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im vewwy vewwy sarry i hurt ur feelings... i didn't meen two...
the correct spelling is rite...
he rites 100 page novels.
I write one hundred one page novels, HAH!
i wrote a novel
Loomings.Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind howlong precisely—having little or no money in my purse,and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought Iwould sail about a little and see the watery part of theworld. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen andregulating the circulation. Whenever I find myselfgrowing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp,drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myselfinvoluntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, andbringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especiallywhenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that itrequires a strong moral principle to prevent me fromdeliberately stepping into the street, and methodicallyknocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time toget to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistoland ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himselfupon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There isnothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost allmen in their degree, some time or other, cherish verynearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me. Moby Dick23 of 1047There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes,belted round by wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs—commerce surrounds it with her surf. Right and left, thestreets take you waterward. Its extreme downtown is thebattery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, andcooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were outof sight of land. Look at the crowds of water-gazers there.Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbathafternoon. Go from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, andfrom thence, by Whitehall, northward. What do yousee?—Posted like silent sentinels all around the town,stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed inocean reveries. Some leaning against the spiles; someseated upon the pier-heads; some looking over thebulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in therigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep. Butthese are all landsmen; of week days pent up in lath andplaster—tied to counters, nailed to benches, clinched todesks. How then is this? Are the green fields gone? Whatdo they here?But look! here come more crowds, pacing straight forthe water, and seemingly bound for a dive. Strange!Nothing will content them but the extremest limit of theland; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses Moby Dick24 of 1047will not suffice. No. They must get just as nigh the wateras they possibly can without falling in. And there theystand—miles of them—leagues. Inlanders all, they comefrom lanes and alleys, streets and avenues—north, east,south, and west. Yet here they all unite. Tell me, does themagnetic virtue of the needles of the compasses of all thoseships attract them thither?Once more. Say you are in the country; in some highland of lakes. Take almost any path you please, and ten toone it carries you down in a dale, and leaves you there bya pool in the stream. There is magic in it. Let the mostabsent-minded of men be plunged in his deepestreveries—stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going,and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there bein all that region. Should you ever be athirst in the greatAmerican desert, try this experiment, if your caravanhappen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor. Yes,as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded forever.But here is an artist. He desires to paint you thedreamiest, shadiest, quietest, most enchanting bit ofromantic landscape in all the valley of the Saco. What isthe chief element he employs? There stand his trees, eachwith a hollow trunk, as if a hermit and a crucifix were Moby Dick25 of 1047within; and here sleeps his meadow, and there sleep hiscattle; and up from yonder cottage goes a sleepy smoke.Deep into distant woodlands winds a mazy way, reachingto overlapping spurs of mountains bathed in their hill-sideblue. But though the picture lies thus tranced, and thoughthis pine-tree shakes down its sighs like leaves upon thisshepherd’s head, yet all were vain, unless the shepherd’seye were fixed upon the magic stream before him. Govisit the Prairies in June, when for scores on scores ofmiles you wade knee-deep among Tiger-lilies—what isthe one charm wanting?—Water—there is not a drop ofwater there! Were Niagara but a cataract of sand, wouldyou travel your thousand miles to see it? Why did thepoor poet of Tennessee, upon suddenly receiving twohandfuls of silver, deliberate whether to buy him a coat,which he sadly needed, or invest his money in a pedestriantrip to Rockaway Beach? Why is almost every robusthealthy boy with a robust healthy soul in him, at sometime or other crazy to go to sea? Why upon your firstvoyage as a passenger, did you yourself feel such a mysticalvibration, when first told that you and your ship werenow out of sight of land? Why did the old Persians holdthe sea holy? Why did the Greeks give it a separate deity,and own brother of Jove? Surely all this is not without Moby Dick26 of 1047meaning. And still deeper the meaning of that story ofNarcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting,mild image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and wasdrowned. But that same image, we ourselves see in allrivers and oceans. It is the image of the ungraspablephantom of life; and this is the key to it all.Now, when I say that I am in the habit of going to seawhenever I begin to grow hazy about the eyes, and beginto be over conscious of my lungs, I do not mean to have itinferred that I ever go to sea as a passenger. For to go as apassenger you must needs have a purse, and a purse is buta rag unless you have something in it. Besides, passengersget sea-sick—grow quarrelsome—don’t sleep of nights—do not enjoy themselves much, as a general thing;—no, Inever go as a passenger; nor, though I am something of asalt, do I ever go to sea as a Commodore, or a Captain, ora Cook. I abandon the glory and distinction of such officesto those who like them. For my part, I abominate allhonourable respectable toils, trials, and tribulations ofevery kind whatsoever. It is quite as much as I can do totake care of myself, without taking care of ships, barques,brigs, schooners, and what not. And as for going ascook,—though I confess there is considerable glory inthat, a cook being a sort of officer on ship-board—yet, Moby Dick27 of 1047somehow, I never fancied broiling fowls;—though oncebroiled, judiciously buttered, and judgmatically salted andpeppered, there is no one who will speak morerespectfully, not to say reverentially, of a broiled fowl thanI will. It is out of the idolatrous dotings of the oldEgyptians upon broiled ibis and roasted river horse, thatyou see the mummies of those creatures in their hugebake-houses the pyramids.No, when I go to sea, I go as a simple sailor, rightbefore the mast, plumb down into the forecastle, aloftthere to the royal mast-head. True, they rather order meabout some, and make me jump from spar to spar, like agrasshopper in a May meadow. And at first, this sort ofthing is unpleasant enough. It touches one’s sense ofhonour, particularly if you come of an old establishedfamily in the land, the Van Rensselaers, or Randolphs, orHardicanutes. And more than all, if just previous toputting your hand into the tar-pot, you have been lordingit as a country schoolmaster, making the tallest boys standin awe of you. The transition is a keen one, I assure you,from a schoolmaster to a sailor, and requires a strongdecoction of Seneca and the Stoics to enable you to grinand bear it. But even this wears off in time. Moby Dick28 of 1047What of it, if some old hunks of a sea-captain ordersme to get a broom and sweep down the decks? What doesthat indignity amount to, weighed, I mean, in the scales ofthe New Testament? Do you think the archangel Gabrielthinks anything the less of me, because I promptly andrespectfully obey that old hunks in that particular instance?Who ain’t a slave? Tell me that. Well, then, however theold sea-captains may order me about—however they maythump and punch me about, I have the satisfaction ofknowing that it is all right; that everybody else is one wayor other served in much the same way—either in aphysical or metaphysical point of view, that is; and so theuniversal thump is passed round, and all hands should rubeach other’s shoulder-blades, and be content.Again, I always go to sea as a sailor, because they makea point of paying me for my trouble, whereas they neverpay passengers a single penny that I ever heard of. On thecontrary, passengers themselves must pay. And there is allthe difference in the world between paying and beingpaid. The act of paying is perhaps the most uncomfortableinfliction that the two orchard thieves entailed upon us.But BEING PAID,—what will compare with it? Theurbane activity with which a man receives money is reallymarvellous, considering that we so earnestly believe Moby Dick29 of 1047money to be the root of all earthly ills, and that on noaccount can a monied man enter heaven. Ah! howcheerfully we consign ourselves to perdition!Finally, I always go to sea as a sailor, because of thewholesome exercise and pure air of the fore-castle deck.For as in this world, head winds are far more prevalentthan winds from astern (that is, if you never violate thePythagorean maxim), so for the most part theCommodore on the quarter-deck gets his atmosphere atsecond hand from the sailors on the forecastle. He thinkshe breathes it first; but not so. In much the same way dothe commonalty lead their leaders in many other things, atthe same time that the leaders little suspect it. Butwherefore it was that after having repeatedly smelt the seaas a merchant sailor, I should now take it into my head togo on a whaling voyage; this the invisible police officer ofthe Fates, who has the constant surveillance of me, andsecretly dogs me, and influences me in someunaccountable way—he can better answer than any oneelse. And, doubtless, my going on this whaling voyage,formed part of the grand programme of Providence thatwas drawn up a long time ago. It came in as a sort of briefinterlude and solo between more extensive performances. Moby Dick30 of 1047I take it that this part of the bill must have run somethinglike this:‘GRAND CONTESTED ELECTION FOR THEPRESIDENCY OF THE UNITED STATES.‘WHALING VOYAGE BY ONE ISHMAEL.‘BLOODY BATTLE IN AFFGHANISTAN.’Though I cannot tell why it was exactly that those stagemanagers, the Fates, put me down for this shabby part of awhaling voyage, when others were set down formagnificent parts in high tragedies, and short and easyparts in genteel comedies, and jolly parts in farces—thoughI cannot tell why this was exactly; yet, now that I recall allthe circumstances, I think I can see a little into the springsand motives which being cunningly presented to meunder various disguises, induced me to set aboutperforming the part I did, besides cajoling me into thedelusion that it was a choice resulting from my ownunbiased freewill and discriminating judgment.Chief among these motives was the overwhelming ideaof the great whale himself. Such a portentous andmysterious monster roused all my curiosity. Then the wildand distant seas where he rolled his island bulk; theundeliverable, nameless perils of the whale; these, with allthe attending marvels of a thousand Patagonian sights and Moby Dick31 of 1047sounds, helped to sway me to my wish. With other men,perhaps, such things would not have been inducements;but as for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch forthings remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land onbarbarous coasts. Not ignoring what is good, I am quick toperceive a horror, and could still be social with it—wouldthey let me—since it is but well to be on friendly termswith all the inmates of the place one lodges in.By reason of these things, then, the whaling voyage waswelcome; the great flood-gates of the wonder-worldswung open, and in the wild conceits that swayed me tomy purpose, two and two there floated into my inmostsoul, endless processions of the whale, and, mid most ofthem all, one grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill inthe air. Moby Dick32 of 1047Chapter 2The Carpet-Bag.I stuffed a shirt or two into my old carpet-bag, tuckedit under my arm, and started for Cape Horn and thePacific. Quitting the good city of old Manhatto, I dulyarrived in New Bedford. It was a Saturday night inDecember. Much was I disappointed upon learning thatthe little packet for Nantucket had already sailed, and thatno way of reaching that place would offer, till thefollowing Monday.As most young candidates for the pains and penalties ofwhaling stop at this same New Bedford, thence to embarkon their voyage, it may as well be related that I, for one,had no idea of so doing. For my mind was made up to sailin no other than a Nantucket craft, because there was afine, boisterous something about everything connectedwith that famous old island, which amazingly pleased me.Besides though New Bedford has of late been graduallymonopolising the business of whaling, and though in thismatter poor old Nantucket is now much behind her, yetNantucket was her great original—the Tyre of thisCarthage;—the place where the first dead American whale Moby Dick33 of 1047was stranded. Where else but from Nantucket did thoseaboriginal whalemen, the Red-Men, first sally out incanoes to give chase to the Leviathan? And where butfrom Nantucket, too, did that first adventurous little sloopput forth, partly laden with imported cobblestones—sogoes the story—to throw at the whales, in order todiscover when they were nigh enough to risk a harpoonfrom the bowsprit?Now having a night, a day, and still another nightfollowing before me in New Bedford, ere I could embarkfor my destined port, it became a matter of concernmentwhere I was to eat and sleep meanwhile. It was a verydubious-looking, nay, a very dark and dismal night,bitingly cold and cheerless. I knew no one in the place.With anxious grapnels I had sounded my pocket, and onlybrought up a few pieces of silver,—So, wherever you go,Ishmael, said I to myself, as I stood in the middle of adreary street shouldering my bag, and comparing thegloom towards the north with the darkness towards thesouth—wherever in your wisdom you may conclude tolodge for the night, my dear Ishmael, be sure to inquirethe price, and don’t be too particular.With halting steps I paced the streets, and passed thesign of ‘The Crossed Harpoons’—but it looked too Moby Dick34 of 1047expensive and jolly there. Further on, from the bright redwindows of the ‘Sword-Fish Inn,’ there came such ferventrays, that it seemed to have melted the packed snow andice from before the house, for everywhere else thecongealed frost lay ten inches thick in a hard, asphalticpavement,—rather weary for me, when I struck my footagainst the flinty projections, because from hard,remorseless service the soles of my boots were in a mostmiserable plight. Too expensive and jolly, again thought I,pausing one moment to watch the broad glare in thestreet, and hear the sounds of the tinkling glasses within.But go on, Ishmael, said I at last; don’t you hear? get awayfrom before the door; your patched boots are stopping theway. So on I went. I now by instinct followed the streetsthat took me waterward, for there, doubtless, were thecheapest, if not the cheeriest inns.Such dreary streets! blocks of blackness, not houses, oneither hand, and here and there a candle, like a candlemoving about in a tomb. At this hour of the night, of thelast day of the week, that quarter of the town proved allbut deserted. But presently I came to a smoky lightproceeding from a low, wide building, the door of whichstood invitingly open. It had a careless look, as if it weremeant for the uses of the public; so, entering, the first Moby Dick35 of 1047thing I did was to stumble over an ash-box in the porch.Ha! thought I, ha, as the flying particles almost chokedme, are these ashes from that destroyed city, Gomorrah?But ‘The Crossed Harpoons,’ and ‘The Sword-Fish?’—this, then must needs be the sign of ‘The Trap.’ However,I picked myself up and hearing a loud voice within,pushed on and opened a second, interior door.It seemed the great Black Parliament sitting in Tophet.A hundred black faces turned round in their rows to peer;and beyond, a black Angel of Doom was beating a bookin a pulpit. It was a negro church; and the preacher’s textwas about the blackness of darkness, and the weeping andwailing and teeth-gnashing there. Ha, Ishmael, muttered I,backing out, Wretched entertainment at the sign of ‘TheTrap!’Moving on, I at last came to a dim sort of light not farfrom the docks, and heard a forlorn creaking in the air;and looking up, saw a swinging sign over the door with awhite painting upon it, faintly representing a tall straightjet of misty spray, and these words underneath—‘TheSpouter Inn:—Peter Coffin.’Coffin?—Spouter?—Rather ominous in that particularconnexion, thought I. But it is a common name inNantucket, they say, and I suppose this Peter here is an Moby Dick36 of 1047emigrant from there. As the light looked so dim, and theplace, for the time, looked quiet enough, and thedilapidated little wooden house itself looked as if it mighthave been carted here from the ruins of some burntdistrict, and as the swinging sign had a poverty-strickensort of creak to it, I thought that here was the very spotfor cheap lodgings, and the best of pea coffee.It was a queer sort of place—a gable-ended old house,one side palsied as it were, and leaning over sadly. It stoodon a sharp bleak corner, where that tempestuous windEuroclydon kept up a worse howling than ever it didabout poor Paul’s tossed craft. Euroclydon, nevertheless, isa mighty pleasant zephyr to any one in-doors, with his feeton the hob quietly toasting for bed. ‘In judging of thattempestuous wind called Euroclydon,’ says an old writer—of whose works I possess the only copy extant—‘it maketha marvellous difference, whether thou lookest out at itfrom 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 wightDeath is the only glazier.’ True enough, thought I, as thispassage occurred to my mind—old black-letter, thoureasonest well. Yes, these eyes are windows, and this bodyof mine is the house. What a pity they didn’t stop up the Moby Dick37 of 1047chinks and the crannies though, and thrust in a little linthere and there. But it’s too late to make anyimprovements now. The universe is finished; thecopestone is on, and the chips were carted off a millionyears ago. Poor Lazarus there, chattering his teeth againstthe curbstone for his pillow, and shaking off his tatterswith his shiverings, he might plug up both ears with rags,and put a corn-cob into his mouth, and yet that would notkeep out the tempestuous Euroclydon. Euroclydon! saysold Dives, in his red silken wrapper—(he had a redder oneafterwards) pooh, pooh! What a fine frosty night; howOrion glitters; what northern lights! Let them talk of theiroriental summer climes of everlasting conservatories; giveme the privilege of making my own summer with myown coals.But what thinks Lazarus? Can he warm his blue handsby holding them up to the grand northern lights? Wouldnot Lazarus rather be in Sumatra than here? Would he notfar rather lay him down lengthwise along the line of theequator; yea, ye gods! go down to the fiery pit itself, inorder to keep out this frost?Now, that Lazarus should lie stranded there on thecurbstone before the door of Dives, this is more wonderfulthan that an iceberg should be moored to one of the Moby Dick38 of 1047Moluccas. Yet Dives himself, he too lives like a Czar in anice palace made of frozen sighs, and being a president of atemperance society, he only drinks the tepid tears oforphans.But no more of this blubbering now, we are going awhaling,and there is plenty of that yet to come. Let usscrape the ice from our frosted feet, and see what sort of aplace this ‘Spouter’ may be.
and thats just an exerpt.
Not that again!
thats not the full novel. the full novel is 1047.
But you didn't write it so don't it count none, do it now?
The Spouter-Inn.Entering that gable-ended Spouter-Inn, you foundyourself in a wide, low, straggling entry with oldfashionedwainscots, reminding one of the bulwarks ofsome condemned old craft. On one side hung a very largeoilpainting so thoroughly besmoked, and every waydefaced, that in the unequal crosslights by which youviewed it, it was only by diligent study and a series ofsystematic visits to it, and careful inquiry of the neighbors,that you could any way arrive at an understanding of itspurpose. Such unaccountable masses of shades andshadows, that at first you almost thought some ambitiousyoung artist, in the time of the New England hags, hadendeavored to delineate chaos bewitched. But by dint ofmuch and earnest contemplation, and oft repeatedponderings, and especially by throwing open the littlewindow towards the back of the entry, you at last come tothe conclusion that such an idea, however wild, might notbe altogether unwarranted.But what most puzzled and confounded you was along, limber, portentous, black mass of something Moby Dick40 of 1047hovering in the centre of the picture over three blue, dim,perpendicular lines floating in a nameless yeast. A boggy,soggy, squitchy picture truly, enough to drive a nervousman distracted. Yet was there a sort of indefinite, halfattained,unimaginable sublimity about it that fairly frozeyou to it, till you involuntarily took an oath with yourselfto find out what that marvellous painting meant. Ever andanon a bright, but, alas, deceptive idea would dart youthrough.—It’s the Black Sea in a midnight gale.—It’s theunnatural combat of the four primal elements.—It’s ablasted heath.—It’s a Hyperborean winter scene.—It’s thebreaking-up of the icebound stream of Time. But at last allthese fancies yielded to that one portentous something inthe picture’s midst. THAT once found out, and all the restwere plain. But stop; does it not bear a faint resemblanceto a gigantic fish? even the great leviathan himself?In fact, the artist’s design seemed this: a final theory ofmy own, partly based upon the aggregated opinions ofmany aged persons with whom I conversed upon thesubject. The picture represents a Cape-Horner in a greathurricane; the half-foundered ship weltering there with itsthree dismantled masts alone visible; and an exasperatedwhale, purposing to spring clean over the craft, is in the Moby Dick41 of 1047enormous act of impaling himself upon the three mastheads.
The opposite wall of this entry was hung all over with aheathenish array of monstrous clubs and spears. Some werethickly set with glittering teeth resembling ivory saws;others were tufted with knots of human hair; and one wassickle-shaped, with a vast handle sweeping round like thesegment made in the new-mown grass by a long-armedmower. You shuddered as you gazed, and wondered whatmonstrous cannibal and savage could ever have gone adeath-harvesting with such a hacking, horrifyingimplement. Mixed with these were rusty old whalinglances and harpoons all broken and deformed. Some werestoried weapons. With this once long lance, now wildlyelbowed, fifty years ago did Nathan Swain kill fifteenwhales between a sunrise and a sunset. And thatharpoon—so like a corkscrew now—was flung in Javanseas, and run away with by a whale, years afterwards slainoff the Cape of Blanco. The original iron entered nigh thetail, and, like a restless needle sojourning in the body of aman, travelled full forty feet, and at last was foundimbedded in the hump.Crossing this dusky entry, and on through yon lowarchedway—cut through what in old times must have Moby Dick42 of 1047been a great central chimney with fireplaces all round—you enter the public room. A still duskier place is this,with such low ponderous beams above, and such oldwrinkled planks beneath, that you would almost fancy youtrod some old craft’s cockpits, especially of such a howlingnight, when this corner-anchored old ark rocked sofuriously. On one side stood a long, low, shelf-like tablecovered with cracked glass cases, filled with dusty raritiesgathered from this wide world’s remotest nooks.Projecting from the further angle of the room stands adark-looking den—the bar—a rude attempt at a rightwhale’s head. Be that how it may, there stands the vastarched bone of the whale’s jaw, so wide, a coach mightalmost drive beneath it. Within are shabby shelves, rangedround with old decanters, bottles, flasks; and in those jawsof swift destruction, like another cursed Jonah (by whichname indeed they called him), bustles a little withered oldman, who, for their money, dearly sells the sailorsdeliriums and death.Abominable are the tumblers into which he pours hispoison. Though true cylinders without—within, thevillanous green goggling glasses deceitfully tapereddownwards to a cheating bottom. Parallel meridians rudelypecked into the glass, surround these footpads’ goblets. Fill Moby Dick43 of 1047to THIS mark, and your charge is but a penny; to THIS apenny more; and so on to the full glass—the Cape Hornmeasure, which you may gulp down for a shilling.Upon entering the place I found a number of youngseamen gathered about a table, examining by a dim lightdivers specimens of SKRIMSHANDER. I sought thelandlord, and telling him I desired to be accommodatedwith a room, received for answer that his house was full—not a bed unoccupied. ‘But avast,’ he added, tapping hisforehead, ‘you haint no objections to sharing aharpooneer’s blanket, have ye? I s’pose you are goin’ awhalin’,so you’d better get used to that sort of thing.’I told him that I never liked to sleep two in a bed; thatif I should ever do so, it would depend upon who theharpooneer might be, and that if he (the landlord) reallyhad no other place for me, and the harpooneer was notdecidedly objectionable, why rather than wander furtherabout a strange town on so bitter a night, I would put upwith the half of any decent man’s blanket.‘I thought so. All right; take a seat. Supper?—you wantsupper? Supper’ll be ready directly.’I sat down on an old wooden settle, carved all over likea bench on the Battery. At one end a ruminating tar wasstill further adorning it with his jack-knife, stooping over Moby Dick44 of 1047and diligently working away at the space between his legs.He was trying his hand at a ship under full sail, but hedidn’t make much headway, I thought.At last some four or five of us were summoned to ourmeal in an adjoining room. It was cold as Iceland—no fireat all—the landlord said he couldn’t afford it. Nothing buttwo dismal tallow candles, each in a winding sheet. Wewere fain to button up our monkey jackets, and hold toour lips cups of scalding tea with our half frozen fingers.But the fare was of the most substantial kind—not onlymeat and potatoes, but dumplings; good heavens!dumplings for supper! One young fellow in a green boxcoat, addressed himself to these dumplings in a mostdireful manner.‘My boy,’ said the landlord, ‘you’ll have the nightmareto a dead sartainty.’‘Landlord,’ I whispered, ‘that aint the harpooneer is it?’‘Oh, no,’ said he, looking a sort of diabolically funny,‘the harpooneer is a dark complexioned chap. He nevereats dumplings, he don’t—he eats nothing but steaks, andhe likes ‘em rare.’‘The devil he does,’ says I. ‘Where is that harpooneer?Is he here?’‘He’ll be here afore long,’ was the answer. Moby Dick45 of 1047I could not help it, but I began to feel suspicious of this‘dark complexioned’ harpooneer. At any rate, I made upmy mind that if it so turned out that we should sleeptogether, he must undress and get into bed before I did.Supper over, the company went back to the bar-room,when, knowing not what else to do with myself, Iresolved to spend the rest of the evening as a looker on.Presently a rioting noise was heard without. Startingup, the landlord cried, ‘That’s the Grampus’s crew. I seedher reported in the offing this morning; a three years’voyage, and a full ship. Hurrah, boys; now we’ll have thelatest news from the Feegees.’A tramping of sea boots was heard in the entry; thedoor was flung open, and in rolled a wild set of marinersenough. Enveloped in their shaggy watch coats, and withtheir heads muffled in woollen comforters, all bedarnedand ragged, and their beards stiff with icicles, they seemedan eruption of bears from Labrador. They had just landedfrom their boat, and this was the first house they entered.No wonder, then, that they made a straight wake for thewhale’s mouth—the bar—when the wrinkled little oldJonah, there officiating, soon poured them out brimmersall round. One complained of a bad cold in his head, uponwhich Jonah mixed him a pitch-like potion of gin and Moby Dick46 of 1047molasses, which he swore was a sovereign cure for all coldsand catarrhs whatsoever, never mind of how longstanding, or whether caught off the coast of Labrador, oron the weather side of an ice-island.The liquor soon mounted into their heads, as itgenerally does even with the arrantest topers newly landedfrom sea, and they began capering about mostobstreperously.I observed, however, that one of them held somewhataloof, and though he seemed desirous not to spoil thehilarity of his shipmates by his own sober face, yet uponthe whole he refrained from making as much noise as therest. This man interested me at once; and since the seagodshad ordained that he should soon become myshipmate (though but a sleeping-partner one, so far as thisnarrative is concerned), I will here venture upon a littledescription of him. He stood full six feet in height, withnoble shoulders, and a chest like a coffer-dam. I haveseldom seen such brawn in a man. His face was deeplybrown and burnt, making his white teeth dazzling by thecontrast; while in the deep shadows of his eyes floatedsome reminiscences that did not seem to give him muchjoy. His voice at once announced that he was aSoutherner, and from his fine stature, I thought he must Moby Dick47 of 1047be one of those tall mountaineers from the AlleghanianRidge in Virginia. When the revelry of his companionshad mounted to its height, this man slipped awayunobserved, and I saw no more of him till he became mycomrade on the sea. In a few minutes, however, he wasmissed by his shipmates, and being, it seems, for somereason a huge favourite with them, they raised a cry of‘Bulkington! Bulkington! where’s Bulkington?’ and dartedout of the house in pursuit of him.It was now about nine o’clock, and the room seemingalmost supernaturally quiet after these orgies, I began tocongratulate myself upon a little plan that had occurred tome just previous to the entrance of the seamen.No man prefers to sleep two in a bed. In fact, youwould a good deal rather not sleep with your ownbrother. I don’t know how it is, but people like to beprivate when they are sleeping. And when it comes tosleeping with an unknown stranger, in a strange inn, in astrange town, and that stranger a harpooneer, then yourobjections indefinitely multiply. Nor was there any earthlyreason why I as a sailor should sleep two in a bed, morethan anybody else; for sailors no more sleep two in a bedat sea, than bachelor Kings do ashore. To be sure they allsleep together in one apartment, but you have your own Moby Dick48 of 1047hammock, and cover yourself with your own blanket, andsleep in your own skin.The more I pondered over this harpooneer, the more Iabominated the thought of sleeping with him. It was fairto presume that being a harpooneer, his linen or woollen,as the case might be, would not be of the tidiest, certainlynone of the finest. I began to twitch all over. Besides, itwas getting late, and my decent harpooneer ought to behome and going bedwards. Suppose now, he shouldtumble in upon me at midnight—how could I tell fromwhat vile hole he had been coming?‘Landlord! I’ve changed my mind about thatharpooneer.—I shan’t sleep with him. I’ll try the benchhere.’‘Just as you please; I’m sorry I cant spare ye a tableclothfor a mattress, and it’s a plaguy rough board here’—feelingof the knots and notches. ‘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.’ So saying he procured theplane; and with his old silk handkerchief first dusting thebench, vigorously set to planing away at my bed, thewhile grinning like an ape. The shavings flew right andleft; till at last the plane-iron came bump against anindestructible knot. The landlord was near spraining his Moby Dick49 of 1047wrist, and I told him for heaven’s sake to quit—the bedwas soft enough to suit me, and I did not know how allthe planing in the world could make eider down of a pineplank. So gathering up the shavings with another grin, andthrowing them into the great stove in the middle of theroom, he went about his business, and left me in a brownstudy.I now took the measure of the bench, and found that itwas a foot too short; but that could be mended with achair. But it was a foot too narrow, and the other bench inthe room was about four inches higher than the planedone—so there was no yoking them. I then placed the firstbench lengthwise along the only clear space against thewall, leaving a little interval between, for my back to settledown in. But I soon found that there came such a draughtof cold air over me from under the sill of the window,that this plan would never do at all, especially as anothercurrent from the rickety door met the one from thewindow, and both together formed a series of smallwhirlwinds in the immediate vicinity of the spot where Ihad thought to spend the night.The devil fetch that harpooneer, thought I, but stop,couldn’t I steal a march on him—bolt his door inside, andjump into his bed, not to be wakened by the most violent Moby Dick50 of 1047knockings? It seemed no bad idea; but upon secondthoughts I dismissed it. For who could tell but what thenext morning, so soon as I popped out of the room, theharpooneer might be standing in the entry, all ready toknock me down!Still, looking round me again, and seeing no possiblechance of spending a sufferable night unless in some otherperson’s bed, I began to think that after all I might becherishing unwarrantable prejudices against this unknownharpooneer. Thinks I, I’ll wait awhile; he must bedropping in before long. I’ll have a good look at him then,and perhaps we may become jolly good bedfellows afterall—there’s no telling.But though the other boarders kept coming in by ones,twos, and threes, and going to bed, yet no sign of myharpooneer.‘Landlord! said I, ‘what sort of a chap is he—does healways keep such late hours?’ It was now hard upontwelve o’clock.The landlord chuckled again with his lean chuckle, andseemed to be mightily tickled at something beyond mycomprehension. ‘No,’ he answered, ‘generally he’s anearly bird—airley to bed and airley to rise—yes, he’s thebird what catches the worm. But to-night he went out a Moby Dick51 of 1047peddling, you see, and I don’t see what on airth keeps himso late, unless, may be, he can’t sell his head.’‘Can’t sell his head?—What sort of a bamboozinglystory is this you are telling me?’ getting into a toweringrage. ‘Do you pretend to say, landlord, that thisharpooneer is actually engaged this blessed Saturday night,or rather Sunday morning, in peddling his head aroundthis town?’‘That’s precisely it,’ said the landlord, ‘and I told himhe couldn’t sell it here, the market’s overstocked.’‘With what?’ shouted I.‘With heads to be sure; ain’t there too many heads inthe world?’‘I tell you what it is, landlord,’ said I quite calmly,‘you’d better stop spinning that yarn to me—I’m notgreen.’‘May be not,’ taking out a stick and whittling atoothpick, ‘but I rayther guess you’ll be done BROWN ifthat ere harpooneer hears you a slanderin’ his head.’‘I’ll break it for him,’ said I, now flying into a passionagain at this unaccountable farrago of the landlord’s.‘It’s broke a’ready,’ said he.‘Broke,’ said I—‘BROKE, do you mean?’ Moby Dick52 of 1047‘Sartain, and that’s the very reason he can’t sell it, Iguess.’‘Landlord,’ said I, going up to him as cool as Mt. Heclain a snow-storm—‘landlord, stop whittling. You and Imust understand one another, and that too without delay.I come to your house and want a bed; you tell me you canonly give me half a one; that the other half belongs to acertain harpooneer. And about this harpooneer, whom Ihave not yet seen, you persist in telling me the mostmystifying and exasperating stories tending to beget in mean uncomfortable feeling towards the man whom youdesign for my bedfellow—a sort of connexion, landlord,which is an intimate and confidential one in the highestdegree. I now demand of you to speak out and tell mewho and what this harpooneer is, and whether I shall be inall respects safe to spend the night with him. And in thefirst place, you will be so good as to unsay that story aboutselling his head, which if true I take to be good evidencethat this harpooneer is stark mad, and I’ve no idea ofsleeping with a madman; and you, sir, YOU I mean,landlord, YOU, sir, by trying to induce me to do soknowingly, would thereby render yourself liable to acriminal prosecution.’ Moby Dick53 of 1047‘Wall,’ said the landlord, fetching a long breath, ‘that’s apurty long sarmon for a chap that rips a little now andthen. But be easy, be easy, this here harpooneer I havebeen 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 tomorrow’sSunday, and it would not do to be sellin’ humanheads about the streets when folks is goin’ to churches. Hewanted to, last Sunday, but I stopped him just as he wasgoin’ out of the door with four heads strung on a string,for all the airth like a string of inions.’This account cleared up the otherwise unaccountablemystery, and showed that the landlord, after all, had hadno idea of fooling me—but at the same time what could Ithink of a harpooneer who stayed out of a Saturday nightclean into the holy Sabbath, engaged in such a cannibalbusiness as selling the heads of dead idolators?‘Depend upon it, landlord, that harpooneer is adangerous man.’‘He pays reg’lar,’ was the rejoinder. ‘But come, it’sgetting dreadful late, you had better be turning flukes—it’sa nice bed; Sal and me slept in that ere bed the night wewere spliced. There’s plenty of room for two to kick Moby Dick54 of 1047about in that bed; it’s an almighty big bed that. Why, aforewe give it up, Sal used to put our Sam and little Johnny inthe foot of it. But I got a dreaming and sprawling aboutone night, and somehow, Sam got pitched on the floor,and came near breaking his arm. Arter that, Sal said itwouldn’t do. Come along here, I’ll give ye a glim in ajiffy;’ and so saying he lighted a candle and held it towardsme, offering to lead the way. But I stood irresolute; whenlooking at a clock in the corner, he exclaimed ‘I vum it’sSunday—you won’t see that harpooneer to-night; he’scome to anchor somewhere—come along then; DOcome; WON’T ye come?’I considered the matter a moment, and then up stairswe went, and I was ushered into a small room, cold as aclam, and furnished, sure enough, with a prodigious bed,almost big enough indeed for any four harpooneers tosleep abreast.‘There,’ said the landlord, placing the candle on a crazyold sea chest that did double duty as a wash-stand andcentre table; ‘there, make yourself comfortable now, andgood night to ye.’ I turned round from eyeing the bed,but he had disappeared.Folding back the counterpane, I stooped over the bed.Though none of the most elegant, it yet stood the scrutiny Moby Dick55 of 1047tolerably well. I then glanced round the room; and besidesthe bedstead and centre table, could see no other furniturebelonging to the place, but a rude shelf, the four walls, anda papered fireboard representing a man striking a whale.Of things not properly belonging to the room, there was ahammock lashed up, and thrown upon the floor in onecorner; also a large seaman’s bag, containing theharpooneer’s wardrobe, no doubt in lieu of a land trunk.Likewise, there was a parcel of outlandish bone fish hookson the shelf over the fire-place, and a tall harpoon standingat the head of the bed.But what is this on the chest? I took it up, and held itclose to the light, and felt it, and smelt it, and tried everyway possible to arrive at some satisfactory conclusionconcerning it. I can compare it to nothing but a large doormat, ornamented at the edges with little tinkling tagssomething like the stained porcupine quills round anIndian moccasin. There was a hole or slit in the middle ofthis mat, as you see the same in South American ponchos.But could it be possible that any sober harpooneer wouldget into a door mat, and parade the streets of any Christiantown in that sort of guise? I put it on, to try it, and itweighed me down like a hamper, being uncommonlyshaggy and thick, and I thought a little damp, as though Moby Dick56 of 1047this mysterious harpooneer had been wearing it of a rainyday.
*In a whisper* Why?
you don't even know what book this is?
I wrote a five page novel once
I call it: "Why do the elephants dance that way"
and i have to write essays all the time for school, a novel wouldn't be too hard.
I wrote a book about death and farts 😀