a rate that is rapid
The phantoms, for so they then seemed, were flitting on the other side of the deck, and, with a noiseless
celerity, were casting loose the tackles and bands of the boat which swung there.
teach and impress by frequent repetitions or admonitions
Stubb's exordium to his crew is given here at large, because he had rather a peculiar way of talking to them in general, and especially in
inculcating the religion of rowing.
at a slanting angle
In obedience to a sign from Ahab, Starbuck was now pulling
obliquely across Stubb's bow; and when for a minute or so the two boats were pretty near to each other, Stubb hailed the mate.
arrival that has been awaited
advent of these outlandish strangers at such a critical instant as the lowering of the boats from the deck, this had not unreasonably awakened a sort of superstitious amazement in some of the ship's company; but Archy's fancied discovery having some time previous got abroad among them, though indeed not credited then, this had in some small measure prepared them for the event.
a hypothesis that has been formed by speculating
It took off the extreme edge of their wonder; and so what with all this and Stubb's confident way of accounting for their appearance, they were for the time freed from superstitious surmisings; though the affair still left abundant room for all manner of wild
conjectures as to dark Ahab's precise agency in the matter from the beginning.
someone new to a field or activity
At any time it is a strange sight to the
tyro to see with what wondrous habitude of unconscious skill the whaleman will maintain an erect posture in his boat, even when pitched about by the most riotously perverse and cross- running seas.
a feeling of excessive concern
Meanwhile Stubb, the third mate, betrayed no such far-gazing
earnest or urgent request
Only the silence of the boat was at intervals startlingly pierced by one of his peculiar whispers, now harsh with command, now soft with
of an obscure nature
But what it was that
inscrutable Ahab said to that tiger- yellow crew of his -- these were words best omitted here; for you live under the blessed light of the evangelical land.
to become overspread as with a fluid, a color, or light
Soon we were running through a
suffusing wide veil of mist; neither ship nor boat to be seen.
toss, roll, or rise and fall in an uncontrolled way
Floating on the waves we saw the abandoned boat, as for one instant it tossed and gaped beneath the ship's bows like a chip at the base of a cataract; and then the vast hull rolled over it, and it was seen no more till it came up
a bold outlaw
There is nothing like the perils of whaling to breed this free and easy sort of genial,
desperado philosophy; and with it I now regarded this whole voyage of the Pequod, and the great White Whale its object.
having superior power and influence
Among whale-wise people it has often been argued whether, considering the
paramount importance of his life to the success of the voyage, it is right for a whaling captain to jeopardize that life in the active perils of the chase.
give expression to
There seemed but little in the words, but the tone conveyed more of deep helpless sadness than the insane old man had ever before
out of the ordinary
Had the trump of judgment blown, they could not have quivered more; yet still they felt no terror; rather pleasure. for though it was a most
unwonted hour, yet so impressive was the cry, and so deliriously exciting, that almost every soul on board instinctively desired a lowering.
total lack of meaning or ideas
But, at last, when turning to the eastward, the Cape winds began howling around us, and we rose and fell upon the long, troubled seas that are there; when the ivory-tusked Pequod sharply bowed to the blast, and gored the dark waves in her madness, till, like showers of silver chips, the foam-flakes flew over her bulwarks; then all this desolate
vacuity of life went away, but gave place to sights more dismal than before.
tending to betray
Rather Cape Tormentoto, as called of yore; for long allured by the
perfidious silences that before had attended us, we found ourselves launched into this tormented sea, where guilty beings transformed into those fowls and these fish, seemed condemned to swim on everlastingly without any haven in store, or beat that black air without any horizon.
especially fine or decorative clothing
They seemed clad in the skins of beasts, so torn and bepatched the
raiment that had survived nearly four years of cruising.
a detail that is considered insignificant
Though in the course of his continual voyagings Ahab must often before have noticed a similar sight, yet, to any monomaniac man, the veriest
trifles capriciously carry meanings.
appearing as such but not necessarily so
ostensible reason why Ahab did not go on board of the whaler we had spoken was this: the wind and sea betokened storms.
be a signal for or a symptom of
The ostensible reason why Ahab did not go on board of the whaler we had spoken was this: the wind and sea
a minor weakness or peculiarity in someone's character
But this is a harmless little
foible in the English whale-hunters, which the Nantucketer does not take much to heart; probably, because he knows that he has a few
a reference book containing an alphabetical list of words
Certainly it needs a definition, and should be incorporated into the
given to haughty disregard of others
Of those fine
cavaliers, the young Dons, Pedro and Sebastian, were on the closer terms with me; and hence the interluding questions they occasionally put, and which are duly answered at the time.
a very intense and uncontrolled fire
Heated and irritated as he was by his spasmodic toil at the pumps, for all his first nameless feeling of forbearance the sweating Steelkilt could but ill brook this bearing in the mate; but somehow still smothering the
conflagration within him, without speaking he remained doggedly rooted to his seat, till at last the incensed Radney shook the hammer within a few inches of his face, furiously commanding him to do his bidding.
threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
But sliding down the ropes like
baleful comets, the two Canallers rushed into the uproar, and sought to drag their man out of it towards the forecastle.
fetid closeness of the air, and a famishing diet, united perhaps to some fears of ultimate retribution, had constrained them to surrender at discretion.
a person without moral scruples
And here, gentlemen, the foul play of these
miscreants must come out.
surround so as to force to give up
'Just after dark that day, when one watch had retired below, a clamor was heard in the forecastle; and the two trembling traitors running up,
besieged the cabin door, saying they durst not consort with the crew.
a powerful circular current of water
But the whale rushed round in a sudden
maelstrom; seized the swimmer between his jaws; and rearing high up with him, plunged headlong again, and went down.