Moby Dick, or the Whale Audiobook | Herman Melville | Part 3/10

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Moby Dick, or the Whale Audiobook | Herman Melville | Part 3/10

CHAPTER 26 Knights and Squires The chief mate of the Pequod was Starbuck, a native of Nantucket, and a Quaker by descent He was a long, earnest man, and though born on an icy coast, seemed well adapted to endure hot latitudes, his flesh being hard as twice-baked biscuit Transported to the Indies, his live blood would not spoil like bottled ale He must have been born in some time of general drought and famine, or upon one of those fast days for which his state is famous Only some thirty arid summers had he seen; those summers had dried up all his physical superfluousness But this, his thinness, so to speak, seemed no more the token of wasting anxieties and cares, than it seemed the indication of any bodily blight It was merely the condensation of the man He was by no means ill-looking; quite the contrary His pure tight skin was an excellent fit; and closely wrapped up in it, and embalmed with inner health and strength, like a revivified Egyptian, this Starbuck seemed prepared to endure for long ages to come, and to endure always, as now; for be it Polar snow or torrid sun, like a patent chronometer, his interior vitality was warranted to do well in all climates Looking into his eyes, you seemed to see there the yet lingering images of those thousand-fold perils he had calmly confronted through life A staid, steadfast man, whose life for the most part was a telling pantomime of action, and not a tame chapter of sounds Yet, for all his hardy sobriety and fortitude, there were certain qualities in him which at times affected, and in some cases seemed well nigh to overbalance all the rest Uncommonly conscientious for a seaman, and endued with a deep natural reverence, the wild watery loneliness of his life did therefore strongly incline him to superstition; but to that sort of superstition, which in some organizations seems rather to spring, somehow, from intelligence than from ignorance Outward portents and inward presentiments were his And if at times these things bent the welded iron of his soul, much more did his far-away domestic memories of his young Cape wife and child, tend to bend him still more from the original ruggedness of his nature, and open him still further to those latent influences which, in some honest-hearted men, restrain the gush of dare-devil daring, so often evinced by others in the more perilous vicissitudes of the fishery “I will have no man in my boat,” said Starbuck, “who is not afraid of a whale.” By this, he seemed to mean, not only that the most reliable and useful courage was that which arises from the fair estimation of the encountered peril, but that an utterly fearless man is a far more dangerous comrade than a coward “Aye, aye,” said Stubb, the second mate, “Starbuck, there, is as careful a man as you’ll find anywhere in this fishery.” But we shall ere long see what that word “careful” precisely means when used by a man like Stubb, or almost any other whale hunter Starbuck was no crusader after perils; in him courage was not a sentiment; but a thing simply useful to him, and always at hand upon all mortally practical occasions Besides, he thought, perhaps, that in this business of whaling, courage was one of the great staple outfits of the ship, like her beef and her bread, and not to be foolishly wasted Wherefore he had no fancy for lowering for whales after sun-down; nor for persisting in fighting a fish that too much persisted in fighting him For, thought Starbuck, I am here in this critical ocean to kill whales for my living, and not to be killed by them for theirs; and that hundreds of men had been so killed Starbuck well knew What doom was his own father’s? Where, in the bottomless deeps, could he find the torn limbs of his brother? With memories like these in him, and, moreover, given to a certain superstitiousness, as has been said; the courage of this Starbuck which could, nevertheless, still flourish, must indeed have been extreme But it was not in reasonable nature that a man so organized, and with such terrible experiences and remembrances as he had; it was not in nature that these things should fail in latently

engendering an element in him, which, under suitable circumstances, would break out from its confinement, and burn all his courage up And brave as he might be, it was that sort of bravery chiefly, visible in some intrepid men, which, while generally abiding firm in the conflict with seas, or winds, or whales, or any of the ordinary irrational horrors of the world, yet cannot withstand those more terrific, because more spiritual terrors, which sometimes menace you from the concentrating brow of an enraged and mighty man But were the coming narrative to reveal in any instance, the complete abasement of poor Starbuck’s fortitude, scarce might I have the heart to write it; for it is a thing most sorrowful, nay shocking, to expose the fall of valour in the soul Men may seem detestable as joint stock-companies and nations; knaves, fools, and murderers there may be; men may have mean and meagre faces; but man, in the ideal, is so noble and so sparkling, such a grand and glowing creature, that over any ignominious blemish in him all his fellows should run to throw their costliest robes That immaculate manliness we feel within ourselves, so far within us, that it remains intact though all the outer character seem gone; bleeds with keenest anguish at the undraped spectacle of a valor-ruined man Nor can piety itself, at such a shameful sight, completely stifle her upbraidings against the permitting stars But this august dignity I treat of, is not the dignity of kings and robes, but that abounding dignity which has no robed investiture Thou shalt see it shining in the arm that wields a pick or drives a spike; that democratic dignity which, on all hands, radiates without end from God; Himself! The great God absolute! The centre and circumference of all democracy! His omnipresence, our divine equality! If, then, to meanest mariners, and renegades and castaways, I shall hereafter ascribe high qualities, though dark; weave round them tragic graces; if even the most mournful, perchance the most abased, among them all, shall at times lift himself to the exalted mounts; if I shall touch that workman’s arm with some ethereal light; if I shall spread a rainbow over his disastrous set of sun; then against all mortal critics bear me out in it, thou just Spirit of Equality, which hast spread one royal mantle of humanity over all my kind! Bear me out in it, thou great democratic God! who didst not refuse to the swart convict, Bunyan, the pale, poetic pearl; Thou who didst clothe with doubly hammered leaves of finest gold, the stumped and paupered arm of old Cervantes; Thou who didst pick up Andrew Jackson from the pebbles; who didst hurl him upon a war-horse; who didst thunder him higher than a throne! Thou who, in all Thy mighty, earthly marchings, ever cullest Thy selectest champions from the kingly commons; bear me out in it, O God! CHAPTER 27 Knights and Squires Stubb was the second mate He was a native of Cape Cod; and hence, according to local usage, was called a Cape-Cod-man A happy-go-lucky; neither craven nor valiant; taking perils as they came with an indifferent air; and while engaged in the most imminent crisis of the chase, toiling away, calm and collected as a journeyman joiner engaged for the year Good-humored, easy, and careless, he presided over his whale-boat as if the most deadly encounter were but a dinner, and his crew all invited guests He was as particular about the comfortable arrangement of his part of the boat, as an old stage-driver is about the snugness of his box When close to the whale, in the very death-lock of the fight, he handled his unpitying lance coolly and off-handedly, as a whistling tinker his hammer He would hum over his old rigadig tunes while flank and flank with the most exasperated monster Long usage had, for this Stubb, converted the jaws of death into an easy chair What he thought of death itself, there is no telling Whether he ever thought of it at all, might be a question; but, if he ever did chance to cast his mind that way after a comfortable dinner, no doubt, like a good sailor, he took it to be a sort of call of the watch to tumble aloft, and bestir themselves there, about

something which he would find out when he obeyed the order, and not sooner What, perhaps, with other things, made Stubb such an easy-going, unfearing man, so cheerily trudging off with the burden of life in a world full of grave pedlars, all bowed to the ground with their packs; what helped to bring about that almost impious good-humor of his; that thing must have been his pipe For, like his nose, his short, black little pipe was one of the regular features of his face You would almost as soon have expected him to turn out of his bunk without his nose as without his pipe He kept a whole row of pipes there ready loaded, stuck in a rack, within easy reach of his hand; and, whenever he turned in, he smoked them all out in succession, lighting one from the other to the end of the chapter; then loading them again to be in readiness anew For, when Stubb dressed, instead of first putting his legs into his trowsers, he put his pipe into his mouth I say this continual smoking must have been one cause, at least, of his peculiar disposition; for every one knows that this earthly air, whether ashore or afloat, is terribly infected with the nameless miseries of the numberless mortals who have died exhaling it; and as in time of the cholera, some people go about with a camphorated handkerchief to their mouths; so, likewise, against all mortal tribulations, Stubb’s tobacco smoke might have operated as a sort of disinfecting agent The third mate was Flask, a native of Tisbury, in Martha’s Vineyard A short, stout, ruddy young fellow, very pugnacious concerning whales, who somehow seemed to think that the great leviathans had personally and hereditarily affronted him; and therefore it was a sort of point of honor with him, to destroy them whenever encountered So utterly lost was he to all sense of reverence for the many marvels of their majestic bulk and mystic ways; and so dead to anything like an apprehension of any possible danger from encountering them; that in his poor opinion, the wondrous whale was but a species of magnified mouse, or at least water-rat, requiring only a little circumvention and some small application of time and trouble in order to kill and boil This ignorant, unconscious fearlessness of his made him a little waggish in the matter of whales; he followed these fish for the fun of it; and a three years’ voyage round Cape Horn was only a jolly joke that lasted that length of time As a carpenter’s nails are divided into wrought nails and cut nails; so mankind may be similarly divided Little Flask was one of the wrought ones; made to clinch tight and last long They called him King-Post on board of the Pequod; because, in form, he could be well likened to the short, square timber known by that name in Arctic whalers; and which by the means of many radiating side timbers inserted into it, serves to brace the ship against the icy concussions of those battering seas Now these three mates—Starbuck, Stubb, and Flask, were momentous men They it was who by universal prescription commanded three of the Pequod’s boats as headsmen In that grand order of battle in which Captain Ahab would probably marshal his forces to descend on the whales, these three headsmen were as captains of companies Or, being armed with their long keen whaling spears, they were as a picked trio of lancers; even as the harpooneers were flingers of javelins And since in this famous fishery, each mate or headsman, like a Gothic Knight of old, is always accompanied by his boat-steerer or harpooneer, who in certain conjunctures provides him with a fresh lance, when the former one has been badly twisted, or elbowed in the assault; and moreover, as there generally subsists between the two, a close intimacy and friendliness; it is therefore but meet, that in this place we set down who the Pequod’s harpooneers were, and to what headsman each of them belonged First of all was Queequeg, whom Starbuck, the chief mate, had selected for his squire But Queequeg is already known Next was Tashtego, an unmixed Indian from Gay Head, the most westerly promontory of Martha’s Vineyard, where there still exists the last remnant of a village of red men, which has long supplied the neighboring island of Nantucket with many of her most daring harpooneers In the fishery, they usually go by the generic name of Gay-Headers Tashtego’s long, lean, sable hair, his high cheek bones, and black rounding eyes—for an Indian, Oriental in their largeness, but Antarctic in their glittering expression—all this sufficiently proclaimed him an inheritor of the unvitiated blood of those proud warrior

hunters, who, in quest of the great New England moose, had scoured, bow in hand, the aboriginal forests of the main But no longer snuffing in the trail of the wild beasts of the woodland, Tashtego now hunted in the wake of the great whales of the sea; the unerring harpoon of the son fitly replacing the infallible arrow of the sires To look at the tawny brawn of his lithe snaky limbs, you would almost have credited the superstitions of some of the earlier Puritans, and half-believed this wild Indian to be a son of the Prince of the Powers of the Air Tashtego was Stubb the second mate’s squire Third among the harpooneers was Daggoo, a gigantic, coal-black negro-savage, with a lion-like tread—an Ahasuerus to behold Suspended from his ears were two golden hoops, so large that the sailors called them ring-bolts, and would talk of securing the top-sail halyards to them In his youth Daggoo had voluntarily shipped on board of a whaler, lying in a lonely bay on his native coast And never having been anywhere in the world but in Africa, Nantucket, and the pagan harbors most frequented by whalemen; 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; Daggoo retained all his barbaric virtues, and erect as a giraffe, moved about the decks in all the pomp of six feet five in his socks There was a corporeal humility in looking up at him; and a white man standing before him seemed a white flag come to beg truce of a fortress Curious to tell, this imperial negro, Ahasuerus Daggoo, was the Squire of little Flask, who looked like a chess-man beside him As for the residue of the Pequod’s company, be it said, that at the present day not one in two of the many thousand men before the mast employed in the American whale fishery, are Americans born, though pretty nearly all the officers are Herein it is the same with the American whale fishery as with the American army and military and merchant navies, and the engineering forces employed in the construction of the American Canals and Railroads The same, I say, because in all these cases the native American liberally provides the brains, the rest of the world as generously supplying the muscles No small number of these whaling seamen belong to the Azores, where the outward bound Nantucket whalers frequently touch to augment their crews from the hardy peasants of those rocky shores In like manner, the Greenland whalers sailing out of Hull or London, put in at the Shetland Islands, to receive the full complement of their crew Upon the passage homewards, they drop them there again How it is, there is no telling, but Islanders seem to make the best whalemen They were nearly all Islanders in the Pequod, Isolatoes too, I call such, not acknowledging the common continent of men, but each Isolato living on a separate continent of his own Yet now, federated along one keel, what a set these Isolatoes were! An Anacharsis Clootz deputation from all the isles of the sea, and all the ends of the earth, accompanying Old Ahab in the Pequod to lay the world’s grievances before that bar from which not very many of them ever come back Black Little Pip—he never did—oh, no! he went before Poor Alabama boy! On the grim Pequod’s forecastle, ye shall ere long see him, beating his tambourine; prelusive of the eternal time, when sent for, to the great quarter-deck on high, he was bid strike in with angels, and beat his tambourine in glory; called a coward here, hailed a hero there! CHAPTER 28 Ahab For several days after leaving Nantucket, nothing above hatches was seen of Captain Ahab The mates regularly relieved each other at the watches, and for aught that could be seen to the contrary, they seemed to be the only commanders of the ship; only they sometimes

issued from the cabin with orders so sudden and peremptory, that after all it was plain they but commanded vicariously Yes, their supreme lord and dictator was there, though hitherto unseen by any eyes not permitted to penetrate into the now sacred retreat of the cabin Every time I ascended to the deck from my watches below, I instantly gazed aft to mark if any strange face were visible; for my first vague disquietude touching the unknown captain, now in the seclusion of the sea, became almost a perturbation This was strangely heightened at times by the ragged Elijah’s diabolical incoherences uninvitedly recurring to me, with a subtle energy I could not have before conceived of But poorly could I withstand them, much as in other moods I was almost ready to smile at the solemn whimsicalities of that outlandish prophet of the wharves But whatever it was of apprehensiveness or uneasiness—to call it so—which I felt, yet whenever I came to look about me in the ship, it seemed against all warrantry to cherish such emotions For though the harpooneers, with the great body of the crew, were a far more barbaric, heathenish, and motley set than any of the tame merchant-ship companies which my previous experiences had made me acquainted with, 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, the mates, which was most forcibly calculated to allay these colourless misgivings, and induce confidence and cheerfulness in every presentment of the voyage Three better, more likely sea-officers and men, each in his own different way, could not readily be found, and they were every one of them Americans; a Nantucketer, a Vineyarder, a Cape man Now, it being Christmas when the ship shot from out her harbor, for a space we had biting Polar weather, though all the time running away from it to the southward; and by every degree and minute of latitude which we sailed, gradually leaving that merciless winter, and all its intolerable weather behind us It was one of those less lowering, but still grey and gloomy enough mornings of the transition, when with a fair wind the ship was rushing through the water with a vindictive sort of leaping and melancholy rapidity, that as I mounted to the deck at the call of the forenoon watch, so soon as I levelled my glance towards the taffrail, foreboding shivers ran over me Reality outran apprehension; Captain Ahab stood upon his quarter-deck There seemed no sign of common bodily illness about him, nor of the recovery from any He looked like a man cut away from the stake, when the fire has overrunningly wasted all the limbs without consuming them, or taking away one particle from their compacted aged robustness His whole high, broad form, seemed made of solid bronze, and shaped in an unalterable mould, like Cellini’s cast Perseus Threading its way out from among his grey hairs, and continuing right down one side of his tawny scorched face and neck, till it disappeared in his clothing, you saw a slender rod-like mark, lividly whitish It resembled that perpendicular seam sometimes made in the straight, lofty trunk of a great tree, when the upper lightning tearingly darts down it, and without wrenching a single twig, peels and grooves out the bark from top to bottom, ere running off into the soil, leaving the tree still greenly alive, but branded Whether that mark was born with him, or whether it was the scar left by some desperate wound, no one could certainly say By some tacit consent, throughout the voyage little or no allusion was made to it, especially by the mates But once Tashtego’s senior, an old Gay-Head Indian among the crew, superstitiously asserted that not till he was full forty years old did Ahab become that way branded, and then it came upon him, not in the fury of any mortal fray, but in an elemental strife at sea Yet, this wild hint seemed inferentially negatived, by what a grey Manxman insinuated, an old sepulchral man, who, having never before sailed out of Nantucket, had never ere this laid eye upon wild Ahab

Nevertheless, the old sea-traditions, the immemorial credulities, popularly invested this old Manxman with preternatural powers of discernment So that no white sailor seriously contradicted him when he said that if ever Captain Ahab should be tranquilly laid out—which might hardly come to pass, so he muttered—then, whoever should do that last office for the dead, would find a birth-mark on him from crown to sole So powerfully did the whole grim aspect of Ahab affect me, and the livid brand which streaked it, that for the first few moments I hardly noted that not a little of this overbearing grimness was owing to the barbaric white leg upon which he partly stood It had previously come to me that this ivory leg had at sea been fashioned from the polished bone of the sperm whale’s jaw “Aye, he was dismasted off Japan,” said the old Gay-Head Indian once; “but like his dismasted craft, he shipped another mast without coming home for it He has a quiver of ’em.” I was struck with the singular posture he maintained Upon each side of the Pequod’s quarter deck, and pretty close to the mizzen shrouds, there was an auger hole, bored about half an inch or so, into the plank His bone leg steadied in that hole; one arm elevated, and holding by a shroud; Captain Ahab stood erect, looking straight out beyond the ship’s ever-pitching prow There was an infinity of firmest fortitude, a determinate, unsurrenderable wilfulness, in the fixed and fearless, forward dedication of that glance Not a word he spoke; nor did his officers say aught to him; though by all their minutest gestures and expressions, they plainly showed the uneasy, if not painful, consciousness of being under a troubled master-eye And not only that, but moody stricken Ahab stood before them with a crucifixion in his face; in all the nameless regal overbearing dignity of some mighty woe Ere long, from his first visit in the air, he withdrew into his cabin But after that morning, he was every day visible to the crew; either standing in his pivot-hole, or seated upon an ivory stool he had; or heavily walking the deck As the sky grew less gloomy; indeed, began to grow a little genial, he became still less and less a recluse; as if, when the ship had sailed from home, nothing but the dead wintry bleakness of the sea had then kept him so secluded And, by and by, it came to pass, that he was almost continually in the air; but, as yet, for all that he said, or perceptibly did, on the at last sunny deck, he seemed as unnecessary there as another mast But the Pequod was only making a passage now; not regularly cruising; nearly all whaling preparatives needing supervision the mates were fully competent to, so that there was little or nothing, out of himself, to employ or excite Ahab, now; and thus chase away, for that one interval, the clouds that layer upon layer were piled upon his brow, as ever all clouds choose the loftiest peaks to pile themselves upon Nevertheless, ere long, the warm, warbling persuasiveness of the pleasant, holiday weather we came to, seemed gradually to charm him from his mood For, as when the red-cheeked, dancing girls, April and May, trip home to the wintry, misanthropic woods; even the barest, ruggedest, most thunder-cloven old oak will at least send forth some few green sprouts, to welcome such glad-hearted visitants; so Ahab did, in the end, a little respond to the playful allurings of that girlish air More than once did he put forth the faint blossom of a look, which, in any other man, would have soon flowered out in a smile CHAPTER 29 Enter Ahab; to Him, Stubb Some days elapsed, and ice and icebergs all astern, the Pequod now went rolling through the bright Quito spring, which, at sea, almost perpetually reigns on the threshold of the eternal August of the Tropic The warmly cool, clear, ringing, perfumed, overflowing, redundant days, were as crystal goblets of Persian sherbet, heaped up—flaked up, with rose-water snow The starred and stately nights seemed haughty dames in jewelled velvets, nursing at home in lonely pride, the memory of their absent conquering Earls, the golden helmeted suns! For sleeping man, ’twas hard to choose between such winsome days and such seducing nights

But all the witcheries of that unwaning weather did not merely lend new spells and potencies to the outward world Inward they turned upon the soul, especially when the still mild hours of eve came on; then, memory shot her crystals as the clear ice most forms of noiseless twilights And all these subtle agencies, more and more they wrought on Ahab’s texture Old age is always wakeful; as if, the longer linked with life, the less man has to do with aught that looks like death Among sea-commanders, the old greybeards will oftenest leave their berths to visit the night-cloaked deck It was so with Ahab; only that now, of late, he seemed so much to live in the open air, that truly speaking, his visits were more to the cabin, than from the cabin to the planks “It feels like going down into one’s tomb,”—he would mutter to himself—“for an old captain like me to be descending this narrow scuttle, to go to my grave-dug berth.” So, almost every twenty-four hours, when the watches of the night were set, and the band on deck sentinelled the slumbers of the band below; and when if a rope was to be hauled upon the forecastle, the sailors flung it not rudely down, as by day, but with some cautiousness dropt it to its place for fear of disturbing their slumbering shipmates; when this sort of steady quietude would begin to prevail, habitually, the silent steersman would watch the cabin-scuttle; and ere long the old man would emerge, gripping at the iron banister, to help his crippled way Some considering touch of humanity was in him; for at times like these, he usually abstained from patrolling the quarter-deck; because to his wearied mates, seeking repose within six inches of his ivory heel, such would have been the reverberating crack and din of that bony step, that their dreams would have been on the crunching teeth of sharks But once, the mood was on him too deep for common regardings; and as with heavy, lumber-like pace he was measuring the ship from taffrail to mainmast, Stubb, the old second mate, came up from below, with a certain unassured, deprecating humorousness, hinted that if Captain Ahab was pleased to walk the planks, then, no one could say nay; but there might be some way of muffling the noise; hinting something indistinctly and hesitatingly about a globe of tow, and the insertion into it, of the ivory heel Ah! Stubb, thou didst not know Ahab then “Am I a cannon-ball, Stubb,” said Ahab, “that thou wouldst wad me that fashion? But go thy ways; I had forgot Below to thy nightly grave; where such as ye sleep between shrouds, to use ye to the filling one at last.—Down, dog, and kennel!” Starting at the unforseen concluding exclamation of the so suddenly scornful old man, Stubb was speechless a moment; then said excitedly, “I am not used to be spoken to that way, sir; I do but less than half like it, sir.” “Avast! gritted Ahab between his set teeth, and violently moving away, as if to avoid some passionate temptation “No, sir; not yet,” said Stubb, emboldened, “I will not tamely be called a dog, sir.” “Then be called ten times a donkey, and a mule, and an ass, and begone, or I’ll clear the world of thee!” As he said this, Ahab advanced upon him with such overbearing terrors in his aspect, that Stubb involuntarily retreated “I was never served so before without giving a hard blow for it,” muttered Stubb, as he found himself descending the cabin-scuttle “It’s very queer Stop, Stubb; somehow, now, I don’t well know whether to go back and strike him, or—what’s that?—down here on my knees and pray for him? Yes, that was the thought coming up in me; but it would be the first time I ever did pray It’s queer; very queer; and he’s queer too; aye, take him fore and aft, he’s about the queerest old man Stubb ever sailed with How he flashed at me!—his eyes like powder-pans! is he mad? Anyway there’s something on his mind, as sure as there must be something on a deck when it cracks He aint in his bed now, either, more than three hours out of the twenty-four; and he don’t sleep then Didn’t that Dough-Boy, the steward, tell me that of a morning he always finds the old man’s hammock clothes all rumpled and tumbled, and the sheets down at the foot, and the coverlid

almost tied into knots, and the pillow a sort of frightful hot, as though a baked brick had been on it? A hot old man! I guess he’s got what some folks ashore call a conscience; it’s a kind of Tic-Dolly-row they say—worse nor a toothache Well, well; I don’t know what it is, but the Lord keep me from catching it He’s full of riddles; I wonder what he goes into the after hold for, every night, as Dough-Boy tells me he suspects; what’s that for, I should like to know? Who’s made appointments with him in the hold? Ain’t that queer, now? But there’s no telling, it’s the old game—Here goes for a snooze Damn me, it’s worth a fellow’s while to be born into the world, if only to fall right asleep And now that I think of it, that’s about the first thing babies do, and that’s a sort of queer, too Damn me, but all things are queer, come to think of ’em But that’s against my principles Think not, is my eleventh commandment; and sleep when you can, is my twelfth—So here goes again But how’s that? didn’t he call me a dog? blazes! he called me ten times a donkey, and piled a lot of jackasses on top of that! He might as well have kicked me, and done with it Maybe he did kick me, and I didn’t observe it, I was so taken all aback with his brow, somehow It flashed like a bleached bone What the devil’s the matter with me? I don’t stand right on my legs Coming afoul of that old man has a sort of turned me wrong side out By the Lord, I must have been dreaming, though—How? how? how?—but the only way’s to stash it; so here goes to hammock again; and in the morning, I’ll see how this plaguey juggling thinks over by daylight.” CHAPTER 30 The Pipe When Stubb had departed, Ahab stood for a while leaning over the bulwarks; and then, as had been usual with him of late, calling a sailor of the watch, he sent him below for his ivory stool, and also his pipe Lighting the pipe at the binnacle lamp and planting the stool on the weather side of the deck, he sat and smoked In old Norse times, the thrones of the sea-loving Danish kings were fabricated, saith tradition, of the tusks of the narwhale How could one look at Ahab then, seated on that tripod of bones, without bethinking him of the royalty it symbolized? For a Khan of the plank, and a king of the sea, and a great lord of Leviathans was Ahab Some moments passed, during which the thick vapor came from his mouth in quick and constant puffs, which blew back again into his face “How now,” he soliloquized at last, withdrawing the tube, “this smoking no longer soothes Oh, my pipe! hard must it go with me if thy charm be gone! Here have I been unconsciously toiling, not pleasuring—aye, and ignorantly smoking to windward all the while; to windward, and with such nervous whiffs, as if, like the dying whale, my final jets were the strongest and fullest of trouble What business have I with this pipe? This thing that is meant for sereneness, to send up mild white vapors among mild white hairs, not among torn iron-grey locks like mine I’ll smoke no more—” He tossed the still lighted pipe into the sea The fire hissed in the waves; the same instant the ship shot by the bubble the sinking pipe made With slouched hat, Ahab lurchingly paced the planks CHAPTER 31 Queen Mab Next morning Stubb accosted Flask “Such a queer dream, King-Post, I never had You know the old man’s ivory leg, well I dreamed he kicked me with it; and when I tried to kick back, upon my soul, my little man, I kicked my leg right off! And then, presto! Ahab seemed a pyramid, and I, like a blazing fool, kept kicking at it But what was still more curious, Flask—you know how curious all dreams are—through all this rage that I was in, I somehow seemed to be thinking to myself, that after all, it was not much of an insult, that kick from Ahab ‘Why,’ thinks I, ‘what’s the row? It’s not a real leg, only a false leg.’ And there’s a mighty difference between a living thump and a dead thump That’s what makes a blow from the hand, Flask, fifty times more savage to bear than a blow from a cane

The living member—that makes the living insult, my little man And thinks I to myself all the while, mind, while I was stubbing my silly toes against that cursed pyramid—so confoundedly contradictory was it all, all the while, I say, I was thinking to myself, ‘what’s his leg now, but a cane—a whalebone cane Yes,’ thinks I, ‘it was only a playful cudgelling—in fact, only a whaleboning that he gave me—not a base kick Besides,’ thinks I, ‘look at it once; why, the end of it—the foot part—what a small sort of end it is; whereas, if a broad footed farmer kicked me, there’s a devilish broad insult But this insult is whittled down to a point only.’ But now comes the greatest joke of the dream, Flask While I was battering away at the pyramid, a sort of badger-haired old merman, with a hump on his back, takes me by the shoulders, and slews me round ‘What are you ’bout?’ says he Slid! man, but I was frightened Such a phiz! But, somehow, next moment I was over the fright ‘What am I about?’ says I at last ‘And what business is that of yours, I should like to know, Mr. Humpback? Do you want a kick?’ By the lord, Flask, I had no sooner said that, than he turned round his stern to me, bent over, and dragging up a lot of seaweed he had for a clout—what do you think, I saw?—why thunder alive, man, his stern was stuck full of marlinspikes, with the points out Says I, on second thoughts, ‘I guess I won’t kick you, old fellow.’ ‘Wise Stubb,’ said he, ‘wise Stubb;’ and kept muttering it all the time, a sort of eating of his own gums like a chimney hag Seeing he wasn’t going to stop saying over his ‘wise Stubb, wise Stubb,’ I thought I might as well fall to kicking the pyramid again But I had only just lifted my foot for it, when he roared out, ‘Stop that kicking!’ ‘Halloa,’ says I, ‘what’s the matter now, old fellow?’ ‘Look ye here,’ says he; ‘let’s argue the insult Captain Ahab kicked ye, didn’t he?’ ‘Yes, he did,’ says I—‘right here it was.’ ‘Very good,’ says he—‘he used his ivory leg, didn’t he?’ ‘Yes, he did,’ says I ‘Well then,’ says he, ‘wise Stubb, 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, was it? No, you were kicked by a great man, and with a beautiful ivory leg, Stubb It’s an honor; I consider it an honor Listen, wise Stubb In old England the greatest lords think it great glory to be slapped by a queen, and made garter-knights of; but, be your boast, Stubb, that ye were kicked by old Ahab, and made a wise man of Remember what I say; be kicked by him; account his kicks honors; and on no account kick back; for you can’t help yourself, wise Stubb Don’t you see that pyramid?’ With that, he all of a sudden seemed somehow, in some queer fashion, to swim off into the air I snored; rolled over; and there I was in my hammock! Now, what do you think of that dream, Flask?” “I don’t know; it seems a sort of foolish to me, tho.’” “May be; may be But it’s made a wise man of me, Flask D’ye see Ahab standing there, sideways looking over the stern? Well, the best thing you can do, Flask, is to let the old man alone; never speak to him, whatever he says Halloa! What’s that he shouts? Hark!” “Mast-head, there! Look sharp, all of ye! There are whales hereabouts! “If ye see a white one, split your lungs for him! “What do you think of that now, Flask? ain’t there a small drop of something queer about that, eh? A white whale—did ye mark that, man? Look ye—there’s something special in the wind Stand by for it, Flask Ahab has that that’s bloody on his mind But, mum; he comes this way.” CHAPTER 32 Cetology Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities Ere that come to pass; ere the Pequod’s weedy hull rolls side by side with the barnacled hulls of the leviathan; at the outset it is but well to attend to a matter almost indispensable

to a thorough appreciative understanding of the more special leviathanic revelations and allusions of all sorts which are to follow It is some systematized exhibition of the whale in his broad genera, that I would now fain put before you Yet is it no easy task The classification of the constituents of a chaos, nothing less is here essayed Listen to what the best and latest authorities have laid down “No branch of Zoology is so much involved as that which is entitled Cetology,” says Captain Scoresby, A.D. 1820 “It is not my intention, were it in my power, to enter into the inquiry as to the true method of dividing the cetacea into groups and families * * * Utter confusion exists among the historians of this animal” (sperm whale), says Surgeon Beale, A.D. 1839 “Unfitness to pursue our research in the unfathomable waters.” “Impenetrable veil covering our knowledge of the cetacea.” “A field strewn with thorns.” “All these incomplete indications but serve to torture us naturalists.” Thus speak of the whale, the great Cuvier, and John Hunter, and Lesson, those lights of zoology and anatomy Nevertheless, though of real knowledge there be little, yet of books there are a plenty; and so in some small degree, with cetology, or the science of whales Many are the men, small and great, old and new, landsmen and seamen, who have at large or in little, written of the whale Run over a few:—The Authors of the Bible; Aristotle; Pliny; Aldrovandi; Sir Thomas Browne; Gesner; Ray; Linnæus; Rondeletius; Willoughby; Green; Artedi; Sibbald; Brisson; Marten; Lacépède; Bonneterre; Desmarest; Baron Cuvier; Frederick Cuvier; John Hunter; Owen; Scoresby; Beale; Bennett; J. Ross Browne; the Author of Miriam Coffin; Olmstead; and the Rev T. Cheever But to what ultimate generalizing purpose all these have written, the above cited extracts will show Of the names in this list of whale authors, only those following Owen ever saw living whales; and but one of them was a real professional harpooneer and whaleman I mean Captain Scoresby On the separate subject of the Greenland or right-whale, he is the best existing authority But Scoresby knew nothing and says nothing of the great sperm whale, compared with which the Greenland whale is almost unworthy mentioning And here be it said, that the Greenland whale is an usurper upon the throne of the seas He is not even by any means the largest of the whales Yet, owing to the long priority of his claims, and the profound ignorance which, till some seventy years back, invested the then fabulous or utterly unknown sperm-whale, and which ignorance to this present day still reigns in all but some few scientific retreats and whale-ports; this usurpation has been every way complete Reference to nearly all the leviathanic allusions in the great poets of past days, will satisfy you that the Greenland whale, without one rival, was to them the monarch of the seas But the time has at last come for a new proclamation This is Charing Cross; hear ye! good people all,—the Greenland whale is deposed,—the great sperm whale now reigneth! There are only two books in being which at all pretend to put the living sperm whale before you, and at the same time, in the remotest degree succeed in the attempt Those books are Beale’s and Bennett’s; both in their time surgeons to English South-Sea whale-ships, and both exact and reliable men The original matter touching the sperm whale to be found in their volumes is necessarily small; but so far as it goes, it is of excellent quality, though mostly confined to scientific description As yet, however, the sperm whale, scientific or poetic, lives not complete in any literature Far above all other hunted whales, his is an unwritten life

Now the various species of whales need some sort of popular comprehensive classification, if only an easy outline one for the present, hereafter to be filled in all its departments by subsequent laborers As no better man advances to take this matter in hand, I hereupon offer my own poor endeavors I promise nothing complete; because any human thing supposed to be complete, must for that very reason infallibly be faulty I shall not pretend to a minute anatomical description of the various species, or—in this place at least—to much of any description My object here is simply to project the draught of a systematization of cetology I am the architect, not the builder But it is a ponderous task; no ordinary letter-sorter in the Post-Office is equal to it To grope down into the bottom of the sea after them; to have one’s hands among the unspeakable foundations, ribs, and very pelvis of the world; this is a fearful thing What am I that I should essay to hook the nose of this leviathan! The awful tauntings in Job might well appal me Will he (the leviathan) make a covenant with thee? Behold the hope of him is vain! But I have swam through libraries and sailed through oceans; I have had to do with whales with these visible hands; I am in earnest; and I will try There are some preliminaries to settle First: The uncertain, 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 In his System of Nature, A.D. 1776, Linnæus declares, “I hereby separate the whales from the fish.” But of my own knowledge, I know that down to the year 1850, sharks and shad, alewives and herring, against Linnæus’s express edict, were still found dividing the possession of the same seas with the Leviathan The grounds upon which Linnæus would fain have banished the whales from the waters, he states as follows: “On account of their warm bilocular heart, their lungs, their movable eyelids, their hollow ears, penem intrantem feminam mammis lactantem,” and finally, “ex lege naturæ jure meritoque.” I submitted all this to my friends Simeon Macey and Charley Coffin, of Nantucket, both messmates of mine in a certain voyage, and they united in the opinion that the reasons set forth were altogether insufficient Charley profanely hinted they were humbug Be it known that, waiving all argument, I take the good old fashioned ground that the whale is a fish, and call upon holy Jonah to back me This fundamental thing settled, the next point is, in what internal respect does the whale differ from other fish Above, Linnæus has given you those items But in brief, they are these: lungs and warm blood; whereas, all other fish are lungless and cold blooded Next: how shall we define the whale, by his obvious externals, so as conspicuously to label him for all time to come? To be short, then, a whale is a spouting fish with a horizontal tail There you have him However contracted, that definition is the result of expanded meditation A walrus spouts much like a whale, but the walrus is not a fish, because he is amphibious But the last term of the definition is still more cogent, as coupled with the first Almost any one must have noticed that all the fish familiar to landsmen have not a flat, but a vertical, or up-and-down tail Whereas, among spouting fish the tail, though it may be similarly shaped, invariably assumes a horizontal position By the above definition of what a whale is, I do by no means exclude from the leviathanic brotherhood any sea creature hitherto identified with the whale by the best informed Nantucketers; nor, on the other hand, link with it any fish hitherto authoritatively regarded as alien.* Hence, all the smaller, spouting, and horizontal tailed fish must be included in this ground-plan of Cetology Now, then, come the grand divisions of the entire whale host

*I am aware that down to the present time, the fish styled Lamatins and Dugongs (Pig-fish and Sow-fish of the Coffins of Nantucket) are included by many naturalists among the whales But as these pig-fish are a noisy, contemptible set, mostly lurking in the mouths of rivers, and feeding on wet hay, and especially as they do not spout, I deny their credentials as whales; and have presented them with their passports to quit the Kingdom of Cetology First: According to magnitude I divide the whales into three primary BOOKS (subdivisible into CHAPTERS), and these shall comprehend them all, both small and large I. THE FOLIO WHALE; II. the OCTAVO WHALE; III the DUODECIMO WHALE As the type of the FOLIO I present the Sperm Whale; of the OCTAVO, the Grampus; of the DUODECIMO, the Porpoise FOLIOS Among these I here include the following chapters:—I The Sperm Whale; II. the Right Whale; III the Fin-Back Whale; IV. the Hump-backed Whale; V. the Razor Back Whale; VI. the Sulphur Bottom Whale BOOK I. (Folio), CHAPTER I. (Sperm Whale).—This whale, among the English of old vaguely known as the Trumpa whale, and the Physeter whale, and the Anvil Headed whale, is the present Cachalot of the French, and the Pottsfich of the Germans, and the Macrocephalus of the Long Words He is, without doubt, the largest inhabitant of the globe; the most formidable of all whales to encounter; the most majestic in aspect; and lastly, by far the most valuable in commerce; he being the only creature from which that valuable substance, spermaceti, is obtained All his peculiarities will, in many other places, be enlarged upon It is chiefly with his name that I now have to do Philologically considered, it is absurd Some centuries ago, when the Sperm whale was almost wholly unknown in his own proper individuality, and when his oil was only accidentally obtained from the stranded fish; in those days spermaceti, it would seem, was popularly supposed to be derived from a creature identical with the one then known in England as the Greenland or Right Whale It was the idea also, that this same spermaceti was that quickening humor of the Greenland Whale which the first syllable of the word literally expresses In those times, also, spermaceti was exceedingly scarce, not being used for light, but only as an ointment and medicament It was only to be had from the druggists as you nowadays buy an ounce of rhubarb When, as I opine, in the course of time, the true nature of spermaceti became known, its original name was still retained by the dealers; no doubt to enhance its value by a notion so strangely significant of its scarcity And so the appellation must at last have come to be bestowed upon the whale from which this spermaceti was really derived BOOK I. (Folio), CHAPTER II (Right Whale).—In one respect this is the most venerable of the leviathans, being the one first regularly hunted by man It yields the article commonly known as whalebone or baleen; and the oil specially known as “whale oil,” an inferior article in commerce Among the fishermen, he is indiscriminately designated by all the following titles: The Whale; the Greenland Whale; the Black Whale; the Great Whale; the True Whale; the Right Whale There is a deal of obscurity concerning the identity of the species thus multitudinously baptised What then is the whale, which I include in the second species of my Folios? It is the Great Mysticetus of the English naturalists; the Greenland Whale of the English whalemen; the Baleine Ordinaire of the French whalemen; the Growlands Walfish of the Swedes It is the whale which for more than two centuries past has been hunted by the Dutch and English in the Arctic seas; it is the whale which the American fishermen have long pursued in the Indian ocean, on the Brazil Banks, on the Nor’ West Coast, and various other parts of the world, designated by them Right Whale Cruising Grounds Some pretend to see a difference between the Greenland whale of the English and the right

whale of the Americans But they precisely agree in all their grand features; nor has there yet been presented a single determinate fact upon which to ground a radical distinction It is by endless subdivisions based upon the most inconclusive differences, that some departments of natural history become so repellingly intricate The right whale will be elsewhere treated of at some length, with reference to elucidating the sperm whale BOOK I. (Folio), CHAPTER III (Fin-Back).—Under this head I reckon a monster which, by the various names of Fin-Back, Tall-Spout, 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, in the New York packet-tracks In the length he attains, and in his baleen, the Fin-back resembles the right whale, but is of a less portly girth, and a lighter colour, approaching to olive His great lips present a cable-like aspect, formed by the intertwisting, slanting folds of large wrinkles His grand distinguishing feature, the fin, from which he derives his name, is often a conspicuous object This fin is some three or four feet long, growing vertically from the hinder part of the back, of an angular shape, and with a very sharp pointed end Even if not the slightest other part of the creature be visible, this isolated fin will, at times, be seen plainly projecting from the surface When the sea is moderately calm, and slightly marked with spherical ripples, and this gnomon-like fin stands up and casts shadows upon the wrinkled surface, it may well be supposed that the watery circle surrounding it somewhat resembles a dial, with its style and wavy hour-lines graved on it On that Ahaz-dial the shadow often goes back The Fin-Back is not gregarious He seems a whale-hater, as some men are man-haters Very shy; always going solitary; unexpectedly rising to the surface in the remotest and most sullen waters; his straight and single lofty jet rising like a tall misanthropic spear upon a barren plain; gifted with such wondrous power and velocity in swimming, as to defy all present pursuit from man; this leviathan seems the banished and unconquerable Cain of his race, bearing for his mark that style upon his back From having the baleen in his mouth, the Fin-Back is sometimes included with the right whale, among a theoretic species denominated Whalebone whales, that is, whales with baleen Of these so called Whalebone whales, there would seem to be several varieties, most of which, however, are little known Broad-nosed whales and beaked whales; pike-headed whales; bunched whales; under-jawed whales and rostrated whales, are the fishermen’s names for a few sorts In connection with this appellative of “Whalebone whales,” it is of great importance to mention, that however such a nomenclature may be convenient in facilitating allusions to some kind of whales, yet it is in vain to attempt a clear classification of the Leviathan, founded upon either his baleen, or hump, or fin, or teeth; 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, which the whale, in his kinds, presents How then? The baleen, hump, back-fin, and teeth; these are things whose peculiarities are indiscriminately dispersed among all sorts of whales, without any regard to what may be the nature of their structure in other and more essential particulars Thus, the sperm whale and the humpbacked whale, each has a hump; but there the similitude ceases Then, this same humpbacked whale and the Greenland whale, each of these has baleen; but there again the similitude ceases And it is just the same with the other parts above mentioned In various sorts of whales, they form such irregular combinations; or, in the case of any one of them detached, such an irregular isolation; as utterly to defy all general methodization formed upon such a basis On this rock every one of the whale-naturalists has split But it may possibly be conceived that, in the internal parts of the whale, in his anatomy—there, at least, we shall be able to hit the right classification

Nay; what thing, for example, 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 And if you descend into the bowels of the various leviathans, why there you will not find distinctions a fiftieth part as available to the systematizer as those external ones already enumerated What then remains? nothing but to take hold of the whales bodily, in their entire liberal volume, and boldly sort them that way And this is the Bibliographical system here adopted; and it is the only one that can possibly succeed, for it alone is practicable To proceed BOOK I. (Folio) CHAPTER IV (Hump Back).—This whale is often seen on the northern American coast He has been frequently captured there, and towed into harbor He has a great pack on him like a peddler; or you might call him the Elephant and Castle whale At any rate, the popular name for him does not sufficiently distinguish him, since the sperm whale also has a hump though a smaller one His oil is not very valuable He has baleen He is the most gamesome and light-hearted of all the whales, making more gay foam and white water generally than any other of them BOOK I. (Folio), CHAPTER V. (Razor Back).—Of this whale little is known but his name I have seen him at a distance off Cape Horn Of a retiring nature, he eludes both hunters and philosophers Though no coward, he has never yet shown any part of him but his back, which rises in a long sharp ridge Let him go I know little more of him, nor does anybody else BOOK I. (Folio), CHAPTER VI (Sulphur Bottom).—Another retiring gentleman, with a brimstone belly, doubtless got by scraping along the Tartarian tiles in some of his profounder divings He is seldom seen; at least I have never seen him except in the remoter southern seas, and then always at too great a distance to study his countenance He is never chased; he would run away with rope-walks of line Prodigies are told of him Adieu, Sulphur Bottom! I can say nothing more that is true of ye, nor can the oldest Nantucketer Thus ends BOOK I. (Folio), and now begins BOOK II (Octavo) OCTAVOES.*—These embrace the whales of middling magnitude, among which present may be numbered:—I., the Grampus; II., the Black Fish; III., the Narwhale; IV., the Thrasher; V., the Killer *Why this book of whales is not denominated the Quarto is very plain Because, while the whales of this order, though smaller than those of the former order, nevertheless retain a proportionate likeness to them in figure, yet the bookbinder’s Quarto volume in its dimensioned form does not preserve the shape of the Folio volume, but the Octavo volume does BOOK II (Octavo), CHAPTER I. (Grampus).—Though this fish, whose loud sonorous breathing, or rather blowing, has furnished a proverb to landsmen, is so well known a denizen of the deep, yet is he not popularly classed among whales But possessing all the grand distinctive features of the leviathan, most naturalists have recognised him for one He is of moderate octavo size, varying from fifteen to twenty-five feet in length, and of corresponding dimensions round the waist He swims in herds; he is never regularly hunted, though his oil is considerable in quantity, and pretty good for light By some fishermen his approach is regarded as premonitory of the advance of the great sperm whale BOOK II (Octavo), CHAPTER II (Black Fish).—I give the popular fishermen’s names for all these fish, for generally they are the best Where any name happens to be vague or inexpressive, I shall say so, and suggest another I do so now, touching the Black Fish, so-called, because blackness is the rule among almost all whales So, call him the Hyena Whale, if you please His voracity is well known, and from the circumstance that the inner angles of his lips are curved upwards, he carries an everlasting Mephistophelean grin on his face This whale averages some sixteen or eighteen feet in length

He is found in almost all latitudes He has a peculiar way of showing his dorsal hooked fin in swimming, which looks something like a Roman nose When not more profitably employed, the sperm whale hunters sometimes capture the Hyena whale, to keep up the supply of cheap oil for domestic employment—as some frugal housekeepers, in the absence of company, and quite alone by themselves, burn unsavory tallow instead of odorous wax Though their blubber is very thin, some of these whales will yield you upwards of thirty gallons of oil BOOK II (Octavo), CHAPTER III (Narwhale), that is, Nostril whale.—Another instance of a curiously named whale, so named I suppose from his peculiar horn being originally mistaken for a peaked nose The creature is some sixteen feet in length, while its horn averages five feet, though some exceed ten, and even attain to fifteen feet Strictly speaking, this horn is but a lengthened tusk, growing out from the jaw in a line a little depressed from the horizontal But it is only found on the sinister side, which has an ill effect, giving its owner something analogous to the aspect of a clumsy left-handed man What precise purpose this ivory horn or lance answers, it would be hard to say It does not seem to be used like the blade of the sword-fish and bill-fish; though some sailors tell me that the Narwhale employs it for a rake in turning over the bottom of the sea for food Charley Coffin said it was used for an ice-piercer; for the Narwhale, rising to the surface of the Polar Sea, and finding it sheeted with ice, thrusts his horn up, and so breaks through But you cannot prove either of these surmises to be correct My own opinion is, that however this one-sided horn may really be used by the Narwhale—however that may be—it would certainly be very convenient to him for a folder in reading pamphlets The Narwhale I have heard called the Tusked whale, the Horned whale, and the Unicorn whale He is certainly a curious example of the Unicornism to be found in almost every kingdom of animated nature 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, and as such, preparations of it brought immense prices It was also distilled to a volatile salts for fainting ladies, the same way that the horns of the male deer are manufactured into hartshorn Originally it was in itself accounted an object of great curiosity Black Letter tells me that Sir Martin Frobisher on his return from that voyage, when Queen Bess did gallantly wave her jewelled hand to him from a window of Greenwich Palace, as his bold ship sailed down the Thames; “when Sir Martin returned from that voyage,” saith Black Letter, “on bended knees he presented to her highness a prodigious long horn of the Narwhale, which for a long period after hung in the castle at Windsor.” An Irish author avers that the Earl of Leicester, on bended knees, did likewise present to her highness another horn, pertaining to a land beast of the unicorn nature The Narwhale has a very picturesque, leopard-like look, being of a milk-white ground colour, dotted with round and oblong spots of black His oil is very superior, clear and fine; but there is little of it, and he is seldom hunted He is mostly found in the circumpolar seas BOOK II (Octavo), CHAPTER IV (Killer).—Of this whale little is precisely known to the Nantucketer, and nothing at all to the professed naturalist From what I have seen of him at a distance, I should say that he was about the bigness of a grampus He is very savage—a sort of Feegee fish He sometimes takes the great Folio whales by the lip, and hangs there like a leech, till the mighty brute is worried to death The Killer is never hunted I never heard what sort of oil he has Exception might be taken to the name bestowed upon this whale, on the ground of its indistinctness For we are all killers, on land and on sea; Bonapartes and Sharks included BOOK II (Octavo), CHAPTER V. (Thrasher).—This gentleman is famous for his tail, which he uses for a ferule in thrashing his foes He mounts the Folio whale’s back, and as he swims, he works his passage by flogging him; as some schoolmasters get along in the world by a similar process Still less is known of the Thrasher than of the Killer Both are outlaws, even in the lawless seas

Thus ends BOOK II (Octavo), and begins BOOK III (Duodecimo) DUODECIMOES.—These include the smaller whales I The Huzza Porpoise II The Algerine Porpoise III The Mealy-mouthed Porpoise To those who have not chanced specially to study the subject, it may possibly seem strange, that fishes not commonly exceeding four or five feet should be marshalled among WHALES—a word, which, in the popular sense, always conveys an idea of hugeness But the creatures set down above as Duodecimoes are infallibly whales, by the terms of my definition of what a whale is—i.e. a spouting fish, with a horizontal tail BOOK III (Duodecimo), CHAPTER 1 (Huzza Porpoise).—This is the common porpoise found almost all over the globe The name is of my own bestowal; for there are more than one sort of porpoises, and something must be done to distinguish them I call him thus, because he always swims in hilarious shoals, which upon the broad sea keep tossing themselves to heaven like caps in a Fourth-of-July crowd Their appearance is generally hailed with delight by the mariner Full of fine spirits, they invariably come from the breezy billows to windward They are the lads that always live before the wind They are accounted a lucky omen If you yourself can withstand three cheers at beholding these vivacious fish, then heaven help ye; the spirit of godly gamesomeness is not in ye A well-fed, plump Huzza Porpoise will yield you one good gallon of good oil But the fine and delicate fluid extracted from his jaws is exceedingly valuable It is in request among jewellers and watchmakers Sailors put it on their hones Porpoise meat is good eating, you know It may never have occurred to you that a porpoise spouts Indeed, his spout is so small that it is not very readily discernible But the next time you have a chance, watch him; and you will then see the great Sperm whale himself in miniature BOOK III (Duodecimo), CHAPTER II (Algerine Porpoise).—A pirate Very savage He is only found, I think, in the Pacific He is somewhat larger than the Huzza Porpoise, but much of the same general make Provoke him, and he will buckle to a shark I have lowered for him many times, but never yet saw him captured BOOK III (Duodecimo), CHAPTER III (Mealy-mouthed Porpoise).—The largest kind of Porpoise; and only found in the Pacific, so far as it is known The only English name, by which he has hitherto been designated, is that of the fishers—Right-Whale Porpoise, from the circumstance that he is chiefly found in the vicinity of that Folio In shape, he differs in some degree from the Huzza Porpoise, being of a less rotund and jolly girth; indeed, he is of quite a neat and gentleman-like figure He has no fins on his back (most other porpoises have), he has a lovely tail, and sentimental Indian eyes of a hazel hue But his mealy-mouth spoils all Though his entire back down to his side fins is of a deep sable, yet a boundary line, distinct as the mark in a ship’s hull, called the “bright waist,” that line streaks him from stem to stern, with two separate colours, black above and white below The white comprises part of his head, and the whole of his mouth, which makes him look as if he had just escaped from a felonious visit to a meal-bag A most mean and mealy aspect! His oil is much like that of the common porpoise * * * * * * Beyond the DUODECIMO, this system does not proceed, inasmuch as the Porpoise is the smallest of the whales Above, you have all the Leviathans of note But there are a rabble of uncertain, fugitive, half-fabulous whales, which, as an American whaleman, I know by reputation, but not personally I shall enumerate them by their fore-castle appellations; for possibly such a list may be valuable to future investigators, who may complete what I have here but begun If any of the following whales, shall hereafter be caught and marked, then he can readily be incorporated into this System, according to his Folio, Octavo, or Duodecimo magnitude:—The Bottle-Nose Whale; the Junk Whale; the Pudding-Headed Whale; the Cape Whale; the Leading Whale; the Cannon Whale; the Scragg Whale; the Coppered Whale; the Elephant Whale; the Iceberg Whale; the Quog Whale; the Blue Whale; etc

From Icelandic, Dutch, and old English authorities, there might be quoted other lists of uncertain whales, blessed with all manner of uncouth names But I omit them as altogether obsolete; and can hardly help suspecting them for mere sounds, full of Leviathanism, but signifying nothing Finally: It was stated at the outset, that this system would not be here, and at once, perfected You cannot but plainly see that I have kept my word But I now leave my cetological System standing thus unfinished, even as the great Cathedral of Cologne was left, with the crane still standing upon the top of the uncompleted tower For small erections may be finished by their first architects; grand ones, true ones, ever leave the copestone to posterity God keep me from ever completing anything This whole book is but a draught—nay, but the draught of a draught Oh, Time, Strength, Cash, and Patience! CHAPTER 33 The Specksnyder Concerning the officers of the whale-craft, this seems as good a place as any to set down a little domestic peculiarity on ship-board, arising from the existence of the harpooneer class of officers, a class unknown of course in any other marine than the whale-fleet The large importance attached to the harpooneer’s vocation is evinced by the fact, that originally in the old Dutch Fishery, two centuries and more ago, the command of a whale ship was not wholly lodged in the person now called the captain, but was divided between him and an officer called the Specksnyder Literally this word means Fat-Cutter; usage, however, in time made it equivalent to Chief Harpooneer In those days, the captain’s authority was restricted to the navigation and general management of the vessel; while over the whale-hunting department and all its concerns, the Specksnyder or Chief Harpooneer reigned supreme In the British Greenland Fishery, under the corrupted title of Specksioneer, this old Dutch official is still retained, but his former dignity is sadly abridged At present he ranks simply as senior Harpooneer; and as such, is but one of the captain’s more inferior subalterns Nevertheless, as upon the good conduct of the harpooneers the success of a whaling voyage largely depends, and since in the American Fishery he is not only an important officer in the boat, but under certain circumstances (night watches on a whaling ground) the command of the ship’s deck is also his; therefore the grand political maxim of the sea demands, that he should nominally live apart from the men before the mast, and be in some way distinguished as their professional superior; though always, by them, familiarly regarded as their social equal Now, the grand distinction drawn between officer and man at sea, is this—the first lives aft, the last forward Hence, in whale-ships and merchantmen alike, the mates have their quarters with the captain; and so, too, in most of the American whalers the harpooneers are lodged in the after part of the ship That is to say, they take their meals in the captain’s cabin, and sleep in a place indirectly communicating with it Though the long period of a Southern whaling voyage (by far the longest of all voyages now or ever made by man), the peculiar perils of it, and the community of interest prevailing among a company, all of whom, high or low, depend for their profits, not upon fixed wages, but upon their common luck, together with their common vigilance, intrepidity, and hard work; though all these things do in some cases tend to beget a less rigorous discipline than in merchantmen generally; yet, never mind how much like an old Mesopotamian family these whalemen may, in some primitive instances, live together; for all that, the punctilious externals, at least, of the quarter-deck are seldom materially relaxed, and in no instance done away

Indeed, 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; nay, extorting almost as much outward homage as if he wore the imperial purple, and not the shabbiest of pilot-cloth And though of all men the moody captain of the Pequod was the least given to that sort of shallowest assumption; and though the only homage he ever exacted, was implicit, instantaneous obedience; though he required no man to remove the shoes from his feet ere stepping upon the quarter-deck; and though there were times when, owing to peculiar circumstances connected with events hereafter to be detailed, he addressed them in unusual terms, whether of condescension or in terrorem, or otherwise; yet even Captain Ahab was by no means unobservant of the paramount forms and usages of the sea Nor, perhaps, will it fail to be eventually perceived, that behind those forms and usages, as it were, he sometimes masked himself; incidentally making use of them for other and more private ends than they were legitimately intended to subserve That certain sultanism of his brain, which had otherwise in a good degree remained unmanifested; through those forms that same sultanism became incarnate in an irresistible dictatorship For be a man’s intellectual superiority what it will, it can never assume the practical, available supremacy over other men, without the aid of some sort of external arts and entrenchments, always, in themselves, more or less paltry and base This it is, that for ever keeps God’s true princes of the Empire from the world’s hustings; and leaves the highest honors that this air can give, to those men who become famous more through their infinite inferiority to the choice hidden handful of the Divine Inert, than through their undoubted superiority over the dead level of the mass Such large virtue lurks in these small things when extreme political superstitions invest them, that in some royal instances even to idiot imbecility they have imparted potency But when, as in the case of Nicholas the Czar, the ringed crown of geographical empire encircles an imperial brain; then, the plebeian herds crouch abased before the tremendous centralization Nor, will the tragic dramatist who would depict mortal indomitableness in its fullest sweep and direct swing, ever forget a hint, incidentally so important in his art, as the one now alluded to But Ahab, my Captain, still moves before me in all his Nantucket grimness and shagginess; and in this episode touching Emperors and Kings, I must not conceal that I have only to do with a poor old whale-hunter like him; and, therefore, all outward majestical trappings and housings are denied me Oh, Ahab! what shall be grand in thee, it must needs be plucked at from the skies, and dived for in the deep, and featured in the unbodied air! CHAPTER 34 The Cabin-Table It is noon; and Dough-Boy, the steward, thrusting his pale loaf-of-bread face from the cabin-scuttle, announces dinner to his lord and master; who, sitting in the lee quarter-boat, has just been taking an observation of the sun; and is now mutely reckoning the latitude on the smooth, medallion-shaped tablet, reserved for that daily purpose on the upper part of his ivory leg From his complete inattention to the tidings, you would think that moody Ahab had not heard his menial But presently, catching hold of the mizen shrouds, he swings himself to the deck, and in an even, unexhilarated voice, saying, “Dinner, Mr. Starbuck,” disappears into the cabin When the last echo of his sultan’s step has died away, and Starbuck, the first Emir, has every reason to suppose that he is seated, then Starbuck rouses from his quietude, takes a few turns along the planks, and, after a grave peep into the binnacle, says, with some touch of pleasantness, “Dinner, Mr. Stubb,” and descends the scuttle The second Emir lounges about the rigging awhile, and then slightly shaking the main brace, to see whether it will be all right with that important rope, he likewise takes up the old burden, and with a rapid “Dinner, Mr. Flask,” follows after his predecessors

But the third Emir, now seeing himself all alone on the quarter-deck, seems to feel relieved from some curious restraint; for, tipping all sorts of knowing winks in all sorts of directions, and kicking off his shoes, he strikes into a sharp but noiseless squall of a hornpipe right over the Grand Turk’s head; and then, by a dexterous sleight, pitching his cap up into the mizentop for a shelf, he goes down rollicking so far at least as he remains visible from the deck, reversing all other processions, by bringing up the rear with music But ere stepping into the cabin doorway below, he pauses, ships a new face altogether, and, then, independent, hilarious little Flask enters King Ahab’s presence, in the character of Abjectus, or the Slave It is not the least among the strange things bred by the intense artificialness of sea-usages, that while in the open air of the deck some officers will, upon provocation, bear themselves boldly and defyingly enough towards their commander; yet, ten to one, let those very officers the next moment go down to their customary dinner in that same commander’s cabin, and straightway their inoffensive, not to say deprecatory and humble air towards him, as he sits at the head of the table; this is marvellous, sometimes most comical Wherefore this difference? A problem? Perhaps not To have been Belshazzar, King of Babylon; and to have been Belshazzar, not haughtily but courteously, therein certainly must have been some touch of mundane grandeur But he who in the rightly regal and intelligent spirit presides over his own private dinner-table of invited guests, that man’s unchallenged power and dominion of individual influence for the time; that man’s royalty of state transcends Belshazzar’s, for Belshazzar was not the greatest Who has but once dined his friends, has tasted what it is to be Cæsar It is a witchery of social czarship which there is no withstanding Now, if to this consideration you superadd the official supremacy of a ship-master, then, by inference, you will derive the cause of that peculiarity of sea-life just mentioned Over his ivory-inlaid table, Ahab presided like a mute, maned sea-lion on the white coral beach, surrounded by his warlike but still deferential cubs In his own proper turn, each officer waited to be served They were as little children before Ahab; and yet, in Ahab, there seemed not to lurk the smallest social arrogance With one mind, their intent eyes all fastened upon the old man’s knife, as he carved the chief dish before him I do not suppose that for the world they would have profaned that moment with the slightest observation, even upon so neutral a topic as the weather No! And when reaching out his knife and fork, between which the slice of beef was locked, Ahab thereby motioned Starbuck’s plate towards him, the mate received his meat as though receiving alms; and cut it tenderly; and a little started if, perchance, the knife grazed against the plate; and chewed it noiselessly; and swallowed it, not without circumspection For, like the Coronation banquet at Frankfort, where the German Emperor profoundly dines with the seven Imperial Electors, so these cabin meals were somehow solemn meals, eaten in awful silence; and yet at table old Ahab forbade not conversation; only he himself was dumb What a relief it was to choking Stubb, when a rat made a sudden racket in the hold below And poor little Flask, he was the youngest son, and little boy of this weary family party His were the shinbones of the saline beef; his would have been the drumsticks For Flask to have presumed to help himself, this must have seemed to him tantamount to larceny in the first degree Had he helped himself at that table, doubtless, never more would he have been able to hold his head up in this honest world; nevertheless, strange to say, Ahab never forbade him And had Flask helped himself, the chances were Ahab had never so much as noticed it Least of all, did Flask presume to help himself to butter Whether he thought the owners of the ship denied it to him, on account of its clotting his clear, sunny complexion; or whether he deemed that, on so long a voyage in such marketless waters, butter was at a premium, and therefore was not for him, a subaltern; however it was, Flask, alas! was a butterless man! Another thing Flask was the last person down at the dinner, and Flask is the first man up

Consider! For hereby Flask’s dinner was badly jammed in point of time Starbuck and Stubb both had the start of him; and yet they also have the privilege of lounging in the rear If Stubb even, who is but a peg higher than Flask, happens to have but a small appetite, and soon shows symptoms of concluding his repast, then Flask must bestir himself, he will not get more than three mouthfuls that day; for it is against holy usage for Stubb to precede Flask to the deck Therefore it was that Flask once admitted in private, that ever since he had arisen to the dignity of an officer, from that moment he had never known what it was to be otherwise than hungry, more or less For what he ate did not so much relieve his hunger, as keep it immortal in him Peace and satisfaction, thought Flask, have for ever departed from my stomach I am an officer; but, how I wish I could fish a bit of old-fashioned beef in the forecastle, as I used to when I was before the mast There’s the fruits of promotion now; there’s the vanity of glory: there’s the insanity of life! Besides, if it were so that any mere sailor of the Pequod had a grudge against Flask in Flask’s official capacity, all that sailor had to do, in order to obtain ample vengeance, was to go aft at dinner-time, and get a peep at Flask through the cabin sky-light, sitting silly and dumfoundered before awful Ahab Now, Ahab and his three mates formed what may be called the first table in the Pequod’s cabin After their departure, taking place in inverted order to their arrival, the canvas cloth was cleared, or rather was restored to some hurried order by the pallid steward And then the three harpooneers were bidden to the feast, they being its residuary legatees They made a sort of temporary servants’ hall of the high and mighty cabin In strange contrast to the hardly tolerable constraint and nameless invisible domineerings of the captain’s table, was the entire care-free license and ease, the almost frantic democracy of those inferior fellows the harpooneers While their masters, the mates, seemed afraid of the sound of the hinges of their own jaws, the harpooneers chewed their food with such a relish that there was a report to it They dined like lords; they filled their bellies like Indian ships all day loading with spices Such portentous appetites had Queequeg and Tashtego, that to fill out the vacancies made by the previous repast, often the pale Dough-Boy was fain to bring on a great baron of salt-junk, seemingly quarried out of the solid ox And if he were not lively about it, if he did not go with a nimble hop-skip-and-jump, then Tashtego had an ungentlemanly way of accelerating him by darting a fork at his back, harpoon-wise And once Daggoo, seized with a sudden humor, assisted Dough-Boy’s memory by snatching him up bodily, and thrusting his head into a great empty wooden trencher, while Tashtego, knife in hand, began laying out the circle preliminary to scalping him He was naturally a very nervous, shuddering sort of little fellow, this bread-faced steward; the progeny of a bankrupt baker and a hospital nurse And what with the standing spectacle of the black terrific Ahab, and the periodical tumultuous visitations of these three savages, Dough-Boy’s whole life was one continual lip-quiver Commonly, after seeing the harpooneers furnished with all things they demanded, he would escape from their clutches into his little pantry adjoining, and fearfully peep out at them through the blinds of its door, till all was over It was a sight to see Queequeg seated over against Tashtego, opposing his filed teeth to the Indian’s: crosswise to them, Daggoo seated on the floor, for a bench would have brought his hearse-plumed head to the low carlines; at every motion of his colossal limbs, making the low cabin framework to shake, as when an African elephant goes passenger in a ship But for all this, the great negro was wonderfully abstemious, not to say dainty It seemed hardly possible that by such comparatively small mouthfuls he could keep up the vitality diffused through so broad, baronial, and superb a person But, doubtless, this noble savage fed strong and drank deep of the abounding element of air; and through his dilated nostrils snuffed in the sublime life of the worlds Not by beef or by bread, are giants made or nourished But Queequeg, he had a mortal, barbaric smack of the lip in eating—an ugly sound enough—so much so, that the trembling Dough-Boy almost looked to see whether any marks of teeth lurked

in his own lean arms And when he would hear Tashtego singing out for him to produce himself, that his bones might be picked, the simple-witted steward all but shattered the crockery hanging round him in the pantry, by his sudden fits of the palsy Nor did the whetstone which the harpooneers carried in their pockets, for their lances and other weapons; and with which whetstones, at dinner, they would ostentatiously sharpen their knives; that grating sound did not at all tend to tranquillize poor Dough-Boy How could he forget that in his Island days, Queequeg, for one, must certainly have been guilty of some murderous, convivial indiscretions Alas! Dough-Boy! hard fares the white waiter who waits upon cannibals Not a napkin should he carry on his arm, but a buckler In good time, though, to his great delight, the three salt-sea warriors would rise and depart; to his credulous, fable-mongering ears, all their martial bones jingling in them at every step, like Moorish scimetars in scabbards But, though these barbarians dined in the cabin, and nominally lived there; still, being anything but sedentary in their habits, they were scarcely ever in it except at mealtimes, and just before sleeping-time, when they passed through it to their own peculiar quarters In this one matter, Ahab seemed no exception to most American whale captains, who, as a set, rather incline to the opinion that by rights the ship’s cabin belongs to them; and that it is by courtesy alone that anybody else is, at any time, permitted there So that, in real truth, the mates and harpooneers of the Pequod might more properly be said to have lived out of the cabin than in it For when they did enter it, it was something as a street-door enters a house; turning inwards for a moment, only to be turned out the next; and, as a permanent thing, residing in the open air Nor did they lose much hereby; in the cabin was no companionship; socially, Ahab was inaccessible Though nominally included in the census of Christendom, he was still an alien to it He lived in the world, as the last of the Grisly Bears lived in settled Missouri And as when Spring and Summer had departed, that wild Logan of the woods, burying himself in the hollow of a tree, lived out the winter there, sucking his own paws; so, in his inclement, howling old age, Ahab’s soul, shut up in the caved trunk of his body, there fed upon the sullen paws of its gloom! CHAPTER 35 The Mast-Head It was during the more pleasant weather, that in due rotation with the other seamen my first mast-head came round In most American whalemen the mast-heads are manned almost simultaneously with the vessel’s leaving her port; even though she may have fifteen thousand miles, and more, to sail ere reaching her proper cruising ground And if, after a three, four, or five years’ voyage she is drawing nigh home with anything empty in her—say, an empty vial even—then, her mast-heads are kept manned to the last; and not till her skysail-poles sail in among the spires of the port, does she altogether relinquish the hope of capturing one whale more Now, as the business of standing mast-heads, ashore or afloat, is a very ancient and interesting one, let us in some measure expatiate here I take it, that the earliest standers of mast-heads were the old Egyptians; because, in all my researches, I find none prior to them For though their progenitors, the builders of Babel, must doubtless, by their tower, have intended to rear the loftiest mast-head in all Asia, or Africa either; yet (ere the final truck was put to it) as that great stone mast of theirs may be said to have gone by the board, in the dread gale of God’s wrath; therefore, we cannot give these Babel builders priority over the Egyptians And that the Egyptians were a nation of mast-head standers, is an assertion based upon the general belief among archæologists, that the first pyramids were founded for astronomical purposes: a theory singularly supported by the peculiar stair-like formation of all four sides of those edifices; whereby, with prodigious long upliftings of their legs, those old astronomers were wont to mount to the apex, and sing out for new stars; even as the look-outs of a modern ship sing out for a sail, or a whale just bearing in sight In Saint Stylites, the famous Christian hermit of old times, who built him a lofty stone pillar in the desert and spent the whole latter portion of his life on its summit, hoisting

his food from the ground with a tackle; in him we have a remarkable instance of a dauntless stander-of-mast-heads; who was not to be driven from his place by fogs or frosts, rain, hail, or sleet; but valiantly facing everything out to the last, literally died at his post Of modern standers-of-mast-heads we have but a lifeless set; mere stone, iron, and bronze men; who, though well capable of facing out a stiff gale, are still entirely incompetent to the business of singing out upon discovering any strange sight There is Napoleon; who, upon the top of the column of Vendome, stands with arms folded, some one hundred and fifty feet in the air; careless, now, who rules the decks below; whether Louis Philippe, Louis Blanc, or Louis the Devil Great Washington, too, stands high aloft on his towering main-mast in Baltimore, and like one of Hercules’ pillars, his column marks that point of human grandeur beyond which few mortals will go Admiral Nelson, also, on a capstan of gun-metal, stands his mast-head in Trafalgar Square; and ever when most obscured by that London smoke, token is yet given that a hidden hero is there; for where there is smoke, must be fire But neither great Washington, nor Napoleon, nor Nelson, will answer a single hail from below, however madly invoked to befriend by their counsels the distracted decks upon which they gaze; however it may be surmised, that their spirits penetrate through the thick haze of the future, and descry what shoals and what rocks must be shunned It may seem unwarrantable to couple in any respect the mast-head standers of the land with those of the sea; but that in truth it is not so, is plainly evinced by an item for which Obed Macy, the sole historian of Nantucket, stands accountable The worthy Obed tells us, that in the early times of the whale fishery, ere ships were regularly launched in pursuit of the game, the people of that island erected lofty spars along the sea-coast, to which the look-outs ascended by means of nailed cleats, something as fowls go upstairs in a hen-house A few years ago this same plan was adopted by the Bay whalemen of New Zealand, who, upon descrying the game, gave notice to the ready-manned boats nigh the beach But this custom has now become obsolete; turn we then to the one proper mast-head, that of a whale-ship at sea The three mast-heads are kept manned from sun-rise to sun-set; the seamen taking their regular turns (as at the helm), and relieving each other every two hours In the serene weather of the tropics it is exceedingly pleasant the mast-head; nay, to a dreamy meditative man it is delightful There you stand, a hundred feet above the silent decks, striding along the deep, as if the masts were gigantic stilts, while beneath you and between your legs, as it were, swim the hugest monsters of the sea, even as ships once sailed between the boots of the famous Colossus at old Rhodes There you stand, lost in the infinite series of the sea, with nothing ruffled but the waves The tranced ship indolently rolls; the drowsy trade winds blow; everything resolves you into languor For the most part, in this tropic whaling life, a sublime uneventfulness invests you; you hear no news; read no gazettes; extras with startling accounts of commonplaces never delude you into unnecessary excitements; you hear of no domestic afflictions; bankrupt securities; fall of stocks; 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, and your bill of fare is immutable In one of those southern whalesmen, on a long three or four years’ voyage, as often happens, the sum of the various hours you spend at the mast-head would amount to several entire months 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, should be so sadly destitute of anything approaching to a cosy inhabitiveness, or adapted to breed a comfortable localness of feeling, such as pertains to a bed, a hammock, a hearse, a sentry box, a pulpit, a coach, or any other of those small and snug contrivances in which men temporarily isolate themselves Your most usual point of perch is the head of the t’ gallant-mast, where you stand upon two thin parallel sticks (almost peculiar to whalemen) called the t’ gallant cross-trees

Here, tossed about by the sea, the beginner feels about as cosy as he would standing on a bull’s horns To be sure, in cold weather you may carry your house aloft with you, in the shape of a watch-coat; but properly speaking the thickest watch-coat is no more of a house than the unclad body; for as the soul is glued inside of its fleshy tabernacle, and cannot freely move about in it, nor even move out of it, without running great risk of perishing (like an ignorant pilgrim crossing the snowy Alps in winter); so a watch-coat is not so much of a house as it is a mere envelope, or additional skin encasing you You cannot put a shelf or chest of drawers in your body, and no more can you make a convenient closet of your watch-coat Concerning all this, it is much to be deplored that the mast-heads of a southern whale ship are unprovided with those enviable little tents or pulpits, called crow’s-nests, in which the look-outs of a Greenland whaler are protected from the inclement weather of the frozen seas In the fireside narrative of Captain Sleet, entitled “A Voyage among the Icebergs, in quest of the Greenland Whale, and incidentally for the re-discovery of the Lost Icelandic Colonies of Old Greenland;” in this admirable volume, all standers of mast-heads are furnished with a charmingly circumstantial account of the then recently invented crow’s-nest of the Glacier, which was the name of Captain Sleet’s good craft He called it the Sleet’s crow’s-nest, in honor of himself; he being the original inventor and patentee, and free from all ridiculous false delicacy, and holding that if we call our own children after our own names (we fathers being the original inventors and patentees), so likewise should we denominate after ourselves any other apparatus we may beget In shape, the Sleet’s crow’s-nest is something like a large tierce or pipe; it is open above, however, where it is furnished with a movable side-screen to keep to windward of your head in a hard gale Being fixed on the summit of the mast, you ascend into it through a little trap-hatch in the bottom On the after side, or side next the stern of the ship, is a comfortable seat, with a locker underneath for umbrellas, comforters, and coats In front is a leather rack, in which to keep your speaking trumpet, pipe, telescope, and other nautical conveniences When Captain Sleet in person stood his mast-head in this crow’s-nest of his, he tells us that he always had a rifle with him (also fixed in the rack), together with a powder flask and shot, for the purpose of popping off the stray narwhales, or vagrant sea unicorns infesting those waters; for you cannot successfully shoot at them from the deck owing to the resistance of the water, but to shoot down upon them is a very different thing Now, it was plainly a labor of love for Captain Sleet to describe, as he does, all the little detailed conveniences of his crow’s-nest; but though he so enlarges upon many of these, and though he treats us to a very scientific account of his experiments in this 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; an error ascribable to the horizontal vicinity of the iron in the ship’s planks, and in the Glacier’s case, perhaps, to there having been so many broken-down blacksmiths among her crew; I say, that though the Captain is very discreet and scientific here, yet, for all his learned “binnacle deviations,” “azimuth compass observations,” and “approximate errors,” he knows very well, Captain Sleet, that he was not so much immersed in those profound magnetic meditations, as to fail being attracted occasionally towards that well replenished little case-bottle, so nicely tucked in on one side of his crow’s nest, within easy reach of his hand Though, upon the whole, I greatly admire and even love the brave, the honest, and learned Captain; yet I take it very ill of him that he should so utterly ignore that case-bottle, seeing what a faithful friend and comforter it must have been, 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; yet that disadvantage is greatly counter-balanced by the widely contrasting serenity of those seductive seas in which we South fishers mostly float For one, I used to lounge up the rigging very leisurely, resting in the top to have a chat with Queequeg, or any one else off duty whom I might find there; then ascending a little way further, and throwing a lazy leg over the top-sail yard, take a preliminary view

of the watery pastures, and so at last mount to my ultimate destination Let me make a clean breast of it here, and frankly admit that I kept but sorry guard With the problem of the universe revolving in me, how could I—being left completely to myself at such a thought-engendering altitude—how could I but lightly hold my obligations to observe all whale-ships’ standing orders, “Keep your weather eye open, and sing out every time.” And let me in this place movingly admonish you, ye ship-owners of Nantucket! Beware of enlisting in your vigilant fisheries any lad with lean brow and hollow eye; given to unseasonable meditativeness; and who offers to ship with the Phædon instead of Bowditch in his head Beware of such an one, I say; your whales must be seen before they can be killed; and this sunken-eyed young Platonist will tow you ten wakes round the world, and never make you one pint of sperm the richer Nor are these monitions at all unneeded For nowadays, the whale-fishery furnishes an asylum for many romantic, melancholy, and absent-minded young men, disgusted with the carking cares of earth, and seeking sentiment in tar and blubber Childe Harold not unfrequently perches himself upon the mast-head of some luckless disappointed whale-ship, and in moody phrase ejaculates:— “Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean, roll! Ten thousand blubber-hunters sweep over thee in vain.” Very often do the captains of such ships take those absent-minded young philosophers to task, upbraiding them with not feeling sufficient “interest” in the voyage; half-hinting that they are so hopelessly lost to all honorable ambition, as that in their secret souls they would rather not see whales than otherwise But all in vain; those young Platonists have a notion that their vision is imperfect; they are short-sighted; what use, then, to strain the visual nerve? They have left their opera-glasses at home “Why, thou monkey,” said a harpooneer to one of these lads, “we’ve been cruising now hard upon three years, and thou hast not raised a whale yet Whales are scarce as hen’s teeth whenever thou art up here.” Perhaps they were; or perhaps there might have been shoals of them in the far horizon; but lulled into such an opium-like listlessness of vacant, unconscious reverie is this absent-minded youth by the blending cadence of waves with thoughts, that at last he loses his identity; takes the mystic ocean at his feet for the visible image of that deep, blue, bottomless soul, pervading mankind and nature; and every strange, half-seen, gliding, beautiful thing that eludes him; every dimly-discovered, uprising fin of some undiscernible form, seems to him the embodiment of those elusive thoughts that only people the soul by continually flitting through it In this enchanted mood, thy spirit ebbs away to whence it came; becomes diffused through time and space; like Cranmer’s sprinkled Pantheistic ashes, forming at last a part of every shore the round globe over There is no life in thee, now, except that rocking life imparted by a gently rolling ship; by her, borrowed from the sea; by the sea, from the inscrutable tides of God But while this sleep, this dream is on ye, move your foot or hand an inch; slip your hold at all; and your identity comes back in horror Over Descartian vortices you hover And perhaps, at mid-day, in the fairest weather, with one half-throttled shriek you drop through that transparent air into the summer sea, no more to rise for ever Heed it well, ye Pantheists! CHAPTER 36 The Quarter-Deck (Enter Ahab: Then, all.) It was not a great while after the affair of the pipe, that one morning shortly after

breakfast, Ahab, as was his wont, ascended the cabin-gangway to the deck There most sea-captains usually walk at that hour, as country gentlemen, after the same meal, take a few turns in the garden Soon his steady, ivory stride was heard, as to and fro he paced his old rounds, upon planks so familiar to his tread, that they were all over dented, like geological stones, with the peculiar mark of his walk Did you fixedly gaze, too, upon that ribbed and dented brow; there also, you would see still stranger foot-prints—the foot-prints of his one unsleeping, ever-pacing thought But on the occasion in question, those dents looked deeper, even as his nervous step that morning left a deeper mark And, so full of his thought was Ahab, that at every uniform turn that he made, now at the main-mast and now at the binnacle, you could almost see that thought turn in him as he turned, and pace in him as he paced; so completely possessing him, indeed, that it all but seemed the inward mould of every outer movement “D’ye mark him, Flask?” whispered Stubb; “the chick that’s in him pecks the shell ’Twill soon be out.” The hours wore on;—Ahab now shut up within his cabin; anon, pacing the deck, with the same intense bigotry of purpose in his aspect It drew near the close of day Suddenly he came to a halt by the bulwarks, and inserting his bone leg into the auger-hole there, and with one hand grasping a shroud, he ordered Starbuck to send everybody aft “Sir!” said the mate, astonished at an order seldom or never given on ship-board except in some extraordinary case “Send everybody aft,” repeated Ahab “Mast-heads, there! come down!” When the entire ship’s company were assembled, and with curious and not wholly unapprehensive faces, were eyeing him, for he looked not unlike the weather horizon when a storm is coming up, Ahab, after rapidly glancing over the bulwarks, and then darting his eyes among the crew, started from his standpoint; and as though not a soul were nigh him resumed his heavy turns upon the deck With bent head and half-slouched hat he continued to pace, unmindful of the wondering whispering among the men; till Stubb cautiously whispered to Flask, that Ahab must have summoned them there for the purpose of witnessing a pedestrian feat But this did not last long Vehemently pausing, he cried:— “What do ye do when ye see a whale, men?” “Sing out for him!” was the impulsive rejoinder from a score of clubbed voices “Good!” cried Ahab, with a wild approval in his tones; observing the hearty animation into which his unexpected question had so magnetically thrown them “And what do ye next, men?” “Lower away, and after him!” “And what tune is it ye pull to, men?” “A dead whale or a stove boat!” More and more strangely and fiercely glad and approving, grew the countenance of the old man at every shout; while the mariners began to gaze curiously at each other, as if marvelling how it was that they themselves became so excited at such seemingly purposeless questions But, they were all eagerness again, as Ahab, now half-revolving in his pivot-hole, with one hand reaching high up a shroud, and tightly, almost convulsively grasping it, addressed them thus:— “All ye mast-headers have before now heard me give orders about a white whale 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, men D’ye see it? Mr. Starbuck, hand me yon top-maul.” While the mate was getting the hammer, Ahab, without speaking, was slowly rubbing the gold piece against the skirts of his jacket, as if to heighten its lustre, and without using any words was meanwhile lowly humming to himself, producing a sound so strangely muffled and inarticulate that it seemed the mechanical humming of the wheels of his vitality in him Receiving the top-maul from Starbuck, he advanced towards the main-mast with the hammer uplifted in one hand, exhibiting the gold with the other, and with a high raised voice exclaiming: “Whosoever of ye raises me a white-headed whale with a wrinkled brow and a crooked jaw;

whosoever of ye raises me that white-headed whale, with three holes punctured in his starboard fluke—look ye, whosoever of ye raises me that same white whale, he shall have this gold ounce, my boys!” “Huzza! huzza!” cried the seamen, as with swinging tarpaulins they hailed the act of nailing the gold to the mast “It’s a white whale, I say,” resumed Ahab, as he threw down the topmaul: “a white whale Skin your eyes for him, men; look sharp for white water; if ye see but a bubble, sing out.” All this while Tashtego, Daggoo, and Queequeg had looked on with even more intense interest and surprise than the rest, and at the mention of the wrinkled brow and crooked jaw they had started as if each was separately touched by some specific recollection “Captain Ahab,” said Tashtego, “that white whale must be the same that some call Moby Dick.” “Moby Dick?” shouted Ahab “Do ye know the white whale then, Tash?” “Does he fan-tail a little curious, sir, before he goes down?” said the Gay-Header deliberately “And has he a curious spout, too,” said Daggoo, “very bushy, even for a parmacetty, and mighty quick, Captain Ahab?” “And he have one, two, three—oh! good many iron in him hide, too, Captain,” cried Queequeg disjointedly, “all twiske-tee be-twisk, like him—him—” faltering hard for a word, and screwing his hand round and round as though uncorking a bottle—“like him—him—” “Corkscrew!” cried Ahab, “aye, Queequeg, the harpoons lie all twisted and wrenched in him; aye, Daggoo, his spout is a big one, like a whole shock of wheat, and white as a pile of our Nantucket wool after the great annual sheep-shearing; aye, Tashtego, and he fan-tails like a split jib in a squall Death and devils! men, it is Moby Dick ye have seen—Moby Dick—Moby Dick!” “Captain Ahab,” said Starbuck, who, with Stubb and Flask, had thus far been eyeing his superior with increasing surprise, but at last seemed struck with a thought which somewhat explained all the wonder “Captain Ahab, I have heard of Moby Dick—but it was not Moby Dick that took off thy leg?” “Who told thee that?” cried Ahab; then pausing, “Aye, Starbuck; aye, my hearties all round; it was Moby Dick that dismasted me; Moby Dick that brought me to this dead stump I stand on now Aye, aye,” he shouted with a terrific, loud, animal sob, like that of a heart-stricken moose; “Aye, aye! it was that accursed white whale that razed me; made a poor pegging lubber of me for ever and a day!” Then tossing both arms, with measureless imprecations he shouted out: “Aye, aye! and I’ll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition’s flames before I give him up And this is what ye have shipped for, men! to chase that white whale on both sides of land, and over all sides of earth, till he spouts black blood and rolls fin out What say ye, men, will ye splice hands on it, now? I think ye do look brave.” “Aye, aye!” shouted the harpooneers and seamen, running closer to the excited old man: “A sharp eye for the white whale; a sharp lance for Moby Dick!” “God bless ye,” he seemed to half sob and half shout “God bless ye, men Steward! go draw the great measure of grog But what’s this long face about, Mr. Starbuck; wilt thou not chase the white whale? art not game for Moby Dick?” “I am game for his crooked jaw, and for the jaws of Death too, Captain Ahab, if it fairly comes in the way of the business we follow; but I came here to hunt whales, not my commander’s vengeance How many barrels will thy vengeance yield thee even if thou gettest it, Captain Ahab? it will not fetch thee much in our Nantucket market.” “Nantucket market! Hoot! But come closer, Starbuck; thou requirest a little lower layer

If money’s to be the measurer, man, and the accountants have computed their great counting-house the globe, by girdling it with guineas, one to every three parts of an inch; then, let me tell thee, that my vengeance will fetch a great premium here!” “He smites his chest,” whispered Stubb, “what’s that for? methinks it rings most vast, but hollow.” “Vengeance on a dumb brute!” cried Starbuck, “that simply smote thee from blindest instinct! Madness! To be enraged with a dumb thing, Captain Ahab, seems blasphemous.” “Hark ye yet again—the little lower layer All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks But in each event—in the living act, the undoubted deed—there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the white whale is that wall, shoved near to me Sometimes I think there’s naught beyond But ’tis enough He tasks me; he heaps me; I see in him outrageous strength, with an inscrutable malice sinewing it That inscrutable thing is chiefly what I hate; and be the white whale agent, or be the white whale principal, I will wreak that hate upon him Talk not to me of blasphemy, man; I’d strike the sun if it insulted me For could the sun do that, then could I do the other; since there is ever a sort of fair play herein, jealousy presiding over all creations But not my master, man, is even that fair play Who’s over me? Truth hath no confines Take off thine eye! more intolerable than fiends’ glarings is a doltish stare! So, so; thou reddenest and palest; my heat has melted thee to anger-glow But look ye, Starbuck, what is said in heat, that thing unsays itself There are men from whom warm words are small indignity I meant not to incense thee Let it go Look! see yonder Turkish cheeks of spotted tawn—living, breathing pictures painted by the sun The Pagan leopards—the unrecking and unworshipping things, that live; and seek, and give no reasons for the torrid life they feel! The crew, man, the crew! Are they not one and all with Ahab, in this matter of the whale? See Stubb! he laughs! See yonder Chilian! he snorts to think of it Stand up amid the general hurricane, thy one tost sapling cannot, Starbuck! And what is it? Reckon it ’Tis but to help strike a fin; no wondrous feat for Starbuck What is it more? From this one poor hunt, then, the best lance out of all Nantucket, surely he will not hang back, when every foremast-hand has clutched a whetstone? Ah! constrainings seize thee; I see! the billow lifts thee! Speak, but speak!—Aye, aye! thy silence, then, that voices thee (Aside) Something shot from my dilated nostrils, he has inhaled it in his lungs Starbuck now is mine; cannot oppose me now, without rebellion.” “God keep me!—keep us all!” murmured Starbuck, lowly But in his joy at the enchanted, tacit acquiescence of the mate, Ahab did not hear his foreboding invocation; nor yet the low laugh from the hold; nor yet the presaging vibrations of the winds in the cordage; nor yet the hollow flap of the sails against the masts, as for a moment their hearts sank in For again Starbuck’s downcast eyes lighted up with the stubbornness of life; the subterranean laugh died away; the winds blew on; the sails filled out; the ship heaved and rolled as before Ah, ye admonitions and warnings! why stay ye not when ye come?

But rather are ye predictions than warnings, ye shadows! Yet not so much predictions from without, as verifications of the foregoing things within For with little external to constrain us, the innermost necessities in our being, these still drive us on “The measure! the measure!” cried Ahab Receiving the brimming pewter, and turning to the harpooneers, he ordered them to produce their weapons Then ranging them before him near the capstan, with their harpoons in their hands, while his three mates stood at his side with their lances, and the rest of the ship’s company formed a circle round the group; he stood for an instant searchingly eyeing every man of his crew But those wild eyes met his, as the bloodshot eyes of the prairie wolves meet the eye of their leader, ere he rushes on at their head in the trail of the bison; but, alas! only to fall into the hidden snare of the Indian “Drink and pass!” he cried, handing the heavy charged flagon to the nearest seaman “The crew alone now drink Round with it, round! Short draughts—long swallows, men; ’tis hot as Satan’s hoof So, so; it goes round excellently It spiralizes in ye; forks out at the serpent-snapping eye Well done; almost drained That way it went, this way it comes Hand it me—here’s a hollow! Men, ye seem the years; so brimming life is gulped and gone Steward, refill! “Attend now, my braves I have mustered ye all round this capstan; and ye mates, flank me with your lances; and ye harpooneers, stand there with your irons; and ye, stout mariners, ring me in, that I may in some sort revive a noble custom of my fisherman fathers before me O men, you will yet see that—Ha! boy, come back? bad pennies come not sooner Hand it me Why, now, this pewter had run brimming again, wer’t not thou St. Vitus’ imp—away, thou ague! “Advance, ye mates! Cross your lances full before me Well done! Let me touch the axis.” So saying, with extended arm, he grasped the three level, radiating lances at their crossed centre; while so doing, suddenly and nervously twitched them; meanwhile, glancing intently from Starbuck to Stubb; from Stubb to Flask It seemed as though, by some nameless, interior volition, he would fain have shocked into them the same fiery emotion accumulated within the Leyden jar of his own magnetic life The three mates quailed before his strong, sustained, and mystic aspect Stubb and Flask looked sideways from him; the honest eye of Starbuck fell downright “In vain!” cried Ahab; “but, maybe, ’tis well For did ye three but once take the full-forced shock, then mine own electric thing, that had perhaps expired from out me Perchance, too, it would have dropped ye dead Perchance ye need it not Down lances! And now, ye mates, I do appoint ye three cupbearers to my three pagan kinsmen there—yon three most honorable gentlemen and noblemen, my valiant harpooneers Disdain the task? What, when the great Pope washes the feet of beggars, using his tiara for ewer? Oh, my sweet cardinals! your own condescension, that shall bend ye to it I do not order ye; ye will it Cut your seizings and draw the poles, ye harpooneers!” Silently obeying the order, the three harpooneers now stood with the detached iron part of their harpoons, some three feet long, held, barbs up, before him “Stab me not with that keen steel! Cant them; cant them over! know ye not the goblet end? Turn up the socket! So, so; now, ye cup-bearers, advance The irons! take them; hold them while I fill!” Forthwith, slowly going from one officer to the other, he brimmed the harpoon sockets with the fiery waters from the pewter “Now, three to three, ye stand Commend the murderous chalices! Bestow them, ye who are now made parties to this indissoluble league Ha! Starbuck! but the deed is done! Yon ratifying sun now waits to sit upon it Drink, ye harpooneers! drink and swear, ye men that man the deathful whaleboat’s bow—Death

to Moby Dick! God hunt us all, if we do not hunt Moby Dick to his death!” The long, barbed steel goblets were lifted; and to cries and maledictions against the white whale, the spirits were simultaneously quaffed down with a hiss Starbuck paled, and turned, and shivered Once more, and finally, the replenished pewter went the rounds among the frantic crew; when, waving his free hand to them, they all dispersed; and Ahab retired within his cabin CHAPTER 37 Sunset The cabin; by the stern windows; Ahab sitting alone, and gazing out I leave a white and turbid wake; pale waters, paler cheeks, where’er I sail The envious billows sidelong swell to whelm my track; let them; but first I pass Yonder, by ever-brimming goblet’s rim, the warm waves blush like wine The gold brow plumbs the blue The diver sun—slow dived from noon—goes down; my soul mounts up! she wearies with her endless hill Is, then, the crown too heavy that I wear? this Iron Crown of Lombardy Yet is it bright with many a gem; I the wearer, see not its far flashings; but darkly feel that I wear that, that dazzlingly confounds ’Tis iron—that I know—not gold ’Tis split, too—that I feel; the jagged edge galls me so, my brain seems to beat against the solid metal; aye, steel skull, mine; the sort that needs no helmet in the most brain-battering fight! Dry heat upon my brow? Oh! time was, when as the sunrise nobly spurred me, so the sunset soothed No more This lovely light, it lights not me; all loveliness is anguish to me, since I can ne’er enjoy Gifted with the high perception, I lack the low, enjoying power; damned, most subtly and most malignantly! damned in the midst of Paradise! Good night—good night! (waving his hand, he moves from the window.) ’Twas not so hard a task I thought to find one stubborn, at the least; but my one cogged circle fits into all their various wheels, and they revolve Or, if you will, like so many ant-hills of powder, they all stand before me; and I their match Oh, hard! that to fire others, the match itself must needs be wasting! What I’ve dared, I’ve willed; and what I’ve willed, I’ll do! They think me mad—Starbuck does; but I’m demoniac, I am madness maddened! That wild madness that’s only calm to comprehend itself! The prophecy was that I should be dismembered; and—Aye! I lost this leg I now prophesy that I will dismember my dismemberer Now, then, be the prophet and the fulfiller one That’s more than ye, ye great gods, ever were I laugh and hoot at ye, ye cricket-players, ye pugilists, ye deaf Burkes and blinded Bendigoes! I will not say as schoolboys do to bullies—Take some one of your own size; don’t pommel me! No, ye’ve knocked me down, and I am up again; but ye have run and hidden Come forth from behind your cotton bags! I have no long gun to reach ye Come, Ahab’s compliments to ye; come and see if ye can swerve me Swerve me? ye cannot swerve me, else ye swerve yourselves! man has ye there Swerve me? The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under torrents’ beds, unerringly I rush! Naught’s an obstacle, naught’s an angle to the iron way! CHAPTER 38 Dusk By the Mainmast; Starbuck leaning against it

My soul is more than matched; she’s overmanned; and by a madman! Insufferable sting, that sanity should ground arms on such a field! But he drilled deep down, and blasted all my reason out of me! I think I see his impious end; but feel that I must help him to it Will I, nill I, the ineffable thing has tied me to him; tows me with a cable I have no knife to cut Horrible old man! Who’s over him, he cries;—aye, he would be a democrat to all above; look, how he lords it over all below! Oh! I plainly see my miserable office,—to obey, rebelling; and worse yet, to hate with touch of pity! For in his eyes I read some lurid woe would shrivel me up, had I it Yet is there hope Time and tide flow wide The hated whale has the round watery world to swim in, as the small gold-fish has its glassy globe His heaven-insulting purpose, God may wedge aside I would up heart, were it not like lead But my whole clock’s run down; my heart the all-controlling weight, I have no key to lift again [A burst of revelry from the forecastle.] Oh, God! to sail with such a heathen crew that have small touch of human mothers in them! Whelped somewhere by the sharkish sea The white whale is their demigorgon Hark! the infernal orgies! that revelry is forward! mark the unfaltering silence aft! Methinks it pictures life Foremost through the sparkling sea shoots on the gay, embattled, bantering bow, but only to drag dark Ahab after it, where he broods within his sternward cabin, builded over the dead water of the wake, and further on, hunted by its wolfish gurglings The long howl thrills me through! Peace! ye revellers, and set the watch! Oh, life! ’tis in an hour like this, with soul beat down and held to knowledge,—as wild, untutored things are forced to feed—Oh, 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 human in me, yet will I try to fight ye, ye grim, phantom futures! Stand by me, hold me, bind me, O ye blessed influences! CHAPTER 39 First Night-Watch Fore-Top (Stubb solus, and mending a brace.) Ha! ha! ha! ha! hem! clear my throat!—I’ve been thinking over it ever since, and that ha, ha’s the final consequence Why so? Because a laugh’s the wisest, easiest answer to all that’s queer; and come what will, one comfort’s always left—that unfailing comfort is, it’s all predestinated I heard not all his talk with Starbuck; but to my poor eye Starbuck then looked something as I the other evening felt Be sure the old Mogul has fixed him, too I twigged it, knew it; had had the gift, might readily have prophesied it—for when I clapped my eye upon his skull I saw it Well, Stubb, wise Stubb—that’s my title—well, Stubb, what of it, Stubb? Here’s a carcase I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing Such a waggish leering as lurks in all your horribles! I feel funny Fa, la! lirra, skirra! What’s my juicy little pear at home doing now? Crying its eyes out?—Giving a party to the last arrived harpooneers, I dare say, gay as a frigate’s pennant, and so am I—fa, la! lirra, skirra! Oh— We’ll drink to-night with hearts as light, To love, as gay and fleeting As bubbles that swim, on the beaker’s brim, And break on the lips while meeting A brave stave that—who calls? Mr. Starbuck? Aye, aye, sir—(Aside) he’s my superior, he has his too, if I’m not mistaken.—Aye, aye, sir, just through with this job—coming CHAPTER 40 Midnight, Forecastle HARPOONEERS AND SAILORS (Foresail rises and discovers the watch standing, lounging, leaning, and lying in various attitudes, all singing in chorus.) Farewell and adieu to you, Spanish ladies!

Farewell and adieu to you, ladies of Spain! Our captain’s commanded.— 1ST NANTUCKET SAILOR Oh, boys, don’t be sentimental; it’s bad for the digestion! Take a tonic, follow me! (Sings, and all follow.) Our captain stood upon the deck, A spy-glass in his hand, A viewing of those gallant whales That blew at every strand Oh, your tubs in your boats, my boys, And by your braces stand, And we’ll have one of those fine whales, Hand, boys, over hand! So, be cheery, my lads! may your hearts never fail! While the bold harpooner is striking the whale! MATE’S VOICE FROM THE QUARTER-DECK Eight bells there, forward! 2ND NANTUCKET SAILOR Avast the chorus! Eight bells there! d’ye hear, bell-boy? Strike the bell eight, thou Pip! thou blackling! and let me call the watch I’ve the sort of mouth for that—the hogshead mouth So, so, (thrusts his head down the scuttle,) Star-bo-l-e-e-n-s, a-h-o-y! Eight bells there below! Tumble up! DUTCH SAILOR Grand snoozing to-night, maty; fat night for that I mark this in our old Mogul’s wine; it’s quite as deadening to some as filliping to others We sing; they sleep—aye, lie down there, like ground-tier butts At ’em again! There, take this copper-pump, and hail ’em through it Tell ’em to avast dreaming of their lasses Tell ’em it’s the resurrection; they must kiss their last, and come to judgment That’s the way—that’s it; thy throat ain’t spoiled with eating Amsterdam butter FRENCH SAILOR Hist, boys! let’s have a jig or two before we ride to anchor in Blanket Bay What say ye? There comes the other watch Stand by all legs! Pip! little Pip! hurrah with your tambourine! PIP (Sulky and sleepy.) Don’t know where it is FRENCH SAILOR Beat thy belly, then, and wag thy ears Jig it, men, I say; merry’s the word; hurrah! Damn me, won’t you dance? Form, now, Indian-file, and gallop into the double-shuffle? Throw yourselves! Legs! legs! ICELAND SAILOR I don’t like your floor, maty; it’s too springy to my taste I’m used to ice-floors I’m sorry to throw cold water on the subject; but excuse me MALTESE SAILOR Me too; where’s your girls? Who but a fool would take his left hand by his right, and say to himself, how d’ye do? Partners! I must have partners! SICILIAN SAILOR Aye; girls and a green!—then I’ll hop with ye; yea, turn grasshopper! LONG-ISLAND SAILOR Well, well, ye sulkies, there’s plenty more of us Hoe corn when you may, say I All legs go to harvest soon Ah! here comes the music; now for it! AZORE SAILOR (Ascending, and pitching the tambourine up the scuttle.) Here you are, Pip; and there’s the windlass-bitts; up you mount! Now, boys! (The half of them dance to the tambourine; some go below; some sleep or lie among the coils of rigging Oaths a-plenty.) AZORE SAILOR (Dancing) Go it, Pip! Bang it, bell-boy! Rig it, dig it, stig it, quig it, bell-boy! Make fire-flies; break the jinglers! PIP Jinglers, you say?—there goes another, dropped off; I pound it so CHINA SAILOR Rattle thy teeth, then, and pound away; make a pagoda of thyself FRENCH SAILOR Merry-mad! Hold up thy hoop, Pip, till I jump through it! Split jibs! tear yourselves! TASHTEGO (Quietly smoking.) That’s a white man; he calls that fun: humph! I save my sweat OLD MANX SAILOR I wonder whether those jolly lads bethink them of what they are dancing over I’ll dance over your grave, I will—that’s the bitterest threat of your night-women, that beat head-winds round corners O Christ! to think of the green navies and the green-skulled crews! Well, well; belike the whole world’s a ball, as you scholars have it; and so ’tis right to make one ballroom of it Dance on, lads, you’re young; I was once 3D NANTUCKET SAILOR Spell oh!—whew! this is worse than pulling after whales in a calm—give us a whiff, Tash (They cease dancing, and gather in clusters Meantime the sky darkens—the wind rises.)

LASCAR SAILOR By Brahma! boys, it’ll be douse sail soon The sky-born, high-tide Ganges turned to wind! Thou showest thy black brow, Seeva! MALTESE SAILOR (Reclining and shaking his cap.) It’s the waves—the snow’s caps turn to jig it now They’ll shake their tassels soon Now would all the waves were women, then I’d go drown, and chassee with them evermore! There’s naught so sweet on earth—heaven may not match it!—as those swift glances of warm, wild bosoms in the dance, when the over-arboring arms hide such ripe, bursting grapes SICILIAN SAILOR (Reclining.) Tell me not of it! Hark ye, lad—fleet interlacings of the limbs—lithe swayings—coyings—flutterings! lip! heart! hip! all graze: unceasing touch and go! not taste, observe ye, else come satiety Eh, Pagan? (Nudging.) TAHITAN SAILOR (Reclining on a mat.) Hail, holy nakedness of our dancing girls!—the Heeva-Heeva! Ah! low veiled, high palmed Tahiti! I still rest me on thy mat, but the soft soil has slid! I saw thee woven in the wood, my mat! green the first day I brought ye thence; now worn and wilted quite Ah me!—not thou nor I can bear the change! How then, if so be transplanted to yon sky? Hear I the roaring streams from Pirohitee’s peak of spears, when they leap down the crags and drown the villages?—The blast! the blast! Up, spine, and meet it! (Leaps to his feet.) PORTUGUESE SAILOR How the sea rolls swashing ’gainst the side! Stand by for reefing, hearties! the winds are just crossing swords, pell-mell they’ll go lunging presently DANISH SAILOR Crack, crack, old ship! so long as thou crackest, thou holdest! Well done! The mate there holds ye to it stiffly He’s no more afraid than the isle fort at Cattegat, put there to fight the Baltic with storm-lashed guns, on which the sea-salt cakes! 4TH NANTUCKET SAILOR He has his orders, mind ye that I heard old Ahab tell him he must always kill a squall, something as they burst a waterspout with a pistol—fire your ship right into it! ENGLISH SAILOR Blood! but that old man’s a grand old cove! We are the lads to hunt him up his whale! ALL Aye! aye! OLD MANX SAILOR How the three pines shake! Pines are the hardest sort of tree to live when shifted to any other soil, and here there’s none but the crew’s cursed clay Steady, helmsman! steady This is the sort of weather when brave hearts snap ashore, and keeled hulls split at sea Our captain has his birthmark; look yonder, boys, there’s another in the sky—lurid-like, ye see, all else pitch black DAGGOO What of that? Who’s afraid of black’s afraid of me! I’m quarried out of it! SPANISH SAILOR (Aside.) He wants to bully, ah!—the old grudge makes me touchy (Advancing.) Aye, harpooneer, thy race is the undeniable dark side of mankind—devilish dark at that No offence DAGGOO (grimly) None ST JAGO’S SAILOR That Spaniard’s mad or drunk But that can’t be, or else in his one case our old Mogul’s fire-waters are somewhat long in working 5TH NANTUCKET SAILOR What’s that I saw—lightning? Yes SPANISH SAILOR No; Daggoo showing his teeth DAGGOO (springing) Swallow thine, mannikin! White skin, white liver! SPANISH SAILOR (meeting him) Knife thee heartily! big frame, small spirit! ALL A row! a row! a row! TASHTEGO (with a whiff) A row a’low, and a row aloft—Gods and men—both brawlers! Humph! BELFAST SAILOR A row! arrah a row! The Virgin be blessed, a row! Plunge in with ye! ENGLISH SAILOR Fair play! Snatch the Spaniard’s knife! A ring, a ring! OLD MANX SAILOR Ready formed There! the ringed horizon In that ring Cain struck Abel

Sweet work, right work! No? Why then, God, mad’st thou the ring? MATE’S VOICE FROM THE QUARTER-DECK Hands by the halyards! in top-gallant sails! Stand by to reef topsails! ALL The squall! the squall! jump, my jollies! (They scatter.) PIP (shrinking under the windlass) Jollies? Lord help such jollies! Crish, crash! there goes the jib-stay! Blang-whang! God! Duck lower, Pip, here comes the royal yard! It’s worse than being in the whirled woods, the last day of the year! Who’d go climbing after chestnuts now? But there they go, all cursing, and here I don’t Fine prospects to ’em; they’re on the road to heaven Hold on hard! Jimmini, what a squall! But those chaps there are worse yet—they are your white squalls, they White squalls? white whale, shirr! shirr! Here have I heard all their chat just now, and the white whale—shirr! shirr!—but spoken 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 hunt him! Oh, thou big white God aloft there somewhere in yon darkness, have mercy on this small black boy down here; preserve him from all men that have no bowels to feel fear!