, which almost alone maketh the signification of the word, you deliver that which is not true.” —Hackluyt “Whale. ... Sw. and Dan. Hval. This animal is named from roundness or rolling; for in Dan. Hvalt is arched or vaulted.” —Webster’s Dictionary “Whale. ... It is more immediately from the Dut. and Ger. wallen; a.s. walw-ian, to roll, to wallow.” —Richardson’s Dictionary KETOS, CETUS, WHOEL, HVALT, WAL, HWAL, WHALE, 3 GREEK. LATIN. ANGLO-SAXON. DANISH. DUTCH. SWEDISH. ICELANDIC.

(Supplied by a Late Consumptive Usher to a Grammar School) The pale Usher—threadbare in coat, heart, body, and brain; I see him now. He was ever dusting his old lexicons and grammars, with a queer handkerchief, mockingly embellished with all the gay flags of all the known nations of the world. He loved

Moby Dick WHALE, ENGLISH. So fare thee well, poor devil of a Sub-Sub, whose comBALEINE, FRENCH. mentator I am. Thou belongest to that hopeless, sallow tribe BALLENA, SPANISH. which no wine of this world will ever warm; and for whom PEKEE-NUEE-NUEE, FEGEE. even Pale Sherry would be too rosy-strong; but with whom PEKEE-NUEE-NUEE, ERROMANGOAN. one sometimes loves to sit, and feel poor-devilish, too; and grow convivial upon tears; and say to them bluntly, with full EXTRACTS (Supplied by a Sub-Sub-Librarian). eyes and empty glasses, and in not altogether unpleasant sadness—Give it up, Sub-Subs! For by how much the more pains It will be seen that this mere painstaking burrower and grub- ye take to please the world, by so much the more shall ye for worm of a poor devil of a Sub-Sub appears to have gone ever go thankless! Would that I could clear out Hampton Court through the long Vaticans and street-stalls of the earth, picking and the Tuileries for ye! But gulp down your tears and hie aloft up whatever random allusions to whales he could anyways to the royal-mast with your hearts; for your friends who have find in any book whatsoever, sacred or profane. Therefore gone before are clearing out the seven-storied heavens, and you must not, in every case at least, take the higgledy-piggledy making refugees of long-pampered Gabriel, Michael, and whale statements, however authentic, in these extracts, for Raphael, against your coming. Here ye strike but splintered veritable gospel cetology. Far from it. As touching the ancient hearts together—there, ye shall strike unsplinterable glasses! authors generally, as well as the poets here appearing, these extracts are solely valuable or entertaining, as affording a glanc- EXTRACTS. ing bird’s eye view of what has been promiscuously said, thought, fancied, and sung of Leviathan, by many nations and “And God created great whales.” —Genesis. generations, including our own. “Leviathan maketh a path to shine after him; One would 4

Herman Melville think the deep to be hoary.” —Job. strous size. ... This came towards us, open-mouthed, raising “Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up the waves on all sides, and beating the sea before him into a Jonah.” —Jonah. foam.” —Tooke’s Lucian. “The True History.” “There go the ships; there is that Leviathan whom thou hast “He visited this country also with a view of catching horsemade to play therein.” —Psalms. whales, which had bones of very great value for their teeth, of “In that day, the Lord with his sore, and great, and strong which he brought some to the king. ... The best whales were sword, shall punish Leviathan the piercing serpent, even Lecatched in his own country, of which some were forty-eight, viathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that some fifty yards long. He said that he was one of six who had is in the sea.” —Isaiah killed sixty in two days.” —Other or Octher’s Verbal Narra“And what thing soever besides cometh within the chaos of this monster’s mouth, be it beast, boat, or stone, down it goes all incontinently that foul great swallow of his, and perisheth in the bottomless gulf of his paunch.” —Holland’s Plutarch’s Morals. “The Indian Sea breedeth the most and the biggest fishes that are: among which the Whales and Whirlpooles called Balaene, take up as much in length as four acres or arpens of land.” —Holland’s Pliny. “Scarcely had we proceeded two days on the sea, when about sunrise a great many Whales and other monsters of the sea, appeared. Among the former, one was of a most mon5 tive Taken Down from His Mouth by King Alfred, A.D. 890. “And whereas all the other things, whether beast or vessel, that enter into the dreadful gulf of this monster’s (whale’s) mouth, are immediately lost and swallowed up, the sea-gudgeon retires into it in great security, and there sleeps.” — Montaigne. —Apology for Raimond Sebond. “Let us fly, let us fly! Old Nick take me if is not Leviathan described by the noble prophet Moses in the life of patient Job.” —Rabelais. “This whale’s liver was two cartloads.” —Stowe’s Annals. “The great Leviathan that maketh the seas to seethe like

Moby Dick boiling pan.” —Lord Bacon’s Version of the Psalms. with his ponderous tail. ... Their fixed jav’lins in his side he “Touching that monstrous bulk of the whale or ork we have wears, And on his back a grove of pikes appears.” —Waller’s received nothing certain. They grow exceeding fat, insomuch Battle of the Summer Islands. that an incredible quantity of oil will be extracted out of one “By art is created that great Leviathan, called a Commonwhale.” —Ibid. “History of Life and Death.” wealth or State—(in Latin, Civitas) which is but an artificial “The sovereignest thing on earth is parmacetti for an inward man.” —opening sentence of Hobbe’s Leviathan. bruise.” —King Henry. “Silly Mansoul swallowed it without chewing, as if it had “Very like a whale.” —Hamlet. been a sprat in the mouth of a whale.” —Pilgrim’s Progress. “Which to secure, no skill of leach’s art Mote him availle, “That sea beast Leviathan, which God of all his works Crebut to returne againe To his wound’s worker, that with lowly dart, Dinting his breast, had bred his restless paine, Like as the wounded whale to shore flies thro’ the maine.” —The Faerie Queen. “Immense as whales, the motion of whose vast bodies can in a peaceful calm trouble the ocean til it boil.” —Sir William Davenant. Preface to Gondibert. “What spermacetti is, men might justly doubt, since the learned Hosmannus in his work of thirty years, saith plainly, Nescio quid sit.” —Sir T. Browne. Of Sperma Ceti and the Sperma Ceti Whale. Vide His V.E. “Like Spencer’s Talus with his modern flail He threatens ruin 6 ated hugest that swim the ocean stream.” —Paradise Lost. — “There Leviathan, Hugest of living creatures, in the deep Stretched like a promontory sleeps or swims, And seems a moving land; and at his gills Draws in, and at his breath spouts out a sea.” —Ibid. “The mighty whales which swim in a sea of water, and have a sea of oil swimming in them.” —Hiller’s Profane and Holy State. “So close behind some promontory lie The huge Leviathan to attend their prey, And give no chance, but swallow in the fry, Which through their gaping jaws mistake the way.” — Dryden’s Annus Mirabilis.

Herman Melville “While the whale is floating at the stern of the ship, they cut 1652, one eighty feet in length of the whale-bone kind came off his head, and tow it with a boat as near the shore as it will in, which (as I was informed), besides a vast quantity of oil, come; but it will be aground in twelve or thirteen feet water.” did afford 500 weight of baleen. The jaws of it stand for a gate —Thomas Edge’s Ten Voyages to Spitzbergen, in Purchas. in the garden of Pitferren.” —Sibbald’s Fife and Kinross. “In their way they saw many whales sporting in the ocean, “Myself have agreed to try whether I can master and kill this and in wantonness fuzzing up the water through their pipes and Sperma-ceti whale, for I could never hear of any of that sort vents, which nature has placed on their shoulders.” —Sir T. that was killed by any man, such is his fierceness and swiftHerbert’s Voyages into Asia and Africa. Harris Coll. ness.” —Richard Strafford’s Letter from the Bermudas. “Here they saw such huge troops of whales, that they were forced Phil. Trans. A.D. 1668. to proceed with a great deal of caution for fear they should run their ship upon them.” —Schouten’s Sixth Circumnavigation. “We set sail from the Elbe, wind N.E. in the ship called The Jonas-in-the-Whale. ... Some say the whale can’t open his mouth, but that is a fable. ... They frequently climb up the masts to see whether they can see a whale, for the first discoverer has a ducat for his pains. ... I was told of a whale taken near Shetland, that had above a barrel of herrings in his belly. ... One of our harpooneers told me that he caught once a whale in Spitzbergen that was white all over.” —A Voyage to Greenland, A.D. 1671 Harris Coll. “Several whales have come in upon this coast (Fife) Anno 7 “Whales in the sea God’s voice obey.” —N. E. Primer. “We saw also abundance of large whales, there being more in those southern seas, as I may say, by a hundred to one; than we have to the northward of us.” —Captain Cowley’s Voyage Round the Globe, A.D. 1729. “... and the breath of the whale is frequendy attended with such an insupportable smell, as to bring on a disorder of the brain.” —Ulloa’s South America. “To fifty chosen sylphs of special note, We trust the important charge, the petticoat. Oft have we known that seven-fold fence to fail, Tho’ stuffed with hoops and armed with ribs of whale.” —Rape of the Lock.

Moby Dick “If we compare land animals in respect to magnitude, with the French Minister in 1778. those that take up their abode in the deep, we shall find they “And pray, sir, what in the world is equal to it?” —Edmund will appear contemptible in the comparison. The whale is doubt- Burke’s Reference in Parliament to the Nantucket Whaleless the largest animal in creation.” —Goldsmith, Nat. Hist. Fishery. “If you should write a fable for little fishes, you would make “Spain—a great whale stranded on the shores of Europe.” them speak like great wales.” —Goldsmith to Johnson. —Edmund Burke. (Somewhere.) “In the afternoon we saw what was supposed to be a rock, “A tenth branch of the king’s ordinary revenue, said to be but it was found to be a dead whale, which some Asiatics had grounded on the consideration of his guarding and protecting killed, and were then towing ashore. They seemed to endeavor the seas from pirates and robbers, is the right to royal fish, to conceal themselves behind the whale, in order to avoid being seen by us.” —Cook’s Voyages. “The larger whales, they seldom venture to attack. They stand in so great dread of some of them, that when out at sea they are afraid to mention even their names, and carry dung, limestone, juniper-wood, and some other articles of the same nature in their boats, in order to terrify and prevent their too near approach.” —Uno von Troil’s Letters on Banks’s and Solander’s Voyage to Iceland in 1772. “The Spermacetti Whale found by the Nantuckois, is an active, fierce animal, and requires vast address and boldness in the fishermen.” —Thomas Jefferson’s Whale Memorial to 8 which are whale and sturgeon. And these, when either thrown ashore or caught near the coast, are the property of the king.” —Blackstone. “Soon to the sport of death the crews repair: Rodmond unerring o’er his head suspends The barbed steel, and every turn attends.” —Falconer’s Shipwreck. “Bright shone the roofs, the domes, the spires, And rockets blew self driven, To hang their momentary fire Around the vault of heaven. “So fire with water to compare, The ocean serves on high, Up-spouted by a whale in air, To express unwieldy joy.” — Cowper, on the Queen’s Visit to London.

Herman Melville “Ten or fifteen gallons of blood are thrown out of the heart at Whales, sharks, and monsters, arm’d in front or jaw, With a stroke, with immense velocity.” —John Hunter’s Account swords, saws, spiral horns, or hooked fangs.” — of the Dissection of a Whale. (A small sized one.) Montgomery’s World before the Flood. “The aorta of a whale is larger in the bore than the main pipe “Io! Paean! Io! sing. To the finny people’s king. Not a mightier of the water-works at London Bridge, and the water roaring whale than this In the vast Atlantic is; Not a fatter fish than he, in its passage through that pipe is inferior in impetus and velocFlounders round the Polar Sea.” —Charles Lamb’s Triumph ity to the blood gushing from the whale’s heart.” —Paley’s of the Whale. Theology. “In the year 1690 some persons were on a high hill observ“The whale is a mammiferous animal without hind feet.” — ing the whales spouting and sporting with each other, when Baron Cuvier. “In 40 degrees south, we saw Spermacetti Whales, but did not take any till the first of May, the sea being then covered with them.” —Colnett’s Voyage for the Purpose of Extending the Spermaceti Whale Fishery. “In the free element beneath me swam, Floundered and dived, in play, in chace, in battle, Fishes of every colour, form, and kind; Which language cannot paint, and mariner Had never seen; from dread Leviathan To insect millions peopling every wave: Gather’d in shoals immense, like floating islands, Led by mysterious instincts through that waste And trackless region, though on every side Assaulted by voracious enemies, 9 one observed: there—pointing to the sea—is a green pasture where our children’s grand-children will go for bread.” —Obed Macy’s History of Nantucket. “I built a cottage for Susan and myself and made a gateway in the form of a Gothic Arch, by setting up a whale’s jaw bones.” —Hawthorne’s Twice Told Tales. “She came to bespeak a monument for her first love, who had been killed by a whale in the Pacific ocean, no less than forty years ago.” —Ibid. “No, Sir, ’tis a Right Whale,” answered Tom; “I saw his sprout; he threw up a pair of as pretty rainbows as a Christian would wish to look at. He’s a raal oil-butt, that fellow!” —Cooper’s Pilot.

Moby Dick “The papers were brought in, and we saw in the Berlin Gaenormous head, and with wide expanded jaws snaps at evzette that whales had been introduced on the stage there.” — erything around him; he rushes at the boats with his head; they Eckermann’s Conversations with Goethe. are propelled before him with vast swiftness, and sometimes “My God! Mr. Chace, what is the matter?” I answered, utterly destroyed. ... It is a matter of great astonishment that “we have been stove by a whale.” — “Narrative of the Ship- the consideration of the habits of so interesting, and, in a comwreck of the Whale Ship Essex of Nantucket, which was mercial point of view, so important an animal (as the Sperm attacked and finally destroyed by a large sperm whale in Whale) should have been so entirely neglected, or should have the pacific ocean.” By Owen Chace of Nantucket, First excited so little curiosity among the numerous, and many of Mate of said vessel. New York, 1821. them competent observers, that of late years, must have pos“A mariner sat in the shrouds one night, The wind was piping free; Now bright, now dimmed, was the moonlight pale, And the phospher gleamed in the wake of the whale, As it floundered in the sea.” —Elizabeth Oakes Smith. “The quantity of line withdrawn from the boats engaged in the capture of this one whale, amounted altogether to 10,440 yards or nearly six English miles. ... “Sometimes the whale shakes its tremendous tail in the air, which, cracking like a whip, resounds to the distance of three or four miles.” —Scoresby. “Mad with the agonies he endures from these fresh attacks, the infuriated Sperm Whale rolls over and over; he rears his 10 sessed the most abundant and the most convenient opportunities of witnessing their habitudes.” —Thomas Beale’s History of the Sperm Whale, 1839. “The Cachalot” (Sperm Whale) “is not only better armed than the True Whale” (Greenland or Right Whale) “in possessing a formidable weapon at either extremity of its body, but also more frequently displays a disposition to employ these weapons offensively and in manner at once so artful, bold, and mischievous, as to lead to its being regarded as the most dangerous to attack of all the known species of the whale tribe.” —Frederick Debell Bennett’s Whaling Voyage Round the Globe, 1840.

most persevering industry. “There she blows. on board of which vessel occurred the horrid transactions we are about to relate. the ball rebounds. himself and comrades only being preserved by leaping into the water when they saw the onset was inevitable. sir! There tion of a Breakwater at Nantucket. if possible.Whaleman’s Adventures and the Whale’s Biography. Being once pursued by a whale which he had wounded.S. Cheever. laid-open the haunts of the whale. “Three points of eight or nine thousand persons living here in the sea. belonged to the island of Nantucket.” —J. by His Brother. “If you make the least damn bit of noise.Herman Melville October 13. “I will send you to hell. he parried the assault for some time with a lance. on the Application for the Erecbreaches!” “Sing out! sing out every time!” “Ay Ay. largely every year to the National wealth by the boldest and sir. A.” — “Narrative of the Globe.” replied Samuel.” “Raise up your wheel. Steady!” “Steady.” By Rev. “Where away?” demanded the captain. “Nantucket itself. Webster. Another version of the Whale-Ship Globe narrative.peculiar portion of the National interest.” By Lay and Hussey Survivors. . “The voyages of the Dutch and English to the Northern Ocean. adding off the lee bow. and probably killed him in os!” “How far off?” “Two miles and a half.” said Mr. she blows! there—there—thar she blows—bowes—bo-o“The whale fell directly over him.” —Missionary Journal of Tyerman and Bennett. “The Whale-ship Globe. sir. Ross Browne’s Etch.D.” “Thunder and a moment. Gathings of a Whaling Cruize.” —Life of Samuel Comstock (The Mutineer). There is a population head. “is a very striking and 11 ered on the Homeward Cruise of the Commodore Preble. or the lightning! so near! Call all hands. William Comstock.” — “The Whale and His Captors.” —McCulloch’s Commercial Dictionary.” “Mast-head ahoy! Do you see that whale now?” “Ay ay. only to bound forward again.” was sung out from the mast. though they failed of their main object. for now in laying open the haunts of the whale. 1828. “These things are reciprocal. 1846. in order. but the furious monster at length rushed on the boat. Henry T.” —Report of Daniel Webster’s sir! A shoal of Sperm Whales! There she blows! There she Speech in the U. to discover a passage through it to India. Senate. 1828.

appliance of a rope tied to the root of his tail. that the whites saw their ship in bloody possession of the savages enrolled among the crew. either to form arches over gateways. slowly swimming.— ‘Stern all. where might is right. or entrances to alcoves.” —Darwin’s Voyage of a Naturalist. and they may perhaps have been told that these were the ribs of whales. one after the other. as upon turning his head. Ex.” —Tales of a Whale Voyager to the Arctic Ocean. “‘Stern all!’ exclaimed the mate. “It was not till the boats returned from the pursuit of these whales. and shot 12 “over which the beech tree extended its branches. recollect having seen large curved bones set upright in the earth.” —Newspaper account of the taking and retaking of the whale-ship Hobomack. “Pedestrians in the vicinity of London and elsewhere may within less than a stone’s throw of the shore” (Terra Del Fuego). “Suddenly a mighty mass emerged from the water. threatening it with instant destruction. thing” unpublished. the rare old Whale. “So be cheery. “The Whale is harpooned to be sure.” —Currents and Whaling. panse around them. probably male and female. “Oh. my lads. The vessel under short sail. with the mere being struck by her near appearance. has a totally different air from those engaged “On one occasion I saw two of these monsters (whales) in regular voyage.whaling in Ribs and Trucks. mid storm and gale In his ocean home will be A giant in might. “It is generally well known that out of the crews of Whaling vessels (American) few ever return in the ships on board of which they departed. how “It is impossible to meet a whale-ship on the ocean without you would manage a powerful unbroken colt. eagerly scanning the wide ex. Ex.” —Cruise in a Whale Boat.” —From “Some.” —a chapter on with look-outs at the mast-heads. .Coffin or the Whale Fisherman. but bethink you. let your hearts never fail. And King of the boundless sea.” —Whale song.” —Miriam that same mystic North-West Passage. U.S.Moby Dick the whalemen seem to have indirectly hit upon new clews to up perpendicularly into the air. While the bold harpooneer is striking the whale!” —Nantucket song. for your lives!’” —Wharton the Whale Killer. It was the while. he saw the distended jaws of a large Sperm Whale close to the head of the boat.

What do you see?—Posted like silent soul. whenever it is a damp. whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin sentinels all around the town. But these are all ing people’s hats off—then. the streets take you ALL ME ISHMAEL. There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes. some looking over the me. drizzly November in my Whitehall. some time or other. some seated upon the pier-heads. and cooled by breezes. almost all men in their degree. and from thence. I account it high time to get to sea landsmen.C Herman Melville they but knew it. a few hours previous were out of sight of land. If CHAPTER 1 Loomings 13 . With counters. cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me. Some years ago—never mind how waterward. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and reguCircumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. Go lating the circulation. and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet. some high aloft in the rigging. by the mouth. Look at the I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of crowds of water-gazers there. the world. and nothing particular to interest me on shore. Whenever I find myself growing grim about from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip. as if deliberately stepping into the street. How then is this? a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword. nailed to benches. belted round by wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs—commerce surrounds it with her surf. Right and left. which purse. where that long precisely—having little or no money in my noble mole is washed by waves. Its extreme downtown is the battery. northward. clinched to desks. of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries. of week days pent up in lath and plaster—tied to as soon as I can. stand thousands upon thousands warehouses. that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from bulwarks of ships from China. Some leaning against the and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of spiles. There is nothing surprising in this. and methodically knockstriving to get a still better seaward peep. I Are the green fields gone? What do they here? quietly take to the ship.

Say you are in the country. upon suddenly receiving two handfuls of silver. and here sleeps his meadow. But though the picture lies thus tranced. and leaves you there by a pool in the stream.Moby Dick But look! here come more crowds. and seemingly bound for a dive. There is magic in it. in some high land of lakes. and west. and ten to one it carries you down in a dale. and up from yonder cottage goes a landers all. they come from lanes and alleys. deliberate whether to buy him a coat. set his feet a-going. What is the chief element he emthe shady lee of yonder warehouses will not suffice. each with a hollow trunk. or invest his money in a pedestrian trip to Rockaway Beach? Why is almost every robust healthy boy with a robust healthy soul in him. falling in. as every one knows. Take almost any path you please. when for scores on scores of miles you wade knee-deep among Tiger-lilies—what is the one charm wanting?—Water—there is not a drop of water there! Were Niagara but a cataract of sand. and though passes of all those ships attract them thither? Once more. No. Deep into distant woodlands winds a mazy way. and he will infallibly lead you to water. quietest. He desires to paint you the dreamiest. south.and there sleep his cattle. They ploys? There stand his trees. 14 this pine-tree shakes down its sighs like leaves upon this shepherd’s head. Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries—stand that man on his legs. loitering under in all the valley of the Saco. In. if water there be in all that region. does the magnetic virtue of the needles of the comside blue.sleepy smoke. Strange! Nothing will shadiest. streets and av. which he sadly needed. at some time or . reaching to overlapping spurs of mountains bathed in their hillTell me. enues—north. pacing straight for the But here is an artist. if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor. Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert. as if a must get just as nigh the water as they possibly can without hermit and a crucifix were within. Yet here they all unite. Yes. east. meditation and water are wedded for ever. And there they stand—miles of them—leagues. water. would you travel your thousand miles to see it? Why did the poor poet of Tennessee. try this experiment. Go visit the Prairies in June. most enchanting bit of romantic landscape content them but the extremest limit of the land. yet all were vain. unless the shepherd’s eye were fixed upon the magic stream before him.

who because he could not grasp the cook being a sort of officer on ship-board—yet. particularly if you come of an old established family in the land. or a Cook. when part. aloft there to the royal mast-head. a that story of Narcissus. Besides. passengers get sea-sick—grow quarrelsome—don’t sleep of nights—do not enjoy themselves much. or a Captain. did you yourself feel such a mystical vibration. not to say reverentially. It touches one’s sense of honour. of a broiled fowl than I will. they rather order me about some. we ourselves see in buttered. and judgmatically salted and peppered. I never go as a passenger. nor. It is quite as much as I Why did the old Persians hold the sea holy? Why did the can do to take care of myself. I abominate all honourable respectable toils. I go as a simple sailor. mild image he saw in the fountain. and what not. that you see the mummies of those creatures in their huge bakehouses the pyramids. plumb down into the forecastle. True. No. when I say that I am in the habit of going to sea whenever I begin to grow hazy about the eyes. I tormenting. For my passenger. trials. without taking care of ships. Greeks give it a separate deity. I do not mean to have it inferred that I ever go to sea as a passenger. Now. when I go to sea. and own brother of Jove? Surely barques. and this is the key to it all. And as for going as all this is not without meaning. plunged into it never fancied broiling fowls. the Van Rensselaers.Herman Melville other crazy to go to sea? Why upon your first voyage as a and distinction of such offices to those who like them. right before the mast. and a purse is but a rag unless you have something in it.—though once broiled. and first told that you and your ship were now out of sight of land? tribulations of every kind whatsoever.—though I confess there is considerable glory in that. It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life. And still deeper the meaning of cook. But that same image. this sort of thing is unpleasant enough. there is no all rivers and oceans. though I am something of a salt. judiciously and was drowned. and begin to be over conscious of my lungs. brigs. like a grasshopper in a May meadow. or . and make me jump from spar to spar. For to go as a passenger you must needs have a purse. And at first. do I ever go to sea as a Commodore. as a general thing.—no. schooners. somehow. It is out of the idolatrous dotings of the old Egyptians upon broiled ibis and roasted river horse. I abandon the glory 15 one who will speak more respectfully.

Moby Dick Randolphs, or Hardicanutes. And more than all, if just previpoint of paying me for my trouble, whereas they never pay ous to putting your hand into the tar-pot, you have been lordpassengers a single penny that I ever heard of. On the coning it as a country schoolmaster, making the tallest boys stand trary, passengers themselves must pay. And there is all the in awe of you. The transition is a keen one, I assure you, from difference in the world between paying and being paid. The a schoolmaster to a sailor, and requires a strong decoction of act of paying is perhaps the most uncomfortable infliction that Seneca and the Stoics to enable you to grin and bear it. But the two orchard thieves entailed upon us. But being paid,— even this wears off in time. what will compare with it? The urbane activity with which a What of it, if some old hunks of a sea-captain orders me to man receives money is really marvellous, considering that we get a broom and sweep down the decks? What does that so earnestly believe money to be the root of all earthly ills, and indignity amount to, weighed, I mean, in the scales of the New Testament? Do you think the archangel Gabriel thinks anything the less of me, because I promptly and respectfully obey that old hunks in that particular instance? Who ain’t a slave? Tell me that. Well, then, however the old sea-captains may order me about—however they may thump and punch me about, I have the satisfaction of knowing that it is all right; that everybody else is one way or other served in much the same way—either in a physical or metaphysical point of view, that is; and so the universal thump is passed round, and all hands should rub each other’s shoulder-blades, and be content. Again, I always go to sea as a sailor, because they make a 16 that on no account can a monied man enter heaven. Ah! how cheerfully we consign ourselves to perdition! Finally, I always go to sea as a sailor, because of the wholesome exercise and pure air of the fore-castle deck. For as in this world, head winds are far more prevalent than winds from astern (that is, if you never violate the Pythagorean maxim), so for the most part the Commodore on the quarter-deck gets his atmosphere at second hand from the sailors on the forecastle. He thinks he breathes it first; but not so. In much the same way do the commonalty lead their leaders in many other things, at the same time that the leaders little suspect it. But wherefore it was that after having repeatedly smelt the sea as a

Herman Melville merchant sailor, I should now take it into my head to go on a was exactly; yet, now that I recall all the circumstances, I think whaling voyage; this the invisible police officer of the Fates, I can see a little into the springs and motives which being cunwho has the constant surveillance of me, and secretly dogs ningly presented to me under various disguises, induced me to me, and influences me in some unaccountable way—he can set about performing the part I did, besides cajoling me into better answer than any one else. And, doubtless, my going on the delusion that it was a choice resulting from my own unbithis whaling voyage, formed part of the grand programme of ased freewill and discriminating judgment. Providence that was drawn up a long time ago. It came in as a Chief among these motives was the overwhelming idea of sort of brief interlude and solo between more extensive per- the great whale himself. Such a portentous and mysterious monformances. I take it that this part of the bill must have run ster roused all my curiosity. Then the wild and distant seas something like this: “Grand Contested Election for the Presidency of the United States. “Whaling Voyage by One Ismael. “Bloody Battle in Affghanistan.” Though I cannot tell why it was exactly that those stage managers, the Fates, put me down for this shabby part of a whaling voyage, when others were set down for magnificent parts in high tragedies, and short and easy parts in genteel comedies, and jolly parts in farces—though I cannot tell why this 17 where he rolled his island bulk; the undeliverable, nameless perils of the whale; these, with all the attending marvels of a thousand Patagonian sights and sounds, helped to sway me to my wish. With other men, perhaps, such things would not have been inducements; but as for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts. Not ignoring what is good, I am quick to perceive a horror, and could still be social with it—would they let me—since it is but well to be on friendly terms with all the inmates of the place one lodges in. By reason of these things, then, the whaling voyage was welcome; the great flood-gates of the wonder-world swung open,

Moby Dick and in the wild conceits that swayed me to my purpose, two and two there floated into my inmost soul, endless processions of the whale, and, mid most of them all, one grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air.

CHAPTER 2 The Carpet-Bag
STUFFED A SHIRT OR TWO into my old carpet-bag, tucked it


under my arm, and started for Cape Horn and the Pacific. Quitting the good city of old Manhatto, I duly arrived in New Bedford. It was a Saturday night in December. Much was I disappointed upon learning that the little packet for Nantucket had already sailed, and that no way of reaching that place would offer, till the following Monday. As most young candidates for the pains and penalties of whaling stop at this same New Bedford, thence to embark on their voyage, it may as well be related that I, for one, had no idea of so doing. For my mind was made up to sail in no other than a Nantucket craft, because there was a fine, boisterous something about everything connected with that famous old island, which amazingly pleased me. Besides though New Bedford has of late been gradually monopolising the business of whaling, and though in this matter poor old Nantucket is 18

Herman Melville now much behind her, yet Nantucket was her great original— don’t be too particular. the Tyre of this Carthage;—the place where the first dead With halting steps I paced the streets, and passed the sign of American whale was stranded. Where else but from Nan“The Crossed Harpoons”—but it looked too expensive and tucket did those aboriginal whalemen, the Red-Men, first sally jolly there. Further on, from the bright red windows of the out in canoes to give chase to the Leviathan? And where but “Sword-Fish Inn,” there came such fervent rays, that it seemed from Nantucket, too, did that first adventurous little sloop put to have melted the packed snow and ice from before the house, forth, partly laden with imported cobblestones—so goes the for everywhere else the congealed frost lay ten inches thick in story—to throw at the whales, in order to discover when they a hard, asphaltic pavement,—rather weary for me, when I were nigh enough to risk a harpoon from the bowsprit? struck my foot against the flinty projections, because from hard, Now having a night, a day, and still another night following before me in New Bedford, ere I could embark for my destined port, it became a matter of concernment where I was to eat and sleep meanwhile. It was a very dubious-looking, nay, a very dark and dismal night, bitingly cold and cheerless. I knew no one in the place. With anxious grapnels I had sounded my pocket, and only brought up a few pieces of silver,—So, wherever you go, Ishmael, said I to myself, as I stood in the middle of a dreary street shouldering my bag, and comparing the gloom towards the north with the darkness towards the south—wherever in your wisdom you may conclude to lodge for the night, my dear Ishmael, be sure to inquire the price, and 19 remorseless service the soles of my boots were in a most miserable plight. Too expensive and jolly, again thought I, pausing one moment to watch the broad glare in the street, and hear the sounds of the tinkling glasses within. But go on, Ishmael, said I at last; don’t you hear? get away from before the door; your patched boots are stopping the way. So on I went. I now by instinct followed the streets that took me waterward, for there, doubtless, were the cheapest, if not the cheeriest inns. Such dreary streets! blocks of blackness, not houses, on either hand, and here and there a candle, like a candle moving about in a tomb. At this hour of the night, of the last day of the week, that quarter of the town proved all but deserted. But

Moby Dick presently I came to a smoky light proceeding from a low, wide and these words underneath— “The Spouter Inn:—Peter Cofbuilding, the door of which stood invitingly open. It had a carefin.” less look, as if it were meant for the uses of the public; so, Coffin?—Spouter?—Rather ominous in that particular entering, the first thing I did was to stumble over an ash-box in connexion, thought I. But it is a common name in Nantucket, the porch. Ha! thought I, ha, as the flying particles almost they say, and I suppose this Peter here is an emigrant from choked me, are these ashes from that destroyed city, there. As the light looked so dim, and the place, for the time, Gomorrah? But “The Crossed Harpoons,” and “The Swordlooked quiet enough, and the dilapidated little wooden house Fish?”—this, then must needs be the sign of “The Trap.” How- itself looked as if it might have been carted here from the ruins ever, I picked myself up and hearing a loud voice within, pushed of some burnt district, and as the swinging sign had a povertyon and opened a second, interior door. It seemed the great Black Parliament sitting in Tophet. A hundred black faces turned round in their rows to peer; and beyond, a black Angel of Doom was beating a book in a pulpit. It was a negro church; and the preacher’s text was about the blackness of darkness, and the weeping and wailing and teeth-gnashing there. Ha, Ishmael, muttered I, backing out, Wretched entertainment at the sign of ‘The Trap!’ Moving on, I at last came to a dim sort of light not far from the docks, and heard a forlorn creaking in the air; and looking up, saw a swinging sign over the door with a white painting upon it, faintly representing a tall straight jet of misty spray, 20 stricken sort of creak to it, I thought that here was the very spot for cheap lodgings, and the best of pea coffee. It was a queer sort of place—a gable-ended old house, one side palsied as it were, and leaning over sadly. It stood on a sharp bleak corner, where that tempestuous wind Euroclydon kept up a worse howling than ever it did about poor Paul’s tossed craft. Euroclydon, nevertheless, is a mighty pleasant zephyr to any one in-doors, with his feet on the hob quietly toasting for bed. “In judging of that tempestuous wind called Euroclydon,” says an old writer—of whose works I possess the only copy extant—”it maketh a marvellous difference, whether thou lookest out at it from a glass window where the

Herman Melville frost is all on the outside, or whether thou observest it from rather be in Sumatra than here? Would he not far rather lay that sashless window, where the frost is on both sides, and of him down lengthwise along the line of the equator; yea, ye which the wight Death is the only glazier.” True enough, thought gods! go down to the fiery pit itself, in order to keep out this I, as this passage occurred to my mind—old black-letter, thou frost? reasonest well. Yes, these eyes are windows, and this body of Now, that Lazarus should lie stranded there on the curbmine is the house. What a pity they didn’t stop up the chinks stone before the door of Dives, this is more wonderful than and the crannies though, and thrust in a little lint here and there. that an iceberg should be moored to one of the Moluccas. Yet But it’s too late to make any improvements now. The universe Dives himself, he too lives like a Czar in an ice palace made of is finished; the copestone is on, and the chips were carted off frozen sighs, and being a president of a temperance society, he a million years ago. Poor Lazarus there, chattering his teeth against the curbstone for his pillow, and shaking off his tatters with his shiverings, he might plug up both ears with rags, and put a corn-cob into his mouth, and yet that would not keep out the tempestuous Euroclydon. Euroclydon! says old Dives, in his red silken wrapper—(he had a redder one afterwards) pooh, pooh! What a fine frosty night; how Orion glitters; what northern lights! Let them talk of their oriental summer climes of everlasting conservatories; give me the privilege of making my own summer with my own coals. But what thinks Lazarus? Can he warm his blue hands by holding them up to the grand northern lights? Would not Lazarus 21 only drinks the tepid tears of orphans. But no more of this blubbering now, we are going a-whaling, and there is plenty of that yet to come. Let us scrape the ice from our frosted feet, and see what sort of a place this “Spouter” may be.


Moby Dick But what most puzzled and confounded you was a long, limber, portentous, black mass of something hovering in the centre of the picture over three blue, dim, perpendicular lines floating in a nameless yeast. A boggy, soggy, squitchy picture truly, enough to drive a nervous man distracted. Yet was there a sort of indefinite, half-attained, unimaginable sublimity about NTERING THAT GABLE-ENDED SPOUTER-INN, you found it that fairly froze you to it, till you involuntarily took an oath yourself in a wide, low, straggling entry with old-fash- with yourself to find out what that marvellous painting meant. ioned wainscots, reminding one of the bulwarks of Ever and anon a bright, but, alas, deceptive idea would dart some condemned old craft. On one side hung a very large you through.—It’s the Black Sea in a midnight gale.—It’s the oilpainting so thoroughly besmoked, and every way defaced, unnatural combat of the four primal elements.—It’s a blasted that in the unequal crosslights by which you viewed it, it was heath.—It’s a Hyperborean winter scene.—It’s the breakingonly by diligent study and a series of systematic visits to it, and up of the icebound stream of Time. But at last all these fancies careful inquiry of the neighbors, that you could any way arrive yielded to that one portentous something in the picture’s midst. at an understanding of its purpose. Such unaccountable masses that once found out, and all the rest were plain. But stop; of shades and shadows, that at first you almost thought some does it not bear a faint resemblance to a gigantic fish? even the ambitious young artist, in the time of the New England hags, great leviathan himself? had endeavored to delineate chaos bewitched. But by dint of In fact, the artist’s design seemed this: a final theory of my much and earnest contemplation, and oft repeated ponderings, own, partly based upon the aggregated opinions of many aged and especially by throwing open the little window towards the persons with whom I conversed upon the subject. The picture back of the entry, you at last come to the conclusion that such represents a Cape-Horner in a great hurricane; the half-founan idea, however wild, might not be altogether unwarranted.


The Spouter-Inn


Herman Melville dered ship weltering there with its three dismantled masts alone feet, and at last was found imbedded in the hump. visible; and an exasperated whale, purposing to spring clean Crossing this dusky entry, and on through yon low-arched over the craft, is in the enormous act of impaling himself upon way—cut through what in old times must have been a great the three mast-heads. central chimney with fireplaces all round—you enter the pubThe opposite wall of this entry was hung all over with a healic room. A still duskier place is this, with such low ponderous thenish array of monstrous clubs and spears. Some were thickly beams above, and such old wrinkled planks beneath, that you set with glittering teeth resembling ivory saws; others were would almost fancy you trod some old craft’s cockpits, espetufted with knots of human hair; and one was sickle-shaped, cially of such a howling night, when this corner-anchored old with a vast handle sweeping round like the segment made in ark rocked so furiously. On one side stood a long, low, shelfthe new-mown grass by a long-armed mower. You shuddered as you gazed, and wondered what monstrous cannibal and savage could ever have gone a death-harvesting with such a hacking, horrifying implement. Mixed with these were rusty old whaling lances and harpoons all broken and deformed. Some were storied weapons. With this once long lance, now wildly elbowed, fifty years ago did Nathan Swain kill fifteen whales between a sunrise and a sunset. And that harpoon— so like a corkscrew now—was flung in Javan seas, and run away with by a whale, years afterwards slain off the Cape of Blanco. The original iron entered nigh the tail, and, like a restless needle sojourning in the body of a man, travelled full forty 23 like table covered with cracked glass cases, filled with dusty rarities gathered from this wide world’s remotest nooks. Projecting from the further angle of the room stands a dark-looking den—the bar—a rude attempt at a right whale’s head. Be that how it may, there stands the vast arched bone of the whale’s jaw, so wide, a coach might almost drive beneath it. Within are shabby shelves, ranged round with old decanters, bottles, flasks; and in those jaws of swift destruction, like another cursed Jonah (by which name indeed they called him), bustles a little withered old man, who, for their money, dearly sells the sailors deliriums and death. Abominable are the tumblers into which he pours his poi-

Moby Dick son. Though true cylinders without—within, the villanous green “I thought so. All right; take a seat. Supper?—you want goggling glasses deceitfully tapered downwards to a cheating supper? Supper’ll be ready directly.” bottom. Parallel meridians rudely pecked into the glass, surI sat down on an old wooden settle, carved all over like a round these footpads’ goblets. Fill to this mark, and your bench on the Battery. At one end a ruminating tar was still charge is but a penny; to this a penny more; and so on to the further adorning it with his jack-knife, stooping over and dilifull glass—the Cape Horn measure, which you may gulp down gently working away at the space between his legs. He was for a shilling. trying his hand at a ship under full sail, but he didn’t make Upon entering the place I found a number of young seamen much headway, I thought. gathered about a table, examining by a dim light divers speciAt last some four or five of us were summoned to our meal mens of Skrimshander. I sought the landlord, and telling him I desired to be accommodated with a room, received for answer that his house was full—not a bed unoccupied. “But avast,” he added, tapping his forehead, “you haint no objections to sharing a harpooneer’s blanket, have ye? I s’pose you are goin’ awhalin’, so you’d better get used to that sort of thing.” I told him that I never liked to sleep two in a bed; that if I should ever do so, it would depend upon who the harpooneer might be, and that if he (the landlord) really had no other place for me, and the harpooneer was not decidedly objectionable, why rather than wander further about a strange town on so bitter a night, I would put up with the half of any decent man’s blanket. 24 in an adjoining room. It was cold as Iceland—no fire at all— the landlord said he couldn’t afford it. Nothing but two dismal tallow candles, each in a winding sheet. We were fain to button up our monkey jackets, and hold to our lips cups of scalding tea with our half frozen fingers. But the fare was of the most substantial kind—not only meat and potatoes, but dumplings; good heavens! dumplings for supper! One young fellow in a green box coat, addressed himself to these dumplings in a most direful manner. “My boy,” said the landlord, “you’ll have the nightmare to a dead sartainty.” “Landlord,” I whispered, “that aint the harpooneer is it?”

Herman Melville “Oh, no,” said he, looking a sort of diabolically funny, “the Enveloped in their shaggy watch coats, and with their heads harpooneer is a dark complexioned chap. He never eats muffled in woollen comforters, all bedarned and ragged, and dumplings, he don’t—he eats nothing but steaks, and he likes their beards stiff with icicles, they seemed an eruption of bears ‘em rare.” from Labrador. They had just landed from their boat, and this “The devil he does,” says I. “Where is that harpooneer? Is was the first house they entered. No wonder, then, that they he here?” made a straight wake for the whale’s mouth—the bar—when “He’ll be here afore long,” was the answer. the wrinkled little old Jonah, there officiating, soon poured them I could not help it, but I began to feel suspicious of this “dark out brimmers all round. One complained of a bad cold in his complexioned” harpooneer. At any rate, I made up my mind head, upon which Jonah mixed him a pitch-like potion of gin that if it so turned out that we should sleep together, he must undress and get into bed before I did. Supper over, the company went back to the bar-room, when, knowing not what else to do with myself, I resolved to spend the rest of the evening as a looker on. Presently a rioting noise was heard without. Starting up, the landlord cried, “That’s the Grampus’s crew. I seed her reported in the offing this morning; a three years’ voyage, and a full ship. Hurrah, boys; now we’ll have the latest news from the Feegees.” A tramping of sea boots was heard in the entry; the door was flung open, and in rolled a wild set of mariners enough. 25 and molasses, which he swore was a sovereign cure for all colds and catarrhs whatsoever, never mind of how long standing, or whether caught off the coast of Labrador, or on the weather side of an ice-island. The liquor soon mounted into their heads, as it generally does even with the arrantest topers newly landed from sea, and they began capering about most obstreperously. I observed, however, that one of them held somewhat aloof, and though he seemed desirous not to spoil the hilarity of his shipmates by his own sober face, yet upon the whole he refrained from making as much noise as the rest. This man interested me at once; and since the sea-gods had ordained that he

the more I abominated the thought of sleeping with him. and a chest like a coffer-dam. I don’t know height. and my decent harpooneer ought to be home and going bedwards. He stood full six feet in good deal rather not sleep with your own brother. would not be of the tidiest. his linen or woollen. for sailors no more sleep two in a stature. I will here venNo man prefers to sleep two in a bed. have seldom seen such brawn in a man. I began to congratulate myself upon a little plan that had occurred to me just 26 bed at sea. with noble shoulders. In a few minutes. To be sure they all sleep together in one apartment. The more I pondered over this harpooneer. Suppose now. His voice at earthly reason why I as a sailor should sleep two in a bed. His face was deeply And when it comes to sleeping with an unknown stranger. they raised a cry of “Bulkington! Bulkington! where’s Bulkington?” and darted out of the house in pursuit of him. so far as this narrative is concerned). he was missed by his shipmates. while in the deep shadows of his eyes floated some remithen your objections indefinitely multiply. this man slipped away unobserved. than bachelor Kings do ashore. for some reason a huge favourite with them. however. Besides. it was getting late.strange inn. When the revelry of his companions had mounted to its height. you would a ture upon a little description of him. and that stranger a harpooneer. trast. certainly none of the finest. it seems. It was now about nine o’clock. Nor was there any niscences that did not seem to give him much joy. as the case might be. I began to twitch all over. I thought he must be one of those tall mountaineers from the Alleghanian Ridge in Virginia. and cover yourself with your own blanket. making his white teeth dazzling by the con. he should tumble in upon me at midnight—how could I tell from what vile hole he had been coming? . I how it is. in a strange town. and I saw no more of him till he became my comrade on the sea. in a brown and burnt. It was fair to presume that being a harpooneer. but you have your own hammock. and being. and sleep in your own skin. In fact. and the room seeming almost supernaturally quiet after these orgies. but people like to be private when they are sleeping. ner one.Moby Dick should soon become my shipmate (though but a sleeping-partprevious to the entrance of the seamen. and from his fine more than anybody else. once announced that he was a Southerner.

he must be dropping in before long. I’ve got sill of the window.Herman Melville “Landlord! I’ve changed my mind about that harpooneer. the harpooneer might be standing in the entry. not to be wakened by the most violent knockings? It seemed no bad idea. he went about his business. the while grinning like an ape. I then placed the first bench lengthwise along I shan’t sleep with him. Thinks I. I began to think that after all I might be cherishing unwarrantable prejudices against this unknown harpooneer. The thought to spend the night. that this plan would never do at all. and with from the window. and found that it was a foot too short. and left me in a brown study. But I soon found that for a mattress. couldn’t I steal a march on him—bolt his door inside.— no yoking them. and I’ll make cially as another current from the rickety door met the one ye snug enough. so soon as I popped out of the room. all ready to knock me down! Still. and seeing no possible chance of spending a sufferable night unless in some other person’s bed. leaving a little interval “Just as you please. For who could tell but what the next morning. till at last the plane-iron came bump against an indestructible knot. I now took the measure of the bench. but upon second thoughts I dismissed it. but that could be mended with a chair. and the other bench in the room was about four inches higher than the planed one—so there was 27 The devil fetch that harpooneer. but stop. thought I. I’ll wait awhile. The landlord was near spraining his wrist. shavings flew right and left. looking round me again. I say. and I did not know how all the planing in the world could make eider down of a pine plank. and I told him for heaven’s sake to quit—the bed was soft enough to suit me. Skrimshander.” So saying he procured the plane. So gathering up the shavings with another grin. and both together formed a series of small his old silk handkerchief first dusting the bench. “But wait a bit. and it’s a plaguy rough board here”—feeling of there came such a draught of cold air over me from under the the knots and notches. But it was a foot too narrow. vigorously set whirlwinds in the immediate vicinity of the spot where I had to planing away at my bed. and jump into his bed. I’ll try the bench here. for my back to settle down in. and throwing them into the great stove in the middle of the room.” the only clear space against the wall. espea carpenter’s plane there in the bar—wait. I’ll have . I’m sorry I cant spare ye a tablecloth between.

ain’t there too many heads in the But though the other boarders kept coming in by ones. whom I have not yet seen. that the other half belongs to a certain harpooneer. or rather Sunday morning. do you mean?” “Sartain.” said I.” said I— “broke. and that’s the very reason he can’t sell it. o’clock. I come to your house and want a bed.Moby Dick a good look at him then.” said I quite calmly. “No. and going to bed. “you’d “Landlord! said I.” “Landlord. “With heads to be sure. the market’s overstocked. you persist in telling me the most mystifying and exasperating stories tending to beget in me an uncomfortable feeling towards . “Broke. and perhaps we may become jolly “With what?” shouted I. You and I must understand one another. “and I told him he couldn’t sell it here. he’s the bird what catches the worm.” seemed to be mightily tickled at something beyond my com“I’ll break it for him. now flying into a passion again prehension.” said I. yet no sign of my harpooneer. world?” and threes. may be.” taking out a stick and whittling a toothpick.” “Can’t sell his head?—What sort of a bamboozingly story is this you are telling me?” getting into a towering rage. And about this harpooneer. “I tell you what it is. twos. stop whittling. Hecla in a snow-storm—”landlord. he can’t sell his head. unless. good bedfellows after all—there’s no telling. and that too without delay. “It’s broke a’ready. going up to him as cool as Mt.” said the landlord.” ways keep such late hours?” It was now hard upon twelve “May be not. “but I rayther guess you’ll be done brown if that ere harpooneer The landlord chuckled again with his lean chuckle. landlord.” he answered. “generally he’s an early bird— airley to bed and airley to rise—yes. “Do you pretend to say. you tell me you can only give me half a one.” 28 at this unaccountable farrago of the landlord’s. and I don’t see what on airth keeps him so late. landlord.” said he. I guess. in peddling his head around this town?” “That’s precisely it. that this harpooneer is actually engaged this blessed Saturday night. and hears you a slanderin’ his head. “what sort of a chap is he—does he albetter stop spinning that yarn to me—I’m not green. you see. But to-night he went out a peddling.

sir. offering to lead the way. engaged in such a cannibal business as selling selling his head. Sal used to put our Sam and little Johnny in the foot of it. But I got a dreaming and sprawling about one night.” “Wall. I’ll give ye a glim in a jiffy. and I’ve no idea of sleeping with “Depend upon it.” said the landlord. and came near breaking his arm. and you. which is an intimate and confidential one This account cleared up the otherwise unaccountable mysin the highest degree. you will be so good as to unsay that story about holy Sabbath. There’s plenty of room for two to kick about in that bed. and somehow. that harpooneer is a dangerous a madman. had had no idea of tell me who and what this harpooneer is. And in the harpooneer who stayed out of a Saturday night clean into the first place. but I stopped him just as he was goin’ out of the door with four heads strung 29 “He pays reg’lar. you know). and that one he’s trying to sell to-night. afore we give it up. He wanted to. it’s an almighty big bed that. But be easy. But I stood irresolute. last Sunday. and he’s sold all on ‘em but one. where he bought up a lot of ‘balmed New Zealand heads (great curios. landlord. when looking at a clock in the corner. would thereby render yourself liable to a criminal prosecution. “But come. Sal said it wouldn’t do. after all. landlord. Sam got pitched on the floor. by man. fetching a long breath. Come along here. Arter that. he exclaimed “I vum it’s . Sal and me slept in that ere bed the night we were spliced. and showed that the landlord. be easy.” was the rejoinder. “that’s a purty long sarmon for a chap that rips a little now and then. Why. you had better be turning flukes—it’s a nice bed. it’s getting dreadful late. this here harpooneer I have been tellin’ you of has just arrived from the south seas. and it would not do to be sellin’ human heads about the streets when folks is goin’ to churches. and whether I shall fooling me—but at the same time what could I think of a be in all respects safe to spend the night with him. landlord.Herman Melville the man whom you design for my bedfellow—a sort of on a string.” connexion. which if true I take to be good evidence that the heads of dead idolators? this harpooneer is stark mad.” and so saying he lighted a candle and held it towards me. cause to-morrow’s Sunday. you. you I mean. for all the airth like a string of inions. I now demand of you to speak out and tery.” trying to induce me to do so knowingly. sir.

cold as a clam. there was a parcel to anchor somewhere—come along then. to try it. with a prodigious bed. There was a hole or slit table. and parade the streets of any Christian town in that sort of guise? I put it on. and thrown upon the floor in one corner. make yourself comfortable now. but he had disappeared. and besides the bedstead and centre table. and tried every way possible and furnished. as though this mysterious harpooneer had been wearing it of a rainy day. and it weighed me down like a hamper. and good night to ye. Of things not properly belonging to the room. After . “there. I can enough indeed for any four harpooneers to sleep abreast.” I turned round from eyeing the bed. as you see the same in South American ponchos. and his door mat. also a large seaman’s bag. 30 in the middle of this mat. containing the harpooneer’s wardrobe. and I never saw such a sight in my life. the four walls. it yet stood the scrutiny tolerably well. Likewise. I then glanced round the room. and a papered fireboard representing a man striking a whale. I sat down on the side of the bed. I stooped over the bed. sure enough. I went up in it to a bit of glass stuck against the wall. could see no other furniture belonging to the place. come?” and a tall harpoon standing at the head of the bed. and then up stairs we But what is this on the chest? I took it up. being uncommonly shaggy and thick. I tore myself out of it in such a hurry that I gave myself a kink in the neck. ornamented at the “There. compare it to nothing but a large door mat. almost big to arrive at some satisfactory conclusion concerning it. But could it be possible that any sober harpooneer would get into a door mat.Moby Dick Sunday—you won’t see that harpooneer to-night. I considered the matter a moment. and commenced thinking about this head-peddling harpooneer. the light. Folding back the counterpane. Though none of the most elegant. but a rude shelf. do come.” said the landlord. there was a hammock lashed up. and held it close to went. and felt it. and I thought a little damp. placing the candle on a crazy old edges with little tinkling tags something like the stained porcusea chest that did double duty as a wash-stand and centre pine quills round an Indian moccasin. and smelt it. he’s come no doubt in lieu of a land trunk. won’’t ye of outlandish bone fish hooks on the shelf over the fire-place. and I was ushered into a small room.

it being so however. but I rolled about a good deal. the infernal head-peddler. that must be the harpooneer. it’s just as I thought. he’s been in a Whether that mattress was stuffed with corn-cobs or broken crockery. got dreadfully cut. good heavens! what a sight! very late. I got up and took off my his candle a good way off from me on the floor in one corner. I then took off my coat. half undressed to see his face.and then began working away at the knotted cords of the large ing. that I plainly saw they could not be sticking-plasters at all. but jumped out of my pantaSuch a face! It was of a dark. They were stains of some sort or other. and that identical New Zealand head in the other. after all! It’s only his outside. and without looking towards the bed. and then stood in the middle of the room think. and then blowing out the light tumbled into and there stuck over with large blackish looking squares. in the course of his distant voyages. there is no telling. I was all eagerness shirt sleeves. I made no more ado. purplish. harpooneer’s not coming home at all that night. and saw a glimmer of light come into the room from under the door. Yes. and had pretty nearly made a good offing towards the land of Nod. he’s a terrible bedfellow. a man can be honest in any sort of skin. But I lay perfectly still. I remembered a story of a white man—a whaleman too—who. And what is it. But then. must have met with a similar adventure. what to make of his unearthly complexion. thought I. placed 31 fight. had been tattooed by them. yellow colour. Lord save me. falling among the cannibals. those black squares on his cheeks. he turned round—when. and thought a little more in my bag I before spoke of as being in the room. monkey jacket. At last I slid off into a light doze.Herman Melville thinking some time on the bed-side. But at that moment he chanced to turn his face so towards the light. just from the surgeon. and remembering what the landlord said about the employed in unlacing the bag’s mouth. here loons and boots. I concluded that this harpooneer. At first I knew not what to make of this. but soon an inkling of the truth occurred to me. but he kept it averted for some time while as I was. and resolved not to say a word till spoken to. when I heard a heavy footfall in the passage. Holding a light in one hand. that part . But beginning to feel very cold now. and could not sleep for a long time. thinks I. the stranger entered the room. and here he is. This accomplished. bed. and commended myself to the care of heaven.

it might be nothing but but what to make of this head-peddling purple rascal altoa good coat of tropical tanning. his very legs were marked. and just escaped from it with a sticking-plaster shirt. dead of night. and at last showed his chest and arms. he then took the New Zealand head—a ghastly thing enough—and crammed it down into the bag. There was no hair on his head—none to speak of at least—nothing but a small scalp-knot twisted up on his forehead. I mean. and being completely nonplussed and confounded about ever. Had not the stranger stood between me and the door.Moby Dick of it. and tory answer concerning what seemed inexplicable in him. and a seal-skin wallet with the hair on. was all over the same dark squares. He now took off his hat—a new beaver hat—when I came nigh singing out with fresh surprise. lying round about. and perhaps the sun the stranger. I thought something of slipping out of the 32 Meanwhile. and demand a satisfacculty having opened his bag. I quaked to think of it. and completely independent window. after some diffigame enough just then to address him. as if a parcel of dark green frogs were running up the trunks of young palms. But. I would have bolted out of it quicker than ever I bolted a dinner. Now. presently pulled out a sort of tomahawk. Placing these on the old chest in the middle of the room. but I never heard of a hot gether passed my comprehension. Ignorance is the parent of sun’s tanning a white man into a purplish yellow one. of the squares of tattooing. he continued the business of undressing. I was so afraid of him that I was not this harpooneer never noticed me at all. but it was the second floor back. these covered parts of him were checkered with the same squares as his face. too. As I live. he seemed to have been in a Thirty Years’ War. I confess I was now as much afraid of him as if it there produced these extraordinary effects upon the skin. his back. In fact. I am no coward. Still more. he commenced fumbling in it. It was now quite plain that he must be some abominable savage or other shipped aboard of a whaleman in the South Seas. Howfear. I had never been in the South Seas. His bald purplish head now looked for all the world like a mildewed skull. He might take a fancy . A peddler of heads too— perhaps the heads of his own brothers. and so landed in this Christian country. Even as it was. was the devil himself who had thus broken into my room at the while all these ideas were passing through me like lightning. To be sure.

For now the savage goes up to the empty fireplace. and places them carefully before the idol. went about something that completely fascinated my attention. he never moved his lips. and removing the papered fire-board. feeling but ill at ease meantime—to see what was next to fol33 seem to fancy such dry sort of fare at all. and still hastier previously hung on a chair. All these queer proceedings increased my uncomfortableness. at first I almost polite offer of it to the little negro. he made a baby. during which his face twitched about in the most unnatural manner. All these strange antics were accompanied by still stranger guttural noises from the devotee. Remembering the embalmed head. The chimney jambs and all the bricks inside were very sooty. he at last succeeded in drawing out the bison its back. after many hasty snatches into the fire. between the andirons. then laying a bit of ship biscuit on top and applying the flame and convinced me that he must indeed be a heathen. and seeing him now exhibiting strong symptoms of concluding his business operations. now or never. or dreadnaught. Going to from the lamp. he kindled the shavings into a sacrificial blaze. and exactly the colour of a three days’ old Congo cuit.Herman Melville to mine—heavens! look at that tomahawk! low. his heavy grego. But the little devil did not thought that this black manikin was a real baby preserved in some similar manner. and jumping into bed with me. he took the idol up very unceremoniously. and that it glistened a good deal like polished ebony. who seemed to be praying in a sing-song or else singing some pagan psalmody or other. First he takes about a double handful of shavings out of But there was no time for shuddering. I now screwed my eyes hard towards the half hidden image. which he had Presently. for now the savage his grego pocket. sets up this little hunch-backed image. and withdrawals of his fingers (whereby he seemed to be scorchproduced at length a curious little deformed image with a hunch ing them badly). I concluded that it must be nothing but a wooden idol. At last extinguishing the fire. then blowing off the heat and ashes a little. and bagged it again in his grego pocket as carelessly as if he were a sportsman bagging a dead woodcock. so that I thought this fire-place made a very appropriate little shrine or chapel for his Congo idol. like a tenpin. But seeing that it was not at all limber. or wrapall. he fumbled in the pockets. I thought it was high time. before . which indeed it proved to be.

What’s all this fuss I have been making about. and then conjured him.” and this wild cannibal. to keep quiet. and giving that that infernal harpooneer was a cannibal?” a sudden grunt of astonishment he began feeling me. Taking up his tomahawk from the table. or dam-me. and then holding it to the light.” shouted I. I knew not what. he was a peddlin’ heads around town?—but turn flukes again and go to sleep. “Queequeg tobacco smoke.” he added. to break the spell in which I had so long growled the cannibal. I kill-e. and let me get up and light the lamp again. “Landlord. sprang “Stop your grinning. comely looking cannibal. whoever or whatever he might be. with his mouth at the handle. puffing away at his pipe and sitting up in bed. look here—you sabbee me. I kill-e!” again 34 “I thought ye know’d it. thought I to myself—the man’s a . But his guttural responses satisfied me at once that he but ill comprehended my meaning. Queequeg. The next moment the light was extinguished.Moby Dick the light was put out. “You gettee in. tomahawk between his teeth. motioning to me with his tomahawk. and leaping from ined the head of it for an instant. the bed I ran up to him. at that moment fatal one. For all his tattooings he was on the whole a clean. I could not help it now.” said he. for God’s sake. I sang out. “Who-e debel you?”—he at last said—”you no speak-e.the landlord came into the room light in hand. he exam.” And so saying the lighted tomahawk began flourishing about me in the dark. Peter Coffin!” shouted I.—didn’t I tell ye. Stammering out something. and throwing the clothes to one side. was a my linen would get on fire. “and why didn’t you tell me into bed with me. I stood looking at him a moment. I sabbee—you this man sleepe you—you sabbee?” “Me sabbee plenty”—grunted Queequeg. hawk scattered the hot tobacco ashes about me till I thought But the interval I spent in deliberating what to say. I rolled away from him against the wall. here wouldn’t harm a hair of your head. he puffed out great clouds of “Don’t be afraid now. dam-me. He really did this in not only a civil but a really kind and charitable way. But thank heaven. while his horrid flourishings of the tomabeen bound. grinning again. “Landlord! Watch! Coffin! Angels! save me!” “Speak-e! tell-ee me who-ee be.

” work.” said I. they so blended their hues together.Herman Melville human being just as I am: he has just as much reason to fear me. I say. and never slept better in my life.” Queequeg’s arm thrown over me in the most lovThis being told to Queequeg. no two parts of which were of one precise shade—owing I suppose to his keeping his arm at sea unmethodically in sun and shade. or whatever you call it. I ain’t insured. his shirt sleeves irregularly rolled up at various times—this same arm of his. My sensations were strange. Besides. CHAPTER 4 The Counterpane U 35 . I found ing in bed with me. landlord. Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian. But I don’t fancy having a man smokPON WAKING NEXT MORNING about daylight. “tell him to stash his tomahawk there.” said I. You had almost politely motioned me to get into bed—rolling over to one side thought I had been his wife. Let me try to explain them. It’s dangerous. full of odd little parti-coloured squares and triangles.” and this arm of his tattooed all over with an interminable Cretan I turned in. as I have to be afraid of him. Indeed. “Landlord. and again ing and affectionate manner. and I will turn in with him. partly lying on it as the arm did when I first awoke. and it was only by the sense of weight and pressure that I could tell that Queequeg was hugging me. “Good night. looked for all the world like a strip of that same patchwork quilt. I could hardly tell it from the quilt. or pipe. labyrinth of a figure. tell him to stop smoking. he at once complied. “you may go. The counterpane was of patchas much as to say—I won’t touch a leg of ye. in short.

Instantly I felt a shock running through all my frame. My arm hung over the counterpane. I felt dreadfully. unimaginable. I felt worse and worse—at last I got up. and suddenly threw myself at her feet. and slowly waking from it— o’clock in the afternoon of the 21st June. seemed closely seated by my bedside. and with a bitter sigh got between the sheets. but a supernatural hand seemed placed in mine. and a great rattling of coaches in the streets. For what seemed ages piled on ages. I lay there. nothing was to be seen. anything indeed but condemning me to lie abed been cutting up some caper or other—I think it was trying to such an unendurable length of time. I knew not how this consciousness at last glided away from me. or sending me to bed great deal worse than I have ever done since.—my mother dragged me by the legs out of the greatest subsequent misfortunes. the longest day in the year in our hemisphere. not daring to drag away my hand. as I had seen a little sweep do a few most conscientious of stepmothers. I well remember a somewhat similar cir. though it was only two a troubled nightmare of a doze. and softly going down in my stockinged feet. my room. feeling a was all the time whipping me. her as a particular favour to give me a good slippering for my I never could entirely settle. and the sound of gay voices all over the house. and the before sun-lit room was now wrapped in outer darkness.Moby Dick When I was a child. And it was so light too. For several hours I lay there broad awake. But there was no help for it. Sixteen hours in bed! the small of my back ached to think of it. But she was the best and crawl up the chimney. and nothing was to be heard. The circumstance was this. silent form or phantom. whether it was a reality or a dream. At last I must have fallen into chimney and packed me off to bed. dressed. I had misbehaviour. the sun shining in at the window. to which the hand belonged. sought out my 36 half steeped in dreams—I opened my eyes. undressed myself as slowly as possible so as to kill time. frozen with the most awful fears. and my stepmother who. and back I had to go to days previous.stepmother. I . the horrid spell would be broken. but waking in the morning. and the nameless. I lay there dismally calculating that sixteen entire hours must elapse before I could hope for a resurrection. so up stairs I went to my little room in the third floor. even from the supperless. somehow or other. beseeching cumstance that befell me. yet ever thinking that if I could but stir it one single inch.

though a dim consciousness of Queequeg’s pagan arm thrown round me. and suddenly felt a slight scratch. abed here in a strange house in the broad day. Queequeg. as though naught but death should part us twain. he would dress first and then leave me to dress afterwards. he drew back self with it. shook himself all over like a Newfoundland dog just Now. to those which I experienced on waking up and seeing ber how I came to be there. leaving the whole apartment to myself. stiff as a pike-staff. I now strove to rouse him—”Queequeg!”—but his only answer was a snore. having no serious ity. at last. and presently. and rubbing his eyes as if he did not altogether rememness. one by one. A pretty pickle. For though I tried to move his arm—unlock his bridegroom clasp— yet. Thinks I. as if it were a hatchet-faced baby. and bent upon narrowly observing so curious a creature. and sat up in bed. it is marvellous how essentially polite they are. and my sensations at feeling from the water. and he became. in fixed real. Throwing aside the counterpane. by dint of much wriggling. I often puzzle my. I then rolled over. say what you will. because he treated me with so much civility and consideration. and 37 misgivings now. but. I lay quietly eyeing him. my neck feeling as if it were in a horse-collar. and by certain signs and sounds gave me to understand that. When.him. this is a very civilized overture. Meanwhile. looking the supernatural hand in mine were very similar. his arm. he jumped out upon the floor. Queequeg. his mind seemed made up touching the character of his bedfellow. .at me. there lay the tomahawk sleeping by the savage’s side. I explain the mystery. and then I lay only alive to the comical predicament. I pay this particular compliment to Queequeg.Herman Melville shudderingly remembered it all. Nay. to this very hour. truly. he still hugged me tightly. take away the awful fear. in their strange. these savages have an innate sense of delicacy.succeeded in extracting a grunt. under the circumstances. reconciled to the fact. the truth is. as it were. and for days and weeks and loud and incessant expostulations upon the unbecomingness months afterwards I lost myself in confounding attempts to of his hugging a fellow male in that matrimonial sort of style. if it pleased me. thought I. with a cannibal and a tomahawk! “Queequeg!—in the name of goodness. But at length all the knowing something about me seemed slowly dawning over past night’s events soberly recurred. sleeping as he was. wake!” At length.

a cold morning.Moby Dick while I was guilty of great rudeness. but then. was a creature in the transition stage—neither caterpillar nor butterfly. he never would have dreamt of getting under the bed to put them on. and observing more and in hand. He was just enough civilized to show off his outlandishness in the strangest possible manners. very tall one. I inferred he was hard at work booting himself. that there were no curtains to the window. Nevertheless. a man as if. 38 more the indecorous figure that Queequeg made. from sundry violent gaspings and strainings. and hunted up his boots. but his next movement was to crush himself—boots manded a plain view into the room. He then donned his waistcoat. he takes the harpoon from the bed corner. not being much accustomed to boots. staring at him from the he emerged with his hat very much dented and crushed down bed. to my amazement. his pair of damp. and watching all his toilette motions. slips out . contented himself with restricting his ablutions to his chest.over his eyes. His education was not yet completed. if he had not been still a savage. when. to accelerate his toilet somewhat. What under the heavens he did it for. staving about with little else but his hat and boots on. but Queequeg. and then—still minus his trowsers—he Seeing. and began creaking and limping about the room. the house opposite comcannot tell. At that time in the morning any Christian would have washed his face. rather pinched and tormented him at the first go off of a bitter He commenced dressing at top by donning his beaver hat. by the by. dipped it into water and commenced lathering his face. when lo and behold. and taking up a piece of hard soap on the wash-stand centre table. arms. and hat on—under the bed. though by no law of propriety that I ever heard of. and particularly to get into his pantaloons as soon as possible. for the time my curi. At last. like Queequeg you don’t see every day. He complied. now. do you see. I begged him as well as I could. I that the street being very narrow. osity getting the better of my breeding. He was an undergraduate. he and his ways were wrinkled cowhide ones—probably not made to order either— well worth unusual regarding. and hands. is any man required to be private when putting on his boots. and then proceeded to wash himself. But Queequeg. I was watching to see where he kept his razor. he very probably would not have troubled himself with boots at all. If he had not been a small degree civilized.

The bar-room was now full of the boarders who had been dropping in the night previous. let him not be backward. whets it a little on his boot. Queequeg. too scarce a good thing. Thinks I. and second mates. And the man that has anything bountifully laughable about him. So. and descending into the baris made. cherished no malice towards him. I are always kept. be sure there is more in that man than you perhaps think for. in his own proper person. or rather harpooning of his cheeks. afford stuff for a good joke to anybody. though he had been The rest of his toilet was soon achieved. this is using Rogers’s best cutlery with a vengeance.Herman Melville the long wooden stock. chief mates. marched out of the room. and sea blacksmiths. and sea carpenters. unsheathes the head. and he proudly skylarking with me not a little in the matter of my bedfellow. and striding up to the bit of mirror against the wall. and ship CHAPTER 5 Breakfast I 39 . a good laugh is a mighty good thing. and sporting his harpoon like a marshal’s baton. Afterwards I wondered the less at this operation when I came to know of what fine steel the head of a harpoon QUICKLY FOLLOWED SUIT. the more’s the pity. and sea coopers. and third mates. begins a vigorous scraping. and whom I had not as yet had a good look at. but let him cheerfully allow himself to spend and be spent in that way. and harpooneers. They were nearly all whalemen. and how exceedingly sharp the long straight edges room accosted the grinning landlord very pleasantly. if any one man. wrapped up in his great pilot monHowever. and rather key jacket.

Queequeg sat there among them—at the head of the table. and I was touch of satin wood is in him. This young fellow’s healthy cheek is like a sun-toasted best mode of attaining a high social polish. but slightly bleached withal. they possessed the least assurance in the parlor. barred with various tints. that sort of thing is to be had anywhere. here they sat at a social breakfast table—all of the same calling. cannot have been three days landed from his Indian voyage. But who could show a cheek like Queequeg? which. may not be the very ashore. here were a set of sea-dogs. in ing gowns. the great New England traveller.did. These reflections just here are occasioned by the circumThat man next him looks a few shades lighter. and Mungo Park. And not only that. many of whom without the slightest bashfulness had boarded great whales on the high seas— entire strangers to them—and duelled them dead without winking. for the most pear in hue. of all men. “Grub. and yet. to my no lingers a tropic tawn. as cool as . to show forth in one array. Not always. But perhaps the 40 small surprise. which was the sum of poor Mungo’s You could pretty plainly tell how long each one had been performances—this kind of travel. seemed like the Andes’ western slope. flinging open a door. and would seem to smell almost as musky. he part. all of kindred tastes—looking round as sheepishly at each other as though they had never been out of sight of some sheepfold among the Green Mountains. but they looked embarrassed. thereby become quite at ease in manner. it so chanced. A curious sight. and in we went to breakfast. In the complexion of a third still preparing to hear some good stories about whaling. you might say a stance that after we were all seated at the table. or the taking a long solitary walk on an empty stomach. Still. all wearing monkey jackets for morn.Moby Dick keepers. I say. quite self-possessed in company. They say that men who have seen the world. the negro heart of Africa. these timid warrior whalemen! But as for Queequeg—why. he doubtless has tarried whole weeks ashore. mere crossing of Siberia in a sledge drawn by dogs as Ledyard an unshorn. a brown and brawny company. these bashful bears. though: Ledyard. with bosky beards. zone by zone. nearly every man maintained a profound silence. ho!” now cried the landlord. Yes. shaggy set. the Scotch one. too. contrasting climates.

done rare. that astonishment We will not speak of all Queequeg’s peculiarities here.Herman Melville an icicle. that when breakIn thoroughfares nigh the docks. and at Bombay. attention to beefsteaks. any considerable seaport fast was over he withdrew like the rest into the public room. gesting and smoking with his inseparable hat on. Regent Street is not unknown to Lascars and Malays. Even in Broadway and Chestnut streets. reaching over the table with it. the polite society of a civilized town. will frequently offer to view the queerest looking nondescripts lighted his tomahawk-pipe. To be sure I cannot say much for his breeding. and grappling the beefsteaks towards him. when I sallied Mediterranean mariners will sometimes jostle the affrighted out for a stroll. It makes a stranger stare. live Yankees have often scared the natives. and was sitting there quietly difrom foreign parts. and using it there without ceremony. in the Apollo Green. and applied his undivided soon departed upon taking my first daylight stroll through the streets of New Bedford. savages outright. CHAPTER 6 The Street I 41 . His greatest admirer could not have cordially justified his bringing his harpoon into breakfast with him. to the imminent jeopardy of many heads. ladies. But New Bedford beats all Water Street and Wapping. But that was certainly very coolly done by him. and evF I HAD BEEN ASTONISHED at first catching a glimpse of so ery one knows that in most people’s estimation. many of whom yet carry on their bones unholy flesh. to do anyoutlandish an individual as Queequeg circulating among thing coolly is to do it genteelly. In these last-mentioned haunts you see only sailors. but in New Bedford. Enough. how he eschewed coffee and hot rolls. actual cannibals stand chatting at street corners.

certainly more comical. than in New Bedford. all athirst for cannibals. outfit. fellows who have felled forests. Whence came they? how planted upon this once scraggy scoria of a country? Go and gaze upon the iron emblematical harpoons round yonder lofty mansion. down the throat of the tempest. straps to his Erromanggoans. you should see the comical things he does upon reaching the seaport. and bumpkins to show her visitors. you will see other sights still more curious. buttons. and your question will be answered. The streets do not run with milk. of green Vermonters and New Hampshire men. that tract of land would this day perhaps have been drop the axe and snatch the whale-lance. also. will mow his two acres in buckskin gloves for fear of tanning his hands. and. Yes. nor in the spring-time do they pave them with fresh eggs. parks and gardens more opulent. Now when a country dandy like this takes it into his head to make a distinguished reputation. Not at all. As it is. straps. in all New England. In bespeaking his sea42 of her back country are enough to frighten one. and Brighggians. Tongatobooarrs. in the dog-days. Many are as green in as howling condition as the coast of Labrador. Ah. all these brave houses and flowery gardens came from . besides canvas trowsers. Look there! that chap strutting round the corner. and joins the great whale-fishery. they look so bony. in spite of this. he orders bell-buttons to his waistcoats. parts as the Green Mountains whence they came. of corn and wine. No town-bred dandy will compare with a country-bred one—I mean a downright bumpkin dandy—a fellow that. true enough: but not like Canaan. He wears a beaver hat and swallow-tailed coat. when thou art driven. nowhere in all America will you find more patrician-like houses.Moby Dick But.New Bedford is a queer place. Pannangians. There weekly arrive in this town scores But think not that this famous town has only harpooneers. a land. and all. of stal. besides the Feegeeans. girdled with a sailor-belt and sheath-knife. Had it not been for us wart frames. It is a land of oil. poor Hay-Seed! how bitterly will burst the wild specimens of the whaling-craft which unheeded reel those straps in the first howling gale. and now seek to whalemen. Here comes another with a sou’-wester and a bombazine cloak. Still gain and glory in the fishery. They are mostly young. about the streets. Yet. In some things you would think them but a few hours old. The town itself is perhaps the dearest place to live in.

You must go to New Bedford to see a brilliant wedding. and every night recklessly burn their lengths in spermaceti candles. and portion off their nieces with a few porpoises a-piece. the town is sweet to see. though they were drawing nigh the odorous Moluccas instead Can Herr Alexander perform a feat like that? of the Puritanic sands. whereas the fine carnation of their cheeks is perennial as sunlight in the seventh heavens. fathers. In New Bedford. Pacific. proffer the passer-by their tapering upright cones of congregated blossoms. for. they say. they bloom like their own red roses. high in air. candelabra-wise. One and all. save in Salem. their sailor sweethearts smell them miles off shore. And the women of New Bedford. full of fine maples— long avenues of green and gold. where they tell me the young girls breathe such 43 . which in many a district of New Bedford has superinduced bright terraces of flowers upon the barren refuse rocks thrown aside at creation’s final day. they say. Elsewhere match that bloom of theirs. In summer time. And in August. the beautiful and bountiful horse-chestnuts. they were musk. ye cannot. and Indian oceans. So omnipotent is art. give whales for dowers to their daughters. as harpooned and dragged up hither from the bottom of the sea.Herman Melville the Atlantic. they have reservoirs of oil in every house. But roses only bloom in summer.

I fought my way against the stubborn storm. who fail to make a Sunday visit to the spot. On the Off-shore Ground in the Pacific. The sky had changed from clear. Each silent worshipper seemed purposely sitting apart from the other. I found a small scattered congregation of sailors. at the age of eighteen. to driving sleet and mist. Willis Ellery. and Samuel Gleig. Seth Macy. Entering. sunny cold. and sailors’ wives and widows. Walter Canny. Wrapping myself in my shaggy jacket of the cloth called bearskin. This Marble Is here placed by their surviving shipmates. and few are the moody fishermen. with black borders. The chaplain had not yet arrived. only broken at times by the shrieks of the storm. I again sallied out upon this special errand. Three of them ran something like the following. Returning from my first morning stroll. This Tablet Is erected to his Memory by his sister. but I do not pretend to quote:— Sacred to the Memory of John Talbot. and there these silent islands of men and women sat steadfastly eyeing several marble tablets. November 1st. was lost overboard. I am sure that I did not. Nathan Coleman. off Patagonia. masoned into the 44 . 1839. December 31st. Forming one of the boats’ crews of the ship Eliza Who were towed out of sight by a Whale. Near the Isle of Desolation.CHAPTER 7 The Chapel Moby Dick wall on either side the pulpit. _____________ Sacred to the Memory of Robert Long. _____________ I N THIS SAME NEW BEDFORD there stands a Whaleman’s Chapel. A muffled silence reigned. as if each silent grief were insular and incommunicable. 1836. shortly bound for the Indian Ocean or Pacific. Who.

here lies my beloved. in what eternal. and. This Tablet ye know not the desolation that broods in bosoms like these. Whether any of the relatives of the seamen whose names appeared there were now among the congregation.Herman Melville Sacred to the Memory of bleak tablets sympathetically caused the old wounds to bleed The late Captain Ezekiel Hardy. yet lies antique Adam who died sixty round centuries ago. was not reading those frigid inscriptions on the wall. how it is that to his name who yesterday departed for the other world. Affected by the solemnity of the scene. This savage was the only person present who seemed to notice my entrance. and so plainly did several women present wear the countenance if not the trappings of some unceasing grief. In what census of living creatures. because he was the only one who could not read. standing among flowers can say—here. who on the coast of Japan.that seem to gnaw upon all Faith. how it . therefore. and deadly. Who in the bows of his boat was killed by a Sperm Whale Oh! ye whose dead lie buried beneath the green grass. and yet do not thus entitle him. hopeless trance. why the Life Insurance Companies pay death-forfeitures upon immortals. I knew not. the dead of mankind are included. but so many are the unrecorded accidents in the fishery. and refuse resurrections to prised to see Queequeg near me. unstirring paralysis. 1833. though containing more secrets than the Goodwin Sands. August 3d. and turning sideways was sur. that they tell no tales. afresh. why it is that a universal proverb says of them. What bitter blanks in those black-bordered marbles which cover no ashes! What despair in those immovable inscripShaking off the sleet from my ice-glazed hat and jacket. that I feel sure that here before me were assembled those. if he but embarks for the remotest Indies of this living earth. there was a wondering gaze of incredulous curiosity in his countenance. in whose unhealing hearts the sight of those 45 the beings who have placelessly perished without a grave. we prefix so significant and infidel a word. As well might those tablets stand in the cave of Elephanta as here. I tions! What deadly voids and unbidden infidelities in the lines seated myself near the door. Is erected to his Memory by his widow.

wherefore but the rumor of fore three cheers for Nantucket. take it I say. why all the take my body who will. 46 . Delightful inducements to embark. we are too much like oysters observing the sun through the water. Ishmael. I regarded those marble tablets. for stave my soul. fine chance for promotion. Jove himself are not without their meanings. But Faith.Methinks my body is but the lees of my better being. like a jackal. feeds among the tombs. In fact theless maintain are dwelling in unspeakable bliss. it is not me. But what then? Methinks we have hugely mistaken this matter of Life and Death.Moby Dick is that we still refuse to be comforted for those who we never. Methinks that what they call my shadow here on earth is my true substance. the same fate may be thine. Yes. and by the murky light of that darkened. and thinking that thick water the thinnest of air. a stove boat will make me an immortal by brevet. there is death in this business of whaling—a speechlessly quick chaotic bundling of a man into Eternity. And thereliving so strive to hush all the dead. Methinks that in looking at things spiritual. doleful day read the fate of the whalemen who had gone before me. All these things stove body when they will. It needs scarcely to be told. Yes. and even from these dead doubts she gathers her most vital hope. with what feelings. on the eve of a Nantucket voyage. cannot. and come a stove boat and a knocking in a tomb will terrify a whole city. But somehow I grew merry again. it seems—aye.

and certainly had not come in his carriage. and Father Mapple without the utmost interest. a quick rea decent suit. he quietly approached the pulpit. and finished the pulpit without a stairs. sufficiently atLike most old fashioned pulpits. At the time I now write of. it seemed. that sort a ship from a boat at sea. so called by the whalemen. substicated his life to the ministry. and his great pilot cloth jacket seemed almost to drag him to the floor with the weight of the water it had absorbed. However. it was a very lofty one. like those used in mounting Mapple was in the hardy winter of a healthy old age. He had been a sailor and chapel. being itself nicely headed. the architect. and venerable robustness entered. No one having sidering what manner of chapel it was. it was the since a regular stairs to such a height would. there shone certain ropes for this ladder. among with the floor. when. immediately as the storm. because there were CHAPTER 8 The Pulpit 47 . When he entered I observed that he carried no umbrella. gardful eyeing of him by all the congregation. arrayed in pelted door flew back upon admitting him. by its long angle famous Father Mapple. conpeeping forth even beneath February’s snow. seriously contract the already small area of the whom he was a very great favourite. provided the chapel with a handsome pair of red worsted manfor among all the fissures of his wrinkles. for his tarpaulin hat ran down with melting sleet. imputable to that adventurous maritime life he had led. Father tuting a perpendicular side ladder. could for the first time behold bad taste. had acted upon the hint of a harpooneer in his youth. the whole contrivance.I Herman Melville certain engrafted clerical peculiarities about him. which. Yes. seemed by no means in previously heard his history. but for many years past had dediFather Mapple. and tested that this fine old man was the chaplain. and mild gleams of a newly developing bloom—the spring verdure stained with a mahogany colour. HAD NOT BEEN SEATED very long ere a man of a certain hat and coat and overshoes were one by one removed. Halting for an instant at the foot of the ladder.hung up in a little space in an adjacent corner. The wife of a whaling captain had of old age which seems merging into a second flowering youth.

it must symbolize something unseen. furthermore. to the truly sailor-like but still reverential dexterity. the clouds are rolling off—serenest azure is at hand. this pulpit. from which beamed forth an angel’s face. “beat on. it had not escaped me that tween the marble cenotaphs on either hand of the pulpit. and then with a for replenished with the meat and wine of the word. and this bright face shed a distinct spot of radiance upon the ship’s tossed deck. for lo! the sun is breaking through.Moby Dick with both hands grasping the ornamental knobs of the manthe time. case with swinging ones.” Nor was the pulpit itself without a trace of the same seataste that had achieved the ladder and the picture. deliberately drag up the ladder step by step. slowly turn round.” the angel seemed to say. faithful man of God. Father Mapple enjoyed such a wide reputation for sincerity and sanctity. till the whole was deposited within. is a self-containing strongmounted the steps as if ascending the main-top of his vessel. borrowed from the chaplain’s former sea-farings. these joints in the present inwall which formed its back was adorned with a large painting stance seemed unnecessary. that I could not suspect him of courting notoriety by any mere tricks of the stage. Its panelled . ropes. hand over hand. No. But high above the flying scud and dark-rolling clouds. something like that silver plate now inserted into the Victory’s plank where Nelson fell. then. I pondered some time without fully comprehending the reason for this. he signifies his spiritual withdrawal for 48 representing a gallant ship beating against a terrible storm off a lee coast of black rocks and snowy breakers. BeAt my first glimpse of the pulpit. leaving him impregnable in his little Quebec. there must be some sober reason for this thing. with a perennial well of water The perpendicular parts of this side ladder. I see. Father Mapple cast a look upwards. For I was not prepared to see Father Mapple after gaining the height. so that at every step there was a joint. thou noble ship. beat on. place. that by that act of physical isolation. “Ah. were of cloth-covered rope. and stooping over the pulpit. Can it be. hold—a lofty Ehrenbreitstein. there floated a little isle of sunlight. thought I. as is usually the within the walls. only the But the side ladder was not the only strange feature of the rounds were of wood. noble ship. from all outward worldly ties and connexions? Yes. the however convenient for a ship. and bear a hardy helm.

like the continual tolling of a bell in a ship that is foundering at sea in a fog—in such tones he commenced reading the following hymn. then kneeling in the pulpit’s bows. the world’s a ship on its passage out. all the rest comes in its rear. and a still slighter shuffling of women’s shoes. benches.Herman Melville front was in the likeness of a ship’s bluff bows. and in a mild voice of unassuming quick wrath is first descried. there! side away to larboard— first invoked for favourable winds. This ended. fashioned after a ship’s fiddle-headed beak. and all was quiet again. and every eye on the preacher. Yes. and offered a prayer so deeply devout that he seemed kneeling and praying at the bottom of the sea. From thence it is the God of breezes fair or foul is “Starboard gangway. the pulpit leads the world. uplifted his closed eyes. and the bow must bear the earliauthority ordered the scattered people to condense. in prolonged solemn tones. and the Holy Bible rested on a projecting piece of scroll work. folded his large brown hands across his chest. From thence it is the storm of God’s ather Mapple rose. and the pulpit is larboard gangway to starboard! Midships! midships!” There was a low rumbling of heavy sea-boots among the its prow. est brunt. but changing his manner towards the concluding stanzas. What could be more full of meaning?—for the pulpit is ever this earth’s foremost part. He paused a little. and not a voyage complete. burst forth with a pealing exultation and joy— CHAPTER 9 The Sermon F 49 .

hard-heartedness. yet bright. this lesson that the book of Jonah teaches? Shipmates. and at last. because it is a story of the sin. “My song for ever shall record That terrible. And lift me yarns—is one of the smallest strands in the mighty cable of the deepening down to doom. As with all sinners among men. a lesson to us all as sinful men. Arched over me a dismal “Shipmates. But all the things that God would have us do folding his hand down upon the proper page. His all the mercy and the power. As on a radiant dolphin two-stranded lesson.’” God. billow-like and boisterously grand! We feel the floods surging “In black distress. clinch the last verse of the first chapter of Jonah— commands us than endeavors to persuade. said: “Beloved are hard for us to do—remember that—and hence. as lightning shone The face of my lesson to me as a pilot of the living God. prayers. As sinful men. it is a “With speed he flew to my relief. the what that command was. a hard command. suddenly awakened fears. With endless pains and sorsealine sound! what a pregnant lesson to us is this prophet! rows there. and a borne. which swelled high wilful disobedience of the command of God—never mind now above the howling of the storm. Awful. Yet what depths of the soul does Jonah’s deep “I saw the opening maw of hell. Scriptures.Moby Dick “The ribs and terrors in the whale. I called my God. lesson to us all. and finally the deliverance and joy of Jonah. Which none but they that feel can tell—Oh. I was What a noble thing is that canticle in the fish’s belly! How plunging to despair. we must disobey ourselves. we sound with him to the kelpy bottom of the waters. it is a Deliverer God. A brief pause ensued. he oftener shipmates. believe him mine. When I could scarce over us. I give the glory to my God. And if we obey ’And God had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. He bowed his ear to my complaints—No sea-weed and all the slime of the sea is about us! But what is more the whale did me confine. repentance. and it is in this disobeying 50 . that joyful hour. the swift punishment. the sin of this son of Amittai was in his NEARLY ALL JOINED IN singing this hymn. or how conveyed—which he found preacher slowly turned over the leaves of the Bible. this book. While all God’s sun-lit waves rolled by. containing only four chapters—four gloom.

stranger’s evil eye. been policemen in those days. at God. In their gamesome but still serious way. prowling among the shipping like a vile burglar hastening to cross the seas. and seeks a ship that’s bound for Tarshish ship receiving the last items of her cargo. is on the most easterly coast of the Mediterranean. as far by water. He skulks about their adieux. a hitherto unheeded meaning steps on board to see its Captain in the cabin. the modern Jaffa. valise.” or. but in vain he tries to look And where is Cadiz. do you mark him. He thinks that a ship How plainly he’s a fugitive! no baggage. but only the Captains of this earth. and as he Tarshish. all the sailors for here. By all accounts Tarshish could have been no other city the moment desist from hoisting in the goods. to mark the than the modern Cadiz. by seeking to flee from Him. shipmates. not a hat-box. on the mere suspicion of “With this sin of disobedience in him. or belike. self-condemning is his look. he finds the the wharves of Joppa.” or. one of the missing murderers from Sodom. offering five hundred gold coins for the apprehension of a parricide. Strong intuitions of the man assure the mariners he can be no innocent. He reads. Jonah. See ye not then. There lurks. So disordered. as Jonah could possibly have sailed in those ancient days. “Joe. That’s the opinion of learned men. he’s robbed a widow. had been arrested ere he touched a deck. he’s a bigamist. from Joppa. and looks from Jonah to the bill.—no friends accompany him to the wharf with not reign. that Jonah sought to flee world-wide from God? Miserable man! Oh! most contemptible and worthy of all scorn.Herman Melville ourselves. made by men will carry him into countries where God does or carpet-bag. after much dodging search. prepared to lay . I guess he’s the adulterer that broke jail in old Gomorrah. the Syrian. that had there 51 all ease and confidence. with slouched hat and guilty eye. shipmates. while all his sympathetic shipmates now crowd round Jonah. At last. Because Joppa. Jonah sees this. when the Atlantic was an almost unknown sea. wherein the hardness of obeying God consists. in vain essays his wretched smile. and Tarshish or Cadiz more than two thousand miles to the westward from that. one whispers to the other—”Jack. and containing a description of his person. Jonah still further flouts something wrong. perhaps. skulking from his God. “Harry lad. shipmates? Cadiz is in Spain. just outside the Straits of Gibraltar.” Another runs to read the bill that’s stuck against the spile upon the wharf to which the ship is moored.

’ says Jonah now. sir?’ Thus far the busy Captain had not looked up to Jonah. ‘there’s thy room. can travel freely. and it’s assented stant he almost turns to flee again. He charges him thrice the usual sum. ‘I seek a passage in this ship to Tarshish. ‘We sail with the next coming tide. but that itself is “Now Jonah’s Captain. ‘No sooner. All dressed and dusty as he is. the Captain laughs lowly to himself. but no sooner does he hear that hollow voice. Frighted Jonah trembles. and summonthe fare thereof’ ere the craft did sail. and mutters something about the doors of convicts’ cells being never allowed to be locked within. I need sleep. Hearing him foolishly fumbling there.’ at last he slowly answered. shipmates.’ Ha! Jonah. But he swiftly calls away the Captain from that scent. how soon sail ye. only looks so much the more a text. but whose cupidity exposes it only sailors find him not to be the man that is advertised. he mutters. shipmates. they let in the penniless.’ Jonah enters. So he makes the best of it. any way. ere he judge him Oh! how that harmless question mangles Jonah! For the inopenly.pauper. But he rallies. but the lock contains no key. that’s another stab.’ For it is particularly written. And taken with the coning all his boldness to his face. but at the same time resolves to help a flight that paves its rear with gold. ‘I’ll sail with ye. ‘that he paid 52 to. coward. Sir. He rings every coin to find a counterfeit. and he descends into the cabin. as if it were a thing not to be overlooked in this history. sin that pays its way him pass. So Jonah’s Captain preriedly making out his papers for the Customs—’Who’s there?’ pares to test the length of Jonah’s purse. still intently eyeing him.—’the passage money how much is that?— I’ll pay now.’ ‘Thou lookest like it. .’ says the Captain.Moby Dick their hands upon him. and Jonah is put down for his passage. though the man now stands before him.’—he says. this is full of meaning. and without a passport. Then the Captain knows that Jonah is a fugitive. ‘Point out my state-room. than he darts a scrutinizing glance. Yet when Jonah fairly takes out his purse. is stopped at all frontiers. hur. whereas Virtue. ‘I’m travel-weary. prudent suspicions still molest the Captain. and would lock the door. sir?’—’Soon enough for any honest man that goes a passenger. and when the ment detects crime in any. shipmates. if a “‘Who’s there?’ cries the Captain at his busy desk. He will not confess himself suspected. was one whose discernstrong suspicion. In this world. Not a forger.

and jars are clattering overboard. the ship casts off her flame and all. but with conscience yet pricking him. infallibly straight itself. when the whale shall hold him in a deep stupor steals over him. ‘Oh! so my conscience hangs in me!’ he groans. in that contracted hole. The floor. so it burns. the ship is like to break. heeling over towards derous misery drags him drowning down to sleep. Jonah feels the heralding preuntil the fit be passed. A dreadful storm comes on. The air is close. in truth. and the ship. which even now . in all this raging tumult. the ceiling. death. but the chambers of my soul are all in crookedness!’ “Like one who after a night of drunken revelry hies to his bed. too. and this thus far successful fugitive finds no refuge for his restless glance. when boxes. and the men are yelling. and from the deserted wharf the uncheered ship for Tarshish. But that contradiction in the lamp more and more appals him. ‘straight upwards. he will not bear the wicked burden. as lying in his berth his tormented eyes roll round the place. the lamp. and little hears he or heeds he the far rush of the mighty whale. though. as over the man who bleeds to the smallest of his bowels’ wards. my friends. But now when the boatswain calls all hands to lighten her. for conscience is the wound. sunk. and finds the little stateplungings of the Roman race-horse but so much the more strike room ceiling almost resting on his forehead. so. Jonah’s prodigy of ponoscillates in Jonah’s room. The lamp alarms and frightens Jonah. But the sea rebels. when the wind is shrieking.Herman Melville Jonah throws himself into his berth. are all awry. a swinging lamp slightly it. still reeling. and there’s naught to staunch “Screwed at its axis against the side. Then. turns and turns in giddy anguish. his steel tags into him. it but made obvious the false. and the side. lying levels among which it hung. and every plank thunders with trampling feet right over Jonah’s head. as the 53 cables. still maintains a permanent obliquity with reference to the room. was the first of recorded smugglers! the contraband was Jonah. all careening. and at last amid the whirl of woe he feels. bales. He sees no black sky and raging sea. That ship. praying God for annihilation beneath the ship’s water-line. feels not the reeling timbers. though in slight motion. “And now the time of tide has come. sentiment of that stifling hour. Jonah sleeps his hideous sleep. glides to sea. as one who in that miserable plight still and Jonah gasps. the wharf with the weight of the last bales received. after sore wrestlings in his berth.

and stumbling to the receive an answer to those questions. O. Jonah’s. by referring the whole matter to high Heaven. that discovered. for he knew that for his sake this great tempest was upon them. ing no speedy vent runs roaring fore and aft. but likewise another deck. grasps a shroud. to see for whose cause this great tempest was upon them. But at that answer to a question not put by them. whereas. not yet supplicating God for mercy. till the mariners come nigh to drowning while yet afloat. fully to test the truth. they fall to casting lots. shipmates. O Jonah? Aye. and at last. and findupon him. aghast Jonah sees the rearing bowsprit pointing high upward. “Terrors upon terrors run shouting through his soul. and was fast asleep. but soon beat downward again towards the tormented deep.Moby Dick with open mouth is cleaving the seas after him.—when wretched Jonah cries out to them to take him and cast him forth into the sea. with one hand raised invokingly to God. Jonah staggers to his feet. whereupon the mariners became more and more appalled. the behavior of poor Jonah. The lot is 54 “‘I am a Hebrew. since he but too well knew the darkness of his deserts. For when Jonah.’ he cries—and then—’I fear the Lord the God of Heaven who hath made the sea and the dry land!’ Fear him. they not only that direful cry. In all his cringing attitudes. he now goes on to make a full confession. The eager mariners but meanest thou. the indignant gale howls louder. The sailors mark him. the God-fugitive is now too plainly known. And ever. then how furiously they mob him with Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship—a berth in the their questions. sleeper! arise!’ Startled from his lethargy by ask him who he is. but the unsolicited anmoment he is sprung upon by a panther billow leaping over the swer is forced from Jonah by the hard hand of God that is bulwarks. with the . and seek by other means to save the ship. Aye. But all in vain. well mightest thou fear the Lord God then! Straightway. they mercifully turn from him. ‘What is thine occupation? Whence comest cabin as I have taken it.thou? Thy country? What people? But mark now. more and more certain grow their suspicions of him. then. but still are pitiful. and shrieks in his dead ear. my shipened master comes to him. Wave after wave thus leaps into the ship. as the white moon shows her affrighted face from the steep gullies in the blackness overhead. But the fright. ‘What mates. to look out upon the sea. and where from.

For sinful as he is. is shown in the eventual deliverance of him from the sea and the whale.tossed by a storm himself. both his hands press upon me. with closed eyes. who. when describing Jonah’s sea-storm. seemed him. And here. he spake these words: “Shipmates. and the whale shoots-to all his ivory teeth. and learn a weighty lesson. He goes down in the whirl. I have read ye by what murky light may be mine the lesson that Jonah teaches to all sinners. His deep chest heaved as with a ing heart of such a masterless commotion that he scarce heeds ground-swell. and bowing his head lowly. like brow. shipmates. and still more to me. he will still look towards His holy temple. standing motionless. upon his prison. his tossed arms seemed the warring elements at the moment when he drops seething into the yawning jaws work. the Lord out of the fish’s belly. but if you do. Then Jonah prayed unto hearers look on him with a quick fear that was strange to them. leaving smooth water behind. the howling of the into the sea. But again he leaned over towards the people. And how pleasing to God was this conduct in Jonah. He feels that his dreadful punishment is just. is true and faithful repentance. God has laid but one hand upon you. Jonah does not weep and wail for direct deliverance. and the thunders that rolled away from off his swarthy awaiting him. as he silently turned over the leaves of the Book once more. and therefore to ye.Herman Melville other they not unreluctantly lay hold of Jonah. He leaves all his deliverance to God. seemed communing with God and himself. And now how gladly would I come down from this mast- . that spite of all his pains and pangs. contenting himself with this. at last. for the moment. take 55 There now came a lull in his look. with an aspect of the deepest yet manliest humility. and. for I am a greater sinner than ye. heed to repent of it like Jonah. slanting storm without seemed to add new power to east. made all his simple so many white bolts. Shipmates. as Jonah carries down the gale with the preacher. and the sea is still. But observe his prayer. Sin not. and the light leaping from his eye. when instantly an oily calmness floats out from the shrieking.” “And now behold Jonah taken up as an anchor and dropped While he was speaking these words. I do not place Jonah before you to be copied for his sin but I do place him before you as a model for repentance. not clamorous for pardon. but grateful for punishment.

shipmates? of true things. as a pilot of the two sea-shells. Is not the main-truck higher than the kelson is low? . courts not dishonour! Woe to him who would not be true. in this world. But world charms from Gospel duty! Woe to him who seeks to God is everywhere. and ‘the weeds were wrapped about his head. Woe to him whom this to escape his duty and his God by taking ship at Joppa. God came upon him in the whale. and listen as out Jonah upon the dry land. the whale came breeching up towards the warm and pleasant sun. and swallowed him down to living gulfs of doom. and woe to that at the hostility he should raise. than the bottom of the woe is deep.’ where the eddying depths sucked him ten thousand fathoms down. still multitudinously murmuring of the ocean— living God. And what was that. and sought pilot of the living God who slights it. appalled “This. woe to him who.Moby Dick head and sit on the hatches there where you sit. God heard the engulphed. this is that other lesson. shipmates.’ when the word of the Lord came you listen. as he cried out with a heavenly enthusiasm. as the great Pilot Paul has it. and ‘vomited 56 gale! Woe to him who seeks to please rather than to appal! Woe to him whose good name is more to him than goodness! Woe to him who. Then God spake unto the fish. even then. Tarshish he never reached. showed a deep joy in his eyes. and all the delights of air and earth. then lifting his face to them again. fled from his mission. bruised and beaten—his ears. Jonah. and higher the top of that delight. even though to be false were salvation! Yea. and bidden by the Lord to sound those unwelTo preach the Truth to the face of Falsehood! That was it! come truths in the ears of a wicked Nineveh. or speaker Jonah did the Almighty’s bidding. repenting prophet when he cried. like more awful lesson which Jonah teaches to me.’ and all the watery world of woe bowled over him. and with swift slantings tore him along ‘into the midst of the seas. while some one of you reads me that other and a second time. while preaching to others is himself a castaway!” He dropped and fell away from himself for a moment. How being an anointed pilot-prophet. there is a sure delight. Yet even then beyond the reach of any plummet— ‘out of the belly of hell’—when the whale grounded upon the ocean’s utmost bones. As we have pour oil upon the waters when God has brewed them into a seen. and from the shuddering cold and blackness of the sea.— “But oh! shipmates! on the starboard hand of every woe. and Jonah.

little negro idol of his. he put up the image. and so remained kneeling. seeming to commence at number people had departed. here I die. for what is man that he larity. whom all the was sitting on a bench before the fire. meanwhile humcan say with his final breath—O Father!—chiefly known to ming to himself in his heathenish way. and he was left alone in the place. or mine own. I have striven to be Thine. more than to be this world’s. till all the begin again at the next fifty. peering hard into its face. But being now interrupted. going to the table. took up a large book there. one each time. CHAPTER 10 A Bosom Friend R 57 . and placing it on his lap began counting the pages with deliberate reguthis is nothing: I leave eternity to Thee. ever stands forth his own inexorable self. and with a light and deliciousness will be his. Delight is to him whose strong arms yet support him. and is only a patriot to heaven. Delight. at every fiftieth page—as I fancied—stopping a moshould live out the lifetime of his God?” He said no more.—top-gallant delight is to him. and deETURNING TO THE SPOUTER-INN from the Chapel. as though he could not count more than fifty. He who acknowledges no law or lord. and kills. burns. covered ment. And eternal de. when the ship of this base treacherous world has gone down beneath him. He would then his face with his hands. and in one hand was holding close up to his face that waves of the billows of the seas of the boisterous mob can never shake from this sure Keel of the Ages. but the Lord his God. Delight is to him. who gives no quarter in the truth. and giving utterance to a long-drawn gurgling whistle of astonishment. who coming to lay him down. he having left Senators and Judges. but slowly waving a benediction. with his feet on the stove hearth. looking vacantly around him. I stroys all sin though he pluck it out from under the robes of found Queequeg there quite alone. and pretty me by Thy rod—mortal or immortal. Yet soon. jack-knife gently whittling away at its nose.Herman Melville Delight is to him—a far. the Chapel before the benediction some time. and inward delight—who against the proud gods and commodores of this earth. Delight is to him. far upward.

balistically developed. half-pretending meanwas. upon second thoughts. Savage though he Whilst I was thus closely scanning him. He looked like a man who had never cringed and never had had a creditor. But savages are strange beings. this I will not venture to decide. with the other seamen in the inn. too. but it reminded me of General Washington’s head. He made no advances whatever. there seemed tokens of a spirit that would dare a thousand devils. Queequeg was George Washington canniexcited. fiery black and bold. yet. Considering how honest heart. Here was a man some twenty thousand miles from home. but appeared wholly occupied with his unearthly tattooings. there was something almost sublime in it. and looked more expansive than it otherwise would. there was a certain lofty bearing about the Pagan. and in his large. It had the same long regularly graded retreating slope from above the brows.Moby Dick and it was only by such a large number of fifties being found likewise very projecting. With much interest I sat watching him. I had noticed also that Queequeg never consorted at all. It may seem ridiculous. Whether it was. as seen in the popular busts of him. I thought this indifference of his very strange. at times you do not know exactly how to take them. Through all much as a single glance. or but very little. You cannot hide the soul. At first they are overawing. their calm self-collectedness of simplicity seems a Socratic wisdom. that his astonishment at the multitude of pages was wooded on top. he taste—his countenance yet had a something in it which was by never heeded my presence. his forehead was drawn out in freer and brighter relief. by the way of . which were 58 and especially considering the affectionate arm I had found thrown over me upon waking in the morning. And besides all this. I thought I saw the traces of a simple counting the pages of the marvellous book. deep eyes. which even his uncouthness could not altogether maim. but certain it was his head was phrenologically an excellent one. All this struck me as mighty singular. like two long promontories thickly together. never troubled himself with so no means disagreeable. that his head being shaved. and hideously marred about the face—at least to my while to be looking out at the storm from the casement. sociably we had been sleeping together the night previous. appeared to have no desire to enlarge the circle of his acquaintances.

I’ll try a pagan friend.” As I sat there in that now lonely room. in that mild stage when. it then only glows to be looked at. perhaps. they were the ease. and the meaning of the few pictures that were in it. I told him yes. I conclude that. and I endeavored to explain to him the purpose of the printing. There he sat. his very indifference speaking a nature in which there lurked no civilized hypocrisies and bland 59 we were again to be bedfellows. after its first intensity has warmed the air.Herman Melville Cape Horn. But. and keeping it regularly passing between us. So soon as I hear that such or such a man gives him. content with his own comvery magnets that thus drew me. and made some friendly signs and was such a thing as that. No more my splintered heart and maddened hand were turned against the wolfish world. preserving the utmost his last night’s hospitalities. that is—which was the only way he could get deceits. whereat I thought he looked pleased. At first he phers. If there yet lurked any ice of indifference towards me in the . We then turned over the book together. Wild he was. I felt a melting in me. the fire burning low. and. thought panionship. always equal to himself. I fine philosophy. he quietly offered me a puff. solitary twain. though no doubt he had never heard there drew my bench near him. Soon I proposed a social smoke. to be true philosohints. producing his pouch and tomahawk. Surely this was a touch of I. doing my best to talk with him meanwhile. like the dyspeptic old woman. yet I began there—thrown among people as strange to him as though he to feel myself mysteriously drawn towards him. and yet he seemed entirely at his things that would have repelled most others. upon my referring striving. and from that we went to jabbering the best we could about the various outer sights to be seen in this famous town. I began to be sensible of strange feelings. perhaps a little complimented. he made out to ask me whether self out for a philosopher. Thus I soon engaged his interest. we mortals should not be conscious of so living or so little noticed these advances. but presently. the evening shades and phantoms gathering round the casements. And those same were in the planet Jupiter. And then we sat exchanging puffs from that wild pipe of his. the storm booming without in solemn swells. he must have “broken his digester. This soothing savage had redeemed it. a very sight of sights to see. since Christian kindness has proved but hollow courtesy. and peering in upon us silent.

Queequeg is my fellow man. In a magnanimous God of heaven and earth—pagans and all incountryman. and said it was mine. He seemed to take to me case he invited me. this pleasant. I must then unite with him in his. So I kindled the shavings. and another social chat and smoke. Now. but well know60 God—that is worship. soon ing what was to follow. and removed the paper fireboard. offered him burnt biscuit with Queequeg. After supper. quite as naturally and unbiddenly as I to him. I deliberated a moment whether. clasped infallible Presbyterian Church. and when our I was a good Christian. Ishmael. in his country’s phrase. ergo. born and bred in the bosom of the smoke was over. I would comply or otherwise. in thawed it out. a thing to be much distrusted. He then went about his evening prayers. meaning. and that done. genial smoke we had. at peace with our own consciences and all the world. I thought he seemed anxious for me to join him.Moby Dick Pagan’s breast. if need should be. we went to our room together. But we did not go to sleep without some little chat. this sudden flame of friendship would have seemed cluded—can possibly be jealous of an insignificant bit of black far too premature. that we were bosom worship? thought I. I let them stay. . that the friends. unite with me in my particular Presbyterian form of worship. we undressed and went to bed. I must turn idolator. took out his idol. and mechanically dividing them into two equal portions. How then could I unite with this me round the waist. took out his enormous tobacco wallet. and left us cronies. and groping under the tobacco. And what do I wish that this Queequeg would do to me? Why. Consequently.wild idolator in worshipping his piece of wood? But what is ried. drew out some thirty dollars in silver. He made me a present of his embalmed head. he pressed his forehead against mine. Do you suppose now. I was going to remonstrate. helped prop up the innocent little idol. but in this wood? Impossible! But what is worship?—to do the will of simple savage those old rules would not apply. And what is the will of God?—to do to my fellow man what I would have my fellow man to do to me—that is the will of God. By certain signs and symptoms. and said that henceforth we were mar. then spreading them on the table. kissed his nose. but he silenced me by pouring them into my trowsers’ pockets. he would gladly die for me. pushed one of them towards me. salamed before him twice or thrice.

lay I and Queequeg—a cosy. as if our kneepans were warming-pans. and then drawing them back. The 61 . then. at last. we became very wakeful. and our two noses bending over them. though day-break was yet some way down the future. they say. and we felt like getting up again.Herman Melville How it is I know not. loving pair. seeing that there was no fire in the room. the more so since it was so chilly out of doors. the clothes well tucked around us. so much so that our recumbent position began to grow wearisome. but there is no place like a bed for confidential disclosures between friends. and by little and little we found ourselves sitting up. indeed out of bed-clothes too. Yes. and Queequeg now and then affectionately throwing his brown tattooed legs over mine. by reason of our confabulations. chatting and napping W at short intervals. there open the very bottom of their souls to each other. leaning against the head-board with our four knees drawn up close together. CHAPTER 11 Nightgown E HAD LAIN THUS IN BED. We felt very nice and snug. Thus. so entirely sociable and free and easy were we. Man and wife. what little nappishness remained in us altogether departed. in our hearts’ honeymoon. and some old couples often lie and chat over old times till nearly morning. when.

Upon opening my eyes then. For the height of this sort of deliciousness is to have nothing but the blanket between you and your snugness and the cold of the outer air.Moby Dick more so. for there is no quality in this element of our essences. I was only alive to the condensed confidential comfortableness of sharing a pipe and a blanket with a real friend. as if darkness were indeed the proper small part of you must be cold. we now passed the Tomahawk from one to the other. For this reason sides he felt a strong desire to have a few quiet puffs from his a sleeping apartment should never be furnished with a fire. illuminated by the flame of the . why then. then you cannot be said to be and coarse outer gloom of the unilluminated twelve-o’clockcomfortable any more. the tip of your nose or the crown of your head be slightly all object to the hint from Queequeg that perhaps it were best chilled. though light be more congenial to our world that is not what it is merely by contrast. I experienced a disagreeable revulsion. I no more felt unduly concerned for the landlord’s policy of insurance. With our shaggy jackets drawn about our shoulders. But if. We had been sitting in this crouching manner for some time. because he seemed to be full of such serene household joy then. because truly to enjoy bodily warmth. that though I had felt such a strong repugnance to his smoking in the bed the night before. Nor did I at bed. indeed. in order the more to concentrate the snugness of being in bed. Be it said. I have a way of always keeping my eyes shut. seeing that we were so wide awake. my own pleasant and self-created darkness into the imposed and have been so a long time. For now I liked nothing better than to have Queequeg smoking by me. like Queequeg and me in the at-night. for when between sheets. yet see how elastic our stiff prejudices grow when love once comes to bend them. some his eyes be closed. when all at once I thought I would open my eyes. Because no man can ever feel his own identity aright except 62 Tomahawk. I say. whether by day or by night. in the general consciousness you to strike a light. and befeel most delightfully and unmistakably warm. Then there you lie like the one warm spark in the heart of an arctic crystal. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable. and whether asleep or awake. and coming out of itself. even in bed. till slowly there grew over us a blue hanging tester of smoke. which is one of the luxurious discomforts of the rich. Nothing exists in clayey part.

I know not. an island far away to the West and South. When a new-hatched savage running wild about his native woodlands in a grass clout. lurked a strong desire to see something more of Christendom than a specimen whaler or two. a King. in Queequeg’s ambitious soul. true places never are. It is not down in any map. A Sag Harbor ship visited his father’s bay. He gladly complied. Whether it was that this undulating tester rolled the savage away to far distant scenes. but he now spoke of his native island. But the ship. and. I fear. though sadly vitiated. yet subsequent disclosures. as if he were a green sapling. having her full complement of seamen. spurned his suit. There was excellent blood in his veins—royal stuff. I begged him to go on and tell it. and on the maternal side he boasted aunts who were the wives of unconquerable warriors. followed by the nibbling goats. by the cannibal propensity he nourished in his untutored youth. now enable me to present the whole story such as it may prove in the mere skeleton I give. Though at the time I but ill comprehended not a few of his words.Herman Melville new-lit lamp. His father was a High Chief. and Queequeg sought a passage to Christian lands. CHAPTER 12 Biographical Q ROKOVOKO. eager to hear his history. even then. and not all the UEEQUEG WAS A NATIVE OF 63 . his uncle a High Priest. when I had become more familiar with his broken phraseology.

I’ll die a pagan. By hints. alas! the practices of whalemen ets. I asked him whether he did not propose going back. climbed up the chains.Moby Dick King his father’s influence could prevail. and tried to talk their gibberish. never saw the Captain’s cabin. In vain the captain threatened to throw him overboard. But. and having a coronation. and more than that. poor Queequeg gave it up for lost. And thus an old idolator at heart. he yet lived among these Christians. he paddled off to a distant strait. paddle soon convinced him that even Christians could be both miserlow in hand. among these thick. But Queequeg vowed dained no seeming ignominy. Alone in his canoe.better than they were. wore their clothes. infinitely more so. grappled a ringbolt there. than all his father’s headarted out. Arrived at last in old Sag Harbor. and his wild desire to visit Christendom. Hiding his canoe. On one side was a coral reef. if thereby he might happily gain a vow. suspended a cutlass over his naked wrists. and swore not to let it go. He answered no. and made a whaleman of him. They put him down among the sailors. covered with mangrove thickets that grew out his people still happier than they were. For at which he knew the ship must pass through when she quitted bottom—so he told me—he was actuated by a profound dethe island. like a flash he able and wicked. gained her side. with one backward dash of his thens. the captain at last relented. But like Czar Peter content to toil in the shipyards of foreign cities. and throwing himself at full length upon the deck. not yet. and then going on to Nantucket. still into the water. he being very old and feeble at the last accounts. and seeing how they spent their wages in that place also. it’s a wicked world in all meridians. the arts whereby to make tongue of land. though now some time from home. with its prow seaward. Queequeg dis64 sailors did there. Hence the queer ways about him. still afloat. Thought he. since he might now consider his father dead and gone. and Queequeg budged not. and told him he might make himself at home. Struck by his desperate dauntlessness. and when the ship was gliding by. on the other a low sire to learn among the Christians. But this fine young savage—this sea Prince of Wales. Queequeg was the son of a King. and seeing what the foot capsized and sank his canoe. the power of enlightening his untutored countrymen. though hacked in pieces. he sat down in the stern. and added that he .

to go to sea again. for besides the affection I now felt for Queequeg. he was an experienced harpooneer. as being the most promising port for an adventurous whaleman to embark from. had unfitted him the sea. with both my hands in his. for ascending the pure and undefiled throne of thirty pagan His story being ended with his pipe’s last dying puff. was wholly ignorant of the mysteries of whaling. and informed him of my intention to sail out of Nantucket. and very soon were sleeping. and that barbed iron was in lieu of a sceptre now. or rather Christians. we rolled over from each other. I told him that whaling was my own design. in short to share my every hap.and blowing out the light. get into the same watch. I asked him what might be his immediate purpose. pressed his forehead against mine. He at once resolved to accompany me to that island. he said. as known to merchant seamen. and sow his wild oats in all way and that. who. like me. But by and by. and as such. the same boat. though well acquainted with 65 . For the nonce.— Queequeg embraced me. as soon as he felt himself baptized again.Herman Melville was fearful Christianity. boldly dip into the Potluck of both worlds. Kings before him. He answered. touching his future movements. To all this I joyously assented. he would return. he proposed to sail about. ship aboard the same vessel. could not fail to be of great usefulness to one. They had made a harpooneer of him. how. four oceans. this ever. in his old vocation. the same mess with me. Upon this.

and Queequeg now and then stopping to adjust the sheath on his harpoon barbs. after disposing of the ema particular affection for his own harpoon. in which to carry his heavy chest to his boarding house. in substance. as well as the board. Queequeg.” streets. for his own private reasons. not at Queequeg so barrow—Queequeg puts his chest upon it. and Queequeg’s canvas one. Sag Harbor. who go into the farmers’ meadows armed ers. he replied. away we went down to “the Moss. and much—for they were used to seeing cannibals like him in their then shoulders the barrow and marches up the wharf. MONDAY.” the Not to seem ignorant about the thing—though in truth he was little Nantucket packet schooner moored at the wharf. had lent him including my own poor carpet-bag. sack and hammock. The grinning landlord. my intimate with the hearts of whales. he told me a funny companied with. going along wheeling the barrow by turns. To this. yet he had EXT MORNING. I settled my assured stuff. CHAPTER 13 Wheelbarrow 66 . seemed amazingly tickled at the sudden friendship which with their own scythes—though in no wise obliged to furnish had sprung up between me and Queequeg—especially as Peter them—even so. In short. “Why. concerning the precise way in which to manage the were going along the people stared. well tried in many a mortal combat.N Moby Dick But we heeded them not. for a block. it seems. that though what I hinted was true enough. and whether all whaling ships did not find their own harpoons. because it was of balmed head to a barber.reapers and mowers. story about the first wheelbarrow he had ever seen. like many inland comrade’s money. I asked him why he carried such a troublesome thing with him ashore.—but at seeing him and me upon such confidential terms. preCoffin’s cock and bull stories about him had previously so ferred his own harpoon. The owners of his ship. It was in We borrowed a wheelbarrow. As we entirely so. much alarmed me concerning the very person whom I now Shifting the barrow from my hand to his. using. and embarking our things. and deeply own and comrade’s bill. lashes it fast. however.

“Queequeg. one would think. On one side. and its commander—from all accounts. all betokening that new cruises were on the start. they. being said. passage paid. and luggage safe. Queequeg’s father. a pretty young princess just turned of ten. especially in the King’s own house— great central ornament on the braided mat where the feast is the Captain coolly proceeds to wash his hands in the held. “what you tink now?—Didn’t our stately punctilious gentleman. Rokovoko. the banquet by the immemorial ceremony of the island. it seems. I say. on the contrary. you might have known better than that. cold air. at least for a sea captain—this commander was invited to the wedding feast of Queequeg’s sister. only begins a third.—for those people have their grace as well as we—though Queequeg told me that unlike us. who at such times look downwards to our platters.” said Queequeg. and thinking himfragrant water of young cocoanuts into a large stained cala. we stood on board the schooner. this Captain marches in.—taking it I suppose for a huge finger-glass. and being assigned the post of honour. it glided down the Acushnet river.self—being Captain of a ship—as having plain precedence bash like a punchbowl. he told me another story. with blended noises of fires and forges to melt the pitch. and this punchbowl always forms the over a mere island King. Didn’t the people laugh?” dipping his consecrated and consecrating fingers into the bowl Upon this. at their wedding feasts express the next the Priest. and so . copying the ducks.Herman Melville said I. and a second ended. that is. Well. Grace being said. Seeing himself placed of Rokovoko. and noting the ceremony. Now a certain grand merchant ship once touched at punchbowl. New Bedford rose in terraces of streets. that one most perilous and long voyage ended. and side by side the world-wandering whale ships lay silent and safely moored at last. The people of his island before the blessed beverage circulates. glance upwards to the great Giver of all feasts—Grace. a very “Now. Hoisting sail. only begins a second. placed himself over against the punchbowl. the High Priest opens 67 people laugh?” At last. when all the wedding guests were assembled at the bride’s bamboo cottage. and between the High Priest and his majesty the King. while from others came a sound of carpenters and coopers. their ice-covered trees all glittering in the clear. Huge hills and mountains of casks on casks were piled upon her wharves.

yea. stalking up to Queequeg. Capting. “Capting. running towards that officer. sent him high up bodily into the air. the bracing breeze waxed fresh. who. while Queequeg. the their intense greenness. lighted his tomahawk pipe and passed it to me reel with me. for ever and for aye. I thought the bumpkin’s the little Moss tossed the quick foam from her bows. “that you came near kill-e that man there. as though a white man were anything more dignified than a whitewashed negro. But there were some boobies and bumpkins there. here’s the devil. saplings mimicking him behind his back. must have come from the heart and intolerableness of all earthly effort. with bursting lungs upon his feet.Moby Dick on.” pointing to the still shivering greenhorn. the Moss did homage to the blast. On. that for some time we did not notice the jeering glances of the passengers. he showed his filed and pointed teeth. Such is the endlessness. turning his At the same foam-fountain. Sideways leaning.” “Hallo. “what in thunder do you mean by that? Don’t you know you might have killed that chap?” “What him say?” said Queequeg. “Kill-e. the two tall masts buckling like Indian canes in land tornadoes. as a young hour of doom was come. and our offing gained. Queequeg caught one of these young Gaining the more open water. centre of all verdure. ducked and dived her bows as a slave before the Sultan. then the marks of slavish heels and hoofs. as we stood by the plunging bowsprit. who marvelled that two fellow beings should be so companionable. a gaunt rib of the sea. “ah! him bevy small-e fish-e.” said I. and by an almost miraculous that turnpike earth!—that common highway all over dented with dexterity and strength.” cried the Captain. “Capting! Capting! yelled the bumpkin. Queequeg kill-e big whale!” . on we flew. How I snuffed that Tartar air!—how I spurned savage caught him in his arms. and turned me to admire slightly tapping his stern in mid-somerset. the brawny colt his snortings.” cried Queequeg. “He say. every ropeyarn tingling like a wire. by 68 for a puff. Dropping his harpoon. Queequeg seemed to drink and back upon him. Queequeg no kill-e so small-e fish-e. His dusky nostrils swelled apart. a lubber-like assembly. twisting his tattooed face into an unearthly expression of disdain. So full of this reeling scene were we. as he mildly turned to me. we sideways darted. the fellow landed the magnanimity of the sea which will permit no records. you sir.

yea. throwing his long arms straight out before him. the captain begged his pardon. completely sweeping I looked at the grand and glorious fellow. and at the next jerk. Queequeg dropped deftly to his knees. A few minutes more. dived down and disappeared.Herman Melville “Look you. seemed madness. he put on dry . Queequeg. stripped your eye. The poor bumpkin was restored. Nothing was done. the spar was that way trapped. if you try any more of your tricks aboard here. and while the bal. The prodigious strain upon the dog. till poor Queequeg took his last long dive. “I’ll kill-e you.” roared the Captain. but saw no one to be the entire after part of the deck. now took an instant’s hands were in a panic. those on deck rushed towards the bows. and seeming to see just how matters were. almost in one ticking of a watch. Queequeg. and every instant seemed on the point of snapping into splinters. The boat soon picked them up. so mind hands were clearing away the stern boat. The schooner was run into the wind. all pendicularly from the water. The poor fellow whom saved. caught it round the boom as it swept over his head. and all 69 glance around him. you canni. Shooting himself perQueequeg had handled so roughly. It flew from right to left. The greenhorn had gone down.was safe. He only asked for water—fresh water—something to wipe the brine off. that done. whipped hold of a rope. and he rose again. and then flinging the other like a lasso.” to the waist. and by main-sail had parted the weather-sheet. was swept overboard. one arm still striking out. Was there ever such unconsciousness? He did not seem to think that he at all deserved a medal from the Humane and Magnanimous Societies. and to attempt snatching at the boom to stay it. and back again. darted from the side with a long living arc of a But it so happened just then. For three minutes or more he was seen swimming like a Captain to mind his own eye. and stood eyeing the boom as if it were the lower jaw of an exasperated whale. and crawling under the path of the boom. In the midst of this consternation. From that hour I clove to Queequeg like a barnacle. and with the other dragging a lifeless form. and nothing seemed capable of being done. boom was now flying from side to side. and the tremendous turns revealing his brawny shoulders through the freezing foam. that it was high time for the leap. secured one end to the bulwarks. All hands voted Queequeg a noble trump.

that they have to send beyond seas for a spile to stop a leak in an oil cask. Nantucket! Take out your map and look at it. and mildly eyeing those around him. after a fine run. lighted his pipe. in all meridians. joint-stock world.Moby Dick clothes. See what a real corner of the world it occupies. seemed to be saying to himself—”It’s a mutual. There is more sand there than you would use in twenty years as a substitute for blotting paper. We cannibals must help these Christians. Some gamesome wights will tell you that they have to plant weeds there. away off shore. and elbow of sand. we safely arrived in Nantucket. to get under the shade in summer time. that pieces of wood in Nantucket are carried about like bits of the true cross in Rome. more lonely than the Eddystone lighthouse. and leaning against the bulwarks. three blades 70 . that they import Canada thistles. that one blade of grass makes an oasis. they don’t grow naturally. how it stands there. so. all beach.” CHAPTER 14 Nantucket OTHING MORE HAPPENED on the passage worthy the N mentioning. without a background. that people there plant toadstools before their houses. Look at it—a mere hillock.

Thus goes the legend. and Indian oceans. even pirates and privateers. salt-sea sea turtles. born on a beach. most clams will sometimes be found adhering. put an incessant thing like Laplander snow-shoes. other seamen having but a right of way through it. They resolved to follow in the same direction. issuing from their ant-hill in the sea. and hang out their blazing banner from the sun. and there they found an empty ivory casket. overrun and conquered the watery world like so many Alexanders. surrounded. power. that these Nantucketers. and pile Cuba upon Canada.Herman Melville in a day’s walk a prairie. and carried off an infant Indian in his talons. that they wear quicksand shoes. Setting out in their canoes. he owns it. more experienced. as to the backs of monstrous and most mountainous! That Himmalehan. explored this watery world. these sea herolden times an eagle swooped down upon the New England coast. some. In And thus have these naked Nantucketers. Let America add Mexico to Texas. With loud lament the parents saw their child borne out of sight over the wide waters. that to their very chairs and tables small the mightiest animated mass that has survived the flood.most fearless and malicious assaults! land was settled by the red-men. But these extravaganzas only show that Nantucket Mastodon. two thirds of this terraqueous globe are the Nantucketer’s. What wonder. . as the three pirate powers did Poland. that they are so shut up. though following the sea as highwaymen the road. they but plunder other ships. and at last. Merchant ships are but extension bridges. For the sea is his. peeped in at Behring’s Straits. grown bolder. armed ones but floating forts. let the English overswarm all India. then. clothed with such portentousness of unconscious is no Illinois. and made an utter and in all seasons and all oceans declared everlasting war with island of by the ocean. after a perilous passage they discovered the island. about. launching a navy of great 71 mits. parcelling out among them the Atlantic. Pacific. belted belt of circumnavigations round it. they waded out with nets for mackerel. should take to the sea for a livelihood! They first caught crabs and quohogs in the sand. as Emperors own empires.ships on the sea.—the poor little Indian’s skeleton. every way inclosed. they pushed off in boats and captured cod. that his very panics are more to be dreaded than his Look now at the wondrous traditional story of how this is.

at least none them as chamois hunters climb the Alps. There is his home. out of sight of land. The Nantucketer. more strangely than the moon would to an recommended us to his cousin Hosea Hussey of the Try Pots. In short. The landlord of the Spouter-Inn had not the land. to and fro ploughing it as his own special plantation. For years he knows but a supper and a bed. the hotels in all Nantucket. and that done. prairie cocks in the prairie. especially as. he climbs so we could attend to no business that day. as came snugly to anchor. had given us about keeping a yellow warehouse on our starboard hand till we opened a white church to the larboard. that at sunset folds her wings and is rocked to sleep between billows. though it T WAS QUITE LATE in the evening when the little Moss overwhelmed all the millions in China. But the directions he whales. and lays him to ders. without seeking to draw their living from the bottomless deep itself. CHAPTER 15 Chowder I 72 . and then keeping that on the larboard hand till we made a corner three points to the starboard. furls his sails. With the landless gull. then ask the first man we met where the place was: these crooked directions of his very much puzzled us at first. he plainly hinted that we could not possibly do his rest. was famous for his chowNantucketer. He lives on the sea. as he called him. in Bible language. he alone. he alone resides and riots on the sea. and moreover he had assured us that Cousin Hosea. so that when he comes to it at last. he hides among the waves. so at nightfall. which a Noah’s flood would not interrupt.Moby Dick other fragments of the land like themselves. goes down to it in ships. it smells like another world. there lies his business. whom he asserted to be the proprietor of one of the best kept Earthsman. and Queequeg and I went ashore. at the outset. while under his very pillow rush herds of walruses and better than try pot-luck at the Try Pots.

Mr. Mrs. “or I’ll be combthen knocking up a peaceable inhabitant to inquire the way.” said I. Mrs. we ing ye!” at last came to something which there was no mistaking. Hosea Hussey being from home. two of them. ain’t it. postponing further scolding for the present. “Come on. Hussey?” says I. with much politeness. Howing with a man in a purple woollen shirt. Two enormous wooden pots painted black. “all right. and one for me. tombstones staring at me in the whalemen’s chapel. ushered us into a little room.” said she to the man. standing in the 73 affairs. Mrs. thinks I. There’s Mrs. so that this old topmast looked not a little like a gallows. planted in front of an old doorway. swung from the cross-trees of an old top-mast.Herman Melville Queequeg insisted that the yellow warehouse—our first point porch of the inn. Hussey entirely competent to attend to all his trees were sawed off on the other side. yes. Queequeg. whereas I had looked much like an injured eye. “but that’s a rather cold and clammy reception in the winter time. by dint of beating about a little in the dark. and here a gallows! and a pair of prodigious black pots too! Are these last throwing out oblique hints touching Tophet? I was called from these reflections by the sight of a freckled woman with yellow hair and a yellow gown.” by asses’ ears. one for Queequeg. It’s ominous. ever. Upon making known our desires for a supper and a bed. “Clam or Cod?” she repeated. and suspended Hussey. under a dull red lamp swinging there. The horns of the cross. but I could not help staring at this gallows with a vague misgiving.but leaving Mrs. is that what you mean. ma’am?” said I. Perhaps I was over sensitive to such impressions at the time. “A clam for supper? a cold clam. and carrying on a brisk scoldunderstood Peter Coffin to say it was on the starboard. And so it turned out. Hussey?” But being in a great hurry to resume scolding the man in the . A sort of crick was in my neck as I gazed up to the two remaining horns. A Coffin my Innkeeper upon landing in my first whaling port. that of departure—must be left on the larboard hand. and now and “Get along with ye. and seating us at a table spread with the relics of a recently concluded repast. turned round to us and said—”Clam or Cod?” “What’s that about Cods. Hussey.

“do you think that we can make out a effect on the head? What’s that stultifying saying about chowsupper for us both on one clam?” der-headed people? “But look. Supper concluded. Queequeg. It was made of small juicy clams. wards an open door leading to the kitchen. Hussey hurried toand in good time a fine cod-chowder was placed before us. In a few moments the 74 ders. we received a lamp. and the chowder being surpassingly excellent. but with a different flavor. I saw Hosea’s brindled cow feeding on fish remnants. to hear nothing but the word “clam. and chowder for supper. bowl. scarcely bigger than hazel nuts. Mrs. I assure ye. and directions from . I thought I would try a little experiment. who was waiting for it in the entry. I uttered the word “cod” with great emphasis. Hussey wore a polished necklace of codfish vertebra. and bawling out We resumed business. Stepping to the kitchen door.” Mrs. and in particular. ain’t that a live eel However. which I could not at all account for. Queequeg seeing his favourite fishing food before him.” disappeared. But when Fishiest of all fishy places was the Try Pots. sweet friends! hearken to me. till you began to look for fish-bones coming through your clothes. looking very slip-shod. which well dethat smoking chowder came in. and Hosea Hussey had his account books bound in superior old shark-skin. and chowder for dinner. we despatched it with great expedition: when leaning back a moment and bethinking me of Mrs. and seeming savoury steam came forth again. Chowder for breakfast. too. mixed with pounded ship biscuit. for the pots there were always boiling chowexplained. thinks I to myself. and marching along the sand with each foot in a cod’s decapitated head. and resumed my seat. Oh. the mystery was delightfully served its name. Our appetites being sharpened by the frosty voyage. and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt. The area before the house was paved with clam-shells. Hussey’s clam and cod announcement.” said I. and while plying our spoons in the “clam for two. a warm savory steam from the kitchen served to in your bowl? Where’s your harpoon?” belie the apparently cheerless prospect before us. and salted pork cut up into little flakes. There was a fishy flavor to the milk. the whole enriched with butter.Moby Dick purple Shirt. till one morning happening to take a stroll along the beach among some fishermen’s boats. I wonder now if this here has any “Queequeg.

But to ing from that unfort’nt v’y’ge of his. with only three barrels of ile. I. should infallibly light upon. Yojo earnestly enjoined that the selection of the fast. I say. inasmuch as Yojo purposed befriending us. when he was gone four my surprise and no small concern. for the present irrespective of Queequeg. that instead of our going together among the whalhis name). But the chowder. and keep it for you till morning. for all the world as though it had turned out by chance. that he had been diligently consulting in my first floor back. So. instead of this. with his harpoon in his side. Ishmael. Queequeg placed great confidence in the excellence of Yojo’s judgment CHAPTER 16 The Ship I 75 . but. she allowed no harpoon in her chambers. and demanded his harpoon. if left to myself. “Ever since young Stiggs comN BED WE CONCOCTED our plans for the morrow. and in concert selecting our craft. the lady reached forth her arm. Queequeg now gave years and a half. clam or cod to-morrow for break. Queequeg” (for she had learned him two or three times over. and strongly insisted upon it everyway. in order to do so. which. ever since then I allow no boarders to take sich dangerous weepons in Yojo—the name of his black little god—and Yojo had told their rooms at night. was found dead me to understand.” says I. and. “Why not? said I.” says she. “I will just take this here iron. as Queequeg was about to precede me up the stairs. Mr.Herman Melville Mrs. men?” “Both. and in that vessel I must immediately ship myself.” upon a vessel. “every true whaleman sleeps with his harpoon—but why not?” “Because it’s dangerous. “and let’s have a couple of smoked herring ship should rest wholly with me. I have forgotten to mention in harbor. in many things. had already pitched by way of variety. Hussey concerning the nearest way to bed.

Her masts—cut somewhere on the coast of Japan. will no doubt remember. now extinct as the ancient Medes. I did not like that plan at all. Next morning early. that should quickly settle that trifling little affair. and finally. but take my word for it. and then decided that this was the remonstrances produced no effect upon Queequeg. looked best fitted to carry us and our fortunes securely. and prayer with Queequeg and Yojo that day. Pequod. and accordingly prepared to set about this business with a determined rushing sort of energy and vigor. fasting on his tomahawk pipe. where her original ones were lost overboard in a gale—her masts stood stiffly up like the spines of . with an old-fashioned claw-footed look about her. touching Massachusetts Indians. After much prolonged sauntering and many random inquiries. going on board the Pequod. and the Pequod. the Tit-bit. but in all cases did not I do not know the origin of. or rather Yojo’s. you never saw such a rare old craft as this same rare old Pequod. I was very ship for us. and what not. HOW it was I never could find out. I the selection of our craft. mountainous Japanese junks. was the name of a celebrated tribe of Now. But as all my around her for a moment. and Yojo warming himself at his sacrificial fire of shavings. her old hull’s complexion was darkened like a French grenadier’s. who perhaps ages—The Devil-dam. meant well enough upon the whole. as a rather good sort of god. rather small if anything. obliged to acquiesce. I sallied out among the shipping. butter-box galliots. I had not peered and pryed about the Devil-dam. Devil-dam. Tit-bit is obvious.Moby Dick and surprising forecast of things. then. and cherished Yojo with con. hopped over a little relied upon Queequeg’s sagacity to point out the whaler to the Tit-bit. for aught I know. this plan of Queequeg’s. humiliation. who has alike fought in Egypt and Siberia. I never could master his liturgies and XXXIX Articles—leaving Queequeg. She was a ship of the old school. leaving Queequeg shut up with Yojo in our little bedroom—for it seemed that it was some sort of Lent or Ramadan. though I applied myself to it several times. 76 You may have seen many a quaint craft in your day. for. you succeed in his benevolent designs. from her. or day of fasting.—square-toed luggers. Her venerable bows looked bearded. Long seasoned and weather-stained in the typhoons and calms of all four oceans.I learnt that there were three ships up for three-years’ voysiderable esteem.

she sported there a tiller. so that the insider commanded a complete view forward. during the term of his chief-mateship. Scorning a turnstile 77 the voyage. Old Captain Peleg. A cannibal of a craft. unmatched by anything except it be Thorkill-Hake’s carved buckler or bedstead. with the long sharp teeth of the sperm whale.tiller was in one mass. A triangular opening faced towards the bows of the ship. A noble craft. many years her chief-mate. but I could not well overlook a strange sort of tent. . tricking herself forth in the chased bones of her enemies. like the pilgrim-worshipped flag-stone in Can. his neck heavy with pendants of polished ivory. and inlaid it. some ten feet high. It seemed only a temporary erection used in port. her unpanelled. She was a thing of trophies. all over. somehow a most melancholy! All noble things are touched before he commanded another vessel of his own. but deftly travelled over sheaves of sea-ivory. to fasten her old hempen thews and tendons to. at first I saw nobody. having authority. when he holds ing to the wild business that for more than half a century she back his fiery steed by clutching its jaw. It was of a conical shape. and one of the principal owners of the Now when I looked about the quarter-deck. inserted there for pins. pitched a little behind the main-mast. and at the apex united in a tufted point. mutually sloped towards each other. curiously carved from the long narrow terbury Cathedral where Becket bled. and that and wrinkled. open bulwarks were garnished like one continuous jaw. Those thews ran not through base blocks of land wood. or rather wigwam. She was apparelled like any barbaric Ethiopian emperor. Planted with their broad ends on the deck. and now a with that. where the loose hairy fibres waved to and fro like the top-knot on some old Pottowottamie Sachem’s head. felt like the Tartar. consisting of the long. All round. with a quaintness both of material and device. Her ancient decks were worn wheel at her reverend helm.—this old Peleg. a circle of these slabs laced together. retired seaman. huge slabs of limber black bone taken from the middle and highest part of the jaws of the right-whale. pertainby that tiller in a tempest. were added new and marvellous features. The helmsman who steered antiquities.Herman Melville the three old kings of Cologne. but had followed. for some one Pequod. in order to propose myself as a candidate for had built upon her original grotesqueness. But to all these her old lower jaw of her hereditary foe.

he was brown and brawny. “Is this the Captain of the Pequod?” said I. was full of his insular prejudices. He was seated on an “Dost know nothing at all about whaling. what dost thou want of him?” he demanded. was now enjoy“No. wast thou? I see thou art no Nantucketer— one who by his aspect seemed to have authority. Talk not that lingo to me. and who. eh?—it looks a little suspicious. “I was thinking of shipping.” 78 ever thou talkest of the marchant service to me again. didst thou?—Dost not think of murdering the officers when thou gettest to sea?” I protested my innocence of these things. “Supposing it be the captain of the Pequod. cut in the Quaker style. But flukes! man. Sir. it ever been in a stove boat?” being noon. I dare say—eh? old-fashioned oaken chair. pearance of the elderly man I saw. as an insulated Quakerish Nantucketer. only there was a fine and almost microscopic net-work of the minutest wrinkles interlacing round his eyes. what makes thee want to go a whaling. I saw that under the mask of these half humorous innuendoes.—for this causes the muscles about the eyes to become pursed together. unless they hailed from Cape Cod or the Vineyard. and the bottom of which was formed of a stout interlacing been several voyages in the merchant service. but I have no doubt I shall soon learn. and rather distrustful of all aliens. this old seaman. and always looking to windward. and the ship’s work suspended. and I think of the same elastic stuff of which the wigwam was constructed. if like most old seamen.Moby Dick And half concealed in this queer tenement. advancing to the door of the tent. I’ve ing. Such eye-wrinkles are very effectual in a scowl. Sir. about the ap“Merchant service be damned. I never have. Dost see that leg?—I’ll take that leg away from thy stern. Marchant service indeed! I suppose now ye feel considerable proud of having served in those marchant ships. that—” There was nothing so very particular. which must have arisen from his continual sailings in many hard gales. and heavily rolled up in blue pilot-cloth.” ing respite from the burden of command. eh?—Hast not been a pirate. don’t it. hast thou?—Didst not rob thy last Captain. . I at length found “Thou wast. perhaps. wriggling all over with curious carv“Nothing.

come nearer to me: it was I think of shipping ye. sir?” enough. Clap eye on Captain Ahab.” said I.” inferred as much from the simple fact of the accident. aye.” devoured. Captain Ahab is the Captain of this ferocity in that particular whale. sir? Was the other one lost by a whale?” 79 “Look ye now. crunched by the monstrousest “Well. though indeed I might have ship. if thou wantest to know what whaling is. including crew. perhaps also a little “Want to see what whaling is. “What you say is no doubt true “Who is Captain Ahab.” “I am mistaken then. I want to see the parmacetty that ever chipped a boat!—ah. sir.Herman Melville “But what takes thee a-whaling? I want to know that before “Lost by a whale! Young man.” “Very good. Now. d’ye see. It belongs to me and Captain Bildad to see the Pequod fitted out for the voyage. We are part owners and agents. but how could I know there was any peculiar “Aye. I have given thee a hint about what whaling is. But let us understand each other. sir.” “What do you mean. ah!” world. as thou tellest ye do. and supplied with all her needs. I want to see what whaling is. but Captain Ahab?” said as calmly as I could.” I was a little alarmed by his energy. I thought I was speaking to the Captain himself. chewed up. Sure. I can put ye in a way of finding it out before ye bind yourself to it. and then jump after it? Answer. and thou wilt find that he has only one leg. thy lungs are a sort of soft. eh? Have ye clapped eye on touched at the hearty grief in his concluding exclamation. young man. young man. But as I was going to say. young man. sure of that?” “Sir. past backing out. do ye yet feel inclined for it?” “I do. sir. art thou the man to pitch a harpoon down a live whale’s throat. ye’ve been to sea before now. quick!” . thou dost not talk shark a bit. “I thought I told you that I had been four voyages in the merchant—” “Hard down out of that! Mind what I said about the marchant service—don’t aggravate me—I won’t have it.” “Thou art speaking to Captain Peleg—that’s who ye are speaking to. I thought so.

whether humorously or in earnest.” I replied—”nothing but water. “Well. Well then. Now. as is sometimes the case in these ports. who along with Captain Peleg was one of the largest owners of the vessel. Seated on the transom was what seemed to me a most uncommon and surprising figure. the other shares. he expressed his willingness to ship me. and then back to me and tell termined.” And so saying. and take best—and all this I now repeated to Peleg. I think. me what ye see there. widows. “Well. eh? Can’t “Good again. “what did ye see?” “Not much. what does thou think then of seeing the world? Do ye not to be got rid of. to find out by experience what whaling is. It turned out to be Captain Bildad. and I would.Moby Dick “I am. People in Nantucket invest their money in whaling vessels. Going forward and glancing over the weather bow. fatherless children. each owning about the value of a timber head. or a nail or two in the ship. I perceived that the ship swinging to her anchor with the flood-tide. was now obliquely pointing towards the open ocean. The prospect was unlimited. the same way that you do yours in approved state stocks bringing in good interest. Bildad.” 80 below deck into the cabin.” he For a moment I stood a little puzzled by this curious request. which I don’t take to be the fact.” “And thou mayest as well sign the papers right off. not the slightest variety that I could see. want to go in order to see the world? Was not that what ye and the Pequod was as good a ship as any—I thought the said? I thought so. Now then. what’s the report?” said Peleg when I came back. just step forward there. But concentrating all his crow’s feet into one scowl. but ye also I was a little staggered. Seeing me so dea peep over the weather-bow. sir. but go a-whaling I must. thou not only wantest to go aye see the world where you stand?” whaling. Captain Peleg started me on the errand. being held by a crowd of old annuitants. but exceedingly monotonous and forbidding. if it should be positively indispensable to do so. considerable horizon though. like Peleg. or a foot of plank. he led the way not knowing exactly how to take it. and indeed many other Nantuck- . that is. and chancery wards. added—”come along with ye.” wish to go round Cape Horn to see any more of it. and there’s a squall coming up.

to learn an uncommon measure the peculiarities of the Quaker. And when these things unite in a man of greatly superior natural force. all island—and in childhood naturally imbibing the stately dramatic thee and thou of the Quaker idiom. they are Quakers with a vengeance. Like Captain Peleg. but all his subsequent ocean life. who has also by the stillness and seclusion of many long night-watches in the remotest waters. They are fightregarded. strangely blend with these unoutgrown peculiarities. been led to think untraditionally and independently. Be sure of this. formed for and heterogeneous. But unlike Captain Peleg—who cared not a rush for what are called serious things. For some of these same Quakers are the noble tragedies. not unworthy a Scandinavian sea-king. as yet we have not to do with such an one. and thereby by that sect. who. if either by birth or other circumstances. and beneath constellations never seen here at the north. Nor will it at all detract from him. still. and still a man. For all men tragically great are made so through with Scripture names—a singularly common fashion on the a certain morbidness. and indeed deemed those self-same serious things the veriest of all trifles—Captain Bildad had not only been originally educated according to the strictest sect of Nantucket Quakerism. and to this day its inhabitants in general retain in chiefly. But. retired whaleman. and boundless adventure of their subsequent lives. who. from the audacious. round the Horn—all that had not moved this native . only a bold and nervous lofty language—that man makes one in a variously and anomalously modified by things altogether alien whole nation’s census—a mighty pageant creature. dramatically most sanguinary of all sailors and whale-hunters. Captain Bildad was a well-to-do. was a Quaker. named of his nature. with a globular brain and a ponderous heart. it only results again from another phase of the Quaker. O young ambition. modified by individual circumstances. but with quite another. he have ing Quakers. and the sight of many unclad. but with some help from accidental advantages. the island having been originally settled her own virgin voluntary and confiding breast. what seems a half wilful overruling morbidness at the bottom So that there are instances among them of men. lovely island creatures. receiving all nature’s sweet or savage impressions fresh from 81 mortal greatness is but disease. a thousand bold dashes of character.Herman Melville eters. daring. or a poetical Pagan Roman. if indeed peculiar.

Still. economical nap to it. tuns of leviathan gore. a bitter. till you could clutch something—a hammer or a marling-spike.Moby Dick born Quaker one single jot. and this practical world quite another. Rising from a little cabin-boy in short clothes of the drabbest drab. made you feel completely nervous. and though a sworn foe to human blooda pious man. and go to work like mad. and dedicating his remaining days to the quiet receiving of his well-earned income. his chin having a soft. no superfluous beard. to say the least. His own person was the exact embodiment of his utilitarian character. When Bildad reminiscence. On his long. They told me in Nantucket. he carried no spare flesh. to bear arms whaleman. upon arriving home. the pious Bildad reconciled these things in the tity of cruel. I am sorry to say. had concluded his adventurous career by wholly retiring from active life at the goodly age of sixty. for all this immutableness. This world pays dividends. though. and in his sea-going days. Such. unmitigated hard work out of them. especially for a Quaker. He never used to swear. that when he sailed the old Categut Though refusing. as I hinted before. was the person that I saw seated on the transom when I followed Captain Peleg down into the cabin. and very probably he had long since come to the sage and sensible conclusion that a man’s religion is one thing. spilled tuns upon hard-hearted. had not so much as altered one an incorrigible old hunks. sat old . they said. to have his drab-coloured eye intently looking at you. he was certainly rather shed. For Atlantic and Pacific. were mostly all caragainst land invaders. angle of his vest. and there. tainly seems a curious story. The space between the decks was small. his crew. from conscientious scruples. then. from that becoming boat-header. and finally a ship owner. bolt-upright. but somehow he got an inordinate quanof his days. at something or other. had the reputation of being 82 was a chief-mate. like the worn nap of his broad-brimmed hat. to a harpooneer in a broad shad-bellied waistcoat. never mind what. though it cersome lack of common consistency about worthy Captain Peleg. gaunt body. and captain. Indolence and idleness perished before him. was there hard task-master. I do not know. yet himself had illimitably invaded the ried ashore to the hospital. but it did not seem to concern him much. yet had he in his straight-bodied coat. sore exhausted and worn out. chief-mate. How now in the contemplative evening at his men. Now. Bildad. Bildad.

“I dost. his legs But I said nothing. “he wants to ship. I from a ponderous volume. and that these lays were proportioned mate. now. I made no doubt that from all I had heard I should be offered at least the 275th lay—that is.” “Dost thee?” said Bildad. “What do ye think of him. eh? Ye terms I would be willing to engage for the voyage. and if we had a lucky voyage.Herman Melville Bildad. quietly looked up. and seated himself at a little table. I thought him the queerest old Quaker I ever saw. “He says he’s our man. whatever that might eventually amount to.” said I unconsciously. And though the 275th lay was what they call a rather long lay. and seeing me. his drab vesture was buttoned up to his threw open a chest. Bildad. for which I would not have to pay one stiver. might pretty nearly pay for the clothing I would wear out on it. and this to save as Peleg. years. the 275th part of the clear net proceeds of the voyage. Bildad?” said Peleg. and drawing forth the ship’s articles. I was alhave been studying those Scriptures.” said Peleg. especially 83 to the degree of importance pertaining to the respective duties of the ship’s company. without noticing his present irreverence. to my certain knowledge. Peleg now were stiffly crossed. Bildad. not to speak of my three years’ beef and board. yet it was better than nothing. in a hollow tone. his friend and old shipmate. and turning round to me. who always sat so. received certain shares of As if long habituated to such profane talk from his old shipthe profits called lays. eyeing me. and never leaned. splice a rope. but considering that I was used to the sea. How far ye got. I was also aware that being a green hand at whaling. he was so intense a Quaker. His broad-brim was placed beside him. placed chin. and all that. for the last thirty ready aware that in the whaling business they paid no wages. Bildad. my own lay would not be very large. only looking round me sharply. and spectacles on nose. Bildad?” but all hands.” said Bildad. “He’ll do. he seemed absorbed in reading pen and ink before him.” cried Captain Peleg. including the captain. . his coat tails. could steer a ship. “at it again. glanced again inquiringly towards Peleg. seemed such a blusterer. began to think it was high time to settle with myself at what “Bildad. and then went on spelling away at his book in a mumbling tone quite audible.

that the seven hundred and seventy-seventh part of a farthing is a good deal less than seven hundred and seventyseven gold doubloons. you are determined that I. and reading his Bible as if at his own fireside. It was an exceedingly long lay that. Bildad never heeded us. “what d’ye say. for one. considering that he was such an interested party 84 seventy-seventh! Well.” cried Peleg. considering I was of a broad-shouldered make. therefore the other and more inconsiderable and scattered owners. I had heard something of both Captain Peleg and his unaccountable old crony Bildad. old Bildad. I say. to my no small surprise. where moth—” am quite content if the world is ready to board and lodge me.” interrupted Peleg. “LAY not up for youram one of those that never take on about princely fortunes. and so I thought at the time.” . yet the slightest consideration will show that though seven hundred and seventy-seven is a pretty large number. but went on princely fortune—and so it was. Now while Peleg was vainly trying to mend a pen with his jack-knife. indeed. you will then see. it?—’where moth and rust do corrupt. yet. a very poor way indeed. where moth and rust do corrupt. and selves treasures upon earth. that made me a little distrustful Lay. blast your eyes. nevertheless. how that they being the principal proprietors of the Pequod. “thou dost not want to swindle this young man! he must have more than that. shall not lay up many lays here below. “the seven fair thing. and such a lay! the seven hundred and about receiving a generous share of the profits was this: Ashore. and though from the magnitude of the figure it might at first deceive a landsman.” was the sepulchral reply.Moby Dick It might be thought that this was a poor way to accumulate a in these proceedings. indeed. left nearly the whole management of the ship’s affairs to these two. but would not have been surprised had I been offered hundred and seventy-seventh wouldn’t be too much. while I am putting up at this grim sign of the Thunder Cloud. would the 200th. thought I. “Well. when you come to make a teenth of it. Bildad. especially as I now found him on board the Pequod. But I mumbling to himself out of his book. Captain Bildad. And I did not know but what the stingy old Bildad might have a mighty deal to say about shipping hands. old Bildad. but lay—’” But one thing. quite at home there in the cabin. “Why. I thought that the 275th lay would be about the “Thou knowest best. what lay shall we give this young man?” Upon the whole.

“Captain Peleg. Alarmed at this terrible outburst between the two principal and responsible owners of the ship. I say. thou hast a generous heart. Captain Bildad. ye canting. Out him said. Captain Peleg.” said Bildad steadily. I would afore now had a conscience to lug about that would be heavy enough to founder the largest ship that ever sailed round Cape Horn. and will in the end sink 85 with a marvellous oblique. was all eagerness to vanish from before the awakened wrath of Peleg.Herman Melville “Seven hundred and seventy-seventh. “do ye hear that. “thy conscience may be drawing ten inches of water. and start my soul-bolts. but too abundantly reward the labors of this young man. drab-coloured son of a wooden gun— must consider the duty thou owest to the other owners of this a straight wake with ye!” ship—widows and orphans.” “Thou Bildad!” roared Peleg. I’ll swallow a live goat with all his hair and horns on. I stepped aside from the door to give egress to Bildad.” said creature that he’s bound to hell. But to my astonishment.” “Captain Peleg. past all natural bearyour treasure is. Captain Peleg. “Blast ye. many of them—and that if we As he thundered out this he made a rush at Bildad. who. but thou of the cabin. Peleg. The seven hundred and seventy-seventh lay. we may be taking the bread from those widows and those orphans. I made no doubt. As for Peleg. and seemed to have not the slightest intention of withdrawing. but as thou art still an impenitent man. but I’ll—I’ll— Bildad laid down his book.” ing. I can’t tell.” say that again to me. or ten fathoms. if I had followed thy advice in these matters. It’s an all-fired outrage to tell any human “I am going to put him down for the three hundredth.” without lifting his eyes. starting up and clattering about the cabin. Bildad! The three hundredth lay. and feeling half a mind to give up all idea of sailing in a vessel so questionably owned and temporarily commanded. he sat down again on the transom very quietly. Flukes and flames! Bildad. and turning solemnly towards yes. He seemed quite used to impenitent Peleg and his ways. there will your heart be also. Captain Peleg. ye insult me. and then went on mumbling—”for where “Fiery pit! fiery pit! ye insult me. man. there . thee foundering down to the fiery pit. after letting off his rage as he had.” again said Bildad. sliding celerity. Bildad for that time eluded him. I greatly fear lest thy conscience be but a leaky one.

That’s completely fitted out. he isn’t well either. bring him along then. Now then. ere he.” “Well. that the Captain with whom I was to sail yet remained unseen Bildad.” said Peleg. Ishmael’s thy the captain makes himself visible by arriving to take command. “I have a friend with me who wants a family. Turning back I accosted Captain Peleg. sat down like a lamb. and he.” said Peleg. he does to ship too—shall I bring him down to-morrow?” “To be sure. glancing up from the book in which he had again been burying himself. didn’t ye say? Well then. down ye go here. I don’t know exactly what’s the matter with him. it is always as well to have a look at him before irrevocably committing yourself into his hands.Moby Dick seemed no more left in him. thou used to be good at sharpening a lance. Ishmael. off I went. inquiring where Captain Ahab was to be found. my young man. and that the Pequod was the identical ship that Yojo had provided to carry 86 not trouble himself much about his ship in port. “Killed more whales than I can count. but he keeps close inside the house. after signing the papers.” “But I don’t think thou wilt be able to at present. My jack-knife here needs the grindstone. or any absorbing concernment of that sort. in many cases. “Whew!” But I had not proceeded far.” And.” intervals at home so exceedingly brief. a whale-ship will be pen. thank ye. Captain Peleg. but leaves her to the owners till all is ready for sea. “Fetch him along. In fact. but I should like to see him. “And what dost thou want of Captain Ahab? It’s all right enough. “Oh! never thee mind about that. thou art shipped. for for sometimes these voyages are so prolonged. but no. when I began to bethink me he whistled at last— “the squall’s gone off to leeward. Bildad. Any how. name.” said I. and receive all her crew on board. “Has he ever whaled it any?” turning to me. Bildad. a sort of sick. nothing doubting but that I had done a good morning’s work. will ye. I think.” “Yes. and yet he don’t look so. However. that if the captain have “Captain Peleg. and we’ll look at him.” “What lay does he want?” groaned Bildad. though. young . too. Queequeg and me round the Cape. and the shore the three hundredth lay. though he twitched a little as if still nervously agitated. indeed. he ain’t sick. mend that by me.

hopeless harm in Ahab? No. widowed mother. no fear. it’s better to sail with a moody good captain than a laughing bad one. I was full of thoughtfulness.Herman Melville man. too. Never say it anywhere. perhaps. no. I know. by that sweet girl that old man has a child: hold ye then there can be any utter. Aye. Captain Ahab. been used to that on the passage home. was a crowned king!” “And a very vile one. did they not lick his blood?” “Come hither to me—hither. So good-bye to thee—and wrong not Captain Ahab. I know what he is—a good grand. man—something like me—only there’s a good deal more of Mark ye. other fools like her may tell thee the same. if he be. Ahab has his humanities!” As I walked away. and Ahab of old. as any one might see. And. I’ve one. god-like man. And yet the old squaw Tistig. no. with a significance in his eye that almost startled me. so I don’t suppose he will thee. 87 ever since he lost his leg last voyage by that accursed whale. he has a wife—not three voyages wedded—a sweet. good man. He’s a sailed with him as mate years ago. but a swearing good much. my boy. hither. Captain Ahab—so some think—but a good wish to warn thee. Captain Ahab did not name himself. when he does speak. doesn’t speak man—not a pious. then you may well listen. but that will all pass off. my lad.” said Peleg. ignorant whim of his crazy. what had . I know that he was never very jolly. never say that on board the Pequod. let me tell thee and assure thee. and I know been in colleges. Think of that. fixed his fiery lance in mightier. as well as ‘mong the cannibals. boy. resigned girl. and savage sometimes. but it was the sharp shooting pains in his bleeding stump stranger foes than whales. blasted. he was a little out of his mind for a deeper wonders than the waves. aye. Besides. be forewarned. because he happens to have a wicked name. I He’s a queer man. And once for all. ungodly. “Look ye. It’s a lie. Ahab’s above the common. he won’t always see me. he’s been a kind of moody—desperate moody. I know Captain Ahab well. the keenest and the that brought that about. Ahab’s him. the dogs. and he ain’t Captain Peleg. young man. He’s Ahab. spell. stricken. said that the name would somehow prove prophetic. Oh. ’Twas a foolish. His lance! aye. that surest that out of all our isle! Oh! he ain’t Captain Bildad. When that wicked king was slain. like Bildad. thou’lt like him well enough. who died when he was only a twelvemonth old. lad. but. at Gayhead. no fear. thou knowest.

now. I felt a sympathy and a sorrow for him. but for I don’t know what. bow down before the torso of a deceased landed proprietor merely on account of the inordinate possessions yet owned and rented in his name. But I felt it. or those other creatures in certain parts of our earth. and not fancy ourselves so vastly superior to other mortals. However. And somehow. was not exactly awe. and it did not disincline me tion. which I cannot at all describe. or Fasting and Humilianot know what it was. was to continue all day. There was Queequeg. greatest respect towards everybody’s religious obligations. though I felt impatience at what seemed like disturb him till towards night-fall. who with a degree of footmanism quite unprecedented in other planets. and could not find it in my heart to tions. so imperfectly as he was known to me then. my thoughts were at length carried in other direcnever mind how comical. because of their half-crazy conceits on these subjects. I do S QUEEQUEG’S RAMADAN. so that for the present dark Ahab slipped my mind. filled me with a certain wild vagueness of painfulness concerning him. I did not choose to towards him. And yet I also felt a strange awe of him. for I cherish the mystery in him. certainly entertaining the most absurd notions about Yojo and his CHAPTER 17 The Ramadan A 88 . pagans and what not.Moby Dick been incidentally revealed to me of Captain Ahab. undervalue even a congregation of ants worshipping a toadstool. I say. unless it was the cruel loss of his leg. at the time. but that sort of awe. we good Presbyterian Christians should be charitable in these things.

the key-hole prospect was but a crooked and sinister one. ma’am!—Mistress! murder! Mrs. I say: and Heaven have mercy on us all—Presbyterians “Queequeg!—Queequeg!”—all still. when I felt assured that all his performances suspicions to the first person I met—the chamber-maid. Something must have and Pagans alike—for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked happened. Mrs. he seemed to be content. “which way to it? Run for God’s sake. Queequeg! why don’t you speak? It’s I— Ishmael. “I thought something must be the matter. and it’s been just so silent ever since. I could only see part of the foot-board of the bed and a line of the wall. but it was fasto make the bed after breakfast. since the harpoon stands yonder.” But all remained still as before. Apoplexy! I tried to burst open the door. “La! and rituals must be over. but it about the head. “I say.” said I softly through the key-hole:— all silent. Hussey soon appeared. but no answer. which the landlady the evening previous had taken from him.—but what of that? Queequeg thought he knew what rate.Herman Melville Ramadan. but nothing more. and scolding her little black boy meantime. La! la. I began to grow alarmed. and he seldom or never he was about. I suppose. “Wood-house!” cried I. she ran towards the kitchen. let him no possible mistake. therefore he must be inside here. I looked through the keyhole. before our mounting to the chamber. having just broken away from the occupation of attending to the castors. but the door opening into an odd corner of the room. But I thought. depend upon it!”—and so saying I . tened inside. I quickly stated my Towards evening. I went at the door. be. thought I. “Queequeg. may be. and there goes abroad without it. I following. I tried to open it. stubbornly resisted. with a mustard-pot in one hand and a vinegar-cruet in the other. and let him rest. Hussey! apoplexy!”—and with these cries. Running down stairs. I was surprised to behold resting against the wall the wooden shaft of Queequeg’s harpoon. All our arguing with him would not avail. you had both gone off and locked your baggage in for safe keeping. That’s strange. and fetch something to pry open the door—the axe!— the axe! he’s had a stroke. and the door was locked. I thought he might have had an apoplectic fit. I went up to his room and knocked la!” she cried. I had allowed him such abundant time. but at any 89 and not a mouse to be heard. and sadly need mending.

she caught me as I was again trying “Look here. “look here. “Get the axe! For God’s sake. shipmate?” In as calm. “here’s a key that’ll fit.” said I. With a prodigious noise the door flew open. she ruminated for an instant. squatting on his .” And with that. quickly putting down the to force open the door. I guess. young man. Go for the you talking about prying open any of my doors?”—and with locksmith. sent the plaster to the ceiling. but I tore from her. altogether cool and self-collected. and with a sudden bodily rush dashed myself full against the mark.”—might as well kill both birds at once. good heavens! there sat Queequeg. vinegar-cruet. go to Snarles the Painter. But avast!” putthat she seized my arm. when Betty. Unconsciously clapping the vinegar-cruet to one side of her nose. then exclaimed—”No! I haven’t seen it since I put it there. Kill? The Lord be “What’s the matter with you. but. Hussey interposed the mustard-pot and vinegar-cruet. so as to have one hand free.” she cried. some one. Mrs. “He’s killed himself. with—”no suicides permitted here. told me that Queequeg’s harpoon was missing. and no smoking in the parand the entire castor of her countenance.” said the landlady. when the landlady caught at me. are “I don’t allow it. “Have to burst it open. and tell him to paint me a sign. right in the middle of the room. “It’s unfort’nate Stiggs done over again there goes another counterpane—God pity his poor mother!—it will be the ruin of my house. but rapid a manner as possible. for a good start. and returning. lor.Moby Dick was unmethodically rushing up stairs again empty-handed.” Running to a little closet under the landing of the stairs. 90 ting her hand in her side-pocket. again vowing I should not break down her premises. avast there!” while I pry it open!” And running up after me. “What’s the matter with you? What’s the matter with you. and there. she turned it in the lock. young man?” merciful to his ghost! What’s that noise there? You. run for the doctor. and was running down the entry a little. Has the poor lad a sister? Where’s that girl?—there. she glanced in. alas! Queequeg’s supplemental bolt remained unwithdrawn within. I won’t have my premises spoiled. let’s see. there’s one about a mile from here. and the knob slamming against the wall. I gave her to understand the whole case.

he’ll get up sooner or later. “He hain’t been a sittin’ so all day. thank God. if you please. a short whalalmost felt like pushing him over. I determined to go to bed and . there he was just where I had left him. thought I. yes. and holding Yojo on top of his head. I began to grow vexed with him. Despairing of him. You’ll starve. nor notice my presence in the slightest way. “he’s alive at all events. feeling quite sure by this time Queequeg must certainly have brought his Ramadan to a termination.” said I. after listening to these plumpuddingers till nearly eleven o’clock. and his Ramadan only comes matter with you?” once a year. I plum-pudding voyage.” said I. well. “For heaven’s sake.” Closing the door upon the landlady. let him rest.Herman Melville hams. nor even look at me. if this can possibly be a part of his 91 line. but in vain. It must be so. you’ll kill yourself. confined to the north of the for it was almost intolerable. “Queequeg. in the Atlantic Ocean only). Queequeg. what’s the can’t last for ever. After sitting a long time listening to lady. has he?” said the landI went down to supper. then. ing-voyage in a schooner or brig.” But not a word did he reply. no doubt. but sat like a carved image with island. especially. But no. going up to him. get up and shake yourself. There he sat. I went up stairs to go to bed. I suppose. I endeavored to prevail upon Queequeg to take a chair. scarce a sign of active life. the long stories of some sailors who had just come from a But all we said. he had not stirred an inch. going too without his regular meals. it’s part of his creed. Hussey. get up and have some supper. It “Queequeg. as in all probability he had been sitting so for upwards of eight or ten hours. it seemed so downright senseless and insane to be sitting there all day and half the night on his hams in a cold room. so as to change his position. holding a piece of wood on his head. I wonder. and I will see to this strange affair myself. as they called it (that is. so leave us. therefore. nor say a single word. “Mrs. do they fast on their hams that way in his native one way nor the other way. and all he could do—for all my polite arts and blandishments—he would not move a peg. not a word could we drag out of him. He looked neither Ramadan. it seemed so painfully and unnaturally constrained. and I don’t believe it’s very punctual then. Queequeg.

rather digressively. in fine. and said his Ramadan was over. and prolonged ham-squattings in cold. that he being in other things such an extremely sensible and sagacious savage. stark and coming down to the various religions of the present time. But as soon as the first glimpse of sun entered the window. an uncomfortable inn to lodge in. unaccountable Ramadan! But somehow I dropped off at last. Queequeg.Moby Dick to sleep. useless for the soul. he would follow is a positive torment to him. I had “get into bed now. in short. makes this earth of ours me. do all I would. up he got. hell is an idea first born on an undigested apple-dumpling. and the mere thought of Queequeg— beginning with the rise and progress of the primitive religions. “Queequeg. and knew nothing more till break of day. before a great while. so long as that person does not kill or insult any other person. pressed his forehead again against mine. Now. be it what it may. fasting makes the body cave in. too. bad for the health. with stiff and grating joints. Ramadans. when. and no doubt. But previous to turning in. pagan on his hams in this dreary. as I before hinted. limped towards me where I lay. Think during which time I labored to show Queequeg that all these of it. this made me really wretched. sleeping all night in the same room with a wide awake Lents. time. This is the reason why most dyspeptic religionists cherish such melancholy notions about their hereafters. I told him. very badly pained me. there squatted Queequeg. to see him now so deplorably foolish about this ridiculous Ramadan of his. as if he had been screwed down to the floor. looking over the bedside. argued I. In one word. and. and since then perpetuated . when it 92 cheerless rooms were stark nonsense. blown out the candle. said I. and all thoughts born of a fast must necessarily be halfstarved. I could not get into the faintest doze. because that other person don’t believe it also. I have no objection to any person’s religion. But when a man’s religion becomes really frantic. For some And just so I now did with Queequeg. to the obvious laws of Hygiene and common sense. alone in the cold and dark.” I then went on.” said I. not four feet off—sitting there in that uneasy position. hence the spirit caves in. then I think it high time to take and threw it over him. opposed. Besides. and he had nothing but his ordinary round jacket on. I took my heavy bearskin jacket. and lie and listen to me. as it promised to be a very cold night. it pained me. that individual aside and argue the point with him. but with a cheerful look.

finally. on I did. It was after a great feast given by his father the king. “No more. and picking our teeth with halibut bones. He looked at me with a sort of condescending concern the gaining of a great battle wherein fifty of the enemy had and compassion. and then. only upon one memorable occa. and with some parsley in their mouths. and he told me that it was the custom. He said no. unless considered from his own point of view. After all. when a great battle had been gained there.Herman Melville through the hereditary dyspepsias nurtured by Ramadans.” At last we rose and dressed.thought he knew a good deal more about the true religion than sion. just as though these presents were so many Christmas turkeys. with dyspepsia. shuddering.” said I. in the first place. were sent round with the victor’s compliments to all his friends. expressing the idea very plainly. in the secI then asked Queequeg whether he himself was ever troubled ond place. so that the landlady should not make much profit by reason of his Ramadan. 93 giously hearty breakfast of chowders of all sorts. I do not think that my remarks about religion made much impression upon Queequeg. “that will do. one by one. and. to barbecue all the slain in the yard or garden of the victor. . taking a prodifor I knew the inferences without his further hinting them. Because. he no doubt could take it in. and. sauntering along. and Queequeg. I had seen a sailor who had visited that very island. cal pagan piety. with breadfruit and cocoanuts. Queequeg. he did not more than one third understand me. and garnished round like a pilau. and all a sensible young man should be so hopelessly lost to evangelicooked and eaten that very evening. we sallied out to board the Pequod. they were placed in great wooden trenchers. so that he couch my ideas simply as I would. as though he thought it a great pity that such been killed by about two o’clock in the afternoon. he somehow seemed dull of hearing on that important subject.

“art thou at present in communion with any Chris“Young man. saying he had not suspected my friend was “How long hath he been a member?” he then said. He is a deacon that he’s converted.” said I. Captain Peleg?” said I. and putting them on very wards the ship.” said I.” bals on board that craft. ing there.” he added. “is this Philistine a regular memjumping on the bulwarks. “he must show his papers. out of the wigwam.” said Peleg.” “I don’t know anything about Deacon Deuteronomy or his “Yes. unless they previously produced their “No. from his wigwam. that Queequeg here is a born head from behind Peleg’s.” cried Bildad. young man. Son of darkness.” “What do you mean by that. sticking his meeting. or it would have washed some of that devil’s blue off his face. took a good long look at Queequeg. “he’s a member of the first Congregational Church. turning to a cannibal. “what! that worships in Deacon Deuteronomy Coleman’s meeting-house?” and so saying. and leaning stiffly over the Captain Peleg in his gruff voice loudly hailed us bulwarks. “not very long. turning to himself.A Moby Dick “Why. he rubbed them with his s we were walking down the end of the wharf to great yellow bandana handkerchief. and furthermore announcing that he let no cannime. now.” cried Bildad.” said Captain Bildad in his hollow voice. taking out his spectacles. came out of the wigwam. “and he hasn’t been baptized right either.” Here be it said. I rather guess. and leaving my comrade standing on ber of Deacon Deuteronomy’s meeting? I never saw him gothe wharf. carefully. Queequeg is. “thou art skylarking with tian church?” CHAPTER 18 His Mark 94 .” “I mean. now “Do tell. and I pass it every Lord’s day.” said Bildad sternly. papers. Queequeg carrying his harpoon.” Queequeg.” he replied. “all I know is. that many tattooed savages sailing in Nantucket ships at last come to be converted into the churches. “First Congregational Church. “He must show member of the First Congregational Church.

Deacon Deuteronomy—why Father Mapple himself couldn’t beat it. only some of us cherish some queer crotchets broad brim. I say. Quohog. you’d better ship for a missionary.” said Peleg. you see him small drop tar on water dere? You mother’s son and soul of us belong. We must have Hedgehog there. and struck the glisno ways touching the grand belief. dad whale dead. and Cap. and poising his harpoon. come aboard.” So down we went into the cabin. den!” and takFirst Congregation of this whole worshipping world. Look ye. “Young man.” said Queequeg. in his wild sort of way. the great and everlasting see him? well. and he handles it about right. his partner. the left knee. I replied. and he’s reckoned something. spose him one whale eye. “Quick. drawing nearer. who. I mean Quohog. and that’s more than ever was given a harpooneer yet out of Nantucket. and Queequeg here. sir. from thence into the bows of one mean? answer me. cried out in some such way same ancient Catholic Church to which you and I.Herman Melville me—explain thyself. or whatever your name is. Bildad. “I mean. thou young Hittite. and every “Cap’ain. Come aboard. he darted the iron right over old Bildad’s belong to that. Queequeg. what a harpoon he’s got there! looks like good stuff that. 95 “Now. you Bildad. and to my great joy Queequeg was soon enrolled among the same ship’s company to which I myself belonged. had retreated towards the cabin gangway. tell Quohog there— what’s that you call him? tell Quohog to step along.” “Quick. I never heard a better sermon. “spos-ee him whale-e eye. and get the ship’s papers. By the great anchor. in one of our boats. What church dost thee jumped upon the bulwarks. and then bracing his Finding myself thus hard pushed. clean across the ship’s decks. quietly hauling in the line. I say. well. in that we all join hands.” tening tar spot out of sight. Quohog. . “Splice. why. instead of a fore-mast hand. thou mean’st splice hands. never mind about the this:— tain Peleg there.” of the whale-boats hanging to the side. did you ever stand in the head of a whaleboat? did you ever strike a fish?” Without saying a word.” cried Peleg. and all of us. I say. aghast at the close vicinity of the flying harpoon. we all ing sharp aim at it. we’ll give ye the ninetieth lay.

Moby Dick When all preliminaries were over and Peleg had got every. and selecting one entitled “The Latter Day Coming. he turned to me and said. Thou beliest thine own heart. in phrases. mind thine eye. lifting his eyes and hands. turn Quohog there don’t know how to write. in case he got stove and went to Davy Jones.which I sadly fear. once the bravest boat-header out of all Nantucket and the Vineyard. if thou still clingest to thy Pagan ways. “Pious harpooneers never make good Peleg’s obstinate mistake touching his appellative. I am part owner of this ship. his X mark. looked earnestly into his eyes. he joined the meeting. from the wrath to come. thou knowest. I must do my duty by thee. but taking the offered pen. then. oh! goodness Quohog. “thou thyself.” placed it in Queequeg’s hands. hast seen many a perilous time. Peleg. for fear of afterclaps. I say. looked no ways guage. how. avast now spoiling our which was tattooed upon his arm. can’st thou prate in this ungodly guise. what it is to have the fear of death. and the hideous dragon. copied upon the paper. He got so frightened about his plaguy soul. so that through Captain harpooneer. Queequeg. that he shrinked and sheered away from whales. an exact counterpart of a queer round figure “Avast there. when this same Pequod here had her . and at last rising solemnly and fumbling in the huge pockets of his broad-skirted drab coat. and feel concerned for the souls of all its crew. as I myself. Meanwhile Captain Bildad sat earnestly and steadfastly eyeing Queequeg. it stood something like this:— Quohog.” Peleg. bondsman. “I guess. “Son of darkness. I beseech thee. does he? I say. and said. no harpooneer is worth a straw who aint pretty sharkish. took out a bundle of tracts. blast ye! dost thou sign thy name or make thy mark? gracious! steer clear of the fiery pit!” But at this question. Spurn the idol Bell. Bildad. heterogeneously mixed with Scriptural and domestic abashed. Peleg. and never came to good. who had twice or thrice Something of the salt sea yet lingered in old Bildad’s lanbefore taken part in similar ceremonies. 96 voyagers—it takes the shark out of ‘em. or No Time to Lose. and then grasping them and the book with both his. remain not for aye a Belial thing ready for signing. avast there. Tell me. the proper place.” “Peleg! Peleg!” said Bildad. There was young Nat Swaine.

drawing back wasted. trying to the waist. who. and left it like the complicated ribbed deck.Herman Melville three masts overboard in that typhoon on Japan.” Bildad said no more. for the moment each occupied with and aft. stalked on tions flowed over his face. that same voyage when thou went mate with Captain Ahab. which otherwise might have been gain a little more time for an uninterrupted look at him. marching across the cabin. a rag of a black handkerchief investing his neck. when the rushing waters have been dried up. “Aye. that was what I was faded jacket and patched trowsers. but buttoning up his coat. A confluent small-pox had in all directhinking of.” said I. did’st thou not think of Death and the Judgment then?” “Hear him. and were saunterWhat? With all three masts making such an everlasting thundering against the side. Now and then he stooped to pick up a patch. levelled his massive forefinger at the vessel in question. There he stood. where we followed him. I suppose. “Have ye shipped in her?” he repeated.” cried Peleg. and how to save all hands—how to rig jurymasts—how to get into the nearest port. and thrusting his hands far down into his pockets. very quietly bed of a torrent. Life was what Captain Ahab and I stranger.— ”hear him.” he said. He was but shabbily apparelled in was thinking of. or save an end of tarred twine. and every sea breaking over us. and then rapidly shoving it straight out from him. hear him now. have ye shipped in that ship?” thought the ship would sink! Death and the Judgment then? Queequeg and I had just left the Pequod. fore ing away from the water. when the above words were put to us by a to think about Death then. overlooking some sailmakers who were mending a top-sail in “You mean the ship Pequod. all of ye. with the fixed bayonet of his pointed finger darted full at CHAPTER 19 The Prophet 97 . the Pequod—that ship there. Think of Death and the Judgment then? No! no time his own thoughts. Think of that! When every moment we “SHIPMATES. his whole arm. pausing before us.

according to the prophecy. “Captain Ahab. “Look ye. that’s true—yes. growl and go—that’s the word with Captain Ahab. among some of us old sailor chaps. “No “All right again before long!” laughed the stranger. to make up for all deficiencies of that sort in other chaps. “we have just signed the articles.— solemnly derisive sort of laugh. have ye?” “Anything down there about your souls?” “No. only I’ve heard that he’s a good whale-hunter. again riveted with the insane earnestness of his manner.” fore. shipmate?” said I. Ye hav’n’t seen him yet. when he lay like dead for three days and nights. have ye?” “Who’s Old Thunder?” said I.” said I. when Captain Ahab good luck to ‘em. with a matter though. placing a nervous emphasis upon the word he. “Aye. then this left arm of mine will be all right. He’s sick they say. perhaps you hav’n’t got any. nothing about that deadly skrimmage with the Spaniard afore the altar in Santa?— heard nothing about that. “About what?” and will be all right again before long. he goes by that “Yes.” “Oh. But nothing about that thing that happened to him off Cape Horn. “Ye said true—ye hav’n’t seen Old Thunder yet. but is getting better. Step and growl.” said I.” “Stop!” cried the stranger. long ago. But you must jump when he gives an order. eh? Nothing about the silver calabash he spat into? And nothing about his losing his leg last voyage.” “What! the captain of our ship. A soul’s is all right. I know many chaps that hav’n’t got any.” abruptly said the stranger. and a good captain to his crew.” “That’s true.Moby Dick the object. though. he’s talking about something and somebody we don’t know. Didn’t ye hear a word .” he said quickly. we hav’n’t. this fellow has broken loose from somewhere. the Pequod?” 98 “What did they tell you about him? Say that!” “They didn’t tell much of anything about him.” name. not bea sort of a fifth wheel to a wagon. “What do you know about him?” “He’s got enough. and they are all the better off for it. “let’s go. both true enough. “Queequeg.” “What are you jabbering about.

eh—sure you do?—all?” “Pretty sure. and we walked away. and what’s to be. that’s all I have to say. both commenting.” only one leg. have ye? Names down on the papers? Well. “Look here. But stop. my dear fellow. eh? No. I don’t think mates. “what all this gibberish of yours is about. and I don’t much care. the Pequod. for it seems to me that ye. and then again. I stopped ye.” said I. I’m sorry I ye did. as well these as any other men.” “Morning to ye. mayhap. But if you are speak. I dare say. when chancing to turn a corner. then starting a little. will you?” “Elijah. Oh to tell us. you can’t fool us that way—you can’t fool us. and I like to hear a chap talk up that “My friend. “Come along. Morning to I don’t know. God pity ‘em! Morning to ye. will be. Queequeg. “if you have anything important and how he lost it. as if in a troubled reverie. turned and said:— “Ye’ve shipped. the ineffable heavens bless ye.” ing of Captain Ahab. . yes. morning. morning! Oh! when ye get there.” guess. I suppose. out with it. ye’ve heard tell about the leg.” said I. but if you are only trying to bamboozle us. that I know all about the loss of his leg. is signed. what’s signed. the beggar-like stranger stood a moment. ship99 “Ah. morning. how could ye? Who knows it? Not all Nantucket. It is the easiest thing in the world for a man to look as if he had a great secret in him.” With finger pointed and eye levelled at the Pequod.concluded not to make one of ‘em.” “Morning it is.” “All about it. after each other’s fashion.” Elijah! thought I. let’s leave this crazy man. you are just the man for him—the likes of ye. shipmates. and some sailors or other must go with him. it’s all fixed and arranged a’ready. But we had not gone perhaps above a hundred yards. But hows’ever. well. after all. trying to be a bugbear. friend. perhaps it won’t be. Anyhow. way. tell me your name. that every one knows a’most—I mean they know he’s you are mistaken in your game. aye. and looking back as I did so. shipmates. tell ‘em I’ve you must be a little damaged in the head. of that ship there.” said I.Herman Melville about them matters and something more. then let me tell you. and agreed that he was nothing but a humbug. ye have heard of that. and that a parmacetti took the other off. upon this ragged old sailor.” “And it’s said very well.

and bolts of canvas. Somehow. till long after night-fall. shrouded sort of talk. when I left the ship the day previous. that I said nothing to Queequeg of his being behind. now being mended. ping. But it seems they always give very CHAPTER 20 All Astir A 100 . and the leg he had lost. to pronounced him in my heart. anxious to see whether the stranger would turn the same corner that we did. resolving. but new sails were coming on begat in me all kinds of vague wonderments and half-apprehensions. and with that intent crossed the was given at all the inns where the ship’s company were stopway with Queequeg. evAhab. and the voyage we had bound ourselves to sail. a humbug. without seeming to notice us. for there But Elijah passed on. I was no telling how soon the vessel might be sailing. in short. and there was great activity life of me imagine. This relieved me. and the prediction of the squaw sat in his wigwam keeping a sharp look-out upon the hands: Tistig. This circumstance. and once more. but with what intent I could not for the DAY OR TWO PASSED. I was resolved to satisfy myself whether this ragged Elijah On the day following Queequeg’s signing the articles. Captain Peleg seldom or never went ashore. though at a distance. He did. and Captain board. sleep ashore till the last. half-revealing. So Queequeg and I got down our traps. coupled with his amaboard the Pequod. but passed on with my comrade.Moby Dick who should be seen but Elijah following us. Not only were the old sails biguous. and finally as it seemed to me. and coils of rigging. the sight of him struck me so. and on that side of it retraced our steps. and the men employed in the hold and on the rigging were working hundred other shadowy things. that their chests must be on board before night. however. word was really dogging us or not. and the Cape Horn fit. half-hinting. and what Captain Peleg had said of him. and the erything betokened that the ship’s preparations were hurrying to a close. and all connected with the Pequod. but silver calabash. and then it seemed to me that he was dogging us. and a Bildad did all the purchasing and providing at the stores.

as before hinted. and indefatigable spirit. But no wonder. and the ship did not sail for several At the period of our arrival at the Island. the numerous articles peculiar to the prosecution of the fishery. bread. another time with a bunch of quills for the chief mate’s desk. ers. that of all ships. spare spars. as everybody called her. for some time there was a continual fetching Every one knows what a multitude of things—beds. where he kept his log. comfort. knives and forks. who costermongers. after once fairly getting to sea. whaling vessels are the most exposed to accidents of all kinds. and spare lines and harpoons. and what not. the spare boats. nut-cracklarge and small. yet not by any means to the same extent as with whalemen. if she could help it. and spare everythings. water. nothing should be found wanting in the Pequod. but withal very kindhearted. and bankers. And like a sister of charity did this charitable Aunt Charity bustle about hither and thither. and iron hoops and staves. there was a good deal to be done. Never did any woman better deserve her name. and the impossibility of replacing them at the remote harbors usually frequented. are indispensable to the business of houseChief among those who did this fetching and carrying was keeping. Hence. the heaviest stordays. but a spare Captain and duplicate ship. before the her beef. Pequod was fully equipped. and age of the Pequod had been almost completed. shovels and tongs. it must be remembered. But. For besides the great length of the whaling voyage. Just so with whaling. napkins. And though this also holds true of merchant vessels. which necessitates a three-years’ Captain Bildad’s sister. sauceand carrying on board of divers odds and ends of things. fuel. and especially to the destruction and loss of the very things upon which the success of the voyage most depends. doctors. a third time with a roll of flannel for the small of some one’s rheumatic back. seemed resolved that.Herman Melville long notice in these cases. comprising there is no telling how many things to be thought of. bakers. which was Charity—Aunt Charity. almost. far from all grocers. ready to turn her hand and heart to anything that promised to yield safety. a lean old lady of a most determined housekeeping upon the wide ocean. and consolation to all on board a ship in which her beloved brother Bildad was con101 . both pans. At one time she would come on board with a jar of pickles for the steward’s pantry.

he insensibly strives to cover up his was Bildad himself nor Captain Peleg at all backward. To these questions they would answer. needed. and how he was. and then concluded by roaring back into his wigwam. and as often I asked about Captain Ahab. Queequeg and I took a came hobbling out of his whalebone den. it sometimes happens that if he be already in one hand. the man who was to be the absolute dictator of it. Nor involved in the matter. I would have seen very plainly in my heart that I did but half fancy being committed very early start. without once laying my eyes on well-saved dollars. and in which she herself owned a score or two of this way to so long a voyage. Every once in a while Peleg would certainly sail.Moby Dick cerned. he carried about with him a long list of the articles me. But when a man suscoming on board. And much this way it was with Bildad. and when he was going to come on board his ship. that he was getting better and better. and a still longer whaling lance in the other. If I had been downright honest with myself. I said nothing. with a long oil-ladle pects any wrong. 102 . meantime. could attend to everything necessary to fit the vessel for the voyage. roaring at the men down the hatchways. and at every fresh arrival. Queequeg and I often visited the craft. So next morning. As for suspicions even from himself. so soon as But it was startling to see this excellent hearted Quakeress the ship sailed out upon the open sea. and tried to think nothing. as she did the last day. down went his mark oppoAt last it was given out that some time next day the ship site that article upon the paper. During these days of preparation. the two captains. Peleg and Bildad. and was expected aboard every day. roaring up to the riggers at the masthead.

no. and would prefer not to be detained. said—”Did ye see anything looking like men then insinuating himself between us. and on my shoulder. sunrise. strangely peering from Queequeg Struck by this plain matter-of-fact question. “you will oblige my friend and me by withdrawing. “Yes. in the uncertain twilight. “Very dim.” said I to Queequeg. It was Elijah. slowly and wonderingly looking from me to Queequeg. that I consider you a little impertinent?” CHAPTER 21 Going Aboard 103 . will you. ing. “He’s cracked. We are going to the Indian and Pacific Oceans.” said Queequeg. and touching my shoulder again.” T WAS NEARLY SIX O’CLOCK. I answered. “come on.” said I. then?” after us.” said I.” said I.” said Elijah.I Herman Melville “No. said.” “Avast!” cried a voice. stood stooping forward a going towards that ship a while ago?” little.” “Hands off.” “Lookee here. if I see “Holloa!” cried stationary Elijah. “go ‘way!” Once more we quitted him. and suddenly clapping his hand ing close behind us. shaking himself. laid a hand upon both our shoulders. “it can’t be shadows.” “There are some sailors running ahead there. come on. but it was too “Going aboard?” dim to be sure. “Elijah. but once more he came softly “Ain’t going aboard. “but what business is that of yours? Do find ‘em now. sayto me. we are. “Queequeg. when we drew nigh the wharf. Elijah. hailing us when we had right. she’s off by removed a few paces. Queequeg. I wasn’t aware of that. with the most unaccountable glances. whose owner at the same time comBut he stole up to us again. I thought I did see four or five men. I guess. “Morning to ye. “See if you can “Yes.” said Elijah.” said I. but only grey imperfect misty “Ye be. Mr. come on!” “Never mind him. no.” said I. will ye? you know. be ye? Coming back afore breakfast?” dawn. very dim.

again moving otherwise inexplicable question. from one to the other.” said Queequeg. in his land. his face downwards and inclosed in his folded arms. the king. sat quietly down there. telling him to morning. “Oh! I was going to warn ye against—but never mind. we found everything “Oh! perry dood seat. 104 . Queequeg gave me to understand that. Seeing a light. he’s heaving himself.” And with rear. were it not for Elijah’s “Morning to ye! morning to ye!” he rejoined. Queequeg. Queequeg. and again marking the sleeper. you are heavy. “my country way. when on the wharf. “Those sailors we saw. Queequeg! Look. Shan’t see ye again very establish himself accordingly. I sat at the feet. he’ll twitch you off soon. The cabin entrance was locked within. not a soul moving. don’t sit there. and then. we found the slide of the scuttle open. I wonder he don’t wake. Get off. He was thrown at whole length upon two chests. owing to the absence of settees and sofas of all sorts. stepping on board the Pequod. the hatches were all on. get off. ain’t it? Good-bye to ye. He put his hand upon the sleeper’s soon. and lumbered with coils of rigging. chiefs. “call that his face? very benevolent countenance then.” said I.—sharp frost this that perhaps we had best sit up with the body. in no small wonderment at his frantic impudence. But it seemed that. wrapped in a tattered pea-jacket. At last.Moby Dick “Find who?” been optically deceived in that matter. Queequeg had not at all noticed what I now alluded to. I guess. but how hard he breathes. where can they have gone to?” said I. in profound quiet. as though feeling if it was soft enough. leaving me.” “Face!” said I. and lighted his tomahawk pipe. for the more ado. we went down.” Queequeg removed himself to just beyond the head of the sleeper. The profoundest slumber slept upon him. upon questioning him in his broken fashion. “Gracious! Queequeg. off. moment. it’s grinding the face of the poor. We kept the pipe passing over the sleeper. all in the family too. Meanwhile. without these cracked words he finally departed. and found only an old rigger there. looking dubiously at the sleeper. But I beat the thing down. Going forward to the forecastle. jocularly hinted to Queequeg never mind—it’s all one. unless it’s before the Grand Jury. hence I would have thought myself to have won’t hurt him face.

it seemed. he flourished the hatchet-side of it over the sleeper’s head. which. and we followed. and desir“Who but him indeed?” ing him to make a settee of himself under a spreading tree. and to furnish a house “Holloa!” he breathed at last. a chief calling his attendant. some of the lower orders for ottomans. it began to tell upon him. the riggers bestirred themselves. and several of the shore people were busy in bringing various last things on board.Herman Melville and great people generally. were in the custom of fattening rubbed his eyes. then sat up and “Holloa! Starbuck’s astir. 105 . and a pious. then seemed troubled in the nose. had in its two uses both brained his foes and soothed his soul. It was now clear sunrise. that. kill-e. aye.” And so saying he went on deck. every time Queequeg received the tomahawk from me. “who be ye smokers?” comfortably in that respect.” answered I. “What’s that for. Meanwhile Captain Ahab remained invisibly enshrined within his cabin. be ye? She sails to-day. ye are going in her. when we were directly attracted to the sleeping rigger. He breathed with a sort of muffledness. Queequeg?” “Perry easy. “He’s a lively chief mate. the mates were actively engaged. you had only to buy up eight or “Shipped men. but all alive now. oh! perry easy! He was going on with some wild reminiscences about his tomahawk-pipe. upon occasion. Soon the crew came on board in twos and threes. Ahab. then revolved over once or twice. While narrating these things. The strong vapour now completely filling the contracted hole. I was going to ask him some further questions concerning perhaps in some damp marshy place. “when does she sail?” ten lazy fellows. it was very convenient on an excursion. “Aye. I must turn to. and lay them round in the piers and alcoves. much better Captain came aboard last night. when we heard a noise on deck. The Besides. good man.” said the rigger.” than those garden-chairs which are convertible into walking“What Captain?—Ahab?” sticks.

But then. the second mate. the two themselves on deck for a considerable time after heaving up Captains. “Mr. Starbuck. as well as to all appearances in port. and not Bildad.ship for good with the pilot. they said he was in the cabin. Peleg. drive’em aft. ye sons of bachelors. are you sure everything is right? Cap. as that was of the ship’s riggers. friend Starbuck. Peleg said: merry-making with their shore friends. just as if they were to be jointcommanders at sea. and do our lingered at the main-mast. as for Captain Ahab. and after the Pequod had been not at all his proper business. esgift—a night-cap for Stubb. And all this seemed natural enough. with her last Ahab stayed below.A Moby Dick age. and after the everyet completely recovered—so they said—therefore. tain Ahab is all ready—just spoke to him—nothing more to be But there was not much chance to think over the matter. then. issued from the cabin. Muster ‘em aft Captain Peleg was now all alive. only. the idea was. and turning the anchor. Captain thoughtful Charity had come off in a whale-boat. her brother-inpecially as in the merchant service many captains never show law. TOWARDS NOON. but the pilot’s. and a spare Bible for the steward—after all this. call all hands. upon the final dismissal weigh. “No need of profane words.” bidding. no sign of him was yet to be seen. And. that his presence was by no means necessary in getting the ship under T LENGTH. but remain over the cabin table. Captain Peleg and Captain Bildad were going it with a high hand on the quarter-deck. before they quit the “Now. and as he was not hauled out from the wharf.” “Strike the tent there!”—was the next order. however great the hurry. as the sailors said Bildad. and steering her well out to sea. for got from shore. Peleg and Bildad.” “Aft here. “but away with thee. He seemed to do most of the here—blast ‘em!” talking and commanding. As I hinted How now! Here upon the very point of starting for the voy- CHAPTER 22 Merry Christmas 106 .” he cried. having a farewell to the chief mate. Starbuck. Mr. Indeed. eh? Well.

Bildad might be found some salvation. and told next command. Bildad had told them that no profane songs would be allowed on board the Pequod. And here Bildad. I was by the pilot is the forward part of the ship. for thirty years. Scotchcap. not three days previous. and on board the Pequod. to cheer the hands at the windlass. all of ye. overseeing the other part of the ship. spite of his seven hunwas one of the licensed pilots of the port—he being suspected to have got himself made a pilot in order to save the Nantucket pilot-fee to all the ships he was concerned in. with hearty good will. thou sheep-head. in addition to his other officers. and Charity. this whalebone marquee was never pitched except in of Watts in each seaman’s berth. almost thought he would sink the ship before the anchor could “Man the capstan! Blood and thunder!—jump!”—was the be got up. That was my first kick. thinking of the perils we both ran. “Is that the way they heave in the marchant service?” he roared. his sister. I say. spring. Queequeg to do the same. spring. Captain strike the tent was well known to be the next thing to heaving Peleg ripped and swore astern in the most frightful manner. and the crew sprang for the handspikes. spring there. and spring your eyes out!” And so saying. all of ye—spring! Quohog! spring. when I felt a sudden sharp poke in my rear. particularly in getting under weigh. with the thought that in pious who. here and there using his leg very freely. for he never piloted any other craft—Bildad. be it known. was horrified at the apparition of Captain Peleg in the act of withdrawing his leg from my immediate vicinity. Captain 107 . who roared forth some sort of a chorus about the girls in Booble Alley. and break thy backbone! Why don’t ye spring. I say. Spring. Now in getting under weigh. thou green pants. Thinks I. he moved along the windlass. thou chap with the red whiskers. and turning round. however. and at intervals singing what seemed a dismal stave of psalmody. with Peleg.Herman Melville before. had placed a small choice copy dred and seventy-seventh lay. I up the anchor. the order to Meantime. port. Nevertheless. “Spring. while imperturbable Bildad kept leading off with his psalmody. the station generally occupied in starting on the voyage with such a devil for a pilot. involuntarily I paused on my handspike. might now be seen actively engaged in looking over the bows for the approaching anchor. comforting myself. I say.

many a pleasant haven in store. yet. very loath to leave. spite of my wet off unseen Eastern Continents. For ephant. as pilot. anon. Spite of this wards the wide and endless waters. how Peleg and Bildad the moonlight.were affected at this juncture. looked tothan then. that the grass shot up by the spring.Moby Dick Peleg must have been drinking something to-day. loath to depart. a man almost as old as he. Stand dressed in ter all the terrors of the pitiless jaw. and sent a ship in which some thousands of his hard earned dollars the shivering frost all over her. NEVER DID THOSE SWEET WORDS sound more sweetly to me again came on deck.” Bildad lingered long. that the two pilots were merged into night. loath to say good-bye to a living green. ran down into the cabin to speak another farewell word there.— tain. as in polus began ranging alongside. the sails were set. we found ourselves almost broad upon the needed no longer. there was yet. looked towards the land. as the old craft deep dived into the green seas. and meads and glades so eter. a ship. for good. It was a short. headed the first watch. mechanically coiling a rope upon its pin. his steady notes were heard. especially Captain Bildad. The long rows of teeth on the bulwarks glistened in It was curious and not unpleasing. looked feet and wetter jacket. vast curving icicles depended from the bows. They were full of hope and fruition. and as the short northern day At last we gained such an offing. nally vernal. ished armor. looked everywhere and nowhere. convul108 . The stout sail-boat that had accompanied wintry ocean. aloft. once more starting to encoun“Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood. and the were invested. While Jordan thing so every way brimful of every interest to him. and ever and on so long and perilous a voyage—beyond both stormy Capes. a ship bound Lank Bildad. and looked to windward. At last the anchor was up. and off we glided. paced the deck with anxious strides. it then seemed to me. and like the white ivory tusks of some huge el. only bounded by the farfrigid winter night in the boisterous Atlantic.and at last. and the winds howled. unwilted. remains at midsummer. cold Christmas.—poor old rolled between. So to the Jews old Canaan stood. looked right and left. in which an old shipmate sailed as capcordage rang. untrodden. whose freezing spray cased us in ice.

—away!” and with that. Ship and boat diverged. friend Peleg. it was a little leaky. Starbuck—luck to ye. boy—say your last. Be careful in the hunt. with Starbuck.” Don’t forget your prayers. Have an eye to the molasses tierce. “Nevertheless. he took it more like a philosopher. Mr. Luck to ye. If ye touch at the islands. and have ye in His holy keeping. Captain Bildad. come. Mr. Stubb—luck to ye. Hurrah and away!” “God bless ye. I can stand it. But. did not a little men. but cooper don’t waste the spare staves. within the year. and holding up a lantern. Flask. the two hulls wildly rolled. and now a word Heaven’s good gifts. when the lantern came too near. too. and mind ye. ye harpooneers. say. we must go. damp night breeze blew between. mind that As for Peleg himself. there was a tear twinkling in his eye. Mr. Don’t stave the boats needlessly. careful!—come. Starbuck. beware of fornication. Starbuck. Good-bye. good for a moment stood gazing heroically in his face. Mr. as much as to white cedar plank is raised full three per cent. and ye’ll have plenty of them in the tropic voyage ye go. “I hope ye’ll have fine weather now.” murmured old Bildad. but don’t miss a fair chance either. good-bye! Don’t look about him. ye keep that cheese too long down in the hold. and both dropt into the boat. we gave three heavy-hearted cheers. with a final sort of Mr. Stubb. almost incoherently. so that Captain Ahab may soon be moving among ye—a pleasant sun is all he needs. at last. a screaming gull flew overhead. the cold. Oh! the sail-needles are for all his philosophy. the chief mate. that’s rejecting run from cabin to deck—now a word below. old shipmate. Bildad. and blindly plunged like fate into the lone Atlantic. yes. stop palavering. 109 . he turned to his comrade. either. Be careful with the butter—twenty cents the pound it was. I thought. mates. it’ll spoil. men. if—” “Come. now! Careful. Mr. in the green locker! Don’t whale it too much a’ Lord’s days. I can. And he.—”Captain Bildad—come.Herman Melville sively grasped stout Peleg by the hand. Peleg hurried him over the side. Back the main-yard there! Boat ahoy! Stand by to come close alongside. Flask—good-bye and good luck to ye all—and this day three years I’ll have a hot supper smoking for ye in old Nantucket.

would make her shudder through and through. for refuge’s sake forlornly rushing into peril. supper. in so doing. though it but graze the keel. earnest thinking is vindictive bows into the cold malicious waves. slavish shore? just landed from a four years’ dangerous voyage. thy apotheosis! comfort. But in that gale. fights ‘gainst the very winds that fain would blow her homeward. Wonderfullest things infinite. unrestingly push off again for still another tempestuous term. could so But as in landlessness alone resides highest truth. better is it to perish in that howling The land seemed scorching to his feet. the port is pitiful.S Moby Dick kind to our mortalities. that miserably drives along the leeward land. in the port is safety. a again. Know ye now. who in mid-winter conspire to cast her on the treacherous. the land. oh! who would craven crawl this six-inch chapter is the stoneless grave of Bulkington. deep memories yield no epitaphs. Bulkington? Glimpses do ye seem to see of When on that shivering winter’s night. even if that are ever the unmentionable. demigod! ship. With all her might she crowds all sail off shore. shoreless. the Pequod thrust her that mortally intolerable truth. newlanded mariner. all that’s CHAPTER 23 The Lee Shore 110 . indefinite as God—so. then. warm blankets. seeks all the lashed sea’s landlessness OME CHAPTERS BACK. is that ship’s direst jeopardy. The port Up from the spray of thy ocean-perishing—straight up. O Bulkington! Bear thee grimly. leaps would fain give succor. her only tall. who should I but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open indepensee standing at her helm but Bulkington! I looked with sympadence of her sea. take heart. that all deep. than be ingloriously dashed upon the lee. Let to land! Terrors of the terrible! is all this agony so vain? Take me only say that it fared with him as with the storm-tossed heart. one touch of land. encountered in New Bedford friend her bitterest foe! at the inn. while the wildest winds of heaven and earth thetic awe and fearfulness upon the man. friends. the port. were safety! For worm-like. she must fly all hospitality. one Bulkington was spoken of. hearthstone.

what disordered slippery decks of a whaleestablish the fact. est things of this tidy earth. of the injus. say. and as this business of whal And as for the matter of the alleged uncleanliness of our busiing has somehow come to be regarded among ness.plaudits? And if the idea of peril so much enhances the popucellaneous metropolitan society. it would but slightly advance lar conceit of the soldier’s profession. such a procedure would be deemed comprehensible terrors of man compared with the interlinked pre-eminently presuming and ridiculous.phantly plant the sperm whale-ship at least among the cleanlitice hereby done to us hunters of whales. and butchers of the bloodiest badge have been all MarS QUEEQUEG AND I are now fairly embarked in this tial Commanders whom the world invariably delights to honour. and if in emulation of the naval quickly recoil at the apparition of the sperm whale’s vast tail. But even granting the charge in In the first place. But butchers. I am all anxiety to convince ye. upon the whole. business of whaling. would company as a harpooneer. that among people at large. If a stranger were introduced into any mis. we are surrounded by all manner of defilements.W. will triumfore. that is true.F. and that when actively engaged therein. ye landsmen. let me assure ye that the general opinion of his merits. Butchers we are. officers he should append the initials S. ye shall soon be initiated into certain facts hitherto pretty landsmen as a rather unpoetical and disreputable pursuit. (Sperm Whale fanning into eddies the air over his head. it may be deemed almost superfluous to question to be true.Herman Melville Doubtless one leading reason why the world declines honouring us whalemen. and which. For what are the Fishery) to his visiting card. theregenerally unknown. CHAPTER 24 The Advocate A 111 . is this: they think that. were he presented to the many a veteran who has freely marched up to a battery. our vocation amounts to a butchering sort of business. the business of ship are comparable to the unspeakable carrion of those battlewhaling is not accounted on a level with what are called the fields from which so many soldiers return to drink in all ladies’ liberal professions. also. at best.

taken in one aggregate. sail a navy of upwards of seven hundred vessels.000.000. and have been. which originally showed them the way. if well be regarded as that Egyptian mother.000. For many years past the whale-ship has been the pioneer in ferreting out the remotest and least known parts of the earth. and first interpreted between them and the savages. They may celebrate as they will the heroes of Exploring Expeditions. though the world scouts at us whale hunters. yea. that the cosmopolite philosopher cannot. at the time of sailing. of France. than the high and But look at this matter in other lights. yearly consuming 4. $20. which within that burn round the globe. lamps. at his own personal expense. It would be a hopeless. see what we whalemen are. an all-aboundI freely assert. and so continuWhy did the Dutch in De Witt’s time have admirals of their ously momentous in their sequential issues. let them fire salutes to the honour and glory of the whale-ship.000! and every year importing into our harbors a well reaped harvest of $7. One way and another. and candles his life. burn.Moby Dick terrors and wonders of God! there be not something puissant in whaling? But.000. who bore offspring themselves pregnant from her womb. yet does it But this is not the half. manned by eighteen thousand men. how comes it that we whalemen of America now outnumber all the rest of the banded whalemen in the world. that whaling may whaling fleets? Why did Louis XVI. Let a handful suffice. If American and European men-of-war now peacefully ride in once savage harbors. the ships worth.000? And lastly. your Cooks. How comes all this. for ing adoration! for almost all the tapers. and politely invite to that town some score or two of families from our own island of Nantucket? Why did Britain between the years 1750 and 1788 pay to her whalemen in bounties upwards of £1. where no Cook or Vancouver had ever sailed. weigh it in all sorts of mighty business of whaling. look again.000. it has bescales. as before so many shrines. fit out whaling ships from Dunkirk.000 of dollars. endless task to catalogue all these things. 112 . gotten events so remarkable in themselves. unwittingly pay us the profoundest homage. She has explored seas and archipelagoes which had no chart. point out one single peaceful influence. to the last sixty years has operated more potentially upon the our glory! whole broad world.

113 . If that double-bolted land. and Bolivia from the yoke of Old Spain. they. Moreover.Herman Melville your Krusensterns. if space permitted. in the infancy of the first Austramarines and muskets would not willingly have dared. The whale-ship is the true mother of that battled with virgin wonders and terrors that Cook with all his now mighty colony. confess the same truth. All that lian settlement. and was given to the enlightened world by the whaleman. and whaling no famous chronicler. and do commercial homage to the whaleship. adventures which Vancouver dedicates three chapters to. It was the whaleman who first broke through the jealous policy of the Spanish crown. is ever to become hospitable. that cleared the way for the missionary and the merchant. but I say that scores of anonymous CapThat great America on the other side of the sphere. Chili. it is the whale-ship alone to whom the credit will be due. and the establishment of the eternal democracy in those parts. Australia. the world! Until the whale fishery rounded Cape Horn. and by the beaches of unrecorded. But if. tains have sailed out of an anchor in their waters. these men accounted unworthy of being set down in the ship’s common log. all other ships long succourless empty-handedness. The uncounted isles of all Polynesia tucketers. it might be distinctly shown how from those whalemen at last eventuated the liberation of Peru. Japan. After its greater than your Cook and your Krusenstern. ship touched there. that were as great. those vation by the benevolent biscuit of the whale-ship luckily dropthings were but the life-time commonplaces of our heroic Nan. no commerce but colonial. in the heathenish sharked shunned those shores as pestiferously barbarous. for already she is on the threshold. and. and unhorse you with a split helmet every time. For in their first blunder-born discovery by a Dutchman. then am I ready to shiver fifty lances with you there. touching those colonies. the emigrants were several times saved from staris made such a flourish of in the old South Sea Voyages. was carried on between Europe and the long line of the opulent Spanish provinces on the Pacific coast. The whale has no famous author. Ah. you still declare that whaling has no aesthetically noble associations connected with it. and in many cases carried the primitive missionaries to their first destinations. the world! Oh. Often. scarcely any intercourse but colonial. but the whalewaters. javelin islands. you will say. in the face of all this.

there is no True enough. and take it off to Queequeg! No more! I know a man that. they have no good blood in their veins. by marriage. the whale is declared “a royal fish.Moby Dick The whale no famous author. I account that man more honourable than that great captain of antiquity who boasted of taking as many walled towns. Cetus is a constellation in the South! No more! Drive down your hat in presence of the Czar. as for me. one of the old settlers of Nantucket. the Norwegian whale-hunter of those times! And the way from the Syrian coast. Who but mighty Job! And who composed the first narrative of The whale never figured in any grand imposing way? In a whaling-voyage? Who. and the ancestress to a long line of Folgers and harpooneers—all kith and kin to noble Benjamin—this day darting the barbed iron from one side of the world to the other. but. were the most conspicuous who pronounced our glowing eulogy in Parliament? Who. but no less a prince than Alfred the one of the mighty triumphs given to a Roman general upon his Great. there be any as yet undiscovered prime thing in me. has taken three hundred and fifty whales. ils. with his own royal pen. and whaling no famous Oh. brought all from Other. Good again. No good blood in their veins? They have something better than royal blood there. by any possibility. since you cite it. 114 . And.” No dignity in whaling? The dignity of our calling the very heavens attest. took down the words entering the world’s capital. afterwards. if I shall ever deserve any real repute in that small but high hushed world which I might not be unreasonably ambitious of. *See subsequent chapters for something more on this head. the bones of a whale. The grandmother of Benjamin Franklin was Mary Morrel. if hereafter I shall do anything that. that’s only nominal! The whale himself has never figured chronicler? Who wrote the first account of our Leviathan? in any grand imposing way. if. but then whalemen themselves are poor devreal dignity in whaling. Mary Folger. Whaling not respectable? Whaling is imperial! By old English statutory law.* Edmund Burke! Grant it. but object in the cymballed procession. who. say what you will. in his lifetime. but then all confess that somehow whaling is not respectable.

at my death. find any precious MSS. Can it be. though. CHAPTER 25 Postscript I N BEHALF OF THE DIGNITY OF WHALING. an advocate who should wholly suppress a not unreasonable surmise. if. so called. concerning the essential dignity of this regal process. a certain curious process of seasoning them for their functions is gone through. But after embat tling his facts. however. precisely—who knows? Certain I am. I would fain ad- vance naught but substantiated facts. that a king’s head is solemnly oiled at his coronation. even modern ones. a man might rather have done than to have left undone. then here I prospectively ascribe all the honour and the glory to whaling. There is a saltcellar of state. my executors.Herman Melville upon the whole. as they anoint machinery? Much might be ruminated here. which might tell eloquently upon his cause—such an advocate. for a whale-ship was my Yale College and my Harvard. and there may be a castor of state. that they anoint it with a view of making its interior run well. would he not be blameworthy? It is well known that at the coronation of kings and queens. How they use the salt. and 115 . even as a head of salad. or more properly my creditors. in my desk. because in common life we esteem but meanly and contemptibly a fellow who anoints his hair.

a mature man who uses hair-oil. His pure tight skin was an excellent fit. or upon one of those fast days for which his state is famous. those summers had dried up all his physical superfluousness. is this—what kind of oil is used at coronations? Certainly it cannot be olive oil. unless medicinally. But the only thing to be considered here.Moby Dick palpably smells of that anointing. nor bear’s oil. his thinness. Transported to the Indies. and embalmed with inner health and strength. that man has probably got a quoggy spot in him somewhere. like a revivified Egyptian. and though born on an icy its unmanufactured. tive of Nantucket. than it seemed the indication of any bodily blight. unpolluted state. kings and queens with coronation stuff! his live blood would not spoil like bottled ale. But this. the sweetest of all oils? coast. As a general rule. What then can it possibly be. a nanor macassar oil. HE CHIEF MATE of the Pequod was Starbuck. He was by no means illlooking. quite the contrary. It was merely the condensation of the man. In truth. seemed no more the token of wasting anxieties and cares. earnest man. so to speak. He nor cod-liver oil. his flesh Think of that. but sperm oil in was a long. he can’t amount to much in his totality. ye loyal Britons! we whalemen supply your being hard as twice-baked biscuit. nor train oil. nor castor oil. He must have been born in some time of general drought and famine. and closely wrapped up in it. and a Quaker by descent. Only some thirty arid summers had he seen. this Starbuck CHAPTER 26 Knights and Squires T 116 . seemed well adapted to endure hot latitudes.

Looking into his eyes. perhaps. for be it Polar snow or torrid sun. but to that sort of superstition. and not a tame chapter of sounds. courage was one of the great staple outfits of the ship. and not to be foolishly wasted. there were certain qualities in him which at as careful a man as you’ll find anywhere in this fishery. I am here in this critical ocean to kill whales for my living. there. estimation of the encountered peril. the second mate. but that an utterly fearless whose life for the most part was a telling pantomime of action. or almost any other whale hunter. tend to bend him still more from the original ruggedness of his nature. and that hun117 . from intelligence than from ignorance. And if at times these things bent the welded iron of his soul. so often evinced endure always. he seemed to mean. Starbuck was no crusader after perils. Outward portents and inward presentiments were his.Herman Melville seemed prepared to endure for long ages to come. and endued with a deep natural reverence. man is a far more dangerous comrade than a coward. Besides. like her beef and her bread. restrain the gush of dare-devil daring. A staid. and not to be killed by them for theirs. somehow.” said Stubb. you seemed to see a whale. he thought. aye. “Starbuck.” But we times affected. not only that the most there the yet lingering images of those thousand-fold perils he reliable and useful courage was that which arises from the fair had calmly confronted through life. steadfast man. and open him still further to those latent influences which. which in some organizations seems rather to spring. is ety and fortitude. and to men. Uncommonly conscientious for a seaman. Yet. like by others in the more perilous vicissitudes of the fishery. Wherefore he had no fancy for lowering for whales after sun-down. his interior vitality was warranted to do have no man in my boat. and always at hand upon all mortally practical occasions. and in some cases seemed well nigh to overbalance all the rest.” By this. in some honest-hearted shall ere long see what that word “careful” precisely means when used by a man like Stubb. that in this business of whaling. nor for persisting in fighting a fish that too much persisted in fighting him. “I will a patent chronometer. in him courage was not a sentiment. as now. “who is not afraid of well in all climates.” said Starbuck. for all his hardy sobri“Aye. For. thought Starbuck. the wild watery loneliness of his life did therefore strongly incline him to superstition. much more did his far-away domestic memories of his young Cape wife and child. but a thing simply useful to him.

visible in some intrepid men. would break out from its confinement. That immaculate manliness we feel within ourman so organized. yet cannot withstand those more terrific. and. could he find the torn limbs of his brother? fools. while generally abiding firm in the conflict with seas. such a grand and glowing creature. moreover. or any of the ordinary irrational horrors of the world. What shocking. Men may doom was his own father’s? Where. seem detestable as joint stock-companies and nations. weave round them tragic graces. or whales. which. it was not in nature that these things outer character seem gone. completely stifle her upbraidings against the permitting stars. that over any ignoStarbuck which could. to meanest mariners. and with such terrible experiences and reselves. knaves. if even the most mournful. is so noble and so sparcertain superstitiousness. But were the coming narrative to reveal in any instance. it was that sort of bravery chiefly. perchance the 118 . the courage of this kling. so far within us. is not the dignity of kings and robes. which sometimes menace you from the concentrating brow of an enraged and mighty man. Himself! The great God absolute! The centre and circumference of all democracy! His omnipresence. given to a meagre faces. as has been said. though dark. Thou shalt see it shining in the arm that wields a pick or drives a spike. which. men may have mean and With memories like these in him. in the ideal. for it is a thing most sorrowful. under suitable circumstances. but that abounding dignity which has no robed investiture.Moby Dick dreds of men had been so killed Starbuck well knew. radiates without end from God. nevertheless. bleeds with keenest anguish at the should fail in latently engendering an element in him. But this august dignity I treat of. on all hands. or winds. But it was not in reasonable nature that a costliest robes. still flourish. I shall hereafter ascribe high qualities. scarce might I have the heart to write it. then. to expose the fall of valour in the soul. And brave as he might be. and murderers there may be. but man. that it remains intact though all the membrances as he had. because more spiritual terrors. must indeed minious blemish in him all his fellows should run to throw their have been extreme. at such a shameful sight. in the bottomless deeps. Nor can piety itself. and burn all his courage up. nay undraped spectacle of a valor-ruined man. and renegades and castaways. the complete abasement of poor Starbuck’s fortitude. our divine equality! If. that democratic dignity which.

A happy-go-lucky. if I shall touch that workman’s arm with some ethereal light. He was a native of Cape cratic God! who didst not refuse to the swart convict. O God! were but a dinner. Thou who didst clothe with doubly hama Cape-Cod-man. Thou who didst pick up Andrew Jackson from nor valiant. bear me out in it. and careless. according to local usage. who didst and while engaged in the most imminent crisis of the chase. thou great demoTUBB WAS THE SECOND MATE.Herman Melville most abased. in the very death-lock of the fight. converted the jaws of CHAPTER 27 Knights and Squires S 119 . thou Just Spirit of Equality. in all Thy mighty. who didst hurl him upon a war-horse. the pebbles. toiling away. He was as particular about the comfortable arrangement of his part of the boat. easy. was called the pale. then against all mortal critics bear me out in it. as an old stage-driver is about the snugness of his box. When close to the whale. which hast spread one royal mantle of humanity over all my kind! Bear me out in it. for this Stubb. Bunyan. among them all. thunder him higher than a throne! Thou who. neither craven mered leaves of finest gold. the stumped and paupered arm of old Cervantes. as a whistling tinker his hammer. taking perils as they came with an indifferent air. and his crew all invited guests. he handled his unpitying lance coolly and off-handedly. and hence. Cod. shall at times lift himself to the exalted mounts. ever cullest Thy selectest champions from gaged for the year. Long usage had. he presided over his whale-boat as if the most deadly encounter the kingly commons. He would hum over his old rigadig tunes while flank and flank with the most exasperated monster. poetic pearl. calm and collected as a journeyman joiner enearthly marchings. if I shall spread a rainbow over his disastrous set of sun. Good-humored.

made Stubb such an easywise. within easy reach of his hand. whether ashore or afloat. all bowed to the ground with their packs. who somehow seemed to think that the great leviathans had personally and hereditarily affronted him. and.Moby Dick death into an easy chair. For. of his peculiar disposition. his short. that thing must have been his pipe. unfearing man. so. perhaps. like a good sailor. is no telling. he put his pipe The third mate was Flask. ruddy young fellow. there into his mouth. For. Whether he ever thought of it at all. what helped to bring about that almost impious good-humor of his. lighting one from the other to the end of the chapter. but. black little pipe was one of the regular features of his face. So utterly lost was he to all sense of reverence for the many marvels of their majestic bulk and mystic ways. he smoked them all out in succession. stuck in a rack. if he ever did chance to cast his mind that way least. against all mortal tribulations. when Stubb dressed. about something which he would find exhaling it. he earthly air. so cheerily trudging off with the burden might have operated as a sort of disinfecting agent. of life in a world full of grave pedlars. requiring only a little circumvention and some small application of time and trouble 120 . and not sooner. with other things. stout. in Martha’s Vineyard. and therefore it was a sort of point of honour with him. that in his poor opinion. might be a I say this continual smoking must have been one cause. Stubb’s tobacco smoke going. You would almost as soon have expected him to turn out of his bunk without his nose as without his pipe. What he thought of death itself. a native of Tisbury. whenever he turned in. then loading them again to be in readiness anew. and the nameless miseries of the numberless mortals who have died bestir themselves there. and so dead to anything like an apprehension of any possible danger from encountering them. A short. or at least water-rat. with a camphorated handkerchief to their mouths. very pugnacious concerning whales. He kept a whole row of pipes there ready loaded. some people go about out when he obeyed the order. and as in time of the cholera. likeWhat. for every one knows that this after a comfortable dinner. the wondrous whale was but a species of magnified mouse. instead of first putting his legs into his trowsers. like his nose. at question. is terribly infected with took it to be a sort of call of the watch to tumble aloft. no doubt. to destroy them whenever encountered.

made to friendliness.Herman Melville in order to kill and boil. who in certain conjunctures provoyage round Cape Horn was only a jolly joke that lasted vides him with a fresh lance. which has long supplied the neighboring island of Nantucket with many of her most daring harpooneers. and a three years’ boat-steerer or harpooneer. it is therefore but meet. In the fishery. and which by the means of many radiating side timbers inserted into it. these three headsmen were as captains of companies. lean. he could be well likened to headsman each of them belonged. where there still exists the last remnant of a village of red men. were momentous men. This ignorant. and Flask. serves to brace the ship against the icy concussions of those battering seas. but Antarctic in their glittering expression—all this sufficiently proclaimed him an inheritor of the unvitiated blood of those proud warrior hunt121 . they were as a picked trio of lancers. an unmixed Indian from Gay Head. Or. each mate or headsman. and to what of the Pequod. square timber known by that name in Arctic whalers. like a Gothic Knight of old. In that grand order of battle in which Captain Ahab would probably marshal his forces to descend on the whales. sable hair. Stubb. unconscious fearlessAnd since in this famous fishery. Oriental in their largeness. the chief mate. Now these three mates—Starbuck. Tashtego’s long. had selected for his squire. the short. Next was Tashtego. is always accompanied by his he followed these fish for the fun of it. whom Starbuck. they usually go by the generic name of Gay-Headers. a close intimacy and vided. that in this place we set clinch tight and last long. Little Flask was one of the wrought ones. They it was who by universal prescription commanded three of the Pequod’s boats as headsmen. They called him King-Post on board down who the Pequod’s harpooneers were. even as the harpooneers were flingers of javelins. But Queequeg is already known. as wrought nails and cut nails. in form. his high cheek bones. so mankind may be similarly dithere generally subsists between the two. and black rounding eyes— for an Indian. or elbowed in the assault. the most westerly promontory of Martha’s Vineyard. and moreover. because. ness of his made him a little waggish in the matter of whales. First of all was Queequeg. As a carpenter’s nails are divided into badly twisted. being armed with their long keen whaling spears. when the former one has been that length of time.

and having now led for many years the bold life of the fishery in the ships of owners uncommonly heedful of what manner of men they shipped. Herein it is the same with the American whale fishery as with the American army and military and merchant navies. who looked lithe snaky limbs. that at the present day not one in two of wild Indian to be a son of the Prince of the Powers of the Air. moved scoured. To look at the tawny brawn of his Ahasuerus Daggoo. and a land.There was a corporeal humility in looking up at him. a gigantic. Curious to tell. you would almost have credited the superlike a chess-man beside him. the Greenland whalers sailing out of Hull or London. with a lion-like tread—an Ahasuerus to behold. had retained all his barbaric virtues. so large that the sailors called them ring-bolts. coalblack negro-savage. lying in a lonely bay on his native coast. and the engineering forces employed in the construction of the American Canals and Railroads. where the outward bound Nantucket whalers frequently touch to augment their crews from the hardy peasants of those rocky shores. be it said. no longer snuffing in the trail of the wild beasts of the wood. fallible arrow of the sires. In like manner. put in at the Shetland 122 .Moby Dick ers. and would talk of securing the top-sail halyards to them. was the Squire of little Flask. Suspended from his ears were two golden hoops. this imperial negro. because in all these cases the native American liberally provides the brains.beg truce of a fortress. In his youth Daggoo had voluntarily shipped on board of a whaler. Daggoo can whale fishery. No small number of these whaling seamen belong to the Azores. and half-believed this company. But about the decks in all the pomp of six feet five in his socks. As for the residue of the Pequod’s stitions of some of the earlier Puritans. I say. the aboriginal forests of the main. the many thousand men before the mast employed in the AmeriTashtego was Stubb the second mate’s squire. and the pagan harbors most frequented by whalemen. Third among the harpooneers was Daggoo. The same. the unerring harpoon of the son fitly replacing the in. Nantucket. Tashtego now hunted in the wake of the great whales of white man standing before him seemed a white flag come to the sea. who. are Americans born. and erect as a giraffe. bow in hand. in quest of the great New England moose. And never having been anywhere in the world but in Africa. the rest of the world as generously supplying the muscles. though pretty nearly all the officers are.

with a subtle CHAPTER 28 Ahab F 123 . to receive the full complement of their crew. accompaaught that could be seen to the contrary. treat of the cabin. Black Little Pip—he never did—oh. ye preme lord and dictator was there. became almost a perturbation. They were nearly all Islanders in the Pequod.Herman Melville Islands. and for all the isles of the sea. but each Isolato living on a separate contiOR SEVERAL DAYS after leaving Nantucket. and beat his tambourine in Every time I ascended to the deck from my watches below. prelusive of the any eyes not permitted to penetrate into the now sacred reeternal time. that after all back. glory. no! he went beit was plain they but commanded vicariously. to the great quarter-deck on high. I call such. Yet now. Isolatoes too. Yes. their sufore. they seemed to be the nying Old Ahab in the Pequod to lay the world’s grievances before that bar from which not very many of them ever come only commanders of the ship. How it is. Upon the passage homewards. there is no telling. when sent for. not acknowledging the common continent of men. they drop them there again. though hitherto unseen by shall ere long see him. but Islanders seem to make the best whalemen. called a coward here. now in the seclusion of the sea. and all the ends of the earth. federated along one keel. Poor Alabama boy! On the grim Pequod’s forecastle. for my first vague disquietude touching the unknown captain. he was bid strike in with angels. nothing nent of his own. The mates these Isolatoes were! An Anacharsis Clootz deputation from regularly relieved each other at the watches. This was strangely heightened at times by the ragged Elijah’s diabolical incoherences uninvitedly recurring to me. what a set above hatches was seen of Captain Ahab. beating his tambourine. only they sometimes issued from the cabin with orders so sudden and peremptory. hailed a hero there! I instantly gazed aft to mark if any strange face were visible.

when the fire has overrunningly wasted all the limbs without consuming them. till it disappeared in his clothing. But poorly could had biting Polar weather. heathenish. when with a fair wind the ship was rushing through cherish such emotions. and shaped in an unalterable mould. were a far more barbaric. and they were every one of them Americans. that as I mounted to the deck at the call of the forenoon and motley set than any of the tame merchant-ship companies watch. Threading its way out from among his grey hairs. with the the water with a vindictive sort of leaping and melancholy ragreat body of the crew. nor of the recovery from any. it seemed against all warrantry to transition. could not readily be found. for a space we foreboding shivers ran over me. It 124 . seemed made of solid bronze. much as in other moods I was almost ready it to the southward. a Vineyarder. yet whenever I came lowering. But whatever it was of apprehensiveness or all its intolerable weather behind us. It was one of those less uneasiness—to call it so—which I felt. but still grey and gloomy enough mornings of the to look about me in the ship. a Cape man. more likely sea-officers and men. though all the time running away from I withstand them. Reality outran apprehension. each in his own different way. There seemed no sign of common bodily illness about him. you saw a slender rod-like mark. and induce confidence and cheerfulness in every presentment of the voyage. lividly whitish. His whole high. it being Christmas when the ship shot from out her harbor. and by every degree and minute of latitude to smile at the solemn whimsicalities of that outlandish prophet which we sailed. broad form. like Cellini’s cast Perseus. and continuing right down one side of his tawny scorched face and neck. Now. He looked like a man cut away from the stake. the mates. which was most forcibly calculated to allay these colourless misgivings. still I ascribed this—and rightly ascribed it—to the fierce uniqueness of the very nature of that wild Scandinavian vocation in which I had so abandonedly embarked. But it was especially the aspect of the three chief officers of the ship. For though the harpooneers. pidity. which my previous experiences had made me acquainted with. so soon as I levelled my glance towards the taffrail.Moby Dick energy I could not have before conceived of. Three better. or taking away one particle from their compacted aged robustness. a Nantucketer. and of the wharves. Captain Ahab stood upon his quarter-deck. gradually leaving that merciless winter.

no one could was owing to the barbaric white leg upon which he partly stood. But fashioned from the polished bone of the sperm whale’s jaw. in the fixed and fearless. ning off into the soil. peels and grooves out the bark from top to bottom. leaving the tree still greenly alive. by what a grey Manxman insinuated. but in an elemental strife at sea. when the upper lightning should do that last office for the dead. So that no white sailor seriously contradicted him when he said that if ever Captain Ahab should be tranquilly laid out—which “Aye. Not a word he spoke. ere runSo powerfully did the whole grim aspect of Ahab affect me. nor did 125 . an old Gay-Head Indian among the crew. His bone leg steadied in that hole. Whether that mark was born with him. “but like his dismasted craft. Upon each side of the Pequod’s quarter deck.” said the old Gay-Head Indian once. and holding by a shroud. looking straight out beyond the ship’s ever-pitching prow. and then it came upon him. so he muttered—then. and without wrenching a single twig. there was an auger hole. Nevertheless. a determinate. but and the livid brand which streaked it. especially by the mates. or whether it ments I hardly noted that not a little of this overbearing grimness was the scar left by some desperate wound. one arm elevated. By some tacit consent. the old seatraditions. superstitiously asserted that not till he was full forty years old did Ahab become that way branded. bored about half an inch or so. Captain Ahab stood erect. There was an infinity of firmest fortitude. throughout the voyage It had previously come to me that this ivory leg had at sea been little or no allusion was made to it. unsurrenderable wilfulness. lofty trunk of a great tree.” I was struck with the singular posture he maintained. certainly say. on him from crown to sole. had never ere this laid eye upon wild Ahab. whoever straight. having never before sailed out of Nantucket. forward dedication of that glance. he was dismasted off Japan. this wild hint seemed inferentially negatived. not in the fury of any mortal fray. popularly invested this old Manxman with preternatural powers of discernment. who. and pretty close to the mizzen shrouds. Yet. into the plank. an old sepulchral man. that for the first few mobranded. the immemorial credulities.Herman Melville resembled that perpendicular seam sometimes made in the might hardly come to pass. he shipped another mast without coming home for it. would find a birth-mark tearingly darts down it. He has a quiver of ‘em. once Tashtego’s senior.

which. trip home to the wintry. when the ship had sailed from home. themselves upon. from his first visit in the air. the clouds that layer upon layer were piled upon tures and expressions. And not only that. he seemed as unnecessary there as another mast. as yet. More than once did he put forth the faint blossom of a look. to stool he had. now. if not his brow. holiday weather we came to. but moody stricken Ahab stood before Nevertheless. so that there was little or nothing.Moby Dick his officers say aught to him. or seated upon an ivory ven old oak will at least send forth some few green sprouts. most thunder-clocrew. 126 . but. he became still less and less a recluse. indeed. Ere long. would have soon flowered out in a smile. though by all their minutest gesone interval. misancabin. consciousness of being under a troubled master-eye. either standing in his pivot-hole. they plainly showed the uneasy. a little respond to the playful allurings of that girlish air. warbling persuasiveness them with a crucifixion in his face. ally to charm him from his mood. as ever all clouds choose the loftiest peaks to pile painful. in all the nameless regal of the pleasant. in any other man. But after that morning. out of himself. that he was almost continually in the air. he withdrew into his dancing girls. the warm. even the barest. nearly all whaling preparatives needing supervision the mates were fully competent to. in the end. as if. For. to employ or excite Ahab. As the sky grew less gloomy. for all that he said. so Ahab did. April and May. And. ruggedest. and thus chase away. for that welcome such glad-hearted visitants. ere long. not regularly cruising. by and by. or heavily walking the deck. on the at last sunny deck. began to grow a little genial. as when the red-cheeked. But the Pequod was only making a passage now. nothing but the dead wintry bleakness of the sea had then kept him so secluded. or perceptibly did. seemed graduoverbearing dignity of some mighty woe. it came to pass. he was every day visible to the thropic woods.

Old age is always wakeful.”—he would mutter to himself— “for an old capthreshold of the eternal August of the Tropic. at sea. habitually. and the band on deck sentinelled the slumhaughty dames in jewelled velvets. redundant days. when the watches of with rose-water snow. almost every twenty-four hours. to help his crippled eve came on. more and more they wrought on Ahab’s texture. nursing at home in lonely bers of the band below. than the Pequod now went rolling through the bright Quito from the cabin to the planks. heaped up—flaked up. and ice and icebergs all astern. Some considering touch of humanity was in him. The warmly cool. which. air.” as crystal goblets of Persian sherbet. the memory of their absent conquering Earls. The starred and stately nights seemed the night were set. So. to Him. Among sea-commanders. as if. ’twas hard to choose beday. And all these subtle agen- CHAPTER 29 Enter Ahab. the less man has to do with aught that looks like death. that truly speaking. only that now. were grave-dug berth. the old greybeards will oftenest leave their berths to visit the night-cloaked deck. the silent steersnew spells and potencies to the outward world. as by helmeted suns! For sleeping man. ringing. for at most forms of noiseless twilights. his visits were more to the cabin. but with some cautiousness dropt it to its place for fear of tween such winsome days and such seducing nights. gripping at the iron banister. and ere long the old man turned upon the soul. he seemed so much to live in the open OME DAYS ELAPSED.Herman Melville cies. the sailors flung it not rudely down. when this sort of steady the witcheries of that unwaning weather did not merely lend quietude would begin to prevail. of late. “It feels like going down into spring. overflowing. then. Stubb S 127 . Inward they man would watch the cabin-scuttle. the longer linked with life. tain like me to be descending this narrow scuttle. But all disturbing their slumbering shipmates. memory shot her crystals as the clear ice way. It was so with Ahab. to go to my clear. the golden upon the forecastle. especially when the still mild hours of would emerge. and when if a rope was to be hauled pride. almost perpetually reigns on the one’s tomb. perfumed.

I do but less than half like it. or I’ll clear the world of thee!” from taffrail to mainmast. that their dreams “No. came As he said this. to use ye to the filling one at last. and an ass. sir. “Am I a cannon-ball. Stubb. hinted that if Captain Ahab was pleased to walk the planks. “I will not tamely would have been on the crunching teeth of sharks. deprecating humorbearing terrors in his aspect. It’s queer.—Down. How he flashed at me!—his eyes like powder-pans! is he mad? Anyway there’s something on his mind. “It’s very queer. dog. Ahab advanced upon him with such overup from below. Stubb was speechless a moment. Stubb. that Stubb involuntarily retreated. that was the thought coming up in me. Stop. sir. sir. he’s about the queerest old man Stubb ever sailed with.” the mood was on him too deep for common regardings. where such as ye sleep between shrouds. no one could say nay. as if to avoid some passionate temptation.” muttered Stubb. Ah! Stubb. I don’t well know whether to go back and strike him. as sure as there must be something on a deck when it cracks. he usually abstained from patrolling the quar. Stubb. aye. He aint in his bed now. such would have been the revering away. as he found himself descending the cabin-scuttle.” ter-deck. then said excitedly.sir.” said Ahab. berating crack and din of that bony step. of the ivory heel. or—what’s that?—down here on my knees and pray for him? Yes. more than three hours 128 . lumber-like pace he was measuring the ship and begone. now. thou didst not know Ahab then. either. because to his wearied mates. but it would be the first time I ever did pray. the old second mate. “I was never served so before without giving a hard blow for it. but there might be some way of muffling the noise. hinting something indistinctly and hesitatingly about a globe of tow. I had forgot. “I am not used to be spoken to that way.Moby Dick times like these. seeking repose within “Avast! gritted Ahab between his set teeth. very queer. But once. and kennel!” Starting at the unforseen concluding exclamation of the so suddenly scornful old man. take him fore and aft. and he’s queer too. as with heavy. ousness. and “Then be called ten times a donkey. and a mule. and violently movsix inches of his ivory heel. somehow.” said Stubb. be called a dog. “that thou wouldst wad me that fashion? But go thy ways. not yet. and the insertion into it. with a certain unassured. emboldened. then. Below to thy nightly grave.

What the into knots. baked brick had been on it? A hot old man! I guess he’s got Coming afoul of that old man has a sort of turned me wrong what some folks ashore call a conscience. I must have been dreaming. it’s a kind of Ticside out. and sleep when you can. Damn me. somehow. it’s worth a fellow’s while to be born into the world. It flashed like a bleached bone. and done with it. And now that I think of it. But that’s against my principles. and the coverlid almost tied his brow. and the pillow a sort of frightful hot. is my eleventh commandment. I wonder what he goes into the after hold for. and in the morning. Damn me. come to think of ‘em. though— Dolly-row they say—worse nor a toothache. He’s goes to hammock again. I should like to know? Who’s made appointments with him in the hold? Ain’t that queer. but all things are queer.Herman Melville out of the twenty-four. too. But how’s that? didn’t he call me a dog? blazes! he called me ten plaguey juggling thinks over by daylight. it’s the old game—Here goes for a snooze. and he don’t sleep then. I don’t How? how? how?—but the only way’s to stash it.” 129 . is my twelfth—So here goes again. the steward. what’s that for. that’s about the first thing babies do. Maybe he did finds the old man’s hammock clothes all rumpled and tumbled. as though a devil’s the matter with me? I don’t stand right on my legs. Well. if only to fall right asleep. and that’s a sort of queer. Think not. and I didn’t observe it. and piled a lot of jackasses on top of that! He Dough-Boy. I’ll see how this full of riddles. every night. well. I was so taken all aback with and the sheets down at the foot. Didn’t that times a donkey. kick me. tell me that of a morning he always might as well have kicked me. but the Lord keep me from catching it. as Dough-Boy tells me he suspects. By the Lord. now? But there’s no telling. so here know what it is.

and also his the waves. With slouched hat. like the dying whale. “How now. “this smoking no longer soothes. during which the thick vapour came from his mouth in quick and constant puffs. to windward. calling a sailor He tossed the still lighted pipe into the sea. and ignorantly smoking to windward all the while. HEN STUBB HAD DEPARTED. he sent him below for his ivory stool. and then. seated on that tripod of bones. not while leaning over the bulwarks. What business have I with this pipe? This thing that is meant for sereneness. my CHAPTER 30 The Pipe W 130 . Lighting the pipe at the binnacle lamp and planting the sinking pipe made. my final jets were the strongest and fullest of trouble. Oh. of the tusks of the narwhale. How could one look at Ahab then. and a great lord of Leviathans was Ahab. without bethinking him of the royalty it symbolized? For a Khan of the plank. I’ll smoke no more—” had been usual with him of late.Moby Dick pipe! hard must it go with me if thy charm be gone! Here have I been unconsciously toiling. he sat and smoked. In old Norse times. and a king of the sea. as among torn iron-grey locks like mine. the thrones of the sea-loving Danish kings were fabricated. The fire hissed in of the watch. the same instant the ship shot by the bubble the pipe. Ahab lurchingly paced stool on the weather side of the deck. Ahab stood for a to send up mild white vapours among mild white hairs. saith tradition.” he soliloquized at last. withdrawing the tube. and with such nervous whiffs. which blew back again into his face. not pleasuring—aye. the planks. Some moments passed. as if.

Such a phiz! But. but I was frightened. it was not much says I at last. upon my soul. Mr. with the points out.’ thinks I. You devilish broad insult. and I.’ And there’s a mighty Flask. than he turned round his stern difference between a living thump and a dead thump. ‘it was only a playful cudgelling—in fact. old self all the while. row? It’s not a real leg. Yes. Flask. why. man.Says I. I had no sooner said that. if a broad footed farmer kicked me. I somehow how. that after all. I kicked my leg right off! And then. is. there’s a “Such a queer dream. only a false leg. but a cane—a whalebone cane. Slid! man. my little While I was battering away at the pyramid. ‘And what business is that of yours. I was thinking to myself.Herman Melville that cursed pyramid—so confoundedly contradictory was it all. I say. and when I tried to kick back. and slews me round. But this insult is whittled down to a point know the old man’s ivory leg. ‘what’s his leg now. Besides. ‘Why. The living member— his stern was stuck full of marlinspikes. that kick from Ahab. I saw?—why thunder alive.’ thinks I. ‘what’s the to know. somedreams are—through all this rage that I was in. King-Post. while I was stubbing my silly toes against CHAPTER 31 Queen Mab N 131 . with a hump on his back. with it. next moment I was over the fright. ‘What are you ‘bout?’ says what was still more curious. ‘look at it once. savage to bear than a blow from a cane. that makes the living insult. ‘What am I about?’ seemed to be thinking to myself. takes me by the a pyramid. kept kicking at it. the end of it—the foot part—what a small sort of end it EXT MORNING Stubb accosted Flask.’ But now comes the greatest joke of the dream.’ thinks I. my little man. I never had. well I dreamed he kicked me only. But shoulders. like a blazing fool. presto! Ahab seemed haired old merman. Flask—you know how curious all he. mind. That’s to me. Humpback? Do you want a kick?’ By the lord. and dragging up a lot of seaweed he had for what makes a blow from the hand. all the while. whereas. And thinks I to my. I should like of an insult. fifty times more a clout—what do you think. Flask. bent over. on second thoughts. only a whaleboning that he gave me—not a base kick. ‘I guess I won’t kick you. a sort of badgerman.

split your lungs for him! “What do you think of that now.’ said he. and with a beautiful ivory leg. didn’t he?’ ‘Yes. for you can’t help yourself. Stubb. and made a wise man of.’ says I. and there I was in my hamney hag. that ye were kicked by old Ahab. Don’t you see that pyramid?’ With that. wise Stubb. he did. Stand by for it. ‘wise Stubb. Seeing he wasn’t going to stop saying over his ‘wise mock! Now. Flask. I consider it an honour. sideways looking over the stern? matter now. Halloa! What’s says I—’right here it was. man? Look ye—there’s something special in the wind. ‘Stop that kicking!’ ‘Halloa. Remember what I say. ‘Well then. BE kicked by him. didn’t he?’ ‘Yes. mum. tho. Listen. whatever he says. Flask.Moby Dick fellow.’ alone. he comes this way. and on no account kick back.’ says he. to swim off ing it all the time. ‘wise Stubb. eh? A white whale—did ye mark that. Ahab has that that’s bloody on his mind. a sort of eating of his own gums like a chiminto the air. in some queer fashion. what do you think of that dream. Flask? ain’t there a small drop of something queer about that. and made garter-knights of.” 132 .’ says he. Flask. was it? No. he did.’ ‘Very good.’ says I.’ ‘Wise Stubb. It’s an honour. But I had only just lifted my foot for it. is to let the old man the insult. you were kicked by a great man. but. rolled over. what have you to complain of? Didn’t he kick with right good will? it wasn’t a common pitch pine leg he kicked with. I snored. roared out. account his kicks honours. ‘let’s argue Well. may be. But. he all of a “Mast-head. But it’s made a wise man of me. it seems a sort of foolish to me.’ and kept mutter. old fellow?’ ‘Look ye here. wise Stubb. Captain Ahab kicked ye. never speak to him. when he “May be. be your boast. the best thing you can do. all of ye! There are whales hereabouts! If ye see a white one. In old England the greatest lords think it great glory to be slapped by a queen.’ I thought I might as well fall to kicking the “I don’t know. Stubb. Flask?” Stubb.’ says he—’he used that he shouts? Hark!” his ivory leg.’” pyramid again. ‘what’s the D’ye see Ahab standing there.sudden seemed somehow. there! Look sharp. wise Stubb.

Bennett.. nothing Artedi. who have at large or in allusions of all sorts which are to follow. Yet is it no easy Gesner. ties have laid down. that I would now fain put before you. less is here essayed.” but soon we shall be lost in its unshored. task. Listen to what the best and latest authoriDesmarest. Marten.” says Captain Scoresby. and Lesson. Willoughby. were it in my power. those lights of zoology and anatomy. A.. Nevertheere the Pequod’s weedy hull rolls side by side with the bar. Owen. Pliny.” “A field strewn with thorns. Brisson. little. the Au“No branch of Zoology is so much involved as that which is thor of Miriam Coffin. landsmen and seamen. Ere that come to pass. and John Hunter.. yet of books nacled hulls of the leviathan. the great Cuvier. The classification of the constituents of a chaos. J. Lacepede.Herman Melville inquiry as to the true method of dividing the cetacea into groups and families. genera. Green.D. entitled Cetology. Linnaeus. Aristotle. indications but serve to torture us naturalists. written of the whale. Sibbald. 1820. Many are the men. Utter confusion exists among the historians of this animal” (sperm whale). Baron Cuvier. Cheever.D. Sir Thomas Browne. and the Rev. T. to a matter almost indispensable to a thorough appreciative or the science of whales. understanding of the more special leviathanic revelations and old and new. at the outset it is but well to attend there are a plenty. 1839. though of real knowledge there be little. A. Olmstead.” “Impenetrable veil covering our knowledge of the cetacea. “Unfitness to pursue our research in the unfathomable waters. Beale.” “All these incomplete LREADY WE ARE BOLDLY launched upon the deep. says Surgeon Beale. and so in some small degree. small and great. Frederick Cuvier. John Hunter. But to what ultimate generalizing purpose all these have writ“It is not my intention.less. Aldrovandi. Thus speak of the whale. Rondeletius. with cetology. Scoresby. Ross Browne. Run over a few:—The Authors of It is some systematized exhibition of the whale in his broad the Bible. to enter into the CHAPTER 32 Cetology A 133 . Bonneterre. Ray. harbourless immensities.

if only an easy outline one for the present. scientific or poetic. his is an unwritten life. he is the best existing authority. Those books are Scoresby. only those followThere are only two books in being which at all pretend to ing Owen ever saw living whales. in real professional harpooneer and whaleman. because any human thing supposed to be complete. Far above all other hunted whales. it is of exceling. But the time has at last come for a new proclamation. On the separate subject of the Greenland or rightBeale’s and Bennett’s. Yet. will satisfy you that the Greenland whale. He is not even by any means the largest of the whales. though mostly confined to scientific description. without one rival. I shall not pretend to a minute anatomical description of the various species. hear ye! good people all. must for that very reason infallibly be faulty. but so far as it goes. the sperm whale. however. that the Greenland whale is an usurper lent quality. till some seventy years back. and both exact and reliable men. or—in this place at least—to much of any de134 . I promise nothing complete. and but one of them was a put the living sperm whale before you. and the profound ignorance which. and which ignorance to this present day still reigns in all but some few scientific retreats and whale-ports.Moby Dick ten. As no better man advances to take this matter in hand. The nothing and says nothing of the great sperm whale. This is Charing Cross. the above cited extracts will show. Now the various species of whales need some sort of popular comprehensive classification.—the Greenland whale is deposed. and at the same time. was to them the monarch of the seas.—the great As yet. both in their time surgeons to English whale. compared original matter touching the sperm whale to be found in their with which the Greenland whale is almost unworthy mentionvolumes is necessarily small. owing to the long priority of his claims. lives not complete in any literature. But Scoresby knew South-Sea whale-ships. I hereupon offer my own poor endeavors. upon the throne of the seas. And here be it said. sperm whale now reigneth! Of the names in this list of whale authors. Reference to nearly all the leviathanic allusions in the great poets of past days. invested the then fabulous or utterly unknown sperm-whale. hereafter to be filled in all its departments by subsequent laborers. this usurpation has been every way complete. I mean Captain the remotest degree succeed in the attempt.

their movable eyelids. ribs. I am in earnest. they are these: lungs and warm blood. However contracted. the whales from the waters. I have had to do with whales with these visible hands. “ex lege naturae jure meritoque. There are some preliminaries to settle. the opinion that the reasons set forth were altogether insufficient. against Linnaeus’s express edict. Post-Office is equal to it. waiving all argument. To grope down into the bottom of their hollow ears. 1776.” the sea after them. This fundamental thing settled. were still found dividing the possession of the same seas with the Leviathan. this is a to my friends Simeon Macey and Charley Coffin. Linnaeus declares.” But of my own knowledge. of Nantucket. no ordinary letter-sorter in the their warm bilocular heart. he states as follows: “On account of But it is a ponderous task. fearful thing. unsettled condition of this science of Cetology is in the very vestibule attested by the fact. that in some quarters it still remains a moot point whether a whale be a fish. Linnaeus has given you those items. I take the good old fashioned ground that the whale is a fish. then. and they united in this leviathan! The awful tauntings in Job might well appal me. “Will he the (leviathan) make a covenant with thee? Behold Charley profanely hinted they were humbug. Be it known that. My object here is simply to project the draught of a The grounds upon which Linnaeus would fain have banished systematization of cetology. penem intrantem feminam mammis lactantem. A walrus spouts much 135 . the hope of him is vain! But I have swam through libraries and sailed through oceans.” I submitted all this able foundations.Herman Melville scription. What am I that I should essay to hook the nose of both messmates of mine in a certain voyage. Above. to have one’s hands among the unspeak. all other fish are lungless and cold blooded. A. alewives and herring. But in brief. Next: how shall we define the whale. whereas. I am the architect. and very pelvis of the world.D. In his System of Nature. so as conspicuously to label him for all time to come? To be short. their lungs. a whale is a spouting fish with a horizontal tail. by his obvious externals. There you have him.and finally. not the builder. the next point is. and call upon holy Jonah to back me. First: The uncertain. in what internal respect does the whale differ from other fish. I know that down to the year 1850. sharks and shad. that definition is the result of expanded meditation. “I hereby separate the whales from the fish. and I will try.

horizontal position. of the By the above definition of what a whale is. spouting. III. among the English of old vaguely known as the Trumpa whale. 136 . Chapter I. the Hump-backed Whale. *I am aware that down to the present time. (Folio). and the Physeter whale. the fish styled Lamatins and Dugongs (Pig-fish and Sow-fish of the Coffins of Nantucket) are included by many naturalists among the whales. VI. Almost any one must have noticed comprehend them all. II. Now. but a vertical. or up-and-down tail.Moby Dick like a whale. Folios. I deny their credentials as whales. (Sperm Whale). because he is am. and the Macrocephalus of the Long Words. mostly lurking in the mouths of rivers. IV. but the walrus is not a fish. As the type of the Folio I present the sperm whale. of the Duodecimo. invariably assumes a Whale. the grampus. nor.—This whale. V. exclude from the leviathanic brotherhood any sea creature hitherto identified with the whale by the best informed Nantucketers. that all the fish familiar to landsmen have not a flat. The Folio Whale. I do by no means Octavo. contemptible set. the largest inhabitant of the globe. primary books (subdivisible into chapters). and these shall as coupled with the first. the Sulphur-bottom whale. without doubt. among spouting fish the I. the Duodecimo tail. the Right Whale.* Hence. But the last term of the definition is still more cogent. all the smaller. the porpoise. the Octavo Whale. then. The Sperm Whale. the most majestic in aspect. the Razor-back Whale. and have presented them with their passports to quit the Kingdom of Cetology. and especially as they do not spout. link with it any fish hitherto authoritatively regarded as alien. both small and large. Book I. and the Pottsfich of the Germans. Whereas. the Fin-back Whale. and the Anvil Headed whale. is the present Cachalot of the French. though it may be similarly shaped. and horizontal tailed fish must be included in this groundplan of Cetology. He is. II. come the grand divisions of the entire whale host. Among these I here include the following chapters:— I.First: According to magnitude I divide the whales into three phibious. III. on the other hand. But as these pig-fish are a noisy. and feeding on wet hay. the most formidable of all whales to encounter.

would seem. and the oil specially known as “whale proper individuality. being the one first do. its original name was still retained by the dealers. It is the whale which for more than two centuries past has been hunted by the Dutch and English in the Arctic seas. the creature identical with the one then known in England as the Greenland or Right Whale. but only as an ointment and medicament. on the Brazil Banks. the true nature of spermaceti became known. and various other parts of the world. It yields the article commonly known when the Sperm whale was almost wholly unknown in his own as whalebone or baleen. spermaceti. by far the most valuable in commerce. was popularly supposed to be derived from a the Greenland Whale. also. no doubt to enhance its value by a notion so strangely significant of its scarcity. and when his oil was only accidentally oil. And so the appellation must at last have come to be bestowed upon the whale True Whale.Herman Melville and lastly. it indiscriminately designated by all the following titles: The Whale. the Greenland Whale of the English whalemen. Chapter II. he is obtained from the stranded fish. in the course of time.—In one respect enlarged upon. in those days spermaceti. the Great Whale. on the Nor’ West Coast. (Right Whale). In those times. It was the idea also. is obtained. When. the Baliene Ordinaire of the French whalemen. (Folio). What then is the whale. not being used for light. as I opine. Philologically considered. It was only to be had from the druggists as you nowadays buy an ounce of rhubarb. It is chiefly with his name that I now have to this is the most venerable of the leviathans. that this same spermaceti was that quickening humor of the Greenland Whale which the first syllable of the word literally expresses. it is absurd. Some centuries ago. spermaceti was exceedingly scarce. the Right Whale. 137 . it is the whale which the American fishermen have long pursued in the Indian ocean. There is a deal of obscurity concerning the identity of the species thus multitudinously baptised.” an inferior article in commerce. be Book I. regularly hunted by man. the Growlands Walfish of the Swedes. only creature from which that valuable substance. the Black Whale. All his peculiarities will. he being the from which this spermaceti was really derived. designated by them Right Whale Cruising Grounds. which I include in the second species of my Folios? It is the Great Mysticetus of the English naturalists. Among the fishermen. in many other places.

this isolated fin will. that is. The right whale like fin stands up and casts shadows upon the wrinkled surwill be elsewhere treated of at some length. Even if not the slightest other part of the yet been presented a single determinate fact upon which to creature be visible. as to defy all present pursuit from man. among a theoretic species denominated Whalebone Whales. the Fin-Back is sometimes included with the right whale. always going solitary. as some men are man-haters. this leviathan seems the banished and unconquerable Cain of his race. the fin. but is of a less portly girth. is often a conspicuous object. in the New York packet-tracks. approaching to olive. at times. unexpectedly rising to the surface in the remotest and most sullen waters. and Long-John. has been seen almost in every sea and is commonly the whale whose distant jet is so often descried by passengers crossing the Atlantic. (Folio). On that Ahaz-dial the shadow often goes back. his straight and single lofty jet rising like a tall misanthropic spear upon a barren plain. In the length he attains. gifted with such wondrous power and velocity in swimming. ing it somewhat resembles a dial.Moby Dick Some pretend to see a difference between the Greenland fin is some three or four feet long.—Under this head I reckon a monster which. from which he derives his name. Chapter III. upon the most inconclusive differences. be seen plainly ground a radical distinction. and a lighter colour. slanting folds of large wrinkles. It is by endless subdivisions based projecting from the surface. and with a very they precisely agree in all their grand features. growing vertically from the whale of the English and the right whale of the Americans. This lines graved on it. by the various names of Fin-Back. that some departments and slightly marked with spherical ripples. But hinder part of the back. Tall-Spout. He seems a whalehater. The Fin-Back is not gregarious. His great lips present a cable-like aspect. with reference to face. of an angular shape. formed by the intertwisting. When the sea is moderately calm. 138 . the Fin-back resembles the right whale. and in his baleen. (Fin-back). nor has there sharp pointed end. Very shy. and this gnomonof natural history become so repellingly intricate. bearing for his mark that style upon his back. with its style and wavy hourBook I. His grand distinguishing feature. From having the baleen in his mouth. it may well be supposed that the watery circle surroundelucidating the sperm whale.

they form ever. the sperm whale and the humpbacked whale. And this is the Bibliographical system here adopted. or hump. most of which. To proceed. On this rock In connection with this appellative of “Whalebone whales. In various sorts of whales. without any regard to what may be the nature of their structure in other and more essential particulars.Herman Melville whales with baleen. these are things whose peculiarities are indiscriminately dispersed among all sorts of whales. or. and boldly sort them that way. in his kinds. and it is the only one that can possibly succeed. in his anatomy—there. but there again ample. And if you descend into the bowels of the various leviathans. back-fin. we shall be kind of whales. why there you will not find distinctions a fiftieth part as available to the systematizer as those external ones already enumerated. Broad-nosed whales and beaked whales. bunched whales.” every one of the whale-naturalists has split. notwithstanding that those marked parts or features very obviously seem better adapted to afford the basis for a regular system of Cetology than any other detached bodily distinctions. the similitude ceases. such an irregular isolation. in the internal parts menclature may be convenient in facilitating allusions to some of the whale. And it is just the same with the other there would seem to be several varieties. howparts above mentioned. and teeth. that however such a noBut it may possibly be conceived that. are little known. presents. founded upon either his baleen. eral methodization formed upon such a basis. How then? The baleen. or fin. what thing. Of these so called Whalebone whales. in their entire liberal volume. each has a hump. Nay. it is of great importance to mention. such irregular combinations. Then. for exof the Leviathan. as utterly to defy all genand rostrated whales. but there the similitude ceases. for it alone is practicable. are the fishermen’s names for a few sorts. Thus. yet it is in vain to attempt a clear classification able to hit the right classification. hump. in the case of any one of them pike-headed whales. is there in the Greenland whale’s anatomy more striking than his baleen? Yet we have seen that by his baleen it is impossible correctly to classify the Greenland whale. which the whale. What then remains? nothing but to take hold of the whales bodily. each of these has baleen. 139 . at least. or teeth. this same humpbacked whale and the Greenland whale. under-jawed whales detached.

Chapter VI. Octavoes.. At any rate. Because. while the whales of this order. (Hump-back). Adieu. nor does anybody else. He has been fre.—Another very plain..—This whale is divings. whose loud sonorous breathing. He Thus ends Book I. he eludes both hunters and philosophers. (Folio). though smaller than those of the former order. but the Octavo volume does.. the Grampus. (Sulphur-bottom). or rather blowing. and then always at too quently captured there. V. at least I have never seen him often seen on the northern American coast. He is never chased. the Killer. II. Prodigies are told and Castle whale. he has never yet shown any part of him but his back. a hump though a smaller one.. making more gay foam and white water generally than any other of them. Let him go. the Narwhale. and now begins Book II. the popular name for him does of him. with a brimstone belly. I know little more of him. I have seen him at a distance off Cape Horn. (Folio). Sulphur Bottom! I can say nothing more that is not sufficiently distinguish him.*—These embrace the whales of middling magnitude. He is the most gamesome and light-hearted of all tavo). Chapter V. among which present may be numbered:—I. and towed into harbor. (Grampus). pack on him like a peddler. His oil is not very valuable. which rises in a long sharp ridge. (Octavo). the Black Fish. (Razor-back). IV.except in the remoter southern seas. or you might call him the Elephant he would run away with rope-walks of line.. 140 . Book I. III. since the sperm whale also has true of ye. nevertheless retain a retiring gentleman. Book II. (Folio). Though no coward. He has a great great a distance to study his countenance. doubtless got by proportionate likeness to them in figure. (Ochas baleen. has fur- *Why this book of whales is not denominated the Quarto is Book I. Of a retiring nature.—Of this whale little is known but his name. the whales. yet the bookbinder’s scraping along the Tartarian tiles in some of his profounder Quarto volume in its dimensioned form does not preserve the shape of the Folio volume. He is seldom seen.Moby Dick Book I (Folio) Chapter IV. nor can the oldest Nantucketer.—Though this fish. the Thrasher. Chapter I.

(Octavo).—Another instance of a curiously named whale. I shall say so. So. it would be 141 .wax. He has a peculiar way of showing the deep. he is never regularly hunted. touching the Black Fish. (Narwhale). in the absence of company. growing out from the jaw in a line a little depressed from the horizontal. and suggest another. I do so now. this horn is but a lengthened tusk. varying from fifteen to twenty-five feet in length. Nostril Whale. the sperm most naturalists have recognised him for one. while its horn averages five feet. call him the Hyena Whale. burn unsavory tallow instead of odorous erable in quantity. (Black Fish). Book II. and from the circumstance that the inner angles of his lips are curved upwards. The creature is some sixteen feet in length. is so well known a denizen of found in almost all latitudes. some of these whales men his approach is regarded as premonitory of the advance will yield you upwards of thirty gallons of oil. This whale averages some sixteen or eighteen feet in length. if you please. He is of moder. and pretty good for light.—I give the popular fishermen’s names for all these fish. a Roman nose. for generally they are the best. because blackness is the rule among almost all whales. Though their blubber is very thin. By some fisher. But it is only found on the sinister side. though his oil is considalone by themselves. Strictly speaking. and even attain to fifteen feet. that is. so-called. he carries an everlasting Mephistophelean grin on his face. so named I suppose from his peculiar horn being originally mistaken for a peaked nose.Herman Melville nished a proverb to landsmen. What precise purpose this ivory horn or lance answers. He is Book II.whale hunters sometimes capture the Hyena whale. to keep ate octavo size. which looks something like possessing all the grand distinctive features of the leviathan. though some exceed ten. giving its owner something analogous to the aspect of a clumsy left-handed man. Where any name happens to be vague or inexpressive. But his dorsal hooked fin in swimming. He swims frugal housekeepers. (Octavo). Chapter III. When not more profitably employed. of the great sperm whale. which has an ill effect. His voracity is well known. Chapter II. yet is he not popularly classed among whales. up the supply of cheap oil for domestic employment—as some and of corresponding dimensions round the waist. and quite in herds.

rising to the surface of the Polar bended knees he presented to her highness a prodigious long Sea. thrusts his horn up. His oil is very superior. From what I have seen of him at a distance. dotted with round and oblong spots of black. Charley Coffin said it was used for an ice.—Of this whale little is precisely known to the Nantucketer. as his bold ship sailed down the Thames. and so horn of the Narwhale. clear and fine. leopard-like look. and the Unicorn whale. I should say that he was about the bigness of a grampus. But you cannot prove either of these surmises castle at Windsor. and as such. My own opinion is. “when Sir the sea for food. did likewise present to her highness horn may really be used by the Narwhale—however that may another horn. preparations of it brought immense prices.Martin returned from that voyage. when Queen Bess did gallantly sword-fish and bill-fish. the same way that the horns of the male deer are manufactured into hartshorn. that however this one-sided icester. the Horned whale. It does not seem to be used like the blade of the on his return from that voyage.” An Irish author avers that the Earl of Leto be correct. (Octavo). The Narwhale I have heard called the Tusked whale. He is very savage—a sort of Feegee fish. He is mostly found in the circumpolar seas.Moby Dick hard to say. for the Narwhale. It was also distilled to a volatile salts for fainting ladies. Black Letter tells me that Sir Martin Frobisher The Narwhale has a very picturesque. From certain cloistered old authors I have gathered that this same sea-unicorn’s horn was in ancient days regarded as the great antidote against poison. on bended knees. and finding it sheeted with ice. which for a long period after hung in the breaks through. and nothing at all to the professed naturalist. and hangs there like a 142 . be—it would certainly be very convenient to him for a folder in reading pamphlets.” saith Black Letter. and he is seldom hunted. (Killer). Book II. pertaining to a land beast of the unicorn nature. though some sailors tell me that the wave her jewelled hand to him from a window of Greenwich Narwhale employs it for a rake in turning over the bottom of Palace. He sometimes takes the great Folio whales by the lip. Originally it was in itself accounted an object of great curiosity. “on piercer. being of a milk-white ground colour. Chapter IV. but there is little of it. He is certainly a curious example of the Unicornism to be found in almost every kingdom of animated nature.

till the mighty brute is worried to death. a spouting fish. the spirit of godly gamesomeness is not in ye. (Huzza Porpoise). I. Bonapartes and Sharks included. Chapter V. I call him thus. which he uses for a ferule in thrashing his foes. But the creatures set down above as Duodecimoes ground of its indistinctness. Their appearance is generally hailed with delight by the mariner.Herman Melville leech. in the popular sense. which. The Algerine Porpoise. But the fine and delicate fluid extracted from his jaws is exceed143 . Still less is known of the Thrasher than of the Killer. as some schoolmasters get along in the world by a similar process. that fishes not commonly exceedBook III. plump Huzza Porpoise will yield you one good gallon of good oil. The Huzza Porpoise. then heaven help ye. (Duodecimo). II. To those who have not chanced specially to study the subject. He mounts the Folio whale’s back. by the terms of my definition of what a on sea. The Killer is ing four or five feet should be marshalled among whales—a never hunted. and begins Book III. Full of fine spirits. They are the lads that always live before the wind. Chapter 1. which upon the broad sea keep tossing themselves to heaven like caps in a Fourth-of-July crowd. on the hugeness. on land and are infallibly whales.—These include the smaller whales. (Thrasher).— This is the common porpoise found almost all over the globe. (Duodecimo). it may possibly seem strange. and something must be done to distinguish them. (Octavo). For we are all killers. The Mealymouthed Porpoise. Duodecimoes. I never heard what sort of oil he has. III. because he always swims in hilarious shoals. (Octavo). If you yourself can withstand three cheers at beholding these vivacious fish. they invariably come from the breezy billows to windward. They are accounted a lucky omen. Exception word. A well-fed. The name is of my own bestowal. and as he swims.—This gentleman is famous for his tail. he works his passage by flogging him. even in the lawless seas.e. for there are more than one sort of porpoises. Both are outlaws. with a horizontal tail. always conveys an idea of might be taken to the name bestowed upon this whale. Thus ends Book II. Book II. whale is—i.

It is in request among jewellers and watchmak. But the next time you have a chance. I know by reputation. his mouth. you have all the Leviathans of note. Chapter III. as an American whaleman. Book III. is that of the fishers—RightWhale Porpoise. but never yet saw him captured. and he will buckle to a shark. by which he has hitherto been designated. If any of the following whales. inasmuch as the Porpoise is the smallest of the whales. (Duodecimo). which. but much of the same general make. distinct as the mark in a and you will then see the great Sperm whale himself in miniature. The white comprises part of his head. Indeed. he is of quite a neat and gentleman-like figure. who may complete what I have here but begun. In shape. yet a boundary line. which makes him look as if he had just escaped from He is somewhat larger than the Huzza Porpoise. in the Pacific. his spout is so small that it is not very readily mouth spoils all. Porpoise meat is good eating. watch him. fugitive. Provoke him. from the circumstance that he is chiefly found in the vicinity of that Folio. He is only found. he differs in some degree from the Huzza Porpoise. and the whole of A pirate. The only English name. a felonious visit to a meal-bag. Above. (Duodecimo). Sailors put it on their hones. so far as it is known.—The largest kind of Porpoise.indeed. ship’s hull. But his mealyspouts. black above and white Book III. But there are a rabble of uncertain. shall hereafter be caught and marked. I shall enumerate them by their fore-castle appellations. It may never have occurred to you that a porpoise tail. this system does not proceed. no fins on his back (most other porpoises have). Very savage. for possibly such a list may be valuable to future investigators. of a deep sable. A most mean and mealy aspect! His oil is much like that of the common porpoise. (Mealy-mouthed Porpoise). (Algerine Porpoise). BEYOND THE DUODECIMO. with two separate colours. He has ers. and sentimental Indian eyes of a hazel hue.” that line streaks him from stem to stern. he has a lovely you know. Chapter II.— below. and only found in the Pacific. I think. being of a less rotund and jolly girth. but not personally. Though his entire back down to his side fins is discernible. then he can 144 .Moby Dick ingly valuable. I have lowered for him many times. half-fabulous whales. called the “bright waist.

You cannot but plainly see is evinced by the fact. with the crane still standing upon the top of the uncompleted tower. Cash. the Iceberg Whale. the Coppered Whale. the command of a whale ship that I have kept my word. full of existence of the harpooneer class of officers. Literally this word means Fat-Cutter. this landic. the Leading Whale.Herman Melville readily be incorporated into this System. perfected. and at once. In by their first architects. Leviathanism. This whole book is but a draught—nay. the Cape Whale. however. From IceONCERNING THE OFFICERS of the whale-craft. there might be quoted seems as good a place as any to set down a little other lists of uncertain whales. etc. and can hardly help suspecting them for mere sounds. In the British Greenland CHAPTER 33 The Specksynder C 145 . or Duodecimo magnitude:—The Bottle-Nose Whale. But I omit them as altogether obsolete. the Junk Whale. the Cannon Whale. while over the anything. but the whale-hunting department and all its concerns. grand ones. that originally in the old Dutch Fishery. the Specksynder draught of a draught. blessed with all manner of undomestic peculiarity on ship-board. the captain’s authority was restricted to the navicopestone to posterity. the Scragg Whale. God keep me from ever completing gation and general management of the vessel. Octavo. even as the great Cathedral was not wholly lodged in the person now called the captain. that this system would not be here. Dutch. usage. arising from the couth names. in time made it equivalent to Chief Harpooneer. The large importance attached to the harpooneer’s vocation Finally: It was stated at the outset. the Quog Whale. Time. two centuries and more ago. but was divided between him and an officer called the of Cologne was left. the Blue Whale. true ones. according to his Folio. ever leave the those days. and Patience! or Chief Harpooneer reigned supreme. For small erections may be finished Specksynder. the Elephant Whale. and old English authorities. Oh. But I now leave my cetological System standing thus unfinished. Strength. the Pudding-Headed Whale. a class unknown of course in any other marine than the whale-fleet. but signifying nothing.

Now. yet. and though the only homage he ever exacted. high or low. for all that. though always. At present he ranks simply as senior Harpooneer. as upon the good conduct of the profits. and be in some way distinguished as their professional superior. depend for their terns. but under certain circumstances (night less rigorous discipline than in merchantmen generally. but his former dignity is sadly far the longest of all voyages now or ever made by man). though he required no man to remove the 146 . and so. the mates have their quarters with the captain. peculiar perils of it. too. this old Though the long period of a Southern whaling voyage (by Dutch official is still retained. whalemen may. and sleep in a place indirectly communicating with it. the abridged. in some primitive instances. That is to say. live together. is but one of the captain’s more inferior subalamong a company. together with their common vigilance. and the community of interest prevailing and as such. nay. never watches on a whaling ground) the command of the ship’s deck mind how much like an old Mesopotamian family these is also his. extorting almost as much outward homage as if he wore the imperial purple. in whale-ships and merchantmen alike. though all these things do in some cases tend to beget a officer in the boat. the last forward. was implicit. under the corrupted title of Specksioneer. the punctilious externals. and hard and since in the American Fishery he is not only an important work. Indeed. therefore the grand political maxim of the sea demands. harpooneers the success of a whaling voyage largely depends. familiarly regarded as their social equal. intrepidity. by them. Hence. in most of the American whalers the harpooneers are lodged in the after part of the ship. of the quarter-deck are seldom materially relaxed. and in no instance done away. not upon fixed wages. that he should nominally live apart from the men before the mast. Nevertheless. and not the shabbiest of pilot-cloth. the grand distinction drawn between officer and man at sea. is this—the first lives aft. many are the Nantucket ships in which you will see the skipper parading his quarter-deck with an elated grandeur not surpassed in any military navy. but upon their common luck.Moby Dick Fishery. instantaneous obedience. at least. And though of all men the moody captain of the Pequod was the least given to that sort of shallowest assumption. all of whom. they take their meals in the captain’s cabin.

all outward majestical trappings and housings are denied me. always. Nor. Such large virtue lurks connected with events hereafter to be detailed. than through their undoubted supethough there were times when. For be a man’s intellectual superiority what it will. yet even Captain Ahab was by no means have imparted potency. and leaves the highest honours that this air can give. as the one now alluded to. will the tragic dramahimself. I must not conceal that I have only to do with a poor old whale-hunter like him. my Captain. it must needs be plucked at from the skies. and in this episode touching Emperors and Kings. This it is. he sometimes masked fore the tremendous centralization. it can never assume the practical. as it were. that be. to those men who become famous more through their infinite inferiority to the choice hidden and direct swing. and featured in the unbodied air! 147 . which had otherwise in a good degree remained unmanifested. That certain sultanism of his brain. will it fail to be eventually perceived. the plebeian herds crouch abased behind those forms and usages. But Ahab.Herman Melville shoes from his feet ere stepping upon the quarter-deck. that in some royal instances even to idiot imbecility they rorem. ever forget a hint. in themselves. incidentally so important in his art. perhaps. whether of condescension or in terthem. or otherwise. then. the ringed crown of geographical empire encircles Nor. therefore. through those forms that same sultanism became incarnate in an irresistible dictatorship. But when. he addressed in these small things when extreme political superstitions invest them in unusual terms. as in the case of Nicholas unobservant of the paramount forms and usages of the sea. owing to peculiar circumstances riority over the dead level of the mass. that for ever keeps God’s true princes of the Empire from the world’s hustings. the imperial brain. without the aid of some sort of external arts and entrenchments. and handful of the Divine Inert. still moves before me in all his Nantucket grimness and shagginess. Oh. available supremacy over other men. incidentally making use of them for other and more tist who would depict mortal indomitableness in its fullest sweep private ends than they were legitimately intended to subserve. and dived for in the deep. and. more or less paltry and base. Ahab! what shall be grand in thee.

and kicking off his shoes. to see whether it will be all right with that important rope. pitching his cap up into the mizentop shaped tablet. hilarious little Flask enters King Ahab’s saying. then. pale loaf-of-bread face from the cabin-scuttle. announces for. unexhilarated voice. the steward. in the character of Abjectus. dinner to his lord and master. Mr. and in an even. presence. reserved for that daily purpose on the upper for a shelf. swings himself to the deck.” disappears into the cabin. or the Slave. he goes down rollicking so far at least as he repart of his ivory leg. takes a few the deck some officers will. seems to feel relieved from some curious restraint. has every reason to suppose that he is tense artificialness of sea-usages. Flask. CHAPTER 34 The Cabin-Table I 148 . thrusting his ter-deck. and now mutely reckoning the latitude on the smooth. tipping all sorts of knowing winks in all sorts of directions. nacle. then Starbuck rouses from his quietude. and It is not the least among the strange things bred by the inStarbuck. When the last echo of his sultan’s step has died away. medallion. ings. catching hold of the mizen shrouds. But the third Emir. But presently.mains visible from the deck. “Dinner. and with a rapid “Dinner. yet.then. he pauses. now seeing himself all alone on the quarT IS NOON. bear themselves turns along the planks. he strikes into a sharp but noiseless ter-boat. he cabin doorway below. with some touch of pleasantness. and then slightly shaking the main brace. and. Mr. “Dinner.” follows after his predecessors. he likewise takes up the old burden. that while in the open air of seated. reversing all other processions.Moby Dick Stubb. From his complete inattention to the tid. The second Emir lounges about the rigging awhile. by a dexterous sleight.” and descends the scuttle. who. and Dough-Boy. Starbuck. upon provocation. after a grave peep into the bin. you would think that moody Ahab had not heard his by bringing up the rear with music. But ere stepping into the menial. Mr. says.boldly and defyingly enough towards their commander. ships a new face altogether. and is squall of a hornpipe right over the Grand Turk’s head. the first Emir. and. sitting in the lee quar. has just been taking an observation of the sun. independent.

as he sits at the head of the table. only he himself was dumb. I vellous. his would have been the drum149 . Who has but once dined his friends. by inference. perchance. eaten in awful silence. the knife grazed against the plate. But he who in the rightly regal and intelligent Ahab thereby motioned Starbuck’s plate towards him. this is marthe old man’s knife. His were the shinbones of the saline beef. even upon so neuBabylon. and a little started if. then. and little boy of this weary family party. their intent eyes all fastened upon air towards him. let those very officers the next moment go down to waited to be served. What a relief it was to choking Stubb. surrounded by his warlike but still deferential cubs. their customary dinner in that same commander’s cabin. as he carved the chief dish before him. not haughtily but cour. that man’s royalty of state transcends Belshazzar’s. the mate spirit presides over his own private dinner-table of invited guests.Herman Melville ten to one. for Belshazzar was not the greatest. dane grandeur. where the German Emperor profoundly dines with the seven Imperial Electors. not without circumspection. and cut it tenderly. Over his ivory-inlaid table. In his own proper turn. And poor little Flask. sometimes most comical. They were as little children before Ahab. like the Coronation banquet at Frankfort. between which the slice of beef was locked. No! And when reaching out his teously.tral a topic as the weather. and yet at table old Ahab forbade not conversation. has tasted what it is to be Caesar. Now. maned sea-lion on the white coral beach. he was the youngest son. in Ahab. Ahab presided like a mute. and swallowed it. when a rat made a sudden racket in the hold below. and chewed it noiselessly. For. and to have been Belshazzar. It is a witchery of social czarship which there is no withstanding. each officer received his meat as though receiving alms. not to say deprecatory and humble arrogance. there seemed not to lurk the smallest social straightway their inoffensive. therein certainly must have been some touch of munknife and fork. With one mind. To have been Belshazzar. you will derive the cause of that peculiarity of sea-life just mentioned. if to this consideration you superadd the official supremacy of a ship-master. King of that moment with the slightest observation. and and yet. so these cabin meals were somehow solemn meals. that man’s unchallenged power and dominion of individual influence for the time. Wherefore this difference? do not suppose that for the world they would have profaned A problem? Perhaps not.

on account of its clotting his clear. Consider! For hereby Flask’s dinner was badly jammed in point of time. on so long a voyage in such marketless waters. Peace and satisnever so much as noticed it. who is but a peg higher than Flask. and Flask is the first man up. as I used to when I was becomplexion. for it is against holy usage for Stubb to precede Flask to have seemed to him tantamount to larceny in the first degree. or whether he deemed that. nevertheless. never more that ever since he had arisen to the dignity of an officer. There’s the fruits of promotion now. and soon shows symptoms of concluding his repast. alas! was a butterless man! Another thing. Therefore it was that Flask once admitted in private. he will not get more than three mouthfuls that fore the mast. the deck. how I wish I could fish a bit of oldship denied it to him. butter was at a premium. Ahab never forbade him. Flask. Whether he thought the owners of the ach. Flask was the last person down at the dinner. happens to have but a small appetite. And then the three harpooneers were bidden 150 . but. the canvas cloth was cleared. then Flask must bestir himself. For what he ate did not so much And had Flask helped himself.Moby Dick sticks. the chances were Ahab had relieve his hunger. in order to obtain ample vengeance. doubtless. strange to say. if it were so that any mere sailor of the Pequod had a grudge against Flask in Flask’s official capacity. taking place in inverted order to their arrival. and therefore was not for him. and get a peep at Flask through the cabin sky-light. If Stubb even. Had he helped himself at that table. or rather was restored to some hurried order by the pallid steward. After their departure. sitting silly and dumfoundered before awful Ahab. there’s the vanity of glory: there’s the insanity of life! Besides. have for ever departed from my stomhelp himself to butter. Now. Least of all. than hungry. Starbuck and Stubb both had the start of him. all that sailor had to do. Ahab and his three mates formed what may be called the first table in the Pequod’s cabin. did Flask presume to faction. and yet they also have the privilege of lounging in the rear. however it was. I am an officer. was to go aft at dinner-time. For Flask to have presumed to help himself. this must day. a subaltern. thought Flask. more or less. sunny fashioned beef in the forecastle. from would he have been able to hold his head up in this honest that moment he had never known what it was to be otherwise world. as keep it immortal in him.

after seemasters. While their whole life was one continual lip-quiver. they filled their bellies like Indian ships all day loading with spices. knife in hand. making the low cabin framework to shake. They dined like joining. this bread-faced steward. harpoon-wise. began laying out the circle preliminary door. And what with the standnameless invisible domineerings of the captain’s table. of their own jaws. And once Daggoo. It seemed hardly possible that by such comparatively small mouthfuls he could keep up the vitality diffused through so broad. was the ing spectacle of the black terrific Ahab. and fearfully peep out at them through the blinds of its lords. seemingly quarried out of the solid ox. Such portentous appetites had Queequeg and Tashtego. the great negro was wonderfully abstemious. seemed afraid of the sound of the hinges ing the harpooneers furnished with all things they demanded. not to say dainty. they being its residuary legatees. and the periodical entire care-free license and ease. doubtless. Dough-Boy’s racy of those inferior fellows the harpooneers. the almost frantic democtumultuous visitations of these three savages. seized with a sudden humor. as when an African elephant goes passenger in a ship. and thrusting his head into a great empty wooden trencher. shuddering sort of temporary servants’ hall of the high and mighty cabin. if he did not go with a nimble hopskip-and-jump. assisted Dough-Boy’s memory by snatching him up bodily. till all was over. that to fill out the vacancies made by the previous repast. He was naturally a very nervous. the mates.Herman Melville to the feast. But for all this. at every motion of his colossal limbs. Commonly. this noble savage fed strong and drank deep of the 151 . They made a to scalping him. opposing his filed teeth to the Indian’s: crosswise to them. It was a sight to see Queequeg seated over against Tashtego. And if he were not lively about it. often the pale Dough-Boy was fain to bring on a great baron of salt-junk. sort of little fellow. the progeny of a In strange contrast to the hardly tolerable constraint and bankrupt baker and a hospital nurse. while Tashtego. But. baronial. for a bench would have brought his hearse-plumed head to the low carlines. and superb a person. Daggoo seated on the floor. then Tashtego had an ungentlemanly way of accelerating him by darting a fork at his back. the harpooneers chewed their food with he would escape from their clutches into his little pantry adsuch a relish that there was a report to it.

in the cabin was no companionship. Not by beef or by bread. and with which whetstones. and through his dilated nostrils snuffed gling in them at every step. before sleeping-time. that grating sound did not at all tend to tranquillize poor Dough-Boy. must certainly have been guilty of some murderous. as a set. all their martial bones jinthat by rights the ship’s cabin belongs to them. as a permanent thing. socially. permitted there. as the last of the Grisly Bears lived in settled Missouri. for one. But. Nor did the whetstone which the harpooneers carried in their pockets. rather incline to the opinion in the pantry. the mates and harpooneers of the Pequod might more properly be said to have lived out of the cabin than in it. though. at any time. and just see whether any marks of teeth lurked in his own lean arms. fable-mongering ears. who. to his credulous. but a buckler. in real truth. Though nominally included in the census of Christendom. though these barbarians dined in the cabin. they were scarcely ever in it except at mealtimes. for their lances and other weapons. the three salt-sea warriors would rise and depart. it was something as a street-door enters a house. and. only to be turned out the next. to his great delight. turning inwards for a moment. by his sudden fits of the palsy. Ahab was inaccessible. Alas! Dough-Boy! hard fares the white waiter who waits upon cannibals. Ahab seemed no exception to most Amerited steward all but shattered the crockery hanging round him can whale captains. And as when Spring 152 . But Queequeg. that his bones might be picked.peculiar quarters. For when they did enter it. are bards. they would ostentatiously sharpen their knives. and that it is by courtesy alone that anybody else is. when they passed through it to their own And when he would hear Tashtego singing out for him to pro. duce himself. that the trembling Dough-Boy almost looked to its. and nomibarbaric smack of the lip in eating—an ugly sound enough— nally lived there. still. convivial indiscretions. residing in the open air. Not a napkin should he carry on his arm. Queequeg. giants made or nourished. being anything but sedentary in their habso much so. the simple-witIn this one matter. So that. How could he forget that in his Island days. he was still an alien to it. He lived in the world.Moby Dick abounding element of air. like Moorish scimetars in scabin the sublime life of the worlds. In good time. he had a mortal. Nor did they lose much hereby. at dinner.

burying himself in the hollow of a tree. and not till her skysailpoles sail in among the spires of the port. after a three. or five years’ voyage she is drawing nigh home with anything empty in her—say. that in due rotation with the other seamen my first mast-head came round. as the business of standing mast-heads. because. lived out the winter there. In most American whalemen the mast-heads are manned almost simultaneously with the vessel’s leaving her port. let us in some measure expatiate here. in all my reT WAS DURING 153 . that the earliest standers of mast-heads were the old Egyptians. ashore or afloat. four. in his inclement. sucking his own paws. does she altogether relinquish the hope of capturing one whale more. And if. Now. even though she may have fifteen thousand miles. so. Ahab’s soul. and more. shut up in the caved trunk of his body. howling old age. an empty vial even—then. is a very ancient and interesting one. to sail ere reaching her proper cruising ground. I take it. her mastheads are kept manned to the last. there fed upon the sullen paws of its gloom! CHAPTER 35 The Mast-Head I the more pleasant weather. that wild Logan of the woods.Herman Melville and Summer had departed.

Great pyramids were founded for astronomical purposes: a theory singularly supported by the peculiar stair-like formation of all four sides of those edifices. But neither great Washington. for where there is smoke. token is yet given that a hidden hero is there. Louis Blanc. must doubtless. literally tors. hoisting his food from the ground with a tackle. by their tower. upon the top of the column of Babel builders priority over the Egyptians. who. stands with arms folded. whereby. hail. and descry what shoals 154 . the builders of Babel. careless. however it may be surmised. we cannot give these sight. For though their progenior sleet. also. Of modern standers-of-mast-heads we have have intended to rear the loftiest mast-head in all Asia. who. are still entirely incompestone mast of theirs may be said to have gone by the board. and sing out for new stars. in tent to the business of singing out upon discovering any strange the dread gale of God’s wrath. too. therefore. iron. mere stone. will answer a single hail from below. and bronze men. that the first whether Louis Philippe. and like one of Hercules’ pillars. died at his post. nor Nelson. though rica either. however madly invoked to befriend by their counsels the distracted decks upon which they gaze. I find none prior to them. who built him a lofty stone pillar in the desert and spent the whole latter portion of his life on its summit. and ever when most obscured by that London smoke. now. And that the Egyp. In Saint Stylites. with prodigious long upliftings of their legs. his column marks that point of human grandeur beyond which few mortals will go. that their spirits penetrate through the thick haze of the future. who was not to be driven from his place by fogs or frosts. Admiral Nelson. stands high aloft on his towering main-mast in Baltimore.Vendome. some one hundred and tians were a nation of mast-head standers.but a lifeless set. is an assertion based fifty feet in the air. nor Napoleon. on a capstan of gun-metal. in him we have a remarkable instance of a dauntless stander-of-mast-heads. There is Napoleon. even as the look-outs of a modern ship sing out for a sail. rain. or Af. who rules the decks below. the famous Christian hermit of old times. or a whale just bearing in sight. yet (ere the final truck was put to it) as that great well capable of facing out a stiff gale.Moby Dick searches. but valiantly facing everything out to the last. must be fire. upon the general belief among archaeologists. stands his mast-head in Trafalgar Square. or Louis the Devil. Washington. those old astronomers were wont to mount to the apex.

to a dreamy meditative man it is delightful. For the most part. upon descrying the game. the seamen taking their regular turns (as at the helm). There you stand. everything resolves you into languor. blow. lost in the infinite series of the sea. a hundred feet above the silent decks. a sublime uneventfulness invests you. are never troubled with the thought of what you shall have for dinner—for all your meals for three years and more are snugly stowed in casks. stands accountable. you hear of no domestic afflictions. extras with startling acto which the look-outs ascended by means of nailed cleats. that of a whale-ship at sea. the drowsy trade winds thy Obed tells us. bankrupt securities. the in this tropic whaling life. who. ere ships were regularly launched in pursuit of the game. as often happens. beneath you and between your legs. on a long three or four years’ voyage. and relieving each other every two hours. There you stand. the sum of the various hours you spend at the mast-head would amount to several entire months. even as ships once sailed between the head standers of the land with those of the sea. And it is much to be deplored that the place to which you devote so considerable a portion of the whole term of your natural life. as it were. while excitements. In the serene weather of the tropics it is exceedingly pleasant the mast-head. But this custom has now become obsolete. The wor. it is not so. is plainly evinced by an item for which Obed Macy.Herman Melville and what rocks must be shunned. as if the masts were gigantic stilts. fall of stocks. should be so sadly destitute of anything approaching to a cosy inhabitiveness. swim the hugIt may seem unwarrantable to couple in any respect the mast. but that in truth boots of the famous Colossus at old Rhodes. In one of those southern whalesmen. The tranced ship indolently rolls. gave notice to the ready-manned boats nigh the beach. read no gazettes.waves. turn we then to the one proper mast-head. people of that island erected lofty spars along the sea-coast. striding along the deep. that in the early times of the whale fishery. with nothing ruffled but the the sole historian of Nantucket. and your bill of fare is immutable. A few years ago this same plan was adopted by the Bay whalemen of New Zealand. nay.est monsters of the sea. or adapted to breed a com155 . you hear no news. The three mast-heads are kept manned from sun-rise to sun-set. counts of commonplaces never delude you into unnecessary something as fowls go upstairs in a hen-house.

he being the original inventor and patentee. a coach. Concerning all this. however. or side next the stern of the ship. Being fixed on the summit of the mast. in honour of himself. a hamlook-outs of a Greenland whaler are protected from the inmock. so a watch-coat is not so much of a house as it is a mere envelope. a pulpit. com156 . You cannot put a shelf or chest of drawers in your body. He called it the Sleet’s crow’sshape of a watch-coat. where you stand upon two thin parallel of the Lost Icelandic Colonies of Old Greenland. is a comfortable seat. the beginner feels about a charmingly circumstantial account of the then recently inas cosy as he would standing on a bull’s horns. On the after side.Moby Dick fortable localness of feeling. tossed about by the sea. all standers of mast-heads are furnished with trees. a sentry box. or additional skin encasing you. Your most usual point of perch is the head of the Greenland Whale. a hearse. and no more can you make a convenient closet of your watch-coat. entitled “A Voyage among the Icebergs. and holding that if we call our own children after our own names (we fathers being the original inventors and patentees). and cannot freely move about in it. nor even move out of it. and incidentally for the re-discovery of the t’ gallant-mast. called crow’s-nests. and free from all ridiculous false delicacy. so likewise should we denominate after ourselves any other apparatus we may beget. it is much to be deplored that the mastheads of a southern whale ship are unprovided with those enviable little tents or pulpits. Here. you ascend into it through a little trap-hatch in the bottom. it is open above. in which the nest. in the Captain Sleet’s good craft. but properly speaking the thickest watch-coat is no more of a house than the unclad body. To be sure. without running great risk of perishing (like an ignorant pilgrim crossing the snowy Alps in winter). with a locker underneath for umbrellas. for as the soul is glued inside of its fleshy tabernacle. in vented crow’s-nest of the Glacier. In shape. where it is furnished with a movable side-screen to keep to windward of your head in a hard gale. which was the name of cold weather you may carry your house aloft with you. or any other clement weather of the frozen seas. In the fireside narrative of of those small and snug contrivances in which men temporarily Captain Sleet.” in this adsticks (almost peculiar to whalemen) called the t’ gallant crossmirable volume. in quest isolate themselves. the Sleet’s crow’s-nest is something like a large tierce or pipe. such as pertains to a bed.

then ascending a little way further. yet I take it very ill of him that he should so utterly ignore the resistance of the water. all the little detailed conveniences of his crow’s-nest. he tells us that he always had a being attracted occasionally towards that well replenished little rifle with him (also fixed in the rack). while with mittened fingers and hooded head he was studying the mathematics aloft there in that bird’s nest within three or four perches of the pole. But if we Southern whale-fishers are not so snugly housed aloft as Captain Sleet and his Greenlandmen were. in which to keep “azimuth compass observations. so nicely tucked in on one side of his crow’s nest. with a small compass he kept there for the purpose of counteracting the errors resulting from what is called the “local attraction” of all binnacle magnets. For one. that he was not so much conveniences. and though he treats us to a very scientific account of his experiments in this crow’s-nest. but to shoot down upon them is a that case-bottle. resting in the top to have a chat with Queequeg. and other nautical he knows very well. for all his learned “binnacle deviations. or any one else off duty whom I might find there. yet.” must have been. Captain Sleet. take a preliminary view of the watery pastures. and learned Capyou cannot successfully shoot at them from the deck owing to tain.” your speaking trumpet. the honest. and coats. I used to lounge up the rigging very leisurely. telescope. it was plainly a labor of love for Captain Sleet to describe. and in the Glacier’s case.” and “approximate errors. together with a powder case-bottle. and throwing a lazy leg over the top-sail yard. perhaps. for admire and even love the brave. In front is a leather rack. When Captain Sleet in person stood his mast. I greatly narwhales. but though he so enlarges upon many of these. seeing what a faithful friend and comforter it very different thing. Though. for the purpose of popping off the stray within easy reach of his hand. upon the whole. pipe. or vagrant sea unicorns infesting those waters. as to fail head in this crow’s-nest of his. that though the Captain is very discreet and scientific here. an error ascribable to the horizontal vicinity of the iron in the ship’s planks. and so at 157 . flask and shot. I say. yet that disadvantage is greatly counter-balanced by the widely contrasting serenity of those seductive seas in which we South fishers mostly float. to there having been so many broken-down blacksmiths among her crew. as he does.immersed in those profound magnetic meditations. Now.Herman Melville forters.

takes the mystic ocean at his feet for the visible image of that deep. and sing out every time. and thou hast not raised a whale yet. your whales must be seen before they can be killed.” said a harpooneer to one of these lads. but lulled into such an opium-like listlessness of vacant. Whales are scarce as hen’s teeth whenever thou art up here. blue. 158 . and absent-minded young men. thou deep and dark blue ocean. owners of Nantucket! Beware of enlisting in your vigilant fishBut all in vain. upbraiding them with not hold my obligations to observe all whale-ships’ standing or. in moody phrase ejaculates:— Let me make a clean breast of it here. and this sunken-eyed young Platonist will tow you ten wakes round the world. Beware of such an one.blubber-hunters sweep over thee in vain. as that in their And let me in this place movingly admonish you. to strain the visual nerve? They have left their opera-glasses at home. I say.” Perhaps they were. then. Nor are these monitions at all unneeded.feeling sufficient “interest” in the voyage. disgusted with the carking cares of earth. that at last he loses his identity. ye ship. “Keep your weather eye open. “Why. given to unseasonable meditativeness. they are short-sighted. and vision is imperfect. what use.” volving in me. bottomless soul.secret souls they would rather not see whales than otherwise. thou monkey. melancholy. and seeking sentiment in tar and blubber. and never make you one pint of sperm the richer. For nowadays. and who offers to ship with the Phaedon instead of Bowditch in his head. how could I—being left completely to myself at Very often do the captains of such ships take those absentsuch a thought-engendering altitude—how could I but lightly minded young philosophers to task. unconscious reverie is this absent-minded youth by the blending cadence of waves with thoughts. With the problem of the universe re.Moby Dick last mount to my ultimate destination. half-hinting that they ders. pervading mankind and nature. or perhaps there might have been shoals of them in the far horizon. those young Platonists have a notion that their eries any lad with lean brow and hollow eye. roll! Ten thousand I kept but sorry guard. and frankly admit that “Roll on.” are so hopelessly lost to all honourable ambition. Childe Harold not unfrequently perches himself upon the mast-head of some luckless disappointed whale-ship. the whale-fishery furnishes an asylum for many romantic. “we’ve been cruising now hard upon three years.

take a few turns in the garden. as country gentlesleep. But while this most sea-captains usually walk at that hour. upon planks so familiar to his tread. ivory stride was heard. And perhaps. move your foot or hand an inch. no more to culiar mark of his walk. But on the occasion in question. ye Pantheists! ribbed and dented brow. every dimly-discovered. ALL) sprinkled Pantheistic ashes. at mid-day. too.Herman Melville and every strange. Over Soon his steady. there also. T WAS NOT A GREAT WHILE after the affair of the pipe. your hold at all. in the fairest weather. upon that rise for ever. from the inscrutable tides of God. CHAPTER 36 The Quarter-Deck I 159 . becomes diffused through time and space. half-seen. beautiful thing that eludes him. after the same meal. thy spirit ebbs away to whence it came. like geological stones. as to and fro he Descartian vortices you hover. and your identity comes back in horror. In this enchanted mood. like Crammer’s (ENTER AHAB: THEN. wont. ascended the cabin-gangway to the deck. slip men. by her. this dream is on ye. that they were all over dented. you would see still stranger foot-prints—the foot-prints of his one unsleeping. as was his parted by a gently rolling ship. Did you fixedly gaze. except that rocking life imone morning shortly after breakfast. now. Heed it well. And. Ahab. with one half-throttled shriek you drop paced his old rounds. uprising fin of some undiscernible form. ever-pacing thought. forming at last a part of every shore the round globe over. with the pethrough that transparent air into the summer sea. gliding. There by the sea. seems to him the embodiment of those elusive thoughts that only people the soul by continually flitting through it. those dents looked deeper. borrowed from the sea. that There is no life in thee. even as his nervous step that morning left a deeper mark.

“Sir!” said the mate. that Ahab must have summoned them there for the The hours wore on. he ordered Starbuck to send everybody aft. you coming up. “Mast-heads.—Ahab now shut up within his cabin. now at the main-mast and now at the binnacle. that it all but seemed the inward mould of every outer his heavy turns upon the deck. “And what do ye next. purpose of witnessing a pedestrian feat. observing the hearty animation into which his unexpected question had so magnetically thrown them. Vehemently pausing. men?” “A dead whale or a stove boat!” More and more strangely and fiercely glad and approving. and with curious and not wholly unapprehensive faces. men?” “Lower away. “Send everybody aft. “the chick that’s ing whispering among the men. till Stubb cautiously whispered in him pecks the shell. long. and with one hand grasping a shroud. with the same intense bigotry of purpose in his aspect. so completely possessing him. that at every uniform turn that for he looked not unlike the weather horizon when a storm is he made.” to Flask. “Good!” cried Ahab. there! come down!” When the entire ship’s company were assembled. he cried:— “What do ye do when ye see a whale. pacing the deck. could almost see that thought turn in him as he turned. and inserting his bone leg into the auger-hole there. Ahab. with a wild approval in his tones.Moby Dick so full of his thought was Ahab. and as though not a soul were nigh him resumed deed. after rapidly glancing over the bulwarks. started from his pace in him as he paced. in.standpoint. and and then darting his eyes among the crew. slouched hat he continued to pace. ‘Twill soon be out. were eyeing him. and after him!” “And what tune is it ye pull to. unmindful of the wonder“D’ye mark him. It drew near the close of day. But this did not last anon. 160 . With bent head and halfmovement.” repeated Ahab. Flask?” whispered Stubb. astonished at an order seldom or never given on ship-board except in some extraordinary case. men?” “Sing out for him!” was the impulsive rejoinder from a score of clubbed voices. Suddenly he came to a halt by the bulwarks.

that white-headed whale. as with swinging tarpauthem thus:— lins they hailed the act of nailing the gold to the mast.” “Moby Dick?” shouted Ahab. “Captain Ahab. Starbuck.” resumed Ahab. Daggoo. whosoever of ye raises me seemingly purposeless questions. addressed “Huzza! huzza!” cried the seamen. with three holes punctured in his starBut. men. men. was slowly rubbing the gold piece against the skirts of his jacket. and without using any words was meanwhile lowly humming to himself. Receiving the top-maul from Starbuck. exhibiting the topmaul: “a white whale. Tash?” “Does he fan-tail a little curious.Herman Melville grew the countenance of the old man at every shout. without speaking. now half-re. and Queequeg had looked on with even more intense interest and surprise than the rest. I say. whosoever of ye raises me that same volving in his pivot-hole. look sharp for white water. my boys!” shroud. and tightly. “All ye mast-headers have before now heard me give or“It’s a white whale. while the the gold with the other. Look ye! d’ye see this Spanish ounce of gold?”—holding up a broad bright coin to the sun— “it is a sixteen dollar piece. he advanced towards the main-mast with the hammer uplifted in one hand. he shall have this gold ounce.” said Tashtego. sir. before he goes down?” 161 . if ye see but a bubble.” While the mate was getting the hammer. and with a high raised voice exclaimmariners began to gaze curiously at each other. with one hand reaching high up a white whale. as Ahab. almost convulsively grasping it. and at the mention of the wrinkled brow and crooked jaw they had started as if each was separately touched by some specific recollection. “that white whale must be the same that some call Moby Dick. hand me yon top-maul.” All this while Tashtego. as if to heighten its lustre.board fluke—look ye. sing out. “Do ye know the white whale then. producing a sound so strangely muffled and inarticulate that it seemed the mechanical humming of the wheels of his vitality in him. as he threw down ders about a white whale. Ahab. D’ye see it? Mr. they were all eagerness again. Skin your eyes for him. as if marvelling ing: “Whosoever of ye raises me a white-headed whale with a how it was that they themselves became so excited at such wrinkled brow and a crooked jaw.

three—oh! good many iron in him animal sob. Captain Ahab?” I stand on now. “Captain Ahab. But what’s this long face about. “God bless ye. had thus far been eyeing his superior with increasing surprise. and pegging lubber of me for ever and a day!” Then tossing both screwing his hand round and round as though uncorking a arms. running closer to the excited old man: “A sharp eye for the white whale. like him—him—” faltering hard for a word. I have heard of Moby Dick—but it was not Moby Dick that took off thy leg?” “Who told thee that?” cried Ahab. “Aye. aye.” he shouted with a terrific. too. like that of a heart-stricken moose. “very bushy. Starbuck. aye!” shouted the harpooneers and seamen. and he fan-tails like a split jib in a squall. and round perdition’s lie all twisted and wrenched in him. aye. and mighty quick. Tashtego. who. like a whole shock of wheat. loud. but at last seemed struck with a thought which somewhat explained all the wonder.” said Starbuck.was that accursed white whale that razeed me. and over all sides of earth. made a poor tee be-twisk. then pausing.” he seemed to half sob and half shout. aye! it hide. with measureless imprecations he shouted out: “Aye. Death and devils! men. What say ye. men. my hearties all round. Steward! go draw the great measure of grog.Moby Dick said the Gay-Header deliberately. “And he have one. Moby Dick that brought me to this dead stump even for a parmacetty. wilt thou not chase the white whale? art not game for Moby Dick?” 162 . and round the Horn.” said Daggoo. aye.” “Aye. till he spouts black blood and rolls fin out. Aye. too. the harpoons and round the Norway Maelstrom. flames before I give him up. his spout is a big one. Queequeg. Starbuck. two. bottle— “like him—him—” aye! and I’ll chase him round Good Hope. “all twiske. “aye. and white as a pile of our Nantucket wool after the great annual sheep-shearing. Mr. men. it is Moby Dick ye have seen—Moby Dick— Moby Dick!” “Captain Ahab. “Corkscrew!” cried Ahab. Daggoo. will ye splice hands on it. men! to chase that white whale on both sides of land. “Aye.” cried Queequeg disjointedly. And this is what ye have shipped for. aye. now? I think ye do look brave. Captain. it was Moby Dick that “And has he a curious spout. a sharp lance for Moby Dick!” “God bless ye. dismasted me. with Stubb and Flask.

I see in much in our Nantucket market. Take off thine eye! more intolerable than fiends’ glarings is a doltish stare! So. All visible objects. Starbuck. one to every three parts of an inch. For could the sun do that.” him outrageous strength. man. by girdling it with guineas. what is said in heat.hate upon him. “what’s that for? methinks it rings most vast. Sometimes I think there’s naught even if thou gettest it. is even that fair play. jealousy presiding over all creations. not my commander’s by thrusting through the wall? To me. Look! see yonder Turkish cheeks of spotted tawn— living. That inscrutable thing is chiefly what I hate. thou reddenest and palest. and the accountants have computed their great counting. shoved near to me. are but as pasteboard masks. if it fairly comes in the way of the business through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except we follow. If money’s to be the measurer. But look ye. but I came here to hunt whales. then. that live. thou it. but hollow. man. But in each event— in the living act. man. But not my master. that thing unsays itself.” whispered Stubb. I will wreak that man. let me tell thee. Captain Ahab.” “Vengeance on a dumb brute!” cried Starbuck. whale agent. How many barrels will thy vengeance yield thee wall. But ’tis enough. the white whale is that vengeance.Herman Melville “I am game for his crooked jaw. The Pagan leopards—the unrecking and unworshipping things. strike too. that my vengeance will fetch a great premium here!” “He smites his chest. since there is ever a sort of fair play herein. my heat has melted thee to anger-glow. Talk not to me of blasphemy. There are men from whom warm words are small indignity. and 163 . Starbuck. he heaps me. with an inscrutable malice sinewing “Nantucket market! Hoot! But come closer. or be the white whale principal. Let it go. Captain Ahab? it will not fetch thee beyond. I’d strike house the globe. seems blasphemous. I meant not to incense thee. Who’s over me? Truth hath no confines. He tasks me. then could I do the other. and be the white requirest a little lower layer. and for the jaws of Death from behind the unreasoning mask. “that simply smote thee from blindest instinct! Madness! To be enraged with a dumb thing. some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features the sun if it insulted me. the undoubted deed—there.” “Hark ye yet again—the little lower layer. If man will strike. so. breathing pictures painted by the sun. Captain Ahab.

Ah. ye shadows! Yet hurricane. as for a moment their hearts sank in. alas! only to fall into the hidden snare of the Indian. But in his joy at the enchanted. but speak!—Aye. as the bloodshot eyes of the prairie wolves meet the eye of their leader. the winds blew on. he stood for an instant searchingly eyeing every man of his crew. surely he will not hang back. I see! the billow lifts thee! Speak. the ship heaved and rolled as before. nor yet the low laugh from the hold. For again Starbuck’s downcast eyes lighted up with the stubbornness of harpooneers. while his three mates stood at his side with their lances. he ordered them to produce their weapons. the subterranean laugh died away. cannot oppose me now. when every foremast-hand has clutched a whetstone? Ah! Receiving the brimming pewter. Then ranging them before him near the capstan. (Aside) Something shot from my dilated nostrils. But those wild eyes met his.” “God keep me!—keep us all!” murmured Starbuck. and the rest of the ship’s company formed a circle round the group. and turning to the constrainings seize thee. but. aye! thy silence. nor yet the hollow flap of the sails against the masts. Starbuck now is mine. Stand up amid the general But rather are ye predictions than warnings. Starbuck! And what is not so much predictions from without. nor yet the presaging vibrations of the winds in the cordage. lowly. man. and give no reasons for the torrid life they feel! The life. the crew. “The crew alone now drink. Starbuck.Moby Dick seek. round! Short draughts—long swallows. ere he rushes on at their head in the trail of the bison. the the innermost necessities in our being. ye this matter of the whale? See Stubb! he laughs! See yonder admonitions and warnings! why stay ye not when ye come? Chilian! he snorts to think of it. men. tacit acquiescence of the mate. thy one tost sapling cannot. best lance out of all Nantucket. Ahab did not hear his foreboding invocation. he has inhaled it in his lungs. no wondrous feat for foregoing things within. with their harpoons in their hands. handing the heavy charged flagon to the nearest seaman. these still drive us on. then. then. the crew! Are they not one and all with Ahab. that voices thee. Round with it. without rebellion. For with little external to constrain us. “The measure! the measure!” cried Ahab. ’Tis but to help strike a fin. as verifications of the it? Reckon it. in sails filled out. ’tis hot 164 . What is it more? From this one poor hunt. “Drink and pass!” he cried.

barbs up. “but. my braves. my valiant harpooneers. I do not order ye. Disdain the task? What. maybe. and ye. from Stubb to Flask. Stubb and Flask looked sideways most drained. and ye too. the three harpooneers now stood with the detached iron part of their harpoons. It seemed as though. come back? bad pennies come not sooner. “Stab me not with that keen steel! Cant them. that I may in some sort revive a noble custom cupbearers to my three pagan kinsmen there—yon three most of my fisherman fathers before me. the honest eye of Starbuck fell downright. ye harpooneers!” Silently obeying the order. then mine own elec“Attend now. my sweet cardinals! your own condescension. now. so. it goes round excellently. interior volition. meanwhile. Perchance. Steward. capstan. suddenly and nervously twitched them. glancing intently from Starbuck to Stubb. this way it comes. were’t not thou St. susin ye. refill! three but once take the full-forced shock. For did ye life is gulped and gone. he grasped the three level. It spiralizes magnetic life. flank me with your lances. by some nameless. Well done. with extended arm. me—here’s a hollow! Men. that shall bend ye to it. ye seem the years. and ye mates. radiating lances at their crossed centre. using his tiara for ewer? Oh. hold them 165 . that had perhaps expired from out me. Cut your seizings and draw the poles. Down lances! And now. ye mates! Cross your lances full before me. Perchance ye need it harpooneers. some three feet long. Why. when the great Pope washes the feet of beggars. The irons! take them. you will yet see that—Ha! boy. advance. so brimming “In vain!” cried Ahab. stand there with your irons. ye mates. thou ague! “Advance. held. I have mustered ye all round this tric thing. Vitus’ imp—away. before him. O men. ’tis well. altained. forks out at the serpent-snapping eye. stout mari. ye will it. it would have dropped ye dead. So. cant them over! know ye not the goblet end? Turn up the socket! So. so. The three mates quailed before his strong. Hand it me. I do appoint ye three ners. That way it went.” So saying. he would fain have shocked into them the same fiery emotion accumulated within the Leyden jar of his own honourable gentlemen and noblemen.Herman Melville as Satan’s hoof. now. Hand it from him. and mystic aspect. ye cup-bearers. this pewter had run brimming again. ring me in. while so doing.not. Well done! Let me touch the axis.

Moby Dick while I fill!” Forthwith. slowly going from one officer to the other. ye harpooneers! SITTING ALONE. ye who are now made parties to this indissoluble league. The diver sun—slow dived from noon—goes down. the replenished pewter went the rounds among the blush like wine. and finally. he brimmed the harpoon sockets with the fiery waters from the pewter. Is. waving his free hand to them. that dazzlingly confounds. I the wearer. the warm waves hiss. paler hunt Moby Dick to his death!” The long. the jagged edge galls me so. the sort that needs no helmet CHAPTER 37 Sunset I 166 . and to cries and maledictions against the white to whelm my track. when. pale waters. ye stand. but first I pass. my brain seems to beat against the solid metal. by ever-brimming goblet’s rim. Once more. ’Tis iron—that I know—not gold. AHAB ratifying sun now waits to sit upon it. The envious billows sidelong swell were lifted. BY THE STERN WINDOWS. then. they all disup! she wearies with her endless hill. the crown too persed. and turned. my soul mounts frantic crew. the spirits were simultaneously quaffed down with a Yonder. ’Tis split. “Now. let them. whale. and Ahab retired within his cabin. The gold brow plumbs the blue. if we do not LEAVE A WHITE AND TURBID WAKE. Yet is it bright with many a gem. ye men that man the deathful whaleboat’s bow—Death to Moby Dick! God hunt us all. three to three. see not its far flashings. but darkly feel that I wear that. where’er I sail. AND GAZING OUT. Drink. too—that I feel. steel skull. mine. barbed steel goblets cheeks. drink and swear. heavy that I wear? this Iron Crown of Lombardy. Ha! Starbuck! but the deed is done! Yon THE CABIN. and shivered. Commend the murderous chalices! Bestow them. aye. Starbuck paled.

hard! that to fire others. when as the sunrise boys do to bullies—Take some one of your own size. Ahab’s enjoying power. the match itself must needs be wasting! What I’ve dared. cotton bags! I have no long gun to reach ye. naught’s an angle to the iron way! 167 . No more. through the rifled hearts of mountains. ye great gods. Come. whereon my soul is grooved to run. so the sunset soothed. all loveliness is anguish to me. else ye swerve yourselves! man (Waving his hand. Swerve me? The path to my fixed purpose is laid ’Twas not so hard a task. it lights not me. Come forth from behind your ne’er enjoy. I’ll do! They think me mad—Starbuck does. don’t nobly spurred me. and—Aye! I lost this leg. I lack the low. then. damned. come and see if ye can swerve me. I laugh and hoot at ye. This lovely pommel me! No.Herman Melville in the most brain-battering fight! ye deaf Burkes and blinded Bendigoes! I will not say as schoolDry heat upon my brow? Oh! time was. ye cricket-players. I thought to find one stubborn. they all stand before me. ye’ve knocked me down. at with iron rails. Gifted with the high perception. Swerve damned in the midst of Paradise! Good night—good night! me? ye cannot swerve me. unsounded gorges. Or. I am madness maddened! That wild madness that’s only calm to comprehend itself! The prophecy was that I should be dismembered. That’s more than ye. under torrents’ beds. Over the least. ever were. since I can but ye have run and hidden. but I’m demoniac. ye pugilists. like so many ant-hills of powder. and what I’ve willed. Oh.) has ye there. if you will. and they revolve. I’ve willed. light. and I their match. most subtly and most malignantly! compliments to ye. but my one cogged circle fits into all their various wheels. be the prophet and the fulfiller one. and I am up again. unerringly I rush! Naught’s an obstacle. he moves from the window. I now prophesy that I will dismember my dismemberer. Now.

Time and tide flow wide. and blasted all my reason out of me! I think I see his impious end.] BY THE MAINMAST.—to obey. bantering bow. The white whale is their demigorgon. and set the watch! Oh. untutored things are forced to feed— Oh. with soul beat down and held to knowledge. His heaven-insulting purpose. Foremost through the sparkling sea shoots on the gay. The long howl thrills me through! Peace! ye revellers. where he broods within his sternward cabin. as the M Y SOUL IS MORE THAN MATCHED. look. The hated whale has the round watery world to swim in. Yet is there hope. rebelling. were it not like lead. I would up heart. life! ’tis now that I do feel the latent horror in thee! but ’tis not me! that horror’s out of me! and with the soft feeling of the 168 . Hark! the infernal orgies! that revelry is forward! mark the unfaltering silence aft! Methinks it pictures life. nill I.—as wild. my heart the all-controlling weight. God may wedge aside. and by a madman! Insufferable sting. I have no key to lift again. builded over the dead water of the wake. he would be a democrat to all above. had I it. embattled. But my whole clock’s run down. how he lords it over all below! Oh! I plainly see my miserable office. the ineffable thing has tied me to him. but only to drag dark Ahab after it. and further on. she’s overmanned. tows me with a cable I have no knife to cut. [A burst of revelry from the forecastle. to hate with touch of pity! For in his eyes I read some lurid woe would shrivel me up. Horrible old man! Who’s over him. and worse yet. hunted by its wolfish gurglings. Will I. but feel that I must help him to it.CHAPTER 38 Dusk Moby Dick small gold-fish has its glassy globe. STARBUCK LEANING AGAINST IT. he cries.—aye. life! ’tis in an hour like this. Oh. that sanity should ground arms on such a field! But he drilled deep down. God! to sail with such a heathen crew that have small touch of human mothers in them! Whelped somewhere by the sharkish sea.

yet will I try to fight ye. what of it. phantom futures! Stand by me. and that ha. ye grim. ha’s the final consequence. it’s all predestinated. Stubb. wise Stubb—that’s my title—well. too. but be it . Be sure the old Mogul has fixed him. I heard not all his talk with Starbuck. I know not all that may be coming.Herman Melville human in me. Stubb? Here’s a carcase. might readily have prophesied it— for when I clapped my eye upon his skull I saw it.) H 169 A! HA! HA! HA! HEM! clear my throat!—I’ve been thinking over it ever since. but to my poor eye Starbuck then looked something as I the other evening felt. easiest answer to all that’s queer. one comfort’s always left—that unfailing comfort is. bind me. had had the gift. (STUBB SOLUS. and come what will. I twigged it. AND MENDING A BRACE. Well. O ye blessed influences! CHAPTER 39 First Night Watch Fore-Top. hold me. Stubb. knew it. Why so? Because a laugh’s the wisest.

just through with this job—coming. adieu to you. skirra! Oh— We’ll drink to-night with hearts as light. he has his too. it’s bad for the digestion! Take a tonic. (Foresail rises and discovers the watch standing. leaning. skirra! What’s my juicy little pear at home doing now? Crying its eyes out?— Giving a party to the last arrived harpooneers. gay as a frigate’s pennant.— chorus. Such a waggish leering as lurks in all your horribles! I feel funny. Spanish ladies! Farewell and Aye. sir. lounging. if I’m not mistaken. And break on the lips while meeting. la! lirra.— CHAPTER 40 Midnight. aye. Starbuck? Aye. Oh. To love. my lads! may your hearts never fail! 170 .Moby Dick what it will.) Farewell and adieu to you. follow me! (Sings. boys. fleeting As bubbles that swim. all singing in A brave stave that—who calls? Mr. Hand. A viewing of those gallant whales That blew at every strand. And by your braces stand. my boys. ladies of Spain! Our captain’s commanded. boys. aye. Fa. A spy-glass in his hand. And we’ll have one of those fine whales. sir— (aside) he’s my superior. I’ll go to it laughing. I dare say. be cheery. on the beaker’s brim. don’t be sentimental. la! lirra. your tubs in your boats. Oh. Forecastle 1st Nntucket sailor. and so am I—fa. as gay and HARPOONEERS AND SAILORS. and all follow) Our captain stood upon the deck. over hand! So. and lying in various attitudes.

Stand by all legs! Pip! little Pip! hurrah with your ward! tambourine! 2nd Nantucket sailor. and hail ‘em through it. but excuse me. so. (thrusts his head down the scuttle. and come to judgment. boys! let’s have a jig or two before we ride to anchor in Blanket Bay. Avast the chorus! Eight bells there! d’ye hear. I’m used to ice-floors. fat night for that. That’s the way—that’s it.) Star-bo-l-e-e-n-s. they sleep—aye. and wag thy ears. So. they must kiss their last. Hist. I say. We sing. At ‘em again! There. maty. where’s your girls? Who but a fool would take his left hand by his right. thy throat ain’t spoiled with eating Amsterdam butter. it’s too springy to my taste. a-h-o-y! Eight bells there below! Tumble up! Dutch sailor.Herman Melville While the bold harpooner is striking the whale! French sailor. and say to himself. maty. how d’ye do? Partners! I must have partners! Sicilian sailor. I mark this in our old Mogul’s wine. thou Pip! thou blackling! and let me call the watch. Beat thy belly. Me too. men. it’s quite as deadening to some as filliping to others. (Sulky and sleepy) Don’t know where it is. forother watch. Tell ‘em it’s the resurrection. merry’s the word. then. won’t you dance? Form. I’m sorry to throw cold water on the subject. What say ye? There comes the Mate’s voice fromt he quarter-deck. I don’t like your floor. I’ve the sort of mouth for that—the hogshead mouth. Jig it. Indian-file. hurrah! Damn me. now. Aye. like ground-tier butts. 171 . girls and a green!—then I’ll hop with ye. Eight bells there. lie down there. French sailor. and gallop into the doubleshuffle? Throw yourselves! Legs! legs! Iceland sailor. Grand snoozing to-night. Maltese sailor. take this copper-pump. Tell ‘em to avast dreaming of their lasses. Pip. bell-boy? Strike the bell eight.

dig it. Spell oh!—whew! this is worse than pulling after whales in a calm—give us a whiff. lads. and gather in clusters. it’ll be douse sail soon.) Here you are. Rattle thy teeth. bell-boy! Make fire-flies. say I. China sailor. and pound away. stig it.Moby Dick yea. well. boys! (The half of them dance to the tambourine. Tash. quig it. Old Manx sailor. make a pagoda of thyself. (Quietly smoking) That’s a white man. (They cease dancing. dropped off. Meantime the sky darkens—the wind rises. I wonder whether those jolly lads bethink them of what they are dancing over. now for it! that fun: humph! I save my sweat. up you mount! Now. as you scholars have it. 3d Nantucket sailor. Pip! Bang it. then. well. till I jump through it! Split jibs! tear yourselves! Long-island sailor. that beat head-winds round corners. I pound it so. Ah! here comes the music. ye sulkies. and so ’tis right to make one ballroom of it.) Lascar sailor. The 172 . Azore sailor. By Brahma! boys. belike the whole world’s a ball. Pip. and pitching the tambourine up the scuttle. All legs go to harvest Tashtego. I will—that’s the bitterest threat of your night-women. some go below. you’re young. you say?—there goes another. break the jinglers! Pip. Well. (Ascending. I was once.) Azore sailor. Jinglers. Hoe corn when you may. (Dancing) Go it. Pip. turn grasshopper! French sailor. there’s plenty more of us. some sleep or lie among the coils of rigging. Dance on. O Christ! to think of the green navies and the green-skulled crews! Well. Merry-mad! Hold up thy hoop. I’ll dance over your grave. bell-boy! Rig it. Oaths a-plenty. he calls soon. and there’s the windlass-bitts.

mind ye that. on which the sea-salt cakes! 4th Nantucket sailor. my mat! green the first day I brought ye thence.) Hail. wild bosoms in the dance. Ah me!— Danish sailor. (Reclining. Pagan? (Nudging. thou holdest! Well done! The mate there holds ye to it stiffly. I heard old Ahab tell him he must always kill a squall. crack. high-tide Ganges turned to wind! Thou showest thy not thou nor I can bear the change! How then. and meet it! (Leaps waves—the snow’s caps turn to jig it now.Herman Melville sky-born. arboring arms hide such ripe. He has his orders. Now would all the waves were women. hearties! the winds are just crossing glances of warm. Sicilian sailor. now worn and wilted quite. else come satiety. bursting grapes.swords. Seeva! planted to yon sky? Hear I the roaring streams from Pirohitee’s peak of spears. observe ye. put there to fight the Baltic with storm-lashed guns. but the soft soil has slid! I saw thee woven in the wood. Eh. high palmed Tahiti! I still rest me on thy mat.) tassels soon. something as they burst a waterspout with a pistol—fire your ship right into it! English sailor. They’ll shake their to his feet. spine. He’s no more afraid than the isle fort at Cattegat. How the sea rolls swashing ‘gainst the so sweet on earth—heaven may not match it!—as those swift side! Stand by for reefing. when they leap down the crags and drown the Maltese sailor. Crack. Blood! but that old man’s a grand old cove! We are the lads to hunt him up his whale! 173 . then I’d go drown. (Reclining on a mat. when the over.) It’s the villages?—The blast! the blast! Up. lad— fleet interlacings of the limbs—lithe swayings—coyings— flutterings! lip! heart! hip! all graze: unceasing touch and go! not taste. if so be transblack brow. and chassee with them evermore! There’s naught Portuguese sailor. holy nakedness of our dancing girls!—the Heeva-Heeva! Ah! low veiled. (Reclining and shaking his cap. pell-mell they’ll go lunging presently. old ship! so long as thou crackest.) Tahitan sailor.) Tell me not of it! Hark ye.

A row! arrah a row! The Virgin be blessed. None.) He wants to bully. Our captain has his birthmark. there’s another in the sky— Daggoo (springing). How the three pines shake! Pines are the hardest sort of tree to live when shifted to any other soil. St. here there’s none but the crew’s cursed clay. ah!—the old grudge makes me touchy (Advancing. No. mannikin! White skin. This is the sort of weather when brave hearts Spanish sailor. look yonder. small spirit! All. Old Manx sailor. Daggoo showing his teeth. boys. Swallow thine. lurid-like. all else pitch black.Moby Dick All. That Spaniard’s mad or drunk. (Aside. white liver! Daggoo. helmsman! steady. ye see. a row! Plunge in with ye! . A row! a row! a row! Tashtego (with a whiff). A row a’low. What’s that I saw—lightning? Yes.) Aye. What of that? Who’s afraid of black’s afraid of me! I’m quarried out of it! Spanish sailor. Jago’s sailor. Steady. snap ashore. or else in his one case our old Mogul’s fire-waters are somewhat long in working. and 5th Nantucket sailor. Knife thee heartily! big frame. But that can’t 174 Spanish sailor (meeting him). thy race is the undeniable dark side of mankind—devilish dark at that. Daggoo (grimly). No offence. harpooneer. and a row aloft— Gods and men—both brawlers! Humph! Belfast sailor. and keeled hulls split at sea. Aye! aye! be.

what a squall! But those chaps there are worse yet—they are your white squalls. There! the ringed horizon.Herman Melville English Sailor. The squall! the squall! jump. Fair play! Snatch the Spaniard’s knife! A ring. God. Pip. the last day of the year! Who’d go climbing after chestnuts now? But there they go. all cursing. and the white whale—shirr! shirr!—but spoken a ring! of once! and only this evening—it makes me jingle all over like my tambourine—that anaconda of an old man swore ‘em in to Old Manx sailor. mad’st thou the ring? preserve him from all men that have no bowels to feel fear! Mate’s voice from the quarter-deck. crash! there goes the jib-stay! Blang-whang! God! Duck lower. Fine prospects to ‘em. have mercy on this small black boy down here. Ready formed. my jollies! (They scatter. and here I don’t. thou big white God aloft there somewhere in In that ring Cain struck Abel. Hold on hard! Jimmini. Jollies? Lord help such jollies! Crish. they.) Pip (shrinking under the windlass). Hands by the halyards! in top-gallant sails! Stand by to reef topsails! All. right work! No? yon darkness. here comes the royal yard! It’s worse than being in the whirled woods. they’re on the road to heaven. hunt him! Oh. Why then. shirr! shirr! Here have I heard all their 175 . chat just now. Sweet work. White squalls? white whale.

Yet as of late the Sperm Whale panied. all these. With greedy ears I learned the history of that nity. as it were. Ahab’s quenchless feud meridian. WAS ONE OF THAT CREW. because of the dread in my soul. stronger I shouted. unfair presumption. though at intervals only. and malice in the monster not all of them knew of his existence. that the whale in question must have For some time past. that several vessels reported to my oath. for as yet had actually and knowingly given battle to him. and fleet of the special individualizing tidings concerning Moby Dick. attacked. my oath had been welded with theirs. direct and indirect. and more did I hammer and clinch It was hardly to be doubted. which whale. more. I say. ISHMAEL.bred. murderous monster against whom I and all the others had taken had completely escaped them. had knowingly seen him. that those who by accident ignocomparatively. perhaps. many of them adventurously pushing their quest along solitary latitudes. have encountered. the irregularity of the times of sailing from home. For. only a few of them. A wild. was the most part. while the number who rantly gave battle to Moby Dick. were content to ascribe the peculiar terror he small indeed. or on such or such a sympathetical feeling was in me. owing to the large number of whale-cruis. the unaccombeen no other than Moby Dick. after doing great mischief to his assailants. long . the inordinate length of each separate voyage. secluded White Whale had haunted those uncivilized fishery had been marked by various and not unfrequent inseas mostly frequented by the Sperm Whale fishermen. mystical.Moby Dick watery circumference. with other circumstances. so as seldom or never for a whole twelvemonth or more on a stretch. to encounter a single news-telling sail of any sort. cunning. therefore it was. to some minds it was not an our oaths of violence and revenge. at such or such a time. my shouts had gone up obstructed the spread through the whole world-wide whalingwith the rest. to the perils of the Sperm Whale fishers. a Sperm Whale of uncommon magnitude and maligseemed mine. the disorderly way they were sprinkled over the entire CHAPTER 41 Moby Dick I 176 . such hunters. But stances of great ferocity.

that though you sailed vouring amputations—but fatal to the last degree of fatality. in such remotest waters. and still the more horrify the true histories of these deadly encounters. face to face they length. that ever gathering volume from the mere transit over the widest watery spaces.not only eye its greatest marvels.—as the smitten tree gives birth to its fungi. For not only And as for those who. and passed a thousand shores. than to the individual cause. wild rumors abound. in the wonderfulness and fearfulness hitherto been popularly regarded. In that way. so the whale fishery surpasses every the disastrous encounter between Ahab and the whale had other sort of maritime life. And as the sea surpasses a thousand miles. as for any other whale of that species. the land in this matter. those things had gone far to shake the fortitude of many brave hunters. all accumulating and piling their terrors upon Moby Dick. such calamities did ensue in these assaults—not re. the outblown rumors of the White Whale did in the end incorporate with themselves all manner of morbid hints. but of all sailors. but. But at whatever is appallingly astonishing in the sea.are by all odds the most directly brought into contact with ered for him. Alone. are whalemen as a body unexempt from that ignorance and by chance caught sight of him. broken limbs. then. mostly. of the rumors which sometimes circulate there. but. you would not come to any chiseled hearth-stone. For not only do fabulous rumors naturally grow out of the very body of all surprising terrible events.Herman Melville ery at large. previously hearing of the White Whale. give battle stricted to sprained wrists and ankles. in the beginning of the thing they superstitiousness hereditary to all sailors. in maritime life. wherever there is any adequate reality for them to cling to. as boldly and fearlessly low. pursuing too such a calling as he does. and half-formed foetal suggestions of supernatural agencies. those repeated disastrous repulses. the whaleman is wrapped by influences all tending to make his fancy pregnant with many a mighty birth. in such latitudes and longitudes. they had every one of them. to whom the story of the White Whale had eventually come. hand to jaw. or deto them. Nor did wild rumors of all sorts fail to exaggerate. or aught hospitable beneath that part of the sun. No wonder. almost. which eventually invested Moby Dick with new terrors unborrowed from anything that visibly ap177 . far more than in that of terra firma.

strange tales of Southern whaling. as a body. There are those this day among them. these men will hearken with a childish fireside interest and awe. not a few of the fishermen recalled.” And however the general experiences in the fishery may amend such reports as these. who have never hostilely encountered the Sperm Whale. prehended. in reference to Moby Dick. there are plenty of whalemen. but whose sole knowledge of the leviathan is restricted to the ignoble monster primitively pursued in the North. the Baron himself affirms that at intelligent and courageous enough in offering battle to the Greenland or Right whale. the earlier days of the Sperm Whale fishery. were these or almost similar impressions effaced. all fish (sharks included) are “struck with the most lively terrors. seated on their hatches. Not even at the present day has the original prestige in the sea. would perhaps—either from professional inexperience. as fearfully distinguished from all other to be athirst for human blood. to the wild. when it was oftentimes hard to induce long practised Right whalemen to 178 . though For in his Natural History. few of those hunters were willing to encounter the per. yet in their full terribleness. So that overawed by the rumors and portents concerning him. at any rate. we find some ils of his jaw. that few who by those rumors. had heard of the White And as if the now tested reality of his might had in former Whale. decline a contest with the Sperm Whale. the superstitious belief in them is. So that in many cases such a panic did he finally strike. who. Nor is the pre-eminent tremendousness of the great Sperm Whale anywhere more feelingly comsight of the Sperm Whale. or incompetency. revived in the minds of the hunters. but also to be so incredibly ferocious as continually of the Sperm Whale. especially among those whaling nations not sailing under the American flag. Nor even down to so late a time species of the leviathan. died out of the minds of the whalemen as Cuvier’s. at least.Moby Dick pears. book naturalists—Olassen and Povelson—declaring the Sperm But there were still other and more vital practical influences Whale not only to be a consternation to every other creature at work. than on board of those prows which stem him.legendary times thrown its shadow before it.” and “often in the precipitancy of their flight dash themselves against the rocks with such violence as to cause instantaneous death. or timidity. in some vicissitudes of their vocation. even to the bloodthirsty item of Povelson.

was never a problem to the whale. so long a problem to man. and without superstitious accompaniments. Nor is it to be gainsaid. in the real living experience of living men. On this head. it has been believed by some whalemen. he are some remarkable documents that may be consulted. and from sued. that in some of these instances it has been declared that the interval of time between the two assaults could not have exceeded very many days. credulous as such minds must have been. chancing only to hear of him distantly ships. who even in the face of these distant points. as at last coming to be linked with the White Whale in the minds of the superstitiously inclined. That to attempt it. 179 . in great part. the prodigies related in old times of the inland Strello mountain in Portugal (near whose top there was said to be a lake in which the wrecks of ships floated up to the surface). yet to chase and point lance at such an apparition as the time to time have originated the most curious and contradicSperm Whale was not for mortal man. and a still It is a thing well known to both American and English whalegreater number who. that some whales have been captured far north in the Pacific. So that here. Hence. there mystic modes whereby. would tory speculations regarding them. especially concerning the be inevitably to be torn into a quick eternity.Herman Melville embark in the perils of this new and daring warfare. without the specific details of any certain calamity. transports himself with such vast swiftness to the most widely Nevertheless. such men hidden ways of the Sperm Whale when beneath the surface protesting that although other leviathans might be hopefully pur. by inference. For as the secrets of the currents in the seas have never yet been divulged. even to the most erudite research. and as well a thing placed upon authoritative record and vaguely. Nor. that the Nor’ West Passage. after sounding to a great depth. were sufficiently hardy not to flee from the battle if offered. in whose bodies have been found the barbs of harpoons darted in the Greenland seas. that he had actually been encountered in opposite latitudes at one and the same instant of time. unaccountable to his pursuers. was the unearthly conceit that Moby Dick was ubiquitous. so the years ago by Scoresby.remain. One of the wild suggestions referred to. some there were. was this conceit altogether without some faint show of superstitious probability. things were ready to give chase to Moby Dick.

with such prodigies as these. and Forced into familiarity. declaring Moby Dick not only ubiquitous. there was enough in the earthly make and incontestable character of the monster to strike the imagination with unwonted power. as that unexampled. and a high. the White gained his distinctive appellation of the White Whale. but. Whale had escaped alive.Moby Dick and that still more wonderful story of the Arethusa fountain out—a peculiar snow-white wrinkled forehead. marbled with the same shrouded hue. when seen gliding that some whalemen should go still further in their supersti. nor yet his deformed lower jaw. his unsullied jet would once more be seen. More than all. all spangled with golden gleamings. These were his prominent features. even in the limitless. a name. for again in unensanguined billows hundreds of leagues away. he had several times been known to turn round suddenly. or if indeed he should ever be made to spout thick blood. according to specific accounts. as was elsewhere thrown wake of creamy foam. he had and knowing that after repeated. or drive them back in consternation to their ship. For. whalemen. 180 . either stave their boats to splinters. in the end. he would still swim away unharmed. uncharted seas. when swimming before his exulting pursuers. these fabukens whereby. at a long distance. then. pyranear Syracuse (whose waters were believed to have come midical white hump. intrepid assaults. Nor was it his unwonted magnitude. he revealed lous narrations are almost fully equalled by the realities of the his identity. intelligent malignity which. that though groves of spears should be planted in his flanks. nor his remarkable hue. it was not so much his uncommon bulk that so much distinguished him from other sperm whales. his treacherous retreats struck more of dismay than perhaps aught else. For. the tofrom the Holy Land by an underground passage).at high noon through a dark blue sea. such a sight would be but a ghastly deception. bearing down upon them. he had over and over again evinced in his assaults. The rest of his body was so streaked. leaving a milky-way tions. and spotted. it cannot be much matter of surprise indeed. and. to those who knew him. but immortal (for immortality is but ubiquity in time). that so much invested the whale with natural terror. with every apparent symptom of alarm. that. literally justified by his vivid aspect. But even stripped of these supernatural surmisings.

That intangible malignity rades. Moby Dick had reaped away Ahab’s leg. till they are left living the chips of chewed boats. not only all his bodily woes. and oars and men both whirling in the eddies. as a mower a blade of grass in the field. all the subtle demonisms of life and thought. His three boats stove around him. all the more fell the White Whale’s infernal aforethought of ferocity. such seemed ished a wild vindictiveness against the whale. was not wholly rehim. The White Whale swam before him as Judge. but deliriously transferring its idea to the abhorred white whale. as if at a birth or a bridal. blindly seeking with a six inch blade to reach the fathom-deep life of the whale. all truth with malice in it. seizing the line-knife from his broken prow. yet. which the ancient Ophites of the east reverenced in their statue devil. in most instances. No turbaned Turk. that suddenly sweeping his sickle-shaped lower jaw beneath him. exasperating sunlight. But though more seeming malice. and the sinking limbs of torn com. He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam 181 . however little bruited ashore. all mutilated. that every for that in his frantic morbidness he at last came to identify with dismembering or death that he caused. all evil. against it. And then it was. then. were visibly personified. to whose dominion even the modern Christians ascribe one-half of the worlds.Herman Melville Already several fatalities had attended his chase. they swam out of the white curds of the whale’s direful wrath into the serene. All that most maddens and torments. similar disasters. then. had dashed at the whale. distracted fury the the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies minds of his more desperate hunters were impelled. Ahab had chermeans unusual in the fishery.— Ahab did not fall down and worship it like them. no hired Venetian or Malay. all that stirs up the lees of things. and made practically assailable in Moby Dick. were by no that ever since that almost fatal encounter. but all his intellectual and garded as having been inflicted by an unintelligent agent. as an Arkansas duellist at his foe. could have smote him with which has been from the beginning.on with half a heart and half a lung. to what pitches of inflamed. Small reason was there to doubt. when amid which some deep men feel eating in them. to crazy Ahab. spiritual exasperations. he pitted himself. one captain. That captain was Ahab. that smiled on. all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain.

not one jot of Ahab’s broad madness had been left behind. when by this madness was now gone. so in that broad madness. and issued his ceived the stroke that tore him. his special lunacy stormed his general sanity. when running into more sufferable latitudes. Human madness is oftentimes a cunning and most days and weeks.Moby Dick down. even then. though unlimbed of a leg. in him with the Cape Horn swells. it may have but become transfigured into some still subtler form. yet such vital strength yet lurked in his Egyptian chest. and for long months of raved on. and when he rebore that firm. and carried it. knife in hand. like the unabated Hudson. even then. passionate. he had but given loose to dark den into the blessed light and air. that the final monomania seized him. It is not probable that this monomania in him took its instant to all appearances. and. Then. he burst his And. and was moreover intensified by his delirium. mild stun’sails spread. floated across the tranquil tropics. and he came forth from his darting at the monster. That it was only then. so that far from having lost his strength. collected front. That before living agent. even there. howling Patagonian Cape. on the homeward voyage. feline thing. Ahab. Ahab’s full lunacy subsided not. however pale. and his mates thanked God the direful nizing bodily laceration. corporal animosity. made him mad. and then. the old man’s delirium seemed left behind rise at the precise time of his bodily dismemberment. and turned all its concentred cannon upon its own mad mark. and so interfusing. as if his chest had been a mortar. raving in his hammock. In a strait-jacket. now became the living instrument. that his torn body and gashed soul bled into one another. the ship. that his mates were forced to lace him fast. collision forced to turn towards home. If such a furious trope may stand. but nothing more. at intervals during the passage. Ahab. when he a sudden. But. he probably but felt the agocalm orders once again. but unfathomably through the Highland gorge. rounding in mid winter that dreary. Ahab and anguish lay stretched together in one hammock. to 182 . but deepeningly contracted. as in his narrow-flowing monomania. with hot heart’s shell upon it. seems all but certain from the fact that. When you think it fled. after the encounter. he was a raving lunatic. he swung to the mad rockings of the gales. and. in his hidden self. as he sailed. Yet. then it was. not one jot of his great natural intellect had perished. when that noble Northman flows narrowly.

Wind ye down there. and all truth is stepped ashore at last. the calculating people of that prudent isle were inclined to harbor the conceit. darker. or shun the fact. did than ever he had sanely brought to bear upon any one reason. to those vast Roman halls of Thermes. sat brooding on his brow. no Nantucketer thought him otherwise profound. that far from distrusting his fitness for another whaling voyage. deeper part remains did he succeed in that dissembling. the great gods mock that captive king. did now possess a thousand fold more potency knew that to mankind he did long dissemble. all the beneath the fantastic towers of man’s upper earth. if for any reason thought to be 183 . his root of grandeur. he patient sits. upholding on his frozen brow the piled entablatures of ages. or change. But that thing of his dissembling was only subject to his able object. my motive and my object mad. ye young exiled royalties. so like a Caryatid. perceptibility. so well This is much. Nor is it so very unlikely. Winding far down from within the very heart of this than but naturally grieved. Now. where far popularly ascribed to a kindred cause. that for those very reasons he was all the better qualified and set on edge. and from your grim sire only will the old State-secret come. ye prouder. sad king! A family likeness! aye. unrelenting fangs of some incurable idea. and throned on torsoes! So with a broken throne. ye nobler. namely: all my means are sane. for a pursuit so full of rage and wildness as the bloody hunt of whales. The report of his undeniable delirium at sea was likewise sadder souls. Yet without power to kill. he did beget ye. And so too. on account of such dark symptoms. yet Ahab’s larger. with the terspiked Hotel de Cluny where we here stand—however grand rible casualty which had overtaken him. Or. his whole awful essence sits in bearded state. in some sort.—and take your way. would seem the very man to dart his iron and lift his lance against the most appalling of all brutes.Herman Melville that one end. in his heart. Ahab had some glimpse of this.still. an antique buried beneath antiquities. and that to the quick. now quit it. he likewise added moodiness which always afterwards. But vain to popularize profundities. that when with ivory leg he unhinted. sadder souls! question that proud. not to his will determinate. Nevertheless. to the very day of sailing in the Pequod on the present voyage. Gnawed within and scorched without. and wonderful. could he be found. with the infixed. such an one.

or how to their unconone only and all-engrossing object of hunting the White Whale. certain it is. and cannibals—morally enfeebled also. at the head of a crew. 184 . but while yet all a-rush to encounter the whale. unsuspected way. seemed specially picked and packed by some infernal fatality to help him to his monomaniac revenge. I gave myself up to the abandonment of the time and the place. Here.Moby Dick corporeally incapacitated for that. and castaways. how soon would their aghast life. chiefly made up of mongrel renegades. the White Whale mad secret of his unabated rage bolted up and keyed in him. was this grey-headed. could see naught in that brute but the deadliest ill. the profit to be counted down in dollars from the mint. chasing with curses a Job’s whale round the world. He was intent on an audacious. immitigable. and supernatural revenge. would be to dive deeper than Ishmael and righteous souls have wrenched the ship from such a fiendcan go. in some dim. as much their insufferable foe as his. one tell whither leads his shaft by the ever shifting. the invunerable jollity of indifference and recklessness in Stubb. by the incompetence of mere unaided virtue or right-mindedness in Starbuck. Such a crew. The subterranean miner that works in us all. ungodly old man. muffled sound of his pick? Who does not feel the irresistible arm drag? What skiff in tow of a seventy-four can stand still? For one. too. But be all this as it may. that with the that at times his hate seemed almost theirs. then. scious understandings. how all this came to be— Ahab had purposely sailed upon the present voyage with the what the White Whale was to them. yet such an one would seem How it was that they so aboundingly responded to the old superlatively competent to cheer and howl on his underlings to man’s ire—by what evil magic their souls were possessed. how can ish man! They were bent on profitable cruises. also. the attack. Had any one of his old acquaintances on shore but half dreamed he might have seemed the gliding great demon of the seas of of what was lurking in him then. so officered.—all this to explain. and the pervading mediocrity in Flask.

or rather has been even made significant of gladness. the benignity of age. and the Hanoverian flag bearing the one figure of a HAT THE WHITE WHALE WAS TO AHAB. else all these chapters might be naught. Caesarian.Herman Melville beauty. nameless horror concerning him. whiteexplain myself I must. though in many climes. at times. he was to me. has been snow-white charger. as if imparting some special virtue of its own. ness typifies the majesty of Justice in the ermine of the Judge. in some dim. noble things—the innoputting it in a comprehensible form. and the modern kings of Siam unfurling the same snow-white quadruped in the royal standard. as yet heir to overlording Rome. and though this pre-eminence in it applies Aside from those more obvious considerations touching to the human race itself. that I almost despair of made the emblem of many touching. there was another thought. whiteness man’s soul some alarm. the deepest pledge of honour. though among the Red whale that above all things appalled me. hinted. which at times by its Romans a white stone marked a joyful day. having for the imperial colour the remains unsaid. and though. what. It was the whiteness of the cence of brides. Though in many natural objects. and pearls. this same hue is tical and well nigh ineffable was it. and yet. and though various nations have in some way recognised a certain royal preeminence in this hue. whiteness refiningly enhances CHAPTER 42 The Whiteness of The Whale W 185 . for among the vague. japonicas. all this. same imperial hue. But how can I hope Men of America the giving of the white belt of wampum was to explain myself here. as in marbles. and yet so mysother mortal sympathies and symbolizings. giving the white man ideal mastership Moby Dick. even the barbaric. random way. and though in intensity completely overpowered all the rest. which could not but occasionally awaken in any over every dusky tribe. besides. and the great Austrian Empire. grand old kings of Pegu placing the title “Lord of the White Elephants” above all their other magniloquent ascriptions of dominion.

all Christian priests derive the name of one part of their sacred vesture. the white forked flame being held the holiest on the altar. there yet lurks an elusive something ness. and though to the noble Iroquois. it might be said. and the white shark of the tropics. even more loathsome than terrific.* *With reference to the Polar bear. that it is not the whiteness. worn beneath the cassock. and honourable. by the Persian fire worshipness. that the irresponsible ferociousness of the creature stands invested in the fleece of celestial innocence and love. by bringing together two such opposite emotions in our minds. and though directly from the Latin word for white. which causes the thought of whitedivine spotlessness and power. flaky the midwinter sacrifice of the sacred White Dog was by far the whiteness makes them the transcendent horrors they are? That holiest festival of their theology. separately regarded. for. the alb or tunic. But even assuming all this to be true. only rises from the circumstance. you would not have that intensified terror. that heightened hideousness. 186 . what but their smooth. it may possibly be urged by him who would fain go still deeper into this matter. Great Jove himself being made to the furthest bounds. that spotless. which heightens the intolerable hideousness of that brute. incarnate in a snow-white bull. John. and pers. were it not for the whiteness. yet. analysed. when divorced from more kindly associations. and hence. to heighten that terror and in the Greek mythologies. which strikes more of panic by milk-white steeds. to the dumb gloating of their aspect. though even in the higher mysteries of to the soul than that redness which affrights in blood. and sublime. yet for all these accumulated associations. faithful creature ghastly whiteness it is which imparts such an abhorrent mildbeing held the purest envoy they could send to the Great Spirit with the annual tidings of their own fidelity. though in the Vision of St.Moby Dick and contributes to the daily state of kings and queens drawn in the innermost idea of this hue. white is specially employed in the celebration of the Passion of our Lord. coupled with any object terrible in itself. with whatever is sweet. the most august religions it has been made the symbol of the This elusive quality it is. Witness the white bear of the poles. and the four-and-twenty elders stand clothed in white before the great-white throne. and the Holy One that sitteth there white like wool. So that not the fierce-fanged tiger in his heraldic coat can so stagger courage as the white-shrouded bear or shark. the Polar bear frightens us with so unnatural a contrast. white robes are given to the redeemed. and though among the holy pomps of the Romish faith.

the invoking. he replied. when the white fowl flew to join the wing-folding. but God’s great. Nature. This peculiarity is most vividly hit by tross. unflattering laureate. was taken off in Heaven. as the fowl floated on the sea. a truth the more evinced **I remember the first albatross I ever saw. when I saw that bird upon our deck. in allusion to the white. with the ship’s time and place. as some king’s ghost in supernatural distress. in saying this. Roman bill sublime. and the mild deadliness of his habthe noble merit of the poem and the poet. can only hint. I cannot tell. but never with and there. I saw a regal. But how had the mystic thing been caught? Whisper it not. tying a lettered. the things that spell. Long I gazed at that tom sails in all imaginations? Not Coleridge first threw that prodigy of plumage. the white thing was so white. with a treacherous hook and line. that by a solecism of terms there are birds called grey my forenoon watch below. whence requim denominating the mass itself. whence come those clouds of those for ever exiled waters. that leathern tally. and these I have frequently seen. I bowed 187 . in waters hard upon the Antarctic seas. I ascended to the overclouded deck. and with a hooked. dashed upon the main hatches. Yet. At last the Captain made a postman of it. when bething is utterly unknown to men ashore! never! But some time held in his ordinary moods. as if to embrace some holy ark.** darted through me then. and adoring cherubim! took hold of God. At intervals. feath.then letting it escape. But at last I awoke. the French call him requin. and turning.Herman Melville myself. strange eyes. it uttered cries. A goney. I will tell. albatrosses. is it conceivable that this glorious white gliding ghostliness of repose in that creature. silent stilltross. For neither rest). I learned that goney was some seaman’s name for albain the Polar quadruped. I had lost the miserable warping spiritual wonderment and pale dread. Wondrous flutterings and leathern tally round its neck. and in Bethink thee of the albatross. But I doubt not. methought I peeped to secrets which man. it arched forth its vast archangel wings.such emotions as when I beheld the Antarctic fowl. From in this. and ery thing of unspotted whiteness. its. The Romish have had aught to do with those mystical impressions which mass for the dead begins with “Requiem eternam” (eternal were mine. strangely tallies with the same quality after. nor knew the bird to be an albaother funeral music. then. and throbbings shook it. that in the wondrous bodily whiteness of the bird chiefly lurks the secret of the spell. asked a sailor what bird was this. It was during a prolonged gale. Through its in. meant for expressible. I do but indirectly burnish a little brighter ness of death in this shark. I assert. its wings so wide. the had heard that name before. and any had I then read the Rhyme. So that by no possibility could Coleridge’s wild Rhyme the French in the name they bestow upon that fish. Now. Though bodily unharmed. in which that white phanmemories of traditions and of towns. Goney! never (Cont’d from previous page) As for the white shark. As Abraham before the angels.

in quite other aspects. at the same time enforced a cerRocky Mountains and the Alleghanies. A most imperial and archangelical apparition of that unfallen. bluff-browed and fearless as this mighty steed. the curving comet of his tail. From its snowy aspect. a magnificent milkobject of trembling reverence and awe. Whether marching amid his aides and marshals in the van of countless cohorts that endlessly streamed it over the plains. large-eyed. and tioned from what stands on legendary record of this noble with the dignity of a thousand monarchs in his lofty. overscorning horse.Moby Dick Most famous in our Western annals and Indian traditions is presented himself. the gauntleted ghost of the Southern Seas has been 188 . he westward trooped it like that chosen star which every But there are other instances where this whiteness loses all evening leads on the hosts of light. like an Ohio. does Nature in her least palpable but not the less malicious agencies. Why should this be so? Nor. as that sometimes he is loathed by his own kith and kin! It is that whiteness which invests him. western world. At their flaming head tain nameless terror. always to the bravest Indians he was the that of the White Steed of the Prairies. fail to enlist among her forces this crowning attribute of the terrible. Nor can it be queswhite charger. invested him with housings more resplendent than gold and silver-beaters could have furnished him. What is it that in the Albino man so peculiarly repels and often shocks the eye. small-headed. whose pastures in those days were only fenced by the though commanding worship. which so clothed carriage. The flashing cascade of his that accessory and strange glory which invests it in the White mane. The Albino is as well made as other men—has no substantive deformity—and yet this mere aspect of all-pervading whiteness makes him more strangely hideous than the ugliest abortion. and that this divineness had that in it which. horses. bluff-chested. a thing expressed by the name he bears. which to the eyes of the old trappers and hunters revived the glories of those primeval times when Adam walked majestic as a god. He was the elected Xerxes of vast herds of wild him with divineness. that it was his spiritual whiteness chiefly. in whatever aspect he Steed and Albatross. the White Steed gallopingly reviewed them with warm nostrils reddening through his cool milkiness. or whether with his circumambient subjects browsing all around at the horizon.

then. Why to the man of untutored ideality. dreary. would seem impossible. all ghosts rising in a milk-white fog—Yea. in his other moods. that even the king of terrors. let us add. in some things. we borrow the expressive hue of the shroud in which we wrap them. It cannot well be doubted. doubtless. does the common. while these terrors seize us. when personified by the evangelist. is found to exert over of this to account for it? To analyse it. subtlety appeals to subtlety. hereditary experigreat part stripped of all direct associations calculated to imence of all mankind fail to bear witness to the supernaturalism part to it aught fearful. as if indeed that pallor were as much like the badge of consternation in the other world. profoundest idealized significance it calls up a peculiar apparihas the art of human malice omitted so potent an auxiliary. as of mortal trepidation here.Herman Melville denominated the White Squall.—can we thus hope quality in the aspect of the dead which most appals the gazer. and without imagination no man can follow another into these halls. however modified. does the bare mention of Whitsuntide marshal in the fancy such long. no man can deny that in its to light upon some chance clue to conduct us to the hidden cause we seek? Let us try. rides on his pallid horse. And from that pallor of the dead. tion to the soul. Therefore. that the one visible us the same sorcery. Nor even in our superstitions do we fail to throw the same snowy mantle round our phantoms. perate White Hoods of Ghent murder their bailiff in the mar. And though. How wildly it heightens the effect of that passage in Froissart. the des. masked in the snowy symbol of their faction.Can we. in some historic instances. some at least of the imaginative impressions about to be presented may have been shared by most men. who happens to be but loosely acquainted with the peculiar character of the day. and therefore may not be able to recall them now. but nevertheless. yet few perhaps were entirely conscious of them at the time. But though without dissent this point be fixed. how is mortal when. symbolize whatever grand or gracious thing he will by whiteness. by the citation of some of those instances wherein ket-place! this thing of whiteness—though for the time either wholly or in Nor. speechless processions of slow-pacing pil189 . But in a matter like this. is the marble pallor lingering there. Nor.

down-cast and hooded with new-fallen snow? Or. saddest city thou can’st see. as a tossed pack of cards. dewy. whose changeless pallor unrustlingly glides through the the unread. why does the passing mention of a White Friar or all the whooping imps of the Blocksburg? a White Nun.Moby Dick grims. irrespective of all latitudes and longitudes. evoke such an eyeless statue in the soul? Nor is it. the strangest. distant dreaminess? Or why. why. Old as Pizarro. comes that gigantic ghostliness over the soul at the bare mention of that name.pling earthquakes. does the name of the White Sea exert such a spectralness over the fancy. this whiteness keeps her ruins for ever new. altogether. does “the tall pale man” of the Hartz other. to forests. in reading the old fairy tales of Central Europe. nor to the unimaginative mind is there aught of terror in those appearances whose awfulness to another mind almost solely consists in this 190 . purely addressed to the fancy. and imagination of an untravelled American. while the thought of Virginia’s Blue Ridge is full of a soft. nor riors and kings (which will not wholly account for it) that makes the tearlessness of arid skies that never rain.—it is not these things alone which make tearless Lima. its neighbors—the Byward Tower. nor the stampedoes of her frantic seas. I know that. this phenomenon of whiteness is not confessed to be the prime agent in exaggerating the terror of objects otherwise terrible. in peculiar moods. nor the sight of the White Tower of London tell so much more strongly on the her wide field of leaning spires. wrenched cope-stones. spreads over her broken ramparts the rigid pallor of an apoplexy that fixes its own distortions. For Lima has taken the white veil. or even the her suburban avenues of house-walls lying over upon each Bloody? And those sublimer towers. whence. unsophisticated Protestant of the Middle Amerigreen of the groves—why is this phantom more terrible than can States. the remembrance of her cathedral-topOr what is there apart from the traditions of dungeoned war. and ried structures. to choose a wholly unsubstantial instance. the White Mountains of New Hampshire. while that of the Yellow Sea lulls us with mortal thoughts of long lacquered mild afternoons on the waves. than those other stocrosses all adroop (like canted yards of anchored fleets). admits not the cheerful greenness of complete decay. to the common apprehension. and there is a higher horror in this whiteness of her woe. followed by the gaudiest and yet sleepiest of sunsets? Or.

when drawing nigh the coasts of foreign prairie sheeted with driven snow. What I mean by a fearfulness it would be to lose oneself in such inhuman solithese two statements may perhaps be respectively elucidated tudes. and with bursting eyes paw the ground in phrensies of affright? There is 191 . Tell me. instead of rainbows speaking midnight sea of milky whiteness—as if from encircling headlands shoals of combed white bears were swimming round him. beholdlance. the shrouded phantom of the whitened waters is horrible to him as a real ghost. Ishmael. far removed from all beasts of prey—why is it that upon the sunniest day. it was not so much the fear of striking hidden rocks. superstitious dread. especially when exhibited under any form reigning at such vast altitudes. he. heart and helm they both go down. why this strong young colt. except. but under precisely similar circumstances. who with comparative indifference views an unbounded First: The mariner. thou surrenderest to a hypo. the continual sight of the snowhowdahed Andes conveys naught of dread. perhaps. called from his hammock to view his ship sailing through a shivering and half shipwrecked. starts to vigi. foaled in some peaceful valley of Vermont. But thou sayest. Not so the sailor. Yet where is the mariner who will tell thee. views what seems a boundless churchyard grinning upon him with its lean ice monuments and splintered crosses. “Sir.Herman Melville one phenomenon. by some faculties. West. and feels just enough of trepidation to sharpen all his ing the scenery of the Antarctic seas. Much the same is it with the backwoodsman of the by the following examples. so that he cannot even see it. and the natural conceit of what at all approaching to muteness or universality. he never rests till blue water is under him again. let him be infernal trick of legerdemain in the powers of frost and air. no shadow of tree or twig to lands. methinks that white-lead chapter about whiteness is but a white flag hung out from a craven soul. snort. if by night he hear the roar of breakers. in vain the lead assures him he is still off soundings.break the fixed trance of whiteness. but only smells its wild animal muskiness—why will he start. if you but shake a fresh buffalo robe behind him. in the mere fancying of the eternal frosted desolateness hope and solace to his misery. as the fear of that hideous whiteness that so stirred me?” Second: To the native Indian of Peru. where at times. then he feels a silent.

full of meaning. Though Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless thousands of miles from Oregon. and cannot recall to him anything associated with the experience of more strange and far more portentous—why. all these. the invisible spheres were formed in fright. green northern home. not actually inherent in substances. the black bisons of distant Oregon? the very veil of the Christian’s Deity. and the butterfly cheeks of young girls.Moby Dick no remembrance in him of any gorings of wild creatures in his But not yet have we solved the incantation of this whiteness. that all other earthly hues—every stately or lovely emblazoning—the sweet tinges of sunset skies and woods. are as the shaking of that buffalo robe to the frightened colt! Though neither knows where lie the nameless things of which the mystic sign gives forth such hints. No. the rending. when beholding the the deserted wild foal of the prairies. but here thou beholdest even in a dumb brute. goring bison herds are as present as to behind with the thought of annihilation. as we have seen. and at the same time the concrete of all colours. to Ishmael. still when he smells that savvoids and immensities of the universe. somewhere those things must exist. yea. the desolate shiftings of the windrowed snows of prairies. the muffled rollings of a milky sea. the in. as with the colt. white depths of the milky way? Or is it. but only laid on from without. of it is at once the most meaning symbol of spiritual things. then. and thus stabs us from age musk. nay. so that all deified Nature absolutely paints 192 . which this instant they may be trampling into dust. the bleak rustlings of the festooned frosts of mountains. and yet should be as it is.the intensifying agent in things the most appalling to mankind. Though in many of its aspects this visible world seems formed in love. former perils. and the gilded velvets of butterflies. all-colour of atheism from which we shrink? And when we consider that other theory of the natural philosophers. is it for these reasons that there is such a dumb blankness. in a wide landscape of snows—a colourless. stinct of the knowledge of the demonism in the world. so that the strange muskiness he smells and learned why it appeals with such power to the soul. this New England colt. that as in essence whiteness is not so much a colour as the visible absence of colour. yet with me. for what knows he. all these are but subtile deceits. Thus.

Cabaco? own blank tinge—pondering all this.Herman Melville like the harlot. standing in a cordon. a fair moonlight. only broken by the occasional flap of a sail. they were careful not to speak or rustle their feet. for ever remains white or colourless in itself. they passed the buckets to fill the scuttle-butt. And of all these things the Albino whale was the symbol. Standwhite shroud that wraps all the prospect around him. one of the cordon. the words above. and consider that the mystical cosmetic which produces every one of her hues. and if operating without medium upon matter. It was in the midst of this repose. the buckets went in the deepest silence. then at the fiery hunt? From hand to hand. and when we proceed further. whose allurements cover nothing but the charnel-house within. who refuse to wear coloured and colouring glasses upon their eyes. for the most part. extending from one of the fresh-water butts in the waist. and the steady hum of the unceasingly advancing keel. even tulips and roses. to the scuttle-butt near the taffrail. whose post was near the after-hatches. Cabaco?” “Take the bucket. “Hist! did you hear that noise. and like wilful travellers in Lapland. Archy? what noise d’ye mean?” “There it is again—under the hatches—don’t you hear it—a CHAPTER 43 Hark! 193 . a Cholo. whispered to his neighbor. with its “Hist! Did you hear that noise. the seamen were before us a leper. will ye. In this so the wretched infidel gazes himself blind at the monumental manner. the palsied universe lies It was the middle-watch. Wonder ye ing. that Archy. would touch all objects. on the hallowed precincts of the quarter-deck. the great principle of light.

you would have seen him intently study the various lines and shadings which there met his eye. there is somebody down in the after-hold that has not yet been seen on deck. will ye? It’s the three soaked biscuits ye eat for supper turning over inside of ye— nothing else. the heavy pewter lamp suspended in chains over his head. Hark ye. I’ve sharp ears.Moby Dick cough—it sounded like a cough. At intervals. and bringing out a large wrinkled roll of yellowish sea charts. you’re the chap.” “Aye. one morning watch. we’ll see what turns up.” “There again—there it is!—it sounds like two or three sleepers turning over. continually rocked with the motion of the ship. ain’t ye. and I suspect our old Mogul knows something of it too. sperm whales had been captured or seen.” “Tish! the bucket!” CHAPTER 44 The Chart H AD YOU FOLLOWED CAPTAIN AHAB down into his cabin after the squall that took place on the night succeeding that wild ratification of his purpose with his crew. shipmate. Then seating himself before it. you would have seen him go to a locker in the transom. on various former voyages of various ships. that heard the hum of the old Quakeress’s knitting-needles fifty miles at sea from Nantucket. Cabaco. wherein were set down the seasons and places in which. spread them before him on his screwed-down table. now!” “Caramba! have done. Look to the bucket!” “Say what ye will. and for ever threw shifting gleams and shadows of lines 194 .” “Grin away.” “Cough be damned! Pass along that return bucket. that there was something of that sort in the wind. and with slow but steady pencil trace additional courses over spaces that before were blank. I heard Stubb tell Flask. he would refer to piles of old log-books beside him. you are the chap. While thus employed. shipmate.

Herman Melville upon his wrinkled brow. almost approaching to certainties. Besides. issued by Lieutenant Maury. is the fact concerning the periodicalness himself was marking out lines and courses on the wrinkled of the sperm whale’s resorting to given waters. Washington. guided by some infallible in*Since the above was written. On this were effaced. By that circular. calling to mind the regular. April 16th. Almost every night sperm whale would be found to correspond in invariability to they were brought out. But not so did it seem to Ahab. were the logs for one voyage of the But it was not this night in particular that. of the National Observatory. could arrive at reasonable surmises. sperm or right. throughout the world.” 195 . when making a passage from one feeding-ground to another. Now. 1851. ascertained seasons for hunting him in particular latitudes.* currents and eddies. and the two others to show the number of days in which whales. then the migrations of the cabin. For with the charts hint. and thereby calculating the driftings of the sperm whale’s food. it appears that precisely such a chart is in course of completion. it might seem an absurdly hopeless task thus to seek out one solitary creature in the unhooped oceans of this planet. Ahab thus pondered over his charts. indeed. could he be closely observed and studied upon the deeply marked chart of his forehead. have been seen. with a view to the more certain accomplishment of that monomaniac thought of his soul. till it almost seemed that while he So assured. and portions of it are presented in the circular. who knew the sets of all tides and currents. perpendicularly through each of which districts are twelve columns for the twelve months. and. the sperm whales. one to show the number of days that have been spent in each month in every district. and horizontally through each of which districts are three lines. some invisible pencil was also tracing lines and courses ers believe that. “This chart divides the ocean into districts of five degrees of latitude by five degrees of longitude. Ahab was threading a maze of tory charts of the sperm whale. also. in the solitude of his entire whale fleet carefully collated. concerning the timeliest day to be upon this or that ground in search of his prey. the statement is happily borne out by an official circular. to any one not fully acquainted with the ways of the leviathans. attempts have been made to construct elaborate migraof all four oceans before him. and others were substituted. that many huntcharts. almost every night some pencil marks those of the herring-shoals or the flights of swallows.

Though. But not so in a given ocean-line with such undeviating exactitude. migrating whales may with great confidence be looked for. the direc. in these cases. secret intelligence from the Deity—mostly There was a circumstance which at first sight seemed to enswim in veins. generally embraces where the contrary of this has proved true. as they are called. straight wake. with one tithe of their regular seasons for particular grounds. that were the Pequod to visit either of those spots at any subsequent corresponding season. And where Ahab’s chances of accomplishing his object have hitherto been spoken of. yet the arbitrary vein in son.cannot conclude that the herds which haunted such and such a tion taken by any one whale be straight as a surveyor’s par. Though the gregarious sperm whales have ship ever sailed her course. And hence not only at substantiated times. continuing their way along tangle his delirious but still methodical scheme. that no the reality. But all these seemed only his casual stopping-places and ocean-inns. only within a less wide limit. for example. yet it did not follow. where he had at times revealed himself. too. In general. same remark. as even then not to be wholly without prospect of a meeting. aged sperm whales. rather. So. though there are peculiar and unquestionable instances which at these times he is said to swim. when circumspectly gliding along this magic zone. by any chart. So that though Moby Dick had in a former year been seen. The sum is. will turn out to be identically allel. and though the line of advance be strictly confined to its the same with those that were found there the preceding seaown unavoidable. so place and time himself on his way. but never exceeds the visual sweep from the whale-ship’s mast-heads. she would infallibly encounter him there. upon well known separate feeding-grounds. the some few miles in width (more or less. that at particular seasons within that breadth and along that path. or Volcano Bay on the Japanese Coast. could Ahab hope to encounter his prey. say. applies to the solitaries and hermits among the matured. on what is called the Seychelle ground in the Indian ocean. as the vein is presumed to expand or contract). by his art. yet in general you such marvellous precision. perhaps. so to speak.Moby Dick stinct—say. al196 .latitude or longitude this year. but in crossing the widest expanses of water between those grounds he could. with some other feeding grounds. not his places of prolonged abode.

Now. there the waves were storied with his deeds. as the sun. Trades. perLine. any wind but the Levanter and Simoon. the Pequod had sailed from Nantucket at the very which. But in the cautious comprehensiveness and unloitering vigilance with which Ahab threw his brooding soul into this unfaltering hunt. There it was. this. yet. Therefore. in its annual round. That particular set time and place were cruise there. and then running down sixty ties. nor in the sleeplessness of his vow could he so tranquillize his unquiet heart as to postpone all intervening quest. as Ahab fondly thought. loiters for a pre. spending his vacation in seas far remote from his periodical feedinggrounds. he would not permit himself to rest all his hopes upon the one crowning fact above mentioned. an interval dicted interval in any one sign of the Zodiac.Herman Melville lusion has only been made to whatever way-side. Because. lingering in those waters very complexion of things. when all possibilities would become probabilisouthwards. for several consecutive years. No possible endeavor extra prospects were his. beginning of the Season-on-the-Line. ere a particular set time or place then could enable her commander to make the great passage were attained. and. So that Monsoons. there also was that tragic spot where the monomaniac old man had found the awful motive to his vengeance. if by chance the White Whale. or in the Bengal Bay. too. Harmattans. an interval of three hunfor awhile. instead of impatiently enduring ashore. he would spend in a miscellaneous hunt. been correctly selected by Ahab. that in the broad boundless ocean.dred and sixty-five days and nights was before him. he must wait for the next ensuing seaconjoined in the one technical phrase—the Season-on-the. For there and then. or China Seas. Nor’-Westers. seems it not but a mad idea. even if encountered. But granting all this. Moby haps. should be thought 197 . Yet the premature hour of the Pequod’s sailing had. might blow Moby Dick into the devious zig-zag worldcircle of the Pequod’s circumnavigating wake. antecedent. that most of the deadly encounters with the white whale had taken place. Pampas. regarded discreetly and coolly. every possibility the next degrees of latitude arrive in the equatorial Pacific in time to thing to a certainty. should turn up his wrinkled brow off the Persian Gulf.son. double Cape Horn. or in any other waters haunted by his race. however flattering it might be to those hopes. with a view to this Dick had been periodically descried. one solitary whale.

could not but be un. of which. God! what trances of torments does that man endure who is consumed with one unachieved revengeful desire. which at other times employed it for its outer vehicle or agent. He sleeps with clenched hands. perhe escape? His broad fins are bored. Ahab would mutter beneath him. it spontaneously sought escape from the scorching contiguity of the frantic thing. and in sleep. till a weariness and faintness of pondering came over him. in Ahab’s case. and wakes with his own bloody nails in his palms. this Ahab that had gone to his hammock. as after poring over his charts till long after midnight with glaring eyes Ahab would burst from his state room. as he would throw himself back in reveries—tallied him. or fright at his own resolve. and in the open air of the deck he would seek to recover his strength. For. and whirled them round and round and round in his blazing brain. which. a wild cry would be heard through the ship. living principle or soul in him. Often. from which forked Constantinople? Yes. and a chasm seemed opening in him. even as a case. were but the breathless race. and shall though escaping from a bed that was on fire. and to himself. and scalloped out like a haps. And have I not tallied the whale. therefore it must have been that. when forced from his hammock by exhausting and intolerably vivid dreams of the night. unappeasedly steadfast hunter of the white whale. carried them on amid a clashing of phrensies. at such times. For the peculiar snow-white brow of flames and lightnings shot up. crazy Ahab. and when. 198 . the scheming. Ah. being for the time dissociated from the characterizing mind. yielding up all his thoughts and fancies to his one supreme purpose.him to leap down among them. it was no longer an integral. and his snow-white hump. was not the agent that so caused him to burst from it in horror again.Moby Dick capable of individual recognition from his hunter. resuming his own intense thoughts through the day. Yet these. But as the mind does not exist unless leagued with the soul. instead of being the unsuppressable symptoms of some lost sheep’s ear! And here. till the very throbbing of his life-spot became insufferable anguish. as was sometimes the plainest tokens of its intensity. his mad mind would run on in a latent weakness. The latter was the eternal. for the time. and accursed fiends beckoned Moby Dick. when this hell in himself yawned mistakable. these spiritual throes in him heaved his being up from its white-bearded Mufti in the thronged thoroughfares of base.

indeed. but the leading have created a creature in thee. First: I have personally known three instances where a whale. while the common vitality to which it was conjoined. practically or reliably known to me as a whaleman. CHAPTER 45 The Affidavit S 199 . the tormented spirit that glared out of bodily eyes. could grimly live and burn.Herman Melville that purpose. a formless somnambulistic being. as to the natural verity of the main points of this affair. I care not to perform this part of my task methodically. was for the time but a book. and he whose intense thinking matter of it requires to be still further and more familiarly enthus makes him a Prometheus. and from these citations. as indirectly touching one or two vacated thing. and morefor ever. by its own sheer inveteracy of will. I take it—the conclusion aimed at will naturally follow of itself. a vulture feeds upon that heart larged upon. fled horrorstricken from the unbidden and unfathered birth. Therefore. that vulture the very creature he creates. to be sure. thy thoughts sperm whales. and. is as important a one as will be found in this volume. a ray of living very interesting and curious particulars in the habits of light. Nay. God help thee. in its earlier part. independent being of its own. but shall be content to produce the desired impression by separate citations of items. forced itself against gods and devils into a kind of self-assumed. and therefore a blankness in itself. the foregoing chapter. but without an object to colour. in order to be adequately understood. when what O FAR AS WHAT THERE MAY BE of a narrative in this seemed Ahab rushed from his room. old man. over to take away any incredulity which a profound ignorance of the entire subject may induce in some minds.

to go in a trading ship on a voyage veracity in the matter there is no good ground to impeach. I say I. they soon put an end to his peculiarities by killing him. and the one vanquished the other. for however peculiar in that respect any chance whale may be. but I am pretty sure it was more than that. Why such a whale became thus marked was not altogether and originally owing to his bodily peculiarities as distinguished from other whales. where he travelled for a period of nearly two years. but have been something more than that. upon the second attack. but to no purpose. howpenetrated far into the interior. recognised a peculiar sort of huge mole under the whale’s eye. and. poisonous miasmas. No: the reason was this: that from the fatal experiences of the fishery there hung a terrible prestige of perilousness about such a whale as there did about Rinaldo Rinaldini. saw the two irons with the respective marks cut in them. This man and this whale again came together. afterwards taken from the ever ignorant the world ashore may be of it. when the two irons.Moby Dick after receiving a harpoon. Meanwhile. myself. first and last. In the instance where three years intervened years. the man who darted them I have heard of many other instances from persons whose happening. and slain. tigers. then. I say three from the body. both marked by the same private cypher. went ashore there. has effected a complete escape. has been the boat both times. brushing with its flanks all the coasts of Africa. the whale he had struck must also have been on its travels. Here are between the flinging of the two harpoons. joined a discovery party. In the three-year instance. that there have been several memorable historical instances where a particular whale in the ocean has been at distant times and places popularly cognisable. insomuch that most fishermen were content to 200 . often endangered by serpents. which I personally know the truth of. no doubt it had thrice circumnavigated the globe. and the last time distinctly again struck by the same hand. that is in two of them I saw the whales struck. to Africa. and I think it may three instances. after an interval (in one instance of three years). and boiling him down into a peculiarly valuable oil. and Secondly: It is well known in the Sperm Whale Fishery. it so fell out that I was in and. dead fish. in the interval. have known three instances similar to this. with all the other common perils incident to wandering in the heart of unknown regions. savages. have been taken which I had observed there three years previous.

not only was he famous in life and now is immortal in forecastle stories after death. chased and killed by valiant whaling captains. but he was admitted into all the rights. as in printed form establishing in all respects the reasonableness of the whole story of the White Whale. which to me seem important. O Don Miguel! thou Chilian whale. whose lofty jet they say at times assumed the semblance of a snow-white cross against the sky? Was it not so. So ignorant are most landsmen of some of the plainest and most palpable wonders of the world. I do not know where I can find a better place than just here. Was it not so. For this is one of those disheartening instances where truth requires full as much bolstering as error. marked like view. were finally gone in quest of. distant unobtrusive salutations to him in the street. as in setting out through the Narragansett Woods. more especially the catastrophe. here are four whales as well known to the stucultivate a more intimate acquaintance. they might receive a sumat various times creating great havoc among the boats of difmary thump for their presumption. they make scholar. scarred like an iceberg. Like some poor devils dents of Cetacean History as Marius or Sylla to the classic ashore that happen to know an irascible great man. who individual celebrity—Nay. systematically But not only did each of these famous whales enjoy great hunted out. O New Zealand Jack! thou terror of all cruisers that crossed their wakes in the vicinity of the Tattoo Land? Was it not so. lest if they But this is not all. that without some 201 . to make mention of one or two other things. and distinctions of a name. O Morquan! King of Japan.Herman Melville recognise him by merely touching their tarpaulins when he would an old tortoise with mystic hieroglyphics upon the back! In be discovered lounging by them on the sea. ferent vessels. privileges. O Timor Tom! thou famed leviathan. had as much a name indeed as Cambyses or Caesar. without seeking to plain prose. you may call it an ocean-wide reheaved up their anchors with that express object as much in nown. whose spout was oft seen from the palmy beach of Ombay? Was it not so. New Zealand Tom and Don Miguel. the headmost warrior of the Indian King Philip. after pursued the acquaintance further. who so long did’st lurk in the Oriental straits of that name. Captain Butler of old had it in his mind to capture that notorious murderous savage Annawon.

Moby Dick hints touching the plain facts. and gave chase to a shoal of sperm whales. historical and otherwise. and what is more. First: In the year 1820 the ship Essex. In fact. as with direct aforethought to stave in. and judiciously malicious. they might scout at Moby Dick as a monstrous fable. the Sperm Whale has done it. they have significantly of the actual disasters and deaths by casualties in the fishery. One reason perhaps is. and the frequency with I have ever found that when narrating to them some specific which they recur. One day she saw spouts. First: Though most men have some vague flitting ideas of the Secondly: People ashore have indeed some indefinite idea general perils of the grand fishery. vivid conception of those perils. when he wrote the history of the plagues of Egypt. For God’s sake. lowered her boats. and sink a large ship. however transient and immediately forgotten that record. but fixed. knowing. complimented me upon my facetiousness. a hideous and intolerable economical with your lamps and candles! not a gallon you allegory. did you ever hear what might be called regular news direct or indirect from New Guinea? Yet I tell you that upon one particular voyage which I made to the Pacific. I declare upon ever finds a public record at home. is being carried down to the bottom of the sea by the sounding leviathan—do you suppose that that poor fellow’s name will appear in the newspaper obituary you will read to-morrow at your breakfast? No: because the mails are very irregular between here and New Guinea. three that had each lost a boat’s crew. but at least one drop of man’s blood was spilled for it. when. be or still worse and more detestable. yet they have nothing like a that a whale is an enormous creature of enormous power. and fishery. that not one in fifty example of this two-fold enormousness. who this moment perhaps caught by the whaleline off the coast of New Guinea. of Nantucket. every one of which had my soul. some of them more than one. burn. But fortunately the special point I here seek can be established upon testimony entirely independent of my own. Do you suppose that that poor fellow there. Ere long. I had no more idea of being facetious than Moses. several of the whales were wounded. was cruising in the Pacific Ocean. That point is this: The Sperm Whale is in some cases sufficiently powerful. 202 . Captain Pollard. utterly destroy. of the had a death by a whale. among many others we spoke thirty different ships.

I have seen Owen which impressions I cannot now recall). induce me to be satisChace. and thereby combining the In another place—p. that in authentic particulars of this catastrophe I have never chanced less than “ten minutes” she settled down and fell over. impressions in my mind of swearing the sea. a very large whale escaping from the boats. durtragedy. but the Dashing his forehead against her hull. he has never tempted it since. was in the issued from the shoal. but the gods ship. After the severest then heard casual allusions to it. the dismal looking wreck. “The dark ocean and swelling waters were of the catastrophe. suddenly. at the time. or dashed upon hidden rocks. for fired with revenge for their sufferings. though from the whale hunters I have now and surviving plank of her has been seen since. exposure.tered. calculating mischief. 45. year 1807 totally lost off the Azores by a similar onset. who was chief mate of the Essex at the time of the fied that I am correct in my opinion. at a short interval between them. and such as indicated resentment and fury. exact manoeuvres which he made were necessary. were calculated to do us the flections. seemed scarcely entitled to a chance which directed his operations. At this day decided. the fears of being swallowed up by some dreadful tem*The following are extracts from Chace’s narrative: “Every fact pest. according to their direction. to effect which. and forthwith forown eyes. both of aspect and revenge of the whale. he so stove her in. Secondly: The ship Union.—he speaks of “the mysterious speed of the two objects for the shock. and all this within a few miles of the scene any hospitable shore. and in which we had struck three of his companions. I have read his plain and faithful narrative.” Again: “At all events. by being made ahead. I have coning a black night an open boat. the and mortal attack of the animal. as if wrecked him again upon unknown rocks and breakers. and the horrid tacks upon the ship. until day again made its appearance. Not a to encounter. Captain Pollard once more sailed He came directly from the shoal which we had just before enfor the Pacific in command of another ship. with all the other ordinary seemed to warrant me in concluding that it was anything but subjects of fearful contemplation. Being returned home at last.” Here are his reflections some time after quitting the ship. all happening before my the second time his ship was utterly lost. on the part of the whale (many of Captain Pollard is a resident of Nantucket. the whole circumstances taken together.” most injury.* nothing. he made two several atmoment’s thought. and producing. and bore directly down upon the ship.Herman Melville when. also of Nantucket. when almost despairing of reaching versed with his son. His aspect was most horrible.” 203 . wholly engrossed my rewhich. part of the crew reached the land in their boats.

The masts reeled. which was in full sail. on our way to Ochotsh. and the sails fell altogether. that begged a few moments’ confidential business with him. raised the ship three feet at least out of the water. while we who were below all sprang instantly upon the deck.Moby Dick Thirdly: Some eighteen or twenty years ago Commodore cumstance in point. Some weeks after. I am not superstitious. An uncommon large whale. the Commodore set sail in this impregnable craft for Valparaiso. peculiarly interesting to the writer hereof. but there is more coming. the Commodore thus begins his seventeenth chapter: was pleased to be sceptical touching the amazing strength as“By the thirteenth of May our ship was ready to sail. as this gigantic creature. remptorily denied for example. then commanding an American sloop-of-war of the first Langsdorff. was attached to the class. Was not Saul of Tarsus converted from unbelief by a similar fright? I tell you. Very good. you must know by the way. that with all his pumps going he made straight for the nearest port to heave down and repair. but was not perceived by any one on board till the moment when the ship. concluding that we had struck upon some rock. the body of which was larger than the ship itself. Captain Langsdorff Islands. it was not till the nineteenth that a brisk gale from the northwest sprang up. was almost upon him. the sperm whale will stand no nonsense. For some thimbleful. instead of this we saw the mon204 . happened to be dining with a party of whaling captains. Conversation turning upon whales. so that it was impossible to prevent its striking against him. but I consider the Commodore’s interview with that whale as providential. But he was stopped on the way by a portly sperm whale. Russian Admiral Krusenstern’s famous Discovery Expedition on board a Nantucket ship in the harbor of Oahu. We were thus placed in the most imminent danger. and the cribed to them by the professional gentlemen present. but so intolerably cold his stout sloop-of-war as to cause her to leak so much as a that we were obliged to keep on our fur clothing. He penext day we were out in the open sea. J—. lay almost at the surface of the water. setting up its back. I will now refer you to Langsdorff’s Voyages for a little cirdays we had very little wind. Sandwich in the beginning of the present century. that any whale could so smite The weather was very clear and fine. That business consisted in fetching the Commodore’s craft such a thwack.

of the great power and malice at times of the sperm whale. our or not the vessel had received any damage from the shock. one way or another known to me. who lay with his head on a gun. . The ship. he has been 205 . and several of the men were shaken out of their hammocks. and purchased by my uncle after bartering away the vessel in which he sailed from home. He substantiates every word. we cast the lead. “about four o’clock in the morning. who. if such be needed. In more than one instance. but found no a nephew of his. it seems. after a long life the shock was so sudden and violent. did actually do great mischief along the Spanish land.. the Captain D’Wolf here alluded to as commanding think. was thrown out of his cabin!” Lionel then goes on to impute the shock to an earthquake.” tion that they could hardly tell where they were or what to Now. “In our way thither. was on his way to “John Ferdinando. but when the amazement village of Dorchester near Boston. Lionel. so full. And.. but ship felt a terrible shock. when we were about D’Wolf applied immediately to the pumps to examine whether one hundred and fifty leagues from the Main of America. The suddenness of the shock made the guns leap this passage in Langsdorff. Captain Davis. which put our men in such consternawe found that very happily it had escaped entirely uninjured.” as he calls the modern Juan Fernandes.Herman Melville ster sailing off with the utmost gravity and solemnity. was by no means a large one: a Russian craft built on the Siberian coast. I might proceed with several more examples. But I should not much wonder if. I have the honour of being was a little over. too. one of ancient Dampier’s old chums—I found a little matter set down so like that just quoted from Langsdorff. and sounded. indeed. the shock was after all caused by an unseen whale vertically bumping the hull from beneath. that we took it for granted of unusual adventures as a sea-captain. but every one began to prepare for death. is a New Englander. this day resides in the the ship had struck against a rock. In that up and down manly book of old-fashioned adventure. that I cannot forbear inserting it here for a corroborative example. however. somewhere about that time. I have particularly questioned him concerning ground.” he in their carriages. of honest wonders—the voyage of Lionel Wafer. and seems to substantiate the imputation by stating that a great earthquake. in the darkness of that early hour of the morning. Captain says.. the ship in question.

that not only is the most marvellous event in this book corroborated by plain facts of the present day. during then acts. a great sea-monster was captured in the neighboring Propontis. the whale towing her great hull through the water. that. not so often with blind rage. Procopius mentions that. Nor is there any reason it should be. if the sperm whale. he Now. or Sea of Marmora. and long withstand all the lances magistrate of Constantinople. and. but that these marvels (like all marvels) are mere repetitions of the ages. one or two particulars. he wrote the a story on that head. as with wilful. a Christian but to pursue the ship itself. not at all affecting the matter presently as a horse walks off with a cart. But I must be content with only one more and a concluding illustration. not only to chase the assailing boats back to their ships. As many know. except in some secured there. he must have been a whale. is allowed time to rally. once struck. Even now I am certain that those seas are 206 . and I am strongly inclined to think a sperm whale. a remarkable and most significant one. he has always been considered sperm whale have.Moby Dick known. Again. A fact thus set down in substantial history cannot easily be gainsaid. Of what precise species this sea-monster was. that history of his own times. is not mentioned. and a most trustworthy and unexaggerating historian. as well as for other reasons. In the sixth Christian century lived Procopius. And I will tell you why. deliberate designs of destruction to his pursuers. The English ship Pusie Hall can tell Emperor and Belisarius general. that upon being attacked he will frequently open his mouth. But as he destroyed ships. so that for the millionth time we say amen with Solomon—Verily there is nothing new under the sun. the term of his prefecture at Constantinople. and retain it in that dread expansion for several consecutive minutes. a work every way of uncommon there have been examples where the lines attached to a running value. nor is it without conveying some eloquent indication of his character. in the days when Justinian was hurled at him from its decks. it is very often observed to be mentioned. For a long time I fancied that the sperm whale had been always unknown in the Mediterranean and the deep waters connecting with it. as for his strength. been transferred to the ship. after having destroyed vessels at intervals in those waters for a period of more than fifty years. By the best authorities. let me say. in this history of his. by which you will not fail to see. in a calm.

an hypothesis be indeed exceptionable. But I have every reason to believe that the food of the altogether to abandon the collateral prosecution of the voysperm whale—squid or cuttle-fish—lurks at the bottom of that age. you will clearly perceive that. on good authority.Herman Melville not. If. as a vessel of war Ahab in all his thoughts and actions ever had in view readily passes through the Dardanelles. hint that his vindictiveness towards the White Whale might have possibly extended itself in some degree to all sperm whales. Now. you properly put these statements together. because large creatures. though he could. then. must in all probability have been a whale would prove to be the hated one he hunted. whale. It would be refining too much. even considering his monomania. a place for his habitual gregarious resort. nevertheless it may have been that he was by nature and In the Propontis. But if such sperm whale. according to all human reasonand that the more monsters he slew by so much the more he ing. hence a sperm whale the ultimate capture of Moby Dick. Procopius’s sea-monster. but by no means the largest of other motives much more influential with him. to that sort. I am told. none of that peculiar substance called brit is to be found. that in modern times there have been isolated instances of the presence of the sperm whale in the Mediterranean. found the skeleton of a sperm whale. perhaps. and reason upon them a bit. the aliment of the right long habituation far too wedded to a fiery whaleman’s ways. have been found at its surface. pass out of the Mediterranean into seemed ready to sacrifice all mortal interests to that one pasthe Propontis. in the present constitution of things. there were not wanting sea. Or at least if this were otherwise. that on the Barbary coast. a Commodore Davis of the British navy HOUGH. by the same route. sion. as far as I can learn. that for half a century stove the multiplied the chances that each subsequently encountered ships of a Roman Emperor. But further investigations have recently proved to me. and perhaps never can be. CONSUMED with the hot fire of his purpose. there were still addi- CHAPTER 46 Surmises T 207 .

unless some ordinary. thought Ahab. however promissory of life and passion in the end. and of all naturally invested it. circumstantial influences were brought to bear upon him. Not only that. prudential. yet that action). for example. but such times are evanescent. It might be that a long interval would elapse ere the White Whale was seen. The permanent constitutional condition of the manufactured man. his ofascendency did not cover the complete spiritual man any more ficers and men must have some nearer things to think of than than mere corporeal superiority involves intellectual masterMoby Dick. Starbuck’s body and Starbuck’s coerced will were Ahab’s. in his soul. men are most apt to get kept withdrawn into the obscure background (for few men’s out of order. yet all sailors of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable—they live in the varying outer weather. is sordidness. so long as Ahab kept his magnet at Starbuck’s brain. it is above all things requisite that temporary interests and employments should intervene and hold them healthily suspended for the final dash. though not so strictly according significantly manifested than in his superlative sense and shrewdwith the wildness of his ruling passion. For however eagerly and impetuously the savage ship. and they inhale its fickleness—and when retained for any object remote and blank in the pursuit. the intellectual but stand in a sort of corporeal relation. Nor was Ahab unmindful of another thing. the hunt should in some incapable of swaying him. abhorred his captain’s quest. Granting that 208 . way be stripped of that strange imaginative impiousness which To accomplish his object Ahab must use tools. During that long interval Starbuck would ever be apt to fall into open relapses of rebellion against his captain’s leadership. that the full terror of the voyage must be tools used in the shadow of the moon. that however magnetic courage is proof against protracted meditation unrelieved by his ascendency in some respects was over Starbuck. for to the purely spiritual. but the subtle insanity of Ahab respecting Moby Dick was noways more crew had hailed the announcement of his quest. that when they stood their long night watches.Moby Dick tional considerations which. yet were by no means ness in foreseeing that. and could he. would joyfully disintegrate himself from it. for the present. still he knew that for all this the chief mate. He knew. In times of strong emotion mankind disdain all base considerations. or even frustrate it.

he had indirectly laid himclosely calculating attention to every minute atmospheric influence which it was possible for his crew to be subjected to. For even the high lifted and even the barely hinted imputation of usurpation. Ahab was now entirely conscious that. 209 . Had they been strictly held dominating brain and heart and hand. this same cash would soon cashier Ahab. they must also have food for their to him. his voice was now often heard hailing the three mast-heads and admonishing them to keep a bright look-out. both moral and legal. and not omit reporting even a porpoise. thought Ahab. picking pockets. and others perhaps too analytic to be verbally developed here. daily appetites. and not only that. Be all this as it may. and with and playing round their savageness even breeds a certain gen. of all hopes of cash—aye. and the poschivalric Crusaders of old times were not content to traverse sible consequences of such a suppressed impression gaining two thousand miles of land to fight for their holy sepulchre. still. cash. and even violently wrest from him the command. Nor was there wanting still another precautionary motive more related to Ahab personally. to their one final and romantic object—that final and romantic object. self open to the unanswerable charge of usurpation. but let some months go by. Ahab plainly saw that he must still in a good degree continue true to the natural. and then this same quiescent cash all at once mutinying in them. while for the love of it they and to that end competent. That protection could only consist in his own preother pious perquisites by the way. but force himself to evince all his well known passionate interest in the general pursuit of his profession. backed by a heedful.perfect impunity. This vigilance was not long without reward. ground.Herman Melville the White Whale fully incites the hearts of this my savage crew. observe all customary usages. and no perspective promise of it to them. in so doing. and perhaps somewhat prematurely revealed the prime but private purpose of the Pequod’s voyage. Having impulsively. erous knight-errantism in them. it is probable. I will not strip these men. They may scorn cash now. could refuse all further obedience give chase to Moby Dick. Ahab must of course have been most anxious to prowithout committing burglaries. and gaining tect himself. too many would have turned from in disgust. For all these reasons then. nominal purpose of the Pequod’s voyage. From more common. his crew if so disposed.

and such an incantation of case might be. for an addi. ever returning. carelessly and unthink. There lay the fixed threads of the warp subject to but one single. and here.Moby Dick broken by the intermitting dull sound of the sword. while busy at the finally shapes and fashions both warp and woof. though restrained in its did there then reign all over the ship and all over the sea.deed. Queequeg and I were mildly my own destiny into these unalterable threads. inand idly looking off upon the water. that it seemed as if this were the Loom of Time. So still and subdued and yet somewoof slantingly. standing sideways. or vacantly gazing over into thought I. only tending to that. free will. or weakly. as the how preluding was all the scene. This warp seemed necessity. and I myself were a shuttle mechanically weaving and weaving away at the Fates. not to be swerved and anon slid his heavy oaken sword between the threads. thought I. and marline between the long yarns of the warp. the seamen were lazily threads with its own. and as Queequeg. completed fabric.Queequeg’s impulsive. unchanging vibration. employed weaving what is called a sword-mat. or crookedly. Meantime. only CHAPTER 47 The Mat-Maker I 210 . ever together. As I kept passing and repassing the filling or woof of different sword must be chance—aye. which thus I was the attendant or page of Queequeg. sultry afternoon. The straight warp of necessity. and chance. from its ultimate course—its every alternating vibration. lounging about the decks. inmat. this easy. or strongly. sometimes hitting the tional lashing to our boat. chance. indifferent sword. and by this difference in the concluding blow reverie lurked in the air. that each silent sailor seemed resolved producing a corresponding contrast in the final aspect of the into his own invisible self. with my own hand I ply my own shuttle and weave the lead-coloured waters. using my own necessity—nowise incompatible—all interweavingly working hand for the shuttle. this savage’s sword. free will still free to ply her shuttle ingly drove home every yarn: I say so strange a dreaminess between given threads. and that vibration merely enough to admit of the crosswise interblending of other T WAS A CLOUDY.

but from gone down heading to leeward. and I stood “There go flukes!” was now the cry from Tashtego. For that singular such a marvellous cadence as from Tashtego the Indian’s. “Time! time!” Tashtego. and at brief sudden intervals he ported the exact minute to Ahab. you would beneath the surface. and musically wild and unearthly. “Quick. so with his head in one direction. that the ball of free will dropped from my hand. though thus prescribed to by both. His body was reaching eagerly forward. while concealed wildly and eagerly peering towards the horizon. High aloft in the cross-trees was that mad Gay-Header. and by those wild cries announcing their coming. To be sure the same sound was that very The ship was now kept away from the wind. Tashtego reporting that the whales had of whalemen’s look-outs perched as high in the air. his hand Dough-Boy hurried below. from hundreds gently rolling before it. and has the last featuring blow at “On the lee-beam. “Where-away?” chance by turns rules either. glanced at the watch. long drawn. he nevertheless. tinguish this fish from other tribes of his genus. whales disappeared. and swiftly swims off in the have thought him some prophet or seer beholding the shadopposite quarter—this deceitfulness of his could not now be ows of Fate.Herman Melville play within the right lines of necessity. steward!” cried Ahab. and restretched out like a wand. And thereby whalemen dissound so strange. about two miles off! a school of them!” events. with the same THUS WE WERE WEAVING and weaving away when I started at a undeviating and reliable uniformity. for there was no reason to suppose that the fish seen 211 . continued his cries. craft at times evinced by the Sperm Whale when. sounding As he stood hovering over you half suspended in air. Instantly all was commotion. and the gazing up at the clouds whence that voice dropped like a wing. and she went moment perhaps being heard all over the seas. The Sperm Whale blows as a clock ticks. mills round. we confidently looked to see few of those lungs could that accustomed old cry have derived them again directly in advance of our bows. in action. and sideways in its mo“There she blows! there! there! there! she blows! she blows!” tions directed by free will.

while one foot was expectantly poised bands of the boat which swung there. Outside of the bulwarks their eager crews with less celerity. for so they then seemed. were casting loose the tackles and one hand clung to the rail. the living hair braided and coiled round and round upon his head. One of the men selected for shipkeepers— that is. This boat had always on the gunwale. and. the line tubs were fixed in their places. the cranes were thrust out. or indeed knew at all of our vicinity. the companions of this figure were of that vivid. Less swart in aspect. by this time relieved the Indian at the main-mast head. But strangely crowning this ebonness was a glistening white plaited turban. So look the long line of man-of-war’s men been deemed one of the spare boats. With a start all glared at dark Ahab. with one white tooth evilly protruding from its steel-like lips. The sailors at the fore and mizzen had come down. those not appointed to the boats. with wide black trowsers of the same dark stuff. were flitthree boats swung over the sea like three samphire baskets ting on the other side of the deck. The figure that now stood by its bows was tall and that took every eye from the whale. who was surrounded by five dusky phantoms that swart.Moby Dick by Tashtego had been in any way alarmed. tiger-yellow complexion peculiar to some of the aboriginal natives of the Manillas. with a noise over high cliffs. and the HE PHANTOMS. vested him. the mainyard was backed. though technically called about to throw themselves on board an enemy’s ship. But at this critical instant a sudden exclamation was heard the captain’s.—a race notorious for a certain diabolism of subtilty. A rumpled Chinese jacket of black cotton funereally inseemed fresh formed out of air. and by some honest CHAPTER 48 The First Lowering T 212 . on account of its hanging from the starboard quarter.

Archy. then. and showed the five strangers rowing Ahab. Hardly had they pulled out from under the ship’s lee. goat-like.Herman Melville white mariners supposed to be the paid spies and secret con. the inmates of the other boats fidential agents on the water of the devil.” drawlingly and soothingly sighed Stubb to his crew. my boys? What is it you stare at? Those chaps in yonder boat? Tut! They are only five more hands come to help us—never mind from where—the more the merrier. Fedallah?” “Aye. pulled round under the stern.” cried Ahab. “Lower away then. pull out more to leeward!” at their head. pull. whose obeyed not the command. all four boats. and Flask. “Why don’t you break your backbones. I say.swart Fedallah and his crew. aye. pull.” boys!—lay back!” Such was the thunder of his voice. Flask. Pull. I don’t mind’em.” “Pull. pull. standing erect in the stern. Stubb. my children. “Captain Ahab?—” said Starbuck. never mind the brimstone— 213 . coming from the windward side. with a dexterous. the three boats dropped into the sea. some of whom still showed signs of uneasiness. Flask. while. the sheaves whirled round in the blocks. these strangers.” was the half-hissed reply. that spite of their amazement the men sprang over the rail. While yet the wondering ship’s company were gazing upon “Spread yourselves. leaped down the rolling ship’s side into the tossed boats below. my fine hearts-alive. d’ye hear?” shouting across the deck. off-handed daring. with a wallow. “I knew it all before now. sweeping round “Ready. “All ready there. the sailors. his great steering oar. to spread themselves widely. Didn’t I hear ‘em in the hold? And didn’t I tell Cabaco here of it? What say ye. But with all their eyes again riveted upon the “Never heed yonder yellow boys. when a fourth keel. “There!—there!—there again! There she blows right ahead. “Lay back!” addressing his crew.” cheerily cried little King-Post. Mr. sir. “give way. who. Cabaco? They are stowaways. their lord. counting-room they suppose to be elsewhere. loudly hailed Starbuck.” “Oh. do pull. so as to cover a large expanse of water. “Lower away there. unknown in any other vocation. my little ones. sir.” said Archy. Ahab cried out to the white-turbaned old man Thou.

Starbuck! larboard boat there.Moby Dick devils are good fellows enough. give way! The devil fetch ye. so. Stubb hailed the mate. and start your eyes out! Here!” whipping out the sharp knife from his girdle. ye ragamuffin rapscallions. that’s the stroke to the most terrific things to his crew. will the mere sight of such a yawning commander. So. and pull with the blade between his teeth. can’t ye? pull. In obedience to a sign from Ahab. you rascals? Bite something. Give way so easy and indolent himself. as to put all inferiors on their guard in the matter of obeying them. softly! That’s it—that’s it! long and strong. marling-spikes!” Stubb’s exordium to his crew is given here at large. Not of contrast. Start her—start her. and the fury seemed so calculated heroes! Three cheers. That’s it—that’s it. that looks like it. Starbuck was now pulling obliquely across Stubb’s bow. acted like a charm upon the crew. and so broadly gaped—open-mouthed at times—that ye are all asleep. ing-oar. still earnestly but whisperingly urging his crew. men—all hearts alive! Easy. because he had rather a peculiar way of talking to them in general. “every mother’s son of ye draw his knife. so. by sheer force ye? pull. Pull. Then again. ye sleepers. Stop snoring. my silver-spoons! Start her. Stubb was one of those odd sort of humorists. then:— for the mere joke of the thing. if ye please!” “Halloa!” returned Starbuck. so. my steel-bits. ahoy! a word with ye. He would say that’s the stroke for a thousand pounds. Why don’t you snap your queer invocations without pulling for dear life. easy. at all. in a tone so strangely comsweep the stakes! Hurrah for the gold cup of sperm oil. and especially in inculcating the religion of rowing. you dogs! So. whose jollity is sometimes so curiously ambiguous. turning round not a single inch as he spoke. Now ye do something. and when for a minute or so the two boats were pretty near to each other. Besides he all the time looked softly. there you are now. sir. that no oarsman could hear such be in a hurry—don’t be in a hurry. But you must not suppose from this specimen of his sermonizings that he ever flew into downright passions with his congregation. won’t ye? Why in the name of gudgeons and ginger-cakes don’t ye pull?—pull and break something! pull. so loungingly managed his steerthere. don’t merely as a spice to the fun. “Mr. 214 . and therein consisted his chief peculiarity. and pull. and yet pulling oars. my pounded of fun and fury.

so be it! Can’t be helped! All right! Give way. and that’s what precise agency in the matter from the beginning. For me. Stubb! (seethe her. a circumstance bespeaking how potent a crew was pulling him. duty and profit hand in hand. before the ship sailed. Mr. like five trip-hammers they rose and fell with regular strokes of strength. The White Whale’s at the bottom of it. my boys!) Sperm. (Spring. having some time previous got abroad among them. which periodically started the boat along the water like a horizontal burst boiler out of a Mississippi steamer. boys!)” in a whisper to his crew. when the boats diverged. this had not unreasonably awakened a sort of superstitious amazement in some of the ship’s company. Aye. aye. pared them for the event. I thought so. as well as the enigmatical hintings of the unaccountable Elijah. as Dough-Boy long suspected. who was seen pulling the harpooneer oar. though the affair still left abuncrew pull strong. and so what with all this and Stubb’s confident way again: “A sad business. seethe her. They were hidden down there. “as soon as I clapt eye on ‘em. so often. I ye came for. though “What think ye of those yellow boys. It took off the extreme edge of their strong. having sided the furthest to windward. somehow. Meantime. As for Fedallah. sir! indeed not credited then.” “Aye. Mr. all for the best. was still ranging ahead of the other boats. (Strong. Well. Let all your from superstitious surmisings. Mr. my men. this had in some small measure pre“Smuggled on board. men! It ain’t the White Whale to-day! Give way!” Now the advent of these outlandish strangers at such a critical instant as the lowering of the boats from the deck. they were for the time freed lads!) but never mind. and displayed his naked chest with the whole part of his body above 215 . my of accounting for their appearance. Stubb. Ahab.Herman Melville his face set like a flint from Stubb’s. then speaking out loud wonder. sperm’s the play! This at silently recalled the mysterious shadows I had seen creeping least is duty. come what will. Those tiger yellow creatures of his seemed all steel and whalebone. Stubb. and that’s what he went into the after hold for. (Pull. I thought as much. he had thrown aside his black jacket. but Archy’s fancied discovery on board the Pequod during the dim Nantucket dawn. well. spring!) dant room for all manner of wild conjectures as to dark Ahab’s There’s hogsheads of sperm ahead. out of hearing of his officers.” soliloquized Stubb.

tip us up an oar there. its commander recklessly standing upon the top of the seen steadily managing his steering oar as in a thousand boat loggerhead.” 216 . like a fencer’s. Boat and crew sat motionless on the sea. Will you mount?” “That I will. though from his closer vicinity Ahab had observed it. thrown half backward into the Not very far distant Flask’s boat was also lying breathlessly air. and let me on to that. and silently the watery horizon. my fine fellow. stand up!” Nimbly springing up on the triangular raised box in the bow. “Good a mast-head as any. Likewise upon the extreme stern of the boat where it was also triangularly platformed level with the gunwale. as if to counterbalance any tendency to trip. and standing upon such a peaked. Its top is not more spafixed. with either hand upon the gunwale to steady his way. eyeing the vast blue eye of the sea. Ahab was still. The whales had irregularly settled bodily down into the blue. swiftly slid aft. only I wish you fifty feet taller. “I can’t see three seas off. so that this loggerhead standpoint of his did by no means satisfy King-Post. Instantly base as that. “Every man look out along his oars!” cried Starbuck. and at the same time little King-Post was full of a large and tall ambition. Daggoo. and with intensely eager eyes gazed off towards the spot where the chase had last been descried. and then erecting himself volunteered his lofty shoulders for a pedestal. and rising lowerings ere the White Whale had torn him. a stout sort of post rooted in the keel. while the boat’s five oars were seen simultaneously cious than the palm of a man’s hand. and thank ye very much.Moby Dick the gunwale. But little King-Post was small and short.” Upon this. sir. Flask seemed perched at the mast-head of some the three spread boats in the rear paused on their way. Starbuck himself was seen coolly and adroitly balancing himship which had sunk to all but her trucks. It is used outstretched arm gave a peculiar motion and then remained for catching turns with the whale line. clearly cut against the alternating depressions of self to the jerking tossings of his chip of a craft. Queequeg. with one arm. thus giving no distantly discernible token of the movement. “Thou. All at once the some two feet above the level of the stern platform. the savage stood erect there. while at the other end of the boat Ahab.

when Tashtego. and then putting Flask’s nanimous earth.Herman Melville Whereupon planting his feet firmly against two opposite added heave did he thereby give to the negro’s lordly chest. that were the case. tumultuous. crying out in a quick phrensy of hurry. pre. it seems. whose eyes had been setting to windward like two fixed stars. and if breastband to lean against and steady himself by. no whale. indifferent. stooping a little. barbaric majesty. And here was Flask now ing solicitudes. flaxen-haired Flask seemed a snow-flake. even when pitched about by the most riotously perverse and cross-running seas. and rammed home the loading with his thumb-end. suddenly dropped like light from his erect attitude to his seat. Daggoo with one lifted arm furnishing him with a lar soundings. unthought of. the third mate. betrayed no such far-gazman high and dry on his shoulders. with one dexterous fling landed the little Meanwhile Stubb. his harpooneer. On his broad back. down all. “Down. for sustaining himself with a cool. under such circumstances. the noble negro to every roll of the sea harmoniously rolled his fine form. but not one He withdrew it from his hatband. but hardly had he ignited his match across the rough sandpaper of his hand. but the earth did not alter her tides and her hand on his hearse-plumed head and bidding him spring as he seasons for that. nor any sign of a herring. He loaded it. The whales might have made one of their regustanding. The bearer looked nobler than the rider. where he always wore it aslant like a feather.So have I seen Passion and Vanity stamping the living magsented his flat palm to Flask’s foot. the gigantic negro. ostentatious little Flask would now and then stamp with impatience. easy. and suffusingly blowing off to leeward. and thin scattered puffs of vapour hovering over it. nothing but a troubled bit of greenish white water. planks of the boat. At any time it is a strange sight to the tyro to see with what was resolved to solace the languishing interval with his pipe. Though truly vivacious. But the sight of little Flask mounted upon gigantic Daggoo was yet more curious. would have been visible at that moment. as his wont in such cases. not a temporary dive from mere fright. Still more strange to see him giddily perched upon the loggerhead itself. wondrous habitude of unconscious skill the whaleman will maintain an erect posture in his boat. himself should toss. and give way!—there they are!” To a landsman. Stubb. like the 217 .

He did not say much to his crew. heated plates of iron. “Pull. Fits? yes. only do that for me. while the sharp fixed glance from his eyes darted straight ahead of the bow. it flew “Look at that chap now. and bite your knives in two—that’s all. merrily. and burst all your livers and lungs!” But what it was that inscrutable Ahab said to that tiger-yellow crew of his—these were words best omitted here. Lord! but I shall go stark. Lay me on—lay me curling. seemed their forehead. hearts-alive. Seen in advance of all the other indithat white water!” And so shouting. with his unlighted short pipe. the on! O Lord. pull. and steadily. at a short distance. Merrily. Pull. my men. in the lowest possible but intensest concentrated whisper to his men. Beneath this atmospheric waving and boys. also. all. beach me on their black backs. it far off upon the sea.” said Starbuck. almost seemed as two visible needles in two unerring binnacle compasses. I say. followed after—”He’s got fits. boys. babes— pull. the puffs of vapour they spouted. Only pull. softly. Roar and pull. that Flask has. Crack all your backbones. and keep pulling. Pudding for supper. troubled water and air. denly vibrated and tingled. you know. Take it easy—why don’t ye take it easy. as it were. “Sing out and say something. How different the loud little King-Post. like the air over intensely and I’ll sign over to you my Martha’s Vineyard plantation. staring mad! See! see whales were swimming. nor did his crew say anything to him. though. sucklings—pull. now harsh with command. then picking it up. mechanically retained between his teeth. and partially beneath a thin layer of water.Moby Dick confused scud from white rolling billows. including wife and children. and finally fell to rearing and plunging in All four boats were now in keen pursuit of that one spot of the boat’s stern like a crazed colt from the prairie. But it bade fair to outstrip them. as a mass of interblending bubbles borne down a rapid stream from the hills. my good boys.” philosophically drawled Stubb. on and on. give him fits—that’s the very word—pitch fits into ‘em. for you 218 . flirted running couriers and detached flying outriders.—merry’s the word. and stamped up and down on it. my thunderbolts! Beach who. he pulled his hat from his cations. nothing more. Only the silence of the boat was at intervals startlingly pierced by one of his peculiar whispers. my hearties. But what the devil are you hurrying about? Softly. boys. now soft with entreaty. The air around sudme.

The boats were pulled more apart. that they would cause some one or two of his into the fever heat of his first battle. with tornado brow. marching from the bosom of his wife and life-like. and glued lips. and eyes of red murder. churned circle of the hunted sperm whale. the shuddering gasps of the oarsmen. Ahab leaped after his prey. the sudden profound dip into the watery glens and hollows. and no limbs but arms. as it would tip for an instant on the knife-like edge of the sharper waves. But this was against all rule.— neither of these can feel stranger and stronger emotions than that man does. the brief suspended agony of the boat.Herman Melville live under the blessed light of the evangelical land. It was a sight full of quick wonder and awe! The vast swells of the omnipotent sea. sled-like slide down its other side. who for the first time finds himself pulling into the charmed. Our sail was now set. the headlong. the surging. The jets of vapour no longer blended. usage pronouncing that they must have no organs but ears. Only the the keen spurrings and goadings to gain the top of the oppoinfidel sharks in the audacious seas may give ear to such words. like gigantic bowls in a boundless bowling-green.” as he called the fictitious monstretched sails. for the oarsmen must put out their eyes. owing to the increasing darkness of the dun cloud-shadows flung upon the sea. and ram a skewer through their necks. Starbuck giving chase to three whales running dead to leeward. encountering the first unknown phantom in the other world. and. The repeated specific allu. the boat going with such mad219 . hollow roar they made. we rushed along. The dancing white water made by the chase was now becoming more and more visible. that almost seemed threatening to cut it in two. as they rolled along the eight gunwales. with the cries of the headsmen and harpooneers. but tilted everywhere to right and left. not the dead man’s ghost men to snatch a fearful look over the shoulder. and foamthese. all the boats tore on. in these critical moments. with the still rising wind. like a wild hen after her screaming brood. site hill. the whales seemed separating their wakes.of the ivory Pequod bearing down upon her boats with outsions of Flask to “that whale.—all ster which he declared to be incessantly tantalizing his boat’s this was thrilling. with the wondrous sight Meanwhile.—all when. bow with its tail—these allusions of his were at times so vivid Not the raw recruit.

“there is time to kill a fish yet before the gush of scalding vapour shot up near by. A short rushing sound leaped out of the boat. curdling cream of the squall. there. while forward the boat “Give way. drawing still further seemed striking on a ledge. There’s white water again!—close to! Spring!” tumbled like an earthquake beneath us. an enormous wallowing sound as of fifty elephants stirring in their litter. Squall. the waves curling and hissing around us like the erected crests of enraged serpents. two cries in quick succession on each side of us half suffocated as they were tossed helter-skelter into the white denoted that the other boats had got fast. harpoon in hand. the boat was nearly unharmed. Swimming round it we picked up the floating oars. it was the Soon we were running through a suffusing wide veil of mist. Though not one of the oarsmen was then facing the life and death peril so close to them ahead. the sail collapsed and exploded. tumbled back to our places. give it to him!” whispered worked rapidly enough to escape being torn from the rowStarbuck. the whole squall roared. The whole crew were Soon after. the water covering every rib and plank. a aft the sheet of his sail.Moby Dick ness through the water. but hardly were they overheard. something rolled and squall comes. whale. and crackled 220 . Meanwhile the boat was still booming through the mist. yet with their eyes on the intense countenance of the mate in the stern of the boat. the waves dashed their bucklers together. forked. men. when with a lightning-like hurtling whisper Starbuck said: “Stand up!” and Queequeg. too. escaped. that the lee oars could scarcely be “That’s his hump. and lashing them across the gunwale. Though completely swamped. locks. and harpoon had all blended together. There we sat up to our knees in the sea. darted iron of Queequeg. Then all in one welded commotion neither ship nor boat to be seen. so that to our downward gazing eyes the suspended craft seemed a coral boat grown up to us from the bottom of the ocean. came an invisible push from astern. sprang to his feet. The wind increased to a howl.” whispered Starbuck. they heard. There. they knew that the imminent instant had come. merely grazed by the iron. and the whale.

Wet.—an oar or a lance pole. darker with the shadows of night. Suddenly Queequeg started to his feet. we all sprang into the sea as down the chimney of a flaming furnace as hail those boats in the ship at last loomed into view. Affrighted. handed it to Queequeg as the standard-bearer of this forlorn hope. The sound unconsumed. despairing of ship or boat. one instant it tossed and gaped beneath the ship’s bows like a The oars were useless as propellers. and it was seen no more till it came up weltering astern. as Again we swam for it. the sign and symbol of a man without faith. hopelessly holding up hope in the midst of despair. and were at last taken up and safely landed on board. Ere the squall came close to. performing now the ofchip at the base of a cataract. 221 . then. The mist still spread over the sea. immortal in these jaws of death! came nearer and nearer. proof match keg. as for seen. rack. drenched through. and then the vast hull rolled over fice of life-preservers. and mist. grew within a distance of not much more than its length. then. the thick mists were dimly parted by In vain we hailed the other holding up that imbecile candle in the heart of that almighty forlornness. There. There. the empty lantern lay crushed in the bottom of the boat. hollowing his hand to his ear. in which. of ropes and yards hitherto muffled by the storm. cutting the lashing of the water. after many failures Starbuck contrived to ignite the lamp in the lantern. we lifted up our eyes as the dawn came on. the other boats had cut loose from their fish and returned to the ship in good time. if haply it might light upon some token of our perishing. but was still cruising. were dashed against it by the seas. then stretching it on a waif pole. he sat. So. Meanwhile the driving scud.Herman Melville around us like a white fire upon the prairie. no sign of the ship could be Floating on the waves we saw the abandoned boat. bearing right down upon us that storm. he sat. The rising sea forbade all attempts to bale out the boat. and shivering cold. we were burning. We all heard a faint creaking. vague form. The ship had given us up. as well roar to the live coals a huge.

never mind how knobby. is by flints. though soaked the wit thereof he but dimly discerns. now seems but a part of the general joke. and the great White Whale its object. desperado philosophy. and death it.” said I. Flask. and with it I now regarded this whole voyage of the Pequod. that going sudden disaster. so that what just CHAPTER 49 The Hyena T 222 . gale off Cape Horn. Stubb. it “Mr. was now calmly smoking his pipe in the all hard things visible and invisible. “Queequeg. my fine friend. prospects of far the most careful and prudent. peril of life and limb. up in his oil-jacket. “Queequeg. Mr. who. when they had dragged me. He “Mr. all these. Stubb.” said I. turning to little King-Post.Moby Dick before might have seemed to him a thing most momentous. and I was still shaking myself in my jacket to strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes fling off the water.plump on a flying whale with your sail set in a foggy squall is self. seem to him only sly. all creeds. turning to that worthy. Starbuck. However. does this sort of this whole universe for a vast practical joke. I suppose then.” said I. and jolly punches the height of a whaleman’s discretion?” in the side bestowed by the unseen and unaccountable old “Certain. That odd sort of wayward mood I am speaking of. and persuasions. I’ve lowered for whales from a leaking ship in a joker. to the deck. There is nothing like the perils of whaling to breed this free and easy sort of genial. the last HERE ARE CERTAIN queer times and occasions in this man. nothing dispirits. good-natured hits. he gave me to understand that such things that the joke is at nobody’s expense but his own. and more than suspects through just like me. though thing often happen?” Without much emotion. and nothing seems worth while disputing. rain. who was standcomes in the very midst of his earnestness. And as for small difficulties and worryings. our chief mate.” comes over a man only in some time of extreme tribulation. and beliefs. “Mr. I think I have heard you say that of all as an ostrich of potent digestion gobbles down bullets and gun whalemen you ever met. buttoned bolts down all events. did often happen.

“you are experienced in these things. Flask. for an oarsman to break his own back pullplicated. I felt all the easier. like a quiet ghost with a clean conscience sitting inside the bars of a snug family vault. and the devil fetch the hindmost. but there are no people in the Here then. unconsciously rolling up the sleeves of my frock. from three impartial witnesses. you shall be law. “come along. and considering that Starbuck. a stone was rolled away from my heart. conmy nautical life that I had done the same thing.” said I. that squalls and capsizings in the water and consequent bivouacks on the deep. thought I. After the ceremony was concluded upon the present occasion. therefore. Besides. I survived myself. my death and burial were locked up in my chest. was famous for his great heedfulness in the fishery. here goes for a cool. I had a deliberate world more fond of that diversion. that’s the draft of my will. a supplementary clean gain of so many months or weeks as the case might be. Considering. collected dive at death and destruction. I looked round me tranquilly and contentedly. were matters of common occurrence in this kind of life. I thought I might as well go below and make a rough “Can’t you twist that smaller?” said Flask. “Yes. considering that the particular disaster to our own particular boat was chiefly to be imputed to Starbuck’s driving on to his whale almost in the teeth of a squall. and legatee. and finally considering in what a devil’s chase I was imfishery. considering that at the superlatively critical instant of going on to the whale I must resign my life into the hands of him who steered the boat—oftentimes a fellow who at that very moment is in his impetuousness upon the point of scuttling the craft with his own frantic stampings. ing himself back-foremost into death’s jaws?” I say. Now then. and I am sidering that I belonged to this uncommonly prudent Starbuck’s not. “Queequeg. 223 . This was the fourth time in statement of the entire case. notwithstanding.” whale face foremost.Herman Melville ing close by. mind that!” at their last wills and testaments. Will you tell me whether it is an unalterable law in this boat. all the days I should now live would be as good as the days that Lazarus lived after his resurrection. I should like to see a boat’s crew backing water up to a my lawyer. ha! the whale would give them squint It may seem strange that of all men sailors should be tinkering for squint. Ha. executor. touching the White Whale: taking all things together. Mr.

and scene of action and giving his orders in person. Oh! he’s a Pequod must have plainly thought not.” said think little of his entering a boat in certain comparatively harmFlask. That would disable him.” headsman in the hunt—above all for Captain Ahab to be supplied with five extra men. then comprises a peril. on that account. under these “WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT. So Tamerlane’s CHAPTER 50 Ahab’s Boat and Crew. unless boat in the hunt? As a general thing. my little man. I never yet saw him kneel. nor had he in any way hinted his dedize that life in the active perils of the chase. he well AMONG WHALE-WISE PEOPLE it has often been argued whether. you know. wonderful old man!” Ahab well knew that although his friends at home would “I don’t think it so strange. Considering that with two legs man is but a hobbling wight in all times of danger. But with Ahab the question assumed a modified aspect. Fedallah 224 . as that same boat’s crew. but he has one knee.Moby Dick soldiers often argued with tears in their eyes. it is right for a whaling captain to jeoparboat’s crew from them. yet for Captain good part of the other left. that every individual moment. “If his leg were off at the hip.” Ahab to have a boat actually apportioned to him as a regular “I don’t know that. for the sake of being near the ent thing. knew that such generous conceits never entered the heads of considering the paramount importance of his life to the sucthe owners of the Pequod. whether that invaluable life of his ought to be carried into the thickest of the fight. the joint-owners of the maybe to stop the plug-hole with my timber toe. now. considering that the pursuit of whales is always under great and extraordinary difficulties. it would be a differless vicissitudes of the chase. “if I circumstances is it wise for any maimed man to enter a whalehad but one leg you would not catch me in a boat. FLASK!” cried Stubb. after all. indeed. Therefore he had not solicited a cess of the voyage.

as if to make it better withstand the pointed pressure of his ivory limb. certain it is that while the subordinate phantoms soon found their place among the crew. the sailors had little foreseen it. Until Cabaco’s pubbody supposed that this particular preparative heedfulness in lished discovery. for in a whaler wonders soon wane. had awaksides. for he had already revealed his intention to hunt that concluded the customary business of fitting the whaleboats for mortal monster in person. oars. when it was observed how often he stood up in that boat with his solitary knee fixed in the semi-circular depression in the cleat. that Beelzebub himself might climb up the side and step down into the cabin to chat with the captain. and with the carpenter’s chisel gouged out a little here and straightened it a little there. and it would not create any unsubduable excitement in the forecastle. But such a supposition did by no service. with the subordinate phantoms. as it is sometimes called. yet that hair-tur225 . when some time after this Ahab was now and then means involve the remotest suspicion as to any boat’s crew found bestirring himself in the matter of making thole-pins with being assigned to that boat. all these things. his own hands for what was thought to be one of the spare Now. all hands had Dick. soon waned away. whaleboats. blown-off Japanese junks.ened much interest and curiosity at the time. bits of wreck. and the ships themselves often pick up such queer castaway creatures found tossing about the open sea on planks. But almost everysures of his own touching all that matter. after being a little while out of port. I say. the horizontal piece in the boat’s bow for bracing the knee against in darting or stabbing at the whale. now and then such unaccountable odds and ends of strange nations come up from the unknown nooks and ashholes of the earth to man these floating outlaws of whalers. Bewhich when the line is running out are pinned over the groove in the bow: when all this was observed in him. and what not. or clumsy cleat. and even solicitously cutting the small wooden skewers. what wonder remained boats.Herman Melville sires on that head. and also the anxiety he evinced in exactly shaping the thigh board. Nevertheless he had taken private mea. though still as it were somehow distinct from them. But be all this as it may. though to be Ahab must only be with a view to the ultimate chase of Moby sure when. and particularly his solicitude in having an extra coat of sheathing in the bottom of the boat. canoes.

by their soft. an unstaked. being off the mouth of the Rio de la Plata. the ivory an indifferent air concerning Fedallah. For of these moonlight nights. watery locially the Oriental isles to the east of the continent—those insulated. unknowing whence he came. and asked of the sun and the moon why they were creat the bow. so far as to have some sort of a halfhinted influence. Heaven knows. when the memory of the first rene and moonlight night. and that but dimly. made man was a distinct recollection. and the Carrol Ground. the devils some plumed and glittering god uprising from the sea. on the Plate (so called). but the like of whom now and then glide among the unchanging Asiatic communities. espe. and stand a look-out amours. and under easy sail. southerly from St. weeks passed. on such a silent night a silvery jet was seen far in advance of the white bubbles toms. But one cannot sustain ays. it was his wont to mount to the main-mast head. suffusing seethings. and all men his descendants. there. It was while gliding through these latter waters that one semodern days still preserve much of the ghostly aboriginalness of earth’s primal generations. CHAPTER 51 The Spirit-Spout D 226 . the angels indeed consorted with the daughters of men. Lit up by the moon. that off the Azores.Verdes. And yet. which even in these cality. nay. off the Cape de their dreams. when all the waves rolled by like scrolls of silver. immemorial. Fedallah also.Moby Dick baned Fedallah remained a muffled mystery to the last. eyed each other as real phan. domestic people in the temperate zone only see in ing-grounds.what seemed a silvery silence. add the uncanonical Rabbins. and. with the same precision as if it had been day. but it might have been even authority over him. indulged in mundane first descried this jet. seemed ated and to what end. Whence he came in a mannerly world like this. according to Genesis. when though. by what sort of unaccountable tie he soon evinced himself to be linked with Ahab’s peculiar fortunes. unalterable countries. not a solitude. it looked celestial. all this none knew. Helena. He was such a creature Pequod had slowly swept across four several cruisas civilized.

that almost every soul on board instinctively desired a lowering. On life and death this old man walked. And so it served us night after night. every stroke of his dead limb voice was heard announcing that silvery. or three. yet still they felt no terror. yet the silvery jet was no more seen that night. or two days. with every mast-head manned. But when. his unearthly lively echoes along the deck. The strange. while in a hundred would venture a lowering for them. or starlight. they could not have quivered more. lifting tendency of the taffrail breeze filling the hollows of so many sails. and so deliriously exciting. then. “There she blows!” Had the trump of judgment blown. it was again announced: again it was descried by all. reclining mariner started to his feet as if some winged spirit had But though the ship so swiftly sped. The best man in the ship must take the helm. after all this silence. upheaving. when. Then. like arrows. Every sailor swore he saw it once. and though from every lighted in the rigging. disappearing again for one whole day. not one whaleman buoyant. and every stunsail spread. once more it disappeared as if it had never been. but upon making sail to overtake it. made the eye. companions in one sky. when. yet so impressive was the cry. You may still she rushed along. Mysteriously jetted into the clear moonlight. lo! at the same silent hour.Herman Melville though herds of whales were seen by night. and somehow seeming at every distinct repetition to be advancing still further and fur227 . While his one live leg made uttering a single sound. side-lunging strides. the piled-up craft rolled down before the wind. some days after. after spending Ahab’s face that night. hovering deck to feel like air beneath the feet. Walking the deck with quick. Ahab commanded the t’gallant sails and royals to be set. And had you watched the moon. moon-lit jet. and hailed the mortal crew. rather pleasure. as the case might be. the seamen beheld this old struggling in her—one to mount direct to heaven. as if two antagonistic influences were think with what emotions. the eager glances shot. For though it was a most unwonted hour. but not a second time. his turban and drive yawingly to some horizontal goal. every sounded like a coffin-tap. This midnight-spout had almost grown a forgotten thing. the other to Oriental perched aloft at such unusual hours. till no one heeded it but to wonder at it. you would have thought that in him also his uniform interval there for several successive nights without two different things were warring.

and we rose and fell upon the long. the Cape winds began howling around us. Moby Dick. for a were treacherously beckoning us on and on. or in however far apart latitudes and Close to our bows. in order that the monster might turn round upon us. this solitary jet seemed for ever alluring us on. troubled seas that are there. strange forms in the water darted hither longitudes. were there wanting some of over her bulwarks. that all space. For a time. and gored the dark waves in her accordance with the preternaturalness. while thick in our rear flew the inscruwhale. uninhabited craft. so vague but so awful. as if it rows of these birds were seen. away. and in sharply bowed to the blast. and rend us at last in the remotest and most savage seas. And heaved and heaved. seemed condemned to swim on ev228 . at last. till. These temporary apprehensions. as for days and days we voyaged along. perched on our stays. a thing appointed to desolation. And every morning. at however remote times. and that whale. Cape of Good Hope. when turning to the eastward. some thought there lurked a devilish charm. we found ourselves launched into this tormented sea. lonesomely mild. when the ivory-tusked Pequod Nor with the immemorial superstition of their race. the foam-flakes flew many things invested the Pequod. for long allured by the perfidious silences that before had attended us. too. a sense of peculiar dread at this flitting apparition. do they call ye? Rather Cape Tormentoto. there reigned. long time obstinately clung to the hemp. derived a wondrous potency from the contrasting serenity of the weather. in which. as it seemed. as called of yore. as if its vast tides were a conscience. where guilty beings transformed into those fowls and these fish. but gave place to sights more dismal than before. seemed vacating itself of life before our urn-like prow.Moby Dick ther in our van. like showers of silver chips. table sea-ravens. beneath all its blue blandness. still unrestingly heaved the black sea. which in madness. But. then all this desolate vacuity of life went the seamen who swore that whenever and wherever descried. and therefore fit roosting-place for their homeless selves. through seas so wearily. in repugnance to our vengeful errand. that unnearable spout was cast by one self-same and thither before us. and the great mundane soul were in anguish and remorse for the long sin and suffering it had bred. and spite of our hootings. as though they deemed our ship some drifting.

and more seldom than ever addressed his mates. Even when wearied nadrenched and dangerous deck. still slowly dripping from the unremoved hat and coat. still beckoning us on from swift madness and gladness of the demoniac waves. in which he swung as in a loosened belt. with his ivory leg inserted into its accustomed hole. the head was thrown back so that the closed eyes were pointed towards the needle of the tell-tale that swung from a beam in the ceiling. while an occasional squall of sleet or snow would all but congeal his very eyelashes together. Ahab. still directing by painted sailors in wax. and with one hand firmly grasping a shroud. the crew driven from the forward part of the ship by the perilous seas that burstingly broke over its bows. nothing more can be done but passively to await the issue of the gale. Ahab for hours and hours would stand gazing dead to windward. he saw him with closed eyes sitting straight in his floor-screwed chair. Never could Starbuck forget the old man’s tempestuous times like these. the solitary jet would at times be descried. Then Captain and crew become practical fatalists. how the barometer stood. as if manned any horizon. and the better to guard against the leaping waves. On the table beside him lay unrolled one of those charts of tides and currents which have previously been spoken of.* *The cabin-compass is called the tell-tale. while below. manifested the gloomiest re.prevailed. stood in a line along the bulwarks in the waist. 229 . the rain and half-melted sleet of the storm from which he had some time before emerged. snow-white. day after day tore on through all the its fountain of feathers to the sky. Though the body was erect. and the silent ship. when one night going down into the cabin to mark has been secured. In in his hammock. can inform himself of the course of the ship. still in silence the men swung in the bowlines. though as.Herman Melville erlastingly without any haven in store. still suming for the time the almost continual command of the wordless Ahab stood up to the blast. and unvarying. But calm. Meantime. each man had slipped himself into a sort of bowline secured to the rail. or beat that black air without Few or no words were spoken. after everything above and aloft aspect. His lantern swung from his tightly clenched hand. because without going to the compass at the helm. So. By night before.ture seemed demanding repose he would not seek that repose serve. the Captain. the same muteness of humanity before the shrieks of the ocean During all this blackness of the elements.

Moby Dick Terrible old man! thought Starbuck with a shudder. this spectral appearance was traced with long channels of reddened rust. A wild sight it was to see her long-bearded look-outs at those three mast-heads. Standing in iron hoops 230 . so torn and bepatched the raiment that had survived nearly four years of cruising. and long absent from home. off the distant Crozetts. sleeping in this gale. a sail loomed ahead. They seemed clad in the skins of beasts. I had a good view of that sight so remarkable to a tyro in the far ocean fisheries—a whaler at sea. the Goney (Albatross) by name. this craft was bleached like the skeleton of a stranded walrus. As if the waves had been fullers. As she slowly drew nigh. CHAPTER 52 The Albatross S OUTH-EASTWARD FROM THE CAPE. from my lofty perch at the fore-masthead. while all her spars and her rigging were like the thick branches of trees furred over with hoar-frost. still thou steadfastly eyest thy purpose. Only her lower sails were set. a good cruising ground for Right Whalemen. All down her sides.

stantly. to any monomaniac man. Meantime his ship was still increasing the distance between. he in vain strove to make himself heard without it. Though in the course of his continual voyagings Ahab must often before have noticed a similar sight. that for some days before had been plac“Ship ahoy! Have ye seen the White Whale?” idly swimming by our side. and ineyeing us as they passed. but the tone conveyed more of deep helpless sadness than the insane old man had ever before evinced. those forlorn-looking fishermen. while the quarter-deck hail was being heard from below. who thus far had been holding the ship in the wind to diminish her headway. gazing over into the water.Herman Melville nailed to the mast. he again seized his trumpet. and ranged themselves fore and aft with the was in the act of putting his trumpet to his mouth. they swayed and swung over a fathomless he loudly hailed—”Ahoy there! This is the Pequod.—”Up helm! Keep her off round the world!” Round the world! There is much in that sound to inspire 231 . it somehow fell from his hand into the sea. shoals of outs. small harmless fish. bound sea. stranger’s flanks. the veriest trifles capriciously carry meanings. shuddering fins. But taking advantage of his windward position. when the ship slowly glided close under our round the world! Tell them to address all future letters to the stern. had not the threatening wind forbade. “Swim away from me. it almost seemed as though he would have lowered a boat to board the stranger. we six men in the air came so nigh to each other that we Pacific ocean! and this time three years. mildly At that moment the two wakes were fairly crossed. yet. There seemed but little in the words. leaning over the pallid bulwarks. and though. darted away with what seemed But as the strange captain. if I am not at home. in accordance with their singular ways. he cried out in his old lion voice. and the wind now rising amain. might almost have leaped from the mast-heads of one ship to tell them to address them to—” those of the other. yet. said not one word to our own look. and knowing by her aspect that the stranger vessel was a Nantucketer and shortly bound home. But turning to the steersman. While in various silent ways the seamen of the Pequod were evincing their observance of this ominous incident at the first mere mention of the White Whale’s name to another ship. then. Ahab for a moment paused. do ye?” murmured Ahab.

then there were promise in the voyage. swims before not been the case. except he could contribute some of that information he so absorbingly sought. were all the time before us. some time or other. and discover sights HE OSTENSIBLE REASON why Ahab did not go on more sweet and strange than any Cyclades or Islands of King board of the whaler we had spoken was this: the Solomon. or the equally desolate Salisbury Plain in England. tually turned out. or in tormented chase of that demon phantom that. and by sailing eastward we could for ever reach new distances. For. perhaps. and especially on a common cruising-ground. if so it had been that. were not something said here of the peculiar usages of whaling-vessels when meeting each other in foreign seas. as it evenwhelmed. have boarded her—judging by his subsequent conduct on similar occasions— all human hearts. by the process of hailing. he had obthey either lead us on in barren mazes or midway leave us tained a negative answer to the question he put. he would not after all. But all this might remain inadequately estimated. But in purwind and sea betokened storms. But even had this suit of those far mysteries we dream of. while chasing such over this round globe. with any stranger captain. even for five minutes.Moby Dick proud feelings. Were this world an endless plain. where those that we left behind secure. he cared not to consort. but whereto does all that circumnavigation conduct? Only through numberless perils to the very point whence we started. If two strangers crossing the Pine Barrens in New York State. if casually CHAPTER 53 The Gam T 232 .

For one of them may more natural that upon the illimitable Pine Barrens and Salisbury have received a transfer of letters from some third. as is the case with Americans and English. the English whalers sometimes affect a kind of metropolitan superiority over the American whalers. she will be sure to let her have some papers of a date a year or two later than the last one on her blurred and thumb-worn files. Though. how much more natural. And in return for that courtesy. and. Besides. or the far people of the ship she now meets. these twain. perhaps. cannot well avoid a mutual salutation. all this will hold true concerning whaling vessels crossstopping for a moment to interchange the news. that is. may be destined. ing each other’s track on the cruising-ground itself. with 233 . from the small number of English whalers. two whaling vessels descrying each other at far remote vessel. a thing of the utmost importance to her. for your Englishman is rather reserved. and some of those letters may be for the the ends of the earth—off lone Fanning’s Island. For not such circumstances these ships should not only interchange only would they meet with all the sympathies of sailors. such meetings do not very often occur. but come into still closer. to be sure. so long as both parties speak one language.Herman Melville encountering each other in such inhospitable wilds. officers. has letters on board. at any rate. and not a few of the men are personally known to each other. they would exaway King’s Mills. lean Nantucketer. but hails. and when they do occur there is too apt to be a sort of shyness between them. more friendly and sociable contact. And for the life of them. Nor would difference of country make any very essential difference. and whose captains. the outward-bounder. the outward-bound ship would receive the latest whaling intelligence from the cruising-ground to which she likewise with all the peculiar congenialities arising from a common pursuit and mutually shared privations and perils. Besides. have all sorts of dear domestic things to talk about. regarding the long. and your Yankee. I say. that under change the whaling news. and consequently. in the case of vessels owned in one seaport. and have an agreeable chat. and in degree. For the long absent ship. how much they are equally long absent from home. and now Plains of the sea. And especially would this seem to be a matter of course. perhaps. he does not fancy that sort of thing in anybody but himself. even though sitting down for a while and resting in concert: then.

” and such like pretty exclamations. they run away from each other as soon as has a “gam. perhaps. tively. in ten years. in the case of pirates. Why it is that all Merchant-seamen. and also all Pirates and Man-of-War’s men. and if by chance they should hear of it. I should like to know whether that profession of theirs has any peculiar glory about it. indeed. hospitable. she meets another whaler in any sort of decent weather? She the whalers have most reason to be sociable—and they are so. But possible. But this is a harmless little foible in the En. and Slave-ship sailors.” a thing so utterly unknown to all other ships that they never heard of the name even. and repeat gamesome stuff about “spouters” and “blubber-boilers. And besides. this is a question it would be hard to answer. ciable. unostentatious. we see that of all ships separately sailing the sea. probably. free-and-easy whaler! What does the whaler do when So. but only at the gallows. pirates straightway steer apart. such a ducking of ensigns. will oftentimes pass on without so much as a single word of recognition. the first hail is— “How many skulls?”— sist. in finical criticism upon each other’s rig. As for Men-of-War.for they are infernal villains on both sides. cherish such a scornful feeling towards Whale-ships. honest. some merchant ships crossing each other’s wake in the mid-Atlantic. like a brace of dandies in Broadway. they first go through such a string of silly bowings and scrapings. sohimself. seeing that the Yankees in one the same way that whalers hail— “How many barrels?” And day. collectively. It sometimes ends in uncommon elevation. then. to heart. mutually cutting each other on the high seas. Because. when a man is elevated in that odd fashion. kill more whales than all the English. collecthat question once answered. as a sort of sea-peasant. they are in such a prodigious hurry. they only grin at it. it would be hard to say. say. when they chance to meet at sea. And as for Pirates.Moby Dick his nondescript provincialisms. Whereas. when they chance to cross each where this superiority in the English whalemen does really conother’s cross-bones. he has no proper foun234 . why. that there does not seem to be much right-down hearty good-will and brotherly love about it at all. and all the time indulging. because he knows that he has a few foibles But look at the godly. As touching Slave-ships meeting. and don’t like to see glish whale-hunters. which the Nantucketer does not take much overmuch of each other’s villanous likenesses.

times cushioned seat there. the after-oar reciprocating by rapping his knees in front. And as for a tiller. that subordinate is the steersman upon the occasion. Certainly. is pulled off to his visit all standing like a pine tree. or slave ship. High times indeed. and can only ex235 . no sofa of that sort whatfind the word. somethe pirate has no solid basis to stand on. and the captain. and no tiller at all. All professions have their own little peculiarities of detail. Nor is this any very easy matter. for the time. and the two chiefmates on the other. the whale-boat never among some fifteen thousand true born Yankees. and never the whale-boat has no seat astern. Nevertheless. that in boastwar.Herman Melville dation for his superior altitude. I conclude. ever. And often you will notice that being conscious of the eyes of the whole visible world resting on him from the sides of the two ships. Johnson never attained to that erudition. Dr. With that view. they exchange visits by boats’ crews. In a pirate. this same were wheeled about the water on castors like gouty old alderexpressive word has now for many years been in constant use men in patent chairs. when the captain is rowed anywhere in his ing himself to be high lifted above a whaleman. and often steers himself with a pretty But what is a gam? You might wear out your index-finger little milliner’s tiller decorated with gay cords and ribbons. There is another little item about Gamming which must not be forgotten here. in that assertion boat. let me learnedly define it. generally on a cruising-ground. having no place to sit in. Noun—a social meeting of two (or more) whaleships. He is thus completely wedged before and behind. Gam. Hence. and should be incorporated into the Lexicon. man-ofcomplete boat’s crew must leave the ship. after exchanging hails. if whaling captains Noah Webster’s ark does not hold it. But running up and down the columns of dictionaries. so has the whale fishery. for in his rear is the immense projecting steering oar hitting him now and then in the small of his back. this standing captain is all alive to the importance of sustaining his dignity by maintaining his legs. when. and therefore as in gamming a needs a definition. he always sits in the stern sheets on a comfortable. the two captains remaining. and hence as the boat steerer or harpooneer is of the number. on board of one ship. it admits of any such effeminacy.

which seemed obscurely to involve with the whale a certain *The ancient whale-cry upon first sighting a whale from the mast-head. CHAPTER 54 The Town-Ho’s Story (AS TOLD AT THE GOLDEN INN) T he Cape of Good Hope. he generally carries his hands in his trowsers’ pockets. but a sudden. and you cannot stand them up. for this straddling captain to be seen steadying himself the slightest particle by catching hold of anything with his hands. I say. because length of foundation is nothing without corresponding breadth. To some the general interest in the White Whale was now wildly heightened by a circumstance of the Town-Ho’s story. as token of his entire. the Town-Ho. where you meet more travellers than in any other part. buoyant self-command. again.* was encountered. he carries them there for ballast. and all the watery region round about there. where the captain has been known for an uncommonly critical moment or two. in a sudden squall say—to seize hold of the nearest oarsman’s hair. indeed.Moby Dick pand himself sideways by settling down on his stretched legs. In the short gam that ensued she gave us strong news of Moby Dick. Merely make a spread angle of two poles. violent pitch of the boat will often go far to topple him. and hold on there like grim death. She was manned almost wholly by Polynesians. 236 . still used by whalemen in hunting the famous Gallipagos terrapin. it would never do in plain sight of the world’s riveted eyes. heavy hands. Nevertheless there have occurred instances. well authenticated ones too. but perhaps being generally very large. is much like some noted four corners of a great highway. Then. it would never do. It was not very long after speaking the Goney that another homeward-bound whaleman.

ments. and the leak not being then considered at all dangerous. They supposed a sword-fish had stabbed her. they could not find it after searching the hold as low down as was possible in rather heavy weather. I shall preserve the style in which I very many days’ sail eastward from the eaves of this good Golden Inn. and edy about to be narrated. For that secret part of the story was unare duly answered at the time. Nevertheless. Of those fine cavaliers.once narrated it at Lima. having some unusual reason for believing that rare good luck awaited him in those latitudes. inverted visitation of one of those so called judg. and therefore being very averse to quit them. One morning upon handling the pumps. known to the captain of the Town-Ho himself. indeed. but the following night Tashtego rambled in his sleep. according to daily usage. gentlemen. Sperm one of whom. it seems. I am about rehearsing to you. the mariners working at the pumps at wide and easy 237 . the whole of this strange affair I now proceed to put on lasting record. that when he was wakened he could not well withhold the rest. communicated it to Tashtego with Whaler of Nantucket. were they governed in this matter. was cruising in your Pacific here. and revealed so much of it in that way. forming what may be called the secret part of the tragPedro and Sebastian. and which Ahab or his mates. one saint’s eve. the young Dons. were on the closer terms with me. gentlemen. She was somewhere to the northward of the Line. so potent an influence did this thing have on those seamen in the Pequod who came to the full knowledge of it. the ship still continued her cruisings. and by such a strange delicacy.Herman Melville wondrous. not Romish injunctions of secrecy. But the captain. with its own particular accompani. though.azza of the Golden Inn. friends. It was the pri“Some two years prior to my first learning the events which vate property of three confederate white seamen of that ship. never reached the ears of Captain hence the interluding questions they occasionally put. smoking upon the thick-gilt tiled piThis latter circumstance. that they kept the secret among themselves so that it never transpired abaft the Pequod’s mainmast. it was observed that she made more water in her hold than common. to a lounging circle of my Spanish ments of God which at times are said to overtake some men. For my humor’s sake. to call it so. Interweaving in its proper place this darker thread with the story as publicly narrated on the ship. the Town-Ho.

Don. at intervals. the captain. this Lakeman. “On the eastern shore of our Lake Erie. In truth.Moby Dick intervals. the Town-Ho had all but certainly arrived in perfect safety at her port without the occurrence of the least fatality. even as the Polynesian waters do. stood away for the nearest harbor among the islands. those six-andperior. more days went by. “‘Lakeman!—Buffalo! Pray. because his pumps were of the water seas of ours. and Michigan. dotted all round their banks. gentlemen.—possess an ocean-like expansiveness. but no good luck came. only was the leak yet undiscovered. had yet been nurtured by all those agrarian “Though no small passage was before her. but—I crave with many of the ocean’s noblest traits. are shored by two great contrasting nations. but it sensibly increased. For in their interflowing aggregate. never mind if the leak should double on her. had it not been for the brutal overbearing of Radney. and Huron. as the Atlantic is. they yield their beaches to wild barbarians. here and there are frowned upon by batteries. heart of our America. he did not at all fear that his ship ocean. and being periodically relieved at them. Now. and by the goat-like craggy guns of lofty Mackinaw. yet. and Ontario. those grand freshwould founder by the way. where the gaunt pines 238 . a Vineyarder. in square-sail brigs and three-masted ships. in large part. for leagues and leagues are flanked by ancient and unentered forests. that now taking some alarm. what is a Lakeman. a Lakeman and desperado from Buffalo. and where is Buffalo?’ said Don Sebastian. with many of its rimmed varieties of races and of climes. and not your courtesy—may be. in the land-locked there to have his hull hove out and repaired. they furnish long maritime approaches to our numerous territorial colonies from the East. whose red painted faces flash from out their peltry wigwams. and Subest.—Erie. the mate. So much so. rising in his swinging mat of grass. and the bitterly provoked vengeance of Steelkilt. making well-nigh as large and stout as any that ever sailed out of your all sail. thirty men of his could easily keep the ship free. if the comfreebooting impressions popularly connected with the open monest chance favoured. they have heard the fleet thunderings of naval victories. old Callao to far Manilla. you shall soon hear further of all that. well nigh the whole of this passage being attended by very prosperous breezes. They contain round archipelagoes of romantic isles.

they float alike the full-rigged mer. some skippers think little of pumping their whole way across it. should the officer of the deck happen to forget his duty in that respect. they the pumps every day. fresh from the latitudes of buck-horn handled bowie-knives. as much of an audacious mariner as any. chant ship. and the “It was not more than a day or two at the furthest after pointing beech canoe. Nor in the solitary and savage seas far from you to the westward. however inland. though an inlander. gentlemen. those tempered by that common decency of human recognition which same woods harboring wild Afric beasts of prey. but only so as to require an hour or more at shipwrecks are. thus treated. sleepy night. though in his infancy he may have laid him down on the lone Nantucket beach. though of a still.Herman Melville stand like serried lines of kings in Gothic genealogies. Thus. if it lie along a tolerably accessible coast. a mariner. that is. but Radney was doomed and made mad. and wild-ocean nurtured. gentlemen. this Steelkilt had long creatures whose exported furs give robes to Tartar Emperors. as so thus far. the probability would be that he and his shipmates would never again remember it. 239 . and this Lakeman. they are swept by Borean and dismasting blasts her prow for her island haven. though in after life he had long followed our austere Atlantic and your contemplative Pacific. and well as Winnebago villages. might yet by inflexible firmness. At all events. been retained harmless and docile. It is only when a leaky vessel is in some very out of the way part of those waters. or if any other reasonable retreat is afforded them. and silken is the meanest slave’s right. yet was he quite as vengeful and full of social quarrel as the backwoods seaman. Steelkilt was wildocean born. the armed cruiser of the State. You must know that in a settled and have drowned full many a midnight ship with all its shrieking crew. that the Town-Ho’s leak seemed as direful as any that lash the salted wave. is it altogether unusual for ships to keep clanging at their pumphandles in full chorus even for a voyage of considerable length. you shall hear. who though a sort of devil indeed. they know what again increasing. gentlemen. Yet was this Nantucketer a man with some good-hearted traits. only civilized ocean like our Atlantic. on account of all hands gently subsiding to the bottom. for example. And for Radney. the steamer. he had proved they mirror the paved capitals of Buffalo and Cleveland. to nurse at his maternal sea.Steelkilt—but. for out of sight of land.

it’s worth bottling! I tell ye what. and a brain. Now this Radney. a person placed in command over his fellow-men finds one of “Much this way had it been with the Town-Ho. and make be well hoisted. So when they were working that evening at the pumps. Be this conceit of mine as it may. gentlemen. and let’s have a taste. the Lakeman affected not to notice him. sheeted home anew. unthinking creature on land or on sea that you can conveniently imagine. but unawed. and if he have a chance he cially by Radney the mate. as you well know. espe. one of ye. “Espying the mate drawing near as he was toiling at the pump with the rest. as stubborn. and a flowing golden beard like the siveness touching his own person as any fearless. aye. gentlemen. I suppose.Moby Dick some really landless latitude. “‘Aye. that when little anxious. was as little of a gentlemen. men. so when her them to be very significantly his superior in general pride of leak was found gaining once more. my merry lads. and Steelkilt knew it. it is not seldom the case in this tasseled housings of your last viceroy’s snorting charger.conquerable dislike and bitterness. and every way expanded a little heap of dust of it. to the breeze. and a heart. that her captain begins to feel a conventional world of ours—watery or otherwise. which had made Steelkilt Charlemagne. and as little inclined to any sort of nervous apprehenwith a head like a Roman. was ugly as a mule. “Now. hold a cannikin. went on with his gay banterings. gentlemen— that bubbling from the pumps ran across the deck. the mate. and a soul in him. there was in truth some manhood. He did not love Steelkilt. straightway against that man he conceives an unsmall concern manifested by several of her company. By the Lord. and poured itself out in steady spouts at the lee scupper-holes. old Rad’s investment must 240 . there was on this head no small gamesomeness slily going on among them. had he been born son to Charlemagne’s father. But Radney. it’s a lively leak this. as they stood with their feet continually overflowed by the rippling clear water. some of the seamen declared that it was only on account of his being a part owner in her. He commanded the upper sails to will pull down and pulverize that subaltern’s tower. at all events Steelkilt was a tall and noble animal coward. yet as hardy. clear as any mountain spring. Therefore when he betrayed this solicitude about the safety of the ship. as malicious.

pretending not to have heard the sailors’ talk. ‘Thunder away at it!’ ‘Aye. If old Rad were here now.Herman Melville go for it! he had best cut away his part of the hull and tow it the windlass. I wonder if he’d give a poor devil like me the model of his nose. gentlemen. his face fiery red. taking turns at the pumps. But he’s a simple old upon allowing a pig to run at large. his eyes bloodshot. it was the stronger men in the Town-Ho that had been divided into gangs. and being the most athletic seaman of them all. and wiping home.’ said Steelkilt. some of whom would not willingly drown without first washing their faces. soul. boys. the Lakeman went forward all panting. it has been known to be done in the case of ships actually foundering at the time. Steelkilt had been regularly assigned captain of one of the gangs. Now what cozening fiend it he’s come back again with a gang of ship-carpenters. Intolerably striding along the deck. merry as a cricket. I’d manded him to get a broom and sweep down the planks. boys. They’re playing also a shovel. and ere long that peculiar gasping of the lungs was heard which denotes the fullest tension of life’s utmost energies. and tell him to jump overboard and scatter ‘em. and the whole posse of ‘em man in that corporeally exasperated state. gentlemen.’ “‘Damn your eyes! what’s that pump stopping for?’ roared Radney. makit happened. that possessed Radney to meddle with such a fish.—Rad. is the inflexibility of sea-usages and the instinctive love of neatness in seamen. The fact is. consequently he should have been freed from any trivial business not 241 . the men tossed their hats off to it. But in all vessels this broom business is the prescriptive province of the boys. they say the rest of his “Now. saw. I can tell him. “Quitting the pump at last.was. and file-fish. and what not. gentlemen. Such. Boys. sir. and sat himself down on of household work which in all times but raging gales is regularly attended to every evening. and a beauty too. I know not. if boys there be aboard. ‘Lively. with the rest of his band. but so are now hard at work cutting and slashing at the bottom. now!’ And with that the pump clanged like fifty fire-engines. I suppose. and remove some offensive matters consequent the devil with his estate. aye. Besides. sweeping a ship’s deck at sea is a piece property is invested in looking-glasses. lively. that sword-fish only began the job. the mate coming improvements. the profuse sweat from his brow.

“Steelkilt rose. and he would not do it. till at last the incensed Radney shook the hammer within a few inches of his face.Moby Dick connected with truly nautical duties. without at all alluding to the shovel. understand exactly how this affair stood between the two men. he answered him saying that sweeping the deck was not his business. and all this and doubt. that strange forbearance and unwillingness to stir up the deeper passionateness in any already ireful being—a repugnance most felt. stole over Steelkilt. 242 . pumps. had done little or nothing all day. by an awful and unspeakable intimation with his twisted hand he warned off the foolish and infatuated man. furiously commanding him to do his bidding. Radney replied with an oath. less much more. by really valiant men even when aggrieved—this nameless phantom feeling. though Radney had spat in his face. Any man who has gone with an uplifted cooper’s club hammer which he had snatched sailor in a whale-ship will understand this. not his comrades. as he instinctively saw all this. who. only a little broken by the bodily exhaustion he was temporarily in. the Lakeman fully comprehended when the “Heated and irritated as he was by his spasmodic toil at the mate uttered his command. but it was to no purpose. To this. steadily followed by the mate with his menacing hammer. And in this way the two went once slowly round the windlass. such being the case with pointed to three lads as the customary sweepers. deliberately repeated his intention not to obey.from a cask near by. I mention all these particulars so that you may being billeted at the pumps. however. as mand. gentlemen. And then. when felt at all. Seeing. meanwhile advancing upon the still seated Lakeman. for all his first nameless feeling of forbearance the sweatand as he steadfastly looked into the mate’s malignant eye and perceived the stacks of powder-casks heaped up in him and the slow-match silently burning along towards them. that his forbearance had not the slightest effect. and slowly retreating round the windlass. in a most domineering “But there was more than this: the order about the shovel and outrageous manner unconditionally reiterating his comwas almost as plainly meant to sting and insult Steelkilt. But as he sat still for a moment. “Therefore. but somehow still smothering the conflagration within him. he ing Steelkilt could but ill brook this bearing in the mate. without speaking he remained doggedly rooted to his seat. in his ordinary tone.

Take that hammer away. and affluent. the next instant the lower jaw of the mate was stove in his head. There’s your true Ashantee. Parhe had now forborne as much as comported with his humor. for such information may throw side-light upon my story. most lazy. Immediately the hammer touched the cheek. I will not obey you. through numerous populous cities and most thriving villages. cultivated fields. uninhabited swamps. Senor.’ sandth part of an inch. through the holy-of-holies of great forests. through long. through sun and shade. through the entire breadth of the state of New York. “Ere the cry could go aft Steelkilt was shaking one of the backstays leading far aloft to where two of his comrades were standing their mastheads. through all the wide contrasting scenery of those noble Mohawk counties. They were both Canallers. ‘We have seen many whale“For three hundred and sixty miles. gentlemen. “‘Nay. on Roman arches over Indian rivers. by rows of snow-white chapels. and or look to yourself. bethinking him that ships in our harbours. where the Lakeman stood fixed. resolved at last no longer to retreat. Retreating not the thouare. Don. stabbing him in the eye with the unflinching poniard of his glance. Radney. warm. we know but little of your vigorous North. but never heard of your Canallers. by happy hearts or broken. clenching his right hand behind him and creepingly drawing it back. But. are the boatmen belonging to our grand officer: Erie Canal. Steelkilt. gentlemen. now shook the “‘Aye? Well then. he fell on the hatch spouting blood like a whale. Don. “‘Canallers!’ cried Don Pedro. meanwhile repeating fine. by billiard-room and bar-room.’ closer to him. refill my cup. don: who and what are they?’ the Lakeman paused on the hatches and thus spoke to the “‘Canallers. flows one continual stream of Venetianly corrupt and often lawless life. gentlemen. whose spires stand almost like milestones. told his persecutor that if the hammer but grazed his cheek he (Steelkilt) would murder him. hereabouts in this dull. the fool had been branded for the slaughter by the gods. You must have heard of it. unrivalled for fertility. Your chicha’s very heavy hammer within an inch of his teeth. and ere proceeding further I will tell ye what our Canallers a string of insufferable maledictions.’ “‘Mr. where you ever 243 . and especially. dismal.Herman Melville when.’ But the predestinated mate coming still hereditary land. there howl your pagans.

for days and days tality. that at times he has as stiff an arm to back a poor stranger in a strait. his swart visage and bold swagger are not “‘A moment! Pardon!’ cried another of the company. ripening his apricot men. his slouched and gaily-ribboned hat betoken his grand “‘Well for our northern friend. that to many thousands of our rural boys and young men born along its line. Dame Isabella’s Inquisition features. he indolently floats. the Canaller unshunned in cities. Oh! do not bow and look surprised. too. too. A terror to the smiling innocence of the villages through wanes in Lima. ‘Proceed. The brigandish guise which the Canaller so proudly wards into the crowded plazza. and for ever open—and “Corrupt as Lima. under the long-flung shadow. I but desire to express to you. Like Mark Antony. ‘In the name of all us Limeese. thigh upon the sunny deck. I thank him heartily. next door to you.” It but bears out your saying. I have received good turns from one of these Canallers. that we have by no means overlooked your delicacy in not substituting present Lima for distant Venice in your corrupt comparison. For by some curious fa. churches more plentiful than billiard-tables. is emphatically evinced by this. Nor does it at all diminish the curiousness of this matter. and that scarce any race of mankind.Moby Dick find them. gentlemen. that our wild whale-fishery contains so many of its most finished graduates. and would make a fine dramatic hero.” So. But ashore. as to plunder a wealthy one. except Sydney men. flowery Nile. gentlemen. but it is often one of the prime redeeming qualities of your man of violence.’ “Freely depicted in his own vocation. so sinners. so abundantly and picturthe snug patronising lee of churches. you know the proverb all along this coast—”Corrupt as Lima. Mark!—St.esquely wicked is he. are so much distrusted by our whaling captains. purge it! Your cup! Thanks: here I refill. Dominic. gentletoying with his red-cheeked Cleopatra. would fain be not ungrateful. with humorous concern.’ laughed Don Sebastian. openly they ever encamp around the halls of justice. the holy city of the blessed evangelist. In sum.’ which he floats. sir sailor. Senor. all this effeminacy is “‘Is that a friar passing?’ said Don Pedro. looking downdashed. you pour out again. the proba244 . most abound in holiest vicinities. Once a vagabond on his own canal. Venice. as it is often noted of your metropolitan freebooters that along his green-turfed. now. sports. what the wildness of this canal life is. I have been there. St.

now.—But by the steward. while standing out of harm’s way. the two Canallers rushed into the uproar. the valiant captain danced up and down with a whale-pike. that his (Steelkilt’s) death would be the signal for a murderous mutiny on the part of all hands. that at your temperate menacing them with a pistol in each hand. if we do?’ demanded their ringleader. ye cut-throats!’ the story. about three or four large casks in a line with the windlass. ye pirates!’ roared the captain. and a twisted turmoil ensued. the captain a little desisted. there. calling upon his officers to manhandle that atrocious scoundrel. and recklessly succeeded in gaining the forecastle deck. they tween quietly reaping in a Christian corn-field. But tain to understand distinctly. and smoke him along to the quarter-deck. where the Lakeman shook the backstay. ‘Come out of that. spilling sea-Parisians entrenched themselves behind the barricade. “‘Will you promise not to touch us.’ “Steelkilt leaped on the barricade. I had thought. ‘No need to travel! The “‘Come out of that. these “‘I see! I see!’ impetuously exclaimed Don Pedro. Not a man of us turns to. his chicha upon his silvery ruffles. hastily slewing ploughing the waters of the most barbaric seas. let her sink. who all crowded him to the deck. unless you swear not to raise a rope-yarn 245 . but still commanded the insurgents instantly to return to their duty.—to your duty! Do you want to sink the ship. “‘Turn to! turn to!—I make no promise. now world’s one Lima. when he was surrounded by the three junior mates and the four harpooneers. “‘Sink the ship?’ cried Steelkilt. but gave the capHardly had he done so. Others of the sailors joined with them in this attempt. just brought to him North the generations were cold and holy as the hills. and prying into the heart of it with his pike. ‘Aye. he ran close up to the revolving border of the confusion. defied the worst the pistols could do. by knocking off at a time like this? Turn to!’ and he once more raised a pistol. and striding up and down “I left off.Herman Melville tionary life of the Grand Canal furnishes the sole transition beSteelkilt and his desperadoes were too much for them all. and sought to drag their man out of it towards the forecastle. where. Fearing in his heart lest this might prove but too true. sought to prick out the object of his resentment. gentlemen. At intervals. But sliding down the ropes like baleful comets.

I told him to ye attack us. fierce cheer was their response. I “‘Down into the forecastle then. but till you say the word about not flogging us. it’s not our interest. planted their group of hands upon it. we can claim our discharge as soon as the anchor is down. the Captain and his posse leaped the barricade. but we won’t be flogged. we won’t lift a hand against ye unless as these:—’It’s not our fault. don’t be a fool. and we’re your men. say the word. “As the Lakeman’s bare head was just level with the planks. look to yourself.’ ain’t those mincing knives down in the forecastle there. A “‘Turn to!’ roared the Captain. my hearties. “Steelkilt glanced round him a moment. like bears into a cave. and loudly called for the steward to bring the heavy brass padlock belonging to the companionway. by God. and then said:—’I “The Lakeman now patrolled the barricade. but at length. turn to. we want to be peaceable. in obedience to Steelkilt. I told him not to prick the buffalo. Down ye go. down with ye. treat us decently. What say ye. it was boy’s business. men? “‘Shall we?’ cried the ringleader to his men. d’ye see.’ known me before this. Captain.’ cried the Lakeman. but we won’t be flogged. we are ready to work.’ were against it. I say!’ “‘Look ye. 246 . rather than kill ye. and be hung keeping his eye on the Captain. who thus far had remained neutral. growlingly disappearing. we didn’t want it. forget it all. he might have we don’t do a hand’s turn. Most of them look to those handspikes. take his hammer away. Then opening the slide a little. ‘there are a few of us here (and I am one of them) who have shipped for the cruise.Moby Dick against us. now as you well know. and jerking out such sentences for such a shabby rascal. closed it. now. all the while tell you what it is now. and rapidly drawing over the slide of the scuttle. they preceded him down into their dark den. the Captain whispered something down the crack. Captain. sir. men?’ turning to his comrades. we are ready to turn to. so we don’t want a row.’ “‘Turn to! I make no promises. flinging out his arm towards him. I’ll keep ye believe I have broken a finger here against his cursed jaw. and turned the key upon them— ten in number—leaving on deck some twenty or more. there till ye’re sick of it.

had constrained them to surrender at discretion. whose clinking “‘Better turn to. deck. whether they joined him or not. and then a scuffling was heard. thus far apparently of one mind with him. but with a yell they refused. For himself. will ye!’ cried Steelkilt. the Captain returned to the quarter-deck. and maddened by his long entombment in a place as black as the bowels of despair. the Captain reiterated his demand “It was at this point. and armed with their keen mincing knives (long. after breaking through the bulkhead below. the men who still reOnly three were left. mained at their duty toiling hard at the pumps. crescentic. summoned the prisoners to work.’ the Captain.jeer. but Steelkilt shouted up to him a terrific hint to stop forward and aft. united perhaps to some fears of ultimate retribution. and suddenly four men burst up from the forecastle. sounded through the ship. he said. heavy implements with a handle at each end) run amuck from the bowsprit to the taffrail. and stung by the mocking voice that had last hailed him. as the customary summons was delivered. the hours of darkness passed in peace. that enraged by the defection of seven of his former associates. The fetid closeness of the air. That was the last night he should spend in that den. “‘Shut us up again. Twice every day for three days this was repeated. at which last place it was feared the insurgents fifth morning three others of the mutineers bolted up into the might emerge. it was then that Steelkilt proposed to the two Canallers. and a famishing diet. and if by any devilishness of desperation possible. but on the fourth morning a confused wrangling. to the rest. when again turning the key upon them and pocketing it.Herman Melville “All night a wide-awake watch was kept by all the officers. and the key clicked. and a couple of handfuls of biscuit were tossed after it. 247 . seize the ship. “At sunrise the Captain went forward. On the fore hatchway. But air from the desperate arms below that sought to restrain them. now?’ said the Captain with a heartless and clanking at intervals through the dreary night dismally re. Emboldened by this. especially about the forecastle scuttle and his babbling and betake himself where he belonged. gentlemen. Water was then lowered down to them. he would do this. to burst out of their hole at the next summoning of the garrison. saying they were ready to turn to. and knocking on the “‘Oh certainly.

’ 248 . and thereby secure whatever small chance of pardon such conduct might merit. and when their leader fell into a doze. “Upon hearing the frantic project of their leader. And here. and separating those who had rebelled from those who had taken no part in the mutiny. upon the whole. I mean to mince ye up for the try-pots. and. each in his own separate soul had suddenly lighted. and gagged him rigging. But when Steelkilt made known his determination still to lead them to the last. and bound the sleeper with cords. side by side. by some subtle chemistry of villany. but for the present. And what was blood. “‘But as for you. he told the former that he had a good mind to flog them all round—thought. when the time to make the rush should come. for But all these were collared. in the matter. up into the air by his perfidious allies. pacing to and fro before them. But to this their bound hand and foot. were seized up into the mizzen men. they swore they were ready for that. namely: to be foremost in breaking out. the one to honour of securing a man who had been fully ripe for murder. who at once claimed the particularly as his two comrades would not yield. and. the foul play of these miscreants must come out. and there they hung till morning. or for any other “Thinking murder at hand. and dragged along the deck like the ladder would but admit one man at a time. they in some way. they each insisted upon being the first man on deck. ‘the vultures would not touch ye. and shrieked out for the Captain at midnight. the other. two.Moby Dick But the scheme met with no opposition on the part of the other with cords. ‘Damn ye. which he accordingly administered in the vernacular. though the last of the ten. the forecastle. for anything in short but a surrender. the still struggling ringleader was shoved leader as fiercely objected. and smelling in the dark for the mad thing. ye villains!’ “At sunrise he summoned all hands. gentledead cattle. he would let them go with a reprimand. in order to be the first of the three. he and all his armed mates and harpooneers rushed for more. to surrender. verbally opened their souls to each other in three sentences.’ turning to the three men in the rigging—’for you. reserving that priority for himself. mixed their before secret treacheries together. considering their timely surrender. it would seem. he would do so—he ought to—justice demanded it. like three quarters of meat. In a few minutes the scuttle was opened. ye carrion rogues. and both of them could not be first.’ cried the Captain. upon the same piece of treachery.

all hands were turned to. my fine bantam. and the two trembling traitors running up. but mumbling somecan say for himself. The three men were then cut down. with a bandaged head. he snatched the rope and advanced to his motion of his cramped jaws. whatever that might have been. seizing a rope. he had lain in his berth. said in a sort of hiss. ‘What I say is this—and mind it well—if you flog me. when another hiss stayed his uplifted arm. Entreaties. saying they durst not consort with the crew. that wouldn’t and thus far had watched the whole scene.’ The mate was in the very act of striking. Take that gag from his mouth. but take that. I murder you!’ “‘Say ye so? then see how ye frighten me’—and the Captain drew off with the rope to strike. started back. Ever since the blow. “‘Best not. “‘But I must. when one watch had retired below. cuffs. “Just after dark that day. said. chief mate. and then suddenly throwing down his rope. He paused: and then pausing no more. that he could hardly speak.’ hissed the Lakeman. till they yelled no more. hearing the tumult on the deck. Such was the state give up. inaudible to all but the Captain. and kicks could 249 . who. and then painfully twisting round pinioned foe. and. a of the two traitors. sullenly worked by the moody seamen. but “‘My wrist is sprained with ye!’ he cried. arrested them—Radney the their heads sideways. still rope enough left for you. “‘So I am.Herman Melville and. a clamor was heard in the forecastle. the iron pumps clanged as before. his head. made good his word.’—and the rope was once more drawn back for the stroke. at last. paced the deck rapidly two or three times. besieged the cabin door. ‘I won’t do it—let him go—cut him down: d’ye hear?’ “‘You are a coward!’ hissed the Lakeman.’ thing about his being willing and able to do what the captain “For a moment the exhausted mutineer made a tremulous dared not attempt. but lifelessly hung pale man. spite of Steelkilt’s threat. “Steelkilt here hissed out something. he applied it with all his might to the backs But as the junior mates were hurrying to execute the order. and let us hear what he of his mouth. as the two crucified thieves are drawn. to the amazement of all hands. he had crept out. ‘but there is that morning.

’ ‘Yes. rather oddish. that at night. ‘but I think it will answer. But in order to ting on the bulwarks of the quarter-deck. and spite of all he sometimes dozed. “But though the Lakeman had induced the seamen to adopt this sort of passiveness in their conduct. so at their own instance they were put doom. Upon this. In this attitude. On the contrary. and down between this was the sea. holding it at arm’s length before him. and as if the infatuated man sought to run more than half way to meet his tween the boat and the ship. the Town-Ho still maintained her mast-heads. “‘What are you making there?’ said a shipmate. the strictest peacefulness. I haven’t 250 . and one or two other circumstances. in the morning of the third day from that in which he had been betrayed. a other thing—namely. after the scene at the rigging. when “During the night. and. At his leisure. Radney had an unseamanlike way of sitthe ship reached port. Shipmate. and her captain was just as willing to lower for a fish that moment. For. in case any little above the ship’s side. upon resuming the head of his watch reappeared among the rest. There was a considerable vacancy beher other perils. He was in Radney the chief mate’s watch.Moby Dick not drive them back.’ said the Lakeman. he insisted. seems to me. and with his bandaged mouth seek to gag in death the vital jaw of the whale. and leaning his arm insure the speediest end to the voyage. Steelkilt calculated his time. Steelkilt mainly at Steelkilt’s instigation. it seemed. spite of her leak. “‘What do you think? what does it look like?’ “‘Like a lanyard for your bag. he kept his own counsel (at least till all was over) concerning his own proper and private revenge upon the man who had stung him in the ventricles of his heart. obey all orders to the last. but it’s an odd one. not to sing out for whales. they all agreed to anupon the gunwale of the boat which was hoisted up there. as on the day his craft first struck the cruising ground. no sign of mutiny press counsel of the captain. and found that his next trick at the helm would come round at two o’clock. against the exdown in the ship’s run for salvation. and Radney the mate was quite as ready to change his berth for a boat. he employed the interval in braiding something very carefully in his watches below. it was well known. should be discovered. Still. they had resolved to maintain systematically built the plan of his revenge. desert her in a body.

Dons. and without being the avenger. nay! I cannot rehearse that now. his trick at the silent helm—nigh to the man who was apt to doze over the grave always ready dug to the seaman’s hand—that fatal hour was then to come. when they were washing down the decks. that a stupid Teneriffe man. “But. “‘Nay. and asked him for some twine to mend but do whales have christenings? Whom call you Moby Dick?’ his hammock. Dominic! Sir sailor. All was now a phrensy. when it’s what a whale! It was Moby Dick. Don. “‘You don’t mean to go a begging to him!’ said a sailor. with his forehead crushed in. gentlemen. ‘St. Sirs.—have you any?’ “It was just between daybreak and sunrise of the morning of “But there was none in the forecastle. though for some little time past it had been plainly beheld from the three sullen mast-heads.—fill up his empty glass!’ “No need. and in the fore-ordaining soul of Steelkilt. and famous. the second day. but the next night an iron ball. all at once shouted out. the Teneriffe man had instinctively and involuntarily lifted his voice for the monster. shipmate?’ and going to the mate. the mate was already stark and stretched as a corpse.’ partly rolled from the pocket of the Lakeman’s monkey jacket.’ and he rose to go aft. so suddenly perceiving the snowy whale within fifty yards of the ship—forgetful of the compact among the crew— in the excitement of the moment. ster.—but that would be too long a story. looked at him quietly. “‘Then I must get some from old Rad. For by a mysterious fatality. gentlemen. ‘There she rolls! there she rolls!’ Jesu. “‘Why not? Do you think he won’t do me a turn. Heaven itself seemed to step in to take out of his hands into its own the damning thing he would have done.’ “‘The chicha! the chicha!’ cried Don Pedro. closely netted. to help himself in the end. he “‘Moby Dick!’ cried Don Sebastian. one moment. as he was tucking the coat into his hammock for a pillow. ‘The White 251 . Let me get more into the air. “‘How? how?’ cried all the young Spaniards.—Now. Twenty-four hours after. crowding. drawing water in the main-chains. Yet complete revenge he had. ‘our vigorous friend looks faint. and I proceed. gentlemen. a fool saved the would-be murderer from the bloody deed he had planned. and most deadly immortal monwere seen again. It was given him—neither twine nor lanyard “‘A very white.Herman Melville enough twine. Dons—nay.

with some tatters of Radney’s red woollen shirt. and the whale was free. while Radney was tossed over into the sea. seized the swimmer between his career of these events. the Town-Ho reached her port—a savage. to beach him on the whale’s topmost back. the boat righted. the appalling flank of the whale. undeterred by fearful rumours.Moby Dick Whale—the White Whale!’ was the cry from captain. Gentlemen. that lit up by a horizontal spaninstant. “In good time. were pery back. He struck out through the spray. caught in the teeth that had destroyed him. and with curses. the standing mate. and finally wholly disappeared. mates. a strange fatality pervades the whole round in a sudden maelstrom. But the whale rushed morning sea. and rearing high up with him. till of a sudden the boat struck as against a sunken ledge. Moby Dick rose again. through a blinding foam that blent two whitenesses together. spear in hand. terrific. all but five or six of the foremastmen 252 . calmly looking on. But a sudden. After a stiff pull. when the four boats were lowered. their harpooneer got fast. plunged headlong again. wildly seeking to regling sun. and was dashed aside by the all anxious to capture so famous and precious a fish. There. Moreover. the Lakeman had slackened the line. All four boats gave chase again. But. and went down. and none howled more fiercely with delight than did Steelkilt. at the word of command. Nothing loath. and. and. and keeling over. downward jerking of the boat. as if verily mapped out before the world jaws. the mate’s got the start. He was always a furious man. And now his bandaged cry was. and haul in or slacken the line. in a boat. Radney sprang to the bow. so as to drop astern from the whirlpool. at the first tap of the boat’s bottom. who. for an beauty of the vast milky mass. shifted and glistened like a living opal in the blue move himself from the eye of Moby Dick. as he fell on the whale’s slipand harpooneers. on the other dogged crew eyed askance. was dimly seen through that veil. while the swell. itself was charted. The mutineer was the bowsman of the mate. solitary place—where no civilized creature resided. it seems. at some distance. That instant. and when fast to a fish. as he strained at his oar. headed by the Lakeman. quickly brought his knife to the line. while Radney stood up with his lance in the prow. he thought his own thoughts. his bowsman hauled him up and up. He cut it. it was his duty to sit next him. but the whale eluded them. spilled out “Meantime.

Lakeman laughed him to scorn. throw back your head. steered straight before the wind for Tahiti. ‘Adios. and setting the sail of his best whaleboat.’ being ready again for sea. unresting vigilance over their dangerous allies was this small band “‘What do you want of me?’ cried the captain. He steered away from it. stacked his muskets on the poop. and warning the Islanders not to approach the ship at their peril. As soon as Steelkilt leaves me. Senor!’ and leaping into the sea.’ “‘Very good. he anchored the ship as far off shore as possible. or he out. “‘I am bound to Tahiti for more men. took one man with him. ting sail for some other harbor.’ laughed the Lakeman. the cap. which seemed to have touched at a low isle of corals. swam to the boat. If I do not. five hundred miles distant. to procure a reinforcement to his crew. may lightning strike me!’ “‘A pretty scholar. 253 . Let me board you a moment—I come in peace. and set. the “The ship’s company being reduced to but a handful.’ With that he leaped from the canoe. “Watching the boat till it was fairly beached. and remain there six days. assuring him that if the pistol tain called upon the Islanders to assist him in the laborious busiso much as clicked in the lock. After taking counsel with his officers. “On the fourth day of the sail. of whites necessitated. With one foot on each prow of the yoked war-canoes. and drawn up to the roots of the cocoa-nut trees. they were in such a weakened condition that the captain durst not put off with them in so heavy a vessel. and so ex“‘Where are you bound? and for what are you bound?’ detreme was the hard work they underwent. as it turned and soon the voice of Steelkilt hailed him to heave to. he would bury him in bubbles ness of heaving down the ship to stop the leak.Herman Melville deliberately deserted among the palms. ‘no lies.would run him under water. Now. he swam back to his comrades. repeat after me. But to such and foam. both by night and by day. stood face to face with the captain. I swear to beach this boat on yonder island. eventually. and climbing the gunwale. loaded and ran out his two cannon from the bows. The captain presented a pistol. “‘Cross your arms. that upon the vessel manded Steelkilt. but the savage craft bore down on him. seizing a large double war-canoe of the savages. Steelkilt made sail again. a large canoe was descried. sir.

and hold the Holy Book before me that I may touch it. They embarked. and were providentially in want of precisely that numSebastian’s suit. “‘Let me remove my hat. this your story is in substance really true? It is so passing wonderful! Did you get it from an unquestionable “‘Though there are no Auto-da-Fe’s in Lima now. and finding all right there. for ever got the start of their former captain. ‘I fear our sailor friend runs risk of the archiepiscopacy. two ships were about to sail for “‘Also bear with all of us.’ ‘This is the priest. ber of men which the sailor headed. with exceeding interest. and so “‘Is there a copy of the Holy Evangelists in the Golden Inn. he returned with them to his vessel. who had been somewhat used to the “‘Will you be so good as to bring the priest also.Moby Dick and in due time arrived at Tahiti. 254 . further into the light. Chartering a small native schooner. “Where Steelkilt now is. but may I also beg that you will be particular in procuring the largest sized Evangelists you can. venerable priest. I see no need of this. tell me if to the best of your own convictions. “‘Nay.’ “‘Then I entreat you.’ There. he brings you the Evangelists.’ more civilized Tahitians. his own place of destination.’ said Don Sebastian. returning with a tall and solemn figure. source? Bear with me if I seem to press. none know.’ said one of the company to another. Let us withdraw more out of the moonlight. Don. who will quickly procure one for me. still in dreams sees the awful white whale that destroyed him. gravely.’ cried the company. the whale. the widow of Radney still turns to the sea which refuses to give up its dead. and the captain was forced to enlist some of the are you well advised? this may grow too serious. again resumed his cruisings. but boat arrived. Don?’ sea. but upon the island of Nantucket. quietly. Don Sebastian.near by. “‘Are you through?’ said Don Sebastian. sir sailor.’ said Don Sebastian. “‘I am. gentlemen. ‘but I know a worthy priest “Some ten days after the French ships sailed.’ “‘Excuse me for running after you. for we all join in Don France. luck befriended him. I go for it. Now. had he been at all gentlemen?’ minded to work them legal retribution.

Herman Melville “‘So help me Heaven. Egyptian. and on my honour the story I have told ye. It is time to set the world right in this matter. I know it to be true.’” CHAPTER 55 Of the Monstrous Pictures of Whales I shall ere long paint to you as well as one can without canvas. it happened on this ball. and Grecian sculptures. something like the true form of the whale as he actually appears to the eye of the whaleman when in his own absolute body the whale is moored alongside the whaleship so that he can be fairly stepped upon there. therefore. It may be worth while. previously to advert to those curious imaginary portraits of him which even down to the present day confidently challenge the faith of the landsman. It may be that the primal source of all those pictorial delusions will be found among the oldest Hindoo. For ever since those inventive but unscrupulous times when on the marble panellings of temples. I knew the crew. I trod the ship. gentlemen. by proving such pictures of the whale all wrong. is in substance and its great items. true. I have seen and talked with Steelkilt since the death of Radney. the 255 .

But go to the old Galleries. ern-pagoda of Elephanta. occurs in a separate department of the wall. The Brahmins maintain that scarcely drawing one inch of water. for he succeeds no better and a helmeted head like St. I take it. that in some sort our noble profession of whaling should have been there shadowed forth. in painting the same scene in his own “PerNow.did Guido get the model of such a strange creature as that? sentations of him. learnedly known as the Matse Avatar.lence of that Hogarthian monster undulates on the surface. might be taken for the Traitors’ Gate leading from the Thames by water into the Tower. Where most popular pictures of the whale. What shall be said of these? As for the book-binder’s whale winding like a vine-stalk round the stock of a descending anchor—as stamped and gilded on the backs and titlepages of many books both old and new—that is a very picturesque but purely fabulous creature. were prefigured ages before any of them actually came into being. But though this sculpture is half man and half whale. from the like figures on antique vases.” make out one whit better. is to be found in the famous cav. I nevertheless call this book-binder’s fish an at256 . and Jonah’s whale. every conceivable avocation of man. tian painter’s portrait of this fish. The huge corpupurporting to be the whale’s. ever since then has than the antediluvian Hindoo. George’s. cups. It looks more like the tapering tail of an anaconda. all the trades and pursuits. so as only to give the tail of the latter. than the broad palms of the true whale’s majestic flukes. yet that small section of him is all wrong. in India. Though universally denominated a dolphin. depicting the incarnation of Vishnu in the form of leviathan. and on shields. the most ancient extant portrait anyways seus Descending. and coins. and look now at a great Christhe dolphin was drawn in scales of chain-armor like Saladin’s. No wonder then. It is Guido’s picture of Perseus something of the same sort of license prevailed. but in many scientific pre. as depicted in the prints of old Bibles and the cuts of old primers. Nor does Hogarth. there are the Prodromus whales of old Scotch Sibbald. and its distended tusked mouth into which the billows are rolling. imitated. The Hindoo whale referred to. not only in rescuing Andromeda from the sea-monster or whale. its back. medallions.Moby Dick pedestals of statues. by all odds. It has a sort of howdah on in the almost endless sculptures of that immemorial pagoda. Then.

according to the accompanying scale. pose of extending the Spermaceti Whale Fisheries. August.” I do not wish to seem inelegant. why did ye not give us Jonah looking out of that eye! Nor are the most conscientious compilations of Natural History for the benefit of the young and tender. free from the same heinousness of mistake.” In the abridged London edition of 1807. let us glance at those pictures of leviathan purporting to be sober. there are plates of an alleged “whale” and a “narwhale. It was introduced by an old Italian pubpendicular flukes.D.” In this In the vignettes and other embellishments of some ancient book is an outline purporting to be a “Picture of a Physeter or books you will at times meet with very curious touches at the Spermaceti whale. let me say that it has an eye which applied. and in those days. In old Harris’s collection of voyages there are some plates of whales extracted from a Dutch book of voyages. because it was so intended when the device digious blunder is made of representing the whale with perwas first introduced. my gallant captain. are represented lying among ice-isles. but this unsightly 257 . entitled “A tively late period. the prothe captain had this veracious picture taken for the benefit of his marines. Look at that popular work “Goldsmith’s Animated Nature. 1671. Ah. like great rafts of logs. To mention but one thing about it. by those who know. where all manner of spouts. In another plate. scientific delineations. A. Peter Peterson of Friesland. there is an imposing quarto.” I doubt not cold. for the purspecies of the Leviathan. during the Revival of Then again. master. would make the eye of that whale a bow-window some five feet long. But quitting all these unprofessional attempts.tain Colnett. dolphins were popularly supposed to be a Voyage round Cape Horn into the South Seas. Saratoga and Baden-Baden. jets d’eau. to a full grown sperm whale. written by one CapLearning. lisher somewhere about the 15th century. hot springs and of Mexico. with white bears running over their living backs. In the title-page of the original edition of the “Advancement of Learning” you will find some curious whales. 1793. and hoisted on deck. and even down to a compara.Herman Melville tempt at a whale. drawn by scale from one killed on the coast whale. entitled “A Whaling Voyage to Spitzbergen in the ship Jonas in the Whale.” In one of those plates the whales. come bubbling up from his unexhausted brain. a Post Captain in the English navy.

you had best provide for your summary retreat from Nantucket. and viathan. published a scientific systemized whale book. but a squash. that is. the Right whale). in 1825. Bernard Germain. narwhale. who can tell? Perhaps he got of blood and blue paint. and afloat the vast bulk of him is out of sight. But the placing of the cap-sheaf to all this blundering business was reserved for the scientific Frederick Cuvier. Before showing that picture to any Nantucketer. but whence he derived that picture. with broken back. and. over the shops of oil-dealers. from a Chinese drawnineteenth century such a hippogriff could be palmed for genuine ing. but the picture of the very savage.Moby Dick whale looks much like an amputated sow. the living Leviathan has never yet fairly floated himself for his portrait. that in this got one of his authentic abortions. and out of that element it is 258 . In a word. many queer cups and saucers inform us. In 1836. with dromedary humps. in which he gives what he calls a picture of the Sperm Whale. Then. what shall be said of them? They wherein are several pictures of the different species of the Leare generally Richard III. and these are about as correct as a drawing of a wrecked ship. whales. as for the it as his scientific predecessor in the same field. he never had the benefit of a whaling voyage (such men seldom have). that is Mysticetus or Greenland whale (that is to say. one glimpse at it is enough to amaze one. like a launched line-of-battle ship. in his full majesty and significance. is only to be seen at sea in unfathomable waters. are. whaleboats full of mariners: their deformities floundering in seas even Scoresby. But these manifold mistakes in depicting the whale are not so very surprising after all. Consider! Most of the scientific drawings have been taken from the stranded fish. brother to the famous Baron. again. And what sort of lively lads with the pencil those Chinese upon any intelligent public of schoolboys. Of course. Desmarest. The living whale. Count de Lacepede. As for the sign-painters’ whales seen in the streets hanging a great naturalist. Though elephants have stood for their full-lengths. breakfasting on three or four sailor tarts. Frederick Cuvier’s Sperm Whale is not a Sperm Whale. All these are not only incorrect. would correctly represent the noble animal itself in all its undashed pride of hull and spars. declares not to have its counterpart in nature. he published a Natural History of Whales. a long experienced man as touching that species.

But all these sucking whales hoisted to a ship’s deck.are permanently lodged in their fleshy covering. it seems to me you had best not be too fastidious in your curiosity touching this Leviathan. as in some part of this book will be into the air. even in the case of one of those young bone-fingers. any way you may look at it. yet nothing of this kind could be inferred from any leviathan’s articulated bones. such is then the out. but by so doing. For it is one of the more curious things about this Leviathan. Though Jeremy Bentham’s skeleton. middle. This peculiarity is strikFor all these reasons. then. which hangs for candelabra in the library of one of his executors. Wherefore. the bones of which almost exactly answer to the bones of contour between a young sucking whale and a full-grown the human hand. but none can hit it with any very considerable degree of exactness.” said humorous Stubb one day. So there is no earthly way of finding out precisely what the whale really looks like. varying shape of him. is by going a whaling yourself. the index. accurate hints may be derived touching his true form. This fin has four regular Platonian Leviathan. may sometimes serve us.” stranded whale.incidentally shown. minus only the thumb. ring. In fact.Herman Melville a thing eternally impossible for mortal man to hoist him bodily ingly evinced in the head. limbered. eel-like. you must needs conclude that the great Leviathan is that one creature in the world which must remain unpainted to the last. Not at all. as the human landish. not to speak of the highly presumable difference of fin. yet. one portrait may hit the mark much nearer than another. you run no small risk of being eternally stove and sunk by him. True. And the only mode in which you can derive even a tolerable idea of his living contour. And. “However recklessly the whale cise expression the devil himself could not catch. “he But it may be fancied. that his skeleton gives very little idea of his general shape. It is also very curiously displayed in the side tions. that his prefingers in an artificial covering. the mere skeleton of the whale bears the same relation to the fully invested and padded animal as the insect does to the chrysalis that so roundingly envelopes it. as the great Hunter says. correctly conveys the idea of a burly-browed utilitarian old gentleman. that from the naked skeleton of the can never be truly said to handle us without mittens. and little finger. 259 . so as to preserve all his mighty swells and undula. with all Jeremy’s other leading personal characteristics.

am strongly tempted here to enter upon those still more But. both ancient and modern. though no doubt calculated to excite the civil scepticism of some parlor men. the best outline pictures are in Scoresby. well executed. Huggins’s is far better than theirs. and this is a sad deficiency. Frederick Cuvier’s. The prow of the ing the middle figure in the picture of three whales in various CHAPTER 56 Of the Less Erroneous Pictures of Whales. when at all well done. ings. taken for all in all. and bearing high in the air upon his is the best.Moby Dick attitudes. I the living whale as seen by his living hunters. Ross Browne are pretty correct in contour. but they are drawn on too small a scale to convey a desirable impression. but they are wretchedly engraved. just risen beneath the boat from the to. exceptback the terrific wreck of the stoven planks. they represent attacks on the Sperm and Right Whale. and Beale’s. especially in Pliny. and taken from paintings by one Garnery. His frontispiece. In the first engraving a noble Sperm Whale is depicted In the previous chapter Colnett and Cuvier have been referred in full majesty of might. but. Purchas. That is not his fault though. though in some monstrous stories of them which are to be found in cerdetails not the most correct. is admirably correct and life-like in its general effect. Cuvier. Of the Right Whale. Colnett’s. He has but one picture of whaling scenes. But I pass that matter by. presentations of whales and whaling tain books. Huggins’s. Some of the Sperm Whale drawings in J. by far the finest. I know of only four published outlines of the great Sperm Respectively. by great odds. are two large French engravHackluyt. Harris. scenes to be anywhere found. because it is by such pictures only. All Beale’s drawings of this whale are good. capping his second chapter. boats attacking Sperm Whales. and the True Pictures of Whaling Scenes I 260 . Whale. Beale’s profundities of the ocean. that you can derive anything like a truthful idea of N CONNEXION WITH the monstrous pictures of whales. etc.

and standing in that prow. Sea fowls are pecking at the small crabs. with the flag of capture pressions of affright. since. through the consecutive great battles of France. full. leaving tons of tumultuous white curds in his wake. Serious fault might be found with the anatomical details of this whale. pellmell. as if from a unstarched sails of the powerless ship. In the second engraving. But my life for it he was either practically conversant with his subject. the wooden poles of the artistic contrast. shrouded by the incensed boiling spout of the whale. the boat is in the act of drawing alongside the barnacled flank of a large running Right Whale. I could not draw so good a one. His jets are erect. as in that triumphal hall at Versailles. or was.of a dead whale. and in and causing the slight boat to rock in the swells like a skiff the act of leaping. you would think there must be a brave supper cooking in the great bowels below. but let that pass. Go and gaze upon all the paintings of Europe. while in the black stormy distance the ship is bearing down upon the scene. and is drawn just balancing upon which the Right Whale sometimes carries on his pestilent back. half the deep. and the successive armed kings and Emperors dash by. where every sword seems a flash of the Northern Lights. but behind. Who Garnery the painter is. a conquered fortress. the droopspilled harpoons obliquely bob in it. or else marvellously tutored by some experienced whaleman. the whole thing is wonderfully good and true. for that one And all the while the thick-lipped leviathan is rushing through single incomputable flash of time. The action of the caught nigh the paddle-wheels of an ocean steamer. you behold an oarsman. like a charge of crowned centaurs? Not wholly unworthy of a place in that 261 . the heads of the swim. and the inert mass ming crew are scattered about the whale in contrasting ex. I know not. where the beholder fights his way. so that from so abounding a smoke in the chimney. in admirable line-tub floats on the whitened sea. that rolls his black weedy bulk in the sea like some mossy rock-slide from the Patagonian cliffs.Herman Melville boat is partially unbroken. is the glassy level of a sea becalmed. lazily hanging from the whale-pole inserted into his spout-hole. The half-emptied foreground is all raging commotion. shell-fish. for the life of me. the monster’s spine. and black like soot. and where will you find such a gallery of living and breathing commotion on canvas. and other sea candies and maccaroni. Thus. The French are the lads for painting action.

with a Right Whale alongside. It is a quiet noon-scene most part. so far as picturesqueness of effect is concerned. and a boat. such as the vacant profile of the whale. it was certainly an oversight not to have procured for every The natural aptitude of the French for seizing the picturesquecrystal a sworn affidavit taken before a Greenland Justice of ness of things seems to be peculiarly evinced in what paintings the Peace. nevertheless decapable of conveying the real spirit of the whale hunt. and three or four delicate miniatures of narwhales and porpoises. Even Scoresby. With not In addition to those fine engravings from Garnery. there are one tenth of England’s experience in the fishery. the English and American whale draughtsmen seem among the isles of the Pacific. inentirely content with presenting the mechanical outline of things.” One of them. the justly renowned Right whaleman. the vessel (in the act of cutting-in) hove over to the monster as if to a quay. I mean no disparagement to the excellent voyager (I honour him for a veteran). both drooping together in the breezeless air. and not the two other French engravings worthy of note. chopping knives.who subscribes himself “H. and the long leaves of the palms in the background. hurriedly pushing off from this scene of activity. Durand. is about tantamount to sketching the profile of a pyramid. For the serves mention on other accounts. The harpoons and lances lie levelled for use. they have neverthe. when considered with reference to its presenting the hardy fishermen under one of their few aspects of oriental repose. the loosened sails of the ship. treats us to a series of classical engravings of boat hooks. and grapnels. which. and with the microscopic diligence of a Leuwenhoeck submits to the inspection of a shivering world ninety-six fac-similes of magnified Arctic snow crystals. are these sea battle-pieces of Garnery. in a calm. is about giving chase to whales in the distance. by some one thousandth part of that of the Americans. and lazily taking water on board. but in so important a matter shore. after giving us a stiff full length of the Greenland whale. The effect is very fine. and engravings they have of their whaling scenes. though not less furnished both nations with the only finished sketches at all precisely adapted to our present purpose. and in the very heart of the Leviathanic life. a French whaler anchored. three oarsmen are just 262 . The other engraving is quite a different affair: the ship hove-to upon the open sea.Moby Dick gallery.

like a rearing horse. at any . the little craft stands half-erect out of the water. in Wood. CHAPTER 57 Of Whales in Paint. as the sailors say) holding a painted board before him. rising up with earnest of squalls and rains. seems to quicken the activity of the excited seamen. you may have seen a crippled beggar (or kedger. while from a sudden roll of the sea. in Teeth.Herman Melville setting the mast in its hole. His three whales are as good whales as were ever published in Wapping. a black cloud. they tell me. has that man held up that picture. in Stars O 263 n Tower-hill. But the time of his justification has now come. in Stone. and to windward. and exhibited that stump to an incredulous world. Any time these ten years. in Sheet-Iron. From the ship. the smoke of the torments of the boiling whale is going up like the smoke over a village of smithies. There are three whales and three boats. in Mountains. as you go down to the London docks. and one of the boats (presumed to contain the missing leg in all its original integrity) is being crunched by the jaws of the foremost whale. representing the tragic scene in which he lost his leg.

in the way of a mariner’s fancy. Achilles’s shield. and with the same single shark’s tooth. one of the peculiar characteristics of the savage in his make. i. with that almost omnipotent tool of the sailor. With the same marvellous patience. graven by the fishermen themsea-shell or a shark’s tooth. is as great a trophy of human perBedford. But. Some of them have little boxes of dentistical-looking implements. I myself am a savage. or whales cut in profile out of the small dark slabs of the noble South Sea war-wood. and. For. Albert Durer. 264 . that miraculous intricacy of wooden selves on Sperm Whale-teeth. or ladies’ busks wrought out of net-work has been achieved. and his stump as unquestionable a stump as any you will giance but to the King of the Cannibals. specially intended for the skrimshandering business. An anhis own amputation. that stump. As with the Hawaiian savage. and Sag Harbor. and New and elaboration of carving. and other like skrimshander articles. in their hours of ocean leisure. and ready at any mofind in the western clearings. in general. are frequently met with in the forecastles of American whalers. but as close packed in its maziness of design. as the whalemen call the numerous little ingenious contrivances they elaborately carve out of the rough material. not quite as workmanlike. they toil with their jack-knives alone. never a stump-speech does the poor whaleman Now. But. with downcast eyes. but. and it has cost steady years of the Right Whale-bone. Long exile from Christendom and civilization inevitably restores a man to that condition in which God placed him. what is called savagery. owning no allesteady application.e. of his one poor jack-knife. with but a bit of broken of whales and whaling-scenes. as the Greek savage. in its full multiplicity Throughout the Pacific. you will come across lively sketches severance as a Latin lexicon. though for ever mounted on ment to rebel against him. Wooden whales. and also in Nantucket. Some of them are done with much accuracy. Your true whale-hunter is as much a savage as an Iroquois. they will turn you out anything you please. he will carve you a bit of bone sculpture. and full of barbaric spirit and suggestiveness. so with the white sailor-savage. stands ruefully contemplating domestic hours. cient Hawaiian war-club or spear-paddle.Moby Dick rate. as the prints of that fine old Dutch savage. is his wonderful patience of industry.

which of a windy day breaks against them in a surf of green surges. the anvil-headed whale would be point would require a laborious re-discovery. where at the base of high broken cliffs masses of rock lie strewn in fantastic groupings upon the plain. ribby regions of the earth. that your precise. On the spires of some old-fashioned churches Mendanna trod them and old Figuera chronicled them. But you must be a thorough whaleman. and besides that are to all intents and trace out great whales in the starry heavens. and boats in pursuit purposes so labelled with “Hands off!” you cannot examine of them. and not only that. here and there from some lucky point of view you will catch passing glimpses of the profiles of whales defined along the undulating ridges. as when long filled with thoughts of war the Eastern them closely enough to decide upon their merit. in mountainous countries where the traveller is continually girdled by amphitheatrical heights. But these knocking whales are seldom remarkable as Islands. would I could mount that whale and leap the topmost skies. which still remain incognita. to see these sights. you will see sheet-iron whales placed there for weather-cocks. again. to see whether the fabled heavens with all their countless tents really lie encamped beyond my mortal sight! 265 . nations saw armies locked in battle among the clouds. With a frigate’s anchors for my bridle-bitts and fasces of harpoons for spurs. and joined the chase against the starry Cetus far beyond the utmost stretch of Hydrus and the Flying Fish. though once high-ruffed faithful essays. but if you wish to return to such a sight again. Thus at In bony. observations of the hills. you must be sure and take the exact intersecting latitude and the North have I chased Leviathan round and round the Pole with the revolutions of the bright points that first defined him to me. you will often discover images as of the petrified forms of the Leviathan partly merged in grass. Then. And beneath the effulgent Antarctic skies I have boarded the Argo-Navis. can you fail to but they are so elevated. else so chance-like are such whales hung by the tail for knockers to the road-side door.Herman Melville At some old gable-roofed country houses you will see brass longitude of your first stand-point. like the Soloma best. Nor when expandingly lifted by your subject. previous standWhen the porter is sleepy.

who side by side slowly and seethingly advance their scythes through the long wet grass of marshy Banks” does not bear that name as the Banks of Newfoundland do. the stranger at a distance will sometimes pass on the plains recumbent elephants without knowing them to be such. tures of the deep with the same feelings that you do those of *That part of the sea known among whalemen as the “Brazil As morning mowers. making a strange. meads. in all parts. so that we seemed even so. with open jaws sluggishly swam through the brit. And as in the great hunting countries of India. but because of this remarkable meadow-like appearance.* But it was only the sound they made as they parted the brit which at all reminded one of mowers. For leagues and leagues it undulated round us. their immense magnitude renders it very hard really to who. 266 . we fell in with vast meadows of brit. adhering to the fringing fibres of that wondrous Veneor a horse. often. cutting sound. upon which the Right Whale largely feeds. because of there being shallows and soundings there. numbers of Right Whales were seen. grassy. even so these monsters swam.CHAPTER 58 Brit Moby Dick upon the yellow sea. blackened elevations of the soil. especially when they paused and were stationary for a while. you can hardly regard any creathe water that escaped at the lip. where the Right Whale is often chased. and leaving behind them endless swaths of blue caused by the vast drifts of brit continually floating in those latitudes. secure from the attack of a Sperm Whaler like the believe that such bulky masses of overgrowth can possibly be Pequod. in other respects. the minute. was in that manner separated from Indeed. And even when recognised On the second day. yellow sub stance. with the same sort of life that lives in a dog which. with him. instinct. S teering north-eastward from the Crozetts. who for the first time beholds this to be sailing through boundless fields of ripe and golden wheat. species of the leviathans of the sea. taking them for bare. tian blind in their mouths. Seen from the mastheads. at last. their vast black forms looked more like lifeless masses of rock than anything else.

the native inhabitants of the fair world it yet covers.Herman Melville the shore. and leaves them there side by side with the split wrecks of ships. and though fulness of the sea which aboriginally belongs to it. nevertheless. stiffest frigate he can make. but it is also a fiend to its own off-spring. that ness of the dog? The accursed shark alone can in any generic same ocean destroyed the wrecked ships of last year. where. foolish mortals. For though some old naturalists have maintained that these very impressions. worse than the Persian host who murdered his own guests. for example. Noah’s flood is not yet subsided. yet not a modern sun ever sets. that with yet coming to specialties. floated on an ocean. sparing not the creatures which itself hath spawned. so that Columbus sailed over numberless unknown worlds to discover his one superficial western one. does the ocean Portuguese vengeance had whelmed a whole world without furnish any fish that in disposition answers to the sagacious kindleaving so much as a widow. two thirds of But though. the most terrific of all mortal disasters have immemorially and indiscriminately befallen tens and hundreds of thousands of those who have gone upon the waters. no power 267 . this may very well be. that science and skill may augment. though we know the sea to be an everlasting terra incognita. though. so the sea dashes even the mightiest whales against the rocks. The first boat we read of. and pulverize the stateliest. man has lost that sense of the full awall creatures of the land are of their kind in the sea. No mercy. respect be said to bear comparative analogy to him. taking a broad general view of the thing. to the crack of doom. Like a savage tigress that tossing in the jungle overlays her own cubs. but in precisely the same manner the live sea swallows up ships and crews. in a flattering future. to landsmen in general. that however baby man may brag of his science and skill. though but a moment’s consideration will teach. yet for ever and for ever. and however much. that a miracle upon one unsocial and repelling. by the continual repetition of is not a miracle upon the other? Preternatural terrors rested upon the Hebrews. when under the feet of Korah and his company the live ground opened and swallowed them up for ever. the seas have ever been regarded with emotions unspeakably Wherein differ the sea and the land. by vast odds. That same ocean rolls now. the sea will insult and murder him. Yea. But not only is the sea such a foe to man who is an alien to it.

a great white mass lazily rose. so species of sharks. that in the surrounding serenity her three tall tapering masts mildly waved to that languid breeze. and rising higher and higher. most docile earth. God keep thee! Push not off from that isle. full of peace any stagnant calm. as the dainty embellished shape of many the island of Java. when the slippered waves whispered together as they softly ran on. Consider all this. how its most dreaded creatures glide under water. and disentangling itself from the azure. at wide intervals in the silvery night. thou canst secrecy. but encompassed by all the horrors of the half known life. and plain. a gentle air impelling her keel. In the distance. the masterless ocean overruns the globe. Panting and snorting like a mad battle steed that has lost its rider. at CHAPTER 59 Squid S 268 . the lonely. And still. unapparent for the most part. the universal cannibalism of the sea. Consider the subtleness of the sea. once more. consider them both. as three mild palms on a carrying on eternal war since the world began. the sea and the land. however unattended with self? For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land. in this profound hush of the visible sphere a strange never return! spectre was seen by Daggoo from the main-mast-head. alluring jet would be seen. But one transparent blue morning. when the long burnished sun-glade on the waters seemed a golden finger laid across them. enjoining some and joy. gentle. the sider also the devilish brilliance and beauty of many of its most Pequod still held on her way north-eastward towards remorseless tribes. and then turn to this green. Consider. and treacherously hidden beneath the loveliest tints of azure. all whose creatures prey upon each other. ConLOWLY WADING through the meadows of brit.Moby Dick but its own controls it. when a stillness almost and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourpreternatural spread over the sea. so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti.

few whale-ships ever beheld. the White Whale!” mass. Upon this. of a glancing cream-colour. No perceptible face or front did it have. Bare-headed in the sultry sun. Whether the flitting attendance of the one still and solitary jet had gradually worked upon Ahab. “The great live squid. and with one hand pushed far behind in readiness to wave his orders to the helmsman. Almost forgetting for the moment all thoughts of Moby once more. as in swarmlay floating on the water. Then once more arose. than to have seen thee. as slowly it subsided. with oars suspended. however this was. so that he was now prepared to connect the ideas of mildness and repose with the first sight of the particular whale he pursued. As with a low sucking sound it slowly disappeared again. and silently gleamed. Ahab stood on the bowsprit. no sooner did he distinctly perceive the white mass. the seamen rushed to the yard-arms. chance-like apparition of life. cast his eager glance in the direction indicated aloft by the outstretched motionless arm of Daggoo. formless. and curling and twisting like a nest of anacondas. with a stiletto-like cry that startled every man from Dick. lo! in the same spot where it sank. but undulated there on the billows. with a wild voice exclaimed—”Almost rather had I seen Moby Dick and fought him. Again the phantom went down. It and while. Starbuck still gazing at the agitated waters where it had sunk.” 269 . new slid from The four boats were soon on the water. thou white ghost!” “What was it. its centre. an unearthly. or whether his eagerness betrayed him. whichever way it might have been. the hills. Sir?” said Flask. A vast pulpy breaches! right ahead! The White Whale. we now gazed at the most wondrous phenomenon which his nod. once more it slowly Daggoo. and returned to their ports to tell of it. no conceivable token of either sensation or instinct. and all swiftly pulling towards their prey. Thus glistening for a moment. innumerable long arms radiating from ing-time the bees rush to the boughs. Soon it went down. but on re-appearing rose. Ahab’s in advance. we were awaiting its reappearseemed not a whale. and sank. which. the negro yelled out—”There! there again! there she the secret seas have hitherto revealed to mankind. as if blindly to clutch at any hapless object within reach. they say. and yet is this Moby Dick? thought ance.Herman Melville last gleamed before our prow like a snow-slide. furlongs in length and breadth. than with a quick intensity he instantly gave orders for lowering.

but only as the Anak of the tribe. that though with respect to the incredible bulk he assigns it. he will disgorge what are supposed to be the detached arms of the squid. one and all of them declare it to be the largest animated thing in By some naturalists who have vaguely heard rumors of the the ocean. that a glimpse rising and sinking. They fancy that the monster to which these arms belonged ordinarily clings by them to the bed of the ocean. Whatever superstitions the sperm whalemen in general have The manner in which the Bishop describes it. of Bishop Pontoppodan may ultimately resolve itself into Squid. when closely pursued. spects it would seem to belong. the rest as silently following. and that the sperm whale. in certain external rebelieve it to furnish to the sperm whale his only food. and only by inference is it that any one can tell of what. yet very few of them have any but the most vague mysterious creature. and may be seen by man in the act of feeding. certain it is. he sailed back to There seems some ground to imagine that the great Kraken the vessel. some of them thus exhibited exceeding twenty and thirty feet in length. But much abatement is necessary invest it with portentousness. in of it being so very unusual. precisely. indeed. with some other particulars he narrates. as alternately connected with the sight of this object. it is included among the ideas concerning its true nature and form. they class of cuttle-fish. For though other species of whales find their food above water. unlike other species. turning his boat. that food consists. At times. to which.Moby Dick But Ahab said nothing. here spoken of. that circumstance has gone far to all this the two correspond. notwithstanding. the spermaceti whale obtains his whole food in unknown zones below the surface. So rarely is it beheld. 270 . is supplied with teeth in order to attack and tear it.

entire body off. as ordinarily used. and far more soft and elastic. bear a strain nearly equal to three tons. be described. would. sometimes horexperiment its one and fifty yarns will each suspend a weight rible whale-line. though not so durable as hemp.first sight. infallibly take somebody’s arm. the utmost precaution is used in stowing the CHAPTER 60 The Line 271 . makes oms. As the least tangle or kink in the coiling eral by no means adds to the rope’s durability or strength. I have here to speak of the magical. not impregnated with it. than hemp.W Herman Melville Of late years the Manilla rope has in the American fishery almost entirely superseded hemp as a material for whale-lines. of one hundred and twenty pounds. for while tar. cheese-shaped mass of densely bedded use. Hemp is a dusky. so that the whole rope will The line originally used in the fishery was of the best hemp. yet. At standing of all similar scenes elsewhere pre. leg. for. not only would the ordinary quantity too much stiffen “sheaves. the common slightly vapoured with tar. and I will add (since there is an aesthetics in all things). in running out. as well as for the better under The whale-line is only two-thirds of an inch in thickness. By sented. Towards the stern of the boat it is spirally coiled away in the hemp more pliable to the rope-maker. is much more handsome and becoming to the boat. it is stronger. or however much it may give it compactness and gloss. dark fellow. tar in gen. but as most seamen are beginning to learn.” or layers of concentric spiralizations. without any the whale-line for the close coiling to which it must be subhollow but the “heart. In length. as in the sperm whale-line measures something over two hundred fathcase of ordinary ropes. but so as to the rope itself more convenient to the sailor for common ship form one round.” or minute vertical tube formed at the jected. and also renders the tub.axis of the cheese. a sort of Indian. but ITH REFERENCE to the whaling scene shortly to Manilla is as a golden-haired Circassian to behold. you would not think it so strong as it really is. not like the worm-pipe of a still though.

and whereas. Second: This aradvantage in this. but not very much of a concentrated one. There is some always hovers at hand to assist its consort. the boat looks as if it were pulling off with a prodigious great wedding-cake to present to the whales. and hanging over its edge completely disengaged from everything. the as it were. When the painted canvas cover is clapped on the American line-tub. and passing round the loggerhead there. which will bear up a considerable distributed weight. for were fit more readily into the boat. the whale of course is shifted like a mug of ale. smoking minute as he sometimes does. the lower end terminating in an eye-splice or loop coming up from the bottom against the side of the tub. these instances. nearly three feet in diameter and of proportionate depth. In and twists. resting crosswise upon the loom or handle of every man’s oar. This arrangement of the lower end is were the whale then to run the line out to the end almost in a single. for the bottom of the whale-boat is like critical ice.Moby Dick line in its tub. case the stricken whale should sound so deep as to threaten to so as in the act of coiling to free it from all possible wrinkles carry off the entire line originally attached to the harpoon. though the first boat same line being continuously coiled in both tubs. is again carried forward the entire length of the boat. and do not strain it so much.necessary on two accounts. because these twin-tubs being so small they rangement is indispensable for common safety’s sake. First: In order to facilitate the fastire morning in this business. the American tub. for the doomed boat would infallibly be dragged down after him into the profundity of the sea. Before lowering the boat for the chase. to the leaded chocks or grooves in the extreme pointed 272 . the lower end of the line in any way attached to the boat. the upper end of the line is taken aft from the tub. carrying the line high aloft and tening to it of an additional line from a neighboring boat. Both ends of the line are exposed. In the English boats two tubs are used instead of one. as they alternately sit at the opposite gunwales. so that it jogs against his wrist in rowing. from the one boat to the other. and also passing between the men. Some harpooneers will consume almost an en. in then reeving it downwards through a block towards the tub. makes a rather bulky freight for a craft whose planks are but one half-inch in thickness. he would not stop there. and in that case no town-crier would ever find her again.

Herman Melville prow of the boat. prevents it from slipping out. is grazing you. the harpoon. like the six burghers of Calais before King Edward. From the chocks it better jokes. can you escape being made a Mazeppa of. seat himself amid those hempen intricacies. twisting and writhing around it in almost every direction. the short-warp Perhaps a very little thought will now enable you to account goes through sundry mystifications too tedious to detail. than you will hear over the half-inch white side the boat again. and all these horrible contortions be put in play like ringed lightnings. the way to the gunwale still a little further aft. for the first time.your mahogany. box-line) being coiled upon the box in the bows. and is then passed in. when every flying beam. for those repeated whaling disasters—some few of which are Thus the whale-line folds the whole boat in its complicated coils. and brighter repartees. 273 . common quill. bethink him that at any unknown instant the harpoon may be darted. when the line is darting out. It is worse. and while straining his utmost at the oar. you never heard over hangs in a slight festoon over the bows. it continues its and. and some ten or twenty fathoms (called cedar of the whale-boat. Yet habit—strange thing! what casually chronicled—of this man or that man being taken out of the boat by the line. when thus hung in hangman’s nooses. more merry mirth. but previous to that connexion. For. is like being seated in the midst of the manifold whizzings of a steam-engine in full play. and is then attached to six men composing the crew pull into the jaws of death. where a wooden pin or skewer the size of a cannot habit accomplish?—Gayer sallies. and lost. so that to the timid eye of the landsman. and you are pitched one way and the other. they seem as Indian jugglers. and only by a certain self-adjusting buoyancy and simultaneousness of volition and action. for you cannot sit motionless in the heart of these perils. because the boat is rocking like a cradle. and run away with where the all-seeing sun himself could never pierce you out. without the slightest warning. with a the short-warp—the rope which is immediately connected with halter around every neck. as you may say. with the deadliest snakes sportively festooning their limbs. Nor can any son of mortal woman. All the oarsmen are involved in its perilous contortions. and shaft. to be seated then in the boat. and wheel. he cannot be thus circumstanced without a shudder that makes the very marrow in his bones to quiver in him like a shaken jelly.

” said the savage. fewer glimpses of porpoises. it affords poker. sudThe next day was exceedingly still and sultry.” round their necks. that is. indeed. and not a harpoon. the calm is but the wrapper and envelope of the storm. It was my turn to stand at the foremast-head. honing his any other aspect of this dangerous affair. though seated ing special to engage them. to and fro I idly swayed in what seemed an enchanted air. so the graceful repose of the line. as it silently F TO STARBUCK the apparition of the Squid was a thing serpentines about the oarsmen before being brought into acof portents. For this part of the Indian Ocean through which we then were voyagof terror.Moby Dick Again: as the profound calm which only apparently precedes and prophesies of the storm. But why say more? All men live enveloped in whale-lines. for. is perhaps more awful than the storm itself. subtle. you would not at heart feel one whit more resist the spell of sleep induced by such a vacant sea. And if you be a philosopher. by your side. than though seated before your evening fire with a ing is not what whalemen call a lively ground. All are born with halters harpoon in the bow of his hoisted boat. and the explosion. tual play—this is a thing which carries more of true terror than “When you see him ‘quid. as the seemingly harmless rifle holds the fatal powder. flying-fish. that mortals realize the silent. and contains it in itself. or the in-shore ground off Peru. to Queequeg it was quite a different object. dolphins. and other vivacious denizens of more stirring waters. than those off the Rio de la Plata. and the ball. No resolu- CHAPTER 61 Stubb Kills a Whale I 274 . and with nothden turn of death. “then you quick see him ‘parm whale. but it is only when caught in the swift. everpresent perils of life. the Pequod’s crew could hardly in the whale-boat. and with my shoulders leaning against the slackened royal shrouds.

as the great fish slowly and regularly spouted the sparkling that the seamen at the main and mizzen-mast-heads were al. the monster perpendicularly flitted his tail forty feet into the air. we swiftly but silently paddled along. and for every swing that we made there was a own order. east nodded to west. ready drowsy. that thinking after all he might not as yet be alarmed. shouted forth the accustomed Ere forgetfulness altogether came over me. glistening in the sun’s rays like a mirror. glossy back. the sleepy ship and every sciousness. and no man must speak but in whispers. Suddenly bubbles seemed bursting beneath my closed eyes. and then sank out of sight like a tower swallowed up. but with such a steady tranquillity. he swam away to the leeward. The waves. and more than body still continued to sway as a pendulum will. too. long after the a score of voices from all parts of the vessel. in that dreamy mood losing all con. could handle the spokes. the whale looked like a portly burgher smoking his pipe of a warm afternoon. So seated like Ontario Indians on the gunwales of the boats. some invisible. poor whale. was thy last. “There go flukes!” was the cry. and making so few ripples as he swam.Herman Melville tion could withstand it. As The sudden exclamations of the crew must have alarmed the whale. gracious agency preserved me. a gigantic Sperm Whale lay rolling in the water like the capsized hull of a frigate. I had noticed cry. nodded their indolent crests. not forty fathoms off. like vices my hands grasped the shrouds. majestically turning. the calm not admitting of the noiseless sails being set. But that pipe.if struck by some enchanter’s wand. But lazily undulating in the trough of the sea. an announcement immedi275 . and ever and anon tranquilly spouting his vapoury jet. and across the wide trance of the sea. Ahab gave orders that not an oar should be used. with the three notes from aloft. he dashed the helm down before the helmsman nod from below from the slumbering helmsman. And lo! close under our lee. his broad. as we thus glided in chase. simultaneously power which first moved it is withdrawn. at last my soul went out of my body. and the sun over all. Presently. with a shock I came back to life. and ere the boats were down. And obeying his from the spars. of an Ethiopian hue. though my sleeper in it all at once started into wakefulness. So that at last all three of us lifelessly swung “Clear away the boats! Luff!” cried Ahab.brine into the air.

till the welcome cry was heard— 276 . “Ka-la! Koo-loo!” howled Queequeg. all the while puffing the smoke from his mouth. he thereby may be said to transform himself from a bluff-bowed sluggish galliot into a sharppointed New York pilot-boat. it is by far the most buoyant part about him. After the full interval of plenty of time—but start her. like a pacing tiger in his cage. and much nearer to it than to her. It was obvious. “Start in advance of the smoker’s boat.death and grinning devils. now. and raise the buried dead perpenfore no longer of use.* *It will be seen in some other place of what a very light substance the entire interior of the sperm whale’s enormous head consists. Start any of the others. Besides. that the whale had at length become cucumbers is the word—easy. And thus with oars and yells the keels cut the sea. such is the breadth of the upper part of the front of his head. straining forwards and backwards on his seat. take pipe. give ‘em the long and strong stroke. Stubb cheered on “Woo-hoo! Wa-hee!” screamed the Gay-Header in reply. All silence of cautiousness was there. that’s his sounding had elapsed. the whale rose again. raising some old war-whoop to the skies. Meanwhile. but keep cool. Tash. Stubb counted upon the honour of the capher. and such the tapering cut-water formation of the lower part. Stubb retaining his place in the van. as every oarsman in the strained boat involuntarily bounced forward with the one tremendous leading stroke which the eager Indian gave. Yes. and oars came dicular out of their graves. he was going “head out”. and being now all. easy—only start her like grim aware of his pursuers. my boy—start her. that by obliquely elevating his head. “Kee-hee! Kee-hee!” yelled Daggoo. So that with ease he elevates it in the air. And still puffing at his pipe. Though apparently the most massive. that part obliquely projecting from the mad yeast which he brewed. and invariably does so when going at his utmost speed. all. as if smacking his lips over a mouthful of Grenadier’s steak. Tashtego. a mighty change had come over the fish. my men! Don’t hurry yourselves. Like desperadoes they tugged and they strained. still encouraged his men to the onset.” cried Stubb. But his wild screams were answered by others quite as wild. All alive to his jeopardy. Paddles were dropped. start her. spluttering out the smoke as he spoke.Moby Dick ately followed by Stubb’s producing his match and igniting his “Start her. boys—that’s all. his crew to the assault. start her like thunder-claps. keep cool— ture. for now a respite was granted. now. Start her!” loudly into play.

* More turns were taken. at the slightest motion from within. “Wet the line! wet the line!” cried Stubb to the tub oarsman (him seated by the tub) who. from which the hand-cloths. to prevent being tossed to the foam. in the old Dutch fishery. From the vibrating line extending the entire length of the upwhence. and that enemy all the time striving to wrest it out of your clutch. Your hat. in order to bring down his centre of gravity. a wooden piggin. or squares of quilted canvas sometimes worn at these times. however. As the line passed round and round the loggerone cleaving the water. that. till at length the whale somewhat slackened his flight. while yet the boat was being towed on. cracking craft canted over her spasmodic gunwale into the sea. so that the line began *Partly to show the indispensableness of this act. An instant before. Soon ranging 277 . is the most convenient. each man with might and main clinging to his seat. and the tall form of Tashtego at the steering oar crouching almost double. It was like holding an enemy’s sharp two-edged sword by the blade. had accidentally dropped. a ceaseless whirling eddy in her wake. stem for stern—a staggering business truly in that rocking comIt was the magical line. a mop was used to dash the running line with water. dashed seawater into it. “Haul in—haul in!” cried Stubb to the bowsman! and. Stubb had swiftly motion. just before reaching that point. Tashtego!—give it to him!” The harpoon was hurled. is set apart for that purpose. snatching off his hat. Thus they rushed. facing round towards the whale. cade played at the bows. or bailer. you would have thought the craft had two keels— from his pipe. the same moment like a shark all fins. and. the vibrating. The boat now flew through the boiling water “Stern all!” The oarsmen backed water. A continual caspassed through and through both of Stubb’s hands. and from its now being more tight than a blue smoke now jetted up and mingled with the steady fumes harpstring. Stubb and Tashtego here changed places— something went hot and hissing along every one of their wrists. the other the air—as the boat churned head. holding its place. all hands began pulling the boat up to him. it may here be stated. so also. it blisteringly on through both opposing elements at once. Whole Atlantics and Pacifics seemed passed as they shot on their way. by reason of its increased rapid circlings. even but of a little finger. caught two additional turns with it round the loggerhead. in many other ships. a hempen per part of the boat.Herman Melville ”Stand up.

stood thoughtfully eyeing the vast corpse he had made. spasmodically dilating and contracting his spout-hole.Moby Dick up by his flank. cracking. and kept it there. as at every dart. “Pull up—pull up!” he now cried to the bowsman. had much ado blindly to struggle the sea. And now it is struck. shot into the frighted air. sent back its reflection into every face. for a moment. agonized respirations. overwrapped himin blood. ran dripping down his motionless flanks into the sea. and vehement puff after puff from the mouth of the excited headsman. and then ranging up for another fling. hauling in upon his crooked lance (by the line attached to it). And all the while. for. When reaching far over the bow. and falling back again. jet after jet of white smoke was agonizingly shot from the spiracle of the whale. surging from side to side. The slanting sun playing upon this crimson pond in craft. glowed to each other like red men. Mr. by a few rapid blows against the gunwale. 278 . as the waning whale relaxed in his wrath. Stubb straightened it again and again. the innermost life of the fish. carefully churning and churning. starting The red tide now poured from all sides of the monster like from his trance into that unspeakable thing called his “flurry. so that the imperilled their wake.” said Daggoo. At last. and. But that gold watch he sought was whale’s horrible wallow. instantly dropping astern. boiling spray. at the word of might have swallowed. firmly planting his knee in the clumsy cautiously seeking to feel after some gold watch that the whale cleat.” brooks down a hill. Stubb slowly churned his long sharp lance into the fish. then again and again sent it into the whale. mad. gush after gush of clotted red gore. Stubb. the boat alternately sterning out of the way of the ere he could hook it out. darted dart after dart into the flying fish. Stubb scattered the dead ashes over the water. with sharp. so that they all out from that phrensied twilight into the clear air of the day. His heart had burst! “He’s dead. which bubbled and seethed for furlongs behind in self in impenetrable. “Yes. both pipes smoked out!” and withdrawing his own from his mouth. “Pull up!—close to!” and the boat ranged along the fish’s flank. Stubb. as if And now abating in his flurry. and which he was fearful of breaking command. the whale once more rolled out into view. His tormented body rolled not in brine but the monster horribly wallowed in his blood. as if it had been the purple lees of red wine.

I cannot bawl very heart- CHAPTER 62 The Dart 279 . in what is called a long dart. all at once the exhausted harpooneer hears the exciting cry—”Stand up. and if you take the breath out of his body how can the harpooneer is expected to pull his oar meanwhile to the you expect to find it there when most wanted! uttermost. and the harpooneer or harpooneers are madly cursed and disrated. for it is the harpooneer that makes the or thirty feet. he essays to WORD CONCERNING an incident in the last chapter. For one. if the dart be successful. for often. the boatheader by repeated loud and intrepid exclamations. with the headsman or dart. when the whale starts to run. then at the second critical human activity to the rest. then. no wonder that whale-fastener pulling the foremost oar. bawling state. But however prolonged and exhausting the chase. voyage. pitch it somehow into the whale. the one known as the some of them actually burst their blood-vessels in the boat. and the headsman. while all the other imminent jeopardy of themselves and every one else.A Herman Melville ily and work very recklessly at one and the same time. that out of fifty fair chances for a whale-boat pushes off from the ship. he is expected to set an example of superAgain. the fleet of whalemen in a body. nervous arm to strike wonder that some sperm whalemen are absent four years with the first iron into the fish. seize his harpoon from the crotch. It is then muscles are strained and half started—what that is none know they change places. and give it to him!” He now has to drop and secure his oar. and with what little strength may remain. no harpooneer-oar. not only by incredible rowing. to the keep shouting at the top of one’s compass. No wonder. not five are successful. indeed. with his back to the fish. no wonder that to many ship owners. that is. the chief officer of the but those who have tried it. and what it is to and harpooneer likewise start to running fore and aft. Now it needs a strong. In this straining. taking the whole According to the invariable usage of the fishery. four barrels. turn round on his centre half way. whaling is the heavy implement has to be flung to the distance of twenty but a losing concern. but instant. no wonder that so many hapless whale-killer as temporary steersman.

But these two harpoons. the harpooneers of this world must start to their feet from out of idleness. It is customary to have two harpoons reposing in the crotch. but all this is both foolish and unnecessary. The headsman should stay in the bows from first to last. It is a notched stick of a peculiar form. but long experience in various whalemen of more chapters. for the purpose of furnishing To insure the greatest efficiency in the dart. than one nation has convinced me that in the vast majority of The crotch alluded to on a previous page deserves indepenfailures in the fishery. grow the in the chase. the object being this: to dart them both. So. whose other naked. some two feet in length. it has not by any means been so much the speed of the whale as the before described exhaustion of the dent mention. and a rest for the wooden extremity of the harpoon. if possible. in productive subjects. I care not who maintains the contrary. I UT OF THE TRUNK. the weapon is instantly at hand to its hurler. takes his proper station in the bows of the boat. he should both dart the harpoon and the lance. out of them. the branches grow. Thereby not from out of toil. starboard gunwale near the bow. are both connected with the line. except under circumstances obvious to any fisherman. which is perpendicularly inserted into the harpooneer that has caused them. Now. one instantly after the other into the same CHAPTER 63 The Crotch O 280 . each by its own cord. and no rowing whatever should be expected of him. who snatches it up as readily from its rest as a backwoodsman swings his rifle from the wall.Moby Dick little craft. barbed end slopingly projects from the prow. respectively called the first and second irons. know that this would sometimes involve a slight loss of speed the twigs.

loose second irons may be simultaneously dangling about him. It is a doubling of the chances. how it must be in the case of four boats all other may still retain a hold. somehow and here. at all without recovery. each boat is supplied with several harpoons to ertheless. in general. Furthermore: you must know that when the second iron is thrown overboard. now. prudently practicable. 281 . as they will not fail to elucidate several most important. when it very often happens that owing to the instantaneous. But engaging one unusually strong. it thenceforth becomes a dangling. of course. in the coming drag. or cutting them. violent. sharpedged terror. it curring accidents of such an audacious enterprise. Nev. and making a prodigious sensation in all directions. in most instances. eight or ten becomes impossible for the harpooneer. Tumbled into the water. active. owing to these qualities in him. hence that weapon must. and knowing whale. is it possible to secure it again until the whale is fairly captured and a corpse. so that if. however intricate passages. All these particulars are faithfully narrated events. like in his movements. Nor. the Consider. it accordingly is in such cases. in scenes hereafter to be painted. as the second iron is already connected with the bend on to the line should the first one be ineffectually darted line. and the line is running. But this critical act is not always unattended with the saddest and most fatal casualties. be anticipatingly tossed out of the boat. one should draw out. however lightning. the spare coils of box line (mentioned in a preceding chapter) making this feat. to pitch the second iron into him. else the most terrible jeopardy would involve all hands.For. skittishly curvetting about both boat and whale. somewhere. as well as to the thousand conconvulsive running of the whale upon receiving the first iron. entangling the lines.Herman Melville whale.

in overseeing the pursuit of this whale. and thrust rattling out of the port-holes. But by those canal of Hang-Ho. Very soon you would have thought from the sound corpse in the sea. but three lights up and down in the the spars and rigging aloft. And now. went his way into the cabin. the vast corpse itself. It was a calm. all that would not one jot advance his grand. monomagers. not the ship. or impaship. Tied by the head to the stern. seemed working in him. as we eighteen men with our slain. and though a thousand other whales were brought to his thirty-six arms. some vague dissatisfaction. or whatever they call it. which obscured Darkness came on.that dead body reminded him that Moby Dick was yet to be phy to the Pequod. and then handing his lantern to a seaman. except on the Pequod’s decks. slowly toiled hour after hour upon that inert. till drawing nearer yoked together like colossal bullocks. and it seemed hardly to budge at all. he issued the usual orders for securing it for the night. and seen through the darkness of the night. four or clanking links. sluggish niac object. and one hundred and eighty thumbs and finship. but this grand argosy we towed bows. so. and did not come forward again until morning.S Moby Dick bulwarks. yet now that TUBB’S WHALE had been killed some distance from the the creature was dead. Vacantly eyeing the heaving whale for a moment. the two—ship and whale. as if the sight of we commenced the slow business of towing the tro. and by the tail to the at the rate of a mile an hour. the whale now lies with its black hull close to the vessel’s heavily forged along. seemed Pequod’s main-rigging dimly guided our way. good evidence was hereby furnished of the anchor in the deep. that all hands were preparing to cast at long intervals. whereof one reclines we saw Ahab dropping one of several more lanterns over the CHAPTER 64 Stubb’s Supper 282 . for heavy chains are being dragged along enormousness of the mass we moved. Captain Ahab had evinced his customary activity. is to be five laborers on the foot-path will draw a bulky freighted junk moored. For. Though. or despair. tience. forming a tandem of three boats. to call it so. as if laden with pig-lead in bulk. upon the great the deck. in China.

a steak. strong line is prepared with a wooden float at its outer end. By adroit management the wooden float is made to rise on the other side of the mass. thousands on thousands of sharks. and being slipped along the body. black wa283 . yet now of all this liveliness in Stubb. Daggoo! overboard could be known on deck.Herman Melville while the other remains standing. The strongest and most reliable hold which the ship has upon the whale when moored alongside. that though these wild fishermen do not. and a weight in its middle. Starbuck. he was somewhat intemperately genuine relish for that particular part of the Sperm Whale des*A little item may as well be related here. at least so far as “A steak. so that now having girdled the whale. Stubb was a high liver. and cut me one from his small!” with conquest. Mingling their mumblings with his own mastications. Stubb stoutly stood up to his spermaceti supper at the capstan-head. The few sleepers below in their bunks were often startled by the sharp slapping of their tails against the hull. Peering over the side you could just see them (as before you heard them) wallowing in the sullen. ere I sleep! You. his official superior. helping cause least before realizing the proceeds of the voyage). citement. its flexibility even in death. was soon made strangely maniand then you find some of these Nantucketers who have a fest. If moody Ahab was now all quiescence. within a few inches of the sleepers’ hearts. swarming round the dead leviathan. is at last locked fast round the smallest part of the tail. Nor was Stubb the only banqueter on whale’s flesh that night. comprising the tapering extremity of the body. as if that capstan were a sideboard. smackingly feasted on its fatness. Stubb. About midnight that steak was cut and cooked. so that with the hand you cannot get at it from the boat. One small. Such an unwonted bustle was he in that the staid as a general thing. at the point of junction with its broad flukes or lobes. causes it to sink low beneath the surface. But this difficulty is ingeniously overcome: a small. and as from its greater density that part is relatively heavier than any other (excepting the side-fins). quietly resigned to him for the make the enemy defray the current expenses of the war (at time the sole management of affairs. and lighted by two lanterns of sperm oil. in order to put the chain round it. ignated by Stubb. betrayed an unusual but still good-natured exHere be it known. and according to the great military maxim. his second mate. the chain is readily made to follow suit. while the other end is secured to the ship.* fond of the whale as a flavorish thing to his palate. is by the flukes or tail. flushed you go.

than around a penter in countersinking for a screw. not in any very high glee at having been previously roused from his warm hammock at a most unseason284 . Stubb heeded not the mumblings of the banquet that was going on so nigh him. and. as if stabbing with his lance. as if to form a more secure base for his supper. and in gayer or more jovial spirits. you cook!—sail this way. they contrive to places. and most hilariously feast. yet is there no conceivable universal problem of all things. moored by night to a whaleship at sea. at the same time darting his fork into the dish. sharks will be seen longingly gazing up to the ship’s decks. dead sperm whale. may best be likened to the hollow made by a car. cook!—where’s that old Fleece?” he cried at length. also.Moby Dick ters. The mark they thus leave on time or occasion when you will find them in such countless the whale. then suspend your decision fight. no more than the sharks heeded the smacking of his own epicurean lips. it would still be pretty much the same thing. like hungry dogs round a table where red meat is being carved. with their jewelhilted mouths. and the expediency of conciliating the devil. cook!” The old black. But. and though. to be handy in case a parcel is to be carried anywhere. and occasions. a shocking sharkish business enough for all parties. remains a part of the gate. or globular pieces of the whale of the bigness of a human head. were you to turn the whole affair upside down. widening his legs still further. are quarrelsomely carving away under the table at the dead meat. and though. as yet. How other like instances might be set down.numbers. and though sharks also are the invariable outriders of all slave ships crossing the Atlantic. If Though amid all the smoking horror and diabolism of a seayou have never seen that sight. ready to bolt down every killed man that is tossed to them. a dead slave to be decently buried. and though one or two This particular feat of the shark seems all but miraculous. while the valiant butchers over the deck-table are thus cannibally carving each other’s live meat with carvingknives all gilded and tasselled. systematically trotting alongabout the propriety of devil-worship. touching the set terms. “Cook. at such an apparently unassailable surface. the sharks. when sharks do most socially congregouge out such symmetrical mouthfuls. and turning over on their backs as they scooped out huge side. that is to say. “cook.

you mustn’t swear that way when you’re preaching. “No. That’s no way to convert sinners. go on.—”Cook! why. softly crawling behind. Here. it’s too tender. and in obedience to the word of command. and then. with the other hand he solemnly flourished his dered along.” sullenly turning to go. came tongs. after a clumsy fashion. with both hands folded before him. came shuffling and limping along. take this lantern. Don’t I always say that to be good. as they called him. “Cook. “now then. and in moderation. “Fellow-critters: I’se ordered here to say dat you must stop dat dam noise dare. but they must keep quiet. rapidly lifting a rather reddish morsel to his mouth. go and preach to ‘em!” which he did not keep well scoured like his other pans. like many cook. accompanying the word with a sudden slap on the shoulder. cook!” “Who dat? Den preach to him yourself. cook. old Fleece limped across Fleece. he bowed his arched back still further over. Belubed fellow-critters:”— 285 . there was something the matter with his knee-pans. this old Sullenly taking the offered lantern. two-legged cane. tell ‘em they are welcome to help themselves civilly.” snatchold blacks. a whale-steak must be tough? There are those sharks now over the side. the deck to the bulwarks. go on.” here interposed Stubb. ing one from his sideboard. at the same time sideways inclining his head. his light low over the sea. cook. so as to bring his best ear into play. and resting on his overheard all that was said. with one hand dropping assisting his step with his tongs. when. but by Gor! you must stop dat dam racket!” “Cook. den.” “Well. and leaning far over the side in a mumbling voice began to a dead stop on the opposite side of Stubb’s sideboard. don’t you see they prefer it tough and rare? What a shindy they are kicking up! Cook. this old Ebony flouncongregation. You hear? Stop dat dam smackin’ ob de lips! Massa Stubb say dat you can fill your dam bellies up to de hatchings. if I can hear my own voice. “don’t you think this steak is rather overdone? You’ve been beating this steak too much. and deliver my message. damn your eyes. go and talk to ‘em. addressing the sharks. came shambling along from his galley. Away. which.Herman Melville able hour. Blast me.” said Stubb. so as to get a good view of his were made of straightened iron hoops. for. while Stubb.

” “Now. I say. resuming his supper at the capstan. approvingly.” cried Stubb. dat is de pint. dey wont hear you den. “that’s Christianity. raised his shrill voice. try wid.” dare bellies is full. cook. Now. look here. dat is natur. fill your dam bellies ‘till dey bust—and den die. Talk to ‘em gentlemanly. bred’ren. and by natur wery woracious. Is not one shark dood right as toder to dat whale? And. can’t get into de scrouge to help demselves. You is sharks. so dat de brigness of de mout is not to swaller the sea. Massa Stubb. dey do get ‘em full. de dam willains will keep a scougin’ and keep up such a dam slappin’ and bitin’ dare?” slappin’ each oder. fellow-critters. and cried— “Cussed fellow-critters! Kick up de damndest row as ever you can. and dare bellies is bottomless. “coax ‘em to use a-preaching to such dam g’uttons as you call ‘em. holding both hands over the fishy mob. there.” said Fleece. but to bit off de blubber for de small fry ob sharks. for den dey sink in “Your woraciousness. and when Once more the sermon proceeded. why den you be angel. no more. fellow-critters. Fleece. sartin. so give the benediction. yet I “Well done.” Upon this.” “Do you is all sharks. dat that. spose you “No use goin’ on. again stooping over upon his 286 . by Gor. Fleece.” dam slappin’ ob de tail! How you tink to hear.Moby Dick “Right!” exclaimed Stubb. over against me. just try wonst to be cibil. and pay particular attention. but to gobern dat wicked natur. dat dat woraciousness—’top dat go on. but den de brig mouts sometimes has de small bellies. brigger dan oders. collaring him. old Fleece!” cried Stubb. “Cook. I am about of the same opinion. dey don’t hear one word. till ing. dat whale belong to some one else. and can’t hear noting at all. for eber and eber.” “All ‘dention.” and Fleece continued. a helping yourselbs from dat whale. but if you gobern de shark in you. zay to you.” “Upon my soul. I don’t blame ye so much for. and I’ll away to my supper. “I won’t have that swear. Don’t be tearin’ de blubber out your neighbour’s mout.” said Stubb. I know some o’ you has berry brig mout. go fast to sleep on de coral. “stand just where you stood before. and can’t be helped. none on you has de right to dat whale. for all angel is not’ing more dan de shark well goberned.

— “Well. half-turning as he spoke. the “Silence! How old are you. too.” said Stubb. cook!” “Didn’t I say de Roanoke country?” he cried sharply.” said the old black. “do you years. berry joosy.” “What dat do wid de ‘teak. “Where do you expect to go to. and don’t know yet how to cook a whale-steak?” belong to the church?” rapidly bolting another mouthful at the last word. cook?” old negro muttered. You must go home and be born over again. and tell me if you think that now go back to the subject of this steak. and taste it. cook?” “‘Hind de hatchway. cook. eh?” said Stubb. “‘Bout ninety. you don’t know how to cook a whale-steak yet. turning round to depart. squaring himself once more.” said the old man sullenly. Faintly smacking his withered lips over it for a moment. In the first place. joosy. cook. in ferry-boat.” he growled.Herman Melville tongs in the desired position. “I shall now take that bit of steak there. “Passed one once in Cape-Down. testily. “Where were you born. angrily. “Come back here. where you doubtless overheard a holy parson addressing his hearers as his beloved fellow-creatures. cook.” “Bress my soul.” “And you have lived in this world hard upon one hundred “Cook. goin’ ober de Roanoke. cook?” “Go to bed berry soon.” he gloomily muttered. “No.” “Born in a ferry-boat! That’s queer. But I want to know what country you were born in. cook. so that morsel seemed a continuation of the question. have you. helping himself freely meanwhile. “Best cooked ‘teak I eber taste. cook! And yet you come here. but I’ll tell you what I’m coming to. “And you have once in your life passed a holy church in Cape-Town.” he mumbled. steak cooked as it should be? Take it.—here. hand me those tongs. and tell me such a dreadful lie as you did just now. dey say. cook. if I cook noder one. Now what’s your answer?” 287 . I say”—holding the how old are you.” said Stubb. you didn’t. It’s an awful question. cook?” tongs towards him—”take it. “Avast! heave to! I mean when you die.

” said Fleece. then. cook. round by the rigging. or else it’s no go. again in the sulks. As for the ends of the flukes. and clap t’other a’top of your heart. ‘stead of him eat whale. didn’t you? and now look yourself.—Avast heaving again! Whaleballs for breakfast—don’t forget. do you. What! that your heart. Hold the climb. the colder it gets? Main-top. Hold it steak in one hand. that I have put it out of sight as soon as possible.” ing his whole air and demeanor. It’s a ticklish business. other whale-steak for my private table here. when I’m giving my orders. dish it. the capstan. “he hisself won’t go nowhere. have them soused. except you go the regular way. you don’t get there.” desired. now ye may go. I’ll cook. no. and hear my orders.there now. d’ye hear? And now to-morrow.” said the old black. for the future. give me cutlets for supper to-morrow night in the mid-watch. But. be sure you stand by to get the tips of his fins. cook. “Cook. eh?” “Didn’t say dat t’all. there?—that’s your gizzard! Aloft! aloft!—that’s it—now you have it. chang. when you are dead? But don’t you know the higher you tell you what to do so as not to spoil it by overdoing. no. cook. cook. you expect to go up into our main-top. as if to get both ears “Fetch him? How? In a coach and four.—Halloa! stop! make a bow before you go.” said Fleece. then. and show a live coal to it with the other. you see this whale-steak of yours was so “Up dere. and keeping it there very solemnly. by gor! whale eat him. when you cook an“So.” But Fleece had hardly got three paces off. Drop your tongs. don’t you? Well. cook. and see where your tongs are pointing. but must be done. Elijah? And fetch him where?” “Well then. and pay attention. have them put in pickle. when he was recalled.” “Wish. Do ye hear? Hold your hat in one hand. perhaps you expect to get into heaven by crawling through the lubber’s hole. when we are cutting in the fish. that done. but. There. with both hands placed as but some bressed angel will come and fetch him. But none of us are in heaven yet. you head. “You said up there. cook. cook. see that.” said the negro slowly. holding his tongs straight over his very bad.Moby Dick “When dis old brack man dies. “All ‘dention. I’m 288 . D’ye hear? away you sail. as they fetched in front at one and the same time. vainly wriggling his grizzled head.

are to this day considered fine eating. CHAPTER 65 The Whale as a Dish T HAT MORTAL MAN should feed upon the creature that feeds his lamp. with which sage ejaculation he went to his hammock. indeed.” muttered the old man. The old monks of Dunfermline were very fond of them. eat him by his own light. are a species of whale. 289 . like Stubb. and. as you may say. a certain cook of the court obtained a handsome reward for inventing an admirable sauce to be eaten with barbacued porpoises. that three centuries ago the tongue of the Right Whale was esteemed a great delicacy in France. They had a great porpoise grant from the crown. and being well seasoned and spiced might be taken for turtle-balls or veal balls. which. and commanded large prices there. It is upon record. limping away. you remember.Herman Melville bressed if he ain’t more of shark dan Massa Shark hisself. Also. Porpoises. this seems so outlandish a thing that one must needs go a little into the history and philosophy of it. that in Henry VIIIth’s time. The meat is made into balls about the size of billiard balls.

like the transparent. is his exceeding richness. as the night it is a common thing for the seamen to dip their shipbeing exceedingly juicy and nourishing. Nevertheless. which would be by all hands be considered a noble dish. how bland and creamy that is. And this reminds me that certain Englishmen. nowadays par. which is quite a dish among some epicures. requires 290 . We all know how they live upon whales. recommends strips of blubber for infants. it takes away your appetite. and every one knows that some young bucks among the epicures. In the long try watches of famous doctors.Moby Dick The fact is. and cooked into a most delectable mess. But the spermaceti pie nearly one hundred feet long. They have such an eatable look that the most self-denying stranger can hardly keep his hands off.jellied. He is the great prize ox of the sea. that among his hunters at least.were it not such a solid pyramid of fat. but the Esquimaux are not so fastidiyet far too rich to supply a substitute for butter. ous. they are then mixed with flour. But what further depreciates the whale as a civilized dish. much of him. by continually dining upon calves’ brains. the whale would fat to be delicately good. and the two plump. by and by get to have a little brains of their own. and have rare many whalemen have a method of absorbing it into some other old vintages of prime old train oil. and smelling something like old Amsterdam housewives’ dough-nuts or olycooks. take of cooked whales. but when you come to sit down before a meat. indeed. in flavor somewhat resembling calves’ head. itself. Zogranda. Look at his hump. they greatly resemble. Among the Dutch whalemen these scraps are called “fritters”. halfOnly the most unprejudiced of men like Stubb. when fresh. whitish lobes being withdrawn (precisely resembling two large puddings). indeed. were there not so as fine eating as the buffalo’s (which is esteemed a rare dish). Many a good supper have I thus made. which. being brown and crisp. who long ago were accidentally left in Greenland by a whaling vessel—that these men actually lived for several months on the mouldy scraps of whales which had been left ashore after trying out the blubber. The casket of the skull is broken into with an axe. In the case of a small Sperm Whale the brains are accounted a fine dish. white meat of a cocoanut in the third month of its growth. which. too biscuit into the huge oil-pots and let them fry there awhile. so as to be able to tell a calf’s head from their own heads. one of their most substance. and then partaking of it.

it will be more tolerable for that provident Fejee. and eat it too by its own light. Does not that sight take a tooth out of the cannibal’s jaw? Cannibals? who is not a cannibal? I tell you it will be more tolerable for the Fejee that salted down a lean missionary in his cellar against a coming famine. buck with an intelligent looking calf’s head before him.Herman Melville uncommon discrimination. civilized and enlightened gourmand. Go to the meat-market of a Saturday night and see the crowds of live bipeds staring up at the long rows of dead quadrupeds. he certainly would have been. And with what quill did the Secretary newly murdered thing of the sea.e. my civilized and enlightened gourmand dining off that It is not. 291 . and if he had been put on his trial by oxen. with an “Et tu Brute!” expression. what is that handle made of?—what but the bones sively unctuous that landsmen seem to regard the eating of him of the brother of the very ox you are eating? And what do you with abhorrence. there. that appears to result. of the Society for the Suppression of Cruelty to Ganders forBut no doubt the first man that ever murdered an ox was regarded as a murderer. is it? Look at your knife-handle. And that is the reason why a young and feastest on their bloated livers in thy pate-de-foie-gras. I say. and he certainly deserved it if any murderer does. in some way. in the day of judgment. entirely because the whale is so excesroast beef. perhaps he was hung. The head looks a that is adding insult to injury. he eats the whale by its own light. from the pick your teeth with. after devouring that fat goose? With a consideration before mentioned: i. than for thee. that a man should eat a feather of the same fowl. does he? and how one of the saddest sights you can see. who nailest geese to the ground mally indite his circulars? It is only within the last month or two that that society passed a resolution to patronise nothing but steel pens. is someBut Stubb. sort of reproachfully at him. perhaps.

the common usage is to take in all sail. though. corresponds to the garden implement after which plan will not answer at all. until that time. and in general shape. kept up an inceslight. customary to proceed at once to the business of cutting a forecastle seaman came on deck. In most other parts of the ocean. upon Stubb setting the anchor-watch after his alongside late at night. is inserted for a handle. anchor-watches sant murdering of the sharks. is about the bigness of a man’s spread hand. darting their long whaling-spades. in some instances. where these fish do not so largely abound. two and two for an hour. the crew in rotation shall mount the deck to see that all goes well. Queequeg and at least. which. and then send every one below to his hammock till daymariners. after long and weary toil. is not created among the sharks. ting stages over the side. because such incalculable hosts of sharks gather round the moored carcase. lash the helm they cast long gleams of light over the turbid sea. *The whaling-spade used for cutting-in is made of the very But sometimes. and its upper end considerably narrower than the lower. their wondrous twenty to thirty feet long. no small excitement was him in. This weapon is always six hours. each couple. from ever. a captured Sperm cheese. and when being used is occasionbe visible by morning. howally honed. is brought Nevertheless. and lowering three lanterns. Whale. and those sharks the maggots in it. 292 CHAPTER 66 The Shark Massacre W . to be sure. that is. any man unaccustomed to such sights. this best steel. a procedure notwithstanding. only its sides are perfectly flat. that were he left so for it is named.* by striking the keen steel deep shall be kept. on a stretch.Moby Dick voracity can be at times considerably diminished. so that Therefore. especially upon the Line in the Pacific. say. For that business is an exceedingly laborious one. would have almost thought the whole round sea was one huge hen in the Southern Fishery. and requires all hands to set about it. In its socket. But it was not thus in the present case with the Pequod’s sharks. with the reservation that. and when. little more than the skeleton would kept as sharp as possible. as a general thing supper was concluded. it is not. only seems to tickle them into still greater activity. a stiff pole. for immediately suspending the cutvery soon completed. these two a’lee. by vigorously stirring them up with sharp whaling-spades. to have looked over her side that night. just like a razor. accordingly.

” said the vast bunch of grapes was swayed up to the main-top and firmly lashed to the lower mast-head. And now suspended in CHAPTER 67 Cutting In I 293 . It whalemen. one of these sharks almost took poor Queequeg’s hand off. was then conducted to the windlass. till those entrails T WAS A SATURDAY NIGHT. was attached. In the first place. one dam Ingin.” and the huge lower block of the tackles was swung over the whale. every sailor a butcher. among other the sake of his skin. Killed and hoisted on deck for gods. but de god wat made shark must be through these intricacies. to lowed! Ex officio professors of Sabbath breaking are all be oppositely voided by the gaping wound. and which no single man can possibly lift—this of his murderous jaw. the marksmen could not always hit their mark. but like flexible bows. and bit their own. bent round. “Queequeg no care what god made him shark. and such a Sabbath as fol seemed swallowed over and over again by the same mouth. and this brought about new revelations of the incredible ferocity of the foe. They viciously snapped. the enormous cutting tackles. the strongest point anywhere savage.Herman Melville into their skulls. The end of the hawser-like rope winding god or Nantucket god. You would have creatures. after what might be called the individual life had departed. seemingly their only vital part. not only at each other’s disembowelments. “wedder Fejee above a ship’s deck. But in the foamy confusion of their mixed and struggling hosts. The ivory Pequod was turned into what was unsafe to meddle with the corpses and ghosts of these seemed a shamble. to this block the great blubber hook. Nor was this all. agonizingly lifting his hand up and down. when he tried to shut down the dead lid ponderous things comprising a cluster of blocks generally painted green. A sort of generic or Pantheistic vitality seemed to thought we were offering up ten thousand red oxen to the sea lurk in their very joints and bones. weighing some one hundred pounds.

this accomplished swordsman. the long upper it is thus peeled off. and indeed by that very act itself. warning all hands to stand off.” simultaneously cut by with their long spades. semicircular line is cut round the hole. severs it completely in twain. and with a few sidelong. till at last. Starbuck and Stubb. and is all ready for lowering. armed peels off along the line called the “scarf. the entire ship careens over on mass sways to and fro as if let down from the sky. now commence heaving in one dense crowd at ing. in order to prepare for what follows. lunging slicings. For the strain constantly kept up by the windlass continually keeps the whale rolling over and over in the water. the end of the second alternating great tackle is then hooked so as to retain a hold upon the blubber. began cutting a hole in the body for the the spades of Starbuck and Stubb. Into this hole. so that while the short lower part is still fast. while every gasping heave of the windlass is answered by a helping heave from the billows. called a blanket-piece. When instantly. Whereupon. startling snap is heard. with a great swash the ship rolls upwards and backwards from the whale. and for a moment or two the prodigious blood-dripping the windlass. and every her side. it is all fins. a broad. house in frosty weather. keen weapon called a boarding-sword. a swift. the mates. and the main body of the crew striking up grazes the main-top. so is it stripped off from the body precisely as an orange is sometimes stripped by spiralizing it.Moby Dick stages over the side. once more makes a scientific dash at the mass. desperate. every bolt in her starts like the nail-heads of an old one present must take good heed to dodge it when it swings. frighted mast-heads to the sky. This done. the mates. the time being hoisted higher and higher aloft till its upper end the hook is inserted. More and more she leans over to the whale. Now as the blubber envelopes the whale precisely as the rind does an orange. and just as fast insertion of the hook just above the nearest of the two side. quivers. and as the blubber in one strip uniformly One of the attending harpooneers now advances with a long. swings clear. and nods her else it may box his ears and pitch him headlong overboard. she trembles. and watching his chance he dexterously slices out a considerable hole in the lower part of the swaying mass. and the triumphant tackle rises into sight dragging after it the disengaged semicircular end of the first strip of blubber. the men at the windlass then cease heava wild chorus. The heavers forward now re294 .

the blubber-room naturalists ashore. the ship straining. and ranges from eight or ten to twelve and fifteen inches in thickness. more elastic and compact. yet in point of fact these are no arguments against such a presumption. but gentlemen coiling. hands swearing occasionally. and down goes the first strip through the main hatchway right beneath. both whale about it with experienced whalemen afloat. by way of assuaging the general The question is. what and where is the skin of the whale? friction. but tougher. Now. close-grained beef. the other is slowly slackened away. and while the one tackle is peeling and hoisting a second strip from the whale. and all it is only an opinion. And thus the work proceeds. however preposterous it may at first seem to talk of any creature’s skin as being of that sort of consistence and thickness. That blubber is something of the consistence of firm. My original opinion remains unchanged. the skin of the whale.Herman Melville sume their song. Already you know what his blubber is. the heavers singing. if rea- CHAPTER 68 The Blanket I 295 . I have had controversies two tackles hoisting and lowering simultaneously. into an unfurnished parlor called the blubber-room. and learned and windlass heaving. because you cannot raise any other dense enveloping layer from the whale’s body but that same blubber. and the outermost enveloping layer of any animal. the subject. Into this twilight apartment sundry nimble hands keep coiling away the long blanket-piece as if it were a great HAVE GIVEN NO SMALL ATTENTION to that not unvexed live mass of plaited serpents. the mates scarfing.

I was much struck with a 296 .Moby Dick sonably dense. only it is almost as that animated mass. that the proper skin of the tremendous whale is thinner and more tender than the skin of a new-born child. invests the entire body of the whale. that oil. that is. In some instances. Nor is this all. some idea may hence be had of the enormousness of resembling the thinnest shreds of isinglass. the visible surface of the Sperm Whale is not the least being laid upon the printed page. It is transparent. then. I have sometimes pleased among the many marvels he presents. when yields such a lake of liquid as that. as you may say. somewhat coat. as in a veritable engraving. But what I am driving at here is this. you have ten tons for the net weight of only three and brittle. Almost invariably it is all myself with fancying it exerted a magnifying influence. so to speak. as if they were engraved upon the body itself. as I said before. those linear marks. observant eye. but afford the ground for far other delineations. you may scrape off with state. it is pleasant to read about whales through their own spectacles. will yield the bulk of one hundred barrels of oil. But no more of this. Reckoning ten barrels to it not only contracts and thickens. Assuming the blubber to be the skin of the whale. which I use for marks quarters of the stuff of the whale’s skin. I have several such dried bits. but becomes rather hard the ton. These are hieroglyphical. what can that be but the skin? True. then that is the proper word to use in the present connexion. which. in quantity. when it is considover obliquely crossed and re-crossed with numberless straight marks in thick array. if you call those mysterious cyphers on the walls of pyramids hieroglyphics. I admit. but seem to be seen through it. isinglass substance. is only three fourths. is not so much to be regarded as the skin of the creature. in my whale-books. and not the entire substance of the your hand an infinitely thin. previous to being dried. something like those in the finest Italian line engravings. By my retentive memory of the hieroglyphics upon one Sperm Whale in particular. as the skin of the skin. and In life. when this skin. That same infinitely thin. that is. in its expressed unmarred dead body of the whale. a mere part of whose mere integument flexible and soft as satin. But these marks do not seem to be impressed upon the isinglass substance above mentioned. from the ered that. to the quick. and. At any rate. or rather weight. for it were simply ridiculous to say. as in the case of a very large Sperm Whale. transparent substance.

Freeze his blood. times. and sissippi. which Agassiz imagines to bear the marks of violent scraping contact with vast floating icebergs—I should say. that those rocks must not a little resemble the Sperm Whale in this particular. altogether of an irregular. It has already been said. full-grown bulls of the species. this one is very happy and significant. whose very bellies are refrigerators. in those shuddering. the mystic-marked whale skirting his extremity.his body. But more surprising is it to know. perpendicularly frozen into the hearts of fields of ice. say. in all seas. random waters. the whale has lungs and warm blood. that it is stript from him in long pieces. It also seems to me that such scratches in the whale are probably made by hostile contact with other whales.pane. aspect. when seamen fall overboard. or. Besides all the other phenomena able in all weathers. too. if unsupplied with his cosy surtout? True. but these. an Indian poncho slipt over his head. in great part of the regular linear appearance. What would which the exterior of the Sperm Whale presents.Herman Melville plate representing the old Indian characters chiselled on the indeed wrapt up in his blubber as in a real blanket or counterfamous hieroglyphic palisades on the banks of the Upper Mis. how wonderful that he should be found at home. and more especially his flanks. are your cold-blooded. like man. called blanket-pieces. to whom corporeal warmth is as indispensable as it is to man. for I have most remarked them in the large. immersed to his lips for life in those Arctic waters! where. icy dom displays the back. How wonderful is it then—except after explanation— that this great monster. It is by reason of this cosy blanketing of remains undecipherable. be it observed. I should say that those New England rocks on the sea-coast. as a traveller in winter would bask before an inn fire. that warm themselves under the lee of an iceberg. Like most seaterms. Like those mystic rocks. by reason of other fish are found exceedingly brisk in those Hyperborean numerous rude scratches. and tides. effaced seas of the North. still better. For the whale is lungless fish. months afterwards. he not selbecome of a Greenland whale. as a fly is found glued in amber. and he dies. A word or two more concerning this matter of the skin or blubber of the whale. creatures. as has been proved by experi297 . whereas. This allusion to the Indian rocks re. they are sometimes found. that the whale is enabled to keep himself comfortminds me of another thing.

Be cool at the equator. whose beaks are like so many insulting poniards in the whale. and the air above vexed with tures. wafted by the joyous breezes. it has O man! in all seasons a temperature of thine floats more and more away. The vast tackles have now done their duty. keep thy blood fluid at the Pole. that herein we see the rare virtue of a strong individual vitality. and like the great whale. Beneath the unclouded and mild azure sky. and the rare virtue of interior spaciousness. augment the murderous din. the water round it torn and splashed by the insatiate sharks. that great mass of death floats on and on. Oh. too. For hours and hours from the almost stationary ship that hideous sight is seen. Peter’s. and every rod that it so floats. man! admire and model thyself after the whale! Do thou. It is still colossal. too. not perceptibly lost anything in bulk. how few are domed like St. The vast white headless phantom floats further and further from the ship. CHAPTER 69 The Funeral H 298 . It does seem to me. upon the fair face of the pleasant sea. and the rare virtue of thick walls. flashes like a marble sepulchre. retain. how few vast as the whale! rapacious flights of screaming fowls. till lost in infinite perspectives. though changed in hue. Like The peeled white body of the beheaded whale the great dome of St. Peter’s! of crea. remain warm AUL IN THE CHAINS! Let the carcase go astern! among ice. live in this world without being of it. that the blood of a Polar whale is warmer than that of a Borneo negro in summer.Moby Dick ment. Do thou. what seem square roods of sharks and cubic roods of fowls. Slowly But how easy and how hopeless to teach these fine things! Of erections.

when the distance obscuring the swarming fowls. if peradventure he had needed it. I ween. rocks. but upon Are you a believer in ghosts. there’s the story of your obstinate survival of old beliefs never bottomed on the earth.Herman Melville There’s a most doleful and most mocking funeral! The seaThus. a vengeful ghost survives and hovers over it to scare. the whale. Desecrated as the body is. is free. leaping over it as silly sheep leap over a vacuum. ships shun the place. in his death his ghost becomes a powerblack or speckled. In life but few of them would have helped less panic to a world. because their leader originally leaped there when a stick was held. and breakers hereabouts: beware! And for years afterwards. straightway the whale’s unharming corpse. and the white spray heaving high against it. the air-sharks all punctiliously in real terror to his foes. there’s your utility of traditions. ghosts than the Cock-Lane one. Oh. with trembling fingers is set down in the log—shoals. while in life the great whale’s body may have been a vultures all in pious mourning. perhaps. and far deeper men than horrible vultureism of earth! from which not the mightiest whale Doctor Johnson who believe in them. There’s your law of precedents. my friend? There are other the banquet of his funeral they most piously do pounce. Nor is this the end. nevertheless still shows the white mass floating in the sun. and now not even hovering in the air! There’s orthodoxy! 299 . Espied by some timid man-of-war or blundering discovery-vessel from afar.

where his head and body seem The Pequod’s whale being decapitated and the body to join. and completely to suspend such a burden as that. upon which experienced whale surbulk. called a neck. rolling. by the immense tackles of a whaler. And there with the strained and that subject almost hidden in a discoloured. too. he must skilfully steer clear of all adjacent. that the surgeon must operate from above. for headed. and in that subterraneous manner. by reason of the enormous oftentimes tumultuous and bursting sea. Bear in mind. on the contrary. if it belong T SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN OMITTED that previous to com to a small whale it is hoisted on deck to be deliberately displetely stripping the body of the leviathan. Do you not marvel. thus made. in that very place. also. he was be posed of. even geons very much pride themselves: and not without reason. stripped. at Stubb’s boast. the head is dropped astern and held there by a cable till the body is stripped. there. so that it might yet in great part be some eight or ten feet intervening between him and his subject. that downward drag from the lower mast-head. with a full grown leviathan this is impossible. this were as vain a thing as Consider that the whale has nothing that can properly be to attempt weighing a Dutch barn in jewellers’ scales. and every yardunder these untoward circumstances he has to cut many feet arm on that side projecting like a crane over the waves. half way out of the sea. and exactly divide the spine at a critical point hard by its insertion into the skull. then.I Moby Dick dicted parts. deep in the flesh. there. Now. that he demanded but ten minutes to behead a sperm whale? When first severed. the beheading of the Sperm Whale is a the sperm whale’s head embraces nearly one third of his entire scientific anatomical feat. and craft steeply leaning over to it. is the thickest part of him. inter- CHAPTER 70 The Sphynx 300 . But. the head was hoisted against the ship’s side—about Remember. buoyed up by its native element. That done. without so that blood-dripping head hung to the Pequod’s waist like the much as getting one single peep into the ever-contracting gash giant Holofernes’s from the girdle of Judith.

Taking a few turns on the quarterThou saw’st the locked lovers when leaping from their flaming deck. true the main-chains he took Stubb’s long spade—still remaining to each other.—Where away?” 301 . suddenly erecting himself.there was thy most familiar home. there. Where unrecorded the murdered mate when tossed by pirates from the midnight deck. and hanging there in the midst of so intense a calm. longing arms. O head! thou hast seen enough to split the planets and make an infidel of Abraham. that’s cheering. thou vast and venerable head. and untold hopes and anchors rot. An intense copper of millions of the drowned. it seemed the Sphynx’s in the desert. placed its other end crutch-wise under one arm. Thou saw’st there after the whale’s Decapitation—and striking it into the lower part of the half-suspended mass. “That lively cry upon this deadly calm might almost convert a better man. speak. mighty head. thou hast dived the deepest. was more and more unfold. heart to heart they sank beneath the exulting wave.” muttered Ahab. Thou hast been where bell ing its noiseless measureless leaves upon the sea. while whole thunder-clouds swept aside from his brow. though ungarnished with a beard. Of all divers. has moved amid this world’s foundations.Herman Melville When this last task was accomplished it was noon. and up into this noiselessness came sleepless mothers would give their lives to lay them down. in that awful water-land.” cried Ahab. and the names and navies rust. It was a black and hooded head. where seamen went below to their dinner. like a universal yellow lotus. and his murderers still sailed on unharmed—while swift lightnings shivered the neighboring ship that would have borne a righteous husband to outstretched. “Aye? Well. hast slept by many a sailor’s side. calm. and tell us the secret thing that is in thee. now. and not one syllable is thine!” “Sail ho!” cried a triumphant voice from the main-mast-head. Silence reigned over the in her murderous hold this frigate earth is ballasted with bones before tumultuous but now deserted deck. he paused to gaze over the side. “Speak. where A short space elapsed. or diver never went. yet here and there lookest hoary with mosses. for hours he fell into the deeper midnight of the insatiate maw. That head upon which the upper sun now gleams. then slowly getting into ship. “which. and so stood leaning over with eyes attentively fixed on this head. when heaven seemed false to them. Ahab alone from his cabin.

the whale commanders are enabled to recognise each other upon the ocean. sir. and soon the Pequod began to rock. the ships of the American Whale Fleet have each a private signal. By and by.Moby Dick “Three points on the starboard bow. and bringing down her breeze to us! “Better and better. that like the vessels of military marines.” CHAPTER 71 The Jeroboam’s Story AND IN HAND. Would now St. even at considerable distances and with no small facility. and to my breezelessness bring his breeze! O Nature. and shooting by. but has its cunning duplicate in mind. But as she was so far to windward. ship and breeze blew on. Paul would come along that way. Thereby. The Pequod’s signal was at last responded to by the H 302 . and O soul of man! how far beyond all utterance are your linked analogies! not the smallest atom stirs or lives on matter. through the glass the stranger’s boats and manned mast-heads proved her a whale-ship. So the signal was set to see what response would be made. but the breeze came faster than the ship. the Pequod could not hope to reach her. man. apparently making a passage to some other ground. all which signals being collected in a book with the names of the respective vessels attached. Here be it said. every captain is provided with it.

Subject to this. but would be soon skilfully brought to her proper ranged abeam under the Pequod’s lee. He was a small. he peremptorily refused to come into direct contact with the Pequod. as she heavily forged through the sea (for by this time it blew very fresh). she bore down. A long-skirted. For. and a certain man among her crew. but. a conversation was sustained between the two Starbuck’s order to accommodate the visiting captain. it bearings again. It turned Pulling an oar in the Jeroboam’s boat. Squaring her yards. which proved the ship to be the onset of a large rolling wave. and an incorruptible sea and air rolling and flowing between. the boat would be pushed some Jeroboam of Nantucket. the overlapping sleeves of which were rolled up on his wrists. some time previous when the Pequod spoke the Town-Ho. was a man of a singuout that the Jeroboam had a malignant epidemic on board. sprinkled all over his face with freckles. settled. her captain. A deep. even in that wild whaling life where individual and that Mayhew. but at intervals not without still another interruption of stranger in question waved his hand from his boat’s stern in a very different sort. indeed. way ahead. token of that proceeding being entirely unnecessary. at times by the sudden man. and other the like interruptions soon drew nigh. it seemed that the scaramouch in ques303 . So soon as this figure had been first descried. According to this account and what was subsequently learned. lar appearance. was fearful of infecting the notabilities make up all totalities. yet conscientiously adhering to the timid quarantine of the land. youngish Pequod’s company. and though his ship was half a rifle-shot off. though. the parties. with her main-topsail aback. Stubb had exclaimed— “That’s he! that’s he!—the long-togged scaramouch the Town-Ho’s company told us of!” Stubb here alluded to a strange story told of the Jeroboam.Herman Melville stranger’s setting her own. and lowered a boat. the Jeroboam’s boat by the occasional use of its oars contrived to keep parallel to the Pequod. though himself and boat’s crew remained untainted. as the side-ladder was being rigged by now and then. But this did by no means prevent all communications. short. Preserving an interval of some few yards between itself and the ship. and wearing redundant yellow hair. cabalistically-cut coat of a faded walnut tinge enveloped him. fanatic delirium was in his eyes.

the incredulous capfrom heaven by the way of a trap-door. The consequence of all this was. he had left Neskyeuna for Nantucket. which. with an atmosphere of sacredness. was supposed port. he assumed a steady. So strongly did he work upon his disciples among the crew. so that it came to pass that Gabriel had the complete freedom of the ship. he carried a higher hand than ever. united to invest this Gabriel in the minds of the majorbody in the Jeroboam. and commanded the captain to jump overboard. whereby he set himself forth as the deliverer of the isles of the sea and vicar-general of all Oceanica. declaring that the plague. especially as he their cracked.Moby Dick tion had gained a wonderful ascendency over almost every. He was therefore forced to relinquish his plan. As such a man. his insanity broke out in a freshet. and since the epidemic had broken out. Nor would they permit Gabriel to be any way maltreated. announcing the speedy tain would fain have been rid of him. The sailors. in was not of much practical use in the ship. The unflinching earnestness with which he declared these things. He published his manifesto. where. with that cunning peculiar to craziness. as he called it. A strange.—the dark. was at his sole command. He announced himself as the archangel Gabriel. which he carried in his vest-pocket. daring play of his sleepless. He had been originally nurtured among the crazy society of Moreover. but apprised that that opening of the seventh vial. say or do what he would. but straightway upon the ship’s getting out of sight of land.devoting the ship and all hands to unconditional perdition. individual’s intention was to land him in the first convenient but. Neskyeuna Shakers. excited imagination. in ing seized him. nor should it be stayed but according to his good pleasure. the archangel forthwith opened all his seals and vials— to be charged with laudanum. common-sense exterior.delirium. where he had been a great prophet. instead of containing gunpowder. that at last in a body they went to the captain and told him if Gabriel was sent from the ship. not a man of them would remain. and offered himself as a green-hand candidate for the Jeroboam’s whaling voyage. They engaged him. however. His story was this: ity of the ignorant crew. and all the preternatural terrors of real case this intention was carried out. that the archangel cared little or nothing for the captain and mates. 304 . apostolic whim hav. they were afraid of him. secret meetings having several times descended refused to work except when he pleased.

when the boat drifted back.Herman Melville mostly poor devils.moments. Such things may seem incred. sometimes rendering him ahead as if dragged by fiends. who stood in the boat’s stern.” said Ahab from the bulwarks. not. they are true. and some of them fawned before “I tell thee again. but. some year or two afterwards. her people were reliably apprised of the existence of Moby Dick. while a succession of riotous waves rolled by. “Think. Greedily sucking in this intelligence. “thou must either—” But that instant a headlong wave shot the boat far ahead.with rather more apprehensiveness than his archangel nature turn to the Pequod. Gabriel. in his gibbering insanity. in case the monster should be seen. when upon speaking a whale-ship. When this interlude was over. “Hast thou seen the White Whale?” demanded Ahab. cringed. however. without frequent interruptions from Gabriel. as to a god. Meantime. seemed to warrant. yellow and bilious! Beware of the horrible plague!” “Gabriel! Gabriel!” cried Captain Mayhew. think of thy whale-boat. think of the fevers. which ible. Nor is the history by one of those occasional caprices of the seas were tumbling. Captain Mayhew began a to Captain Mayhew. Nothing was said for some personal homage. stoven and sunk! Beware of the horrible tail!” dark story concerning Moby Dick. and Gabriel was seen eyeing it deceiving and bedevilling so many others.” But now Gabriel started to his feet. “I fear not thy epidemic. “come on board. the Shakers receiving the Bible. Gabriel solemnly warned the captain against attacking the White Whale. pronouncing the White Whale to be no less a being than the Shaker God incarnated. in obedience to his instructions. the hoisted sperm whale’s head deception of the fanatic himself. and its seethings drowned all speech. however wondrous. Moby Dick was fairly sighted from 305 . and the crazy sea that seemed leagued with him. and the havoc he had made. “Think. as his measureless power of jogged about very violently. It seemed that the Jeroboam had not long left home. But it is time to re. But when. that—” But again the boat tore him. man. whenever his name was mentioned. of fanatics half so striking in respect to the measureless selfnot heaving it.

Moby Dick the mast-heads. that the stranger captain could not forbear inquiring whether he intended to hunt the White Whale. while Macey. instead of only making a general prophecy. despite all the archangel’s denun. unsuccessful onsets. But strangest of all is the much weary pulling. in frantic gestures. the mate. Ahab put such questions to him. nothing is injured but the man who is let him have the opportunity. and essaying to get a fair chance for his poised lance. not a single mark of violence is discernascending to the main-royal mast-head. was tossing one arm ible. is torn from its five men to man his boat. Sometimes. and with all the reckless energy of his tribe was venting his wild exclamations upon the whale. temporarily taking the breath out of the bodies of the oarsmen. Mayhew having concluded his narration. Macey succeeded in persuading thigh-board. so full of furious life. the man being stark dead. and hurling forth prophecies of speedy doom The whole calamity. fanning motion. in which the headsman stands. or the ciations and forewarnings. after place and accompanies the body. that in more instances than one. Macey. and making a long arc in his descent. lo! a broad white shadow rose from the sea. fell into the sea at the distance of about fifty yards. if opportu306 . circumstance. and. Not a chip of the boat was harmed. Next instant. He became a nameless terror to the ship. when the body he at last succeeded in getting one iron fast. which any one might have done. and many perilous. was standing up in his boat’s bow. has been recovered. by its quick. Now. was to the sacrilegious assailants of his divinity. and the captain himself being not unwilling to quent as any. with the falling form of Macey. burned with ardour to the Sperm-Whale Fishery.thus annihilated. This terrible event clothed the archangel with added influence. Raising a piercing shriek—”The vial! the vial!” Gabriel called off the terror-stricken crew from the further hunting of the whale. that of the fatal accidents in plainly descried from the ship. It is well to parenthesize here. was smitten bodily into the air. Gabriel. nor a hair of any oarsman’s head. because his credulous disciples believed that he had specifically fore-announced it. Meantime. this kind is perhaps almost as freencounter him. and so have chanced to hit one of many marks in the wide margin allowed. the luckless mate. oftener the boat’s bow is knocked off. the chief mate. With them he pushed off. but the mate for ever sank.

To which Ahab answered—”Aye.” “Poor fellow! poor fellow! and from his wife.” sighed Every whale-ship takes out a goodly number of letters for various ships. look over the it’s Macey. Thus. Aye. he caught it in the slit of the pole. and ship. “Give it me. damp. and impaling the letter on it. out. Harry—(a woman’s pinny hand. seized the boat-knife. Starbuck. without its coming any closer to the pointed finger—”Think. Ahab holding the letter. “Captain Mayhew. Death himself might well have been the post-boy. depends upon the mere chance of encountering them in the four oceans.” Straight. Harry Macey. there is a letter for I’ll wager)—Aye—Mr. man. “but let me have it.—the man’s wife. It fell at Ahab’s feet. “thou art soon going that way. the oarsmen expectantly desisted from rowing. if I mistake not. the boat drifted a little towards the ship’s stern. “Can’st not read it?” cried Ahab.—what’s this?” As he was studying Mayhew. glaring upon knife slightly split the end. hand it to the boat.” “Nay. Of such a letter.Herman Melville nity should offer. and covered with a dull. keep it thyself. muttered.” “Curses throttle thee!” yelled Ahab. Mr. Ship Jeroboam. and with his way. as if by magic. to insert the letter there. sent it thus loaded back into the ship. Har— Ahab stolidly turned aside.—why one of thy officers. green mould. He clutched it in an instant. aye. so that. the letter suddenly ranged along with Gabriel’s eager hand. and reached it over towards the boat. and in that the old man. I have just bethought me of my letter-bag. But as he did so. with downward way. then said to Mayhew. Starbuck took a long cutting-spade pole. “Mr. Then 307 . it’s but a dim scrawl. in consequence of being kept in a dark locker of the cabin. “Captain. then. stand by now to receive it”. think of the blasphemer—dead. down there!—beware of the blasphemer’s end!” Meantime. Soon Starbuck returned with a letter in his hand.” cried Gabriel to Ahab. spotted. most letters never reach their mark. and vehemently exclaimed. and he’s dead!” bag. whose delivery to the persons to whom they may be addressed. and many are only received after attaining an age of two or three years or more. and taking the fatal missive from Starbuck’s hands. It was sorely tumbled. Gabriel once more started to his feet.

and in that manner the mutinous boat rapidly shot away from the Pequod.Moby Dick Gabriel shrieked out to his comrades to give way with their oars. the seamen resumed their work upon the jacket of the whale. there is much running backwards and for wards among the crew. But how did so clumsy and weighty a mass as that same hook get fixed in that hole? It was inserted there by my particular friend Queequeg. to descend upon the monster’s back for the special purpose referred to. We must now retrace our way a little. for at one and the same time everything has to be done everywhere. after this interlude. Now hands are wanted here. It is much the same with him who endeavors the description of the scene. CHAPTER 72 The Monkey-Rope N THE TUMULTUOUS BUSINESS of cutting-in and attending I to a whale. But in very many cases. There is no staying in any one place. as harpooneer. the blubber-hook was inserted into the original hole there cut by the spades of the mates. As. circumstances require that the harpooneer shall remain on the whale till the whole tensing or stripping 308 . whose duty it was. and then again hands are wanted there. It was mentioned that upon first breaking ground in the whale’s back. many strange things were hinted in reference to this wild affair.

be it observed. did I hold Queequeg down there in the sea. an elongated Siamese ured in the Highland costume—a shirt and socks—in which to ligature united us. it should mill beneath him. and should deck.Herman Melville operation is concluded. nor could I any way get rid of the dangerous liabilities no one had a better chance to observe him. and that another’s mistake or misfortune might plunge innocent me into unmerited disaster and death. On the occasion in question. and fast to my narrow leather one. I saw that here was a sort of interregnum in Providence. and brother. that my free will had received a mortal wound. So that for better or upon. You have seen Italian organ-boys holding a dancing-ape by a long cord. Therefore. And yet still further pondering—while I jerked him now and then from between the whale and ship. by what is technically called in the fishery a monkey-rope. then. we two. be seen. for the time. he appeared to uncommon advantage. at least. fast to Queequeg’s broad canvas entirely submerged. The whale. Queequeg fig. before we proceed further. were wedded. it was my cheerful duty to attend upon him while taking that hardscrabble scramble upon the dead whale’s back. lies almost rope was fast at both ends. I say. I saw that this situation of mine was the precise situation of every mortal 309 .drag me down in his wake. excepting the immediate parts operated belt. that while earnestly watching his motions. for its even-handed equity never could have so gross an injustice. as will presently which the hempen bond entailed.honour demanded. the person who pulled the bow-oar in his boat (the second one from forward). Queequeg was my own inseparable twin my eyes. as the vast mass revolves like a tread. For. then both usage and and half in the water. So. half on the whale poor Queequeg sink to rise no more. Just so. some ten feet below the level of the for worse. So down there. that is. attached to a strong strip of canvas belted round his waist. from the ship’s steep side. it must be said that the monkeySo strongly and metaphysically did I conceive of my situation then. I seemed distinctly to perceive that my own individuality was now merged in a joint stock company of two. Being the savage’s bowsman. that instead of cutting the cord. the poor harpooneer flounders about. It was a humorously perilous business for both of us. which would threaten to jam him—still further pondering.

sometimes seldom touch a man. those indis310 . I admit. if your apothecary by mistake And right in among those sharks was Queequeg. by exceeding caution. that I came very near sliding overboard. But this was not the only jamming jeopardy he was exposed to. he jerked it so. it is deemed but wise to look management of one end of it. Unappalled by the massacre made upon them during the night. he. True. Accordingly. in most cases. you die. you may say pushed them aside with his floundering feet. Suspended over the side in one of the stages. who often sends you poison in your pills. the otherwise miscellaneously carnivorous shark will Queequeg’s monkey-rope heedfully as I would. But handle whale. but it was only in the Pequod that the monkey and his holder were ever tied together. to be sure. in order to afford the imperilled harpooneer the strongest possible guarantee for the faithfulness and vigilance of his monkey-rope holder. A thing altogether that.* I have hinted that I would often jerk poor Queequeg from between the whale and the ship—where he would occasionally fall. I only had the such a ravenous finger in the pie. but in their hasty zeal to befriend him. you snap. This procedure of theirs. only. wherewith they slaughtered as many sharks as they could reach. was very disinterested and benevolent of them. with which I now and then jerked the poor fellow from too close a vicinity to the maw of what seemed a peculiarly ferocious shark—he was provided with still another protection. This improvement upon the original usage was introduced by no less a man than Stubb. They meant Queequeg’s best happiness. it may well be believed that since they have could I possibly forget that. from the incessant rolling and swaying of both. do what I would. If creatures swarmed round it like bees in a beehive. you may possibly escape these incredible were it not that attracted by such prey as a dead and the multitudinous other evil chances of life. sharp to them. your banker breaks. Nor Nevertheless. and from the circumstance that both he and the sharks were at times half hidden by the blood-muddled water.Moby Dick that breathes. has pent blood which began to flow from the carcass—the rabid this Siamese connexion with a plurality of other mortals. the sharks now freshly and more keenly allured by the before *The monkey-rope is found in all whalers. Tashtego and Daggoo continually flourished over his head a couple of keen whalespades. besides the monkey-rope. one way or other.

Herman Melville creet spades of theirs would come nearer amputating a leg untasted cup. Then standing as if incredulous for a while, he than a tall. But poor Queequeg, I suppose, straining and gaspcalmly walked towards the astonished steward slowly saying, ing there with that great iron hook—poor Queequeg, I sup“Ginger? ginger? and will you have the goodness to tell me, pose, only prayed to his Yojo, and gave up his life into the Mr. Dough-Boy, where lies the virtue of ginger? Ginger! is hands of his gods. ginger the sort of fuel you use, Dough-boy, to kindle a fire in Well, well, my dear comrade and twin-brother, thought I, as this shivering cannibal? Ginger!—what the devil is ginger?— I drew in and then slacked off the rope to every swell of the sea-coal? firewood?—lucifer matches?—tinder?—gunpowsea—what matters it, after all? Are you not the precious imder?—what the devil is ginger, I say, that you offer this cup to age of each and all of us men in this whaling world? That our poor Queequeg here.” unsounded ocean you gasp in, is Life; those sharks, your foes; those spades, your friends; and what between sharks and spades you are in a sad pickle and peril, poor lad. But courage! there is good cheer in store for you, Queequeg. For now, as with blue lips and blood-shot eyes the exhausted savage at last climbs up the chains and stands all dripping and involuntarily trembling over the side; the steward advances, and with a benevolent, consolatory glance hands him—what? Some hot Cognac? No! hands him, ye gods! hands him a cup of tepid ginger and water! “Ginger? Do I smell ginger?” suspiciously asked Stubb, coming near. “Yes, this must be ginger,” peering into the as yet “There is some sneaking Temperance Society movement about this business,” he suddenly added, now approaching Starbuck, who had just come from forward. “Will you look at that kannakin, sir; smell of it, if you please.” Then watching the mate’s countenance, he added, “The steward, Mr. Starbuck, had the face to offer that calomel and jalap to Queequeg, there, this instant off the whale. Is the steward an apothecary, sir? and may I ask whether this is the sort of bitters by which he blows back the life into a half-drowned man?” “I trust not,” said Starbuck, “it is poor stuff enough.” “Aye, aye, steward,” cried Stubb, “we’ll teach you to drug it harpooneer; none of your apothecary’s medicine here; you 311

Moby Dick want to poison us, do ye? You have got out insurances on our lives and want to murder us all, and pocket the proceeds, do ye?” “It was not me,” cried Dough-Boy, “it was Aunt Charity that brought the ginger on board; and bade me never give the harpooneers any spirits, but only this ginger-jub—so she called it.” “Ginger-jub! you gingerly rascal! take that! and run along with ye to the lockers, and get something better. I hope I do no wrong, Mr. Starbuck. It is the captain’s orders—grog for the harpooneer on a whale.” “Enough,” replied Starbuck, “only don’t hit him again, but—” “Oh, I never hurt when I hit, except when I hit a whale or something of that sort; and this fellow’s a weazel. What were you about saying, sir?” “Only this: go down with him, and get what thou wantest thyself.” When Stubb reappeared, he came with a dark flask in one hand, and a sort of tea-caddy in the other. The first contained strong spirits, and was handed to Queequeg; the second was Aunt Charity’s gift, and that was freely given to the waves.


Stubb and Flask Kill a Right Whale; and Then Have a Talk Over Him
T MUST BE BORNE in mind that all this time we have a Sperm


Whale’s prodigious head hanging to the Pequod’s side. But we must let it continue hanging there a while till we can get a chance to attend to it. For the present other matters press, and the best we can do now for the head, is to pray heaven the tackles may hold. Now, during the past night and forenoon, the Pequod had gradually drifted into a sea, which, by its occasional patches of yellow brit, gave unusual tokens of the vicinity of Right Whales, a species of the Leviathan that but few supposed to be at this particular time lurking anywhere near. And though all hands

Herman Melville commonly disdained the capture of those inferior creatures; the vessel’s side. But having plenty of line yet in the tubs, and and though the Pequod was not commissioned to cruise for the whale not sounding very rapidly, they paid out abundance them at all, and though she had passed numbers of them near of rope, and at the same time pulled with all their might so as to the Crozetts without lowering a boat; yet now that a Sperm get ahead of the ship. For a few minutes the struggle was inWhale had been brought alongside and beheaded, to the surtensely critical; for while they still slacked out the tightened line prise of all, the announcement was made that a Right Whale in one direction, and still plied their oars in another, the conshould be captured that day, if opportunity offered. tending strain threatened to take them under. But it was only a Nor was this long wanting. Tall spouts were seen to lee- few feet advance they sought to gain. And they stuck to it till ward; and two boats, Stubb’s and Flask’s, were detached in they did gain it; when instantly, a swift tremor was felt running pursuit. Pulling further and further away, they at last became almost invisible to the men at the mast-head. But suddenly in the distance, they saw a great heap of tumultuous white water, and soon after news came from aloft that one or both the boats must be fast. An interval passed and the boats were in plain sight, in the act of being dragged right towards the ship by the towing whale. So close did the monster come to the hull, that at first it seemed as if he meant it malice; but suddenly going down in a maelstrom, within three rods of the planks, he wholly disappeared from view, as if diving under the keel. “Cut, cut!” was the cry from the ship to the boats, which, for one instant, seemed on the point of being brought with a deadly dash against like lightning along the keel, as the strained line, scraping beneath the ship, suddenly rose to view under her bows, snapping and quivering; and so flinging off its drippings, that the drops fell like bits of broken glass on the water, while the whale beyond also rose to sight, and once more the boats were free to fly. But the fagged whale abated his speed, and blindly altering his course, went round the stern of the ship towing the two boats after him, so that they performed a complete circuit. Meantime, they hauled more and more upon their lines, till close flanking him on both sides, Stubb answered Flask with lance for lance; and thus round and round the Pequod the battle went, while the multitudes of sharks that had before swum 313

Moby Dick round the Sperm Whale’s body, rushed to the fresh blood that don’t half like that chap, Stubb. Did you ever notice how that was spilled, thirstily drinking at every new gash, as the eager tusk of his is a sort of carved into a snake’s head, Stubb?” Israelites did at the new bursting fountains that poured from “Sink him! I never look at him at all; but if ever I get a chance the smitten rock. of a dark night, and he standing hard by the bulwarks, and no At last his spout grew thick, and with a frightful roll and one by; look down there, Flask”—pointing into the sea with a vomit, he turned upon his back a corpse. peculiar motion of both hands— “Aye, will I! Flask, I take that While the two headsmen were engaged in making fast cords Fedallah to be the devil in disguise. Do you believe that cock to his flukes, and in other ways getting the mass in readiness and bull story about his having been stowed away on board for towing, some conversation ensued between them. ship? He’s the devil, I say. The reason why you don’t see his “I wonder what the old man wants with this lump of foul lard,” said Stubb, not without some disgust at the thought of having to do with so ignoble a leviathan. “Wants with it?” said Flask, coiling some spare line in the boat’s bow, “did you never hear that the ship which but once has a Sperm Whale’s head hoisted on her starboard side, and at the same time a Right Whale’s on the larboard; did you never hear, Stubb, that that ship can never afterwards capsize?” “Why not? “I don’t know, but I heard that gamboge ghost of a Fedallah saying so, and he seems to know all about ships’ charms. But I sometimes think he’ll charm the ship to no good at last. I tail, is because he tucks it up out of sight; he carries it coiled away in his pocket, I guess. Blast him! now that I think of it, he’s always wanting oakum to stuff into the toes of his boots.” “He sleeps in his boots, don’t he? He hasn’t got any hammock; but I’ve seen him lay of nights in a coil of rigging.” “No doubt, and it’s because of his cursed tail; he coils it down, do ye see, in the eye of the rigging.” “What’s the old man have so much to do with him for?” “Striking up a swap or a bargain, I suppose.” “Bargain?—about what?” “Why, do ye see, the old man is hard bent after that White Whale, and the devil there is trying to come round him, and get 314

Herman Melville him to swap away his silver watch, or his soul, or something of “Three Spaniards? Adventures of those three bloody-minded that sort, and then he’ll surrender Moby Dick.” soladoes? Did ye read it there, Flask? I guess ye did?” “Pooh! Stubb, you are skylarking; how can Fedallah do “No: never saw such a book; heard of it, though. But now, that?” tell me, Stubb, do you suppose that that devil you was speak“I don’t know, Flask, but the devil is a curious chap, and a ing of just now, was the same you say is now on board the wicked one, I tell ye. Why, they say as how he went a saunter- Pequod?” ing into the old flag-ship once, switching his tail about devilish “Am I the same man that helped kill this whale? Doesn’t the easy and gentlemanlike, and inquiring if the old governor was devil live for ever; who ever heard that the devil was dead? at home. Well, he was at home, and asked the devil what he Did you ever see any parson a wearing mourning for the devil? wanted. The devil, switching his hoofs, up and says, ‘I want John.’ ‘What for?’ says the old governor. ‘What business is that of yours,’ says the devil, getting mad,—’I want to use him.’ ‘Take him,’ says the governor—and by the Lord, Flask, if the devil didn’t give John the Asiatic cholera before he got through with him, I’ll eat this whale in one mouthful. But look sharp—ain’t you all ready there? Well, then, pull ahead, and let’s get the whale alongside.” “I think I remember some such story as you were telling,” said Flask, when at last the two boats were slowly advancing with their burden towards the ship, “but I can’t remember where.” And if the devil has a latch-key to get into the admiral’s cabin, don’t you suppose he can crawl into a porthole? Tell me that, Mr. Flask?” “How old do you suppose Fedallah is, Stubb?” “Do you see that mainmast there?” pointing to the ship; “well, that’s the figure one; now take all the hoops in the Pequod’s hold, and string along in a row with that mast, for oughts, do you see; well, that wouldn’t begin to be Fedallah’s age. Nor all the coopers in creation couldn’t show hoops enough to make oughts enough.” “But see here, Stubb, I thought you a little boasted just now, that you meant to give Fedallah a sea-toss, if you got a good 315

Moby Dick chance. Now, if he’s so old as all those hoops of yours come anything very suspicious going on, I’ll just take him by the to, and if he is going to live for ever, what good will it do to nape of his neck, and say—Look here, Beelzebub, you don’t pitch him overboard—tell me that? do it; and if he makes any fuss, by the Lord I’ll make a grab “Give him a good ducking, anyhow.” into his pocket for his tail, take it to the capstan, and give him “But he’d crawl back.” such a wrenching and heaving, that his tail will come short off “Duck him again; and keep ducking him.” at the stump—do you see; and then, I rather guess when he “Suppose he should take it into his head to duck you, finds himself docked in that queer fashion, he’ll sneak off withthough—yes, and drown you—what then?” out the poor satisfaction of feeling his tail between his legs.” “I should like to see him try it; I’d give him such a pair of “And what will you do with the tail, Stubb?” black eyes that he wouldn’t dare to show his face in the admiral’s cabin again for a long while, let alone down in the orlop there, where he lives, and hereabouts on the upper decks where he sneaks so much. Damn the devil, Flask; so you suppose I’m afraid of the devil? Who’s afraid of him, except the old governor who daresn’t catch him and put him in doubledarbies, as he deserves, but lets him go about kidnapping people; aye, and signed a bond with him, that all the people the devil kidnapped, he’d roast for him? There’s a governor!” “Do you suppose Fedallah wants to kidnap Captain Ahab?” “Do I suppose it? You’ll know it before long, Flask. But I am going now to keep a sharp look-out on him; and if I see “Do with it? Sell it for an ox whip when we get home;— what else?” “Now, do you mean what you say, and have been saying all along, Stubb?” “Mean or not mean, here we are at the ship.” The boats were here hailed, to tow the whale on the larboard side, where fluke chains and other necessaries were already prepared for securing him. “Didn’t I tell you so?” said Flask; “yes, you’ll soon see this right whale’s head hoisted up opposite that parmacetti’s.” In good time, Flask’s saying proved true. As before, the Pequod steeply leaned over towards the sperm whale’s head, 316

Herman Melville now, by the counterpoise of both heads, she regained her even was there at all it seemed only to blend with, and lengthen keel; though sorely strained, you may well believe. So, when Ahab’s. As the crew toiled on, Laplandish speculations were on one side you hoist in Locke’s head, you go over that way; bandied among them, concerning all these passing things. but now, on the other side, hoist in Kant’s and you come back again; but in very poor plight. Thus, some minds for ever keep trimming boat. Oh, ye foolish! throw all these thunder-heads overboard, and then you will float light and right. In disposing of the body of a right whale, when brought alongside the ship, the same preliminary proceedings commonly take place as in the case of a sperm whale; only, in the latter instance, the head is cut off whole, but in the former the lips and tongue are separately removed and hoisted on deck, with all the well known black bone attached to what is called the crown-piece. But nothing like this, in the present case, had been done. The carcases of both whales had dropped astern; and the head-laden ship not a little resembled a mule carrying a pair of overburdening panniers. Meantime, Fedallah was calmly eyeing the right whale’s head, and ever and anon glancing from the deep wrinkles there to the lines in his own hand. And Ahab chanced so to stand, that the Parsee occupied his shadow; while, if the Parsee’s shadow 317


Moby Dick tween these heads. Both are massive enough in all conscience; but there is a certain mathematical symmetry in the Sperm Whale’s which the Right Whale’s sadly lacks. There is more character in the Sperm Whale’s head. As you behold it, you involuntarily yield the immense superiority to him, in point of pervading dignity. In the present instance, too, this dignity is heightened by the pepper and salt colour of his head at the summit, giving token of advanced age and large experience. In short, ERE, NOW, are two great whales, laying their heads he is what the fishermen technically call a “grey-headed whale.” together; let us join them, and lay together our Let us now note what is least dissimilar in these heads—namely, own. the two most important organs, the eye and the ear. Far back on Of the grand order of folio leviathans, the Sperm Whale and the side of the head, and low down, near the angle of either the Right Whale are by far the most noteworthy. They are the whale’s jaw, if you narrowly search, you will at last see a lashless only whales regularly hunted by man. To the Nantucketer, they eye, which you would fancy to be a young colt’s eye; so out of present the two extremes of all the known varieties of the whale. all proportion is it to the magnitude of the head. As the external difference between them is mainly observable Now, from this peculiar sideway position of the whale’s eyes, in their heads; and as a head of each is this moment hanging it is plain that he can never see an object which is exactly from the Pequod’s side; and as we may freely go from one to ahead, no more than he can one exactly astern. In a word, the the other, by merely stepping across the deck:—where, I should position of the whale’s eyes corresponds to that of a man’s like to know, will you obtain a better chance to study practical ears; and you may fancy, for yourself, how it would fare with cetology than here? you, did you sideways survey objects through your ears. You In the first place, you are struck by the general contrast be-


The Sperm Whale’s Head—Contrasted View


Herman Melville would find that you could only command some thirty degrees of two sashes are separately inserted, making two distinct winvision in advance of the straight side-line of sight; and about dows, but sadly impairing the view. This peculiarity of the whale’s thirty more behind it. If your bitterest foe were walking straight eyes is a thing always to be borne in mind in the fishery; and to towards you, with dagger uplifted in broad day, you would not be remembered by the reader in some subsequent scenes. be able to see him, any more than if he were stealing upon you A curious and most puzzling question might be started confrom behind. In a word, you would have two backs, so to speak; cerning this visual matter as touching the Leviathan. But I must but, at the same time, also, two fronts (side fronts): for what is it be content with a hint. So long as a man’s eyes are open in the that makes the front of a man—what, indeed, but his eyes? light, the act of seeing is involuntary; that is, he cannot then Moreover, while in most other animals that I can now think help mechanically seeing whatever objects are before him. of, the eyes are so planted as imperceptibly to blend their visual power, so as to produce one picture and not two to the brain; the peculiar position of the whale’s eyes, effectually divided as they are by many cubic feet of solid head, which towers between them like a great mountain separating two lakes in valleys; this, of course, must wholly separate the impressions which each independent organ imparts. The whale, therefore, must see one distinct picture on this side, and another distinct picture on that side; while all between must be profound darkness and nothingness to him. Man may, in effect, be said to look out on the world from a sentry-box with two joined sashes for his window. But with the whale, these Nevertheless, any one’s experience will teach him, that though he can take in an undiscriminating sweep of things at one glance, it is quite impossible for him, attentively, and completely, to examine any two things—however large or however small— at one and the same instant of time; never mind if they lie side by side and touch each other. But if you now come to separate these two objects, and surround each by a circle of profound darkness; then, in order to see one of them, in such a manner as to bring your mind to bear on it, the other will be utterly excluded from your contemporary consciousness. How is it, then, with the whale? True, both his eyes, in themselves, must simultaneously act; but is his brain so much more com319

Moby Dick prehensive, combining, and subtle than man’s, that he can at right. While the ear of the former has an external opening, that the same moment of time attentively examine two distinct prosof the latter is entirely and evenly covered over with a mempects, one on one side of him, and the other in an exactly brane, so as to be quite imperceptible from without. opposite direction? If he can, then is it as marvellous a thing in Is it not curious, that so vast a being as the whale should see him, as if a man were able simultaneously to go through the the world through so small an eye, and hear the thunder through demonstrations of two distinct problems in Euclid. Nor, strictly an ear which is smaller than a hare’s? But if his eyes were investigated, is there any incongruity in this comparison. broad as the lens of Herschel’s great telescope; and his ears It may be but an idle whim, but it has always seemed to me, capacious as the porches of cathedrals; would that make him that the extraordinary vacillations of movement displayed by any longer of sight, or sharper of hearing? Not at all.—Why some whales when beset by three or four boats; the timidity and liability to queer frights, so common to such whales; I think that all this indirectly proceeds from the helpless perplexity of volition, in which their divided and diametrically opposite powers of vision must involve them. But the ear of the whale is full as curious as the eye. If you are an entire stranger to their race, you might hunt over these two heads for hours, and never discover that organ. The ear has no external leaf whatever; and into the hole itself you can hardly insert a quill, so wondrously minute is it. It is lodged a little behind the eye. With respect to their ears, this important difference is to be observed between the sperm whale and the then do you try to “enlarge” your mind? Subtilize it. Let us now with whatever levers and steam-engines we have at hand, cant over the sperm whale’s head, that it may lie bottom up; then, ascending by a ladder to the summit, have a peep down the mouth; and were it not that the body is now completely separated from it, with a lantern we might descend into the great Kentucky Mammoth Cave of his stomach. But let us hold on here by this tooth, and look about us where we are. What a really beautiful and chaste-looking mouth! from floor to ceiling, lined, or rather papered with a glistening white membrane, glossy as bridal satins. But come out now, and look at this portentous lower jaw, 320

imprecate lock-jaws upon him. weary hoist the jaw is dragged on board. but down at right-angles with his body. as Michigan oxen drag in the sea. leaving him there in that ungainly sort of plight. that the hinges of his jaw have relaxed. instead of one side. so as to get it overhead. There are generwith his prodigious jaw. who must. in old whales. and a tackle being rigged force. out of sorts. 321 . including canes. hanging straight ally forty-two teeth in all. Queequeg lances the gums. Daggoo. much worn down. days after the other work—Queequeg. hypochondriac. when fathoms down from aloft. you see some sulky whale. upon whom these spikes fall with impaling jaw is lashed down to ringbolts. If you pry it up. as if it afterwards sawn into slabs. then the wight in the fishery. alas! it proves to many a poor a keen cutting-spade. are set to drawing teeth. some fifteen feet long. no doubt. and furnishing a supply of that hard white whalebone with which the fishermen fashion all sorts of curious articles. With a long. floating there suspended. were an anchor. and handles to riding-whips. it seems being all accomplished dentists. a reproach to all his tribe. In most cases this lower jaw—being easily unhinged by a practised artist—is disengaged and hoisted on deck for the purpose of extracting the ivory teeth. and such. for all the world like a undecayed. The jaw is ship’s jib-boom. and expose its rows of teeth. This whale is not dead. umbrella-stocks. and piled away like joists for building houses. stumps of old oaks out of wild wood lands. and Tashtego. But far more terrible is it to behold. they drag out these teeth.Herman Melville which seems like the long narrow lid of an immense snuff-box. nor filled after our artificial fashion. he is only dispirited. and so supine. perhaps. and when the proper time comes—some few with the hinge at one end. With a terrific portcullis.

Look at that hangthis same last or shoe. But if this whale be a king. that old woman of the nursery tale. If you A great pity. by carpenter’s measurement. unless. with a bird’s nest in its crotch. whose green crown has been put together for him gigantic galliot-toed shoe. Two hundred years ago an old Dutch in this marvellous manner. And in very sulky looking fellow to grace a diadem. Then. with ing lower lip! what a huge sulk and pout is there! a sulk and the swarming brood. idea will be almost sure to occur to you. fixing your eyes solely on this. she pout. comb-like incrustation on the top of the mass—this green. At any rate. such an at the Right Whale’s head.” and the Southern fishers the “bonnet” of the Right Whale. he is a voyager likened its shape to that of a shoemaker’s last. five feet deep. at a broad view. sume different aspects. which the Greenlanders call the “crown. again. in which case you will take great interest in front. a sulk and pout that will yield you some 500 But as you come nearer to this great head it begins to asgallons of oil and more. if you fix your eye upon this strange. and these spiracles. according to your point of view. that this unfortunate whale should be harestand on its summit and look at these two F-shaped spoutholes. the thinking how this mighty monster is actually a diademed king Right Whale’s head bears a rather inelegant resemblance to a of the sea. about twenty feet long and and all her progeny. your As in general shape the noble Sperm Whale’s fancy has been fixed by the technical term “crown” also behead may be compared to a Roman war-chariot (especially in stowed upon it. indeed. now. when you ROSSING THE DECK.C Moby Dick you would take the whole head for an enormous bass-viol. CHAPTER 75 The Right Whale’s Head—Contrasted View 322 . where it is so broadly rounded). so. might very comfortably be lodged. crested. barnacled thing. the apertures in its sounding-board. let us now have a good long look watch those live crabs that nestle here on this bonnet. you would take the head for the trunk of some huge oak.

we must grant a far greater age coast. The fissure is about a foot across. I should take this to be fancies concerning these blinds. It was in Queen Anne’s time that the bone was in its glory. as you may say.” “fins.Herman Melville lipped. when earthquakes caused the beach to gape. as if there were a regular ridge-pole uses the following elegant language: “There are about two hunthere. and ridges. Over this to the Right Whale than at first glance will seem reasonable. But in this particular. which depending from the upper part of the head or crown bone. these same “hogs’ bristles. hairy sides. as they stand in their natural order. as the age of an oak by its circular rings. the demand has long been on the decline. those wondrous. and runs another. consisting of a few scattered white hairs on the upper part of the outer end of the lower jaw. or rather a moustache. “hogs’ bristles”.” or whatever you please. lip. through which the Right Whale strains the water. curves. In old times. furnish to the ladies their busks and other stiffening contrivances.” “whiskers. *This reminds us that the Right Whale really has a sort of whisker. as over a slippery threshold.” As every one knows. arched. 323 . half vertical. while these ribbed. Sometimes these tufts impart a rather brigandish expression to his otherwise solemn countenance. we now slide into the mouth. the farthingale being then all the fashion. a third old gentleman in Hackluyt to a pretty sharp angle. Though the certainty of this criterion is far which arch over his tongue on each side of his mouth. present us with dred and fifty fins growing on each side of his upper chop.” “blinds. there seem to have prevailed the most curious Upon my word were I at Mackinaw. At any rate. say three hundred on a side. The edges of these bones are fringed with hairy fibres. yet it has the savor of analogical probabilduring an important interval was sailing down the Peruvian ity. form those Venetian blinds which have elsewhere been cursorily mentioned. hollows. scimetar-shaped slats of whalebone. and in whose intricacies he retains the small fish. whereby some whalemen calculate the creature’s age.* that Jonah went? The roof is about twelve feet high. when openmouthed he goes through the seas of brit in feeding time. One voyager in Purchas calls the inside of an Indian wigwam. though in the jaws of the whale. there are certain curious marks. if we yield to it. And as those ancient dames moved about gaily. Probably the mother from demonstrable. In the central blinds of bone. Good Lord! is this the road them the wondrous “whiskers” inside of the whale’s mouth.

being a tent spread over the same bone. so as firmly to embrace the jaw. with the like thoughtlessness. Seeing all these colonnades of bone so methodically Can you catch the expression of the Sperm Whale’s there? ranged about. standing in the Right Whale’s mouth. I think his broad brow to carpet to the organ we have a rug of the softest Turkey—the be full of a prairie-like placidity. unrecorded. then: in the Right Whale’s there is no great well of sperm. would you not think you were inside of the great It is the same he died with. slender mandible of a lower jaw. no long. you must have plainly seen the truth of what I started with—that the Sperm Whale and the Right Whale have almost entirely different heads. do we Right Whale has two external spout-holes. who might have taken up Spinoza in his latter years. Ere this. on these venerable hooded heads. as it were. and gazing upon its thousand pipes? For a the forehead seem now faded away. in the and. at a passing glance I should say it was a six-barreler. This particular tongue now before us. to the floor of the mouth. See that amazing lower lip. which is glued. and scarcely anything of a tongue. they yet lie together.Moby Dick even so. But mark the other head’s expression. in a shower. It is very fat and tender. Look your last. that is. born of a speculative indiffertongue. afresh. Again. the umbrella only one. like the Sperm Whale’s. for one will soon sink. it will yield you about that amount of oil. and apt to tear in pieces in hoisting it on deck. while But now forget all about blinds and whiskers for a moment. Does not this whole head seem to speak of an enormous practical resolution in facing death? This Right Whale I take to have been a Stoic. now. pressed by accident against the vessel’s side. no ivory teeth at all. no huge lower lip. the Sperm Whale nowadays fly under the same jaws for protection. a Platonian. the other will not be very long in following. look around you sea. the Sperm Whale. 324 . only some of the longer wrinkles in Haarlem organ. the ence as to death. To sum up. Nor in the Sperm Whale are there any of those blinds of bone.

as will soon be reto one of the most appalling. simply— blind wall. Finally. pervealed. but not the less true events. though not so thick. or for ever remain an infidel as less mass is as one wad. is there the slightest vestige of bone. you observe that his eyes and ears are at the sides of his head. inlower jaw. you observe that the lower part of wraps the body of the whale. you must now have RE QUITTING. for you must either satisfactorily full cranial development. as the rind wraps an orange. and that what nose he has—his spout hole—is on the top of his head. Just that front slopes considerably backwards. so as to furnish more so with the head. I would have you investigate it now with the only in the extreme. In Sperm Whale. as a sensible physiologist. backward sloping part of the front sole view of forming to yourself some unexaggerated. you observe that the mouth is entirely under the CHAPTER 76 The Battering-Ram 325 .E Herman Melville head. lower. and not till gent estimate of whatever battering-ram power may be lodged you get near twenty feet from the forehead do you come to the there. Moreover you observe that the whale has no external nose. you are now to consider that collectedness. in all its compacted sort whatsoever.of the head. without a single organ or tender prominence of any particularly remark its front aspect. much in the same way. Furthermore. haps anywhere to be found in all recorded history. though. would have you. yet. its contents partly comprise the most delicate oil. indeed. I perceived that the front of the Sperm Whale’s head is a dead. nearly one third of his entire length from the front. the front of his head presents an almost wholly some previous place I have described to you how the blubber vertical plane to the water. as though your own mouth were entirely under your chin. intelli. for the nonce. but with this difference: about the head this of a retreat for the long socket which receives the boom-like envelope. the Sperm Whale’s head. Wherefore. Here is a vital point. is of a boneless toughness. you are now to be apprised of the nature of the substance You observe that in the ordinary swimming position of the which so impregnably invests all that apparent effeminacy. So that this whole enormous bonesettle this matter with yourself.

capable. That bravely and uninjured takes the jam which would have snapped all their oaken handspikes and iron crow-bars. So that when I shall hereafter detail to you all the specialities and concentrations of potency everywhere lurking in this expansive monster. to which the other in the docks. when I shall show you some of his more inconsiderable braining feats. But supplementary to this. celled honeycombs there may possibly have some hitherto unI do not think that any sensation lurks in it. When two large. has no such provision in him. I trust you will have renounced all ignorant incredulity. The severest of the water.Moby Dick estimable by any man who has not handled it. and as the Sperm Whale. and all obedient to one volition. it has hypothetically occurred to me. considering the unique interior of his head. considering. round wad of tow and cork. so as to Bethink yourself also of another thing. considering the unobstructed elasticity of its enpointed harpoon. No. It is as though the pothetically occurred to me. of distension or contraction. Unerringly impelling this dead. as far as I know. at will. impregnable. and this most buoyant thing within. For unless you own the whale. that as ordinary fish possess what is called a swimming bladder in them. and anon swims with it high elevated out uninjurable wall. hard substance. enveloped in the thickest and toughest of ox-hide. like iron or wood.most impalpable and destructive of all elements contributes. pend between them. be susceptible to atmospheric distension and contraction. there swims behind it all a mass of tremendous life. mark. the sharpest lance darted by the strongest velope. they hold there a large. and mixed the Atlantic with the Pacific. too. that those mystical lungforehead of the Sperm Whale were paved with horses’ hoofs. I say. that though the Sperm Whale stove a passage through the Isthmus of Darien. as the smallest insect. If loaded Indiamen chance to crowd and crush towards each this be so. and be ready to abide by this. known and unsuspected connexion with the outer air. the otherwise inexplicable manner in which he now depresses his head altogether beneath the surface. you are but a provincial 326 . what do the sailors do? They do not sus. fancy the irresistibleness of that might. impotently rebounds from it. By itself this sufficiently illustrates the obvious fact I drive at. it has hyhuman arm. at the point of coming contact. you would not elevate one hair of your eyebrow. any merely Now. only to be adequately estimated as piled wood is—by the cord.

A quoin is a solid which differs from a wedge in having its sharp end formed by the steep inclination of one side. It belongs to the pure nautical mathematics. Regarding the Sperm Whale’s head as a solid oblong. its broad forward end forming the expanded vertical apparent forehead of the whale. forming the cranium and jaws. But to compre upon. and the upper an unctuous mass wholly free from bones. At the middle of the forehead *Quoin is not a Euclidean term. instead of the mutual tapering of both sides. you may. how small the chances for the provincials then? What befell the weakling youth lifting the dread goddess’s veil at Lais? CHAPTER 77 The Great Heidelburgh Tun OW COMES the Baling of the Case. I know not that it has been defined before. sideways divide it into two quoins. you must know something of the curious internal structure of the thing operated . on an inclined plane.* whereof the lower is the bony structure.Herman Melville and sentimentalist in Truth. But clear Truth is a thing for salamander giants only to encounter. 327 N hend it aright.

A large whale’s It will have been seen that the Heidelburgh Tun of the Sperm Whale embraces the entire length of the entire top of the head. Nor is this precious substance found unalloyed in any other part of the creature. or is otherwise irrevocably The lower subdivided part. and dribbles away. so the whale’s vast plaited forehead forms innumerable strange devices for the emblematical adornment of his wondrous tun. carved in front. almost equal parts. and since—as has been elsewhere set forth—the head embraces one third of the whole length of the creature. then setting that length down at eighty feet for a good sized whale. in its absolutely pure. spilled. which before were naturally divided by an though from unavoidable circumstances. you have more than twenty-six feet for the depth of the tun. honeycomb of oil. leaks. so the tun of the whale contains by far the most precious of all his oily vintages. as that of Heidelburgh was always replenished with the most excellent of the wines of the Rhenish valleys. after death. to be uncommonly heedful. the highly-prized spermaceti. when it is lengthwise hoisted up and down against a ship’s side. into I know not with what fine and costly material the Heidelburgh ten thousand infiltrated cells. The upper part. Moreover. limpid. is one immense lost in the ticklish business of securing what you can. untimely stroke should invade the sanctuary and wastingly let out its invaluable con328 . it soon begins to concrete. and odoriferous state. lest a careless. As in decapitating the whale. but in superlative richness that coating throughout its whole extent.Moby Dick horizontally subdivide this upper quoin. formed by the crossing and recrossing. upon exposure to the air. yet. Though in life it remains perfectly fluid. as when the first thin delicate ice is just forming in water. therefore. like the lining of a fine pelisse. and then you have two case generally yields about five hundred gallons of sperm. the operator’s instrument is brought close to the spot where an entrance is subsequently forced into the spermaceti magazine. called the junk. of tough elastic white fibres Tun was coated within. considerable of it is internal wall of a thick tendinous substance. may be regarded as the great Heidelburgh Tun of the coloured membrane. namely. he has. known as the could not possibly have compared with the silken pearlCase. forming Sperm Whale. And as that famous great tierce is mystically the inner surface of the Sperm Whale’s case. sending forth beautiful crystalline shoots.

till dexterously he lands on the summit of the head. to that marvellous and—in this particular instance—almost fatal operation whereby the Sperm Whale’s great Heidelburgh Tun is tapped. and retained in that position by the enormous cutting tackles.Herman Melville tents. the Indian drops through the air. CHAPTER 78 Cistern and Buckets IMBLE AS A CAT. to the part where it exactly projects over the hoisted Tun. hand-over-hand. Tashtego mounts aloft. he swings one end of the rope. Then. travelling through a single-sheaved block. A short-handled sharp spade being sent up to him. to whom he vivaciously cries—he seems some Turkish Muezzin calling the good people to prayers from the top of a tower. so that it hangs down from the yard-arm. make quite a wilderness of ropes in that quarter. on one side. which is at last elevated out of the water. like a 329 . It is this decapitated end of the head. In this business he proceeds very heedfully. and with N out altering his erect posture. he diligently searches for the proper place to begin breaking into the Tun. Securing this block. down the other part. till it is caught and firmly held by a hand on deck. I pray you. He has carried with him a light tackle called a whip. runs straight out upon the overhanging mainyard-arm. whose hempen combinations. attend now. Thus much being said. also. consisting of only two parts. There—still high elevated above the rest of the company.

went clean out of sight! “Man overboard!” cried Daggoo.Moby Dick treasure-hunter in some old house. Inserting this pole into the bucket. several tubs had been filled with the fragrant sperm. whereas it was only the poor Indian unconsciously revealing by those 330 . was so heedless and reckless where the gold is masoned in. Whether it was down into this great Tun of Heidelburgh. till it entirely disappears. and deeper and deeper into the Tun. so as the better to secure his slippery hand-hold on the whip itself. and quickly emptied into a large tub. or whether the Evil being stretched across the deck. These last now hoist the bucket within grasp of particular reasons. Then remounting aloft. while the other end. it again goes through the same round until the deep cistern will yield no more. there is no telling now. rocating bucket in a veritable well. precisely like a well-bucket. Towards the end. how it was exactly. as if that moment seized with some momentous idea. there was a terrible tumult. all bubbling like a dairy-maid’s pail of new milk. Meantime. up comes the bucket again. when all at once a queer accident happened. almost before Tashtego could have reached its interior bottom. or whether the place where has been attached to one end of the whip. sounding the walls to find that Tashtego. the Indian. Tashtego has to ram his long pole harder and harder. the people of the Pequod had been baling some time in this way. Carefully lowered from its height. to whom another person has reached up a very but. they saw the before lifeless head throbbing and heaving just below the surface of the sea. as the eightieth or ninetieth bucket came long pole. the hoisters ran him high up to the top of the head. the full-freighted vessel is caught by an appointed hand. until some twenty feet of the pole have gone down. who amid the general consternation first came to his senses. and with a horrible oily gurgling. without stating his alert hands. dropped head-foremost then giving the word to the seamen at the whip. Now. he stood was so treacherous and oozy. Tashtego downsuckingly up—my God! poor Tashtego—like the twin recipward guides the bucket into the Tun. By the time this cautious search as to let go for a moment his one-handed hold on the great is over. cabled tackles suspending the head. that wild Indian. “Swing the bucket this way!” and putting one foot into it. is there held by two or three One himself would have it to fall out so. a stout iron-bound bucket. Looking over the side. on a sudden.

“In heaven’s name. “Ha! ha!” cried Daggoo. seemed every beheld clinging to the pendulous tackles. while Daggoo. come down!” yelled the seamen to Daggoo. “Come down. with a thunder-boom. as moment followed moment. will ye!” alive Tashtego was sinking utterly down to the bottom of the sea! But hardly had the blinding vapour cleared away. and no sign of either the sinker or the diver could be seen. was for one swift moment seen hovering over the bulwarks. and mous mass dropped into the sea. when a naked figure with a boarding-sword in his hand. buriedinstant to be on the point of giving way. The one remaining hook. and so be hoisted out. Some hands now jumped into a boat alongside. 331 . like Niagara’s Table-Rock to the unspeakable horror of all. One packed rush was made to the side. to far down her glittering copper. on the summit of the head. the negro having cleared the foul line. the enormous mass sideways swung. swinging perch overhead.” cried Stubb. the water—Daggoo. the suddenly relieved hull rolled away from hooks suspending the head tore out. from his now quiet. was dimly upon which the entire strain now depended. and every eye counted every ripple. and looking further off from the side. jamming that iron-bound bucket on top of his head? Avast. rammed down the bucket into the now collapsed well. “Stand clear of the tackle!” cried a voice like the bursting of At this instant. he would still remain suspended. and with a vast vibration it. all at once. meaning that the buried harpooneer should grasp it. and all caught their breath. till the drunk ship reeled as half swinging—now over the sailors’ heads. a rocket. was clearing the whip—which had somehow got foul of the Almost in the same instant. an event still more likely from the violent motions of the head. while poor. so that if the head should drop. The next. and now over and shook as if smitten by an iceberg. through a thick mist of spray. but with one hand holding on to the heavy tackles. a loud splash announced that my brave Queequeg had dived to the rescue. the enorgreat cutting tackles—a sharp cracking noise was heard.Herman Melville struggles the perilous depth to which he had sunk. man. and pushed a little off from the ship. one of the two enormous into the whirlpool. “are you ramming home a cartridge there?—Avast! How will that help him.

too. Drawn into the waiting boat. and with the other clutching the long hair of in the same course with fencing and boxing. but I have ye. so that with the next trial. and yet thou makest it sink in an element of a far greater specific gravity than itself. then dropping his sword. hammered substance. how is this? We thought the tissued. a sight And thus. it may be sagaciously urged. Queequeg with his keen sword had made side lunges near its bottom. they were quickly I know that this queer adventure of the Gay-Header’s will brought to the deck. and with much less reason too than the Indian’s. so as to scuttle a large hole there. He averred. through the courage and great skill in obstetrics of strange to see. that upon first thrusting in for him. though they Queequeg did not look very brisk. the deliverance. but Tashtego was long in coming to. considering the exceeding slipperiness of the curb of the Sperm Whale’s well. and so hauled out poor Tash by the head. that was doing as well as could be expected. We have thee there. and might occasion great trouble. which is a ful shout. grave. a leg was presented. Not at all. he came forth in the good old way—head foremost. was the lightest and most corky part about him. riding and rowing. of the most “Both! both!—it is both!”—cried Daggoo again with a joyuntoward and apparently hopeless impediments.—he had thrust back the leg. Midwifery should be taught out with one hand. was successfully accomplished. how had this noble rescue been accomplished? Why. in the teeth. had wrought a somerset upon the Indian. as I have 332 . for at the time poor Tash fell in. an accident which not seldom happens. the case had been nearly emptied of its lighter contents. But. As for the great head itself. peradventure. infiltrated head of the Sperm Whale. ing into a cistern ashore. diving after the slowly descending head. the Indian. and be sure to seem incredible to some landsmen. or rather. delivery of Tashtego. had thrust his long arm far inwards and upwards. themselves may have either seen or heard of some one’s fallNow.Moby Dick we saw an arm thrust upright from the blue waves. and soon after. and by a dexterous heave and toss. but well knowing that that was not as it ought to be. Queequeg was seen boldly striking lesson by no means to be forgotten. leaving little but the dense tendinous wall of the well—a double welded. as an arm thrust forth from the grass over a Queequeg.

CHAPTER 79 The Prairie T 333 . I try all things. so that he died embalmed. and a lump of which sinks in it like lead almost. Yes. Gibraltar. as you may say. How sion discernible therein. coffined. so that it sank very slowly and deliberately indeed. have likewise fallen into Plato’s honey head. Still. in the application of these two semi-sciences to the whale. or feel the bumps on agile obstetrics on the run. who seeking honey in the crotch of a hollow tree. this is a thing which no ning delivery. hearsed. had Tashtego perished in that head. birds. serpents. I achieve what I can. that leaning also attentively studies the faces of horses. think ye. it had been a very taken. I will do my endeavor. and fish. smothered in the very whitest and daintiest of fragrant spermaceti. Spurzheim failed to throw out some hints touching the phrenoand sweetly perished there? logical characteristics of other beings than man. in that famous work of his. Nor have Gall and his disciple many. but death of an Ohio honey-hunter. Such an enterprise would seem almost as hopeful as for precious perishing. it sucked him in. it was a runthe head of this Leviathan. so it was. and dwells in detail upon the modifications of exprestoo far over. and tombed in the Lavater to have scrutinized the wrinkles on the Rock of secret inner chamber and sanctum sanctorum of the whale. Therefore. or for Gall to have mounted a ladder and manipuOnly one sweeter end can readily be recalled—the delicious lated the Dome of the Pantheon. Lavater not only treats of the various faces of men. But the tendency to rapid sinking in this substance was in the present instance materially counteracted by the other parts of the head remaining undetached from it. though I am but ill qualified for a pioneer. found such exceeding store of it. much heavier than the sea water. Physiognomist or Phrenologist has as yet underNow. affording Queequeg a fair chance for performing his O SCAN THE LINES of his face.Herman Melville before said.

in him is no blemish at all. that gazing on it. eternal. up mountain defiles. must very largely affect the countenance of the bull has a touch of the grand in it. hence it would seem that its entire absence. the elephant’s brow is majestic. cupola. is that of the full the central and most conspicuous of the features. nay in man himself. This aspect is sublime. Pushing heavy cannon of the whale. the curled brow external appendage. it is an added grandeur. as an with the morning. as the Highland hunters track the snow prints of the deer. As on your physiognomical voyage you sail round his vast head in your jollyboat. and all above them in the forehead’s wrinkles. so no face can be by the German Emperors to their decrees. It signifies—”God: physiognomically in keeping without the elevated open-work belfry of the nose. and since it front of his head. very often the brow is but a mere strip of alpine land lying along the snow line. But in the great Sperm Whale. tideless mountain lakes. Dash the nose from Phidias’s marble Jove. Nay. that the eyes themselves seem clear. your noble conceptions of him are never insulted by the reflection that he has a nose to be pulled. In the repose of the pasture. and what a sorry remainder! Nevertheless.” But in most creatures. all his proportions are so stately. and descend so low. which so often will insist upon obtruding even when beholding the mightiest royal beadle on his throne. is deemed almost indisor animal. a spire. Few are the foreheads which like Shakespeare’s or Melancthon’s rise so high. And since the nose is mical view to be had of the Sperm Whale. perhaps most modifies and finally controls their combined exIn thought. you feel the Deity and the dread powers more forcibly than in beholding any other object in 334 . A pestilent conceit.Moby Dick Physiognomically regarded. the Sperm Whale is an anomaIn some particulars. Human monument. A nose to the whale would have been impertinent. this high and mighty god-like dignity inherent in the brow is so immensely amplified. that the same deficiency which in the sculptured Jove were hideous. or tower of some sort. in that full front view. you seem to track the antlered thoughts descending there to drink. a fine human brow is like the East when troubled pression. the mystical brow is as that great golden seal affixed pensable to the completion of the scene. He has no proper nose. done this day by my hand. For as in landscape gardening. perhaps the most imposing physiognolous creature. Leviathan is of so mighty a magnitude.

human science. face. pleated with riddles. ment of a forehead. he has none. Physiognomy. you plainly who read in thirty languages. dumbly lowering with But there is no Champollion to decipher the Egypt of every the doom of boats. If hereafter any highly cultured. nothing but that one broad firmaChampollion deciphered the wrinkled granite hieroglyphics. poetical nation shall lure back to their birth-right. like every other this wondrous brow diminish. It is moreover declared in his pyramidical silence. in of the Sperm Whale’s brow? I but put that brow before you. in profile. proper. forehead’s middle. how may unlettered Ishmael hope to read the awful Chaldee But how? Genius in the Sperm Whale? Has the Sperm Whale ever written a book. and men. For you see no one point precisely. his great genius is declared in his doing nothing particular to prove it. deur does not domineer upon you so. and ships. no nose. and the Sperm Whale has no tongue. If then. is but a passing fable. in man. could not read the simplest perceive that horizontal. not one disthe now unhaunted hill. because the crocodile is tongueless. 335 . the great Sperm Whale shall lord it. no seat. eyes. Sir William Jones. In profile. spoken a speech? No. does man’s and every being’s face. Nor. semi-crescentic depression in the peasant’s face in its profounder and more subtle meanings. and livingly enthrone them again in the now egotistical sky. or mouth. though that way viewed its gran. the merry May-day gods of old. And this reminds me that had the great Sperm Whale been known to the young Orient World. ears. They deified the crocodile of the Nile. is Lavater’s mark of genius. exalted to Jove’s high tinct feature is revealed.Herman Melville living nature. he would have been deified by their child-magian thoughts. or at least it is so exceedingly small. which. as to be incapable of protrusion. Read it if you can. then be sure.

I Moby Dick casket is it secreted in him. nor feet in length. it seems more in keeping with the idea of his general might to regard that mystic F THE SPERM WHALE be physiognomically a Sphinx. that phrenologically the head of this Leviawhich it is impossible to square. In the full-grown creature the skull will measure at least twenty As for his true brain. to part of him as the seat of his intelligence. and almost squared by rear view of its rear end. and remarking the depressions on one at least twenty feet from his apparent forehead in life. it is hidpart of its summit. The whale. place mass. then. courses. wears a false skull is as the side of a moderately inclined plane resting throughbrow to the common world. Unhinge the lower jaw. beheld in the the high end the skull forms a crater to bed that part of the same situation. And by those within the amplified fortifications of Quebec. in phrenological phrase you would say— den away behind its vast outworks. and the side view of this feel any. and no veneration. than. Lying in strange folds. that I have known some whalemen who peremptorily deny that the Sperm Whale has any other brain than that palpable semblance of one formed by the cubic-yards of his sperm magazine. while under the long floor of this crater—in another cavity this reversed skull (scaled down to the human magnitude) seldom exceeding ten inches in length and as many in depth— among a plate of men’s skulls. So like a choice CHAPTER 80 The Nut 336 . the phrenologist his brain seems that geometrical circle It is plain. At struck by its resemblance to the human skull. in the creature’s living intact state. Indeed. out on a level base. like all things that are mighty. is an entire delusion. and convolutions. like the innermost citadel This man had no self-esteem. you can then see no indications of it. and from the same point of view. you will be the enormous superincumbent mass of the junk and sperm. The brain is confound it with them. But in life—as we have elsewhere seen— If you unload his skull of its spermy heaps and then take a this inclined plane is angularly filled up. which is the high end. and you would involuntarily reposes the mere handful of this monster’s brain. to their apprehensions.

Now. being eight in height. and directly communicates with the brain. I rejoice in my digious bulk and power. of course. though not the most exhilarating conception of what the out to the world. as in the firm audacious staff of that flag which I fling half truest. the spinal cord remains of an undecreasing girth. For I believe that much of a man’s character will be found betokened in his backbone. If you attentively regard almost ten inches across. But if from the comparative dimensions of the whale’s proper His cranial cavity is continuous with the first neck-vertebra.Herman Melville negations. viewed in this light. Apply this spinal branch of phrenology to the Sperm Whale. this canal is filled with much the same strangely fibrous substance— the spinal cord—as the brain. But leaving this hint to operate as it may with the phrenolo337 . but for a considerall bearing rudimental resemblance to the skull proper. in a sort of basso-relievo. and with the vertebrae of which he was inlaying. in the skeleton of a foe he had slain.spine never yet upheld a full and noble soul. brain. A thin joist of a able distance remains of large capacity. you can best form to yourself the spine. considered along with the affirmative fact of his pro. the beaked prow of his canoe. But the curious external resemblance. almost equal to that of the brain. the wonderful comparative smallness of his brain proper is more than compensated by the wonderful comparative magnitude of his spinal cord. you deem it incapable of being adequately charted. Now. would it be unreasonable to survey and map out the whale’s spine phrenologically? For. I take it the Germans were not the first men to perceive. I would rather feel your spine than your skull. that the vertebrae are absolutely undeveloped skulls. It is a German conceit. maining vertebrae the canal tapers in size. then and in that vertebra the bottom of the spinal canal will measure I have another idea for you. A foreign friend once pointed it out to me. most exalted potency is. whoever you are. and of a triangular figany quadruped’s spine. you will be struck with the resemure with the base downwards. As it passes through the reblance of its vertebrae to a strung necklace of dwarfed skulls. And what is still more. Under all these circumstances. for many feet after emerging from the brain’s cavity. I consider that the phrenologists have omitted an important thing in not pushing their investigations from the cerebellum through the spinal canal.

in some sort. This august hump. For some reason. in reference to the Sperm Whale’s hump. rises over one of the larger vertebrae. I should call this high hump the organ of firmness or indomitableness in the Sperm Whale.Moby Dick gists. you will yet have reason to know. While yet some distance from the Pequod. At one time the greatest whaling people in the world. she rounded to. of Bremen. Derick De Deer. and is. impatiently standing in the bows instead of the stern. pointing to something wavingly held by the German. CHAPTER 81 The Pequod Meets The Virgin HE PREDESTINATED DAY ARRIVED. I would merely assume the spinal theory for a moment. the Jungfrau seemed quite eager to pay her respects. the outer convex mould of it. if I mistake not. “Impossible!—a lamp-feeder!” 338 . T and we duly met the ship Jungfrau. her captain was impelled towards us. you still occasionally meet with their flag in the Pacific. From its relative situation then. “What has he in his hand there?” cried Starbuck. the Dutch and Germans are now among the least. but here and there at very wide intervals of latitude and longitude. master. therefore. And that the great monster is indomitable. and dropping a boat.

yet sometimes such a thing really happens.and lamp-feeder aboard. 339 . but in his broken lingo. humped old bull. concluding by hinting that his ship was indeed what in the Fishery is technically called a three German boats that soon followed him. but he had not his boiling water. and has come a-begging. he’s coming off to make us our coffee. Derick departed. Full in this rapid wake. is the Yarman. Mr. They left a great. and in the present case Captain Derick De Deer did indubitably conduct a lamp-feeder as Flask did declare. clean one (that is. no. rubbing their flanks as closely as so many spans of horses in harness. There were eight whales. Ahab abruptly accosted him. immediately turning the conversation to his lampfeeder and oil can. swam a huge. as well as by the unusual yellowish incrustations overgrowing him. they were going all abreast with great speed straight before the wind. and not a single flying-fish yet captured to supply the deficiency. He’s out of oil. with some remarks touching his having to turn into his hammock at night in profound darkness—his last drop of Bremen oil being gone. when whales were almost simultaneously “Go along with you. without at all heeding what he had in his hand. and however much it may after the leviathan lamp-feeders. or some other infirmity. Whether this whale belonged to the pod in advance. is the Yarman. it’s a coffee-pot. Oh! he’s all right. seemed afflicted with the jaundice. well deserving the name of Starbuck. had considerably the start of the Pequod’s keels.” cried Flask. As he mounted the deck. wide wake.” gained his ship’s side. the German soon evinced his complete ignorance of the White Whale. and many fathoms in the rear. which by his comparatively slow progress. don’t you see that big tin can there alongside of him?—that’s His necessities supplied. “it’s a lamp-feeder and an raised from the mast-heads of both vessels. Jungfrau or the Virgin. as though continually unrolling a great wide parchment upon the sea.” the chase was Derick. an average pod. he and the other Newcastle. the game having risen to leeward. invertedly contradict the old proverb about carrying coals to Now. Aware of their danger.” said Stubb. and so eager for oil-can. “no. that without pausing to put his oil-can However curious it may seem for an oil-ship to be borrow.Herman Melville “Not that. an empty one). he slewed round his boat and made ing oil on the whale-ground.

Lord. I’m afraid. and therethe waters behind him to upbubble. he stuck to battle. coming forth “Mind he don’t sling thee with it. though every moment neared by his foreign rivals. but from the great start he had had. way. was. and laborious. and spending itself in torn shreds. for it is not customary for such vener. The only thing they feared. boys. he seemed quite confident that this would be the case. he’s lost his tiller. Derick’s boat still led the chase. old chap. expose the cause of his devious wake in the unnatufore the most valuable whale. so did this old whale heave his aged bulk. and wallows on her way. think of having half an acre of stomach-ache! Adverse winds are holding mad Christmas in him. did ever whale yaw so before? it must be. but look.” followed by strange subterranean commotions in him. rolls. Nevertheless. though indeed their back water must have retarded “Only wait a bit. or had been born without it. His spout was short. It’s the first foul wind I ever knew to blow from astern. as almost to defy pursuit for the time. and occasionally with a deriding gesture shook his lamp-feeder at the other boats. moreover. and the other whales were going with such great velocity. At this juncture the Pequod’s keels had shot by the three German boats last lowered.” As an overladen Indiaman bearing down the Hindostan coast with a deck load of frightened horses. meet. but he was nearest to them. it were hard to say. careens. like the swell formed when two hostile currents near him. “he has the stomach-ache.” cried cruel Flask. slow. because not only was he the largest. he would be enabled to dart his iron before they could completely overtake and pass him. that from being already so nigh to his mark. 340 . pointing to the whale-line a dashed one. Whether he had lost that fin in able leviathans to be at all social. and now and then partly turning over on his cumbrous rib-ends.” cried Starbuck. “Who’s got some paregoric?” said Stubb.Moby Dick seemed questionable. their wake. and I’ll give ye a sling for that him. because the white-bone or swell at his broad muzzle was wounded arm. buries. As for Derick. causing for this one fish. or the German will have him. which With one intent all the combined rival boats were pointed seemed to have egress at his other buried extremity. “Give with a choking sort of gush.ral stump of his starboard fin.

Tashtego. greyhounds! Dog to it!” At this moment Derick was in the act of pitching his lamp“I tell ye what it is. my lads—such a sog! such a sogger! Don’t ye love men. but evenly incited by the taunts of the German. perhaps against my religion to get mad. “he sperm? There goes three thousand dollars. What d’ye say. and also his oil-can. In that fine. loose. will ye spit fire or not?” “Oh! see the suds he makes!” cried Flask. do. don’t!—see that Yarman—Oh. “Pull now. and at the Yarman—Pull—won’t ye? Are ye going to let that rascal beat same time economically accelerating his own by the momenye? Do ye love brandy? A hogshead of brandy. but I’d like to eat that villainous with the double view of retarding his rivals’ way. men”—cried Stubb to his crew—”it’s feeder at the advancing boats.Herman Melville “The ungracious and ungrateful dog!” cried Starbuck. do. Halloo. men. and. Fiercely. then. to the tary impetus of the backward toss. momentarily neared him. do. so disposed. my lads—baked clams and muffins—oh. This won’t do. here’s grass growing in the boat’s bottom—and by the Lord. like fifty thousand line-of-battle-ship loads of red-haired devils. Look at that Yarman! The short and long of it is.—he’s a hundred barreller—don’t lose him now— don’t oh. do pile on the beef—lays like a log! Oh! my lads. dancing up and down—”What a hump—Oh.”—cried the Indian. Who’s that been dropping an anchor overboard—we don’t budge an inch—we’re becalmed. chivalrous attitude of the headsman when drawing near to his prey. won’t ye pull for your duff. spring. now! Hurrah for the white-ash breeze! Down with the Yarman! Sail over him!” 341 . pull like god-dam. occasionally backing the after oarsman with an exhilarating cry of. why don’t some of ye burst a blood-vessel? “The unmannerly Dutch dogger!” cried Stubb. best man. you know. the mast there’s budding. do. are you the man to snap your spine in two-and-twenty pieces for the honour of old Gayhead? What d’ye say?” “I say. the Pequod’s three boats now began ranging almost abreast. “There she slides. boys. do!— not five minutes ago!”—then in his old intense whisper—”Give What’s that Yarman about now?” way. men!—a bank!— mocks and dares me with the very poor-box I filled for him a whole bank! The bank of England!—Oh. Come. the three mates stood up proudly. do spring—slap-jacks and quahogs for supper.

Blinding vapours of foam and white-fire! The three boats. he had no voice. But no sooner did his harpooneer stand up for the stroke. was the foaming swell that he made. It was a terrific. in his amazing bulk. he spasmodically sank in the sea. An instant more. now to that. With a shout. they took Seeing now that but a very few moments more would give a mortal start forwards. but the fear all their gallantry. and darted over the head of the German harpooneer. and sending his spout before him in a continual tormented jet. or sideways rolled towards the sky his one beating fin. Stubb. there was enough to appal the stoutest man dering away at his men in a mighty rage. while still. portcullis jaw. and Flask. and he thunomnipotent tail. Derick’s boat was nigh to capsizing. bumped the German’s aside with such force. than all three tigers—Queequeg. The whale was now going head out. he would have proved the victor in this race. while his one poor fin beat his side in an agony of fright. that spite of and with plaintive cries will make known her fear. So have I seen a bird with clipped wing making affrighted broken circles in the air. and standing in a diagonal row. foiled of his game. While this through his spiracle. 342 . ere the last chance would for ever escape. and sailed over by the three flying keels. most pitiable. and while. and still at every billow that he broke. Now to this hand. in the first fury of the whale’s headlong rush. time for Starbuck. But the bird has a voice. their three Nantucket irons entered the whale. he yawed in his faltering flight. and all four boats were diagonically in the whale’s immediate wake.Moby Dick But so decided an original start had Derick had. and consequence. simultaneously pointed their barbs. and rather than be thus German’s quarter. that both Derick and his baffled harpooneer were spilled out. vainly striving to escape the piratical hawks. save that choking respiration which caught the blade of his midship oarsman. Daggoo—instinctively sprang to their feet. Derick chose to hazard what to him must have seemed a most unusually long dart. was chained up and enhad not a righteous judgment descended upon him in a crab chanted in him. and maddening sight. of this vast dumb brute of the sea. on both sides. and slantingly ranged up on the the Pequod’s boats the advantage.—that was a good who so pitied. while stretching from them. in ably pitiable. and this made the sight of him unspeakclumsy lubber was striving to free his white-ash. Tashtego.

with all their guns. the burden of a whale. that the longer the stricken whale stays under water. even here. But though boats have been taken down and lost in the way to sail now. “ye’ll be picked up whale soon ceasing to sound. doubted whether this course is always the best. in the air. bearing on his back a column of two hundred fathoms of ocean! It must at least equal the weight of fifty atmospheres. As the three boats lay there on that gently rolling sea. till at last—owing to the perpendicular strain from the leadlined chocks of the boats.Herman Melville “Don’t be afraid. and there’s danger of being pitched out too. Every keel a sunbeam! Hurrah!—Here this way. and as not a single groan or cry 343 . then. the three lines flew round the loggerheads with such a force as to gouge deep grooves in them. this hooking up by we go like three tin kettles at the tail of a mad cougar! This the sharp barbs of his live flesh from the back. yet it is this “holding on.” as it is called. they caught repeated smoking turns with the rope to hold on. when you fasten to of his foes. this it is that often puts me in mind of fastening to an elephant in a tilbury on a torments the Leviathan into soon rising again to meet the sharp lance plain—makes the wheel-spokes fly. fearful of expending more line. Hurrah! this is little ticklish. how vast.” cried Stubb. you know—relieve distressed travellers. casting a with the water. and men on board. though the position was a dogs. and stores. Hurrah! this is the way a fellow feels when he’s going to Davy Jones—all a rush down an endless inclined plane! Hurrah! this whale carries the everlasting mail!” But the monster’s run was a brief one. And the passing glance upon them as he shot by. Yet not to speak of the peril of the thing. Bernard’s attitude. while so fearful were the harpooneers that this rapid sounding would soon exhaust the lines. With a grating rush. whence the three ropes went straight down into the blue—the gunwales of the bows were almost even able to presume. he tumultuously sounded. One whaleman has estimated it at the weight of twenty line-of-battle ships. boys. it is to be him that way. for some time they remained in that presently—all right—I saw some sharks astern—St. for it is but reasonwhen you strike a hill. above-ground. Because. We all know what an astonishing atmospheric weight we ourselves stand up under. while the three sterns tilted high in the air. gazing down into its eternal blue noon. that using all their dexterous might. Giving a sudden gasp. my butter-boxes. owing to the enormous surface of him—in a full grown sperm whale something less than 2000 square feet—the pressure of the water is immense. the more he is exhausted.

distinctly conducting upwards seas was writhing and wrenching in agony! Not eight inches of to them. whereby when wounded. the dart. “he’s rising. hardly an instant before. Not so with the whale.moment.” The lines. must have been long enough and broad enough to shade half Xerxes’ army. Is this the creature of whom small icefield will. of which. he laugheth at the shaking of a spear!” This the creature? this he? Oh! that unfulfilments should follow the prophets. that be“Stand by. Suspended? the bows. as a and to what? To three bits of board. so that every oarsman felt them in his seat. the blood is in some degree at least instantly shut off in certain directions. nor the habergeon: he esteemeth iron as straw. so that when pierced even by so small a point as a harpoon. the life and death throbs of the perpendicular rope were visible at the bows. he stirs.Moby Dick of any sort. a deadly drain 344 .” cried Starbuck. In most land animals there are certain valves or flood-gates in many of their veins. were now in long quick coils flung back all dripping into the boats. men. relieved in great part from the downward strain at pended like the big weight to an eight day clock. Who can tell how appalling to the wounded whale must have been “Haul in! Haul in!” cried Starbuck again. nay. His motions plainly denoted his extreme exhaustion. and soon the whale broke water within two ship’s lengths of the hunters. The next that by three such thin threads the great Leviathan was sus. darts are counted as stubble. Leviathan had run his head under the mountains of the sea. For with the strength of a thousand thighs in his tail. as by magnetic wires. the boats gave a sudden bounce upwards. to hide him from the Pequod’s fish-spears! In that sloping afternoon sunlight. the shadows that the three boats sent down beneath the surface. Seems it credible whale. barbed irons? or his head with fish-spears? The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold. the utmost monster of the suddenly vibrated in the water. what landsman would have thought. the spear. not so much as a ripple or a bubble came up such huge phantoms flitting over his head! from its depths. one of whose peculiarities it is to have an entire non-valvular structure of the blood-vessels. the arrow cannot make him flee. when a dense herd of white bears are scared it was once so triumphantly said— “Canst thou fill his skin with from it into the sea. not one hand’s breadth could have been gained. as the three lines neath all that silence and placidity.

and when this trate. “there’s no need of that!” But humane Starbuck was too late.Herman Melville is at once begun upon his whole arterial system. or rather the places where his eyes had been. 345 . “just let me prick him there once. which kept continually playing. impotently flapped with his stumped fin. Still rolling in his blood. As strange misgrown masses gather in the knot-holes of the noblest oaks when pros“A nice spot. For. that he order to light the gay bridals and other merry-makings of men. last he partially disclosed a strangely discoloured bunch or when the boats pulled upon this whale. and his one arm. and goaded by it into more than sufferable anguish. For all his old age. will keep thus bleeding and bleeding for a considerable pe. horribly pitiable to see. he must die the death and be murdered. bespattering them and their glorying crews all over with showers of gore. him in incessant streams. was untouched. as they significantly call it. From this last vent no blood yet came. His eyes. At the instant of the dart an ulcerous jet shot from this cruel wound. low down on the flank. by this time. capsizing Flask’s boat and marring the bows. because no vital part of him had thus far been struck. so from the points which the whale’s eyes had once ocis heightened by the extraordinary pressure of water at a great cupied. sending its affrighted moisture into the air. distance below the surface. were beheld. whose source is in ditional inoffensiveness by all to all. with much of it that is ordinarily submerged. and perilously drew protuberance. so spent was he by loss of blood. over his swaying flukes. his life may be said to pour from But pity there was none. while the natural spout-hole in his head was only at intervals. with swift fury blindly darted at the craft.” “Avast!” cried Starbuck. It was his death stroke. As the boats now more closely surrounded him.and also to illuminate the solemn churches that preach unconriod. the whale now spouting thick blood. the whole upper part of his form. however rapid. was plainly revealed. that he helplessly rolled away from the wreck he had made. the size of a bushel. His life. Yet so vast is the quantity of blood in and his blind eyes. in him. even as in a drought a river will flow. now protruded blind bulbs. at the well-springs of far-off and undiscernible hills. they were followed by steady jets from the new made wound. then over and over slowly revolved like a waning world.” cried Flask. lay panting on his side. and so distant and numerous its interior fountains. Even now. and the lances were darted into him.

that last expiring spout. that it was impossible to cast them off. But a sudden stop was put to further discoveries. and died. therefore. the entire length of a corroded harpoon was found imbedded in his flesh. iron. stone lance? And when? It might have been darted by some the body showed symptoms of sinking with all its treasures Nor’ West Indian long before America was discovered. Who had darted that Soon. when the ship drew nigh. the sunken whale being suspended a few inches beneath them by the cords. when the command was given to break clear from it. It so chanced that almost upon first cutting into him with the spade. the whale was transferred to her side. But as the stumps of harpoons are frequently found in the dead bodies of captured whales. To cross to the other side of the deck was like walking 346 . with the flesh perfectly monstrous cabinet there is no telling. and with half-stifled melancholy gurglings the sprayulceration alluded to. who had the ordering of affairs. if still persisting in locking arms with the body. Meantime everything in the Pequod was aslant. However. unrifled. by the ship’s being unprecedentedly dragged over sideways to the sea. by Starbuck’s orders. lines were seWhat other marvels might have been rummaged out of this cured to it at different points. As when by un. indeed. owing to the body’s immensely increasing tendency to sink. then. Starbuck. that when at length the ship would have been capsized. hung on to it to the last. By very heedful management. there must needs have been some other seen hands the water is gradually drawn off from some mighty unknown reason in the present case fully to account for the fountain. so that ere long every boat was a buoy.their place. the body would at once sink to the bottom. not far from the buried dying spout of the whale. and was strongly secured there by the stiffest fluke-chains. hung on to it so resolutely. healed around them. for it was plain that unless artificially upheld. while the crews were awaiting the arrival of the ship. But still more curious was the fact of a column lowers and lowers to the ground—so the last long lance-head of stone being found in him. and no prominence of any kind to denote It was most piteous. on the lower part of the bunch before described. Immediately. lay like a log. such was the immovable strain upon the timber-heads to which the fluke-chains and cables were fastened.Moby Dick turned up the white secrets of his belly. the flesh perfectly firm about it.

Where one of that sort go down.Herman Melville up the steep gabled roof of a house. and run one of ye for a prayer book and a pen-knife. The ship groaned and Sperm Whale is a very curious thing. with all their panting lard about them. This difference in the species is no doubt imputable in no small degree to the greater quantity of bone in the Right Whale. that the Sperm Whale is far less liable to this accident than any other species. men. to pry them adrift from the were old. But a few strokes. Be it said. If the only whales that thus sank the immovable fluke-chains. and seizing the carpenter’s heavy hatchet. even these brawny. while every then you might with some reason assert that this sinking is moment whole tons of ponderosity seemed added to the sinkcaused by an uncommon specific gravity in the fish so sinking. hold on. by the unnatural disloca. were given. But it “Hold on. and so low had the whale now settled that the of lard diminished and all their bones heavy and rheumatic. the carcase sank. avast. with its side or belly considerably tion. buoyant heroes do sometimes sink. in the highest health. submerged ends could not be at all approached. Usually the dead Sperm Whale ins were started from their places. won’t ye?” cried Stubb to the body. and steel to iron. Now. meagre. from this incumbrance the Sperm Whale is wholly free. With a terrific snap. we must do something or go for it. their pads timberheads. Many of the ivory inlayings of her bulwarks and cab. No use prying there. after the lapse of many hours or several days. however. aye. began slashing at the largest fluke-chains. his Venetian blinds alone sometimes weighing more than a ton. consequent upon this absence of buoyant matter in him. “don’t be in such a devil of a hurry to sink! By thunder. and the ship seemed on the point of going over. I say with your handspikes. twenty Right Whales do. ing bulk. In vain handspikes and crows were brought to bear upon elevated above the surface. every fastening went adrift. and swelling with noble aspirations. But there are instances where. this occasional inevitable sinking of the recently killed is not so. the ship righted.” “Knife? Aye. and broken-hearted creatures. he leaned out of a porthole. the sunken whale 347 .floats with great buoyancy. and cut the big chains. when the exceeding strain effected the rest.yet adequately accounted for it. nor has any fisherman gasped. full of sparks.” cried Queequeg. For young whales. prematurely cut off in the warm flush and May of life.

though the only spout in sight was that of a Fin-Back. and thus they all disappeared far to leeward. that the first whale attacked by our brotherhood was not killed with any sordid intent. the Fin-Back’s spout is so similar to the Sperm Whale’s. A line-of-battle ship could hardly keep him under then. and push my researches up to the very spring-head of it so much the more am I impressed with its great honourableness and antiquity. a son of Jupiter. and many are the Dericks. becomes a sort of animal balloon. The more I dive into this matter of whaling.Moby Dick again rises. among the Bays of New Zealand. hopeful chase. was the first whaleman. with plenty of rope. and especially when I find so many great demigods and heroes. and to the eternal honour of our calling be it said. And consequently Derick and all his host were now in valiant chase of this unnearable brute. who one way or other have shed distinction upon it. they know where to look for it when it shall have ascended again. I am transported with the reflection that I myself belong. so that when the body has gone down. prophets of all sorts. made after her four young keels. they fasten buoys to him. my friend. The gallant Perseus. Oh! many are the Fin-Backs. because of its incredible power of swimming. belonging to the species of uncapturable whales. to so emblazoned a fraternity. more buoyant than in life. he swells to a prodigious magnitude. though but subordinately. still in bold. 348 . CHAPTER 82 The Honour and Glory of Whaling HERE ARE SOME ENTERPRISES in which a careful dis T orderliness is the true method. Nevertheless. Those were the knightly days of our profession. The Virgin crowding all sail. when a Right Whale gives token of sinking. on soundings. announcing that the Jungfrau was again lowering her boats. But the reason of this is obvious. that by unskilful fishermen it is often mistaken for it. Gases are generated in him. It was not long after the sinking of the body that a cry was heard from the Pequod’s mast-heads. In the Shore Whaling.

plainly meaning a Leviathan was in the very act of carrying her off. now Jaffa. which dragon I Coffin. a St. George but encountered a crawling reptile of the land. the for each other. rarely achieved by the best harpooneers of the instead of doing battle with the great monster of the deep. intrepidly advancing. in one of the Pagan temples. but only a Perseus. harpooned the monBesides. on the Syrian coast. and delivered and married the maid. and as a daughter of a king. When the Romans took Joppa. George and the Dragon. George’s whale might have crawled up out of the sea on the beach. yet considering the great ignorance of those times. St. the whale. by some supposed to be indirectly derived from it—is that famous story of St. Every one knows the fine story of and dragons are strangely jumbled together. there stood for many ages the vast skeleton of a whale. it will not appear altogether incompatible with the sacred legend and the ancientest draughts 349 . which the city’s legends and all the inhabitants asserted to be the identical bones of the monster that Perseus slew. the same skeleton was carried to Italy in triumph. how the lovely Andromeda. some versions of the Bible use that word itself. “Thou art as a lion of the waters. have the heart in them to march boldly up to a whale. inasmuch as this Leviathan was slain at the very man may kill a snake. And let no man doubt this Arkite story. and though the battle is depicted on land and the saint on horseback. and not to maintain to have been a whale. and considering that as in Perseus’ case. bearing all this in mind. for though the creature encountered by that valiant whaleman of old is vaguely represented of a griffin-like shape. Let not the modern paintings of this scene mislead us. in truth. and considering that the animal ridden by St. What seems most singular and suggestively important in this story. Perseus. prince of whalemen. and as dragon of the sea. for in the ancient Joppa. George. when the true form of the whale was unknown to artists. It was an admirable had St. Akin to the adventure of Perseus and Andromeda—indeed. for in many old chronicles whales fill men’s lamp-feeders.” saith Ezekiel.Herman Melville when we only bore arms to succor the distressed. and often stand Perseus and Andromeda. is this: it was from Joppa that Jonah set sail. George might have been only a large seal. artistic exploit. a first dart. was tied to a rock on the sea-coast. it would much subtract from the glory of the exploit ster. or sea-horse. Any present day. hereby.

and prophets alone comprise the whole roll of our order. we find the head waters of our fraternity in nothing short of the great gods themselves. then. If I claim the good rights. It nowhere appears Nor do heroes. and by and vice versa. certainly they are very similar. unless. concerning this I long remained dubious: for though according to the Greek mythologies. Dagon by name. at any rate the whale caught him. Thus. resolved to recreate the world after one of its periodical dissolutions.—Vishnoo. before the ark of Israel. Whether to admit Hercules among us or not. who. placed before the strict and the inside. And therefore. and tary whaleman. that might be mooted. I venture to say. indeed. one of the three persons in the godhead of the Hindoos. since even in our woollen frocks and tarred trowsers we are much better entitled to St. that antique Crockett and Kit Carson—that brawny doer of rejoicing good deeds. this whole story will fare like that fish. Nevertheless. is the tutelary guardian of England. by the best contradictory authorities. he gave birth to Vishnoo. saith the Shaster. When Brahma. and only the stump or fishy part of Hercules and the whale is considered to be derived from of him remained. by the first of his ten earthly incarnations. this Grecian story of his hands fell off from him. I claim him for one of our clan. was swallowed down and thrown up by a whale. who being planted the whale. one of our own noble stamp. George. let them never eye a Nantucketer with disdain. whether that strictly makes a whaleman of him. why not the prophet? in the most noble order of St. for like royal kings of old times. let not the knights of that honourable company (none of whom. the still more ancient Hebrew story of Jonah and the whale. flesh. Our grand master is still to be named. That wondrous oriental story is now to be rehearsed from the Shaster. which gives us the dread Vishnoo. even a whaleman. have ever had to do with a whale like their great patron). from great Leviathan himself. demigods. his horse’s head and both the palms But.Moby Dick of the scene. or the God of Gods. gives us this divine Vishnoo himself for our Lord. has for ever set apart and sanctified the whale. George’s decoration than they. we harpooneers of Nantucket should be enrolled demigod then. In fact. saints. if he did not fowl idol of the Philistines. to preside 350 . still. to hold this so-called dragon no other than the that he ever actually harpooned his fish. he may be deemed a sort of involunpiercing truth.

concerning which the fishermen have this saying. for all that. and Arion and the dolphin. and yet their doubting those traditions did not make those traditions one whit the less facts. rescued the sacred volumes. embellished with curious. One old Sag-Harbor whaleman’s chief reason for questioning the Hebrew story was this:—He had one of those quaint old-fashioned Bibles. standing out from the orthodox pagans of their times. these Vedas were lying at the bottom of the waters. one of which represented Jonah’s whale with two spouts in his head—a peculiarity only true with respect to a species of the Leviathan (the Right Whale. Hercules. and which therefore must have contained something in the shape of practical hints to young architects. St. Now some Was not this Vishnoo a whaleman. “A penny CHAPTER 83 Jonah Historically Regarded R 351 . whose perusal would seem to have been indispensable to Vishnoo before beginning the creation. Jonah. then? even as a man who Nantucketers rather distrust this historical story of rides a horse is called a horseman? Perseus. and the varieties of that order). unscientific plates. But then there were some sceptical a member-roll for you! What club but the whaleman’s can Greeks and Romans. who. but the Vedas. or mystical books. and the whale in the preceding chapter. and Vishnoo! there’s Jonah and the whale. and sounding down EFERENCE WAS MADE to the historical story of Jonah in him to the uttermost depths.Herman Melville over the work. equally doubted the story of Hercules head off like that? and the whale. George. so Vishnoo became incarnate in a whale.

the Right Whale’s mouth would accommodate a to. if I remember right: tooth. it has been divined by other continental commentators. therefore. an inflated bag of wind—which the endangered prophet swam For truly. but. being too shallow for any 352 . to called “The Whale. and another passage up the Persian Gulf and Red Sea.” Nor have there been essary. And this seems reasonable enough in the good Bishop. It is not necthe “Shark. But this objection likewise falls to the ground. and so was saved from a watery doom. It was this. Another reason which Sag-Harbor (he went by that name) urged for his want of faith in this matter of the prophet. not to speak of the Tigris waters. was something obscurely in reference to his incarcerated body and the whale’s gastric juices. a city on the Tigris. But he had still another Possibly. seems worsted all round. But. Jonah might have ensconced himself in a hollow reason for his want of faith. but as temporarily lodged in some part of his mentioned in the book of Jonah merely meant a life-preserver— mouth. and. But not to speak of the passage through the whole length of the Mediterranean. He might have carried him round by the way of the Cape of Good Hope. on second thoughts. I would add. possibly and after three days he was vomited up somewhere within three days’ journey of Nineveh. Besides.” the “Eagle. the Right Whale is toothless. because a German exegetist supposes that Jonah must have taken refuge in the floating body of a dead whale— even as the French soldiers in the Russian campaign turned their dead horses into tents. that when Jonah was thrown overboard from the Joppa ship. some vessel with a whale for a figure-head. Jonah was swallowed by the whale in the Mediterranean Sea.Moby Dick roll would choke him”. very much more than three days’ journey across from the nearest point of the Mediterranean coast. How is that? But was there no other way for the whale to land the prophet within that short distance of Nineveh? Yes.” the “Gull. he straightway effected his escape to another vessel near by.” as some craft are nowadays christened this. such a supposition would involve the complete circumnavigation of all Africa in three days. and crawled into them. hints the Bishop. Bishop Jebb’s anticipative answer is ready. his swallow is so very small. couple of whist-tables. Poor Sag-Harbor. too. that we consider Jonah as tombed in wanting learned exegetists who have opined that the whale the whale’s belly. and comfortably seat all the players. near the site of Nineveh.

And so it was. and one morning not long after the German ship Jungfrau disappeared. speaks of a Turkish Mosque built in than customary pains in that occupation. Nor did it remain unwarranted by the event. crawling under its honour of Jonah. where it hung over the side. this very idea of Jonah’s going to Nineveh via the Cape of Good Hope was advanced as a signal magnification possibly be of no contemptible advantage. this idea of Jonah’s weathering the Cape of Good Hope at so early a day would wrest the honour of the discovery of that great headland from Bartholomew Diaz. that oil is a sliding thing. to this day. He seemed to be working in obedience to some particular presentiment.Herman Melville whale to swim in. Besides. the axles of car hensible in him. considering that oil of the general miracle. and rubbing in the unctuburnt without any oil. impious pride. some whalers perform an analogous operashows his foolish. But all these foolish arguments of old Sag-Harbor only evinced his foolish pride of reason—a thing still more repreO MAKE THEM run easily and swiftly. the and water are hostile. in which Mosque was a miraculous lamp that bottom. I say it only pose.tion upon their boat. Nor is it to be doubted that as such a procedure can do no harm. Besides. For by a Portuguese Catho. and abominable. ousness as though diligently seeking to insure a crop of hair from the craft’s bald keel. and that the highly enlightened Turks devoutly believe in the historical story object in view is to make the boat slide bravely. Queequeg of Jonah. took more old Harris’s Voyages. its reputed discoverer. it may lic priest. devilish rebellion against the reverend clergy. CHAPTER 84 Pitchpoling T 353 . seeing that he had but little learning except riages are anointed. they grease the bottom. And some three centuries ago. and so make modern history a liar. an English traveller in believed strongly in anointing his boat. and for much the same pur what he had picked up from the sun and the sea.

Stubb whistlingly gathers up the coil of the warp in one hand. yet it is seldom done. which it can be hauled back to the hand after darting. and also of a lighter material—pine. they turned and fled with swift precipi. Small sword. wrapt in fleecy foam. without at all sounding. the sleights of hand and countless subtleties. Look now at Stubb. Tashtego at last succeeded in planting one But before going further. jerking boat. of considerable length. so as to secure its free end in his grasp. a disordered flight. leaving the rest unobstructed. What then remained? Of all the wondrous devices and dexterities. as of Cleopatra’s barges from Actium. its grand fact and feature is the wonderful distance to which the long lance is accurately darted from a violently rocking.Moby Dick Towards noon whales were raised. to which the veteran whaleman is so often forced. which flying whale. or broad sword. with a small rope called a warp. none exceed that fine manoeuvre with the lance called pitchpoling. Handling the long lance lightly. therefore. but so soon as the ship twelve feet in length. Such the lance. Steel and wood included. it is important to mention here. It became imperative to lance the inferior length of the harpoon as compared with the lance. he stands upright in the tossed bow of the flying boat. Then holding the lance full be354 . still conthough the harpoon may be pitchpoled in the same way with tinued his horizontal flight. Look at him. But to haul the boat up to his flank was impossible. in all its exercises boasts nothing like it. glancing twice or thrice along its length to see if it be exactly straight. under extreme headway. and Stubb’s was foremost. was specially qualified to excel in pitchpoling. It is furnished tancy. but the stricken whale. It is only indispensable with an inveterate running whale. the towing whale is forty feet ahead. that iron. the boats pursued. the entire spear is some ten or in effect become serious drawbacks. and when done. you must first get fast to a whale.harpoon. he swam so fast and furious. before any pitchpoling comes into play. a man who from his humorous. By great exertion. or be content to lose him. As a general thing. with added fleetness. is still less unintermitted strainings upon the planted iron must sooner or frequently successful. deliberate coolness and equanimity in the direst emergencies. on account of the greater weight and later inevitably extract it. the staff is much slighter than that of the sailed down to them. by Nevertheless.

fifteen feet in the air. the spear returning to its master like a greyhound or nothing but vapour—this is surely a noteworthy thing. lad. really water. as with so immortal Fourth. many sprinkling or mistifying pots.D. whether these spoutings are. of this we’d brew choice punch in the spread of his spout-hole there.” a problem. the dexterous dart is repeated. which at all times is combined with the element in which they CHAPTER 85 The Fountain T 355 . Next moment with a rapid. and mutely watches the monster die.Herman Melville fore his waistband’s middle. balancing a long staff on his chin.M. or unspeakable old back. that down to this blessed minute (fifteen and a quarter minutes past one o’clock P. A. hearts alive. all fountains must run wine today! Would now. that all this should be. Tashtego. “’Tis July’s sprinkling and mistifying the gardens of the deep. and we’d drink round it! Yea. covering him with it. Instead of sparkling water. Every one knows that by the peculiar cunning of their gills. when. and red blood. “That drove the spigot out of him!” cried Stubb. He minds you somewhat of a juggler. and yet. watching these sprinklings and spoutings— Monongahela! Then. and that for some centuries it were old Orleans whiskey. Let us. verily. items contingent. nameless impulse. he steadily depresses the butt-end in his hand. thereby elevating the point till the weapon stands fairly balanced upon his palm. then. and quivers in the how many millions of ages before—the great whales life spot of the whale. sixteenth day of December. in a superb lofty arch HAT FOR SIX THOUSAND YEARS—and no one knows the bright steel spans the foaming distance. Again and again to such gamesome talk. thousands of hunters should have been close by the fountain of the whale. it should still remain and from that live punch-bowl quaff the living stuff. and the pitchpoler dropping astern. he now spouts should have been spouting all over the sea. 1851). The agonized whale goes into his flurry. the tow-line is slackened. he levels it at the whale. look at this matter. after all. along with some interesting held in skilful leash. or old Ohio. I’d have ye hold a canakin to the jet. the finny tribes in general breathe the air folds his hands.

This is what I mean. But owing to his marked more (when at the bottom) without drawing a single breath. that in any creature breathing is only a function indispensable to vitality. he surface. I do not think I shall err. to a 356 . that is. seems the more cogent to me. as the fishermen phrase it. upon rising to the surface. he might then seal up his nostrils and not fetch another for a considerable time. remember. But he cannot in any degree labyrinth of vermicelli-like vessels. though I may possibly use some superfluous scientific words. his windpipe has no connexion carries a surplus stock of vitality in him. he would then live without breathing. when I consider the otherwise inexplicable obstinacy of that leviathan in having his spoutings out. and jets seventy times. respires seventy breaths. the whale can only live by inhaling the disengaged air he has no gills. and that the supposition founded upon it is reasonable and true. the Sperm Whale will continue there for a period of time exactly uniform with all his other unmolested risings. he will be sure to have his seventy breaths over again. If I say. How is this? Between his ribs and on each side in the open atmosphere. Wherefore the necessity for his periof his spine he is supplied with a remarkable involved Cretan odical visits to the upper world. hence. and this is on the top of his head. his full hour and once raise its head above the surface. Sperm Whale’s mouth is buried at least eight feet beneath the So that for an hour or more. by intervals. this is precisely the case with the ing the waterless desert carries a surplus supply of drink for future use in its four supplementary stomachs. That is to say. a herring or a cod might live a century. and what is still more. who systematically lives. for. a thousand fathoms in the sea. when he quits breathe through his mouth. being’s. the the surface. which being subsequently brought into contact with the blood imparts to the blood its vivifying principle. for. Say he stays eleven minutes. just as the camel crosswith his mouth. and never whale. in his ordinary attitude. Assume it. Anomalous as it may seem. like a human so much as in any way inhaling a particle of air. then whenever he rises again. and it follows that if all the blood in a man could be aerated with one breath. are completely distended with oxygenated blood. he breathes through his spiracle alone.Moby Dick swim. The anatomical fact of this labyrinth is indisputable. No. inasmuch as it withdraws from the air a certain element. which vessels. If unmolested. or internal structure which gives him regular lungs.

unless it be to replenish his this head. O hunter. breathing is incessantly going on—one breath only serving for two or three pulsations. But what does he want of them? No that this necessity for the whale’s rising exposes him to all the fatal roses. chiefly intended as it is for the conveyance of air. therefore the whale has no voice. Now. breathe he must. ere descending for good? How obvious is it. unless you insult him by saying. nevertheless. and being so clogged with two elements.Herman Melville minute. For not by hook or by net could this vast leviathan be caught. he talks through his nose. as the great necessities that strike the victory to thee! In man. what has the whale to say? Seldom have I known any profound being that had anything to say to this world. however. if after he fetches a few breaths you alarm him. why should the whale thus be vapour—no absolute certainty can as yet be arrived at on insist upon having his spoutings out. or die he will. unless forced to stammer out something by way of getting a living. too. that in different individuals these rates are differto the mystery of the spout—whether it be water or whether it ent. will he finally go down to stay out his full term below. Oh! happy that the world is such an excellent listener! Now. but in any one they are alike. that the Sperm Whale has reservoir of air. Recould not be expected to have the power of smelling. the spouting canal of the Sperm Whale. no proper olfactories. And not till those seventy breaths are tical spout-hole. and for several feet 357 . it told. for the that he sounds. as his windpipe solely opens into the tube of his spouting canal. so reason why his sense of smell seems obliterated in him. waking or sleeping. if it could truthfully be added that his spouts are mixed with water. But owing mark. hazards of the chase. when sailing a thousand fathoms beneath the sunlight. But then again. then I opine we should be furnished with the Furthermore. But the Sperm Whale only breathes about one seventh or Sunday of his time. that when he so strangely rumbles. no violets. Not so much thy skill. no Cologne-water in the sea. Now. so that whatever other business he has to attend to. and as that long canal—like the grand Erie Canal—is furnished with a sort of locks (that open and shut) for the downward retention of air or the upward exclusion of water. he will be always dodging up again to make good only thing about him that at all answers to his nose is that idenhis regular allowance of air. Sure it is. It has been said that the whale only breathes through his spout-hole. then.

But what it is precisely. can you not tell water from air? My dear sir. and time him with your watch. Nor is it at all prudent for the hunter to be over curious touching the precise nature of the whale spout. with his elevated hump sun-dried as a dromedary’s in the desert. horizontally.commotion. It will not do for him to be peering into it. but it cannot be times you should think that you really perceived drops of moisproved that this is for the purpose of discharging water through the spiracle. You 358 . and yet be undecided as to like a gas-pipe laid down in a city on one side of a street. in this world it is not so easy to settle these plain things. and a little to one side. But why pester one with all this reasoning on the subject? Speak out! You have seen him spout. It is certain that the mouth indi. you might almost stand in it. when you are close enough to a breath is mixed with water taken in at the mouth. he is in a prodigious charged through the spiracle. the whale always carries a small basin of water on his head. or whether that exhaled ter falls from it. Besides.Moby Dick laid along. And if at such rectly communicates with the spouting canal. when in feeding he accidentally takes in water. just beneath the upper surface of his found your plain things the knottiest of all. and there he cannot spout even if he would. The central body of it is hidden in the snowy sparkling mist in other words. when. then declare what the spout is. you will find that when unmolested.whale to get a close view of his spout. this curious canal is very much spout. which is countersunk into the summit of the whale’s head? For even when tranquilly swimming through the midday sea in a calm. and dis. as under a blazing sun you will sometimes see a cavity in a rock filled up with rain. Because the greatest necessity for so doing would seem to be. how do you know that they are not merely condensed from its vapour. always. And as for this whale head. even then. the water cascading all around him. there is an undeviating rhyme between the periods of his jets and the ordinary periods of respiration. the question returns whether this gas-pipe is also a water-pipe. I have ever ture in the spout. whether the spout of the Sperm Whale is the enveloping it. and putting his face in it. But the Sperm Whale’s food is far beneath the surface. and how can you certainly tell whether any wamere vapour of the exhaled breath. if you regard him very closely. or how do you know that they are not those identical drops superficially lodged in the spout-hole fissure.

My hypothesis is this: that the spout is nothing but mist. we can hypothesize. Still. The wisest thing the investigator can do then. d’ye see. I have heard it this seems an additional argument for the above supposition. and intuitions of 359 . And how nobly it raises our conceit of the mighty. by considerations touching the great inherent dignity and sublimity of the Sperm Whale. And I am convinced that from the heads of all ponderous profound beings. is to let this deadly spout alone. mild head overhung by a canopy of vapour. which will often happen. the Devil. For. and that vapour—as you will sometimes see it—glorified by a rainbow. it seems to me. and I do not much doubt it. shallow being. your act of thinking deep thoughts. I account him no common. the skin peeled off from his cheek able moisture of my hair. or near shores. Jupiter. and bring such as Plato. inasmuch as it is an undisputed fact that he is never found on soundings. after and arm. among whalemen. Dante. vapoury shreds of the jet. Wherefore. I had the curiosity to place a mirror before me. While composing a little treatise skin will feverishly smart. they only irradiate vapour.Herman Melville cannot go with your pitcher to this fountain and fill it. rainbows do not visit the clear air. engendered by his incommunicable contemplations. Doubts of all things earthly. while in the outer. enkindling my fog with a heavenly ray. The invarior otherwise. He is both ponderous and profound. many deny. Pyrrho. they try to evade it. it will blind you. of an August noon. through all the thick mists of the dim doubts in my mind. whether with some scientific object in view. to this conclusion I am impelled. few along with them. that if the jet is fairly spouted into your eyes. I cannot say. all other whales sometimes are. And besides other reasons. For even when coming into slight contact with the there always goes up a certain semi-visible steam. even if we cannot prove and establish. from the acridness of the thing so on Eternity. it away. to behold him solemnly sailing through a calm tropical sea. but doubts or denials. have intuitions. And for this I thank God. who coming into still closer con. while plunged in deep thought. poisonous. touching it. And I know one. and so on. the spout is deemed six cups of hot tea in my thin shingled attic. for all have doubts. and undulation in the atmosphere over my head. divine intuitions now and then shoot. Another thing. said. as if Heaven itself had put its seal upon his thoughts. his vast. And so. misty monster.and ere long saw reflected there. a curious involved worming tact with the spout.

it comprises upon its upper surface alone. flat palms or flukes. but makes a man who regards them both with equal eye. firm. this combination makes neither believer nor infidel. leaving a wide vacancy between. CHAPTER 86 The Tail O THER POETS HAVE WARBLED the praises of the soft eye of the antelope. 360 . At its utmost expansion in the full grown whale. these flukes slightly overlap. In no living thing are the lines of beauty more exquisitely defined than in the crescentic borders of these flukes. I celebrate a tail. Reckoning the largest sized Sperm Whale’s tail to begin at that point of the trunk where it tapers to about the girth of a man. the tail will considerably exceed twenty feet across. gradually shoaling away to less than an inch in thickness. and the lovely plumage of the bird that never alights. less celestial. an area of at least fifty square feet.Moby Dick some things heavenly. The compact round body of its root expands into two broad. At the crotch or junction. then sideways recede from each other like wings.

mark what robustness is there. the soft. hint nothing of any power. whatever be the mood it be in. insensibly blend with them. strength has much to do with middle one. in which his idea has been most successfully embodied. ing from the marble in the carved Hercules. which on all hands it is conceded. that seemed as a Roman triumphal arch. its flexions are invariably marked by exceeding grace. And whatever they may reveal of the divine love in the Son. middle. he was overwhelmed with the masof tiles always alternating with the stone in those wonderful sive chest of the man. or in anger. and its charm would imparts power to the tail. This triune structure. or in earnest. those sinews. be gone. these pictures. Nor does this—its amazing strength. hermaphroditical Italian pictures. form the peculiar practical virtues of his teachings. Real strength compose it:—upper. On the contrary. very short. so that in the tail the confluent measureless force of the whole whale seems concentrated to a point. The fibres in the upnever impairs beauty or harmony. curled. as much as anything else. feminine one of submission and endurance. that whether wielded in sport. Could annihilation occur to matter. and per and lower layers. and you find that three distinct strata motions derive their most appalling beauty from it. and which undoubtedly contribute so much to the great strength of the masonry. but cut into it. relics of the antique. where infantileness of ease When Angelo paints even God the Father in human form. so destitute as they are of all brawniness. 361 . are long and horizontal. this were the thing to do it. As devout Eckerman lifted the linen sheet from the the middle layer will furnish a curious parallel to the thin course naked corpse of Goethe. To the student of old Roman walls. at all tend to cripple the graceful flexion of its motions. and running crosswise between the the magic. but the mere negative. Take away the tied tendons that all over seem burstoutside layers. and largely contribute to their might. but it often bestows it. Such is the subtle elasticity of the organ I treat of. Therein no fairy’s arm can transcend it. which passing on either side the loins and running down into the flukes. the whole bulk of the leviathan is knit over with a warp and woof of muscular fibres and filaments. But as if this vast local power in the tendinous tail were not enough. and lower.Herman Melville The entire member seems a dense webbed bed of welded undulates through a Titanism of power. those of the in everything imposingly beautiful.

Moby Dick Five great motions are peculiar to it. the stroke is then simply irresistible. when used as a ity of its materials. that while one sperm whale only fights another sperm whale with his head and jaw. he swiftly curves away his flukes from it. and then rapidly sprung respect there is a delicacy in it only equalled by the daintiness backwards. in his conflicts with man. Second. never wriggles. In striking at a boat. woe to that sailor. in peaking flukes. he chiefly and contemptuously uses his tail. and if he feel but a sailor’s whisker. Your only salvation lies in eluding it. but if it comes sideways through the opposing water. and the hole is stopped. sort of stitch in the side. wriggling is a sign of inferiority. No ribs of man or boat can withstand it. Fourth. curved round his trunk and extracted the dart. On more accounts than one. If it be made in the unobstructed air. whiskers and all. Some one strips in a different manner from the tails of all other sea creatures. that they are accounted mere child’s play. in lobtailing. then partly owing to the light buoyancy of the whale boat. a fin for progression. it is this which gives that singular darting. that when wounded in the fight. a pity it is that the whale does not possess this prehensile virtue in his tail. and the elasticaction of sweeping. a cracked rib or a dashed plank or two. Fifth. for in this wise coiled forwards beneath the body. when in maidenly gentleness the whale with a certain soft slowness moves his immense flukes from side to side upon the surface of the sea. This delicacy is chiefly evinced in the motion to the monster when furiously swimming. Third: I cannot demonstrate it. 362 . These submerged side blows are so often received in the fishFirst: Being horizontal in its position. the Leviathan’s tail acts ery. His side-fins only serve to steer by. and with low salutations presented nosegays to damsels. and then caressed their zones. nevertheless. and the blow is only inflicted by the recoil. in sweeping. I should straightway bethink me of Darmonodes’ elephant that so frequented the flower-market. First. when used as a mace in battle. Second: It is a little significant. It off a frock. his tail is the sole means of propulsion. Scrollwhale the sense of touch is concentrated in the tail. especially if it descend to its mark. is generally the most serious result. Third. but it seems to me. What tenderness there is in that preliminary touch! Had this tail any prehensile power. leaping of the elephant’s trunk. In man or fish. for I have heard of yet another elephant. that in the To the whale.

majestic Satan thrusting forth his tormented colossal claw from curity of the middle of solitary seas. even the smoke from the touch-hole. his entire flukes with at least thirty feet of his body are tossed erect in the air. and for a moment vibrating in concert with charged. As Ptolemy Philopater testified of the African elephant. The chance comparison in this chapter. and if you noticed the light wreath of vapour from the peaked flukes. the devils will the ocean as if it were a hearth. you would think that that was embodiment of adoration of the gods was never beheld. pronouncing him the most devout of all beings.towards the sun. Excepting the sublime breach—somewhere else to be described—this peaking of the whale’s flukes is perhaps the grandest sight to be seen in all animated nature. Out of the bottomless profundities the gigantic tail seems spasmodically snatching at the highest heaven. all heading for miles. they are then completely out of sight beneath the surface. but when he is about to plunge into the deeps. between the whale and the elephant. the thunderous concussion resounds sea. mast-head of my ship during a sunrise that crimsoned sky and then smiting the surface. it is all in the vast corpulence of his dignity. compared with 363 . so far as some aspects of the tail of the one and the trunk of the other are concerned. For according to King Juba. he plays on all what mood you are in. should not tend to place those two opposite organs on an equality. As it seemed to me at the time. You would almost think a great gun had been dis. So in dreams. I then testified of the whale. such a grand spiracle at his other extremity. you find him unbent from the flame Baltic of Hell. I once saw a large herd of whales in the east. The broad palms of his tail are flirted high into the air. the military elephants of antiquity often hailed the morning with their trunks uplifted in the profoundest silence. Standing at the his play. and so remain vibrating a moment. But in gazing at such scenes. much less the creatures to which they respectively belong. have I seen in Persia. if in the Dantean. But still you see his power in occur to you. so. the archangels. and kitten-like. For as the mightiest elephant is but a terrier to Leviathan. if in that of Isaiah. Fifth: As in the ordinary floating posture of the leviathan the flukes lie considerably below the level of his back. till they downwards shoot out of view. the home of the fire worshippers.Herman Melville Fourth: Stealing unawares upon the whale in the fancied se.

there are not wanting some points of curious similitude. remain wholly inexplicable. jet it forth in a stream.I know not even the tail of this whale. Dissect him how I may. the more do I deplore make out his back parts. that the whale. and never will. my inability to express it. But if the sperm whale’s ponderous flukes. At times there are gestures in it. by these methods intelligently conversed with the world. how understand his stances have one after the other hurled entire boats with all head? much more. full of strangeness. I know him not. But I cannot completely The more I consider this mighty tail. In an extensive herd. when face he their oars and crews into the air. so remarkable. but my face shall not be seen.Moby Dick Leviathan’s tail. of a fan. which. though they would well grace the hand of man. Nor are there wanting other motions of the *Though all comparison in the way of general bulk between the whale and the elephant is preposterous. occasionally. are these mystic gestures. I but go skin deep. indeed. and then elevating it. and hint what he will about his face. compared with the measureless crush and crash of then. 364 . very much as an Indian jughas none? Thou shalt see my back parts. he seems to gler tosses his balls. his trunk is but the stalk of a lily. that I have heard hunters who have declared them akin to Free-Mason signs and symbols. and unaccountdireful blow from the elephant’s trunk were as the playful tap able to his most experienced assailant. my tail. The most whale in his general body. inasmuch as in that particular the elephant stands in much the same respect to the whale that a dog does to the elephant. which in repeated in. nevertheless. how comprehend his face. among these is the spout. I say again he has no face. It is well known that the elephant will often draw up water or dust in his trunk.* say.

and dividing the long unbroken Indian ocean from by night and by day. and ivory. Unlike the Danes. ex the all-grasping western world. vessels bound Time out of mind the piratical proas of the Malays. This rampart is Sumatra and Java. should at least bear the appearance. it seems a significant provision of nature. that such treasures. with many others. Australia. among the low shaded coves and islets of Sumatra. which for centuries past. which.Herman Melville some vast walled empire: and considering the inexhaustible wealth of spices. fiercely and standing midway in that vast rampart of islands. forms the most southerly point of all Asia. By the straits of Sunda. and Malacca. buttressed demanding tribute at the point of their spears. with which the thousand islands of that oriental sea are enriched. repeated bloody chastisements they have received at the hands they not a little correspond to the central gateway opening into CHAPTER 87 The Grand Armada T 365 . guard the entrances to the Mediterranean. and Timor. chiefly. have passed between the islands of the thickly studded oriental archipelagoes. and the In a continuous line from that peninsula stretch the long islands Propontis. conspicuous among which are the straits of Sunda by no means renounce their claim to more solid tribute. emerge into the China seas. freighted with the costliest cargoes of the pierced by several sally-ports for the convenience of ships east. But while they freely waive a ceremonial like this. of being guarded from HE LONG AND NARROW PENINSULA of Malacca. however ineffectual. they do and whales. and jewels. the Baltic. lied out upon the vessels sailing through the straits. by the very formation of the land. Bally. known to seamen as Java Head. or rampart. Java. have salThose narrow straits of Sunda divide Sumatra from Java. and gold. lengthwise connecting Asia with procession of ships before the wind. lurking to China from the west. and silks. The shores of the Straits of tending south-eastward from the territories of Sunda are unsupplied with those domineering fortresses which Birmah. the obsequious homage of lowered top-sails from the endless form a vast mole. these Orientals do not demand of Sumatra. Though by the by that bold green promontory.

does Ahab touch no land? does his crew drink air? Surely. Mark this. he will stop for water. yet. they would only answer— “Well. in the near vicinity of the Straits of Sunda. So that did you carry them the news that another flood had come. firmly counted upon giving battle to Moby Dick. previous to descending upon the Line in the Pacific. her crew having seen no man but floating seamen like themselves. the inshore by the Philippine Islands. though everywhere else foiled in his pursuit. have been remorselessly boarded and pillaged. in all that interval. So Ahab. Clear old to be frequented here and there by the Sperm Whale. as many Sperm Whales had been captured off the western coast of Java. Ahab purposing to pass through them into the She is ballasted with utilities. With a fair. and back again. indeed. sweep prime Nantucket water. which. cargo but herself and crew. too. touching at a score of ports. Nay. these straits. even at the present day. that. in time for the great whaling season there. in the whaler. the whale-ship. and needs no sustenance but what’s in ish fluid. Hence it is. By these means. in foreign wharves. to be transferred to occasionally hear of English and American vessels. in the Pacific. which. while other ships may have gone to China from New York. was generally recognised by the fishermen as an excellent spot for cruising. roundabout. cruising northwards. the audacity of these corsairs has of late himself. 366 . prefers to drink before the brackJapan. but yesterday rafted off in casks. here’s the ark!” Now. we hulls are loaded down with alien stuff. the circus-running sun has raced within his fiery ring. She carries years’ water in her. For a long time. may not have sighted one grain of soil. where Ahab. their weapons and their wants. But how now? in this zoned quest.Moby Dick of European cruisers. now. the Pequod was now drawing nigh to She has a whole lake’s contents bottled in her ample hold. when three years afloat. the world-wandering whale-ship carries no those waters. and thence. as most of the ground. and gain the far coast of Nantucketer. from the Peruvian or Indian streams. not altogether with unusable pigJavan sea. in the sea he was most known to frequent. fresh wind. While other been somewhat repressed. over waters known lead and kentledge. boys. and at a season when he might most reasonably be presumed to be haunting it. the circumnavigating Pequod would sweep almost all the known Sperm Whale cruising grounds of the world.

and then be suddenly saluted by what someHead. and with delighted miles. and forming a great semicircle. then. continually rising and falling away to leeward. Seen from the Pequod’s deck. To this aggregation of the Sperm Whale into such immense caravans. that it would almost seem as if numerous nations of them had sworn solemn league and covenant for mutual assistance and protection. a continuous chain of whale-jets were upsingle jet was descried. and beheld through a blending atmosphere of bluish haze. fall over in two branches. the look-outs were repeatedly hailed. may be imputed the circumstance that even in the best cruising grounds. Unlike the straight ing in with any game hereabouts. as in former times.perpendicular twin-jets of the Right Whale. individually curling up into the air. Almost renouncing all thought of fallplaying and sparkling in the noon-day air. accelerate their march. you may now sometimes sail for weeks and months together. the ship had well nigh en. But though the green palmy cliffs of the Broad on both bows. instead of almost invariably sailing in small detached companies. which. and once more expand in comparative security upon the plain. As marching armies approaching an unfriendly defile in the mountains. sometimes embracing so great a multitude. and ere long a spectacle of singular magnificence of a willow. as she would rise on a high hill of the sea. yet not a the level horizon. showed like the thousand cheerful chimneys of some dense metropolis. all eagerness to place that perilous passage in their rear. by some horseman on a height. as the Pequod gained more and more upon Java by a single spout. without being greeted Whale presents a thick curled bush of white mist. embracing one half of nostrils the fresh cinnamon was snuffed in the air.Herman Melville therefore. the single forward-slanting spout of the Sperm saluted us. even so did this vast fleet of 367 . like the cleft drooping boughs from aloft. and admonished times seems thousands on thousands. the Sperm Whales. at the distance of some two or three land soon loomed on the starboard bow. this host of vapoury spouts. But here be it premised. are now frequently met with in extensive herds. that owing to the unwearied activity with which of late they have been hunted over all four oceans. dividing at tered the straits. descried of a balmy autumnal morning. to keep wide awake. when the customary cheering cry was heard top.

and not only that. these rascally Asiatics harpooneers handling their weapons. and in the after one the bloodthirsty pirates chasing him. and after us!” on. some such fancy as the above seemed his. Ahab’s brow was left gaunt and ribbed.thropists to assist in speeding her on to her own chosen purness the capture of not a few of their number. without finally disappearing. driving these leviathans before us. till the Pequod Crowding all sail the Pequod pressed after them. and rig whips and buckets to wet the sails. that they were. As if too long lurking behind the headlands. and beheld. “Aloft As with glass under arm. and swimming sir. the should fairly have entered the straits. Levelling his glass at this sight. And who could suit. of a sudden. to make up for their over-cautious the heads of their yet suspended boats. It seemed formed of detached white vapours. Ahab to-and-fro paced the deck. Moby Dick himself might not temporarily be swimming. but a herd of remorseless wild pirates and inhuman atheistical devils were infernally cheering him on with their curses. in that congregated caravan. but still crescentic centre. delay. we beheld another in our rear. Ahab quickly revolved in his pivot-hole. how that through that same gate he was now both chasing and being chased to his deadly end. And when he glanced upon the green walls of the watery defile in which the ship was then sailing.—when all these conceits had passed through his brain. when. in his forward turn beholding the monsters he chased.Moby Dick whales now seem hurrying forward through the straits. in one solid. like the worshipped whiteelephant in the coronation procession of the Siamese! So with stun-sail piled on stun-sail.there. we sailed along. was herself in hot chase. Corresponding to the crescent in our van. If the wind only held. ally contracting the wings of their semicircle. with a fresh leading wind. how very kind of these tawny philanthe vast host would only deploy into the Oriental seas to wit. for they constantly hovered. only they did not so completely come and go.—mere riding-whips and rowels to her. and loudly cheering from were now in hot pursuit. crying.—Malays. But when the swift Pequod. tell whether. loudly directing attention to something in our wake. gradu. like the black 368 . and bethought him that through that gate lay the route to his vengeance. the voice of Tashtego was heard. that chased through these Straits of Sunda. rising and falling something like the spouts of the whales. little doubt had they.

the whales gave animating token that they were now at last out being able to drag the firm thing from its place. than to ing mad with consternation. Witness. they plainly betrayed their distraction of panic. at length they seemed abating their speed. were now too Point on the Sumatra side. word was passed to spring to the boats. helplessly floated like water-logged dismantled ships on the sea. how when herded together in the sheepfold of a theatre’s pit. by But still driving on in the wake of the whales. and when. become notified of the three keels that were after them. The compact martial columns in which they rates astern. But this occasional timidity is characteristic of almost all herding creatures. In all directions expanding in vast rejoice that the ship had so victoriously gained upon the Malays. and like King Porus’ elwaters beyond. when a general pausing commotion among their short thick spoutings. This was still more strangely evinced by those of their number. But no sooner did the herd. all human beings. and forming in close ranks and battalions. too. irregular circles. so that their spouts all looked like flashing lines of stacked bayonets. when the fishermen perceive it in the whale. Though banding together in tens of thousands. completely paralysed as it were.—though as yet a mile in their rear. they crew. we sprang to the whiteash. which. gradually the ship neared them. Stripped to our shirts and drawers. who. and the wind now dying away. and after several hours’ pulling were almost disposed to renounce the chase.Herman Melville sand beach after some stormy tide has been gnawing it. by some presumed wonderful instinct of the Sperm Whale. they will. and aimlessly swimming hither and thither. pursued over the pasture by three fierce wolves. they could not possibly have evinced such excessive dismay. then. under the influence of that strange perplexity of inert irresoluBut thoughts like these troubled very few of the reckless tion. Had these Leviathans been but a flock of simple sheep. the lion-maned buffaloes of the West have fled before a solitary horseman. the harpooneers seemed more to grieve ephants in the Indian battle with Alexander. emerging at last upon the broad broken up in one measureless rout. they seemed gothat the swift whales had been gaining upon the ship. after steadily dropping and dropping the pisay he is gallied. moved on with redoubled velocity. the Pequod at last shot by the vivid green Cockahad been hitherto rapidly and steadily swimming. at the slightest alarm of 369 . with.—than they rallied again.

steered straight for the heart of the herd.plicated channels and straits. our beset boat was like a ship mobbed by which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men. Nor were the oarsmen quite idle. For as the swift monster drags you deeper and deeper into the frantic shoal. and for an instant threatened to swamp us. on all therefore. though their wonted duty was now altogether dispensed with. there!” cried a second to another. each making for some one lone whale on the outskirts of the shoal. Though such a movement on the part of the whale struck under such circumstances. power of speed to rid himself of the iron leech that had fasjamming. now edging away from that. and striving to steer through their comThough many of the whales. Queequeg’s harpoon was flung. and remorselessly dashing each other to death. as has been said. tened to him. ice-isles in a tempest. rush helter-skelter for the outlets. as if by sheer vance. withhold any amazement at the strangely gallied sides menaced as we flew. seemed calmly cooling himself with his own fan-like extremity. knowing not at what moment it lent motion. the boats at once sheering off from this monster directly across our route in adseparated. yet does it present one of the more perilous vicissitudes of the fishery. In about three minutes’ time. Queequeg steered us manfully. now one place. yet it is to be observed that as a whole the herd may be locked in and crushed. They chiefly attended to the shouting part of the business. while all the time. you bid adieu to circumspect life and only exist in a delirious throb. by the crazed creatures to and fro whales before us. blind and deaf. to a great dromedary that of a sudden rose bodily to the surface. Commodore!” cried one. for there is no folly of the beasts of the earth rushing about us. Starbuck stood up in the bows. “Hard down with your tail. trampling. and then running away with us like light. whose colossal flukes were suspended overhead. As is customary in those cases. close to our gunwale. is in no wise unprecedented. the stricken fish darted blinding spray in our faces. crowding. were in vio. pricking out of our way whatever whales he could reach by short darts. neither advanced nor retreated. Best. lance in hand. but collectively remained in But not a bit daunted. “Out of the way. which. and indeed is almost always more or less anticipated. 370 . as we thus tore a white gash in the sea.Moby Dick fire. for there was no time to make long ones. As. the whale plunged forward.

But sperm whales jerking harpoon drew out. eight or ten in each. Yes. that at times like these the drugg. you must kill all you can. But upon flinging the third. Here the storms in the roaring glens between the outermost whales. called druggs. you must wing them. and the towing whale sideways are not every day encountered. then. comes into requisition. we were now in that enchanted calm which they say lurks at the heart of every commotion. we glided between two whales into the innermost heart of the shoal. Our boat was furnished with three of them. swiftly going round 371 . more whales are close round the direful disorders seemed waning. and we saw the whales staggeringly running off. and saw successive pods of whales. our and the other end of the line being looped. originally boat’s bottom as the seat slid from under him. So that when at last the you than you can possibly chase at one time. The first and second were successfully darted. fettered by the enormous sidelong resistance of the towing drugg. were it not that as we advanced into the herd. but we stuffed two or three squares of wood of equal size are stoutly clenched together. called a sleek. drawers and shirts in. It is chiefly among gallied whales still further and further from the circumference of commotion. that this drugg is used. In this central expanse the sea presented that smooth satin-like surface. while you may. They were cramped like malefactors with the chain and ball. Hence it is. moreover. in the act of tossing overboard the clumsy wooden block. it can in a moment whale’s way greatly diminished. dropping the oarsman in the vanished. On both sides the invented by the Nantucket Indians. Two thick sea came in at the wounded planks. were heard but not felt. with the tapering force of his parting momentum. that as we went be fastened to a harpoon. And if you cannot kill them all at once. produced by the subtle moisture thrown off by the whale in his more quiet moods.Herman Melville All whaleboats carry certain curious contrivances. as if from some mountain torrent we had slid into a serene valley lake. and so stopped the leaks for the time. a line of It had been next to impossible to dart these drugged-harconsiderable length is then attached to the middle of this block. then. it caught under one of the seats of the boat. so that they can be afterwards killed at your leisure. and in an instant tore it out and carried it away. so that they cross each other’s grain at right angles. poons. And still in the distracted distance we beheld the tumults of the outer concentric circles. For then.

the women and children of this routed host. suspended in those watery vaults. and as human infants while suckling will calmly and fixedly gaze away from the breast. as I have hinted. was to a considerable depth exceedingly transparent. I mention this circumstance. that a Titanic circus-rider might the precise cause of its stopping. being so young. Owing to the density of the crowd of however it may have been. round on their backs. as if the cows and calves had been purposely locked up in this innermost fold. like multiplied spans of horses in a ring. possibly. these smaller whales—now and reposing whales. and touching them. and so extent of the herd had hitherto prevented them from learning closely shoulder to shoulder.Moby Dick and round. We must watch for a breach in the living wall that becharmed panic which it was impossible not to marvel at. or else a still afforded us. and inclusive of the spaces between the various pods in any one of those circles. hemmed us in. At any rate— though indeed such a test at such a time might be deceptive— spoutings might be discovered from our low boat that seemed playing up almost from the rim of the horizon. The lake. floated the forms of the nursing mothers of the whales. the wall that had only admitted us in order to Like household dogs they came snuffling round us. must have contained at least two or three square miles. for the time refrained from darting it. or.our gunwales. more immediately surrounding the embayed then visiting our becalmed boat from the margin of the lake— axis of the herd. inclusive of the occasional wide intervals between the revolving outer circles. and those that by their enormous girth seemed shortly to become mothers. till it almost seemed that sionally visited by small tame cows and calves. no possible chance of escape was at present evinced a wondrous fearlessness and confidence. For. embraced by the whole multitude. the entire area at this juncture. and every way innocent and inexperienced. because. But far beneath this wondrous world upon the surface. as if leading two differ372 . Keeping at the centre of the lake. and so have gone unsophisticated. easily have over-arched the middle ones. right up to shut us up. Queequeg patted their foreheads. Now. but fearful of the consequences. and as if the wide some spell had suddenly domesticated them. Starbuck scratched their backs with his lance. we were occa. another and still stranger world met our eyes as we gazed over the side.

“him fast! him fast!—Who line him! Who struck?—Two whale. after a gestation which may probably be set down at nine months. by which the young weed in their new-born sight. and the palms of his flukes. curiously situated. Some of the subtlest secrets of the in girth. Floating on their sides.hundreds of fathoms of rope. tail to head. and while yet drawing mortal nourish. the mothcub seemed still tethered to its dam.” said Queequeg. be still spiritually feasting upon some unearthly reminisup again. as with all other species of the Leviathan. with the maternal that from certain queer tokens seemed hardly a day old. might end loose. it might do well with strawberries. the mother’s pouring milk and blood rivallingly discolour the sea for rods. but unlike most other fish. the unborn whale lies bent like a Tartar’s bow. producing but one at a time. As when the stricken whale. he floats ment. and all ready for the final spring.* *The sperm whale. When overflowing with mutual esteem. The delicate side-fins. We saw scarce yet recovered from that irksome position it had so lately occupied in the maternal reticule. the whales salute more hominum. man?” cried Starbuck. as. looking over the gunwale. as if we were but a bit of Gulfof the umbilical cord of Madame Leviathan. but the breasts themselves extend upwards from that. though in some few known instances giving birth to an Esau and Jacob:—a contingency provided for in suckling by two teats. vicissitudes of the chase. When by chance these precious parts in a nursing whale are cut by the hunter’s lance. The milk is very sweet and rich. Not seldom in the rapid ers also seemed quietly eyeing us. one little!” “What ails ye. pointing down. One of these little infants. “Look-e here. but not at us.Herman Melville ent lives at the time. that from the tub has reeled out young Leviathan amours in the deep.—even so did the young of these whales seem looking and spiralling towards the air. still freshly retained the plaited crumpled appearance of a baby’s ears newly arrived from foreign parts. though as yet his body seemed seas seemed divulged to us in this enchanted pond. it has been tasted by man. one big. one on each side of the anus. so that have measured some fourteen feet in length. after deep sounding. Starbuck saw long coils up towards us. becomes entangled with the hempen one. breeds indifferently at all seasons. and some six feet the cub is thereby trapped. “Line! line!” cried Queequeg. He was a little frisky. where. so now. 373 . this natural line. and shows the slackened curling line buoyantly rising cence.

and while ponderous wherever he went. But even dashing among the revolving circles like the lone mounted desso. as we thus lay entranced. or possibly carrying on the war within the first circle. this whale had become entangled in the harpoon-line that he towed. yet the peculiar horror with Meanwhile. and tossing the keen spade about him. to seek to hamstring him. had broken away sternations and affrights. where abundance of room and some convenient retreats were afforded them. any way. still engaged in drugging the whales on the frontier of the host. But the sight of the enraged drugged whales now and then blindly darting to and fro across the circles. But at length we perceived that by one of the unimaginable accidents of the fishery. deep down and But agonizing as was the wound of this whale. he was now churning through the water. yea. did these inscrutable creatures at the from the boat. planets of unwaning woe revolve round me. centre freely and fearlessly indulge in all peaceful concern. had permanently caught in the coils of the harpoon-line round his tail. as it were. do I myself still perado Arnold. the cutting-spade itself had worked loose from his flesh. to which is attached a rope for hauling it back again. he had also run away with the cutting-spade in him. and an apdeep inland there I still bathe me in eternal mildness of joy. It is sometimes the custom when fast to a whale more than commonly powerful and alert. violently flailing with his flexible tail. at the battle of Saratoga. carrying dismay for ever centrally disport in mute calm. and while the free end of the rope attached to that weapon. the occasional sudwhich he seemed to inspire the rest of the herd. A whale wounded (as we afterwards learned) in a cause which at first the intervening distance obscured from us. he was now ments. though surrounded by circle upon circle of con. amid the tornadoed Atlantic of my being. serenely revelled in dalliance and delight. palling spectacle enough.Moby Dick And thus. was nothing to what at last met our eyes. It is done by darting a shorthandled cutting-spade.and in the extraordinary agony of the wound. wounding and murdering his own comrades. but not effectually. This terrific object seemed to recall the whole herd from 374 . So that tormented to madness. as it seemed. by sundering or maiming his gigantic tail-tendon.this part. carrying along with him half of the harpoon line. was owing to den frantic spectacles in the distance evinced the activity of the other boats.

men—pull. the entire host of whales came tumbling upon their inner centre. for having clumped together at last in one dense body. never mind their backs—scrape them!— scrape away!” The boat was now all but jammed between two vast black bulks. seizing the helm— ”gripe your oars. “Oars! Oars!” he intensely whispered. they then renewed their onward flight with augmented fleetness. stand by! Shove him off. as if to pile themselves up in one common mountain. A low tion was cheaply purchased by the loss of Queequeg’s hat. now! My God. the submarine bridal-cham. Yes. men. then giving way rapidly. and likewise to secure one which Flask had killed and waifed. both to mark its place on the sea. the whales forming the margin of But by desperate endeavor we at last shot into a temporary our lake began to crowd a little. the long calm was departing. opening. and clutch your souls. Further pursuit was useless. in more and more contracting been one of the outer circles. the sudden tossing of a pair of broad flukes close by. while standing in the bows to prick the fugitive whales. leaving a narrow Dardanelles between their long lengths.Herman Melville their stationary fright. are inserted upright into the floating body of a dead whale. but now crossed by random orbits the whales in the more central circles began to swim in whales.breadth escapes. Riotous and disordered as the universal commotion now was. ous masses of block-ice when the great river Hudson breaks had his hat taken clean from his head by the air-eddy made by up in Spring. After many similar hairbegan faintly to heave and swell. but the boats still lingered in their wake to pick up what drugged whales might be dropped astern. men. and which. advancing hum was soon heard. and also as token of 375 . and then like to the tumultuwho. all violently making for one centre. and stay so! Spring. and at the same time earas if lifted by half spent billows from afar. The waif is a pennoned pole. First. This lucky salvathickening clusters. and tumble against each other. you Queequeg—the whale there!— prick him!—hit him! Stand up—stand up. Starbuck taking the stern. Instantly Starbuck and Queequeg changed places. two or three of which are carried by every boat. we at last swiftly glided into what had just bers and nurseries vanished. it soon resolved itself into what seemed a systematic movement. then the lake itself nestly watching for another outlet. when additional game is at hand.

376 .—the more whales the less fish. Such bands are known as schools. even at the present day. They generally are of two sorts. but not old. and there was also then given the probable cause inducing those vast aggregations. though such great bodies are at times encountered. who. but only to be taken. this gentleman is a luxurious Ottoman. CHAPTER 88 Schools and Schoolmasters HE PREVIOUS CHAPTER gave account of an immense T body or herd of Sperm Whales. In cavalier attendance upon the school of females. by some other craft than the Pequod. should the boats of any other ship draw near. yet. and those mustering none but young vigorous males. evinces his gallantry by falling in the rear and covering the flight of his ladies. swimming about over the watery world. In truth. small detached bands are occasionally observed. those composed almost entirely of females. The result of this lowering was somewhat illustrative of that sagacious saying in the Fishery. as they are familiarly designated. Now. The rest contrived to escape for the time.Moby Dick prior possession. Of all the drugged whales only one was captured. as must have been seen. upon any alarm. embracing from twenty to fifty individuals each. you invariably see a male of full grown magnitude. or bulls. as will hereafter be seen.

then is it very diverting to watch that lord. because. sometimes locking them together. ladies often cause the most terrible duels among their rival adIt is very curious to watch this harem and its lord in their indolent ramblings. broken teeth. The contrast between this Ottoman and his conyoung Leviathan coming that way. Gently he insinuates his vast bulk among them again and revels there awhile. scolloped fins. with what prodigious fury the leviathanic proportions. still in tantalizing vicinity to young Lothario. they start for the Oriental waters in anticipation of the cool season there. alas! all fish bed in common. are not Bashaw assails him. They fence with their long lower jaws. presume to draw confidencubines is striking. having just returned. even at full growth.—furrowed heads. and so cheating summer of all unpleasant weariness and warmth. for. inmore than one-third of the bulk of an average-sized male. they are for ever on the move in leisurely search of variety.Herman Melville surroundingly accompanied by all the solaces and endearments eye on his interesting family. and all for love. though do what the half a dozen yards round the waist. the embonpoint. while he is always of the largest tially close to one of the ladies. indeed. As ashore. who sometimes come to deadly battle. I dare say. my lord whale keeps a wary mirers. Like fashionables. just so with the whales. Should any unwarrantably pert of the harem. By the time they have lounged up and down the promenade of the Equator awhile. from spending the summer in the Northern seas. perhaps. They deed. if unprincipled young rakes like him are to be permitted are comparatively delicate. the ladies. if any strange suspicious sights are seen. not to exceed to invade the sanctity of domestic bliss. When serenely advancing on one of these journeys. wrenched and dislocated mouths. it cannot be Bashaw will. and so striving for the supremacy like elks that warringly interweave their antlers. and so evade the other excessive temperature of the year. like pious Solomon devoutly wor377 . he cannot keep the most notorious Lothario out denied. that upon the whole they are hereditarily entitled to of his bed. Nevertheless. You meet them on the Line in time for the full flower of the Equatorial feeding season. and chases him away! High times. Not a few are captured having the deep scars of these encounters. and in some instances. But supposing the invader of domestic bliss to betake himself away at the first rush of the harem’s lord.

Granting other whales known as the schoolmaster. and her he takes to wife in the wilderness of waters. as the ardour of youth declines. goes about all alone among the meridians and parallels saying his prayers. though she keeps so many moody secrets. For like certain other omnivorous roving lovers titled this sort of Ottoman whale. forswears. then a love of ease and virtue supplants the love for maidens. Like venerable moss-bearded Daniel Boone. why. As for the there. however admirably satirical. a lone whale—as a solitary Leviathan is called—proves an ancient one. and warning each young Leviathan from his amorous errors. Almost universally. my Lord Whale has no taste for the of Vidocq. sulky old soul. he leaves his anonymous babies all over the world. and so. in short. would very sons and the daughters they beget. nevertheless. our Ottoman enters upon the impotent. is true of all aged Sperm Whales. as years and dumps increase. as the harem of whales is called by the fishermen a school. The schools composing none but young and vigorous males. disbands the harem. that after going to school himthese Grand Turks. Now. those sons and daughnaturally seem derived from the name bestowed upon the harem ters must take care of themselves. but the folly of it. at least. as reflection lends her solemn pauses. he should then go abroad inculcating not what he learned their strength. and hence their unctuousness is small. but some have surmised that the man who first thus enternal help. the fishermen will seldom give chase to one of ter. every baby an exotic. so is the lord and master of that school technically what was the nature of those occult lessons he inculcated into some of his pupils. and grown to an exemplary. and the best of wives she is. for these Grand Turks are too lavish of self. admonitory stage of life. schoolmaster. The same secludedness and isolation to which the schoolmaster whale betakes himself in his advancing years. he will have no one near him but Nature herself. His title. previously mentioned. as a general lassitude overtakes the sated Turk. however much for the bower. repentant. must have read the memoirs that might be named. with only the maitself. and informed himself what sort of a country-schoolnursery. In good time. and traveller. being a great master that famous Frenchman was in his younger days.Moby Dick shipping among his thousand concubines. offer a strong contrast to the harem 378 . It is therefore not in strict characto be in sight.

and herein three-fourths grown. Say you strike and perilous chase and capture of a whale. They soon relinquish this turbulence though. the young males. break up. and when about company. Another point of difference between the male and female taking of this one grand feature. and proverbially the most dangerous to encounter. Thus the most vexatious and violent disputes would often arise gering so near her and so long.a calm. laws and regulations of the whale fishery. a whale may be struck by one vessel. necessitates some account of the schools. they are full of fight. But loose from the ship by reason of a violent storm. universal. HE ALLUSION TO THE WAIF and waif-poles in the last The Forty-barrel-bull schools are larger than the harem chapter but one. were there not some written or unwritten. between the fishermen. snugly tows it alongside. Like a mob of young collegians. harems. of which fun. and her companions swim around her with every token of concern. without risk of life or line.Herman Melville schools. and separately go about in quest are indirectly comprised many minor contingencies. undisputed law applicable to all cases. and drifting far away to leeward.—after a weary schools is still more characteristic of the sexes. that is. are by far the most pugnacious of all Leviathans. sometimes met. in strike a member of the harem school. tumbling round the world at such a reckthe waif may be deemed the grand symbol and badge. as themselves to fall a prey. or forty-barrel-bulls. that no prudent underwriter would insure It frequently happens that when several ships are cruising in them any more than he would a riotous lad at Yale or Harvard. CHAPTER 89 Fast-Fish and Loose-Fish T 379 . sometimes lin. grizzled whales. and be finally killed and captured by another vessel. as they call them. who. all parof settlements. the body may get a Forty-barrel-bull—poor devil! all his comrades quit him. For example. be retaken by a second whaler. then escape. excepting those wondrous grey-headed. and these will fight you like grim fiends exasperated by a penal gout. rollicking rate. and wickedness. less. For while those female whales are characteristically timid.

Likewise a fish is technically fast tive enactment.of cobweb. but the commentaries of surpasses Justinian’s Pandects and the By-laws of the Chi. yet the American fishermen ity at any time to take it alongside. but their boat itself. First: What is a Fast-Fish? Alive or dead a fish is technically fast. by any medium at all controllable by the occupant or occupants. so long as the party waifing it plainly evince their abilever had any written whaling law.— a mast. It was decreed by the when it bears a waif. Yes. People’s Business. where it would be an outrageous moral injustice for one party to claim possession of a whale previously chased or killed by another party. A Loose-Fish is fair game for anybody who can soonest catch it. they were at last. seized.D. I. But what plays the mischief with this masterly code is the admirable brevity of it. a telegraph wire. But others are by no means so scrupulous. True. 1695.the whalemen themselves sometimes consist in hard words nese Society for the Suppression of Meddling with other and harder knocks—the Coke-upon-Littleton of the fist. wherein the plaintiffs set forth that after a hard chase of a whale in the Northern seas. or any other recognised symbol of posStates-General in A. so small are they. But though no other nation has session. these laws might be engraven on a among the more upright and honourable whalemen allowances Queen Anne’s forthing. through peril of their lives. it is all the same. and when indeed they (the plaintiffs) had succeeded in harpooning the fish. or a strand are always made for peculiar cases. II. killed. which necessitates a vast volume of commentaries to expound it. as well as their intention so have been their own legislators and lawyers in this matter. obliged to forsake not only their lines. a nine-inch cable. struck. was that of Holland. Ultimately the defendants (the crew of another ship) came up with the whale. Some fifty years ago there was a curious case of whaletrover litigated in England. and worn round the neck. have provided a system which for terse comprehensiveness These are scientific commentaries. A Fast-Fish belongs to the party fast to it. or the barb of a harpoon. when it is connected with an occupied ship or boat. They to do. an oar. and finally appropriated it before the 380 .Moby Dick Perhaps the only formal whaling code authorized by legisla.

Wherefore the plaintiffs now sued for the These pleadings. case. and hence anybody who afterwards took the fish had a right to them. repenting of that step. and had once had her fast. after in vain trying to bridle his wife’s viciousness. con. the lady then became that subsequent gentleman’s property. it (the fish) acquired a property in those articles. A common man looking at this decision of the very learned Judge. because it was a Loose-Fish at the time of the final capture. Erskine was counsel for the defendants. the controverted whale. and only by reason of the great stress of her plunging viciousness. But ploughed up to the primary rock of the matter. ergo. the two great principles laid down in the twin whaling laws previously quoted. In the course of the defence. and line. amples of the whale and the lady were reciprocally illustrative and boat.Herman Melville very eyes of the plaintiffs. that though the gentleman had originally harpooned the lady. Erskine was on the other side. Now the defendants afterwards took the fish. and the harpoons and line because when the fish made off with them.—That as Mr. harpoons. and boat. and assured them that by way of doxology to the Now in the present case Erskine contended that the exdeed he had done. had at last abandoned her upon the seas of life. the merely abandoned it to save their lives. but that with regard to witty Erskine went on to illustrate his position. wherein a gentleman. he would now retain their line. because they had Ellenborough was the judge. had at last abandoned her. their captain snapped his fingers in the plainin her. to wit. harpoons. and applied and elucidated by Lord Ellenborough in the above cited case. yet abandon her he did. the whale. he instituted an action to recover possession of her. might possibly object to it. tiffs’ teeth. and he then supported it by saying. and therefore when a subsequent gentleman re-harpooned her. line. so that she became a loose-fish. And when those defendants were along with whatever harpoon might have been found sticking remonstrated with. these 381 . being duly heard. but in the course of years. he awarded it to the plaintiffs. they belonged to the defendants. which had remained attached to the whale at the of each other. and the counter pleadings. recovery of the value of their whale. the very learned Judge in set terms decided. Lord for the boat. time of the seizure. by alluding to a recent crim. the aforesaid articles were theirs. harpoons.

what is that but a Fast-Fish? What is the ruinous discount which Mordecai. whereof possession is the whole of the law? What to the rapacious landlord is the widow’s last mite but a Fast-Fish? What is yonder undetected villain’s marble mansion with a door-plate for a waif. but a Loose-Fish and a Fast-Fish. That is internationally and universally applicable. What are so.000 but a Fast-Fish? What are the Duke of Dunder’s lumbus struck the Spanish standard by way of waifing it for his royal master and mistress? What was Poland to the Czar? What Greece to the Turk? What India to England? What at last will Mexico be to the United States? All Loose-Fish. Brother Jonathan. the kindred doctrine of Loose-Fish is still more widely sion? But often possession is the whole of the law. the whole of the law? Is it not a saying in every one’s mouth. will. is Texas ture. the Temple of the Law. in which Cobut Fast-Fish. gets from poor Woebegone. What are the Rights of Man and the Liberties of the World but Loose-Fish? What all men’s minds and opinions but LooseFish? What is the principle of religious belief in them but a Loose-Fish? What to the ostentatious smuggling verbalists are the thoughts of thinkers but Loose-Fish? What is the great globe itself but a Loose-Fish? And what are you. too? 382 . Possession is half of But if the doctrine of Fast-Fish be pretty generally applithe law: that is. but a Fast-Fish? And concerning all these. like the Temple of the Philistines. the bankrupt.Moby Dick two laws touching Fast-Fish and Loose-Fish. but a Fastdence. be found the fundamentals of all human jurispruredoubted harpooneer. what is that ruinous discount but a Fast-Fish? What is the Archbishop of Savesoul’s income of £100. the broker. for notwithstanding its complicated tracery of sculp. is poor Ireland.Fish? What to that apostolic lancer. regardless of how the thing came into possescable. on a loan to keep Woebegone’s family from starvation. I say. the sinews and souls of Russian serfs and Republican slaves What was America in 1492 but a Loose-Fish. is not Possession has but two props to stand on. reader. John Bull. on hereditary towns and hamlets but Fast-Fish? What to that reflection.000 seized from the scant bread and cheese of hundreds of thousands of broken-backed laborers (all sure of heaven without any of Savesoul’s help) what is that globular £100.

which office directly from the crown. all the royal emolutaken along with the context. had after a hard chase succeeded in killing and beaching a fine whale which they had “De balena vero sufficit. and form. et regina originally descried afar off from the shore. Now as this law. in CHAPTER 90 Heads or Tails L 383 . 3. had weaous respects a strange anomaly touching the general law of rily hauled their fat fish high and dry. and as it offers in variwith their trowsers rolled high up on their eely legs. I believe. It seems that some honest mariners of Dover. specially renies. si rex habeat caput.good £150 from the precious oil and bone. By some writers this office is called a sinecure. in the whale. or some one of the Cinque Ports. Ports are partially or somehow under the jurisdiction of a sort of policeman or beadle. no intermediate remainder. Now the Cinque caudam. that of all whales ments incident to the Cinque Port territories become by ascaptured by anybody on the coast of that land. I proceed to lay before you a circumstance that happened within the last two years. King. 3. A divitimes in fobbing his perquisites. or Sandwich. Holding the ATIN FROM THE BOOKS of the Laws of England. which are his chiefly by virtue sion which. up steps a served for the accommodation of royalty. under a modified Now when these poor sun-burnt mariners. is much like halving an apple. promising themselves a Fast and Loose-Fish. as Honourary Grand Harpooneer. bare-footed. called a Lord Warden. C. it is here treated of in a separate chap. In the first place. must have the head. the signment his. and good ale with their crorailways to be at the expense of a separate car. is to this day in force in England. But not so. there is of that same fobbing of them. upon the strength of their respective shares. means. Because the Lord Warden is busily employed at and the Queen be respectfully presented with the tail. L. on the same courteous principle that prompts the English sipping rare tea with their wives.Herman Melville curious proof of the fact that the above-mentioned law is still in force.” Bracton. and in fantasy ter.

At length one of them. and his Grace the stranger. an honest clergyman of the town respectfully addressed a note to his Grace. under the circumstances. and laying it upon the “I thought to relieve my old bed-ridden mother by part of whale’s head. with “It is his.” Fast-Fish. and received the money. and some expense.” all round.” “Is the Duke so very poor as to be forced to this desperate mode of getting a livelihood?” some small degree be deemed. the whale was seized and sold.” Upon this the poor “It is his. To which my Lord Duke in substance replied (both letters were published) that he had already done so. my masters. a rather hard one. on all hands coercing alms of beggars? It will readily be seen that in this case the alleged right of the 384 . Thinking that viewed the hard heart of the learned gentleman with the copy of in some particular lights. we getting nothing at all for our pains but our blisters?” “It is his.” mariners in their respectful consternation—so truly English— “Won’t the Duke be content with a quarter or a half?” knowing not what to say. he says— “Hands off! this fish. “Please. and peril. made bold to speak.” “We have been at great trouble.” a copy of Blackstone under his arm. standing at the corners of the three kingdoms. after long scratching about for his ideas. I seize it as the Lord Warden’s. sir. or at all soften Duke of Wellington received the money. meanwhile ruefully glancing from the whale to the In a word. fall to vigorously scratching their heads “It is his. and would be obliged to the reverend gentleman if for the future he (the reverend gentleman) would decline meddling with other people’s business. who is the Lord Warden?” “The Duke. is a my share of this whale. and is all that to go to the Duke’s benefit.” “But the duke had nothing to do with taking this fish?” “It is his.Moby Dick very learned and most Christian and charitable gentleman. begging him to take the case of those unfortunate mariners into full consideration. But that did in nowise mend the matter. the case might by a bare possibility in Blackstone. Is this the still militant old man.

And matters. certain limitations. both royal property under 385 . which is a sad mistake for a sagacious lawyer like Prynne. But Plowdon gives us the reason for it. symbolically regarded.” or Queen-pinmoney. But is the Queen a mermaid. thus there seems a reason in all things. that ye Queen’s wardrobe may be supplied with ye whalebone. I know not that any other auoriginally invested with that right.Herman Melville Duke to the whale was a delegated one from the Sovereign. ye lawyers! In his treatise on “Queen-Gold. to be presented with a tail? An allegorical meaning may lurk here. the King receiving the highly dense and elastic head peculiar to “because of its superior excellence. one William Prynne.” Now this was written at a time when the black limber bone of the Greenland or Right whale was largely used in ladies’ bodices. and nominally supplying the tenth branch of We must needs inquire then on what principle the Sovereign is the crown’s ordinary revenue. Plowdon. an old King’s Bench author. the whale so caught belongs to the King and Queen. There are two royal fish so styled by the English law writers—the whale and the sturgeon. even in law. The law itself has already thor has hinted of the matter.” And by the soundest com. but by inference it seems to me been set forth. But why should the King have the head. it is in the head. Says that the sturgeon must be divided in the same way as the whale. which. But this same bone is not in the tail. thus discourseth: “Ye tail is ye Queen’s.that fish. may possibly be humentators this has ever been held a cogent argument in such morously grounded upon some presumed congeniality. and the Queen the tail? A reason for that.

Yet T WAS A WEEK or two after the last whaling scene reare there those who will still do it.E. and this second smelt in the sea. Pequod’s deck proved more vigilant discoverers than the three Coming still nearer with the expiring breeze. a whale that has died unmolested on the sea. So intolerable indeed is it regarded by some.” said Stubb. and hovered. and by the eddying cloud of vulture sea-fowl that circled. leaving their defunct bodies almost entirely bankrupt Presently. whale seemed even more of a nosegay than the first. and there in the CHAPTER 91 The Pequod Meets The Rose-Bud I 386 . mid-day sea. that no cupidity could persuade them to moor alongside of it. worse than an Assyrian of this Leviathan. what an “In vain it was to rake for Ambergriese in the paunch unsavory odor such a mass must exhale. Browne. that is. It may well be conceived. we saw that the pairs of eyes aloft. “that somewhere turned out to be one of those problematical whales that seem hereabouts are some of those drugged whales we tickled the to dry up and die with a sort of prodigious dyspepsia. when the living are incompetent to bury the inquiry. whose furled sails betokened that some sort of whale must be alongside. insufferable fetor denying not city in the plague. it “I will bet something now. that the many noses on the and by no means of the nature of attar-of-rose. vapoury. A peculiar and not very pleasant smell was Frenchman had a second whale alongside. and so floated an unappropriated corpse.” Sir T.Moby Dick distance lay a ship. or indiother day. In truth. it was plain that the whale alongside must be what the fishermen call a blasted whale. departed. and when we were slowly sailing over a sleepy.” gestion. the vapours in advance slid aside. V. and swooped around him. the oil obtained from such subjects is of a very inferior quality. notwithstanding the fact that counted. As we glided nearer. the stranger showed French colours from his peak. I thought they would keel up before long.

I wonder now if our old man has thought of whales. in the proper place we shall charity’s sake. Issuing from the cabin. some one. wouldn’t be fit to burn in a jail. by chopping up and trying out these three masts of ours.” he banteringly laughed. but look ye. aye. no. he perceived that in accordance with the fanciful French taste. I mean. however much he may shun blasted whales cell. though. so that whether or no. than The Pequod had now swept so nigh to the stranger. we all know these things. and for thorns had copper spikes projecting from it here and there. and pulled off for the stranger. pass round a hat. the upper part of her stem-piece was carved in the likeness of a huge drooping stalk. now that I think of Stubb vowed he recognised his cutting spade-pole entangled it. I’m for it. I’ll agree to get more oil in general. aye. that he’ll get from that bundle of bones. or Rose-bud. Nevertheless. with no hope of escaping except by its breezing up again.Herman Melville of anything like oil. sometimes lowering their boats for breakers. Drawing across her bow. and sometimes sailing from their port with their hold full of boxes of tallow candles. Poor devil! I say. it may contain something worth a good deal more than oil. in large gilt letters. and is content too with scraping the dry bones of that other precious fish he has there.for the quarter-deck.”—Rose-button. not in a condemned such a whale as this. and cases of snuffers. Upon her head boards. the whole terminating in a symmetrical folded bulb of a bright red colour. he read “Bouton de Rose. the Pequod was now fairly entrapped in the smell. and this was the roman387 . foreseeing that all the oil they will get won’t be enough to dip the Captain’s wick into. It’s worth trying. in the lines that were knotted round the tail of one of these yes. yes. For what oil he’ll get from that drugged whale see that no knowing fisherman will ever turn up his nose at there. why. the drugged whale there. mistaking them for Sperm Whale spouts. ambergris. now. here’s a Crappo that is content with our leavings. stand.” and so saying he started “There’s a pretty fellow. Yes. ing in the ship’s bows. was painted green. “there’s a jackal for ye! I well know that these Crappoes of Frenchmen are but poor devils in the fishery. Stubb now called his boat’s crew. that. and let’s make him a present of a little oil for dear By this time the faint air had become a complete calm. And as for the other whale.

sufficiently explained the whole to him. yet the word rose. or that I didn’t have any nose at all!” answered the Guernsey-man. but how like all creation it smells!” Sir! No!” Upon which Ahab retired. there?” said Stubb. who turned out to be the chief-mate. will ye. “What’s the matter with your nose. good bye now. “But what are you holding yours for?” “Oh. “Well. and the bulbous figure-head Then rapidly pulling back towards the Pequod. he had to pull round the bows to the starboard side. with one hand still to his nose.” nose in a sort of bag. and so talk over it. have you seen the White Whale?” “What whale?” “The white Whale—a Sperm Whale—Moby Dick. Cachalot Blanche! White Whale—no. on deck. 388 .” inscription. He now perceived that the Guernsey-man. ain’t it? Air rather gardenny. I have to hold it on. then. who did not seem to relish the job he was at very much. have ye seen him? “Never heard of such a whale. then. he bawled—”Bouton-de-Rose. eh?” he cried with his hand to his moulded his two hands into a trumpet and shouted—”No. he “A wooden rose-bud. my Bouton-de-Rose-bud. Ahab leaning over the quarter-deck rail awaiting his report. Bouton-de-Rose?” “What in the devil’s name do you want here?” roared the Guernseyman. throw us a bunch of posies.” rejoined a Guernsey-man from the bulwarks. and was using a cutting-spade. nothing! It’s a wax nose. “that will do very well.Moby Dick tic name of this aromatic ship. “Broke it?” “I wish it was broken. Fine day. nose. I should say. who had just got and thus come close to the blasted whale. into the chains. flying into a sudden passion. ahoy! are there any of you Bouton-de-Roses that speak English?” “Yes. “Very good. had slung his Arrived then at this spot. and Stubb returned to Now in order to hold direct communication with the people the Frenchman. and I’ll call again in a Though Stubb did not understand the bouton part of the minute. and seeing put together.

this is his first voyage. and turning to the Guernsey-man had a little chat with him. but. and lookup one. and mayhap he’ll believe ings of the day. dipped oakum in coal-tar. that it’s all nonStubb was struck by a shower of outcries and anathemas sense trying to get any oil out of such whales? As for that dried proceeding from the Captain’s round-house abaft. The sailors. This was the tormented won’t believe it. in tasselled caps of red worsted. and with that he soon mounted to the deck. Others having broken the stems of their pipes almost short off at the bowl. so that the two quickly concocted a little plan for both circumventing and satirizing the Captain. during which the stranger mate expressed his detestation of his Captain as a conceited ignoramus. Now and then pairs of them would drop their work. he hasn’t a gill in his whole carcase. and at intervals held it to their nostrils. had betaken himself to the Captain’s roundyou. Stubb further perceived that the Guernsey-man had not the slightest suspicion concerning the ambergris. There a queer scene presented itself.” house (cabinet he called it) to avoid the pest. Sounding him carefully. who had brought them all into so unsavory and unprofitable a pickle. there. and so I’ll get out of this dirty scrape. that’s the word! why don’t you puffing tobacco-smoke.” rejoined Stubb. But they worked rather slow and talked very fast.Herman Melville “Oh! keep cool—cool? yes. but otherwise was quite frank and confidential with him. could “Anything to oblige ye. so that it constantly filled their pack those whales in ice while you’re working at ‘em? But olfactories. All their noses upwardly projected from their faces like so many jibbooms. Some thinking they would catch the plague. which was held ajar from within. d’ye see. who. were getting the heavy tackles in readiness for the whales. but still. he was a Cologne manusurgeon.” ing in that direction saw a fiery face thrust from behind the “I know that well enough. after in vain remonstrating against the proceedfacturer before. were vigorously not help yelling out his entreaties and indignations at times. Marking all this. if he won’t me. without his at all dreaming of distrusting their sincerity. Rose-bud. the Captain here door. do you know. But come aboard. though. joking aside. Stubb argued well for his scheme. and run up to the mast-head to get some fresh air. my sweet and pleasant fellow. and seemed in anything but a good humor. He therefore held his peace on that head. According to this little 389 .

the sea-captain. with six sailors. yes. and as for Stubb.” “He says. “you may as well begin by telling him that he looks a sort of babyish to me. mand a whale-ship than a St. that he’s very happy to have been of any service to us. when the Captain had returned to them.” Hearing this. and in a loud voice commanded his crew to desist from hoisting the cutting-tackles. is far more deadly than the blasted one. the captain vowed that they were the grateful 390 . was to tell the Captain what he pleased. however. and (aside to himself) perhaps somebody else. that the other whale. eyeing the velvet vest and the watch and seals.” He was a small and dark. “Why. Monsieur. tell him I’ve diddled him.” said Stubb. In fact. but as coming “Why. to cut loose this gentleman. though I don’t pretend to be a judge. Instantly the captain ran forward. had all died of a fever caught from a blasted whale they had brought alongside. who at once ostentatiously put on the aspect of interpreting between them. from me he’s a baboon. Jago monkey. you may as well tell him now that— that—in fact. in fine.” Guernsey-man. whose captain and chief-mate. “What now?” said the Guernsey-man. wore a red cotton velvet vest with watch-seals at his side. he conjures us. and dried one.” “He says. the Guernsey-man. and at once cast loose the cables and chains confining the whales to the ship. “that only yesterday his ship spoke a vessel. office. as we value our lives. since he takes it so easy. turning to his captain. “Why. Monsieur. in French. he was to utter any nonsense him carefully. Stubb was now politely introduced by the from these fish. with large whiskers and moustache. tell him By this time their destined victim appeared from his cabin. and eagerly desired to know more. “What shall I say to him first?” said he. under cover of an interpreter’s “What now?” said the Guernsey-man to Stubb.Moby Dick plan of theirs. To Monsieur. let me see. Monsieur.” said the Guernsey-man. tell him that now I have eyed from Stubb. but rather delicate looking man for a “He vows and declares. I’m quite certain that he’s no more fit to comthat should come uppermost in him during the interview.” Upon this the captain started.

he thrust both hands in. Stubb was beginning to look disappointed.” said the proceeded to reap the fruit of his unrighteous cunning. eagerly helping their chief. and pull the ship crew were all in high excitement. with delight. then. While the Frenchman’s boats. when suddenly from out the very heart of this plague. His boat’s then Monsieur had best drop all four boats. Whereupon Stubb quickly pulled to the floating body. “Thank him heartily. there stole a faint stream of perfume.Herman Melville parties (meaning himself and mate) and concluded by inviting whale. and yelling. “a purse! a purse!” Dropping his spade. at once “He wants you to take a glass of wine with him.” cried Stubb. but tell him it’s against my principles to a little behind the side fin.” By this time Stubb was over the side. Stubb down into his cabin to drink a bottle of Bordeaux. and getting into his boat. In fact. Monsieur. and ducking. it was like turning up old drinking. striking something in the subterranean regions. he would do what he could to help them. he commenced an excavation in the body. and drew out 391 . Roman tiles and pottery buried in fat English loam. the Frenchman soon increased his distance. ostentatiously slacking out a most unusually long tow-line. but that if Monsieur wants to live another day to drink. and fighting around them. for it’s so calm they won’t drift. and screaming. and when at length his “He says. tell him I must go. as one river will flow into and then along with another. without at all blending with it for a time. Stubb benevolently towed away at his whale the other way. especially as the horrible nosegay increased. hoisting his boats. away from these whales. by pulling out the lighter whale of the two from the ship’s side. that his principles won’t admit of his spade struck against the gaunt ribs. I have it. You would almost have thought he drink with the man I’ve diddled. and hailing the Pequod to give notice of his intentions. And all the time numberless fowls were diving. hailed the Guernsey-man to this effect. which flowed through the tide of bad smells without being absorbed by it. Presently a breeze sprang up.” was digging a cellar there in the sea. Seizing interpreter. “I have it. Stubb feigned to cast off from the whale. were engaged in towing the ship one way. while the Pequod slid in between him and Stubb’s and looking as anxious as gold-hunters. his sharp boat-spade.—that having a long tow-line in his boat.

You might easily dent it with your thumb. and still more. OW THIS AMBERGRIS is a very curious substance.Moby Dick handfuls of something that looked like ripe Windsor soap. brittle. for beads and ornaments. precious candles. like amber itself. and so highly fragrant and spicy. and in 1791 a certain Nantucket-born Captain Coffin come on board. Though the word ambergris is but the French compound for grey amber. was examined at the bar of the English House of Commons on that subject. used for mouth-pieces to pipes. but ambergris is soft. yet the two substances are quite distinct. good friends. very unctuous and savory withal. And this. and indeed until a comparatively late day. Besides. in pastiles. Some six handfuls were obtained. For at that time. it is of a hue between yellow and ash colour. amber is a hard. worth a gold guinea an ounce to any druggist. waxy. that it is largely used in perfumery. but more was unavoidably lost in the sea. For amber. and pomatum. perhaps. a problem to the learned. odorless substance. the precise origin of ambergris remained. transparent. might have been secured were it not and so important as an article of commerce. and also CHAPTER 92 Ambergris N 392 . is ambergris. else the ship would bid them good bye. though at times found on the sea-coast. is also dug up in some far inland soils. hairpowders. or rich mottled old cheese. that for impatient Ahab’s loud command to Stubb to desist. whereas ambergris is never found except upon the sea. The Turks use it in cooking.

but cutting up the fresh blubber in small bits. round. then. unless by administering three or four boat loads of whales.but cannot. to flavor it. and then running out of harm’s way. that such fine ladies and gentlemen I should like to conclude the chapter with the above appeal. Elsewhere in this volume the slanderous aspersion has Brandreth’s pills. in its rudimental manufacturing stages. Cofew grains into claret. thrust it through the bung holes of large casks. is the worst. more than two centuries ago. in the estimation of some alsupposed to be the cause. but it afterwards turned out that they were nothing more than pieces of small squid bones embalmed in that manner. the shortness of the season in those Icy Seas. try out their oil at sea as the Southern ships have always done. Paul in Corinthians. By some.Herman Melville carry it to Mecca. that the vocation of whaling is throughout a slatternly. logne-water. that it is plainly traceable to the first arrival of the Greenland whaling ships in London. Peter’s in Rome. untidy business. how that we are sown in dishonour. owing to my anxiety to repel a charge often made ous bowels of a sick whale! Yet so it is. They hint that all whales always smell bad. But there is another thing to rebut. of the ready biased minds. and do not now. and by others the effect. Some wine merchants drop a forget not the strange fact that of all things of ill-savor. is this nothing? Bethink thee of that saying of St. for the same purpose that frankincense is Paracelsus about what it is that maketh the best musk. Now that the incorruption of this most fragrant ambergris should be found in the heart of such decay. Who would think. Because those whalemen did not then. might be considered as indirectly subdyspepsia in the whale. but raised in glory. and carry it home in that manner. I have forgotten to say that there were found in this ambergris. Now how did this odious stigma originate? I opine. as laborers do in blasting rocks. and which. certain hard. bony plates. forbid393 . and the sudden and violent storms to which they are exposed. about corruption and incorruption. ambergris is against whalemen. How to cure such a dyspepsia it were stantiated by what has been said of the Frenchman’s two hard to say. And likewise call to mind that saying of been disproved. should regale themselves with an essence found in the inglori. which at first Stubb thought might be sailors’ trowsers buttons. Also carried to St.

nor can whalemen be in the Greenland dock. I say. that the motion of a Sperm Whale’s flukes above Schmerenburgh or Smeerenberg. a savor is given forth somewhat similar recognised. when. As its name imports ( or dead. Nor indeed can the foundations of a Lying-in-Hospital. and in the state that it is casked. of a Dutch village called air. it is true. which latter name is the one water dispenses a perfume. after completely filling her hold with oil. The truth is. if but decently treated. fat-kettles. and redolent with myrrh. that this wicked charge against whalers thing. consume fifty days in the business of boiling out. as when a musk-scented lady used by the learned Fogo Von Slack. he enjoys such high health. by the nose. as a general I partly surmise also. always out of doors. this village was founded in order to afford a place for the blubber of the Dutch whale fleet to be tried out. without being taken home to Holland for that purpose. whale possibly be otherwise than fragrant. What then shall I liken the Sperm Whale to for fragrance. considering his magnitude? Must it not be to that famous elephant. which was led out of an Indian town to do honour to Alexander the Great? 394 . fat. whales as a species are ing into the hold. a text-book on that subject. and when the works were in full operation certainly gave forth no very pleasant savor. taking abundance of exermay be likewise imputed to the existence on the coast of cise. perhaps. though. in former times. The consequence is. by no means creatures of ill odor. in his great work on Smells. does not. that rustles her dress in a warm parlor. berg.Moby Dick ding any other course. seldom in the open Greenland. for the tect a Jew in the company. as the people of the middle ages affected to deto that arising from excavating an old city grave-yard. and unloading one of these whale cemeteries. and oil sheds. which in a voyage of four years perhaps. with jewelled tusks. But all this is quite different with a South Sea Sperm Whaler. to put up). the oil is nearly scentless. that upon break. It was a collection of furnaces.

freer relish than any other race. nificant of the Pequod’s crew. luridly illumined by strange wild fires. that fictitiously showed It was so in the Pequod with the little negro Pippin by nick. for even blackness has its Now. Pip by abbreviation. clumsy. But Pip loved life. the year’s calenand which ended in providing the sometimes madly merry and dar should show naught but three hundred and sixty-five Fourth predestinated craft with a living and ever accompanying prophof Julys and New Year’s Days. Some few hands are reserved called ship-keepers.him off to ten times the natural lustre with which in his native name. man. though of dissimilar colour. But while hapless Dough-Boy was by nature dull and torpid in his intellects. For blacks. nets. it is not every one that goes in the brilliancy. Pip. genial.Herman Melville midnight. that this little black was brilliant. In outer aspect. like a black pony and a white one. jolly brightness peculiar to his tribe. that a most significant event befell the most insiga tribe. in the end was destined to be wight in the ship. Poor Pip! ye have heard of him Tolland County in Connecticut. behold yon lustrous ebony. had most sadly blurred his as hardy fellows as the men comprising the boats’ crews. though over tender-hearted. these ship-keepers are accountably become entrapped. panelled in king’s cabiboats. what was thus if there happen to be an unduly slender. he had once enlivened many a before. so whose province it is to work the vessel while the boats are that the panic-striking business in which he had somehow unpursuing the whale. or timorous temporarily subdued in him. so gloomy-jolly. Nor smile so. of equal developments. which ever enjoy all holidays and festivities with finer. that wight is certain to be made a ship-keeper. Pip and Dough-Boy made a match. as ere long will be seen. was at bottom very bright. But brightness. As a general thing. though. and all life’s peaceable securities. driven in one eccentric span. T WAS BUT SOME FEW DAYS after encountering the French with that pleasant. in the whale ship. while I write ecy of whatever shattered sequel might prove her own. an event most lamentable. ye must remember his tambourine on that dramatic CHAPTER 93 The Castaway I 395 .

for he might often find it needful. 396 . Then come out those fiery effulgences. The involuntary consternation of the moment will healthful glow. That ininfernally superb. afterwards. that part of the slack whale line coming against his a gloomy ground. not by the sun. the boat paddled upon the his gay ha-ha! had turned the round horizon into one starwhale. and in you the diamond in its most impressive lustre. remorselessly dragged there by the line. with Now upon the second lowering. temporarily. once the stant the stricken whale started on a fierce run. “Cut?” Meantime Pip’s blue. and so the whale was lost and Pip was saved. that in the ambergris affair Stubb’s afteroarsman chanced so to sprain his hand. and at melodious even-tide. the line swiftly divinest symbol of the crystal skies. So. suspended tomary rap. as for a time to become quite maimed. out of the boat. and presto! poor Pip came all foaming up to the chocks of the boat. yet. in this instance. Tashtego stood in the bows. which had taken several turns around his chest and neck. straightened. Pip evinced much nervousness. and as the fish received the darted iron. when the cunning jeweller would show caused him to leap. “Damn him. took care. Pip was put into his place. cut!” roared Stubb. and therefore came off not altogether discreditably. he breasted it overboard with him. though in the clear air of day. but by chest. when at last plumping into the water. entangled in it. the pure-watered diamond drop poor Pip’s seat.Moby Dick fiddler’s frolic on the green. so as to become some unnatural gases. and then lights it up. Do. In less than half a minute. It came to pass. though Stubb observing him. it gave its cusbelled tambourine. this entire thing happened. The first time Stubb lowered with him. He was full of the fire of the hunt. But let us to the story. he lays it against such a way. then the evil-blazing diamond. to exhort him to cherish his courageousness to the utmost. and. and turning towards Stubb. which happened. to be right under against a blue-veined neck. looks like some crownjewel stolen from the King of Hell. choked face plainly looked. He hated Pip for a poltroon. for that time. exclaimed interrogatively. escaped close contact with the whale. he suspended its sharp edge over the line. Snatching the boat-knife from its sheath. paddle in hand. but happily. for God’s sake! All passed in a flash.

to swim in the open ocean is as easy to the practised swimmer as to ride in a spring-carriage ashore. and don’t jump any more. curling. head of cloves. he would be leaving him too wide a margin to jump in for the future. Never jump from a boat. and concluded with a peremptory command. and hence. permitting these irregular cursings to evaporate. Alas! Stubb was but too true to his word. Bobmotto in whaling. business-like. The substance was. Now. though the loftiest and the brightest. assailed by yells and execrations from the crew. Moreover. in Alabama. Stubb’s inexorable back was turned upon him.” Hereby perhaps Stubb indirectly hinted. when the a plain. a whale would sell for thirty times what you would. the poor little negro was But we are all in the hands of the Gods. a whole mile of shoreless ocean was between Pip and Stubb. in general. Out from the centre of the sea. Tranquilly It was under very similar circumstances to the first performance. advice ever is. We can’t afford to lose whales by the likes of you. Pip was left behind on the sea. except—but all the rest was indefinite. stick to the boat. as the soundest and cool. Pip’s ebon head showed like a from the boat. unofficially gave him much whole. and Pip jumped again. another lonely castaway. Stubb suddenly dropped all advice.Herman Melville So soon as he recovered himself. my God! who can tell it? Mark. black head to the sun. The intense concentration of self in the middle of such a heartless immensity. some advice. But the awful lonesomeness is intolerable. is your true like gold-beater’s skin hammered out to the extremest. blue day. the spangled sea calm Pip. mind that. It was a beautiful. in calm weather. Bear that in mind. and flatly stretching away. like a hurPip officially. Pip. bounteous. how when sailors in a dead calm bathe in the open sea—mark how closely they hug their 397 . Pip. that though man loved his fellow. Stubb then in but this time he did not breast out the line. or by the Lord. cursed whale started to run. to the horizon.ried traveller’s trunk. No boat-knife was lifted when he fell so rapidly astern. “Stick to the boat. all round. In three minutes. yet man is a money-making animal. Now. I won’t pick you up if you jump. but cases will sometimes happen when leap bing up and down in that sea. is still better. and that done. but still half humorous manner. poor Pip turned his crisp. which propensity too often interferes with his benevolence. and the whale was winged. as if perceiving at last that if he should give undiluted conscientious advice to Pip.

and such instances not mad. though. man comes at last to that celestial thought. Because there were his hoarded heaps. it will then be seen what like abandonment befell myself. and pick him ent. suddenly spying whales close to them on one side. that Pip’s ringed horizon began to expand around him miserably. and spoke it. Pip saw the multitudinous. feels then uncompromised. at least. heartless.Moby Dick ship and only coast along her sides. such considerations towards oarsmen jeopthe colossal orbs. is absurd and frantic. all mortal reason. indeed. but drowned the infinite of his soul. and gave chase. Not drowned entirely. shapes of the unwarped primal world glided to and fro before But had Stubb really abandoned the poor little negro to his his passive eyes. God-omnipreswould of course come up to Pip very quickly. Wisdom. 398 . so called. they said he was. For the rest. almost invariably in the fishery. evertwo boats in his wake. and in the sequel of the narrative. So man’s insanity is heaven’s sense. and he and all his crew so intent upon his fish. and among the joyous. and therefore his shipmates called him the hunters in all similar instances. at least. and he supposed. though. no doubt. blame not Stubb too hardly. and weal or woe. but from that hour the little negro went about the deck an idiot. is marked with the same ruthless detestation peculiar to military navies and armies. indifferent as his God. He saw God’s foot upon the treadle of the ardized through their own timidity. is not always manifested by loom. and wandering from unfrequently occur. coral insects. turned. to reason. But it so happened. The thing is common in that fishery. a coward. that they juvenile eternities. that those boats. The sea had jeeringly kept his finite body up. where strange which. such. By the merest chance the ship itself at last rescued him. he did not mean to. Rather carried down alive to wondrous depths. without seeing Pip. and the miser-merman. that out of the firmament of waters heaved up. and Stubb’s boat was now so far away. revealed fate? No.

rare virtue in allaying the heat of anger. HAT WHALE OF STUBB’S. I squeezed that duty! No wonder that in old times this sperm was such a CHAPTER 94 A Squeeze of the Hand T 399 . even to the baling of the broke to my fingers. trated tissues. here and of any sort whatsoever. I felt divinely free from all ill-will. or Case. fully ripe grapes their wine. or petulance. Such a clearer! such a sweetener! such a softener! such a delicious molifier! After having my hands in it for only a few minutes. my fingers felt like eels. and gliding so serenely along. I forgot all about our horrible oath. as I snuffed up that uncontamiWhile some were occupied with this latter duty. I squeezed squeeze these lumps back into fluid. so soon as filled lets. others were nated aroma. As I sat there at my ease. began to credit the old Paracelsan superstition that sperm is of It had cooled and crystallized to such a degree. like the smell of spring vioemployed in dragging away the larger tubs. I sat down before a large Constantine’s bath. as they richly were regularly gone through. there rolling about in the liquid part. as it were. or malice. was the ship under indolent sail. this same meadow. and when the proper time arrived. ible sperm. so dearly purchased. like Heidelburgh Tun. A sweet and unctuous that sperm till I myself almost melted into it. woven almost within the hour. and discharged all their opulence. under a blue tranquil sky. in that inexpresssperm was carefully manipulated ere going to the try-works. gentle globules of infilcutting and hoisting operations previously detailed. that when. and began. after the bitter exertion at the windlass.Herman Melville favourite cosmetic. where all those bathed my hands among those soft. I declare to you. bath of it. cross-legged on the deck. while bathing in that with several others. to serpentine and spiralise. that for the time I lived as in a musky with the sperm.—literally and truly. I found it strangely concreted into lumps. I washed my hands and my heart of it. as I duly brought to the Pequod’s side. I almost of which anon. It was our business to Squeeze! squeeze! squeeze! all the morning long.

It is a most refreshing. repeated experiences. and often participating to a considerable degree in its unctuousness. why should we longer cherish any social the whale. taking their hands for the gentle globules. the table. It is plums of rubies. it is hard to keep yourself from eating it. After being severed from dear fellow beings. Would that I could keep squeezing that sperm for ever! For now. I saw long rows of angels in paradise. or know the slightest ill-humor or envy! Come. since by many prolonged. supposing him to have been killed the 400 . it is of an exceedingly rich. that once I stole behind the foremast to try it. let us all squeeze ourselves marble. mis. I am ready to squeeze case eternally. let us squeeze ourselves universally into the very milk and sperm of kindness. and I found other things akin to it. It tasted something as I should conceive a royal cutlet from the thigh of Louis le Gros might have tasted. now that I have perceived all this. dotted with spots of the deepest crimson and purple. the country. the tapering part of the fish. the white-horse is first cut into portable oblongs ere acerbities. Spite of reason. or at least shift. nay.Moby Dick sperm till a strange sort of insanity came over me. the heart. here and there adhering to the blanket of blubber. while discoursing of sperm. into each other. let going to the mincer. so called. It is tough with congealed tendons—a wad of up into their eyes sentimentally.whale for the try-works. and looking of his flukes.—Oh! my muscle—but still contains some oil. the saddle. and also from the thicker portions that at last I was continually squeezing their hands. it behooves to speak of Plum-pudding is the term bestowed upon certain fragmentary parts of the whale’s flesh. his conceit of attainable felicity. I have perceived that in all cases man must eventually lower. As its name imports. convivial. friendly. with a bestreaked snowy and golden ground. not placing it anywhere in the intellect or the fancy. which is obtained from affectionate. First comes white-horse. but in the wife. each with his hands in a jar of spermaceti. Now. I confess. Such an abounding. In thoughts of the visions of the night. the fireside. mottled tint. in pictures of citron. as much as to say. beautiful object to behold. in the business of preparing the sperm myself unwittingly squeezing my co-laborers’ hands in it. the bed. loving feeling did this avocation beget. They look much like blocks of Berkshire us squeeze hands all round.

Nippers. Meanwhile. the thing he stands on will sometimes irresistibly slide away from him. They generally go in pairs. this apartment is a scene of terror to all tyros. and much of which covers the decks of those inferior souls who hunt that ignoble Leviathan.Herman Melville first day after the venison season. leathern squilgee. When the proper time arrives for cutting up its squeezing. Gurry. With his gaff. and even so is the talk with its inmates. On one side. ruptured membranes of the case. is about the size of the iron part of season contemporary with an unusually fine vintage of the vine. the gaffman hooks on to a sheet of blubber.a hoe.— a pike-and-gaffman and a spade-man. The whaling-pike is similar to a frigate’s boarding-weapon of the same name. coalescing. after a prolonged from the whale. But as applied by whalemen. 401 . stringy affair. is a term properly belonging to right whalemen. This spade is sharp as hone can make it. which allures along with it all impurities. It is an ineffably oozy. especially by night. is at once to descend into the blubber-room. as the ship pitches and lurches about. and subsequent decanting. lit by a dull lantern. it operates like a yards of Champagne. perpendicularly chopping it into the portable horse-pieces. The gaff is something like a boat-hook. when stript and hoisted most frequently found in the tubs of sperm. the spademan’s feet are shoeless. Strictly this word is not indigenous to the whale’s vocabulary. glutinous substance which is scraped off the back of the Greenland or right whale. but sometimes incidentally used by the sperm fishermen. so called. and for the rest. a space has been left clear for the workmen. as of magic. and strives to hold it from slipping. There is another substance. the spade-man stands on the sheet itself. and that particular venison thickness. Edgewise moved along the oily deck. This place has previously been mentioned nature of the substance. and by nameless blandishments. and a very singular one. your best way very puzzling adequately to describe. It designates the dark. as the receptacle for the blanket-pieces. and have a long an appellation original with the whalemen. but which I feel it to be But to learn all about these recondite matters. It is called slobgollion. I hold it to be the wondrously thin. turns up in the course of this business. A whaleman’s nipper is a short firm strip of tendinous stuff cut from the tapering part of Leviathan’s tail: it averages an inch in contents. it becomes so.

would you be very much astonished? Toes are scarce among veteran blubber-room men. its likeness was. or. Such an idol as that found in the secret groves of Queen Maachah in Judea.Moby Dick like a sledge. Not the wondrous cistern in the whale’s huge head. which you would have seen there. and had you strolled forward nigh the windlass. and jet-black as Yojo. and for worshipping which. lying along lengthwise in the lee scuppers. CHAPTER 95 The Cassock H the Pequod at a certain juncture of this post-mortemizing of the whale. her son. and destroyed the idol. not the miracle of his symmetrical tail. as half a glimpse of that unaccountable cone. indeed. pretty sure am I that you would have scanned with no small curiosity a very strange. And an idol. it is.—longer than a Kentuckian is tall. in old times. enigmatical object. If he cuts off one of his own toes. the ebony idol of Queequeg. and burnt it for an abomination at the AD YOU STEPPED ON BOARD 402 . nigh a foot in diameter at the base. or one of his assistants’. not the prodigy of his unhinged lower jaw. rather. none of these would so surprise you. did depose her. King Asa.

occupying a conspicuous pulpit. it is taken down. planted endwise against the bulwarks. as what a candidate for an archbishopric. Extending it upon the forecastle deck. called the mincer. staggers off were this mincer!* with it as if he were a grenadier carrying a dead comrade from the field. towards the pointed extremity. and then cutting two slits for arm-holes at the other end. Immemorial to all his order. intent on bible leaves. First Book of Kings. and assisted by two allies. This done he turns the pelt inside out. he now proceeds cylindrically to remove its dark pelt. to dry. as an African hunter the pelt of a boa. It enjoins him to be careful. this investiture alone will adequately protect him. and at last hangs it. when removing some three feet of it. gives it a good stretching. and cut his work into as thin slices as possible. well spread. in the rigging. Ere long. and its quantity considerably increased. heavily backs the grandissimus.Herman Melville brook Kedron. black. while employed in the peculiar functions of his office. what a lad for a Pope the mariners call it. so as almost to double its diameter. as darkly set forth in the 15th chapter of the a capacious tub beneath it. who now comes along. and with bowed shoulders. an operation which is conducted at a curious wooden horse. besides perhaps improving it in quality. and with *Bible leaves! Bible leaves! This is the invariable cry from the mates to the mincer. fast as the sheets from a rapt orator’s desk. like a pantaloon leg. Arrayed in decent Look at the sailor. The mincer now stands before you invested in the full canonicals of his calling. inasmuch as by so doing the business of boiling out the oil is much accelerated. into which the minced pieces drop. he lengthwise slips himself bodily into it. That office consists in mincing the horse-pieces of blubber for the pots. 403 .

this reservoir is kept replenished with water as fast as it evapotened hatchway. penetrated by the two an almost solid mass of brick and mortar. they are kept remarkably clean. directly underneath the pots. will descend from any point in precisely the same time. with the soapstone diligently circling round me. etry all bodies gliding along the cycloid. that in geomported to her planks. over the iron lips. by face by ponderous knees of iron bracing it on all sides. Sometimes they are polished with soapstone and sand.Moby Dick pots. sloping. Removing this hatch we expose the great try- CHAPTER 96 The Try-Works B 404 . side by side—many confidential communications are outwardly distinguished by her try-works. It is as if from the open field a brick-kiln were transwas first indirectly struck by the remarkable fact. my soapstone for exThe try-works are planted between the foremast and ample. mainmast. The timbers beRemoving the fire-board from the front of the try-works. fitted to sustain the weight of bare masonry of that side is exposed. The intense heat of etrate the deck.mathematical meditation. and five in height. some ten feet by iron mouths of the furnaces. till they shine within like silver punch-bowls. that I ship. She pre carried on. the neath are of a peculiar strength. It is a place also for profound sents the curious anomaly of the most solid ma. but the masonry is firmly secured to the surthe fire is prevented from communicating itself to the deck. By a tunnel inserted at the rear. an American whaler is each pot. On the flanks it is cased with closed surface of the works. and means of a shallow reservoir extending under the entire inscrewing it down to the timbers.mouths are fitted with heavy doors of iron. wood. It was in the left hand try-pot of the sonry joining with oak and hemp in constituting the completed Pequod. the most roomy part of the deck. bat. two in number. and at top completely covered by a large. These eight square. and each of several barrels’ capacity. When not in use. The foundation does not pen. During the night-watches some cynical old sailors will crawl into them and coil themselves away there for a nap. While employed in polishing them—one man in ESIDES HER HOISTED BOATS.

and illuminated every lofty rope in fire the works. and inhale it you must. In a word. or a self-consuming misanthrope. It has an unspeakable. the crisp. the rear wall. still contains considerable of its unctuous properties. There are no external chimneys. once ignited. for the carpenter had the rigging. Here be it said that in a whaling voyage the first fire in the deed. shrivelled blubber. It belonged to ing. then. with broad sheets of flame for sails. But that darkness Stubb to oversee the business. and folded them in conflagrations. except as a means of quick ignition to the staple fuel. 405 . now called scraps or fritters. as with the famed Greek fire. The smoke rolled away in sullen heaps. You cook. Canaris. and start her. curling. the whale supplies his own fuel and burns by his own body. By midnight the works were in full operation. The hatch. With huge pronged poles they pitched hissing masses of blubber into the scalding pots. It smells like the left wing of the day of judgment. or stirred up the fires beneath. they open direct from is an argument for the pit. After that no wood is used. The burning ship been thrusting his shavings into the furnace throughout the pasdrove on. but you must live in it for the time. Hindoo odor about it. These fritters feed the flames. and not only that.Herman Melville rates. Standing on this were the Tartarean shapes of the pagan harpooneers. the wind was freshenworks were first started on this present voyage.” This was an easy thing. the wild ocean darkness was intense. Like a plethoric burning martyr. removed from the top of the works. Would that he consumed his own smoke! for his smoke is horrible to inhale. now afforded a wide hearth in front of them. after being tried out. sail had been made. bore down upon the Turkish frigates. it Hydriote. wild. To every pitch of the ship there was a pitch of the boiling oil. such as may lurk in the vicinity of funereal pyres. So the pitch and sulphur-freighted brigs of the bold try-works has to be fed for a time with wood. was licked up by the fierce flames. We were clear It was about nine o’clock at night that the Pequod’s try. which at intervals forked “All ready there? Off hatch. always the whale-ship’s stokers.from the carcase. as if remorselessly commissioned to some vengeful sage. till the snaky flames darted. out of the doors to catch them by the feet. issuing from their midnight harbors. And here let us go back for a moment. which seemed all eagerness to leap into their faces. forth from the sooty flues.

and laden with fire. narrated to each other their unholy adventures.Moby Dick Opposite the mouth of the works. by the steady binnacle lamp illuminating it. rushing thing I stood on 406 . in their front. Their tawny features. spite of all this. till their eyes felt scorched saw the redness. was the windlass. on the further side of the So seemed it to me. sofa. and the sea leaped. As they ness which ever would come over me at a midnight helm. now and then made ghastly by flashes of redness.soul. a strange (and ever since inexpliterror told in words of mirth. I but the better looking into the red heat of the fire. the madness. though it seemed but a minute since I had been watching the card. which leaned against it. The jaw-bone tiller smote my side. and for long wide wooden hearth. Starting from a brief standing sleep. in my ears was the low hum of sails. in darkness myself. and scornfully champed the white bone in her mouth. as to and fro. that whatever swift. as the wind howled on. as their uncivilized laughter forked upwards out of them. all these were strangely re. and viciously spat round her on all sides. then the rushing Pequod. Uppermost was the impression. Here lounged the watch. I was half conscious of putting my fingers to the lids and mechanically stretching them still further apart. and the contrasting smoke and half in fire. like the flames from the furnace. and the ship groaned and dived. the harpooneers wildly gesticulated with their huge pronged forks and dippers. But. seemed the material counterpart of her monomaniac commander’s soul. I could see no compass before me to steer by. as I stood at her helm. freighted with savages. their tales of But that night. for that interval. their matted beards. when not otherwise employed. just beginning to shake in the wind. I thought my eyes were open. cable) thing occurred to me. capering half in smoke and sweat. in particular. This served for a seahours silently guided the way of this fire-ship on the sea. so soon as I began to yield to that unaccountable drowsivealed in the capricious emblazonings of the works. these at last begat kindred visions in my barbaric brilliancy of their teeth. Wrapped. the ghastliness of others. now all begrimed with continual sight of the fiend shapes before me. Nothing seemed before me but a jet gloom. and plunging into that blackness of darkness. I was horribly conscious of something fatally wrong. The in their heads. and burning a corpse. and yet steadfastly shot her red hell further and further into the blackness of the sea and the night.

nor all the havens astern. Pascal. O man! Never dream with thy hand on the helm! Turn not thy back to the compass. and very probably cap. With was fronting the ship’s stern. and therefore jolly. just in time to prevent rows. and the fatal contingency of being brought by the lee! Look not too long in the face of the fire. In an instant I faced back. and walks fast crossing graveyards. as of death. How glad and how grateful the relief from this unnatural hallucination of the night. But he who dodges hospitals and jails. which is the dark side of this the crazy conceit that the tiller was. A stark. the skies will be bright. he says. calls Cowper. deaden thee. with my back to her prow and books the same. and Ecclesiastes the vessel from flying up into the wind. and which is two thirds of this earth. glad sun. to fire. and the truest of all books is Solomon’s.Herman Melville was not so much bound to any haven ahead as rushing from all nor Rome’s accursed Campagna. therefore. and would rather talk of operas than hell. when its redness makes all things look ghastly. but with The sun hides not the ocean. “the man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain” (i. lest it invert thee. came millions of miles of deserts and of griefs beneath the moon. poor devils all of sick men. as for the time it did me. in the natural sun. My God! what is the matter with me? mortal man who hath more of joy than sorrow in him. So.” All. somehow. the morn will show in far other. accept the first hint of the hitching tiller.e. Convulsively my hands grasped the tiller.” Give not thyself up. in some enearth. believe not the artificial fire. over me. bewildered feeling. Lo! in my brief sleep I had turned myself about. that thought I. at least gentler.. 407 . “All is vanity. inverted. and break the green damp mould with unfathomably wondrous Solomon. This sizing her. or undeveloped. wilful world hath not got hold of unchristian Solomon’s wisdom yet. even while living) “in the congregation of the dead. The truest of all men was the Man of Sorthe compass. But even Solomon. To-morrow. and mortal man cannot be true—not true. Rousseau. nor wide Sahara. those who glared like devils in the forking flames. that chanted way. the only true lamp—all others but liars! Nevertheless the sun hides not Virginia’s Dismal Swamp. golden. then. the glorious. Young. relief. and throughout a care-free lifetime swears by Rabelais as passing the fine hammered steel of woe.—not that man is fitted to sit down on tomb-stones.

And even if he for ever flies within the gorge. He makes his berth an Aladdin’s lamp. a score of lamps flashing upon his hooded eyes. so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than other birds upon the plain. that gorge is in the mountains. But the whaleman. and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces.Moby Dick There is a wisdom that is woe. There they lay in their triangular oaken vaults. where the off duty watch were sleeping. so that in the pitchiest night the ship’s black hull still houses an illumination. for one single moment you would have almost thought you were standing in some illuminated shrine of canonized kings and counsellors. And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges. and stumble in darkness to his pallet. each mariner a chiselled muteness. To dress in the dark. but there is a woe that is madness. so he lives in light. and lays him down in it. In merchantmen. even though they soar. oil for the sailor is more scarce than the milk of queens. and eat in the dark. as he seeks the food of light. See with what entire freedom the whaleman takes his handful of lamps—often but old bottles and vials. though—to the 408 . this is his usual lot. CHAPTER 97 The Lamp AD YOU DESCENDED from the Pequod’s try-works H to the Pequod’s forecastle.

He goes and hunts for his oil. therefore. how. in due time. like Shadrach. or astral contrivances ashore. and. in its unmanufactured. how he is then towed alongside and beheaded. even as the traveller on the prairie hunts up his own supper of game. as mugs of ale at a vat. and how (on the principle which entitled the headsman of old to the garments in which the beheaded was killed) his great padded surtout becomes the property of his executioner. lunar. the purest of oil. He burns. he is condemned to the pots. his spermaceti. CHAPTER 98 Stowing Down and Clearing Up LREADY HAS IT BEEN RELATED how the great levia A than is afar off descried from the mast-head. if I may—the romantic proceeding of decanting off his oil into the casks and striking them down into the hold. how he is chased over the watery moors. so as to be sure of its freshness and genuineness.Herman Melville copper cooler at the try-works. where once again leviathan returns to his 409 . and replenishes them there. It is sweet as early grass butter in April. a fluid unknown to solar. oil. unvitiated state.—but now it remains to conclude the last chapter of this part of the description by rehearsing—singing. and Abednego. and slaughtered in the valleys of the deep. and bone pass unscathed through the fire. and. Meshach. too.

go as many ham. and and try-works. this is perhaps one of the most remarkable incidents in all the business of whaling. and prick your rolling this way and that in the midnight sea. This done. perhaps. and all is cool. the smoke white as just after what they call an affair of oil. All the numerous implements which have been in use are likewise faithfully cleansed and put away. alas! never more to rise and blow. the ship is pitching and But a day or two after. like a closet walled up. ners go about suffused with unctuousness. the hatches are replaced. every sailor is a cooper. Hands go diligently along the bulwarks. and with buckets of water and rags restore them to their full tidiness. and hermetically closed. This is the reason why the decks never look so mers as can play upon them. from the ashes of the burned scraps of the whale. and whenever any adhesiveness from the back of the whale remains clinging to the side. you would all but swear you trod some silent sometimes perilously scoot across the slippery deck. completely hiding the pots. but. and down go the casks to their final rest in the sea. and were it not for the tell-tale boats casks are slewed round and headed over. and while. with a most scrupulously neat commander. Besides. In the sperm fishery. The great hatch is scrubbed and placed upon the try-works. is received into the great leviathan himself. and all round the hoops. and when by the combined and simultaneous industry of almost the en410 . like hot punch. while on all hands the din is deafening. the entire ship seems While still warm. the oil. you look about you. the enormous ears in this self-same ship. every cask is out of sight. rap. for now. on the sacred quarterdeck enormous masses of the whale’s head are profanely piled. the marifore. rap. end for end. like so merchant vessel. six-barrel casks. a potent lye is readily made. as in a brewery yard. many land virtue. that lye quickly exterminates it. At length.Moby Dick native profundities. great rusty casks lie about. when the last pint is casked. sliding along beneath the surface as befrom the try-works has besooted all the bulwarks. One day the planks stream with freshets of blood and oil. the bowels of the ship are thrown open. all tackles are coiled in unseen nooks. till at last man-handled and stayed in their The unmanufactured sperm oil possesses a singularly cleanscourse. ex officio. The soot is brushed from the lower rigging. then the great hatchways are unsealed.

and go through hanging to the top. of their clean frocks. when. then the crew themselves proceed to their own their very sweatings to be smoked and burned anew by the ablutions. were little short of audacity. when. did die. killing! Yet this is life. and learned to live here in clean tabernacles of the soul. at the three mast heads. cleansed ourselves from its defilements. that in bright Greece. think of having blows!” and away they fly to fight another whale. infallibly will again soil the old oaken furniture. foolish as I am. taught thee. and in last concluded. which. on the heel of all this. a green simple boy. two thousand years ago. stand three men intent on spying out more whales. but this is manpiazza of the forecastle. if caught. just buttoning the necks threes. object not to taking tea by moonlight on the the whole weary thing again. when from the boat. fresh and all aglow. continuing straight through for ninety-six hours. Away. and humorously discourse of parlors. and make a spotless dairy room Now. and blubber. and drop at least one small grease-spot somewhere. so wise. so good. and go through young life’s old routine again. For hardly have we mortals by long toilings extracted from this world’s vast bulk its small but valuable sperm. propose to mat the deck. and finally issue to combined fires of the equatorial sun and the equatorial trythe immaculate deck. after the severest uninterrupted labors. To hint to such musked mariners of oil.—they only step to the deck to carry vast chains. and away we sail to fight some other world. they pace the planks in twos and of it. and bring us napkins! But mark: aloft there. and many is the time. the whole of this conscientious duty is at and heave the heavy windlass. many is the time the poor fellows. Oh! my friends. Oh! the metempsychosis! Oh! Pythagoras. sofas. yea. and then. I sailed with thee along the Peruvian coast last voyage—and.Herman Melville tire ship’s company. how to splice a rope! 411 . when—there she blows!—the ghost is spouted up. They know not the thing you distantly allude to. hardly is this done. with weary patience. carpets. Yes. so mild. with elated step. they have finally bestirred leaped from out the daintiest Holland. which know no night. where they have swelled their wrists with all day rowing on the Line. and cut and slash. and bone. are startled by the cry of “There she and fine cambrics. themselves to cleanse the ship. as bridegrooms newworks. shift themselves from top to toe.

as though now for the first time beginning to interpret for himself in some monomaniac way whatever significance might lurk in them. For it was set apart and sanctified to one he still wore the same aspect of nailed firmness. he halted before the binnacle. only dashed awe-striking end. pace his quarter-deck. that glance shot like a javelin passed by ruthless hands. as the approach. When immaculate to any foulness. untouchable and there strangely eyeing the particular object before him. as they do hills about Boston. else all things are little worth. but in the multiplicwhere out of the heart of gorgeous hills. he was wont to pause in turn at each spot. the head-waters of many a Pactolus how that sometimes in these walks. he seemed man. and through the livelong nights with the pointed intensity of his purpose. when most plunged in his flows. and however wanton in their sailor ways. taking regular turns at either Now this doubloon was of purest. whence. though placed amongst a ruthless crew and every hour pointed needle in the compass. yet. And some certain significance lurks in all things. Sometimes they talked it over in the weary watch by to be newly attracted by the strange figures and inscriptions CHAPTER 99 The Doubloon 412 . with a certain wild longing. the mariners revered it as the white whale’s talisBut one morning. the binnacle and mainmast. over golden sands. nevertheless every sunrise found the doubloon where same riveted glance fastened upon the riveted gold coin there. and when resuming shrouded with thick darkness which might cover any pilfering his walk he again paused before the mainmast. and the round world itself but an empty cipher. virgin gold. turning to pass the doubloon. and stand bolts and the verdigris of copper spikes. one and all. except to sell by the cartload. east and ity of other things requiring narration it has not been added west. the sunset left it last.E Moby Dick stamped on it. to fill up some morass in the RE NOW it has been related how Ahab was wont to Milky Way. if not hopefulness. then. with his glance fastened on the Nor. And though now nailed amidst all the rustiness of iron mood. it still preserved its Quito glow. raked somelimit.

back his own mysterious self. On its round border it bore the letters. the courageous. is Ahab. the undaunted. from one a flame. not unobserved by othwould ever live to spend it. sun’s disks and stars. Great pains. the equinox! and but six months before he wheeled out of a former equinox at Aries! From storm to storm! So be it. on the third a crowing cock. and whether he Before this equatorial coin. then! Here’s stout stuff for woe to work on. Born in throes. to each and every man in turn but mirrors It so chanced that the doubloon of the Pequod was a most wealthy example of these things. in the unwaning clime that knows no autumn. The firm tower. and all other grand and lofty things. I have never 413 . while arching over all was a segment of the partitioned zodiac. Here palms. then. so Spanishly poetic.” “No fairy fingers can have pressed the gold. Methinks now this coined sun wears a ruddy face. which. by passing through those gold is but the image of the rounder globe. ers. the and rich banners waving.” murmured Starbuck to himself. So this bright coin came from a country planted in the middle of the world. peaks as proud as Lucifer. horns-of-plenty. magician’s glass. Zoned by those letters you saw the likeness of three Andes’ summits. small gains for those who ask the world to solve them. look here. ecliptics. but devil’s claws must have left their mouldings there since yesterday. and so that the precious gold seems almost to derive an added victorious fowl. that is Ahab. the signs all marked with their usual cabalistics. ‘t is fit that man should live in pains and die in pangs! So be it. all are Ahab. he enters the sign of storms. a tower on another. and this round preciousness and enhancing glories. Now those noble golden coins of South America are as med“There’s something ever egotistical in mountain-tops and towals of the sun and tropic token-pieces. and it had been cast midway up the Andes.Herman Melville night. alpacas. it cannot solve itself. that. was now pausing. too. and named after it. then. but see! aye. Republica del Ecuador: Quito. are in luxuriant profusion stamped. and beneath the great equator. that is Ahab. So be it. ers.—three and volcanoes. volcano. “The old man seems to read Belshazzar’s awful writing. leaning against the bulwarks. wondering whose it was to be at last. Ahab. like a fancy mints. and the keystone sun entering the equinoctial point at Libra.

I regard this as queer. lest Truth shake me falsely. and the sun.Moby Dick marked the coin inspectingly. and significant in wonders! 414 . A with plenty of gold moidores and pistoles. What then should there be in this doualmost seem the Trinity. And all from looking at a piece of gold. to nac and as I have heard devils can be raised with Daboll’s cheer. Aye. and there goes Starbuck from the same. I will quit it. arithmetic. hem. mildly. the let me read it once. at midnight. he’s always among ‘em. and both with faces which I should say might be somewhere within nine fathoms long. your doubloons of Peru. the fact is. insignificant opinion. which did I have it now on Negro Hill or in Corlaer’s Hook. and Daboll’s arithmetic go. I’ll get the almaif we lift them. Taurus. now. Well. the great sun is no fixture. and what my almanac below calls ditto. here they are—here they go—all alive:—Aries. your doubloons of Chili. or the Twins. That’s my small experience. we gaze queer curvicues here with the Massachusetts calendar. Let’s see now. and Bowditch’s navigator. Hem. heaven-abiding peaks. in some faint earthly symbol. let me read. but still sadly to me. Signs and wonders. If we That. “he’s been twigging it. the bright sun meets our glance half way. Humph! in my poor. You’ll do to give us the bare words and facts. and joes. Signs and wonders. the sun he wheels among ‘em. the dark vale shows her mouldy soil. truly. your doubloons of Popayan. hem. is what old Bowditch in his Epitome calls the zobend down our eyes. eh? Pity if there is nothing wonderful in signs. your doubloons of old Spain. Yet. I’ll try my hand at raising a meaning out of these we would fain snatch some sweet solace from him. Book! you lie there. and quarter joes. you books must know your places. that joes. I’d not look at it very long ere spending it. Halloa! here’s signs and wonders truly! sun of Righteousness still shines a beacon and a hope. your doubloons of Bolivia. and half dark valley between three mighty. but we come in to supply the thoughts. but diac. Here’s for him in vain! This coin speaks wisely. God girds us round. the book. and over all our gloom. here on the coin he’s just crossing the threshold between two of twelve sitting-rooms all in a ring. or the Ram. oh. or the Bull and Jimimi! here’s Gemini himself. so far as the Massachusetts calendar. and if. I have seen doubloons before now in my voyagings.” “There now’s the old Mogul.” soliloquized Stubb by the tryworks. He goes below. So in this bloon of the Equator that is so killing wonderful? By Golconda! vale of Death.

here comes our old Manxman— the old hearse-driver. He luffs up before the doubloon. halloa. we escape. or the Goat. or the Archer. we are curing the wound. your zodiac here is the life of every year. is amusing himself. the Virgin! that’s our first love. There’s whoever raises a certain whale. There. as Scorpio. does jolly Stubb. so here goes Flask aloft to spy ‘em out. he’s cer the Crab. or the Water-bearer. Almanack! To begin: there’s Aries. lies in the path—he gives a few fierce “I see nothing here. dodge round he bumps us the first thing. So. But. when pop comes Libra. wait a bit. Doubloon. then Gemini. he must have been.Herman Melville There’s a clue somewhere. and headlong we are tossed. full tilt. that’s nine hundred and sixty cigars. and here. and the sun goes through it have it! Look you. avast. and to wind up with Pisces. hist—hark! By Jove. stand aside! here’s the battering-ram. and yet comes out of it all alive and hearty. and goes round on the other side of the mast. and here’s nine hundred and sixty of them. straight out he. if it be really wise it has a foolish look to it. writ in high heaven. and at two cents the cigar. he’ll out with something presently. Come. alow of the book. Sagittarius. what’s all this staring been about? It is worth sixteen dollars. I won’t smoke dirty pipes like Stubb. or the Bull— Doubloon! But stop. we sleep. or the here. that is. when Aquarius. or the Twins—that is.” Leo. or the Fishes. and hail Virgo. yet. he begets us. then. now. we try to reach Virtue. So. that’s true. Oh. a roaring Lion. Jollily man in one round chapter. As we pluck out the shafts. the try-works. why. or the Scorpion. and while we are very sad about that. Capricornus. Taurus. before he took to the sea. I a sermon now. Lord! how we suddenly jump. he comes rushing. then has it a sort of wiseish look to it. and let’s hear what he’ll have to say. beginning. pours out his whole deluge and drowns us. Virtue and Vice. Ram—lecherous dog. there’s a horse415 . and bites and surly dabs with his paw. but a round thing made of gold. stings us in the rear. when lo! comes Can. here comes little King-Post. aloft there.he’s before it. now. going from Virtue. and now I’ll read it off.” “Shall I call that wise or foolish. and drags us back. wheels through toil and trouble. but I like cigars. this round thing belongs to him. if it be really foolish. jolly’s the word for aye! Adieu. so. and so. we marry and think to be happy for aye. or the Scales—happiness weighed and found wanting. when whang come the arrows all round.

or in the bowels. he takes it for an old button off some king’s and hear him. he looks. old ship! my old head shakes to think of thee. or the Archer. ye look. as the old women talk Surgeon’s Astronomy in the back country. that mean? Hark! he’s muttering—voice like an old worn-out Fedallah. you look. depend upon it. you look. oakum in the toes of coffee-mill. they were taught me two and more. and I’m a crow. ye. right opposite the gold.” “And I. looking at his thigh bone. or in the calf.Moby Dick shoe nailed on that side. and know their marks. you. Prick ears. All sorts of men in one kind of world.” “I look. that’s funny. what does trowsers.sun on the coin—fire worshipper. I suppose. ye look. when the sun stands in some one of these signs. he’s found something there in the vicinity of his thigh—I guess it’s Sagittarius. And by Jove. Now. they look. or I. for there all of these interpreters—myself included—and look now. and listen!” his pumps as usual. Stand away again The lion is the horse-shoe sign—the roaring and devouring lion. What says the Cannibal? As I live he’s comparing notes. But. he it is. we look. This way comes Pip—poor boy! would he had score years ago. with that look of his? “If the White Whale be raised. he’s half horrible to me. And what’s the horse-shoe sign? comes to read. tail coiled out of sight as usual. thinks the sun is in the thigh. only makes a sign to the sign and bows himself. Caw! caw! caw! caw! caw! caw! Ain’t I a crow? And 416 . Dodge again! here comes Queequeg—all tattooing—looks like the signs of the Zodiac himself. aside again! here comes that ghost-devil. in died. I’ve stud. are all bats. by the old witch in Copenhagen. Hark!” “I look. and now he’s back again. but still one text. poor fellow! But what’s that he says now— hist!” “I look. they look. and he. you see. you look.” “Why. ye look. What does he say.” “There’s another rendering now. He too has been watching what sign will the sun then be? The horse-shoe sign. Ho! more ied signs. he’s been studying Murray’s Grammar! Improving his mind. he looks. and we. we look. and they. with that unearthly idiot face. No: he don’t know what to make of the doubloon. they look. it must be in a month and a Ah. there is a day. he’s getting it by heart—hist! again.” “Well. Ship. he looks. we look.” “Upon my soul. especially when I stand a’top of this pine tree here.

for the present. Trumpet to mouth. Any way. cook! and cook us! Jenny! hey. once more hailing a ship showing English when aught’s nailed to the mast it’s a sign that things grow desperate. hey. AHOY! Hast seen the White Whale?” consequence? Then again. he’ll nail ye! This is colours. How did it get there? And so they’ll say clining in his own boat’s bow. that hung round him in festoons of find a doubloon lodged in it. I can stand the rest. if it stays here. “See you this?” and withdrawing it from the folds that had hey. I’ll quit Pip’s vicinity. “Here’s the ship’s navel.Herman Melville where’s the scare-crow? There he stands. termi- CHAPTER 100 Leg and Arm 417 . the gold! the precious. too crazy-witty for my sanity. and found a silver ring grown over in it. his ivory leg plainly revealed to the stranger captain. but he’s The Pequod. so. fine-looking man. cut down a pine old man was standing in his hoisted quarter-boat. precious. in old Tolland county. who was carelessly retree once. and good-natured. and what’s the “SHIP. unscrew your navel. and two more poked into the sleeves of an old jacket. hey. dressed in a spacious roundabout. gold! the green miser’ll blue pilot-cloth. Ha. some old darkey’s wedding ring.” Meets the Samuel Enderby. Oh. in the resurrection. bearing down under the stern. Jenny! and get your hoe-cake done!” hidden it. My father. this doubloon here. that is ugly. He was a darkly-tanned. of sixty or thereabouts. two bones stuck into a pair of old trowsers. he held up a white arm of sperm whale bone. the a pine tree. with bedded oysters for the shaggy bark. Cook! ho. burly. “Hast seen the White Whale!” blackberrying. too. hey.” “Wonder if he means me?—complimentary!—poor lad!—I could go hang myself. for they have plain wits. ha! old Ahab! the White Whale. So. Jenny. when they come to fish up this old mast. and they are all on fire to unscrew it. But. I leave him muttering. for So cried Ahab. of London. of Nantucket. and one empty arm of this jacket streamed behoard ye soon! Hish! hish! God goes ‘mong the worlds hind him like the broidered arm of a hussar’s surcoat.

now clean and dry. because the strange captain. In the side.legged man must be too much of a cripple to use their sea nious and very handy mechanical contrivance peculiar to the Pequod. and tossing about circumstance that befell him. Ahab now found himself abjectly reduced to a clumsy landsman again. observing at a glance how affairs stood. Now. And in the present instance.Moby Dick nating in a wooden head like a mallet. deprived of one leg. and the massive curved blubber-hook. It has before been hinted.” As good luck would have it. and then giving the word. who at once comprehending it all. held himself fast. without quitting his little craft. and which indirectly sprang from the oars near him—”Stand by to lower!” his luckless mishap. Ahab had forgotten that since and swinging towards him a pair of tastefully-ornamented manthe loss of his leg he had never once stepped on board of any ropes. for the great swells now lift the boat high up towards the bulwarks. and the strange ship of course being altogether unsupplied with the kindly invention. But this awkwardness only lasted a minute. was still attached to the end. and then instantaneously drop it half way down to the kelson. leaning over of the stranger. he and Ahab. the excitement of the moment. like whalemen—to clamber up a ship’s side from a boat on the open sea. hopelessly eyeing the uncertain changeful height he could hardly hope to attain. and a thing not to be rigged and shipped in any other vessel at a moment’s warning. impetuously. for at first they did not seem to bethink them that a onevessel at sea but his own. cried out. almost invariably irritated or exasperated In less than a minute. they had had a whale alongside a day or two previous. This was quickly lowered to Ahab. But here a curious difficulty presented itself. all this was heightened by his crew were dropped to the water. it is no very easy matter for anybody—except those who are almost hourly used to it. So. and swing over the cutting-tackle. or the crotch of an apple tree). boys. by the perpendicular ladder of nailed cleets there. “I see. bannisters. and at the same time also helped to hoist his own 418 . I see!—avast heaving there! Jump. and the great tackles were still aloft. slid his solitary thigh into the curve of the hook (it was like sitting in the fluke of an anchor. perhaps. and were soon alongside the sight of the two officers of the strange ship. and then it was always by an inge. that every little untoward “Man my boat!” cried Ahab.

putting out his ivory leg. “how was it?” “It was the first time in my life that I ever cruised on the Line. hearty! let us shake bones together!—an arm milky-white head and hump. as he did so. with a way. Well.” began the Englishman. that my boat’s crew could only trim dish. that went milling and milling his ivory arm frankly thrust forth in welcome. but we didn’t know it then.” cried Ahab. how long ago?” “The White Whale. d’ye see.” said the Englishman. too. Where did’st thou see the White Whale?— suspended breath. then. and a leg “It was he. exultingly—”but on!” “Give me a chance. it was he!” cried Ahab. on the Line.” “Aye. Soon he was carefully swung inside the four or five whales. “Aye. and taking a rueful sight along it. by pulling hand-over-hand upon one of the running Whale at that time. with the white head and hump. and goes to snapping furiously at my fast-line! “Aye. now sliding down from the capstan.” and a leg!—an arm that never can shrink. last season. as if it had been a telescope. too?” “Spin me the yarn. so that 419 . at least. all crows’ feet and wrinkles. Presently up breaches the ivory arm (like two sword-fish blades) cried out in his walrus from the bottom of the sea a bouncing great whale. I see!—wanted to part it. and resting on the Englishman’s shoulder. and that leg. With regular circus horse he was. the other captain round so. pointing his ivory arm towards the East. “Well. aye. “I do not know. this old great-grandfather.” “And he took that arm off. and crossing all their sterns on the outer gunwale. he was the cause of it. suddenly letting out his that never can run. “I was ignorant of the White “And harpoons sticking in near his starboard fin.” continued the one-armed commander. did he?” asked Ahab. but in biting the line. aye—they were mine—my irons.Herman Melville weight. one day we lowered for a pod of parts of the tackle. goodhumoredly. and gently landed upon the capstan head. by sitting advanced. caught there somehow. free the fast-fish—an old trick—I know him. and my boat fastened to one of them. “there I saw him. runs all afoam into the pod.” said the Englishman.” “How it was exactly.” said Ahab. a high bulwarks. and Ahab. it got foul of his teeth. “Aye.

I jumped into my first mate’s boat—Mr. the fish. sir—hearts and souls alive. and the barb of I have a devil of a boat’s crew for a pull on a whale-line). and bore me down to Hell’s flames. but as I was groping at midday. with nothing specific visible. We all struck out. spite of the boiling moment clung to that like a sucking fish. that cursed second iron towing along near me caught me here” seeing all this. I was blind as a bat—both eyes out—all befogged and bedeadened with black foam—the whale’s tail looming straight up out of it. Bunger. Now. my lad.—the captain). when. Seeing how matters stood. I seized hold of my harpoon-pole sticking in him. ship’s surgeon: Bunger. to toss it overboard—down comes the tail like a Lima tower. No use sterning all. To escape his terrible flailings. bounce we came plump cutting my boat in two. which. But a combing sea rage he seemed to be in. Captain—Mounttop. or the tooth it was tangled to might draw (for good dart forwards. like a marble steeple. and at the same instant. had been all the time standing near them.— and that gentleman there will tell you the rest (by the way.Moby Dick when we afterwards pulled on the line. leaving each half in splinters. and patched trowsers. thank the good God. and. and up I floated. all of a sudden. then. to denote his gentlemanly rank on board. that went off to first. in a jiff. I say.” The professional gentleman thus familiarly pointed out. when. all fluking. look you. Lord. and had 420 . d’ye see. went down like a flash. caught me Mounttop’s here (by the way. he was dressed in a faded blue woollen frock or shirt. all crown-jewels. man—the next instant. perpendicular in the air. noble great whale it was—the noblest and biggest I ever saw. captain—Dr. I say. and for a sir. was gunwale and gunwale with mine. flukes on to his hump! instead of the other whale’s. spin your part of the yarn. let this old great-grandfather have it. Mounttop—the captain). just here. “yes. with a blinding sun. then. as though it windward. I was thinking. the white hump backed through the wreck. as I was groping. Bunger boy. (clapping his hand just below his shoulder). But. I say. I jumped into Mounttop’s boat. and snatching the first harpoon. His face was an exceedingly round but sober one. and what a was all chips. And thinking the hap-hazard line dashed me off. the barb ript its way along the flesh—clear along the whole length of my arm—came out nigh my wrist. in my life—I resolved to capture him. taking one would get loose.—as I was saying. after the second iron.

fresh water throws him into the hydrophobia. as the French remark—that I myself—that is to say. sir. then suddenly altering his voice. (Bunger.” said the surgeon. is Dr. but go on—go on with the arm story. at his superior’s introduction of him to Ahab. about three o’clock in the morning. and sending me to bed. I may as well. the wound kept getting worse and worse. you must have ere this perceived. In short. Bunger. “Drinking hot rum toddies with me every night. till he couldn’t see to put on the bandages. Oh! a great watcher. I’d rather be killed by you than kept alive by any other captains. and off it came. heave ahead. casting a critical glance at the ivory limbs of the two crippled boy. But 421 . stood our old many clever things of that sort. and was very severe in my diet. sir”—said the imperturbable godly-looking Bunger. and a pill-box held in the other. late of the reverend clergy—am a strict total abstinence man. that spite of my best and severest endeavors. Oh. boy. But I may as well say—en Sammy—” passant. ye stars! he sat up with me indeed. occasionally ye? You know you’re a precious jolly rascal. it’s a sort of fits to him. slightly “It was a shocking bad wound. taking my advice. he spins us “and. “he never drinks it. the truth was.” interrupted the one-armed captain. very severe!” chimed in the patient himself. more than two feet and several inches long. I knew what was threatened. coolly. I never drink—” “Water!” cried the captain.” began the whale-surgeon. it was as ugly gaping wound as surgeon ever saw. you dog.Herman Melville thus far been dividing his attention between a marlingspike he severe.” “Stood our old Sammy off to the northward.” “Yes. “Samuel Enderby is the name of my ship. laugh out! why don’t held in one hand. he man. half seas over. before Captain Boomer’s facetious interruption.” politely bowed. But it was no use— I did all I could. sir. But. Captain Boomer here. respected bidding. bowing to Ahab— “is apt to be facetious at times. addressing Ahab. was very severe with him in the matter of diet—” “Oh.) But. sat up with him nights. “I was about observing. and straightway went on to do his captain’s “My captain. “go on. to get out of the blazing hot weather there on the Line. and very dietetically Jack Bunger. I measured it with the lead line. it grew black.

that thing is before hinted. I didn’t then know what whale it was that had against all rule”—pointing at it with the marlingspike—”that is served me such a trick. we heard about Moby Dick—as some it. that it is quite impossible for him to completely digest even a man’s arm? And he knows it too. you ought to die in pickle. but which bore not the “Didn’t want to try to: ain’t one limb enough? What should I slightest scarry trace. “oh. I suppose. “but his mother did. gentlemen”—very gravely and mathematically bowing to each Captain in succession— ”Do you know. formerly a patient of mine in Ceylon. to knock call him—and then I knew it was he.” said the captain. when you die. he ordered the carpenter to make ing back to the Line. I don’t. he had that club-hammer there put to the end. sir”—removing his hat. that the digestive organs of the whale are so inscrutably constructed by Divine Providence. or any token of ever having been a do without this other arm? And I’m thinking Moby Dick doesn’t wound—”Well. Do ye see this “Twice. as he tried mine once. yes! Well.” “Well. you rascal.” “What became of the White Whale?” now cried Ahab.” some one’s brains out with. in fact. that making believe swallow jack422 . you solemn rogue. after he sounded. For he never means to swallow a single limb. then. “Did’st thou cross his wake again?” He flies into diabolical passions sometimes. But sometimes he is like the old juggling fellow. he was born with it. we didn’t see him again for some time. and “But could not fasten?” exposing a bowl-like cavity in his skull. gentlemen. the captain there will tell you how that came here. and brushing aside his hair. Oh. till some time afterwards. So that what you take for the White Whale’s malice is only his awkwardness. “give him your left arm for bait to get the right. when comthe captain’s work.” interrupted Bunger. you—you Bunger! was there ever such another Bunger in the watery world? Bunger.” “No. you should be preserved to future ages.Moby Dick I had no hand in shipping that ivory arm there. Do you know.” dent. “Oh!” cried the one-armed captain. he only thinks to terrify by feints. you dog. not mine. he knows. as I bite so much as he swallows. who thus far had been impatiently listening to this by-play between the two Englishmen.

and face set like a flint to his own. swinging the cutting-tackle towards him. for all that. In vain the English Captain hailed him. but. that accursed thing is not always what least allures. and drawing near to Ahab’s arm. No possible way for him to digest that jack-knife.” cried Bunger. since I can’t help it.Herman Melville knives. thank ye. fully incorporate it into his general bodily system. hark ye. don’t you think so. d’ye ing point!—his pulse makes these planks beat!—sir!”—taking see. “He is. and have a mind to ”Man the boat! Which way heading?” pawn one arm for the sake of the privilege of giving decent “Good God!” cried the English Captain. “this man’s blood—bring the thermometer!—it’s at the boilgave him an emetic. He’s all a magnet! How long since thou saw’st him last? Which way heading?” “Bless my soul. Bunger. and that has satisfied me. I the whale have another chance at you shortly. There would be great glory in killing him. and curse the foul fiend’s. and there is a ship-load of precious sperm in him. I know that. and Ahab. “What’s the matter? He was heading east. Captain “Avast!” roared Ahab. he’s best let alone. No more White Whales for me. but not to another one. and the Manilla men were springing to their oars. strangely snuffnest. “he’s welcome to the arm he has. putting a finger on his lip.stoopingly walking round Ahab. and there it stayed for a twelvemonth or more. Captain?”—glancing at the ivory leg. I’ve lowered for him once. once upon a time let one drop into him in good ear. But he will still be hunted. commanded the ship’s sailors to stand by to lower. that’s all. “No. 423 .” think. Ahab stood upright till alongside of the Pequod. only let tion was put. With back to the stranger ship. to whom the quesburial to the other. if you are quick enough about it.” said the English Captain. and he heaved it up in small tacks. Yes.—Is your Captain crazy?” whispering Fedallah. why in that case the arm is yours. In a moment he was standing in the boat’s stern. slid over the bulwarks to take the boat’s steering oar. and a lancet from his pocket. when I ing. and didn’t know him then. and like a dog. dashing him against the bulwarks— Boomer. What is best let alone. But Fedallah.

their mother only knows—and under their immediate our Lord 1775. but in that year ernment was induced to send the sloop-of-war Rattler on a (1775) it fitted out the first English ships that ever regularly whaling voyage of discovery into the South Sea. The RE THE ENGLISH SHIP fades from sight. Be it distinctly recorded here. though for some score of years preby a naval Post-Captain. was soon followed by other ships. and the original of the famous whaling house of Enderby & Sons. boldly rounded Cape Horn. a fine ship. the indefatigable behind the united royal houses of the Tudors and Bourbons. That ship—well called the “Syren”—made a were the first among mankind to harpoon with civilized steel CHAPTER 101 The Decanter E 424 . and was the first among the nations to lower a whale-boat of any sort in the great South Sea. but only in the North and South Atlantic: not elseship of their own. that the Nantucketers ters of Japan. in house again bestirred itself: Samuel and all his Sons—how point of real historical interest. the Amelia. merchant of that city. my auspices. the Amelia’s example after the late Samuel Enderby. I think. comes not far open. fitted out for the express purpose. at their expense. and that for half a century they were the only people of the whole globe who so harpooned him. How long. prior to the year of many. to go on a tasting cruise to the remote wawhere. the Rattler made a rattling voyage of vious (ever since 1726) our valiant Coffins and Maceys of it. But this Nantucket and the Vineyard had in large fleets pursued that is not all. the British govnumerous fish-documents do not make plain. and partly. English and American. be it set down voyage was a skilful and lucky one. But not content with this good deed. and did some service. how much does not appear. Commanded hunted the Sperm Whale. this great whaling house was in existence. In 1778.Moby Dick the great Sperm Whale. a thus the vast Sperm Whale grounds of the Pacific were thrown house which in my poor whaleman’s opinion. the same house fitted out a discovery whale Leviathan. and returning to her berth here. In 1819. and at the sole charge of the vigorous Enderbys. that she hailed from London. and was named with her hold full of the precious sperm.

so that we hung there. and when the squall came (for it’s squally off there by Patagonia). But all in all. in short. very long after old Ahab touched her planks with his ivory heel—it minds me of the noble. for certain. a Nantucketer. small. besides. diluted and pickled it to my taste. and it was thus that the great Japaso top-heavy that we had to swing each other aloft in bownese Whaling Ground first became generally known. and drank good flip down in the forecastle. symmetrically globular. and we ignorantly furled the skirts of our jackets into the in this famous voyage was commanded by a Captain Coffin. and they were all trumps—every soul on board. and all hands—visitors and all—were called to reef topsails. solid. I fancied that you could feel them. The bread—but that couldn’t be helped. It was a fine gam we had. They said it very fast sailer and a noble craft every way. the bread contained the only fresh fare they had. you risked their pitching out of you like billiard-balls. and may my parson forget me. A short life to them. therefore. But the forecastle was not very light. considering the dimensions of the cook’s boilers. though the savage must long ago have slipped his cable for the great South Sea salt spray bursting down the forecastle scuttle. And that fine gam I had—long. it was an anti-scorbutic. rather too much of the other world.Herman Melville noble experimental cruise. and indestructible dumplings. and the devil remember me. reefed fast in the howling gale. However. whose house. I think. Saxon hospitality of that ship. The ship named after him was worthy of the honour. and by and by we scrambled down. the masts did All honour to the Enderbies. and a jolly death. but with body in it. others. being a The beef was fine—tough. If you stooped over too far forward. and we flipped it at the rate of ten gallons the hour. including his own live parchment boilers. but substantial. taking her from truck to helm. how that was. The Syren lines. we were was bull-beef. warning example to all drunken tars. not go overboard. and it was very easy to step over into a dark corner when you ate it. so exists to the present day. I boarded her once at midnight somewhere off the Patagonian coast. that it was dromedary beef. but I do not know. 425 . that we had to pass the flip again. though doubtless the original Samuel sober. a sails. and roll them about in you after they were swallowed. They had dumplings too. Flip? Did I say we had flip? Yes. if I ever lose sight of it.

touching plenty to eat and drink.” or “Fat. the Samuel Enderby was a jolly ship. of soft 426 . and the joke. and the can. assured me that “Dan Coopman” did not mean “The Cooper. The aboundman. “Smeer.000 lbs. to whom I handed the work for research. and were not soon weary of Swackhammer. Nor have I been at all sparing of historical whale research. Friesland pork. think ye.000 lbs.000 lbs.Moby Dick fore and aft. which is here pointed out. among other subjects. other English whalers I know of—not all though—were such as every whale ship must carry its cooper. of beef. that passed round the beef. professor of Low Dutch and High German in the college ing good cheer of these English whalers is matter for historical of Santa Claus and St.” but “The Merchant. giving him a box of sperm candles for his trouble— this same Dr. their fat old fashions. as a general thing. so soon as he spied the book. hospitable ships. I stumbled translation. of upon an ancient Dutch volume. and what is yet more. as translated by Dr. and the this opinion by seeing that it was the production of one “Fitz bread. smell of it. and drinking. of biscuit. I knew must be about whalers. that the Samuel Enderby. a very learned eating.” that I found a long detailed list of the outfits for the larders and cellars of 180 sail of Dutch whalemen. crack fellows all. Zealanders. therefore. I say. this thing of whaling good cheer is not normal and natural. and laughing? I will tell you. when it has seemed needed. Snodhead. but incidental and particular. 72.” wherefore I concluded that this must be the inBut why was it. I was reinforced in famous. The title was. and Danes. 150. 550. by the musty whaling good fare and plenty. Snodhead. must have some special origin.000 lbs. Snodhead. and will be still further elucidated. And in this chapter it was. During my researches in the Leviathanic histories.” But my friend Dr. but not so the English whaler.” In short. Hence. in the English. and. The English were preceded in the whale fishery by the Hollanders. 60. I transcribe the following: 400. from which list.000 lbs. For. headed. the English merchant-ship scrimps her crew. Coopman. and some valuable memoirs of some Amsterdam cooper in the fishery. Pott’s. from whom they derived many terms still extant in the fishery. “Dan and capital from boot heels to hat-band. of stock fish. and. contained a very interesting account of its whale fishery. which. this ancient and learned Low Dutch book treated of the commerce of Holland. fine flip and strong.

therefore. being rendered still more unctuous by the nature of their vocation. were the right sort of men to stand up in a boat’s head. for a twelve weeks’ all this beer.800 barrels of beer.Herman Melville bread. upon the Equator. did not much exceed three months. 10. with whole pipes. 144. furthermore.000 lbs. where beer agrees well with the constitution. and grievous loss might ensue to Nantucket and New Bedford. and bread. 427 . however. 10. not these Dutch whalemen. beer would be apt to make the harpooneer sleepy at the mast-head and boozy in his boat. 2. this would seem somewhat improbable. consumed by every Low Dutch harpooneer in that ancient Greenland and Spitzbergen whale fishery. But this was very far North. have 5. of gin.. I compiled supplementary tables of my own. capable of a transcendental and Platonic application. seems amazing. on the very coasts of that Esquimaux country where the convivial natives pledge each other in bumpers of train oil. and take good aim at flying whales. whether these gin and beer harpooneers. exclusive of his fair proportion of that 550 ankers thoughts were incidentally suggested to me. though. barrels. I impute it. including the short voyage to and from so in the present case. so fuddled as one might fancy them to have been. in our southern fishery. where the reader is flooded the Spitzbergen sea. so that the whole cruise of one of Most statistical tables are parchingly dry in the reading.800 firkins of butter. 20. and gills of good gin and and reckoning 30 men to each of their fleet of 180 sail. Yet they did aim at them.400 Low Dutch seamen in all. I say. the amount of butter. we good cheer. But no more. to their naturally unctuous natures. Now. say. summer of that climate. Now. and. and hit them too. during which many profound allowance. beef. In the first place. we have At the time. I devoted three days to the studious digesting of precisely two barrels of beer per man. and Texel and Leyden cheese consumed. quarts. cheese. etc. cheese (probably an inferior article). be it remembered. too. Texel & Leyden The quantity of beer. enough has been said to show that the old Dutch whalers of two or three centuries ago were high livers. 550 as those polar fisheries could only be prosecuted in the short ankers of Geneva. touching the probable quantity of stock-fish. and especially by their pursuing their game in those frigid Polar Seas.800 barrels. is very large.000 lbs.

unbuckling his garters. and untagging the points of his hose. I have chiefly dwelt upon the marvels of his outer aspect. when cruising in an empty ship. Ishmael? How is it. mounted upon your capstan. IN DESCRIPTIVELY TREATING of the Sperm H Whale. pretend to know aught about the subterranean parts of the whale? Did erudite Stubb. that is to say. a mere oarsman in the fishery. it behooves me now to unbutton him still further. set him before you in his ultimatum. For. or separately and in detail upon some few interior structural features. But how now. that you. and casting loose the hooks and the eyes of the joints of his innermost bones. hold up a specimen rib for exhibition? 428 . deliver lectures on the anatomy of the Cetacea. say they. and by help of the windlass. in his unconditional skeleton. get a good dinner out of it. CHAPTER 102 A Bower in the Arsacides ITHERTO. But to a large and thorough sweeping comprehension of him. if you can get nothing better out of the world. And this empties the decanter.Moby Dick and that the English whalers have not neglected so excellent an example. at least.

at his retired palm villa at Pupella. full grown development. making up the frameAmong many other fine qualities. the wonder-freighted. nevertheless. For being at Tranque. as a cook dishes a roast-pig? Surely was invited to spend part of the Arsacidean holidays with the not. that since Jonah. dairy-rooms. but lord of Tranque. costly paddles. I have been blessed with an opportunity to dissect him in miniature. chiefly carved woods of very far beneath the skin of the adult whale. work of leviathan. Think you I let that chance go. the rafters. to make sheaths for the barbs of the harpoons. butteries. a sea-side have a care how you seize the privilege of Jonah alone. wonderful devices. king of Tranque. aromatic canoes. Can you land a full-grown whale on years ago. I your deck for examination. after an unusually long raging gale. inlaid spears. and all these distributed among whatever natural wonders. tufted droopings seemed his verdant jet. a small cub Sperm Whale was once bodily hoisted to the deck for his poke or bag. In a ship I belonged to. the glen not very far distant from what our sailors called Bambooprivilege of discoursing upon the joists and beams. Town. ridge-pole. and belike of the tallow-vats. Chief among these latter was a great Sperm Whale. and cheeseries in his bowels. and breaking the seal and reading all the contents of that young cub? And as for my exact knowledge of the bones of the leviathan in their gigantic. whose plumage-like. had been found dead and stranded. then the skeleton was carefully transported up the Pupella glen. and the bones become dust dry in the sun. with his head against a cocoa-nut tree. one of the Arsacides. my royal friend Tranquo. Ishmael. which. sleepers. when attached to the trading-ship Dey of Algiers. few whalemen have penetrated ingenious of his people could invent. for that rare knowledge I am indebted to my late royal friend Tranquo. and for the heads of the lances.Herman Melville Explain thyself. had brought together in Pupella whatever rare things the more I confess. 429 . his capital. When the vast body had at last been stripped of its fathom-deep enfoldings. A veritable witness have you hitherto been. chiselled shells. tribute-rendering waves had cast upon his shores. and under-pinnings. without using my boathatchet and jack-knife. Ishmael. being gifted with a devout love for all matters of barbaric vertu. where a grand temple of lordly palms now sheltered it.

every month assuming greener. whereof the ground-vine tendrils formed the warp and woof. the trees stood high and haughty. with a gorgeous carpet on it. sus. when with royal Tranquo I visited this wondrous whale. and begat him curly-headed glories. Death trellised Life. too. mortal! then. Through the lacings of the leaves. the freshet-rushing all this din of the great world’s loom.Moby Dick The ribs were hung with trophies. the vertebrae were carved carpet for ever slides away. The weaver-god. busy weaver! unseen weaver!—pause!—one word!—whither flows the fabric? what palace may it deck? wherefore all these ceaseless toilings? Speak. fresher verdure. all the shrubs. the grim god wived with youthful Life. weaver!—stay thy hand!—but one single word with thee! Nay—the shuttle flies—the figures float from forth the loom. for so. with all their laden branches. The wood was green as mosses of walls. in the skull. so that and by that humming. amid the green. The spoken words that are inaudible among the flyDamocles. and the artificial smoke ascending 430 . feeling their lainies been detected. white. bursting from the opened casements. the great sun seemed a flying shuttle weaving the unwearied verdure. ing spindles. in living sap.ened. but himself a skeleton. thy subtlest thinkings may be overheard afar. that he hears no mortal voice. the industrious earth beneath was as a weaver’s loom. For even so it is in all material the devotees. he weaves. the great. who look on the loom are deafthe mystic head again sent forth its vapoury spout. the priests kept up an unextinguished aromatic flame. and grasses. and only when we escape it shall we hear the thousand pended from a bough. Now. worshipped skeleton lay lounging—a gigantic idler! Yet. those same words are plainly heard without the It was a wondrous sight. Oh. be heedful. the mighty idler seemed the cunning weaver. in strange hieroglyphics. All the trees. life-restless loom of that Arsacidean wood. by that weaving is he deafened. the message-carrying air. all these unceasingly were active. himself all woven over with the vines. while. we. Thereby have vilthe Icy Glen. Ah. as the ever-woven verdant warp and woof intermixed and hummed around him. and saw the skull an altar. the terrific lower jaw vibrated over all voices that speak through it. Now. and the living flowers the figures. like the hair-hung sword that so affrighted factories. and with Arsacidean annals. and ferns. Life folded Death.

that. eddied long amid its many heard that in the museum of Manchester. a certain Sir Clifford Constable has in his possession the skeleton of a Sperm Whale. I have ball of Arsacidean twine. so that. To and fro I paced before this skeleton— the whaling ports of that country. England. But first. where they have some fine brushed the vines aside—broke through the ribs—and with a specimens of fin-backs and other whales. “How now!” they shouted. but of moderate size. and following it back. in Hull. they tell me. wandered. the stranded whales to which these two skeletons belonged. I emerged from the opening of a Greenland or River Whale in the United States. in this matter. I saw no living thing within. Because there are should regard a chapel as an object of vertu. how long do ye make him. you can open and shut him. Likewise. In both cases. and Sir Clifford. the priests perceived me taking the altitude of the final rib. concerning feet and inches. like a great chest of drawers. From their arrow-slit in the skull. England. shaded colonnades and arbours. But skeleton authorities you can refer to. Cutting me a green measuring-rod. were originally claimed by their proprietors upon similar grounds. These admeasurements I now propose to set before you. There more I marvelled that the priests should swear that smoky jet is a Leviathanic Museum. in New Hampshire. be it recorded. priests—well. Locks are to be put upon some of his trap-doors and shutters. I marvelled that the king utter any fancied measurement I please. because he was lord of the seignories of those parts. Burton Constable by but bones. But soon my line they have what the proprietors call “the only perfect specimen was out. Sir Clifford’s whale has been articulated throughout. and a 431 .” “Aye. He laughed. by no means of the full-grown magnitude of my friend King Tranquo’s. I am not free to name. I quickly concluded my own admeasurements. to test my accuracy. they cracked each other’s sconces with their yardsticks—the great skull echoed—and seizing that lucky chance.Herman Melville from where the real jet had issued. then?” But hereupon a fierce contest rose among them. in all his bony cavities—spread out his ribs like a gigantic fan—and swing all day upon his lower jaw. King Tranquo seizing his because he wanted it. one of of his was genuine. “Dar’st thou measure this our god! That’s for us.” Morewhere I entered. I once more dived within the skeleton. naught was there over. winding. at a place in Yorkshire.

Sir Clifford thinks of charging twopence for a peep at the whispering gallery in the spinal column. should inches at all enter into a congenial admeasurement of the whale. a Sperm Whale of the largest magnitude. whose skeleton we are briefly to exhibit. According to a careful calculation I have made. But as I was crowded for space. indeed. threepence to hear the echo in the hollow of his cerebellum. touching the living bulk of this leviathan. 432 . I plain statement. so that. he would considerably outweigh the combined population of a whole village of one thousand one hundred inhabitants. of seventy tons for the largest sized Greenland whale of sixty feet in length. according to my careful calculation. nor. and something less than forty feet in its fullest circumference. Such a statement may prove useful here. I say. there was no other secure way of preserving such valuable statistics. and sixpence for the unrivalled view from his forehead. and which I partly base upon Captain Scoresby’s estimate. and wished the other parts of my body to remain a blank page for a poem I was then composing—at least. such a whale will weigh at least ninety tons. I wish to lay before you a particular. The skeleton dimensions I shall now proceed to set down are copied verbatim from my right arm. between eighty-five and ninety feet in length. CHAPTER 103 Measurement of The Whale’s Skeleton N THE FIRST PLACE. as in my wild wanderings at that period. reckoning thirteen men to a ton.Moby Dick footman will show round future visitors with a bunch of keys at his side. what untattooed parts might remain—I did not trouble myself with the odd inches. where I had them tattooed.

Of this seventy-two feet. extending far away from it in a straight line. I shall now simply point out what is most interesting in and the keel is otherwise. the remaining ribs diminished. for in the whale. was the mighty circular basket of ribs which were each successively longer. Attached to this back-bone. leaving some fifty feet of plain backbone. otherwise you will not gain a complete notion of the general structure we are about to view. The first. not a little Having already in various ways put before you his skull. spout-hole. he must have been ninety feet long. third. you must not fail to carry it in your mind. to make him at all budge to any landsman’s To me this vast ivory-ribbed chest. I could not but be struck anew with the circumstance. was nearly six feet long. like yoked cattle. as it is by far the most complicated part.Herman Melville Think you not then that brains. unrelieved imagination? spine. so that when fully invested and extended in life. or one of the middle ribs. but a long. fins. forehead. the second. to begin from the of the skeleton. as we proceed. till you came to the climax of the fifth. In length. so variously repeated in this book. the Sperm Whale’s skeleton at Tranque measured seventy-two Feet. parts. teeth. resembled the hull of a great ship new-laid upon the stocks. tail. for the time. that the skeleton of the whale is by no means the mould of his invested form. The largest of the Tranque ribs. should be once enclosed his vitals. But as the colossal nected timber. the skeleton loses about one fifth in length compared with the living body. In considering these ribs. with the long. which measured eight feet and some inches. till the tenth and last only spanned five feet and some inches. disconthe general bulk of his unobstructed bones. they all bore a seemly correspondence to their length. jaw. and divers other when only some twenty of her naked bow-ribs are inserted. skull embraces so very large a proportion of the entire extent The ribs were ten on a side. The middle ribs were the most arched. In some of the Arsacides they are used for beams whereon to lay footpath bridges over small streams. In general thickness. his skull and jaw comprised some twenty feet. put to this leviathan. for something less than a third of its length. one of the middle 433 . From that part. and fourth as nothing is to be repeated concerning it in this chapter. and neck. or under your arm.

the greatest depth of the invested body of this eton are not locked together. then. stretched in this peaceful wood. it looks much like Pompey’s Pillar.Moby Dick ones. They mostly lie like the great particular whale must have been at least sixteen feet. is in width someSo that this rib only conveyed half of the true notion of the thing less than three feet. blood. Now. the best way we can consider it is. but they had been bowels. and I was told that there were still smaller ones. to pile its bones high up on end. whereas. a middle one. The living magnitude of that part. But now it’s done. by merely poring over his dead attenuated skeleton. an utter blank! How vain and foolish. and in place of the weighty and majestic. The largest. Besides. No speedy enterprise. who disordered joints. I here saw but a few lost by some little cannibal urchins. but boneless flukes. muscle. knobbed blocks on a Gothic spire. But the spine. where the spine tapers away into the tail. thought I. No. for timid untravelled man to try to comprehend aright this wondrous whale. with a crane. all that had been once wrapped inches in width. for some way. which in the skeldepth. Thus we see how that the spine of even the hugest of living things tapers off at last into simple child’s play. Still more. in life. For that. round with tons of added bulk in flesh. Only in the heart of quickest perils. only when within the eddyings of his angry flukes. the priest’s children. is only two now saw but a naked spine. heavy masonry. occupied that part of the fish which. is greatest in There are forty and odd vertebrae in all. for the ample fins. can the fully invested whale be truly and livingly found out. and looks something like a white billiard-ball. had stolen them to play marbles with. 434 . only on the profound unbounded sea. where I smallest. forming solid courses of the corresponding rib measured but little more than eight feet. and in depth more than four.

and men. Not to tell over again his furlongs from spiracle to tail. where they lie in him like ject. amplify. present. with all the revolving an archaeological. it now remains to magnify him in mastodons. prehensiveness of sweep. and the yards he measures about the waist. Give me a condor’s quill! Give Since I have undertaken to manhandle this Leviathan. the case is altered. and make me faint with their outreaching comblood. And here be it said. and gener edition of Vesuvius’ crater for an inkstand! Friends. I have invariably used a huge quarto genial theme whereon to enlarge. then. and and anatomical peculiarities. But when Leviathan is the text. though it may seem but an ordinary one. CHAPTER 104 The Fossil Whale F 435 . and all the generations of whales. expands into placard capitals. only think of the One often hears of writers that rise and swell with their subgigantic involutions of his intestines. not overlooking the minutest seminal germs of his they weary me. it be. past. fossiliferous. as if to include the whole circle of Having already described him in most of his present habitatory the sciences.Herman Melville Applied to any other creature than the Leviathan—to an ant or a flea—such portly terms might justly be deemed unwarrantably grandiloquent. and to come. that whenever it has been convenient to consult one in the course ROM HIS MIGHTY BULK the whale affords a most con of these dissertations. enterprise. writing of this Leviathan? Unconsciously my chirography orlop-deck of a line-of-battle-ship. and spinning him out to the uttermost coil of his bowels. with great cables and hawsers coiled away in the subterranean me. you could not compress cause that famous lexicographer’s uncommon personal bulk him. hold my arms! hooves me to approve myself omnisciently exhaustive in the For in the mere act of penning my thoughts of this Leviathan. Fain am I to stagger to this emprise under the weightiest words of the dictionary. author like me. and antediluvian point of view. Would you. beally expatiate. expressly purchased for that purpose. How. By good rights he should only be treated of in imperial more fitted him to compile a lexicon to be used by a whale folio.

found in the year 1842. And though none of them precisely answer to any known species of the present time. Among the more curimy credentials as a geologist. and in the States of Ere entering upon the subject of Fossil Whales. the English Anatomist. fragments To produce a mighty book. have within thirty years past. and also a great dig. The Alabama doctors declared it a huge reptile. and bestowed upon it the name of Basilosaurus. Likewise. Cuvier pronounced these fragments to have belonged to some utterly unknown Leviathanic species. which is the last preceding the superficial formations. and bones disinterred in excavating the great docks of Antwerp. is rank as Cetacean fossils. it turned out that this 436 . and Alabama. they are yet suffiopening almost directly upon the palace of the Tuileries. Detached broken fossils of pre-adamite whales. in Scotland. all the Fossil Whales hitherto discovered belong to the Tertiary period. between the antichronical creatures. been found at the base of the Alps. the virtue of a large and liberal theme! We expand to its bulk. cellars. wine-vaults. I desire to remind the reader. not excluding its suburbs. and those whose remote posterity are said to have entered the Ark. which in the year 1779 neous time I have been a stone-mason. or at any rate intercepted links. in England. But by far the most wonderful of all Cetacean relics was the almost complete vast skeleton of an extinct monster. various intervals. I present Louisiana. of their bones and skeletons.ous of such remains is part of a skull. Such. to justify their taking verse. the subsequent relics discovered in what are called the Tertiary formations seem the connecting.was disinterred in the Rue Dauphine in Paris. canals and wells. by stating that in my miscella. that while in the earlier geological strata there are found the fossils of monsters now almost completely extinct. and so magnifying. The awe-stricken credulous slaves in the vicinity took it for the bones of one of the fallen angels. a short street ger of ditches. at No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea. you must choose a mighty theme. in France. on the plantation of Judge Creagh. and cisterns of all sorts. and throughout the whole uniciently akin to them in general respects. in Alabama. But some specimen bones of it being taken across the sea to Owen. Mississippi.Moby Dick panoramas of empire on earth. by way of preliminary. in Lomthough many there be who have tried it. in Napoleon’s time. bardy.

all characterized by partial resemblances to the existing breeds of sea-monsters. Then the whole world was the whale’s. having been before the most extraordinary creatures which the mutations of the all time. Methuselah seems a to the shape of his fully invested body. we find the unmistakable print of his fin. similar to the grotesque figures on the celestial globe of the moderns. and in limestone and marl tusks. I look round to shake hands with Shem. but upon Egyptian tablets. not an inhabitable hand’s breadth of land was visible. unsourced existence of the don Geological Society. and. I am the monster Zeuglodon. and vertebrae. and in his paper read before the Lonhorror-struck at this antemosaic. again and again repeated in Who can show a pedigree like Leviathan? Ahab’s harpoon this book. In an apartment of the great temple of Denderah. but at the same time bearing on the other hand similar affinities to the annihilated antichronical Leviathans. some fifty years ago. and I obtain dim. in substance. abounding in centaurs. in the stereotype plates of nature. king of creation. So Owen rechristened school-boy. But not alone has this Leviathan left his pre-adamite traces When I stand among these mighty Leviathan skeletons. whose antiquity seems to claim for them an almost fossiliferous character. borne back to that wondrous period. and dolphins. significant illustration of the fact. 437 .000 miles of this world’s circumference. he left his bequeathed his ancient bust. which. must needs exist after all humane ages are over. there was discovered upon the granite ceiling a sculptured and painted planisphere. Nor must there be omitted another strange attestation of the antiquity of the whale. Here Saturn’s grey chaos rolls over me. centuries before Solomon was cradled. though of a departed species. and in all the 25. that the skeleton of the whale furnishes but little clue had shed older blood than the Pharaoh’s. ribs. for time began with man. when wedged bastions of ice pressed hard upon what are now the Tropics. by a flood. old Leviathan swam as of yore. skulls. pronounced it. in his own osseous post-diluvian reality.Herman Melville alleged reptile was a whale. griffins. I am. A wake along the present lines of the Andes and the Himmalehs. jaws. Gliding among them. shuddering glimpses into those Polar eternities. globe have blotted out of existence. their incalculable seniors. one of unspeakable terrors of the whale. ere time itself can be said to have begun. was there swimming in that planisphere.

CHAPTER 105 Does the Whale’s Magnitude Diminish?—Will He Perish? NASMUCH. that on either side of the Temple. it may be fitly inquired. This Rib (says John Leo) is said to have layn there a hundred Years before I saw it. that by a secret Power bestowed by God upon the temple. you will silently worship there. came from this Temple. that a Prophet who prophesy’d of Mahomet. by far the largest is the Alabama one mentioned in the last chapter. 438 . there are Rocks that shoot two Miles into the Sea. Of all the pre-adamite whales yet exhumed. the Head of which cannot be reached by a Man upon a Camel’s Back. those belonging to its latter formations exceed in size those of its earlier ones. But the truth of the Matter is. reader. Their Historians affirm. THEN. the Rafters and Beams of which are made of Whale-Bones. he has not degenerated from the original bulk of his sires. but of the whales found in that Tertiary system. whether. and that was less than seventy feet in length in the skeleton. The Common People imagine. But upon investigation we find.” In this Afric Temple of the Whale I leave you. no Whale can pass it without immediate death. as this Leviathan comes floundering I down upon us from the head-waters of the Eternities. the old Barbary traveller. “Not far from the Sea-side. which lying upon the Ground with its convex part uppermost. they have a Temple. and wound the Whales when they light upon ‘em. and a whaleman. that the Prophet Jonas was cast forth by the Whale at the Base of the Temple. in the long course of his generations. and if you be a Nantucketer. and some do not stand to assert. makes an Arch.Moby Dick as set down by the venerable John Leo. Whereas. They keep a Whale’s Rib of an incredible length for a Miracle. for Whales of a monstrous size are oftentimes cast up dead upon that shore. that not only are the whales of the present day superior in magnitude to those whose fossil remains are found in the Tertiary system (embracing a distinct geological period prior to man).

or Wrinkled Bellies) at one hundred and twenty yards. we find a Danish member of the Academy of Sciences setting down certain Iceland Whales (reydan-siskur. And Lacepede. the French naturalist. I go where Pliny is.while the cattle and other animals sculptured on the oldest counts of such gentlemen as Pliny. if we are to credit the ac. not only equal. may it not be. The whale have heard. one often agitated by the more recondite was published so late as that while the whales of the present hour make bold to tell him so. by the relative proportions in which they are drawn. do not measure so have degenerated? much in their coffins as a modern Kentuckian in his socks. three hundred and sixty feet. and the thousand harpoons and lances darted along all continental coasts. just as plainly prove that the high-bred. in the face of all this. the 439 . and into the remotest secret drawers and lockers of the world. But still another inquiry remains. will But may it not be. Whether owing to the almost omniscient look-outs at the mast-heads of the whaleships. in the very beginning of his work (page 3). we must conclude so. and the ancient naturalists generally. sets down the Right Whale at one hundred metres. a whaleman (more than he was). Because I cannot understand how it are an advance in magnitude upon those of all previous geo. I.D. now penetrating even through Behring’s straits. that Sperm Whales have of to-day is as big as his ancestors in Pliny’s time. that the tape-measure gives seventy. For Pliny tells us of Whales that embraced acres of living bulk. 1825.Herman Melville we have already seen. I will not admit that of all animals the whale alone should have degenerated. but far exceed in magnitude the fattest of Pharaoh’s fat kine. And this Egyptian and Nineveh tablets. And I But will any whaleman believe these stories? No. that is. on whalemen’s authority. stall-fed. Cooke’s naturalists. that since Adam’s time they sands of years before even Pliny was born. And if ever been captured near a hundred feet long at the time of capture. that while the Egyptian mummies that were buried thoulogical periods. three hundred and twenty-eight feet. prize cattle of Smithfield. in his elaborate history of whales. and Aldrovandus of others which measured eight hundred feet in length—Rope Walks and Thames Tunnels of Whales! And even in the days of Banks and Solander. two feet for the skeleton of a large sized modern whale. and Assuredly.

for example. as has been elsewhere noticed. and though the cause of this wondrous extermination was the spear of man. And equally fallacious seems the conceit. smoke his last pipe. were encountered much oftener than at present.Moby Dick moot point is. Whereas. if at last they carry home the oil of forty last be exterminated from the waters. Though so short a period ago—not a good lifetime—the census of the buffalo in Illinois exceeded the census of men now in London. could be statistically stated. in small pods. upon the sites of populous river-capitals. if their iron manes and scowled with their thunder-clotted brows need were. like fish. and though at the present day not one horn or hoof of them remains in all that region. and the last whale. when the far west (in whose the final puff. and shook not forty. sunset suns still rise) was a wilderness and a virgin. and were also much more remunerative. overspread by mounted on horse instead of sailing in ships. to show that the hunted whale cannot now escape speedy extinction. and thank God. say) these Leviathans. for the same number of months. That is all. does it seem any argument in favour of the gradual extinction of the Sperm Whale. the voyages were not so prolonged. would have slain tens of thousands the prairies of Illinois and Missouri. Forty men in one ship hunting the Sperm Nor. and pods. now swim the seas in immense caravans. in the days of the old Canadian and Indian huntthe last man. and then himself evaporate in ers and trappers of the West. those whales. that in former years (the latter part of the last century. considered aright. whether he must not at well. a fact that. in consequence. influenced by some views to safety. so that to a large degree the scattered solitaries. the same Comparing the humped herds of whales with the humped number of moccasined men. whether Leviathan can long endure so wide a Whales for forty-eight months think they have done extremely chase. and schools of other days are now aggregated into vast but widely separated. in such a comparison an irresistible argument would seem furnished. yokes. unfrequent armies. and so remorseless a havoc. which. herds of buffalo. and. Because. not forty years ago. that because the so-called 440 . but forty thousand and more buffaloes. yet the far different nature of the whale-hunt peremptorily forbids so inglorious an end to the Leviathan. where now the polite broker sells you land at a dollar an inch. But you must look at this matter in every light.

their probably attaining the age of a century and more. have been annually slain on the nor’-west coast by the Americans that if these elephants.000 elephants. both Americas. the frosty Swiss have retreated to their mountains. have two firm fortresses. and all the Isles of the sea combined. yet there are considerations which render even this ciryears abounding with them. hence that species also is declincumstance of little or no account as an opposing argument in ing. and diving under the ultimate glassy barriers and walls there. some other and remoter strand has been very recently populousness of the more enormous creatures of the globe. they us that at one hunting the King of Siam took 4. which. Europe and Africa. And as upon the invasion of their val. that from the presumed great longevity of whales. in all human probability. And there seems no reason to doubt leys. And what that is. by imagining all the 441 . by Porus. several distinct adult generations must be contemporary. hunted from the savannas and glades of the middle seas. which have now been hunted for thousands of years. New Holland. the historian of Goa. will for that in those regions elephants are numerous as droves of cattle ever remain impregnable. not less than 13. by Hannibal. bid defiance to all pursuit from man.000. when he tells Furthermore: concerning these last mentioned Leviathans.Herman Melville whale-bone whales no longer haunt many grounds in former alone. But though for some time past a number of these whales. so. But as perhaps fifty of these whale-bone whales are harpooned for one cachalot. this matter. we may soon gain some idea of. Moreover: we are to consider. yet startled by the unfamiliar spectacle. then. come up among icy fields and floes. what shall we say to Harto. be Natural as it is to be somewhat incredulous concerning the sure. and by all the successive monarchs of the East—if they still survive there in great numbers. therefore at any one period of time. which is precisely twice as large as all Asia. For they are only being driven from promontory to cape. and in a charmed circle of everlasting December. and if one coast is no longer enlivened with their the temperate climes. by Semiramis. some philosophers of the forecastle have concluded that this positive havoc has already very seriously diminished their battalions. the whalebone whales can at last resort to their Polar citadels. much more may the great whale outlast all hunting. since he has a pasture to expatiate in.

He had lighted with such energy upon a thwart kill off its rats. and children who were alive seventy-five years ago. he once had quitted the Samuel Enderby of London. gent command to the steersman (it was. mad recklessness. something about his not steering inflexibly enough).Moby Dick grave-yards. and his own ing upon the topmost crest of the equatorial flood. Ahab did at times give careful heed to the condition of that dead bone upon which he partly stood. for all these things. And when after gaining his own deck. Wherefore. that for all his pervading. and Windsor Castle. and family vaults of creation yielding up the live bodies of all the men.of his boat that his ivory leg had received a half-splintering shock. and if ev