Nevertheless, not three days previous, Bildad had told them that no profane songs would be allowed on board the Pequod, particularly in getting under weigh; and Charity, his sister, had placed a small choice copy of Watts in each seaman's
having or showing or expressing reverence for a deity
I was comforting myself, however, with the thought that in
pious Bildad might be found some salvation, spite of his seven hundred and seventy-seventh lay; when I felt a sudden sharp poke in my rear, and turning round, was horrified at the apparition of Captain Peleg in the act of withdrawing his leg from my immediate vicinity.
Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the
intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?
In the first place, it may be deemed almost
superfluous to establish the fact, that among people at large, the business of whaling is not accounted on a level with what are called the liberal professions.
But even granting the charge in question to be true; what disordered slippery decks of a whale-ship are comparable to the unspeakable carrion of those battle-fields from which so many soldiers return to drink in all ladies'
Much might be
ruminated here, concerning the essential dignity of this regal process, because in common life we esteem but meanly and contemptibly a fellow who anoints his hair, and palpably smells of that anointing.
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.
a variation in circumstances or fortune at different times in your life or in the development of something
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.
(used of conduct or character) deserving or bringing disgrace or shame
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.
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 m
characterized by lightness and insubstantiality; as impalpable or intangible as air
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 m
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.
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.
feelings of anxiety that make you tense and irritable
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.
consisting of a haphazard assortment of different kinds
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.
believing the worst of human nature and motives; having a sneering disbelief in e.g. selflessness of others
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.