Herman Melville's Moby Dick - Chapters 1 - 5

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. monkey jacket
    waist-length jacket tapering to a point at the back
    We were fain to button up our monkey jackets, and hold to our lips cups of scalding tea with our half frozen fingers.
  2. spouter
    an oil well that is spouting
    Moving on, I at last came to a dim sort of light not far from the docks, and heard a forlorn creaking in the air; and looking up, saw a swinging sign over the door with a white painting upon it, faintly representing a tall straight jet of misty spray, and these words underneath--"The Spouter Inn:--Peter Coffin."
  3. inion
    the craniometric point that is the most prominent point at the back of the head (at the occipital protuberance)
    He wanted to, last Sunday, but I stopped him just as he was goin' out of the door with four heads strung on a string, for all the airth like a string of inions."
  4. tomahawk
    weapon consisting of a fighting ax
    But, after some difficulty having opened his bag, he commenced fumbling in it, and presently pulled out a sort of tomahawk, and a seal-skin wallet with the hair on.
  5. river horse
    massive thick-skinned herbivorous animal living in or around rivers of tropical Africa
    It is out of the idolatrous dotings of the old Egyptians upon broiled ibis and roasted river horse, that you see the mummies of those creatures in their huge bake-houses the pyramids.
  6. sticking plaster
    adhesive tape used in dressing wounds
    But at that moment he chanced to turn his face so towards the light, that I plainly saw they could not be sticking-plasters at all, those black squares on his cheeks.
  7. peddle
    sell or offer for sale from place to place
    But to-night he went out a peddling, you see, and I don't see what on airth keeps him so late, unless, may be, he can't sell his head."
  8. pulpit
    a platform raised to give prominence to the person on it
    A hundred black faces turned round in their rows to peer; and beyond, a black Angel of Doom was beating a book in a pulpit.
  9. abominate
    find repugnant
    For my part, I abominate all honourable respectable toils, trials, and tribulations of every kind whatsoever.
  10. right whale
    large Arctic whalebone whale
    Projecting from the further angle of the room stands a dark-looking den--the bar--a rude attempt at a right whale's head.
  11. green frog
    similar to bullfrog
    Still more, his very legs were marked, as if a parcel of dark green frogs were running up the trunks of young palms.
  12. fumble
    feel about uncertainly or blindly
    But, after some difficulty having opened his bag, he commenced fumbling in it, and presently pulled out a sort of tomahawk, and a seal-skin wallet with the hair on.
  13. Gomorrah
    (Old Testament) an ancient city near the Dead Sea that (along with Sodom) was destroyed by God for the vice and depravity of its inhabitants
    Ha! thought I, ha, as the flying particles almost choked me, are these ashes from that destroyed city, Gomorrah?
  14. northern lights
    the aurora of the northern hemisphere
    What a fine frosty night; how Orion glitters; what northern lights!
  15. tiger lily
    east Asian perennial having large reddish-orange black-spotted flowers with reflexed petals
    Go visit the Prairies in June, when for scores on scores of miles you wade knee-deep among Tiger-lilies--what is the one charm wanting?--Water--there
  16. whittle
    cut small bits or pare shavings from
    "May be not," taking out a stick and whittling a toothpick, "but I rayther guess you'll be done BROWN if that ere harpooneer hears you a slanderin' his head."
  17. woe
    misery resulting from affliction
    "Like one who after a night of drunken revelry hies to his bed, still reeling, but with conscience yet pricking him, as the plungings of the Roman race-horse but so much the more strike his steel tags into him; as one who in that miserable plight still turns and turns in giddy anguish, praying God for annihilation until the fit be passed; and at last amid the whirl of woe he feels, a deep stupor steals over him, as over the man who bleeds to death, for conscience is the wound, and the...
  18. horse chestnut
    tree having palmate leaves and large clusters of white to red flowers followed by brown shiny inedible seeds
    And in August, high in air, the beautiful and bountiful horse-chestnuts, candelabra-wise, proffer the passer-by their tapering upright cones of congregated blossoms.
  19. sleet
    partially melted snow (or a mixture of rain and snow)
    The sky had changed from clear, sunny cold, to driving sleet and mist.
  20. exasperate
    make furious
    The picture represents a Cape-Horner in a great hurricane; the half-foundered ship weltering there with its three dismantled masts alone visible; and an exasperated whale, purposing to spring clean over the craft, is in the enormous act of impaling himself upon the three mast-heads.
  21. scoria
    the scum formed by oxidation at the surface of molten metals
    Whence came they? how planted upon this once scraggy scoria of a country?
  22. shaving
    a thin fragment or slice that has been shaved from something
    The shavings flew right and left; till at last the plane-iron came bump against an indestructible knot.
  23. hypo
    a piston syringe that is fitted with a hypodermic needle for giving injections
    Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I...
  24. impale
    pierce with a sharp stake or point
    The picture represents a Cape-Horner in a great hurricane; the half-foundered ship weltering there with its three dismantled masts alone visible; and an exasperated whale, purposing to spring clean over the craft, is in the enormous act of impaling himself upon the three mast-heads.
  25. unaccountable
    not to be explained
    But wherefore it was that after having repeatedly smelt the sea as a merchant sailor, I should now take it into my head to go on a whaling voyage; this the invisible police officer of the Fates, who has the constant surveillance of me, and secretly dogs me, and influences me in some unaccountable way--he can better answer than any one else.
  26. tempestuous
    characterized by violent emotions or behavior
    It stood on a sharp bleak corner, where that tempestuous wind Euroclydon kept up a worse howling than ever it did about poor Paul's tossed craft.
  27. sperm whale
    large whale with a large cavity in the head containing spermaceti and oil; also a source of ambergris
    SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF The late CAPTAIN EZEKIEL HARDY, Who in the bows of his boat was killed by a Sperm Whale on the coast of Japan, AUGUST 3d, 1833.
  28. fluke
    a stroke of luck
    "But come, it's getting dreadful late, you had better be turning flukes--it's a nice bed; Sal and me slept in that ere bed the night we were spliced.
  29. musky
    resembling the smell of an odorous perfume
    This young fellow's healthy cheek is like a sun-toasted pear in hue, and would seem to smell almost as musky; he cannot have been three days landed from his Indian voyage.
  30. icicle
    ice resembling a pendent spear formed by dripping water
    Enveloped in their shaggy watch coats, and with their heads muffled in woollen comforters, all bedarned and ragged, and their beards stiff with icicles, they seemed an eruption of bears from Labrador.
  31. limber
    easily bent
    But what most puzzled and confounded you was a long, limber, portentous, black mass of something hovering in the centre of the picture over three blue, dim, perpendicular lines floating in a nameless yeast.
  32. voyage
    a journey to some distant place
    Why upon your first voyage as a passenger, did you yourself feel such a mystical vibration, when first told that you and your ship were now out of sight of land?
  33. aggregated
    formed of separate units gathered into a mass or whole
    In fact, the artist's design seemed this: a final theory of my own, partly based upon the aggregated opinions of many aged persons with whom I conversed upon the subject.
  34. oscillate
    move or swing from side to side regularly
    "Screwed at its axis against the side, a swinging lamp slightly oscillates in Jonah's room; and the ship, heeling over towards the wharf with the weight of the last bales received, the lamp, flame and all, though in slight motion, still maintains a permanent obliquity with reference to the room; though, in truth, infallibly straight itself, it but made obvious the false, lying levels among which it hung.
  35. Newfoundland dog
    a breed of very large heavy dogs with a thick coarse usually black coat; highly intelligent dogs and vigorous swimmers; developed in Newfoundland
    At length, by dint of much wriggling, and loud and incessant expostulations upon the unbecomingness of his hugging a fellow male in that matrimonial sort of style, I succeeded in extracting a grunt; and presently, he drew back his arm, shook himself all over like a Newfoundland dog just from the water, and sat up in bed, stiff as a pike-staff, looking at me, and rubbing his eyes as if he did not altogether remember how I came to be there, though a dim consciousness of knowing somethin...
  36. spermaceti
    a white waxy substance from oil of the sperm whale
    You must go to New Bedford to see a brilliant wedding; for, they say, they have reservoirs of oil in every house, and every night recklessly burn their lengths in spermaceti candles.
  37. leviathan
    the largest or most massive thing of its kind
    Where else but from Nantucket did those aboriginal whalemen, the Red-Men, first sally out in canoes to give chase to the Leviathan?
  38. insular
    relating to or characteristic of or situated on an island
    There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted round by wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs--commerce surrounds it with her surf.
  39. psalmody
    the act of singing psalms or hymns
    All these strange antics were accompanied by still stranger guttural noises from the devotee, who seemed to be praying in a sing-song or else singing some pagan psalmody or other, during which his face twitched about in the most unnatural manner.
  40. eider
    duck of the northern hemisphere much valued for the fine soft down of the females
    The landlord was near spraining his wrist, and I told him for heaven's sake to quit--the bed was soft enough to suit me, and I did not know how all the planing in the world could make eider down of a pine plank.
  41. manikin
    a life-size dummy used to display clothes
    Remembering the embalmed head, at first I almost thought that this black manikin was a real baby preserved in some similar manner.
  42. footpad
    a highwayman who robs on foot
    Parallel meridians rudely pecked into the glass, surround these footpads' goblets.
  43. overstock
    stock excessively
    "That's precisely it," said the landlord, "and I told him he couldn't sell it here, the market's overstocked."
  44. ruminate
    reflect deeply on a subject
    At one end a ruminating tar was still further adorning it with his jack-knife, stooping over and diligently working away at the space between his legs.
  45. revelry
    unrestrained merrymaking
    When the revelry of his companions had mounted to its height, this man slipped away unobserved, and I saw no more of him till he became my comrade on the sea.
  46. criminal prosecution
    the institution and conduct of legal proceedings against a defendant for criminal behavior
    And in the first place, you will be so good as to unsay that story about selling his head, which if true I take to be good evidence that this harpooneer is stark mad, and I've no idea of sleeping with a madman; and you, sir, YOU I mean, landlord, YOU, sir, by trying to induce me to do so knowingly, would thereby render yourself liable to a criminal prosecution."
  47. outlandish
    conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual
    Likewise, there was a parcel of outlandish bone fish hooks on the shelf over the fire-place, and a tall harpoon standing at the head of the bed.
  48. commence
    set in motion, cause to start
    I sat down on the side of the bed, and commenced thinking about this head-peddling harpooneer, and his door mat.
  49. seethe
    foam as if boiling
    He goes down in the whirling heart of such a masterless commotion that he scarce heeds the moment when he drops seething into the yawning jaws awaiting him; and the whale shoots-to all his ivory teeth, like so many white bolts, upon his prison.
  50. Thirty Years' War
    a series of conflicts (1618-1648) between Protestants and Catholics starting in Germany and spreading until France and Denmark and Sweden were opposing the Holy Roman Empire and Spain
    As I live, these covered parts of him were checkered with the same squares as his face; his back, too, was all over the same dark squares; he seemed to have been in a Thirty Years' War, and just escaped from it with a sticking-plaster shirt.
  51. Pythagorean
    of or relating to Pythagoras or his geometry
    For as in this world, head winds are far more prevalent than winds from astern (that is, if you never violate the Pythagorean maxim), so for the most part the Commodore on the quarter-deck gets his atmosphere at second hand from the sailors on the forecastle.
  52. deface
    mar or spoil the appearance of
    On one side hung a very large oilpainting so thoroughly besmoked, and every way defaced, that in the unequal crosslights by which you viewed it, it was only by diligent study and a series of systematic visits to it, and careful inquiry of the neighbors, that you could any way arrive at an understanding of its purpose.
  53. skulk
    avoid responsibilities and duties
    He skulks about the wharves of Joppa, and seeks a ship that's bound for Tarshish.
  54. entry
    the act of going in
    The Spouter-Inn. Entering that gable-ended Spouter-Inn, you found yourself in a wide, low, straggling entry with old-fashioned wainscots, reminding one of the bulwarks of some condemned old craft.
  55. strand
    line consisting of a complex of fibers twisted together
    Besides though New Bedford has of late been gradually monopolising the business of whaling, and though in this matter poor old Nantucket is now much behind her, yet Nantucket was her great original--the Tyre of this Carthage;--the place where the first dead American whale was stranded.
  56. human head
    the head of a human being
    But be easy, be easy, this here harpooneer I have been tellin' you of has just arrived from the south seas, where he bought up a lot of 'balmed New Zealand heads (great curios, you know), and he's sold all on 'em but one, and that one he's trying to sell to-night, cause to-morrow's Sunday, and it would not do to be sellin' human heads about the streets when folks is goin' to churches.
  57. grapnel
    a tool consisting of several hooks for grasping and holding
    With anxious grapnels I had sounded my pocket, and only brought up a few pieces of silver,--So, wherever you go, Ishmael, said I to myself, as I stood in the middle of a dreary street shouldering my bag, and comparing the gloom towards the north with the darkness towards the south--wherever in your wisdom you may conclude to lodge for the night, my dear Ishmael, be sure to inquire the price, and don't be too particular.
  58. perpendicular
    intersecting at or forming right angles
    But what most puzzled and confounded you was a long, limber, portentous, black mass of something hovering in the centre of the picture over three blue, dim, perpendicular lines floating in a nameless yeast.
  59. murky
    clouded as with sediment
    It needs scarcely to be told, with what feelings, on the eve of a Nantucket voyage, I regarded those marble tablets, and by the murky light of that darkened, doleful day read the fate of the whalemen who had gone before me.
  60. ibis
    wading birds of warm regions having long slender down-curved bills
    It is out of the idolatrous dotings of the old Egyptians upon broiled ibis and roasted river horse, that you see the mummies of those creatures in their huge bake-houses the pyramids.
  61. cajole
    influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering
    Though I cannot tell why it was exactly that those stage managers, the Fates, put me down for this shabby part of a whaling voyage, when others were set down for magnificent parts in high tragedies, and short and easy parts in genteel comedies, and jolly parts in farces--though I cannot tell why this was exactly; yet, now that I recall all the circumstances, I think I can see a little into the springs and motives which being cunningly presented to me under various disguises, induced me to se...
  62. bulwark
    an embankment built around a space for defensive purposes
    Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep.
  63. wainscot
    wooden panels that can be used to line the walls of a room
    The Spouter-Inn. Entering that gable-ended Spouter-Inn, you found yourself in a wide, low, straggling entry with old-fashioned wainscots, reminding one of the bulwarks of some condemned old craft.
  64. grampus
    predatory black-and-white toothed whale with large dorsal fin; common in cold seas
    Starting up, the landlord cried, "That's the Grampus's crew.
  65. shoulder blade
    either of two flat triangular bones one on each side of the shoulder in human beings
    Well, then, however the old sea-captains may order me about--however they may thump and punch me about, I have the satisfaction of knowing that it is all right; that everybody else is one way or other served in much the same way--either in a physical or metaphysical point of view, that is; and so the universal thump is passed round, and all hands should rub each other's shoulder-blades, and be content.
  66. commodore
    a commissioned naval officer who ranks above a captain and below a rear admiral; the lowest grade of admiral
    Besides, passengers get sea-sick--grow quarrelsome--don't sleep of nights--do not enjoy themselves much, as a general thing;--no, I never go as a passenger; nor, though I am something of a salt, do I ever go to sea as a Commodore, or a Captain, or a Cook.
  67. delineate
    represented accurately or precisely
    Such unaccountable masses of shades and shadows, that at first you almost thought some ambitious young artist, in the time of the New England hags, had endeavored to delineate chaos bewitched.
  68. jostle
    make one's way by pushing or shoving
    Even in Broadway and Chestnut streets, Mediterranean mariners will sometimes jostle the affrighted ladies.
  69. purse
    a container used for carrying money and small personal items
    Some years ago--never mind how long precisely--having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.
  70. staggers
    a disease of the central nervous system affecting especially horses and cattle; characterized by an unsteady swaying gait and frequent falling
    Startled from his lethargy by that direful cry, Jonah staggers to his feet, and stumbling to the deck, grasps a shroud, to look out upon the sea.
  71. seaport
    a sheltered port where ships can take on or discharge cargo
    In thoroughfares nigh the docks, any considerable seaport will frequently offer to view the queerest looking nondescripts from foreign parts.
  72. torment
    intense feelings of suffering; acute mental or physical pain
    And still deeper the meaning of that story of Narcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting, mild image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and was drowned.
  73. brawn
    possessing muscular strength
    I have seldom seen such brawn in a man.
  74. cringe
    draw back, as with fear, pain, or embarrassment
    In all his cringing attitudes, the God-fugitive is now too plainly known.
  75. bearskin
    the pelt of a bear (sometimes used as a rug)
    Wrapping myself in my shaggy jacket of the cloth called bearskin, I fought my way against the stubborn storm.
  76. parricide
    the murder of your own father or mother
    Another runs to read the bill that's stuck against the spile upon the wharf to which the ship is moored, offering five hundred gold coins for the apprehension of a parricide, and containing a description of his person.
  77. gale
    a strong wind moving 45-90 knots
    the Black Sea in a midnight gale.--It
  78. conclude
    bring to a close
    With anxious grapnels I had sounded my pocket, and only brought up a few pieces of silver,--So, wherever you go, Ishmael, said I to myself, as I stood in the middle of a dreary street shouldering my bag, and comparing the gloom towards the north with the darkness towards the south--wherever in your wisdom you may conclude to lodge for the night, my dear Ishmael, be sure to inquire the price, and don't be too particular.
  79. sinful
    characterized by iniquity
    Shipmates, it is a two-stranded lesson; a lesson to us all as sinful men, and a lesson to me as a pilot of the living God. As sinful men, it is a lesson to us all, because it is a story of the sin, hard-heartedness, suddenly awakened fears, the swift punishment, repentance, prayers, and finally the deliverance and joy of Jonah.
  80. dismantle
    take off or remove
    The picture represents a Cape-Horner in a great hurricane; the half-foundered ship weltering there with its three dismantled masts alone visible; and an exasperated whale, purposing to spring clean over the craft, is in the enormous act of impaling himself upon the three mast-heads.
  81. unbiased
    without prejudice
    Though I cannot tell why it was exactly that those stage managers, the Fates, put me down for this shabby part of a whaling voyage, when others were set down for magnificent parts in high tragedies, and short and easy parts in genteel comedies, and jolly parts in farces--though I cannot tell why this was exactly; yet, now that I recall all the circumstances, I think I can see a little into the springs and motives which being cunningly presented to me under various disguises, induced me to se...
  82. officiate
    act in an official capacity in a ceremony or religious ritual, such as a wedding
    No wonder, then, that they made a straight wake for the whale's mouth--the bar--when the wrinkled little old Jonah, there officiating, soon poured them out brimmers all round.
  83. delight
    a feeling of extreme pleasure or satisfaction
    Then God spake unto the fish; and from the shuddering cold and blackness of the sea, the whale came breeching up towards the warm and pleasant sun, and all the delights of air and earth; and 'vomited out Jonah upon the dry land;' when the word of the Lord came a second time; and Jonah, bruised and beaten--his ears, like two sea-shells, still multitudinously murmuring of the ocean--Jonah did the Almighty's bidding.
  84. dint
    force or effort
    But by dint of much and earnest contemplation, and oft repeated ponderings, and especially by throwing open the little window towards the back of the entry, you at last come to the conclusion that such an idea, however wild, might not be altogether unwarranted.
  85. arrive
    reach a destination
    Quitting the good city of old Manhatto, I duly arrived in New Bedford.
  86. catarrh
    inflammation of the nose and throat with increased production of mucus
    One complained of a bad cold in his head, upon which Jonah mixed him a pitch-like potion of gin and molasses, which he swore was a sovereign cure for all colds and catarrhs whatsoever, never mind of how long standing, or whether caught off the coast of Labrador, or on the weather side of an ice-island.
  87. canticle
    a hymn derived from the Bible
    What a noble thing is that canticle in the fish's belly!
  88. scrutinize
    examine carefully for accuracy
    Thus far the busy Captain had not looked up to Jonah, though the man now stands before him; but no sooner does he hear that hollow voice, than he darts a scrutinizing glance.
  89. captain
    the leader of a group of people
    Besides, passengers get sea-sick--grow quarrelsome--don't sleep of nights--do not enjoy themselves much, as a general thing;--no, I never go as a passenger; nor, though I am something of a salt, do I ever go to sea as a Commodore, or a Captain, or a Cook.
  90. nonplus
    be a mystery or bewildering to
    Ignorance is the parent of fear, and being completely nonplussed and confounded about the stranger, I confess I was now as much afraid of him as if it was the devil himself who had thus broken into my room at the dead of night.
  91. stumble
    miss a step and fall or nearly fall
    It had a careless look, as if it were meant for the uses of the public; so, entering, the first thing I did was to stumble over an ash-box in the porch.
  92. boisterous
    full of rough and exuberant animal spirits
    For my mind was made up to sail in no other than a Nantucket craft, because there was a fine, boisterous something about everything connected with that famous old island, which amazingly pleased me.
  93. embark
    go on board
    As most young candidates for the pains and penalties of whaling stop at this same New Bedford, thence to embark on their voyage, it may as well be related that I, for one, had no idea of so doing.
  94. condense
    cause a gas or vapor to change into a liquid
    Father Mapple rose, and in a mild voice of unassuming authority ordered the scattered people to condense.
  95. mildew
    a fungus that produces a superficial (usually white) growth on organic matter
    His bald purplish head now looked for all the world like a mildewed skull.
  96. perennial
    lasting an indefinitely long time
    But roses only bloom in summer; whereas the fine carnation of their cheeks is perennial as sunlight in the seventh heavens.
  97. Narcissus
    (Greek mythology) a beautiful young man who fell in love with his own reflection
    And still deeper the meaning of that story of Narcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting, mild image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and was drowned.
  98. fugitive
    someone who is sought by law officers
    How plainly he's a fugitive! no baggage, not a hat-box, valise, or carpet-bag,--no friends accompany him to the wharf with their adieux.
  99. congregate
    come together, usually for a purpose
    And in August, high in air, the beautiful and bountiful horse-chestnuts, candelabra-wise, proffer the passer-by their tapering upright cones of congregated blossoms.
  100. hardy
    having rugged physical strength
    SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF The late CAPTAIN EZEKIEL HARDY, Who in the bows of his boat was killed by a Sperm Whale on the coast of Japan, AUGUST 3d, 1833.
  101. chaplain
    a member of the clergy ministering to some institution
    The chaplain had not yet arrived; and there these silent islands of men and women sat steadfastly eyeing several marble tablets, with black borders, masoned into the wall on either side the pulpit.
  102. brevet
    a document entitling a commissioned officer to hold a higher rank temporarily (but without higher pay)
    Delightful inducements to embark, fine chance for promotion, it seems--aye, a stove boat will make me an immortal by brevet.
  103. Sodom
    (Old Testament) an ancient city near the Dead Sea that (along with Gomorrah) was destroyed by God for the wickedness of its inhabitants
    In their gamesome but still serious way, one whispers to the other--"Jack, he's robbed a widow;" or, "Joe, do you mark him; he's a bigamist;" or, "Harry lad, I guess he's the adulterer that broke jail in old Gomorrah, or belike, one of the missing murderers from Sodom."
  104. evil eye
    a look that is believed to have the power of inflicting harm
    At last, after much dodging search, he finds the Tarshish ship receiving the last items of her cargo; and as he steps on board to see its Captain in the cabin, all the sailors for the moment desist from hoisting in the goods, to mark the stranger's evil eye.
  105. chimney
    vertical flue carrying smoke through the wall of a building
    Crossing this dusky entry, and on through yon low-arched way--cut through what in old times must have been a great central chimney with fireplaces all round--you enter the public room.
  106. metaphysical
    pertaining to the philosophical study of being and knowing
    Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor.
  107. sooty
    covered with or as if with soot
    The chimney jambs and all the bricks inside were very sooty, so that I thought this fire-place made a very appropriate little shrine or chapel for his Congo idol.
  108. odorous
    having a characteristic aroma
    Elsewhere match that bloom of theirs, ye cannot, save in Salem, where they tell me the young girls breathe such musk, their sailor sweethearts smell them miles off shore, as though they were drawing nigh the odorous Moluccas instead of the Puritanic sands.
  109. zephyr
    a slight wind
    Euroclydon, nevertheless, is a mighty pleasant zephyr to any one in-doors, with his feet on the hob quietly toasting for bed.
  110. skylark
    brown-speckled European lark noted for singing while hovering at a great height
    I cherished no malice towards him, though he had been skylarking with me not a little in the matter of my bedfellow.
  111. checkered
    patterned with alternating squares of color
    As I live, these covered parts of him were checkered with the same squares as his face; his back, too, was all over the same dark squares; he seemed to have been in a Thirty Years' War, and just escaped from it with a sticking-plaster shirt.
  112. smelt
    extract by heating, as a metal
    But wherefore it was that after having repeatedly smelt the sea as a merchant sailor, I should now take it into my head to go on a whaling voyage; this the invisible police officer of the Fates, who has the constant surveillance of me, and secretly dogs me, and influences me in some unaccountable way--he can better answer than any one else.
  113. ponderous
    having great mass and weight and unwieldiness
    A still duskier place is this, with such low ponderous beams above, and such old wrinkled planks beneath, that you would almost fancy you trod some old craft's cockpits, especially of such a howling night, when this corner-anchored old ark rocked so furiously.
  114. seaman
    a man who serves as a sailor
    Upon entering the place I found a number of young seamen gathered about a table, examining by a dim light divers specimens of SKRIMSHANDER.
  115. chuckle
    a soft partly suppressed laugh
    The landlord chuckled again with his lean chuckle, and seemed to be mightily tickled at something beyond my comprehension.
  116. congeal
    become gelatinous
    Further on, from the bright red windows of the "Sword-Fish Inn," there came such fervent rays, that it seemed to have melted the packed snow and ice from before the house, for everywhere else the congealed frost lay ten inches thick in a hard, asphaltic pavement,--rather weary for me, when I struck my foot against the flinty projections, because from hard, remorseless service the soles of my boots were in a most miserable plight.
  117. overlapping
    with a design in which one element covers a part of another
    Deep into distant woodlands winds a mazy way, reaching to overlapping spurs of mountains bathed in their hill-side blue.
  118. prepare
    make ready or suitable or equip in advance
    These reflections just here are occasioned by the circumstance that after we were all seated at the table, and I was preparing to hear some good stories about whaling; to my no small surprise, nearly every man maintained a profound silence.
  119. dismal
    causing dejection
    It was a very dubious-looking, nay, a very dark and dismal night, bitingly cold and cheerless.
  120. supplicate
    ask for humbly or earnestly, as in prayer
    For when Jonah, not yet supplicating God for mercy, since he but too well knew the darkness of his deserts,--when wretched Jonah cries out to them to take him and cast him forth into the sea, for he knew that for HIS sake this great tempest was upon them; they mercifully turn from him, and seek by other means to save the ship.
  121. dim
    lacking in light; not bright or harsh
    Moving on, I at last came to a dim sort of light not far from the docks, and heard a forlorn creaking in the air; and looking up, saw a swinging sign over the door with a white painting upon it, faintly representing a tall straight jet of misty spray, and these words underneath--"The Spouter Inn:--Peter Coffin."
  122. halting
    limping; disabled in the feet or legs
    With halting steps I paced the streets, and passed the sign of "The Crossed Harpoons"--but it looked too expensive and jolly there.
  123. array
    an impressive display
    The opposite wall of this entry was hung all over with a heathenish array of monstrous clubs and spears.
  124. bolt
    a screw that screws into a nut to form a fastener
    The devil fetch that harpooneer, thought I, but stop, couldn't I steal a march on him-- bolt his door inside, and jump into his bed, not to be wakened by the most violent knockings?
  125. woodcock
    game bird of the sandpiper family that resembles a snipe
    At last extinguishing the fire, he took the idol up very unceremoniously, and bagged it again in his grego pocket as carelessly as if he were a sportsman bagging a dead woodcock.
  126. corner
    the point where three areas or surfaces meet or intersect
    It stood on a sharp bleak corner, where that tempestuous wind Euroclydon kept up a worse howling than ever it did about poor Paul's tossed craft.
  127. splice
    join the ends of
    "But come, it's getting dreadful late, you had better be turning flukes--it's a nice bed; Sal and me slept in that ere bed the night we were spliced.
  128. observe
    watch attentively
    I observed, however, that one of them held somewhat aloof, and though he seemed desirous not to spoil the hilarity of his shipmates by his own sober face, yet upon the whole he refrained from making as much noise as the rest.
  129. careen
    pitching dangerously to one side
    "And now the time of tide has come; the ship casts off her cables; and from the deserted wharf the uncheered ship for Tarshish, all careening, glides to sea.
  130. decoction
    the extraction of water-soluble drug substances by boiling
    The transition is a keen one, I assure you, from a schoolmaster to a sailor, and requires a strong decoction of Seneca and the Stoics to enable you to grin and bear it.
  131. nondescript
    lacking distinct or individual characteristics
    In thoroughfares nigh the docks, any considerable seaport will frequently offer to view the queerest looking nondescripts from foreign parts.
  132. doze
    a light fitful sleep
    At last I slid off into a light doze, and had pretty nearly made a good offing towards the land of Nod, when I heard a heavy footfall in the passage, and saw a glimmer of light come into the room from under the door.
  133. unwarranted
    incapable of being justified or explained
    But by dint of much and earnest contemplation, and oft repeated ponderings, and especially by throwing open the little window towards the back of the entry, you at last come to the conclusion that such an idea, however wild, might not be altogether unwarranted.
  134. tepid
    moderately warm
    Yet Dives himself, he too lives like a Czar in an ice palace made of frozen sighs, and being a president of a temperance society, he only drinks the tepid tears of orphans.
  135. plunge
    dash violently or with great speed or impetuosity
    Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries--stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region.
  136. restricting
    restricting the scope or freedom of action
    At that time in the morning any Christian would have washed his face; but Queequeg, to my amazement, contented himself with restricting his ablutions to his chest, arms, and hands.
  137. wake
    stop sleeping
    No wonder, then, that they made a straight wake for the whale's mouth--the bar--when the wrinkled little old Jonah, there officiating, soon poured them out brimmers all round.
  138. fascinate
    attract; cause to be enamored
    But there was no time for shuddering, for now the savage went about something that completely fascinated my attention, and convinced me that he must indeed be a heathen.
  139. seek
    try to locate, discover, or establish the existence of
    I sought the landlord, and telling him I desired to be accommodated with a room, received for answer that his house was full--not a bed unoccupied.
  140. expostulation
    an exclamation of protest or remonstrance or reproof
    At length, by dint of much wriggling, and loud and incessant expostulations upon the unbecomingness of his hugging a fellow male in that matrimonial sort of style, I succeeded in extracting a grunt; and presently, he drew back his arm, shook himself all over like a Newfoundland dog just from the water, and sat up in bed, stiff as a pike-staff, looking at me, and rubbing his eyes as if he did not altogether remember how I came to be there, though a dim consciousness of knowing somethin...
  141. sinner
    a person who sins (without repenting)
    As with all sinners among men, the sin of this son of Amittai was in his wilful disobedience of the command of God--never mind now what that command was, or how conveyed--which he found a hard command.
  142. reverie
    an abstracted state of absorption
    like silent sentinels all around the town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries.
  143. urbane
    showing a high degree of refinement
    The urbane activity with which a man receives money is really marvellous, considering that we so earnestly believe money to be the root of all earthly ills, and that on no account can a monied man enter heaven.
  144. abominable
    unequivocally detestable
    Abominable are the tumblers into which he pours his poison.
  145. eschew
    avoid and stay away from deliberately
    We will not speak of all Queequeg's peculiarities here; how he eschewed coffee and hot rolls, and applied his undivided attention to beefsteaks, done rare.
  146. ablution
    the ritual washing of a priest's hands or of sacred vessels
    At that time in the morning any Christian would have washed his face; but Queequeg, to my amazement, contented himself with restricting his ablutions to his chest, arms, and hands.
  147. porpoise
    any of several small gregarious cetacean mammals having a blunt snout and many teeth
    In New Bedford, fathers, they say, give whales for dowers to their daughters, and portion off their nieces with a few porpoises a-piece.
  148. tempest
    a violent commotion or disturbance
    Ah, poor Hay-Seed! how bitterly will burst those straps in the first howling gale, when thou art driven, straps, buttons, and all, down the throat of the tempest.
  149. healthy
    free from infirmity or disease
    Why is almost every robust healthy boy with a robust healthy soul in him, at some time or other crazy to go to sea?
  150. concluding
    occurring at or forming an end or termination
    All these queer proceedings increased my uncomfortableness, and seeing him now exhibiting strong symptoms of concluding his business operations, and jumping into bed with me, I thought it was high time, now or never, before the light was put out, to break the spell in which I had so long been bound.
  151. robust
    sturdy and strong in form, constitution, or construction
    Why is almost every robust healthy boy with a robust healthy soul in him, at some time or other crazy to go to sea?
  152. unassuming
    not arrogant
    Father Mapple rose, and in a mild voice of unassuming authority ordered the scattered people to condense.
  153. taper
    diminish gradually
    Though true cylinders without--within, the villanous green goggling glasses deceitfully tapered downwards to a cheating bottom.
  154. bleak
    unpleasantly cold and damp
    It stood on a sharp bleak corner, where that tempestuous wind Euroclydon kept up a worse howling than ever it did about poor Paul's tossed craft.
  155. projecting
    extending out above or beyond a surface or boundary
    Projecting from the further angle of the room stands a dark-looking den--the bar--a rude attempt at a right whale's head.
  156. shady
    sheltered from the sun's rays
    Nothing will content them but the extremest limit of the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses will not suffice.
  157. carnation
    Eurasian plant with pink to purple-red spice-scented usually double flowers; widely cultivated in many varieties and many colors
    But roses only bloom in summer; whereas the fine carnation of their cheeks is perennial as sunlight in the seventh heavens.
  158. inkling
    a slight suggestion or vague understanding
    At first I knew not what to make of this; but soon an inkling of the truth occurred to me.
  159. sperm
    the male reproductive cell; the male gamete
    SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF The late CAPTAIN EZEKIEL HARDY, Who in the bows of his boat was killed by a Sperm Whale on the coast of Japan, AUGUST 3d, 1833.
  160. comprehension
    an ability to understand the meaning of something
    The landlord chuckled again with his lean chuckle, and seemed to be mightily tickled at something beyond my comprehension.
  161. footfall
    the sound of a step of someone walking
    At last I slid off into a light doze, and had pretty nearly made a good offing towards the land of Nod, when I heard a heavy footfall in the passage, and saw a glimmer of light come into the room from under the door.
  162. chapter
    a subdivision of a written work; usually numbered and titled
    CHAPTER 1.
  163. besides
    in addition
    Besides, passengers get sea-sick--grow quarrelsome--don't sleep of nights--do not enjoy themselves much, as a general thing;--no, I never go as a passenger; nor, though I am something of a salt, do I ever go to sea as a Commodore, or a Captain, or a Cook.
  164. cupidity
    extreme greed for material wealth
    "Now Jonah's Captain, shipmates, was one whose discernment detects crime in any, but whose cupidity exposes it only in the penniless.
  165. float
    be on or below a liquid surface and not sink to the bottom
    By reason of these things, then, the whaling voyage was welcome; the great flood-gates of the wonder-world swung open, and in the wild conceits that swayed me to my purpose, two and two there floated into my inmost soul, endless processions of the whale, and, mid most of them all, one grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air.
  166. image
    a visual representation produced on a surface
    And still deeper the meaning of that story of Narcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting, mild image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and was drowned.
  167. accelerate
    move faster
    Seeing, now, that there were no curtains to the window, and that the street being very narrow, the house opposite commanded a plain view into the room, and observing more and more the indecorous figure that Queequeg made, staving about with little else but his hat and boots on; I begged him as well as I could, to accelerate his toilet somewhat, and particularly to get into his pantaloons as soon as possible.
  168. welter
    a confused multitude of things
    The picture represents a Cape-Horner in a great hurricane; the half-foundered ship weltering there with its three dismantled masts alone visible; and an exasperated whale, purposing to spring clean over the craft, is in the enormous act of impaling himself upon the three mast-heads.
  169. porcupine
    relatively large rodents with sharp erectile bristles mingled with the fur
    I can compare it to nothing but a large door mat, ornamented at the edges with little tinkling tags something like the stained porcupine quills round an Indian moccasin.
  170. hilarity
    great merriment
    I observed, however, that one of them held somewhat aloof, and though he seemed desirous not to spoil the hilarity of his shipmates by his own sober face, yet upon the whole he refrained from making as much noise as the rest.
  171. confound
    be confusing or perplexing to
    But what most puzzled and confounded you was a long, limber, portentous, black mass of something hovering in the centre of the picture over three blue, dim, perpendicular lines floating in a nameless yeast.
  172. congregation
    the act of assembling
    Entering, I found a small scattered congregation of sailors, and sailors' wives and widows.
  173. polite
    showing regard for others in manners, speech, behavior, etc.
    Presently, after many hasty snatches into the fire, and still hastier withdrawals of his fingers (whereby he seemed to be scorching them badly), he at last succeeded in drawing out the biscuit; then blowing off the heat and ashes a little, he made a polite offer of it to the little negro.
  174. potion
    a medicinal or magical or poisonous beverage
    One complained of a bad cold in his head, upon which Jonah mixed him a pitch-like potion of gin and molasses, which he swore was a sovereign cure for all colds and catarrhs whatsoever, never mind of how long standing, or whether caught off the coast of Labrador, or on the weather side of an ice-island.
  175. awry
    turned or twisted to one side
    The floor, the ceiling, and the side, are all awry.
  176. sight
    the ability to see; the visual faculty
    Its extreme downtown is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land.
  177. stroll
    a leisurely walk, usually in some public place
    Enough, that when breakfast was over he withdrew like the rest into the public room, lighted his tomahawk-pipe, and was sitting there quietly digesting and smoking with his inseparable hat on, when I sallied out for a stroll.
  178. resolve
    find a solution or answer
    Supper over, the company went back to the bar-room, when, knowing not what else to do with myself, I resolved to spend the rest of the evening as a looker on.
  179. infernal
    characteristic of or resembling Hell
    Lord save me, thinks I, that must be the harpooneer, the infernal head-peddler.
  180. Nineveh
    an ancient Assyrian city on the Tigris across from the modern city of Mosul in the northern part of what is now known as Iraq
    And now how gladly would I come down from this mast-head and sit on the hatches there where you sit, and listen as you listen, while some one of you reads ME that other and more awful lesson which Jonah teaches to ME, as a pilot of the living God. How being an anointed pilot-prophet, or speaker of true things, and bidden by the Lord to sound those unwelcome truths in the ears of a wicked Nineveh, Jonah, appalled at the hostility he should raise, fled from his mission, and sought to es...
  181. canny
    showing self-interest and shrewdness in dealing with others
    SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF ROBERT LONG, WILLIS ELLERY, NATHAN COLEMAN, WALTER CANNY, SETH MACY, AND SAMUEL GLEIG, Forming one of the boats' crews OF THE SHIP ELIZA Who were towed out of sight by a Whale, On the Off-shore Ground in the PACIFIC, December 31st, 1839.
  182. stoic
    seeming unaffected by pleasure or pain; impassive
    The transition is a keen one, I assure you, from a schoolmaster to a sailor, and requires a strong decoction of Seneca and the Stoics to enable you to grin and bear it.
  183. flout
    treat with contemptuous disregard
    "With this sin of disobedience in him, Jonah still further flouts at God, by seeking to flee from Him. He thinks that a ship made by men will carry him into countries where God does not reign, but only the Captains of this earth.
  184. lethargy
    inactivity; showing an unusual lack of energy
    Startled from his lethargy by that direful cry, Jonah staggers to his feet, and stumbling to the deck, grasps a shroud, to look out upon the sea.
  185. symbolize
    express indirectly by an image, form, or model
    No, thought I, there must be some sober reason for this thing; furthermore, it must symbolize something unseen.
  186. elapse
    pass by
    I lay there dismally calculating that sixteen entire hours must elapse before I could hope for a resurrection.
  187. life insurance
    insurance paid to named beneficiaries when the insured person dies
    In what census of living creatures, the dead of mankind are included; why it is that a universal proverb says of them, that they tell no tales, though containing more secrets than the Goodwin Sands; how it is that to his name who yesterday departed for the other world, we prefix so significant and infidel a word, and yet do not thus entitle him, if he but embarks for the remotest Indies of this living earth; why the Life Insurance Companies pay death-forfeitures upon immortals; in wha...
  188. palsy
    loss of the ability to move a body part
    It was a queer sort of place--a gable-ended old house, one side palsied as it were, and leaning over sadly.
  189. sprain
    twist suddenly so as to wrench
    The landlord was near spraining his wrist, and I told him for heaven's sake to quit--the bed was soft enough to suit me, and I did not know how all the planing in the world could make eider down of a pine plank.
  190. irresolute
    uncertain how to act or proceed
    But I stood irresolute; when looking at a clock in the corner, he exclaimed "I vum it's Sunday--you won't see that harpooneer to-night; he's come to anchor somewhere--come along then; DO come; WON'T ye come?"
  191. brunt
    the main part, especially of a force or shock
    From thence it is the storm of God's quick wrath is first descried, and the bow must bear the earliest brunt.
  192. plummet
    drop sharply
    Yet even then beyond the reach of any plummet--'out of the belly of hell'--when the whale grounded upon the ocean's utmost bones, even then, God heard the engulphed, repenting prophet when he cried.
  193. heed
    paying particular notice (as to children or helpless people)
    He sees no black sky and raging sea, feels not the reeling timbers, and little hears he or heeds he the far rush of the mighty whale, which even now with open mouth is cleaving the seas after him.
  194. discriminate
    marked by the ability to see or make fine distinctions
    Though I cannot tell why it was exactly that those stage managers, the Fates, put me down for this shabby part of a whaling voyage, when others were set down for magnificent parts in high tragedies, and short and easy parts in genteel comedies, and jolly parts in farces--though I cannot tell why this was exactly; yet, now that I recall all the circumstances, I think I can see a little into the springs and motives which being cunningly presented to me under various disguises, induced me to se...
  195. dower
    money or property brought by a woman to her husband at marriage
    In New Bedford, fathers, they say, give whales for dowers to their daughters, and portion off their nieces with a few porpoises a-piece.
  196. jeopardy
    a source of danger
    His greatest admirer could not have cordially justified his bringing his harpoon into breakfast with him, and using it there without ceremony; reaching over the table with it, to the imminent jeopardy of many heads, and grappling the beefsteaks towards him.
  197. previous
    just preceding something else in time or order
    Its extreme downtown is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land.
  198. cherish
    be fond of
    If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.
  199. whet
    sharpen by rubbing
    I was watching to see where he kept his razor, when lo and behold, he takes the harpoon from the bed corner, slips out the long wooden stock, unsheathes the head, whets it a little on his boot, and striding up to the bit of mirror against the wall, begins a vigorous scraping, or rather harpooning of his cheeks.
  200. blubber
    an insulating layer of fat under the skin of some animals
    But no more of this blubbering now, we are going a-whaling, and there is plenty of that yet to come.
  201. square
    a polygon with four equal sides and four right angles
    It was of a dark, purplish, yellow colour, here and there stuck over with large blackish looking squares.
  202. perdition
    the place or state in which one suffers eternal punishment
    Ah! how cheerfully we consign ourselves to perdition!
  203. archangel
    a spiritual at the highest rank in the celestial hierarchy
    Do you think the archangel Gabriel thinks anything the less of me, because I promptly and respectfully obey that old hunks in that particular instance?
  204. substituting
    working as a substitute for someone who is ill or on leave of absence
    Like most old fashioned pulpits, it was a very lofty one, and since a regular stairs to such a height would, by its long angle with the floor, seriously contract the already small area of the chapel, the architect, it seemed, had acted upon the hint of Father Mapple, and finished the pulpit without a stairs, substituting a perpendicular side ladder, like those used in mounting a ship from a boat at sea.
  205. bashful
    self-consciously timid
    A curious sight; these bashful bears, these timid warrior whalemen!
  206. plight
    a situation from which extrication is difficult
    Further on, from the bright red windows of the "Sword-Fish Inn," there came such fervent rays, that it seemed to have melted the packed snow and ice from before the house, for everywhere else the congealed frost lay ten inches thick in a hard, asphaltic pavement,--rather weary for me, when I struck my foot against the flinty projections, because from hard, remorseless service the soles of my boots were in a most miserable plight.
  207. scud
    run or move very quickly or hastily
    But high above the flying scud and dark-rolling clouds, there floated a little isle of sunlight, from which beamed forth an angel's face; and this bright face shed a distinct spot of radiance upon the ship's tossed deck, something like that silver plate now inserted into the Victory's plank where Nelson fell.
  208. buckskin
    a soft yellowish suede leather originally from deerskin but now usually from sheepskin
    No town-bred dandy will compare with a country-bred one--I mean a downright bumpkin dandy--a fellow that, in the dog-days, will mow his two acres in buckskin gloves for fear of tanning his hands.
  209. discriminating
    showing or indicating careful judgment and discernment
    Though I cannot tell why it was exactly that those stage managers, the Fates, put me down for this shabby part of a whaling voyage, when others were set down for magnificent parts in high tragedies, and short and easy parts in genteel comedies, and jolly parts in farces--though I cannot tell why this was exactly; yet, now that I recall all the circumstances, I think I can see a little into the springs and motives which being cunningly presented to me under various disguises, induced me to se...
  210. rickety
    inclined to shake as from weakness or defect
    But I soon found that there came such a draught of cold air over me from under the sill of the window, that this plan would never do at all, especially as another current from the rickety door met the one from the window, and both together formed a series of small whirlwinds in the immediate vicinity of the spot where I had thought to spend the night.
  211. mystify
    be a mystery or bewildering to
    And about this harpooneer, whom I have not yet seen, you persist in telling me the most mystifying and exasperating stories tending to beget in me an uncomfortable feeling towards the man whom you design for my bedfellow--a sort of connexion, landlord, which is an intimate and confidential one in the highest degree.
  212. aboriginal
    having existed from the beginning
    Where else but from Nantucket did those aboriginal whalemen, the Red-Men, first sally out in canoes to give chase to the Leviathan?
  213. infer
    conclude by reasoning
    Now, when I say that I am in the habit of going to sea whenever I begin to grow hazy about the eyes, and begin to be over conscious of my lungs, I do not mean to have it inferred that I ever go to sea as a passenger.
  214. pause
    cease an action temporarily
    Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I...
  215. rejoinder
    a quick reply to a question or remark
    "He pays reg'lar," was the rejoinder.
  216. frigid
    extremely cold
    This savage was the only person present who seemed to notice my entrance; because he was the only one who could not read, and, therefore, was not reading those frigid inscriptions on the wall.
  217. unholy
    extremely evil or cruel
    In these last-mentioned haunts you see only sailors; but in New Bedford, actual cannibals stand chatting at street corners; savages outright; many of whom yet carry on their bones unholy flesh.
  218. spleen
    a large oval organ between the stomach and the diaphragm
    It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation.
  219. transition
    the act of passing from one state or place to the next
    The transition is a keen one, I assure you, from a schoolmaster to a sailor, and requires a strong decoction of Seneca and the Stoics to enable you to grin and bear it.
  220. primal
    having existed from the beginning
    the unnatural combat of the four primal elements.--It
  221. musk
    an odorous glandular secretion from the male musk deer
    Elsewhere match that bloom of theirs, ye cannot, save in Salem, where they tell me the young girls breathe such musk, their sailor sweethearts smell them miles off shore, as though they were drawing nigh the odorous Moluccas instead of the Puritanic sands.
  222. overlap
    extend over and cover a part of
    Deep into distant woodlands winds a mazy way, reaching to overlapping spurs of mountains bathed in their hill-side blue.
  223. contrasting
    strikingly different
    But who could show a cheek like Queequeg? which, barred with various tints, seemed like the Andes' western slope, to show forth in one array, contrasting climates, zone by zone.
  224. fancy
    not plain; decorative or ornamented
    And as for going as cook,--though I confess there is considerable glory in that, a cook being a sort of officer on ship-board--yet, somehow, I never fancied broiling fowls;--though once broiled, judiciously buttered, and judgmatically salted and peppered, there is no one who will speak more respectfully, not to say reverentially, of a broiled fowl than I will.
  225. doleful
    filled with or evoking sadness
    It needs scarcely to be told, with what feelings, on the eve of a Nantucket voyage, I regarded those marble tablets, and by the murky light of that darkened, doleful day read the fate of the whalemen who had gone before me.
  226. receive
    get something; come into possession of
    Why did the poor poet of Tennessee, upon suddenly receiving two handfuls of silver, deliberate whether to buy him a coat, which he sadly needed, or invest his money in a pedestrian trip to Rockaway Beach?
  227. contraband
    distributed or sold illicitly
    That ship, my friends, was the first of recorded smugglers! the contraband was Jonah.
  228. Canaan
    an ancient country in southwestern Asia on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea; a place of pilgrimage for Christianity and Islam and Judaism
    It is a land of oil, true enough: but not like Canaan; a land, also, of corn and wine.
  229. grapple
    work hard to come to terms with or deal with something
    His greatest admirer could not have cordially justified his bringing his harpoon into breakfast with him, and using it there without ceremony; reaching over the table with it, to the imminent jeopardy of many heads, and grappling the beefsteaks towards him.
  230. dedicate
    give entirely to a specific person, activity, or cause
    He had been a sailor and a harpooneer in his youth, but for many years past had dedicated his life to the ministry.
  231. oriental
    denoting or characteristic of countries of Asia
    Let them talk of their oriental summer climes of everlasting conservatories; give me the privilege of making my own summer with my own coals.
  232. opulent
    rich and superior in quality
    Yet, in spite of this, nowhere in all America will you find more patrician-like houses; parks and gardens more opulent, than in New Bedford.
  233. trappings
    ornaments; embellishments to or characteristic signs of
    Whether any of the relatives of the seamen whose names appeared there were now among the congregation, I knew not; but so many are the unrecorded accidents in the fishery, and so plainly did several women present wear the countenance if not the trappings of some unceasing grief, that I feel sure that here before me were assembled those, in whose unhealing hearts the sight of those bleak tablets sympathetically caused the old wounds to bleed afresh.
  234. stifle
    impair the respiration of or obstruct the air passage of
    Then, in that contracted hole, sunk, too, beneath the ship's water-line, Jonah feels the heralding presentiment of that stifling hour, when the whale shall hold him in the smallest of his bowels' wards.
  235. pagan
    a person following a polytheistic or pre-Christian religion
    All these strange antics were accompanied by still stranger guttural noises from the devotee, who seemed to be praying in a sing-song or else singing some pagan psalmody or other, during which his face twitched about in the most unnatural manner.
  236. sway
    move back and forth
    Then the wild and distant seas where he rolled his island bulk; the undeliverable, nameless perils of the whale; these, with all the attending marvels of a thousand Patagonian sights and sounds, helped to sway me to my wish.
  237. dusty
    covered with a layer of fine powdery material
    On one side stood a long, low, shelf-like table covered with cracked glass cases, filled with dusty rarities gathered from this wide world's remotest nooks.
  238. coast
    the shore of a sea or ocean
    I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.
  239. sacrificial
    related to the act of killing another to satisfy a diety
    First he takes about a double handful of shavings out of his grego pocket, and places them carefully before the idol; then laying a bit of ship biscuit on top and applying the flame from the lamp, he kindled the shavings into a sacrificial blaze.
  240. scarce
    deficient in quantity or number compared with the demand
    However, a good laugh is a mighty good thing, and rather too scarce a good thing; the more's the pity.
  241. button
    a round fastener sewn to shirts and coats
    We were fain to button up our monkey jackets, and hold to our lips cups of scalding tea with our half frozen fingers.
  242. yeast
    a single-celled fungus that reproduces asexually
    But what most puzzled and confounded you was a long, limber, portentous, black mass of something hovering in the centre of the picture over three blue, dim, perpendicular lines floating in a nameless yeast.
  243. omnipotent
    having unlimited power
    So omnipotent is art; which in many a district of New Bedford has superinduced bright terraces of flowers upon the barren refuse rocks thrown aside at creation's final day.
  244. bountiful
    producing in abundance
    And in August, high in air, the beautiful and bountiful horse-chestnuts, candelabra-wise, proffer the passer-by their tapering upright cones of congregated blossoms.
  245. wind
    air moving from high pressure to low pressure
    Deep into distant woodlands winds a mazy way, reaching to overlapping spurs of mountains bathed in their hill-side blue.
  246. caterpillar
    a wormlike and often hairy larva of a moth or butterfly
    But Queequeg, do you see, was a creature in the transition stage--neither caterpillar nor butterfly.
  247. clam
    burrowing marine mollusk living on sand or mud
    I considered the matter a moment, and then up stairs we went, and I was ushered into a small room, cold as a clam, and furnished, sure enough, with a prodigious bed, almost big enough indeed for any four harpooneers to sleep abreast.
  248. fare
    the sum charged for riding in a public conveyance
    But the fare was of the most substantial kind--not only meat and potatoes, but dumplings; good heavens! dumplings for supper!
  249. aloft
    at or on or to the masthead or upper rigging of a ship
    Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep.
  250. iceberg
    a large mass of ice floating at sea
    Now, that Lazarus should lie stranded there on the curbstone before the door of Dives, this is more wonderful than that an iceberg should be moored to one of the Moluccas.
  251. appall
    strike with disgust or revulsion
    Straightway, he now goes on to make a full confession; whereupon the mariners became more and more appalled, but still are pitiful.
  252. ebony
    hard dark-colored heartwood used in cabinetwork
    But seeing that it was not at all limber, and that it glistened a good deal like polished ebony, I concluded that it must be nothing but a wooden idol, which indeed it proved to be.
  253. fissure
    a long narrow depression in a surface
    At the time I now write of, Father Mapple was in the hardy winter of a healthy old age; that sort of old age which seems merging into a second flowering youth, for among all the fissures of his wrinkles, there shone certain mild gleams of a newly developing bloom--the spring verdure peeping forth even beneath February's snow.
  254. passage
    the act of moving from one state or place to the next
    True enough, thought I, as this passage occurred to my mind--old black-letter, thou reasonest well.
  255. moccasin
    soft leather shoe; originally worn by Native Americans
    I can compare it to nothing but a large door mat, ornamented at the edges with little tinkling tags something like the stained porcupine quills round an Indian moccasin.
  256. unearthly
    suggesting the operation of supernatural influences
    But then, what to make of his unearthly complexion, that part of it, I mean, lying round about, and completely independent of the squares of tattooing.
  257. represent
    be a delegate or spokesperson for
    Moving on, I at last came to a dim sort of light not far from the docks, and heard a forlorn creaking in the air; and looking up, saw a swinging sign over the door with a white painting upon it, faintly representing a tall straight jet of misty spray, and these words underneath--"The Spouter Inn:--Peter Coffin."
  258. chaotic
    completely unordered and unpredictable and confusing
    Yes, there is death in this business of whaling--a speechlessly quick chaotic bundling of a man into Eternity.
  259. comply
    act in accordance with someone's rules, commands, or wishes
    This being told to Queequeg, he at once complied, and again politely motioned me to get into bed--rolling over to one side as much as to say--"I won't touch a leg of ye."
  260. stupor
    marginal consciousness
    "Like one who after a night of drunken revelry hies to his bed, still reeling, but with conscience yet pricking him, as the plungings of the Roman race-horse but so much the more strike his steel tags into him; as one who in that miserable plight still turns and turns in giddy anguish, praying God for annihilation until the fit be passed; and at last amid the whirl of woe he feels, a deep stupor steals over him, as over the man who bleeds to death, for conscience is the wound, and the...
  261. orgy
    a wild gathering involving excessive drinking
    It was now about nine o'clock, and the room seeming almost supernaturally quiet after these orgies, I began to congratulate myself upon a little plan that had occurred to me just previous to the entrance of the seamen.
  262. notoriety
    the state of being known for some unfavorable act or quality
    Father Mapple enjoyed such a wide reputation for sincerity and sanctity, that I could not suspect him of courting notoriety by any mere tricks of the stage.
  263. Judges
    a book of the Old Testament that tells the history of Israel under the leaders known as judges
    Delight is to him, who gives no quarter in the truth, and kills, burns, and destroys all sin though he pluck it out from under the robes of Senators and Judges.
  264. don
    teacher at a university or college
    He commenced dressing at top by donning his beaver hat, a very tall one, by the by, and then--still minus his trowsers--he hunted up his boots.
  265. equator
    an imaginary line around the Earth forming a great circle
    Would he not far rather lay him down lengthwise along the line of the equator; yea, ye gods! go down to the fiery pit itself, in order to keep out this frost?
  266. lofty
    of imposing height; especially standing out above others
    Go and gaze upon the iron emblematical harpoons round yonder lofty mansion, and your question will be answered.
  267. grasshopper
    terrestrial plant-eating insect with hind legs adapted for leaping
    True, they rather order me about some, and make me jump from spar to spar, like a grasshopper in a May meadow.
  268. extinguish
    put out, as of fires, flames, or lights
    At last extinguishing the fire, he took the idol up very unceremoniously, and bagged it again in his grego pocket as carelessly as if he were a sportsman bagging a dead woodcock.
  269. conjure
    summon into action or bring into existence
    Stammering out something, I knew not what, I rolled away from him against the wall, and then conjured him, whoever or whatever he might be, to keep quiet, and let me get up and light the lamp again.
  270. monstrous
    distorted and unnatural in shape or size
    The opposite wall of this entry was hung all over with a heathenish array of monstrous clubs and spears.
  271. dilapidated
    in deplorable condition
    As the light looked so dim, and the place, for the time, looked quiet enough, and the dilapidated little wooden house itself looked as if it might have been carted here from the ruins of some burnt district, and as the swinging sign had a poverty-stricken sort of creak to it, I thought that here was the very spot for cheap lodgings, and the best of pea coffee.
  272. presentiment
    a feeling of evil to come
    Then, in that contracted hole, sunk, too, beneath the ship's water-line, Jonah feels the heralding presentiment of that stifling hour, when the whale shall hold him in the smallest of his bowels' wards.
  273. deliberate
    carefully thought out in advance
    Why did the poor poet of Tennessee, upon suddenly receiving two handfuls of silver, deliberate whether to buy him a coat, which he sadly needed, or invest his money in a pedestrian trip to Rockaway Beach?
  274. surveillance
    close observation of a person or group
    But wherefore it was that after having repeatedly smelt the sea as a merchant sailor, I should now take it into my head to go on a whaling voyage; this the invisible police officer of the Fates, who has the constant surveillance of me, and secretly dogs me, and influences me in some unaccountable way--he can better answer than any one else.
  275. swift
    moving very fast
    Within are shabby shelves, ranged round with old decanters, bottles, flasks; and in those jaws of swift destruction, like another cursed Jonah (by which name indeed they called him), bustles a little withered old man, who, for their money, dearly sells the sailors deliriums and death.
  276. descry
    catch sight of
    From thence it is the storm of God's quick wrath is first descried, and the bow must bear the earliest brunt.
  277. conservatory
    a schoolhouse with special facilities for fine arts
    Let them talk of their oriental summer climes of everlasting conservatories; give me the privilege of making my own summer with my own coals.
  278. swarthy
    naturally having skin of a dark color
    His deep chest heaved as with a ground-swell; his tossed arms seemed the warring elements at work; and the thunders that rolled away from off his swarthy brow, and the light leaping from his eye, made all his simple hearers look on him with a quick fear that was strange to them.
  279. dreary
    lacking in liveliness or charm or surprise
    With anxious grapnels I had sounded my pocket, and only brought up a few pieces of silver,--So, wherever you go, Ishmael, said I to myself, as I stood in the middle of a dreary street shouldering my bag, and comparing the gloom towards the north with the darkness towards the south--wherever in your wisdom you may conclude to lodge for the night, my dear Ishmael, be sure to inquire the price, and don't be too particular.
  280. cooper
    a craftsman who makes or repairs wooden barrels or tubs
    They were nearly all whalemen; chief mates, and second mates, and third mates, and sea carpenters, and sea coopers, and sea blacksmiths, and harpooneers, and ship keepers; a brown and brawny company, with bosky beards; an unshorn, shaggy set, all wearing monkey jackets for morning gowns.
  281. ponder
    reflect deeply on a subject
    The more I pondered over this harpooneer, the more I abominated the thought of sleeping with him.
  282. antic
    ludicrously odd
    All these strange antics were accompanied by still stranger guttural noises from the devotee, who seemed to be praying in a sing-song or else singing some pagan psalmody or other, during which his face twitched about in the most unnatural manner.
  283. invoke
    request earnestly; ask for aid or protection
    From thence it is the God of breezes fair or foul is first invoked for favourable winds.
  284. remote
    located far away spatially
    With other men, perhaps, such things would not have been inducements; but as for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote.
  285. impregnable
    incapable of being attacked or tampered with
    For I was not prepared to see Father Mapple after gaining the height, slowly turn round, and stooping over the pulpit, deliberately drag up the ladder step by step, till the whole was deposited within, leaving him impregnable in his little Quebec.
  286. Whitehall
    a wide street in London stretching from Trafalgar Square to the Houses of Parliament; site of many government offices
    Go from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, and from thence, by Whitehall, northward.
  287. trunk
    the main stem of a tree
    There stand his trees, each with a hollow trunk, as if a hermit and a crucifix were within; and here sleeps his meadow, and there sleep his cattle; and up from yonder cottage goes a sleepy smoke.
  288. flee
    run away quickly
    "With this sin of disobedience in him, Jonah still further flouts at God, by seeking to flee from Him. He thinks that a ship made by men will carry him into countries where God does not reign, but only the Captains of this earth.
  289. bleach
    make whiter or lighter
    In the complexion of a third still lingers a tropic tawn, but slightly bleached withal; HE doubtless has tarried whole weeks ashore.
  290. scald
    burn with a hot liquid or steam
    We were fain to button up our monkey jackets, and hold to our lips cups of scalding tea with our half frozen fingers.
  291. incredulous
    not disposed or willing to believe; unbelieving
    Affected by the solemnity of the scene, there was a wondering gaze of incredulous curiosity in his countenance.
  292. eventual
    expected to follow in the indefinite future
    And how pleasing to God was this conduct in Jonah, is shown in the eventual deliverance of him from the sea and the whale.
  293. tribulation
    an annoying or frustrating or catastrophic event
    For my part, I abominate all honourable respectable toils, trials, and tribulations of every kind whatsoever.
  294. moment
    an indefinitely short time
    Too expensive and jolly, again thought I, pausing one moment to watch the broad glare in the street, and hear the sounds of the tinkling glasses within.
  295. hazy
    filled or abounding with fog or mist
    Now, when I say that I am in the habit of going to sea whenever I begin to grow hazy about the eyes, and begin to be over conscious of my lungs, I do not mean to have it inferred that I ever go to sea as a passenger.
  296. replenish
    fill something that had previously been emptied
    Yes, for replenished with the meat and wine of the word, to the faithful man of God, this pulpit, I see, is a self-containing stronghold--a lofty Ehrenbreitstein, with a perennial well of water within the walls.
  297. regulating
    the act of controlling or directing according to rule
    It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation.
  298. story
    a record or narrative description of past events
    And still deeper the meaning of that story of Narcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting, mild image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and was drowned.
  299. leap
    move forward by bounds
    But thank heaven, at that moment the landlord came into the room light in hand, and leaping from the bed I ran up to him.
  300. wail
    a cry of sorrow and grief
    It was a negro church; and the preacher's text was about the blackness of darkness, and the weeping and wailing and teeth-gnashing there.
  301. arch
    a curved masonry construction for spanning an opening
    Crossing this dusky entry, and on through yon low- arched way--cut through what in old times must have been a great central chimney with fireplaces all round--you enter the public room.
  302. minus
    on the negative side or lower end of a scale
    He commenced dressing at top by donning his beaver hat, a very tall one, by the by, and then--still minus his trowsers--he hunted up his boots.
  303. achieve
    to gain with effort
    The rest of his toilet was soon achieved, and he proudly marched out of the room, wrapped up in his great pilot monkey jacket, and sporting his harpoon like a marshal's baton.
  304. predicament
    an unpleasant or difficult situation
    But at length all the past night's events soberly recurred, one by one, in fixed reality, and then I lay only alive to the comical predicament.
  305. infidelity
    the quality of being unfaithful
    What deadly voids and unbidden infidelities in the lines that seem to gnaw upon all Faith, and refuse resurrections to the beings who have placelessly perished without a grave.
  306. contain
    hold or have within
    Of things not properly belonging to the room, there was a hammock lashed up, and thrown upon the floor in one corner; also a large seaman's bag, containing the harpooneer's wardrobe, no doubt in lieu of a land trunk.
  307. straight
    having no deviations
    But look! here come more crowds, pacing straight for the water, and seemingly bound for a dive.
  308. spring
    move forward by leaps and bounds
    Though I cannot tell why it was exactly that those stage managers, the Fates, put me down for this shabby part of a whaling voyage, when others were set down for magnificent parts in high tragedies, and short and easy parts in genteel comedies, and jolly parts in farces--though I cannot tell why this was exactly; yet, now that I recall all the circumstances, I think I can see a little into the springs and motives which being cunningly presented to me under various disguises, induced m...
  309. anchor
    a mechanical device that prevents a vessel from moving
    A still duskier place is this, with such low ponderous beams above, and such old wrinkled planks beneath, that you would almost fancy you trod some old craft's cockpits, especially of such a howling night, when this corner- anchored old ark rocked so furiously.
  310. pedestrian
    a person who travels by foot
    Why did the poor poet of Tennessee, upon suddenly receiving two handfuls of silver, deliberate whether to buy him a coat, which he sadly needed, or invest his money in a pedestrian trip to Rockaway Beach?
  311. length
    the linear extent in space from one end to the other
    Going to his heavy grego, or wrapall, or dreadnaught, which he had previously hung on a chair, he fumbled in the pockets, and produced at length a curious little deformed image with a hunch on its back, and exactly the colour of a three days' old Congo baby.
  312. devotee
    an ardent follower and admirer
    All these strange antics were accompanied by still stranger guttural noises from the devotee, who seemed to be praying in a sing-song or else singing some pagan psalmody or other, during which his face twitched about in the most unnatural manner.
  313. crucifix
    representation of the cross on which Jesus died
    There stand his trees, each with a hollow trunk, as if a hermit and a crucifix were within; and here sleeps his meadow, and there sleep his cattle; and up from yonder cottage goes a sleepy smoke.
  314. eddy
    a miniature whirlpool or whirlwind
    As we have seen, God came upon him in the whale, and swallowed him down to living gulfs of doom, and with swift slantings tore him along 'into the midst of the seas,' where the eddying depths sucked him ten thousand fathoms down, and 'the weeds were wrapped about his head,' and all the watery world of woe bowled over him.
  315. Seneca
    a member of the Iroquoian people formerly living in New York State south of Lake Ontario
    The transition is a keen one, I assure you, from a schoolmaster to a sailor, and requires a strong decoction of Seneca and the Stoics to enable you to grin and bear it.
  316. settle
    become resolved, fixed, established, or quiet
    I sat down on an old wooden settle, carved all over like a bench on the Battery.
  317. jackal
    Old World nocturnal canine mammal closely related to the dog
    But Faith, like a jackal, feeds among the tombs, and even from these dead doubts she gathers her most vital hope.
  318. immovable
    not able or intended to be moved
    What despair in those immovable inscriptions!
  319. clime
    the weather in some location averaged over a period of time
    Let them talk of their oriental summer climes of everlasting conservatories; give me the privilege of making my own summer with my own coals.
  320. wild
    in a natural state; not tamed or domesticated or cultivated
    Then the wild and distant seas where he rolled his island bulk; the undeliverable, nameless perils of the whale; these, with all the attending marvels of a thousand Patagonian sights and sounds, helped to sway me to my wish.
  321. indignity
    an affront to one's self-esteem
    What does that indignity amount to, weighed, I mean, in the scales of the New Testament?
  322. benediction
    a ceremonial prayer invoking divine protection
    Yet this is nothing: I leave eternity to Thee; for what is man that he should live out the lifetime of his God?" He said no more, but slowly waving a benediction, covered his face with his hands, and so remained kneeling, till all the people had departed, and he was left alone in the place.
  323. labyrinth
    complex system of paths in which it is easy to get lost
    The counterpane was of patchwork, full of odd little parti-coloured squares and triangles; and this arm of his tattooed all over with an interminable Cretan labyrinth of a figure, no two parts of which were of one precise shade--owing I suppose to his keeping his arm at sea unmethodically in sun and shade, his shirt sleeves irregularly rolled up at various times--this same arm of his, I say, looked for all the world like a strip of that same patchwork quilt.
  324. Orion
    (Greek mythology) a giant Boeotian hunter who pursued the Pleiades and was eventually slain by Artemis; was then placed in the sky as a constellation
    What a fine frosty night; how Orion glitters; what northern lights!
  325. azure
    of a deep somewhat purplish blue color
    "Ah, noble ship," the angel seemed to say, "beat on, beat on, thou noble ship, and bear a hardy helm; for lo! the sun is breaking through; the clouds are rolling off--serenest azure is at hand."
  326. aghast
    struck with fear, dread, or consternation
    And ever, as the white moon shows her affrighted face from the steep gullies in the blackness overhead, aghast Jonah sees the rearing bowsprit pointing high upward, but soon beat downward again towards the tormented deep.
  327. hue
    the quality of a color determined by its dominant wavelength
    Indeed, partly lying on it as the arm did when I first awoke, I could hardly tell it from the quilt, they so blended their hues together; and it was only by the sense of weight and pressure that I could tell that Queequeg was hugging me.
  328. substitute
    a person or thing that can take the place of another
    This is my substitute for pistol and ball.
  329. inexorable
    not to be placated or appeased or moved by entreaty
    Delight is to him--a far, far upward, and inward delight--who against the proud gods and commodores of this earth, ever stands forth his own inexorable self.
  330. miserable
    very unhappy
    Further on, from the bright red windows of the "Sword-Fish Inn," there came such fervent rays, that it seemed to have melted the packed snow and ice from before the house, for everywhere else the congealed frost lay ten inches thick in a hard, asphaltic pavement,--rather weary for me, when I struck my foot against the flinty projections, because from hard, remorseless service the soles of my boots were in a most miserable plight.
  331. pauper
    a person who is very poor
    In this world, shipmates, sin that pays its way can travel freely, and without a passport; whereas Virtue, if a pauper, is stopped at all frontiers.
  332. memory
    the cognitive process whereby past experience is remembered
    Three of them ran something like the following, but I do not pretend to quote:-- SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF JOHN TALBOT, Who, at the age of eighteen, was lost overboard, Near the Isle of Desolation, off Patagonia, November 1st, 1836.
  333. loiter
    linger, remain, or wait around for no apparent reason
    Nothing will content them but the extremest limit of the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses will not suffice.
  334. meridian
    an imaginary great circle on the surface of the earth
    Parallel meridians rudely pecked into the glass, surround these footpads' goblets.
  335. dolphin
    any of various small toothed whales with a beaklike snout
    "With speed he flew to my relief, As on a radiant dolphin borne; Awful, yet bright, as lightning shone The face of my Deliverer God. "My song for ever shall record That terrible, that joyful hour; I give the glory to my God, His all the mercy and the power."
  336. aggregate
    a sum total of many heterogeneous things taken together
    In fact, the artist's design seemed this: a final theory of my own, partly based upon the aggregated opinions of many aged persons with whom I conversed upon the subject.
  337. vain
    characteristic of false pride
    But though the picture lies thus tranced, and though this pine-tree shakes down its sighs like leaves upon this shepherd's head, yet all were vain, unless the shepherd's eye were fixed upon the magic stream before him.
  338. kindle
    catch fire
    First he takes about a double handful of shavings out of his grego pocket, and places them carefully before the idol; then laying a bit of ship biscuit on top and applying the flame from the lamp, he kindled the shavings into a sacrificial blaze.
  339. prodigy
    an unusually gifted or intelligent person
    "Like one who after a night of drunken revelry hies to his bed, still reeling, but with conscience yet pricking him, as the plungings of the Roman race-horse but so much the more strike his steel tags into him; as one who in that miserable plight still turns and turns in giddy anguish, praying God for annihilation until the fit be passed; and at last amid the whirl of woe he feels, a deep stupor steals over him, as over the man who bleeds to death, for conscience is the wound, and there's na...
  340. strut
    to walk with a lofty proud gait
    Look there! that chap strutting round the corner.
  341. motion
    the act of changing location from one place to another
    "You gettee in," he added, motioning to me with his tomahawk, and throwing the clothes to one side.
  342. context
    the set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation
    And taken with the context, this is full of meaning.
  343. genteel
    marked by refinement in taste and manners
    Though I cannot tell why it was exactly that those stage managers, the Fates, put me down for this shabby part of a whaling voyage, when others were set down for magnificent parts in high tragedies, and short and easy parts in genteel comedies, and jolly parts in farces--though I cannot tell why this was exactly; yet, now that I recall all the circumstances, I think I can see a little into the springs and motives which being cunningly presented to me under various disguises, induced m...
  344. engage
    consume all of one's attention or time
    "Do you pretend to say, landlord, that this harpooneer is actually engaged this blessed Saturday night, or rather Sunday morning, in peddling his head around this town?"
  345. curious
    eager to investigate and learn or learn more
    Going to his heavy grego, or wrapall, or dreadnaught, which he had previously hung on a chair, he fumbled in the pockets, and produced at length a curious little deformed image with a hunch on its back, and exactly the colour of a three days' old Congo baby.
  346. accost
    speak to someone
    I quickly followed suit, and descending into the bar-room accosted the grinning landlord very pleasantly.
  347. ensue
    issue or terminate in a specified way
    A brief pause ensued; the preacher slowly turned over the leaves of the Bible, and at last, folding his hand down upon the proper page, said: "Beloved shipmates, clinch the last verse of the first chapter of Jonah--'And God had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah.'"
  348. cant
    a slope in the turn of a road or track
    "Just as you please; I'm sorry I cant spare ye a tablecloth for a mattress, and it's a plaguy rough board here"--feeling of the knots and notches.
  349. staunch
    firm and dependable especially in loyalty
    "Like one who after a night of drunken revelry hies to his bed, still reeling, but with conscience yet pricking him, as the plungings of the Roman race-horse but so much the more strike his steel tags into him; as one who in that miserable plight still turns and turns in giddy anguish, praying God for annihilation until the fit be passed; and at last amid the whirl of woe he feels, a deep stupor steals over him, as over the man who bleeds to death, for conscience is the wound, and there's na...
  350. sought
    that is looked for
    I sought the landlord, and telling him I desired to be accommodated with a room, received for answer that his house was full--not a bed unoccupied.
  351. interminable
    tiresomely long; seemingly without end
    The counterpane was of patchwork, full of odd little parti-coloured squares and triangles; and this arm of his tattooed all over with an interminable Cretan labyrinth of a figure, no two parts of which were of one precise shade--owing I suppose to his keeping his arm at sea unmethodically in sun and shade, his shirt sleeves irregularly rolled up at various times--this same arm of his, I say, looked for all the world like a strip of that same patchwork quilt.
  352. induce
    cause to act in a specified manner
    Though I cannot tell why it was exactly that those stage managers, the Fates, put me down for this shabby part of a whaling voyage, when others were set down for magnificent parts in high tragedies, and short and easy parts in genteel comedies, and jolly parts in farces--though I cannot tell why this was exactly; yet, now that I recall all the circumstances, I think I can see a little into the springs and motives which being cunningly presented to me under various disguises, induced m...
  353. moor
    come into or dock at a wharf
    Now, that Lazarus should lie stranded there on the curbstone before the door of Dives, this is more wonderful than that an iceberg should be moored to one of the Moluccas.
  354. extant
    still in existence; not extinct or destroyed or lost
    "In judging of that tempestuous wind called Euroclydon," says an old writer--of whose works I possess the only copy extant--"it maketh a marvellous difference, whether thou lookest out at it from a glass window where the frost is all on the outside, or whether thou observest it from that sashless window, where the frost is on both sides, and of which the wight Death is the only glazier."
  355. eruption
    the sudden occurrence of a violent discharge
    Enveloped in their shaggy watch coats, and with their heads muffled in woollen comforters, all bedarned and ragged, and their beards stiff with icicles, they seemed an eruption of bears from Labrador.
  356. dexterity
    adroitness in using the hands
    Halting for an instant at the foot of the ladder, and with both hands grasping the ornamental knobs of the man-ropes, Father Mapple cast a look upwards, and then with a truly sailor-like but still reverential dexterity, hand over hand, mounted the steps as if ascending the main-top of his vessel.
  357. wave
    (physics) a movement up and down or back and forth
    Its extreme downtown is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land.
  358. anoint
    administer an oil or ointment to
    And now how gladly would I come down from this mast-head and sit on the hatches there where you sit, and listen as you listen, while some one of you reads ME that other and more awful lesson which Jonah teaches to ME, as a pilot of the living God. How being an anointed pilot-prophet, or speaker of true things, and bidden by the Lord to sound those unwelcome truths in the ears of a wicked Nineveh, Jonah, appalled at the hostility he should raise, fled from his mission, and sought to es...
  359. glaze
    a coating, as for ceramics or metal
    Shaking off the sleet from my ice- glazed hat and jacket, I seated myself near the door, and turning sideways was surprised to see Queequeg near me.
  360. desist
    choose not to consume
    At last, after much dodging search, he finds the Tarshish ship receiving the last items of her cargo; and as he steps on board to see its Captain in the cabin, all the sailors for the moment desist from hoisting in the goods, to mark the stranger's evil eye.
  361. delirium
    a usually brief state of excitement and mental confusion
    Within are shabby shelves, ranged round with old decanters, bottles, flasks; and in those jaws of swift destruction, like another cursed Jonah (by which name indeed they called him), bustles a little withered old man, who, for their money, dearly sells the sailors deliriums and death.
  362. comely
    according with custom or propriety
    For all his tattooings he was on the whole a clean, comely looking cannibal.
  363. cataract
    disease that involves the clouding of the lens of the eye
    Were Niagara but a cataract of sand, would you travel your thousand miles to see it?
  364. undergraduate
    a university student who has not yet received a first degree
    He was an undergraduate.
  365. counterfeit
    not genuine; imitating something superior
    He rings every coin to find a counterfeit.
  366. innate
    present at birth but not necessarily hereditary
    Thinks I, Queequeg, under the circumstances, this is a very civilized overture; but, the truth is, these savages have an innate sense of delicacy, say what you will; it is marvellous how essentially polite they are.
  367. plumb
    exactly vertical
    No, when I go to sea, I go as a simple sailor, right before the mast, plumb down into the forecastle, aloft there to the royal mast-head.
  368. paralysis
    loss of the ability to move a body part
    In what census of living creatures, the dead of mankind are included; why it is that a universal proverb says of them, that they tell no tales, though containing more secrets than the Goodwin Sands; how it is that to his name who yesterday departed for the other world, we prefix so significant and infidel a word, and yet do not thus entitle him, if he but embarks for the remotest Indies of this living earth; why the Life Insurance Companies pay death-forfeitures upon immortals; in what etern...
  369. giddy
    lacking seriousness; given to frivolity
    "Like one who after a night of drunken revelry hies to his bed, still reeling, but with conscience yet pricking him, as the plungings of the Roman race-horse but so much the more strike his steel tags into him; as one who in that miserable plight still turns and turns in giddy anguish, praying God for annihilation until the fit be passed; and at last amid the whirl of woe he feels, a deep stupor steals over him, as over the man who bleeds to death, for conscience is the wound, and the...
  370. whirl
    the shape of something rotating rapidly
    "Like one who after a night of drunken revelry hies to his bed, still reeling, but with conscience yet pricking him, as the plungings of the Roman race-horse but so much the more strike his steel tags into him; as one who in that miserable plight still turns and turns in giddy anguish, praying God for annihilation until the fit be passed; and at last amid the whirl of woe he feels, a deep stupor steals over him, as over the man who bleeds to death, for conscience is the wound, and the...
  371. ease
    freedom from difficulty or hardship or effort
    I now screwed my eyes hard towards the half hidden image, feeling but ill at ease meantime--to see what was next to follow.
  372. flowering
    the time and process of budding and unfolding of blossoms
    At the time I now write of, Father Mapple was in the hardy winter of a healthy old age; that sort of old age which seems merging into a second flowering youth, for among all the fissures of his wrinkles, there shone certain mild gleams of a newly developing bloom--the spring verdure peeping forth even beneath February's snow.
  373. adorn
    make more attractive, as by adding ornament or color
    At one end a ruminating tar was still further adorning it with his jack-knife, stooping over and diligently working away at the space between his legs.
  374. diligent
    quietly and steadily persevering in detail or exactness
    On one side hung a very large oilpainting so thoroughly besmoked, and every way defaced, that in the unequal crosslights by which you viewed it, it was only by diligent study and a series of systematic visits to it, and careful inquiry of the neighbors, that you could any way arrive at an understanding of its purpose.
  375. stalwart
    having rugged physical strength
    They are mostly young, of stalwart frames; fellows who have felled forests, and now seek to drop the axe and snatch the whale-lance.
  376. Carthage
    an ancient city state on the north African coast near modern Tunis; founded by Phoenicians; destroyed and rebuilt by Romans; razed by Arabs in 697
    Besides though New Bedford has of late been gradually monopolising the business of whaling, and though in this matter poor old Nantucket is now much behind her, yet Nantucket was her great original--the Tyre of this Carthage;--the place where the first dead American whale was stranded.
  377. rope
    a strong line
    The wife of a whaling captain had provided the chapel with a handsome pair of red worsted man- ropes for this ladder, which, being itself nicely headed, and stained with a mahogany colour, the whole contrivance, considering what manner of chapel it was, seemed by no means in bad taste.
  378. lean
    incline or bend from a vertical position
    Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep.
  379. solo
    any activity that is performed alone without assistance
    It came in as a sort of brief interlude and solo between more extensive performances.
  380. scatter
    cause to separate and go in different directions
    "Speak-e! tell-ee me who-ee be, or dam-me, I kill-e!" again growled the cannibal, while his horrid flourishings of the tomahawk scattered the hot tobacco ashes about me till I thought my linen would get on fire.
  381. projection
    the act of expelling or ejecting
    Further on, from the bright red windows of the "Sword-Fish Inn," there came such fervent rays, that it seemed to have melted the packed snow and ice from before the house, for everywhere else the congealed frost lay ten inches thick in a hard, asphaltic pavement,--rather weary for me, when I struck my foot against the flinty projections, because from hard, remorseless service the soles of my boots were in a most miserable plight.
  382. burglar
    a thief who enters a building with intent to steal
    Oh! most contemptible and worthy of all scorn; with slouched hat and guilty eye, skulking from his God; prowling among the shipping like a vile burglar hastening to cross the seas.
  383. consign
    give over to another for care or safekeeping
    Ah! how cheerfully we consign ourselves to perdition!
  384. ornamental
    serving an esthetic rather than a useful purpose
    Halting for an instant at the foot of the ladder, and with both hands grasping the ornamental knobs of the man-ropes, Father Mapple cast a look upwards, and then with a truly sailor-like but still reverential dexterity, hand over hand, mounted the steps as if ascending the main-top of his vessel.
  385. tarry
    leave slowly and hesitantly
    In the complexion of a third still lingers a tropic tawn, but slightly bleached withal; HE doubtless has tarried whole weeks ashore.
  386. grasp
    hold firmly
    And still deeper the meaning of that story of Narcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting, mild image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and was drowned.
  387. calculate
    make a mathematical computation
    I lay there dismally calculating that sixteen entire hours must elapse before I could hope for a resurrection.
  388. desert
    leave someone who needs or counts on you; leave in the lurch
    Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor.
  389. tropic
    either of two parallels of latitude about 23.5 degrees to the north and south of the equator representing the points farthest north and south at which the sun can shine directly overhead and constituting the boundaries of the Torrid Zone or tropics
    In the complexion of a third still lingers a tropic tawn, but slightly bleached withal; HE doubtless has tarried whole weeks ashore.
  390. similar
    having the same or nearly the same characteristics
    I concluded that this harpooneer, in the course of his distant voyages, must have met with a similar adventure.
  391. slight
    small in quantity or degree
    I then rolled over, my neck feeling as if it were in a horse-collar; and suddenly felt a slight scratch.
  392. earth
    the third planet from the sun
    In what census of living creatures, the dead of mankind are included; why it is that a universal proverb says of them, that they tell no tales, though containing more secrets than the Goodwin Sands; how it is that to his name who yesterday departed for the other world, we prefix so significant and infidel a word, and yet do not thus entitle him, if he but embarks for the remotest Indies of this living earth; why the Life Insurance Companies pay death-forfeitures upon immortals; in wha...
  393. triangle
    a three-sided polygon
    The counterpane was of patchwork, full of odd little parti-coloured squares and triangles; and this arm of his tattooed all over with an interminable Cretan labyrinth of a figure, no two parts of which were of one precise shade--owing I suppose to his keeping his arm at sea unmethodically in sun and shade, his shirt sleeves irregularly rolled up at various times--this same arm of his, I say, looked for all the world like a strip of that same patchwork quilt.
  394. abreast
    alongside each other, facing in the same direction
    I considered the matter a moment, and then up stairs we went, and I was ushered into a small room, cold as a clam, and furnished, sure enough, with a prodigious bed, almost big enough indeed for any four harpooneers to sleep abreast.
  395. beak
    horny projecting mouth of a bird
    Its panelled front was in the likeness of a ship's bluff bows, and the Holy Bible rested on a projecting piece of scroll work, fashioned after a ship's fiddle-headed beak.
  396. indefinitely
    to an unknown extent
    And when it comes to sleeping with an unknown stranger, in a strange inn, in a strange town, and that stranger a harpooneer, then your objections indefinitely multiply.
  397. surprise
    come upon or take unawares
    There is nothing surprising in this.
  398. snug
    enjoying comforting warmth and shelter in a small space
    "But wait a bit, Skrimshander; I've got a carpenter's plane there in the bar--wait, I say, and I'll make ye snug enough."
  399. dubious
    fraught with uncertainty or doubt
    It was a very dubious-looking, nay, a very dark and dismal night, bitingly cold and cheerless.
  400. sanctity
    the quality of being holy
    Father Mapple enjoyed such a wide reputation for sincerity and sanctity, that I could not suspect him of courting notoriety by any mere tricks of the stage.
  401. comprehend
    get the meaning of something
    But his guttural responses satisfied me at once that he but ill comprehended my meaning.
  402. inexplicable
    incapable of being explained or accounted for
    In fact, I was so afraid of him that I was not game enough just then to address him, and demand a satisfactory answer concerning what seemed inexplicable in him.
  403. clerical
    appropriate for or engaged in office work
    No one having previously heard his history, could for the first time behold Father Mapple without the utmost interest, because there were certain engrafted clerical peculiarities about him, imputable to that adventurous maritime life he had led.
  404. segment
    one of several parts that fit with others to make a whole
    Some were thickly set with glittering teeth resembling ivory saws; others were tufted with knots of human hair; and one was sickle-shaped, with a vast handle sweeping round like the segment made in the new-mown grass by a long-armed mower.
  405. entail
    have as a logical consequence
    The act of paying is perhaps the most uncomfortable infliction that the two orchard thieves entailed upon us.
  406. proffer
    present for acceptance or rejection
    And in August, high in air, the beautiful and bountiful horse-chestnuts, candelabra-wise, proffer the passer-by their tapering upright cones of congregated blossoms.
  407. august
    profoundly honored
    SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF The late CAPTAIN EZEKIEL HARDY, Who in the bows of his boat was killed by a Sperm Whale on the coast of Japan, AUGUST 3d, 1833.
  408. meadow
    a field where grass or alfalfa are grown to be made into hay
    There stand his trees, each with a hollow trunk, as if a hermit and a crucifix were within; and here sleeps his meadow, and there sleep his cattle; and up from yonder cottage goes a sleepy smoke.
  409. violate
    fail to agree with; go against
    For as in this world, head winds are far more prevalent than winds from astern (that is, if you never violate the Pythagorean maxim), so for the most part the Commodore on the quarter-deck gets his atmosphere at second hand from the sailors on the forecastle.
  410. sleeper
    a rester who is in slumber
    But the frightened master comes to him, and shrieks in his dead ear, 'What meanest thou, O, sleeper! arise!'
  411. misty
    filled or abounding with fog
    Moving on, I at last came to a dim sort of light not far from the docks, and heard a forlorn creaking in the air; and looking up, saw a swinging sign over the door with a white painting upon it, faintly representing a tall straight jet of misty spray, and these words underneath--"The Spouter Inn:--Peter Coffin."
  412. coin
    a flat metal piece (usually a disc) used as money
    Another runs to read the bill that's stuck against the spile upon the wharf to which the ship is moored, offering five hundred gold coins for the apprehension of a parricide, and containing a description of his person.
  413. commune
    communicate intimately with
    There now came a lull in his look, as he silently turned over the leaves of the Book once more; and, at last, standing motionless, with closed eyes, for the moment, seemed communing with God and himself.
  414. patrician
    a person of refined upbringing and manners
    Yet, in spite of this, nowhere in all America will you find more patrician-like houses; parks and gardens more opulent, than in New Bedford.
  415. employ
    put into service
    What is the chief element he employs?
  416. cable
    a very strong thick rope made of twisted hemp or steel wire
    "Shipmates, this book, containing only four chapters--four yarns--is one of the smallest strands in the mighty cable of the Scriptures.
  417. depart
    go away or leave
    If I had been astonished at first catching a glimpse of so outlandish an individual as Queequeg circulating among the polite society of a civilized town, that astonishment soon departed upon taking my first daylight stroll through the streets of New Bedford.
  418. surviving
    still in existence
    THIS MARBLE Is here placed by their surviving SHIPMATES.
  419. plenty
    a full supply
    But no more of this blubbering now, we are going a-whaling, and there is plenty of that yet to come.
  420. founder
    a person who establishes some institution
    The picture represents a Cape-Horner in a great hurricane; the half- foundered ship weltering there with its three dismantled masts alone visible; and an exasperated whale, purposing to spring clean over the craft, is in the enormous act of impaling himself upon the three mast-heads.
  421. sojourn
    a temporary stay
    The original iron entered nigh the tail, and, like a restless needle sojourning in the body of a man, travelled full forty feet, and at last was found imbedded in the hump.
  422. flourish
    grow vigorously
    With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
  423. glimpse
    a brief or incomplete view
    If I had been astonished at first catching a glimpse of so outlandish an individual as Queequeg circulating among the polite society of a civilized town, that astonishment soon departed upon taking my first daylight stroll through the streets of New Bedford.
  424. angle
    the space between two lines or planes that intersect
    Projecting from the further angle of the room stands a dark-looking den--the bar--a rude attempt at a right whale's head.
  425. attest
    provide evidence for
    I had not been seated very long ere a man of a certain venerable robustness entered; immediately as the storm-pelted door flew back upon admitting him, a quick regardful eyeing of him by all the congregation, sufficiently attested that this fine old man was the chaplain.
  426. misgiving
    uneasiness about the fitness of an action
    Meanwhile, I lay quietly eyeing him, having no serious misgivings now, and bent upon narrowly observing so curious a creature.
  427. indefinite
    vague or not clearly defined or stated
    Yet was there a sort of indefinite, half-attained, unimaginable sublimity about it that fairly froze you to it, till you involuntarily took an oath with yourself to find out what that marvellous painting meant.
  428. prevalent
    most frequent or common
    For as in this world, head winds are far more prevalent than winds from astern (that is, if you never violate the Pythagorean maxim), so for the most part the Commodore on the quarter-deck gets his atmosphere at second hand from the sailors on the forecastle.
  429. content
    satisfied or showing satisfaction with things as they are
    Nothing will content them but the extremest limit of the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses will not suffice.
  430. intuition
    instinctive knowing, without the use of rational processes
    Strong intuitions of the man assure the mariners he can be no innocent.
  431. accommodate
    have room for; hold without crowding
    I sought the landlord, and telling him I desired to be accommodated with a room, received for answer that his house was full--not a bed unoccupied.
  432. infidel
    a person who does not acknowledge your god
    In what census of living creatures, the dead of mankind are included; why it is that a universal proverb says of them, that they tell no tales, though containing more secrets than the Goodwin Sands; how it is that to his name who yesterday departed for the other world, we prefix so significant and infidel a word, and yet do not thus entitle him, if he but embarks for the remotest Indies of this living earth; why the Life Insurance Companies pay death-forfeitures upon immortals; in wha...
  433. bustle
    move or cause to move energetically or busily
    Within are shabby shelves, ranged round with old decanters, bottles, flasks; and in those jaws of swift destruction, like another cursed Jonah (by which name indeed they called him), bustles a little withered old man, who, for their money, dearly sells the sailors deliriums and death.
  434. terror
    an overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety
    This ended, in prolonged solemn tones, like the continual tolling of a bell in a ship that is foundering at sea in a fog--in such tones he commenced reading the following hymn; but changing his manner towards the concluding stanzas, burst forth with a pealing exultation and joy-- "The ribs and terrors in the whale, Arched over me a dismal gloom, While all God's sun-lit waves rolled by, And lift me deepening down to doom.
  435. cone
    a shape with a circular base and sides tapering to a point
    And in August, high in air, the beautiful and bountiful horse-chestnuts, candelabra-wise, proffer the passer-by their tapering upright cones of congregated blossoms.
  436. fervent
    characterized by intense emotion
    Further on, from the bright red windows of the "Sword-Fish Inn," there came such fervent rays, that it seemed to have melted the packed snow and ice from before the house, for everywhere else the congealed frost lay ten inches thick in a hard, asphaltic pavement,--rather weary for me, when I struck my foot against the flinty projections, because from hard, remorseless service the soles of my boots were in a most miserable plight.
  437. thereby
    by that means or because of that
    And in the first place, you will be so good as to unsay that story about selling his head, which if true I take to be good evidence that this harpooneer is stark mad, and I've no idea of sleeping with a madman; and you, sir, YOU I mean, landlord, YOU, sir, by trying to induce me to do so knowingly, would thereby render yourself liable to a criminal prosecution."
  438. nevertheless
    despite anything to the contrary
    Euroclydon, nevertheless, is a mighty pleasant zephyr to any one in-doors, with his feet on the hob quietly toasting for bed.
  439. confess
    admit to a wrongdoing
    And as for going as cook,--though I confess there is considerable glory in that, a cook being a sort of officer on ship-board--yet, somehow, I never fancied broiling fowls;--though once broiled, judiciously buttered, and judgmatically salted and peppered, there is no one who will speak more respectfully, not to say reverentially, of a broiled fowl than I will.
  440. sacred
    made or declared or believed to be holy
    Three of them ran something like the following, but I do not pretend to quote:-- SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF JOHN TALBOT, Who, at the age of eighteen, was lost overboard, Near the Isle of Desolation, off Patagonia, November 1st, 1836.
  441. rude
    belonging to an early stage of technical development
    Projecting from the further angle of the room stands a dark-looking den--the bar--a rude attempt at a right whale's head.
  442. examine
    observe, check out, and look over carefully or inspect
    Upon entering the place I found a number of young seamen gathered about a table, examining by a dim light divers specimens of SKRIMSHANDER.
  443. rusty
    covered with or consisting of an oxide coating
    Mixed with these were rusty old whaling lances and harpoons all broken and deformed.
  444. aloof
    remote in manner
    I observed, however, that one of them held somewhat aloof, and though he seemed desirous not to spoil the hilarity of his shipmates by his own sober face, yet upon the whole he refrained from making as much noise as the rest.
  445. radiance
    an attractive combination of good health and happiness
    But high above the flying scud and dark-rolling clouds, there floated a little isle of sunlight, from which beamed forth an angel's face; and this bright face shed a distinct spot of radiance upon the ship's tossed deck, something like that silver plate now inserted into the Victory's plank where Nelson fell.
  446. sundry
    consisting of a haphazard assortment of different kinds
    What under the heavens he did it for, I cannot tell, but his next movement was to crush himself--boots in hand, and hat on--under the bed; when, from sundry violent gaspings and strainings, I inferred he was hard at work booting himself; though by no law of propriety that I ever heard of, is any man required to be private when putting on his boots.
  447. specimen
    a bit of tissue or fluid taken for diagnostic purposes
    Upon entering the place I found a number of young seamen gathered about a table, examining by a dim light divers specimens of SKRIMSHANDER.
  448. hamper
    prevent the progress or free movement of
    I put it on, to try it, and it weighed me down like a hamper, being uncommonly shaggy and thick, and I thought a little damp, as though this mysterious harpooneer had been wearing it of a rainy day.
  449. conscientious
    characterized by extreme care and great effort
    But she was the best and most conscientious of stepmothers, and back I had to go to my room.
  450. raise
    move upwards
    In a few minutes, however, he was missed by his shipmates, and being, it seems, for some reason a huge favourite with them, they raised a cry of "Bulkington!
  451. endeavor
    attempt by employing effort
    Such unaccountable masses of shades and shadows, that at first you almost thought some ambitious young artist, in the time of the New England hags, had endeavored to delineate chaos bewitched.
  452. farce
    a comedy characterized by broad satire
    Though I cannot tell why it was exactly that those stage managers, the Fates, put me down for this shabby part of a whaling voyage, when others were set down for magnificent parts in high tragedies, and short and easy parts in genteel comedies, and jolly parts in farces--though I cannot tell why this was exactly; yet, now that I recall all the circumstances, I think I can see a little into the springs and motives which being cunningly presented to me under various disguises, induced m...
  453. steep
    having a sharp inclination
    At last I must have fallen into a troubled nightmare of a doze; and slowly waking from it--half steeped in dreams--I opened my eyes, and the before sun-lit room was now wrapped in outer darkness.
  454. reconcile
    come to terms
    When, at last, his mind seemed made up touching the character of his bedfellow, and he became, as it were, reconciled to the fact; he jumped out upon the floor, and by certain signs and sounds gave me to understand that, if it pleased me, he would dress first and then leave me to dress afterwards, leaving the whole apartment to myself.
  455. congratulate
    say something to someone that expresses praise
    It was now about nine o'clock, and the room seeming almost supernaturally quiet after these orgies, I began to congratulate myself upon a little plan that had occurred to me just previous to the entrance of the seamen.
  456. touch
    make physical contact with, come in contact with
    It touches one's sense of honour, particularly if you come of an old established family in the land, the Van Rensselaers, or Randolphs, or Hardicanutes.
  457. gather
    assemble or get together
    On one side stood a long, low, shelf-like table covered with cracked glass cases, filled with dusty rarities gathered from this wide world's remotest nooks.
  458. hemisphere
    half of a sphere
    I had been cutting up some caper or other--I think it was trying to crawl up the chimney, as I had seen a little sweep do a few days previous; and my stepmother who, somehow or other, was all the time whipping me, or sending me to bed supperless,--my mother dragged me by the legs out of the chimney and packed me off to bed, though it was only two o'clock in the afternoon of the 21st June, the longest day in the year in our hemisphere.
  459. estimation
    an approximate calculation of quantity or degree or worth
    But THAT was certainly very coolly done by him, and every one knows that in most people's estimation, to do anything coolly is to do it genteelly.
  460. reminiscence
    a mental impression retained and recalled from the past
    His face was deeply brown and burnt, making his white teeth dazzling by the contrast; while in the deep shadows of his eyes floated some reminiscences that did not seem to give him much joy.
  461. conceit
    the trait of being unduly vain
    By reason of these things, then, the whaling voyage was welcome; the great flood-gates of the wonder-world swung open, and in the wild conceits that swayed me to my purpose, two and two there floated into my inmost soul, endless processions of the whale, and, mid most of them all, one grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air.
  462. suspect
    regard as untrustworthy
    In much the same way do the commonalty lead their leaders in many other things, at the same time that the leaders little suspect it.
  463. distant
    separated in space or coming from far away
    Deep into distant woodlands winds a mazy way, reaching to overlapping spurs of mountains bathed in their hill-side blue.
  464. assure
    inform positively and with certainty and confidence
    The transition is a keen one, I assure you, from a schoolmaster to a sailor, and requires a strong decoction of Seneca and the Stoics to enable you to grin and bear it.
  465. isolation
    setting something apart from others
    Can it be, then, that by that act of physical isolation, he signifies his spiritual withdrawal for the time, from all outward worldly ties and connexions?
  466. element
    a substance that cannot be separated into simpler substances
    What is the chief element he employs?
  467. lull
    make calm or still
    There now came a lull in his look, as he silently turned over the leaves of the Book once more; and, at last, standing motionless, with closed eyes, for the moment, seemed communing with God and himself.
  468. scorch
    burn slightly and superficially so as to affect color
    Presently, after many hasty snatches into the fire, and still hastier withdrawals of his fingers (whereby he seemed to be scorching them badly), he at last succeeded in drawing out the biscuit; then blowing off the heat and ashes a little, he made a polite offer of it to the little negro.
  469. wade
    walk through relatively shallow water
    Go visit the Prairies in June, when for scores on scores of miles you wade knee-deep among Tiger-lilies--what is the one charm wanting?--Water--there
  470. battery
    a collection of related things intended for use together
    Its extreme downtown is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land.
  471. assemble
    create by putting components or members together
    Whether any of the relatives of the seamen whose names appeared there were now among the congregation, I knew not; but so many are the unrecorded accidents in the fishery, and so plainly did several women present wear the countenance if not the trappings of some unceasing grief, that I feel sure that here before me were assembled those, in whose unhealing hearts the sight of those bleak tablets sympathetically caused the old wounds to bleed afresh.
  472. New Testament
    the collection of books of the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, the Pauline and other epistles, and Revelation; composed soon after Christ's death; the second half of the Christian Bible
    What does that indignity amount to, weighed, I mean, in the scales of the New Testament?
  473. regulate
    bring into conformity with rules or principles or usage
    It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation.
  474. magnetic
    of or relating to or caused by attraction for iron
    Tell me, does the magnetic virtue of the needles of the compasses of all those ships attract them thither?
  475. require
    have need of
    Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I...

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