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Call me Ishmael. Some years ago, having little or no money... I thought I would sail about and see the oceans of the world. Whenever I get grim and spleenful... whenever I feel like knocking people 's hats off in the street... whenever it's a damp, drizzly November in my soul... I know that it's high time to get to sea again. Choose any path you please... and ten to one, it carries you down to water. There 's a magic in water that draws all men away from the land... Leads them over the hills down creeks, and streams, and rivers to the sea. The sea... where each man, as in a mirror, finds himself. And so it was I duly arrived at the town of New Bedford... on a stormy Saturday late in the year 184 1. -Rum. -Rum it is. What mark? To this a penny, to that another penny, and so on to the top of the glass. The Cape Horn measure, which you may drink down for a full shilling. The penny mark. Nay, the full shilling. You'll be wanting a room tonight. You ain't no objections to sharing a harpooneer's bed with him, have you? -You going whaling? -That is my intention. You need permission. You weren't born and bred in New Bedford, were you? No, I'm a stranger here. -Then you'll have to have permission. -Permission? Aye. From us, the men of New Bedford. The sea is ours. Other seamen only have a right of way through it. And the whale is ours. Ours alone. No one else may hunt it down and kill it, unless we say so. Do you dispute that? -I do not. -Good. Then you have our permission to sail our sea. Drink to this boy, mates? Big whales to you, mate! Can whales do that? Why, bless me, whales can do anything! A whale can jump up like an earthquake... and come down on you like a mountain that's somehow put to sea. A whale can stave in the ribs of the biggest ships... swallow whole crews, pick its teeth with the oars. Mind, lad, if God ever wanted to be a fish, he'd be a whale. Believe that, he'd be a whale. Ahab. Who's Ahab? Captain Ahab to you. -Who's Captain Ahab? -Aye. Ahab's Ahab. Music. In Amsterdam there lived a maid And she was mistress of her trade I'll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid A-roving, a-roving Sing! Since roving's been my ruin I'll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid Her cheeks were red, her eyes were brown Mark well what I do say Her cheeks were red, her eyes were brown Her curly hair was hanging down I'll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid A-roving, a-roving Since roving's been my ruin I'll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid Landlord, which is the harpooneer I'm to sleep with tonight? He ain't among them. He's what you might call a dark-complexioned chap. He'll be along as soon as he finishes selling his head. -His what? -Selling his head. Though he may have some difficulty in getting rid of it. New Bedford's overstocked. -With what? -Heads, of course! Come on, lad. Mark well what I do say I kissed her once, I kissed her twice And found she was as cold as ice I'll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid A-roving, a-roving Since roving's been my ruin I'll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid Now, the young maid was fancy-free Mark well what I do say The young maid was fancy-free If I could take her home with me I'll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid A-roving, a-roving Since roving's been my ruin I'll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid -Wait. Hold on. -Who the devil are you? Who no speak? I kill you! Landlord! Peter Coffin! Coffin, save me! Now, now, now. What is all this about? Why didn't you tell me I was sleeping with a cannibal? I thought you knowed. Didn't I tell you he was around the town selling heads? Landlord, tell him to stash that tomahawk, or pipe, or whatever you call it. Well, pleasant dreams. Better a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian. In this same New Bedford, there stands a Whaleman 's Chapel... and few are the fishermen shortly bound for the Indian Ocean or Pacific... who fail to visit there. The will of God I did deny And so my sacred duty fled Oh, my Lord's awful penalty Is not to die and yet be dead 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 I saw the opening maw of hell With endless pains and sorrows there Which none but they that feel can tell Oh, I was plunging to despair In black distress, I called my God When I could scarce believe him mine He bowed his ear to my complaints No more the whale Did me confine Amen "And God had prepared a great fish... "to swallow up Jonah." Shipmates... the sin of Jonah... was in his disobedience of the command of God. He found it a hard command. And it was, shipmates... for all the things that God would have us do are hard. If we would obey God, we must disobey ourselves. But Jonah still further flouts at God by seeking to flee from him. Jonah thinks that a ship made by men... will carry him into countries where God does not reign. He prowls among the shipping... Like a vile burglar, hastening to cross the seas. And as he comes aboard, the sailors mark him. The ship puts out... but soon the sea rebels. It will not bear the wicked burden. A dreadful storm comes up. The ship is like to break. The boatswain calls all hands to lighten her. Boxes, bales, and jars are clattering overboard. The wind is shrieking. The men are yelling. "l fear the Lord," cries Jonah... "the God of heaven, who hath made the sea and the dry land." Again, the sailors mark him. But wretched Jonah cries out to them to cast him overboard... for he knew that for his sake this great tempest was upon them. Now behold Jonah... taken up as an anchor and dropped into the sea... into the dreadful jaws awaiting him. And the great whale shoots to all his ivory teeth... Like so many white bolts upon his prison. And Jonah cries unto the Lord... out of the fish's belly. Nut observe his prayer, shipmates. He doesn't weep and wail. He feels his punishment is just. He leaves deliverance to God. And even out of the belly of hell... grounded upon the ocean's utmost bones... God heard him when he cried. And God spake unto the whale. And from the shuddering cold and blackness of the deep... the whale breached into the sun... and vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. And Jonah... bruised and beaten... his ears like two seashells... still multitudinously murmuring of the ocean... Jonah did the Almighty's bidding. And what was that, shipmates? To preach the truth in the face of falsehood! No, shipmates. Woe to him who seeks to pour oil on the troubled waters... when God has brewed them into a gale. Yea, woe to him who, as the pilot Paul has it... while preaching to others is himself a castaway. Delight is to him... who, against the proud gods and commodores of this earth... stands forth his own inexorable self... who destroys all sin though he pluck it out... from under the robes of senators and judges! And eternal delight shall be his... who, coming to lay him down, can say: "O Father... "mortal or immortal... "here I die. "l have striven to be thine... "more than to be this world's... "or mine own. "Yet this is nothing. "l leave eternity to thee. "For what is man... "that he should live out the lifetime of his God?" And 50. Three time I count 50. Many pages, many. A big book. You know words? I know picture. This whale. You speak words. "The heart of the whale is larger... "than the pipe of the waterworks at London Bridge. "The water in that pipe is not so thick or fast... "as the blood pumping from the heart of the whale." True. Thank you. Queequeg... who are you? Where are you from? My father king. I chief. My uncle a high priest in islands... west south far away. Ship come by island. I take canoe, I sail, I swim... I climb rope, I hide. Ship take me far. Many years. See all world. Odd. Many is the Christian wishes he was a dark man on a cannibal isle. -What next, Queequeg? -Sail ship. You? Tomorrow I hope to sign aboard any ship in search of whales. I sign, too. Your boat, my boat. I eat same food. We sail on same waters. We kill same whale. We friends. Same blood, same head, all same. Well, which will it be, Queequeg? The Tit-bit? Not a bad ship. What do you say to the Devil-dam? Pequod. Well, now. Look at the ivory she's wearing. She's all tricked out in the bones of her victims. Those cleats made from whale's teeth. And the tiller, Queequeg, it's carved from a whale's jaw. Ahoy there! Someone aboard? Is this the captain of the Pequod? What doest thee want of the captain? We were thinking of shipping. Thee art thinking of shipping. I art.... I mean, I doest. -Making sport of me, lad? -No. I just fell into that manner of speech. If I weren't a Quaker and a man of peace... I'd fetch thee clout on the side of thy head, my lad, just to make sure. I see thee art no New Bedford man. Doest know nothing at all about whaling, I daresay. I've had several voyages in the merchant service. Merchant service? Flukes, man. -What takes thee whaling? -Sir, I want to see what whaling is like. Have you seen Ahab, the captain of this ship? If you want to know what whaling is... then you'll know by clapping an eye on Captain Ahab. You'll see a man torn apart from crown to heel... and spliced together with sperm whalebone in place of what's missing. His looks tell more than any church-had sermon about the mortality of man. And a whale did that? A whale as big as an island. Art thee the man to pitch a harpoon down a whale's throat and jump after it? I am, sir... if it should be positively indispensable to do so. Come along, then. Bildad, stir yourself. This young man says he wants to ship. -Hast ever been a pirate, hast thee? -Never. -Didst not murder thy last captain at sea? -lndeed not. He'll do. -What pay shall we give him? -The 777th part. -Would not be too much? -For this strapping lad? Not half enough. Captain Peleg, thee hast a generous heart. But thee must consider the duty thee owest to the other owners of this ship... widows and orphans, many of them. If we too abundantly reward the labors of this young man... we'll be taking bread from their mouths. I'm putting him down for the 300th part of the profit. You hear, Bildad? The 300th part, I say. "Lay not up for yourself treasures upon earth... "where moth and rust do corrupt." -My last pay was-- -The 777th part seems fair enough to me. -The 300th. -Don't thank me, lad. I only do thee justice. What holds thee? Sign. -Sir, it's Captain Ahab. -What about him? Was not Ahab of old a very wicked king? And when he was slain, did the dogs not lick his blood? Look, lad, Captain Ahab did not name himself. Sign the paper now, and wrong him not because he happens to have a wicked name. Now for that son of darkness that is thy friend. Queequeg, step forward. What say you, Bildad? I suspect thee art not a Christian. Doest thee attend church on Sundays? Doest thee know and obey the Ten Commandments? God, man. Take the pen. Make thy mark. Sign now for a 60th part of our profit. Put there, quick. Lantern kegs: 15. Rubber pipes: 10. Avast, there! Are you going aboard, shipmate? Have you signed to sail on that ship? Have you signed to sail the Pequod, I say? Was there anything down about signing away your souls? -What? -Perhaps you haven't got any. -Have you met old Ahab yet? -What are you jabbering about? Did they say how his mother birthed him, gave him his evil name, and died? How God's lightning struck down and branded him? How he spat in the holy goblet in church of Valparaiso? Did they tell you about his last voyage? I know all about him being crippled by a whale. Come on. All about it? You're sure you do? Sure? Did they say how the whale marked him inside and out... and a mischief was worked on his soul? No, I don't think they did. -Who'd know? Not many, I guess. -You can't fool us. It's very easy for a man to look like he's got a great secret. I have, lad. At sea one day, you'll smell land where there be no land. On that day, Ahab will go to his grave, but he'll rise again within the hour. He will rise and beckon. Then all, all save one, shall follow. Morning, shipmates. Morning. May the heavens bless you. Hey, you. -What's your name? -Elijah. My name is Elijah. -Bible? -No, thank you, Aunt Charity, I have mine. Bible? -Thank you, ma'am. -God bless you. Don't whale it too much on the Lord's day. But don't lose a fair chance, either. Spring, you sons of bachelors! Jump, spring, there, green pants! You, Scotchcap! -Yes? -Spring! Good white cedar plank is 3% more this year than the last. Hoist the yards! Our boots and clothes are all in pawn Go down, you blood red roses, go down And it's mighty drafty round the Cape of Storms Go down, you blood red roses, go down Oh, you pinks and posies Go down, you blood red roses, go down Take care of the butter. 20 cents a pound, it is. Bildad, stop palavering away. Three years is a long while going. God have you in his holy keeping. For that is where them whalefish blow Go down, you blood red roses Avast! Heave it! Heave it there! Heave away, forward. There 's some that's bound for New York town And others is bound for France Heave away, my Johnny Heave away And some that's bound for the Bengal Bay To teach them whales to dance And away, my Johnny boy We're all bound to go Come all you hard-weathered sailors Who round the Cape of Storms Heave away, my Johnny Heave away Be sure your boots and oilskins on Or you'll wish you'd never been born And away, my Johnny boy We 're all bound to go Set the topsails! Up helm. And around the world! The Pequod beat an easterly course toward the whaling grounds off the Azores. The crew came from all the isles of the sea, all the ends of the earth: from Greenland to Mombasa... from Clyde to Kokovoko. Flask, the third mate, bullied everybody bigger than himself... particularly whales, with whom he carried on a one-sided feud... as though the great leviathans had mortally insulted him and his forebears. And there was Pip, black little Pip, the cabin boy from Alabama. Second in command was Starbuck... whose Quaker stock had furnished many a whaleboat with its champion. No crusader after perils... his courage was one of the great staples of the ship, like beef or flour: there when required, and not to be foolishly wasted. Ship 's carpenter: he fixed everything from stove boats to broken arms and legs. Perth, the blacksmith, lived amidst thick, hovering flights of sparks. He breathed them in and out. They nested in his ears. But Perth cared not because, as he said... he was scorched all over, and you cannot scorch a scar. Queequeg was our first harpooneer. Next was Tashtego, the Indian from a great warrior race of red men... come to hunt whale instead of buffalo. Then Daggoo, who got his boldness and majesty and grace... from having killed a lion single-handed and partaken of its flesh. Stubb, the second mate. Stubb, who 'd have tied a bowline in the devil's tail for a joke. Carefree, foolish, laughing, wise Stubb. Of our supreme lord and dictator, there was no sign. Ahab stayed silent behind his locked door... all the daylight hours. It's him again. It's Ahab. Ahab come out in moonlight. Strange. Only at night. Every night, all alone, walking the deck. "Sand it, holystone it," they say. And when you're done, what happens? "Start over again," they say. "Clean it up, sand it down, buff it off." Keeps you busy, lad. No time for mischief. Here we go. Looming straight up and over us... Like a solid iron figurehead suddenly thrust into our vision... stood Captain Ahab. His whole, high, broad form... weighed down upon a barbaric white leg carved from the jawbone of a whale. He did not feel the wind or smell the salt air. He only stood staring at the horizon... with the marks of some inner crucifixion and woe deep in his face. -Mr. Starbuck. -Sir? Call everybody aft. All hands aft! Down, mastheads! What do you do when you see a whale, men? -Sing out for him! -Aye! -Good. What do you do next? -Lower away, and after him! And what tune is it you pull to, men? A dead whale or a stove boat! All you mastheaders... now hear me. You're to look... for a white whale. A whale as white and as big as a mountain of snow. You see this Spanish gold ounce? Carpenter, hand me your top maul. Whosoever of ye... finds me that white whale... ye shall have this Spanish gold ounce, my boys. It's a white whale, I say. Skin your eyes for him. Captain, sir, could it be the one that fantails a little curious before he go down? Has he a curious spout, all bushy and mighty quick and high, sir? And irons in his hide, many irons, all twist around? Aye, like corkscrews. He's struck full of harpoons, men. And his spout is a big one, like a whole shock of wheat. And he fantails like a broken jib in a storm. Death, men, you've seen him. It's Moby Dick. Captain Ahab... was it not Moby Dick took off thy leg? Aye. It was Moby Dick... that tore my soul and body until they bled into each other. I'll follow him around the Horn... and around the Norway Maelstrom... and around perdition's flames... before I give him up. This is what you've shipped for, men. To chase that white whale on both sides of land... and over all sides of earth... until he spouts black blood and rolls dead out. What say ye? I think you do look brave. -Will you splice hands on it? -Aye! Steward, go draw the great measure of grog. Harpooneers, get your weapons. Mates, your lances. Ye mariners, now ring me in... that I may revive a noble custom of my fisherman fathers. The measure. Drink and pass. Round with it, round. Quick draughts, long swallows, men. It's hot as Satan's hoof. That way it went, this way it comes. It spiralizes in ye. Here, hand it me. Well done. Almost drained. Advance, mates. Cross your lances. Now, let me touch the axis. Do you feel it? That same lightning which struck me... I now strike to this iron. Does it burn, men? Harpooneers, break your weapons. Turn up the sockets. Drink here, harpooneers... drink and swear. God hunt us all... if we do not hunt Moby Dick to his death. Death to Moby Dick! Moby Dick. Do they name certain whales, then? Aye. Special, people-murdering whales with long histories. Whales that have killed 10 times 100 men. Whales like Timor Tim, New Zealand Tom... or Morquan, King of the Japan Seas. Whales have big names to go with big doings. The biggest of them all is Moby Dick. A white whale, Ahab said. Can a whale be white? He's white, whiter than all the snow that ever fell. Like a great marble tombstone, he is, afloat. Wherever he swims, white sky birds wheel above him. -Birds white as the angels. -Which oceans does he swim in, Manxman? All oceans. He's been spied in different seas 1,000 mile apart... -on the same day at the same hour. -Maybe it just ain't one whale... but a whole breed. Maybe Moby Dick's 100 whales. Then they all have crooked jaws and wrinkled brows... and a dozen irons stuck in their white humps. Aye, many have lowered for Moby Dick and struck him... only to know his vengeance. Some have boasted they killed him... but always he comes gliding back... huge and white and secret-like. Immortal, he is, they say. You ain't trying to scare us, Manxman? I say what I say. There she blows! Sperm whale to starboard! There she blows! There go flukes! -Flukes gone down! -Larboard! Stow all line tubs! Fill up the mainsail! Bear away, boats! -Bet you a dollar we strike first! -Right, Stubb. A dollar you don't. That's it, boys. Pull, my men. Why in the name of gudgeons and ginger cakes... can't ye pull and start your eyes out? Why don't you break your backbones, boys? Pull, then. Do pull, will you, please? So, so now. Pull, boys! Pull! Pull, blast you! Take the oars off! Pull, my good boys. That's fine. Pull. Pull, my good boys. Long and strong, boys. Pull and burst all your livers and lungs! Stop snoring, you sleepers! Pull, can't ye? Pull! Merrily, hearts! Fine. That's fine. Come on, men. Pull ahead. Pull, can't ye? Man overboard! Cut him loose. Queequeg, my fine friend, does this sort of thing happen very often? True, true. Heave away, boys! And so we stripped our first whale... and boiled the blubber down to a fine, pure oil... that would keep the lamps burning in a thousand homes... the clocks ticking on their mantelpieces... and perhaps anoint the head of a king. And when at last we cast the whale 's bared bones into the sea... we were in no way sad at its funeral. Captain. -Starbuck? -Aye, Captain. It's late. You should turn in. Sleep? That bed is a coffin... and those are winding sheets. I do not sleep. I die. The prize furnished 85 barrels of oil, sir. They're all capped and stored. -How is the wind? -North, northeast and steady. Make the most of it. I do not wish to linger on this Cape Verde ground. We're bound for the Pacific, Mr. Starbuck, straightaway. You will plot a course south by east to the line... and so southeast to pick up the Guinea current. Aye, aye, sir. Mr. Starbuck... did you ever ponder the movements of whales around the four oceans? I only know that they appear at certain feeding grounds in certain seasons. Look here. Logbooks from the time New Bedford men first went a-whaling... helped me draw this chart. It divides the oceans into areas of five degrees of latitude by five of longitude. Here are the months of the years, the ships that passed... how long they lingered, the whales they saw: what size, what color, how many, where heading. -I never saw the like. -This way, the humpbacks go... the blue, the right... the spermaceti. Sea mile by sea mile. I know their hidden journeys as I know the veins in my arm. You mean to say that their journeys can be foretold? Aye, like the blood pumping in my veins from heart to hand. If this be so, we can follow along with the herds, killing as we go... and fill our hold in record time. So we shall, Mr. Starbuck. So we shall... once we've attended to our bigger business. What is that business, Captain? Him, Mr. Starbuck. Him. What's true of the herds holds largely for the great solitaries and hermits. If these sources tell the truth, and my calculations are not faulty... he now swims the waters off Good Hope... and all the Indian Ocean lies before him. Next month, he cruises the Bengal Bay, March, the Sulu Sea... running eastward to the gateway of the Pacific. I shall be waiting for him... here... at new moon in April. Mr. Starbuck. -I must give the helmsman our course. -Come about, sir. Why are you wearing that long face? Are you not game for Moby Dick? Captain Ahab, I am game for any kind of death... if it comes in the way of the business we follow. That be known. But I came here to hunt whales, not my commander's vengeance. How many barrels of sperm oil will thy vengeance yield? What will it fetch on the New Bedford market? Money is not the measurer, man. It will fetch me a great premium... here. To be enraged with a dumb brute that acted out of blind instinct... is blasphemous. Speak not to me of blasphemy, man. I'd strike the sun if it insulted me. Look ye, Starbuck... all visible objects are but as pasteboard masks. Some inscrutable yet reasoning thing... puts forth the molding of their features. The white whale tasks me. He heaps me. Yet he is but a mask. It is the thing behind the mask I chiefly hate. The malignant thing that has plagued and frightened man... since time began. The thing that mauls and mutilates our race... not killing us outright, but letting us live on... with half a heart and half a lung. God keep us, keep us all. The crew stands with me, Mr. Starbuck. You heard them swear. Now... what say ye? Surely the best lance out of all New Bedford... will not hold back from the greatest hunt of all? I say calmly back to thee, sir, I am against thee. Nut thee needn't fear Starbuck. Let Ahab beware Ahab. Beware thyself, my captain. We left the winter seas behind... and sailed under the hot sun south. South, past the unseen sprawl of Africa... until we rounded the Cape of Storms and steered a bold course east and northeast... for the Indian Ocean and beyond. -You there, lad, go aloft. -Aye, aye, sir. And so I served my first watch in the masthead... held in a great, gliding rhythm. No life in me except that life imparted... by a gently rolling ship... remote from all the cares of the people of the land. There she blows! Where away? How many? Starboard bow, Mr. Stubb! -Two! No, four of them! -What's that boy yelling? Six, seven of them! There's three dozen more of them! Look, Mr. Stubb! 100! Come down from there! The sun has baked your brains! In the name of God, Mr. Stubb! A hundred, two hundred whales! Blast me dead, Mr. Flask. All hands, prepare to lower! Another 40 barrels, sir. Ahoy, there! Captain Boomer knocking at your door. -May he come in, sir? -Come aboard. Captain Boomer's my name, sir. Ship's Samuel Enderby of London. Eighteen months at sea. -Ahab. -Captain Ahab, will you look out there? What a circus. Did ever you see such a run? Do it, boys! Do it! Kill three for Captain Ahab and three for me! Never fear. I'll not scuttle your ship. She's a beauty, eh, Captain? Better than flesh and blood. Like her so much I've a mind to have me other arm cut off. The very thing for driving marlinspikes... knocking sense into green seamen's heads... and particularly good for tapping kegs of rum... if you get my meaning, Captain. Pip, fetch rum. I see you're wearing a bit of ivory yourself, sir. Lubbers with four limbs don't know what they're missing. When I got this ivory jib, all spanking new and scientific... why, I could've thanked that whale. Aye, a whale took me arm for his breakfast. Devilish big, he was. Pushed a tidal wave ahead with his nose... and typhoons jumped off his flukes when they banged the water. Old, he was, and scarred like Jerusalem's hills. Captain Boomer, what was his color? He was white, sir. Think me crazy, it's a fact. He was snowy white. Had another chance at him a month ago. You didn't kill him? Bless you, no. Went his merry way. "Good riddance," said l, and meant it. Where did you last see the white whale? Off the Cape of Good Hope. He was heading northeast towards Madagascar. Do you hear? A white whale last month off Good Hope. My chart is right and true! He'll be off Bikini when the April moon is new. Stop the hunt! Pick up our boats. We're setting sail. But, Captain, those fine, big whales. You men up there, get aloft! I'll not sail with you, sir! Bring my boat alongside. Mr. Starbuck, cut loose that carcass. Pip, signal the men to return to ship. What ails ye, sir? Are ye stove-in drunk? Captain Ahab, think what you're doing. I beg thee, think. -Set the mainsail! -No, sir, no! Mr. Starbuck, are you opposing me? If so, I'll have you know there is one God that is lord over the earth... and one captain over the Pequod. Away now! Cut loose! Flask, what do you make of that? Return to ship. They're crazy, or I'm going blind. You're not blind. Something's up. Ye idiot, that's my whale you're cutting loose! Come aboard. We're setting sail. Mr. Stubb, Mr. Flask, Did you not see the pennant or hear my command? Yes, sir, we did. Then why don't you obey? We will, sir, as soon as it sinks in. Sort of bowled us over, Captain. Weather's good, ship ain't sinking! No one's lost overboard! Got a fine harvest here. Don't see no reason to leave. I do not give reasons, Mr. Stubb. I give orders. Now, Captain, we're good men. Our blood's up, that's all. We've been killing! A hard thing to stop killing when you've been killing steady, sir. We've been killing so fast, our blood's so high... we wouldn't have heard the last trump. Then hear me now: Come aboard. All right, my hearties. Wake up! Bestir yourselves. This is an evil voyage, I tell you. If Ahab has his way... thee, nor me, nor any member of this ship's company... will ever see home again. Come now, Mr. Starbuck. You're just plain gloomy. Moby Dick may be big, but he ain't that big. I do not fear Moby Dick. I fear the wrath of God. The wrath of God? It is our task in life to kill whales... and furnish up their oil for the lamps of the world. If we perform that task well and faithfully... we do a service to mankind that pleases Almighty God. Aye. Ahab would deny all that. He has taken us from the rich harvest we were reaping... to satisfy his lust for vengeance. He is twisting that which is holy... into something dark and purposeless. He is a champion of darkness. Ahab's red flag challenges the heavens. Now, sir, if it's like that, I don't wonder at you, a religious man... being a mite downcast. On the other hand, don't much see what you can do about it. Listen to this. "A captain who, from private motives... "employs his vessel to another purpose than that intended by the owners... "is answerable to the charge of usurpation... "and his crew is morally and legally entitled... "to employ forceful means in wresting his command from him." That's a mouthful. I swear. "Wrest his command from him "? -Does that mean take over? -lt does, Mr. Flask. You ain't proposing we do any such thing? You're in dangerous waters, Mr. Starbuck. Helm hard over. Come about. Do thee not see... that by serving Ahab we share in his blasphemy? Will thee risk that... or stand with me and invoke the law? Pardon me, sir, this is my watch. Captains can't break the law. They is the law, as far as I'm concerned. Aye, and Ahab's a real fine captain, too. Why, there ain't a man aboard, except you maybe... wouldn't rather be kicked by him than be knighted by the Queen of England. I'm done, then. Go write thy last will and testament. Aye, and do it laughing, sir. A laugh's the best answer to all that's strange in life. As we steered out toward Bikini... Ahab kept to his cabin and was rarely seen. The mastheads were empty against the sky. No cry of "There she blows! " was to entice us... from his single purpose. So, in April, with a new moon... we entered those waters... where Ahab hoped to find the white whale. Lookouts, bestir yourselves! Lookouts up! Look alive, lads! That gold belongs to him with the sharpest eye. That coin's worth $16. I'll be first to sight the white whale. Rum for me if I win the coin, enough to dive into and never reach bottom. Man overboard! Off the main yard. Sea boat's crew away. Not a sign of him. Yeah. Sea just swallowed him up. Queer. April 19, 1842. Ahab's chart shows Moby Dick and the new moon rising together. Nut the moon's lost his horns... and there ain't no sign of the white whale yet. Seven days and seven nights on watch. He ain't gone below, eats on deck, sleeps standing up. How much longer can he hold? Nothing moves. Nothing. Since the lookout fell into the sea... the wind don't move, the tide don't move. Nothing. Even the sun's nailed to the sky... Like that gold doubloon's nailed to the mast. You, lad, pull that gold coin off the mast. Throw it over the side. Pay the sea a ransom. Maybe it'll come back to life and bring us a wind. Manxman, stop. A cool wind. You, Manxman, stop! Queequeg, what are you doing? See tomorrow here. Bones tell everything. Queequeg, what's the matter? What do you see? Get carpenter. What do you want the carpenter for? Carpenter. Here. -What can I do for you? -How much you build coffin for? Coffin? $2 would do nicely. -Hold on. -Build coffin. 6 feet, 7 inch. Clean wood. Make like best boat. Caulk and tar seams. No water come in. Carve chief's feather on lid. -6 feet 7 inches, it'll be. -Queequeg, what's all this about? Money yours. Sea chest yours. My harpoon yours. Goodbye. What? Queequeg, what are you talking about? Queequeg, listen to me! Say something. -What are we going to do? -There's only one thing to do: build him his coffin. You've got to eat. A drink of water, then. Queequeg, if you go on like this, I shall be very angry. Queequeg, I absolutely forbid you to die. Such behavior simply isn't Christian. In fact, it's downright pagan and heathenish. Remember our oath? You promised to go where I go, eat what I eat... ship on my ship. I hold you to your promise, Queequeg. I've seen this before, lad. One day, for no reason, they know that death is near. They give away all their belongings and say goodbye. Then they sit down to wait... and they just die. Mr. Starbuck, sir, Captain wants you. Sir? Mr. Starbuck, new orders. We remain here until eight bells tonight... at which time we'll lower whaleboats... kedge the ship north... and row out of these waters. Aye, aye, sir. At eight bells. I'm beating a march to you, Queequeg. Get along. Get along quiet now, Queequeg. You follow the tide. It knows where to go. You get along with it. It'll take you, Queequeg. Get along. Rig-a-dig. Rig-a-dig. He won't listen. Queequeg's going away. Know where he's going? Way, way up to Kokovoko. Back to Kokovoko, where he came from. Queequeg, don't. -There she blows! -Queequeg, listen to me. Don't. Off the starboard beam! It's him. I know it's him. Is it real? Do you see it, too? Aye, we all see it. But that don't mean it's real, necessarily. Clear away the boats. Lower for him now, sir? At night? Lower away. Away boat's crews. He's sounded. Ship oars. He's near. He's very near. Be ready for him. He breaches! The birds, they go. God, I'll lose him. Without a wind, we'll lose him! That ain't no whale. That a great white god. About! Back to the ship! We'll tie on and row for a wind. Long days and nights we strained at the oars... while the white whale swam freely on... widening the waters between himself and Ahab 's vengeance. A cloud on the starboard beam. Steer for the cloud, men. Bring her around. For the cloud! Starboard! Pull quick! Pull us into it, boys. Quick. Pull! That's it! You raised the white whale first. The gold doubloon is yours. Go on. Take it, sailor. Wait now. Listen. This man has his Spanish gold ounce. You shall have yours. When Moby Dick is struck and killed... on that day, you shall have my share. My 10% of the profits... of this entire voyage. Aye! Gold will pour out of Moby Dick's wounds into your hands. Every drop of his blood... another Spanish doubloon! What say you to that, men? Sing out! They're all dumfounded, sir, and so am l. Hooray for Captain Ahab! Pip, grog all around. A sail, sir, to starboard. The Rachel, out of New Bedford. Captain Gardiner's ship. She's coming around. Captain Ahab, have you seen a whaleboat adrift? I've seen nothing. You've seen the white whale? We harpooned him not 10 miles from this spot. Not dead. -You didn't kill him? -No. We lost a boat, towed out of sight by him. To ruin. Three days and nights we've searched. My boy was in it. My own son. Twelve years old. Captain Ahab, will you help me search? As we are Christians, we cannot refuse this man. You will. I know you will help! You must! You must, and you shall do this thing for me! If thee say no, we'll be in black disgrace. At home, they'll spit at the mention of the Pequod's name. Captain Ahab, answer me! Captain Gardiner... I seek the white whale! Your own son's murderer! I am losing time. Time? I've lost my whole world! I will not go. I will follow till you say aye to me. Run, men. Stand by to lower. I am coming over, Captain. Avast! Touch not a rope! I must go. Goodbye, I say, and fare thee well. God help you, Captain Gardiner! God forgive you, Captain Ahab. Stoke up the tryworks. We shall run forward laden with fire... to render the white whale's flesh into unholy oil. Blacksmith... I set ye a task. Take these harpoons and lances. Melt them down. Forge me new weapons... that will strike deep and hold fast. Nut do not douse them in water. They must have a proper baptism. What say ye, all ye men? Will you give as much blood as shall be needed to temper the steel? Aye! To my anger, now add your own. You be the cogs that fit my wheel... the gunpowder that takes my torch. Pledge yourselves heart... soul... body... -life and lung-- -Aye, sir. ...as I pledge myself. Death to Moby Dick. Death. Up helm! Bring the wind aft! Hold it! Sir, shall I shorten sail? No. She runs well enough. Weather main brace! Weather yards! The braces, men! Haul away! Haul away! Lay on your backs and haul! Earn your salt! By all that's holy, Captain! We'll lose every inch of canvas if we don't ease the ship! Mr. Starbuck... we're three days behind Moby Dick! This wind is heaven-sent. Heaven-sent to destroy us. Cut away those rags! Get new canvas aloft! All hands, tend sails! Aye, aye, sir. Get aloft. They'll trammel under! Aloft with ye! Aloft! Get up there! Get aloft! Captain, we cannot get more canvas up in this wind! We must! She won't come up! The masts! Cut them away! Cut! It's away with the masts, or we capsize! The masts! Cut the masts! Let fall. Let fall, I say. I'll run you through. St. Elmo's fire! Have mercy on us! Aye, men! Mark it well. It lights our way to the white whale! Thus I put out... the last fear. Clear away! Raise new sail! We're running on! Jump, my hearties! Jump now! Where are the crew of the Pequod? There is not one face I know among 30. He has snatched their souls. Look at them. They are gloves. Ahab fills them. Ahab moves them. You must admit, Mr. Starbuck, he called that typhoon's bluff. Stood toe-to-toe with the bully, traded blows with it till it hollered, "Help! " Aye, man. And did you see how he grabbed St. Elmo's fire by the tail? Only Ahab would do that. I see how madmen beget more madmen. Yet could I cure their madness now? Great God, where art thou? Shall l? Heave up! Avast! It's a mild day, Starbuck. Mild-looking sky. On such a day, I struck my first whale. A boy harpooneer. Forty, aye. Forty years and a thousand lowerings ago. Why this madness of the chase... this boiling blood and smoking brow? Why palsy the arm at the oar, the iron, and the lance? I feel old, Starbuck, and bowed. As though I were Adam... staggering under the piled centuries... since paradise. Stand close, Starbuck. Close to me. Let me look into a human eye. It is better than to gaze into sea or sky. Captain, now for the last time, I ask thee, I implore thee... Iet us fly these deadly waters. Let us home. Have they not such mild blue days even as this in old New Bedford? What is it? What nameless, inscrutable, unearthly thing... commands me against all human lovings and longings... to keep pushing and crowding and jamming myself on all the time... making me do what in my own natural heart... I dare not dream of doing? Is Ahab, Ahab? Is it l, God, or who... that lifts this arm? But if the great sun cannot move... except by God's invisible power... how can my small heart beat... my brain think thoughts... unless God does that beating, does that thinking... does that living... and not l? By heavens, man... we are turned round and round in this world... Like yonder windlass... and fate is the handspike. And all the time, that smiling sky... and this unsounded sea. Look ye into its deeps... and see the everlasting slaughter that goes on. Who put it into its creatures to chase and fang one another? Where do murderers go, man? Who's to doom... when the judge himself is dragged before the bar? But it is a mild day... and a mild-looking sky. What ails you, Starbuck? Why do you tremble so? Because I do not have the bowels to slaughter thee... and save the whole ship's company from being dragged to doom. I plainly see my miserable office: to obey, rebelling. Worse still, to help thee to thine impious end. Starbuck, ye are tied to me. This act is immutably decreed. It was rehearsed by ye and me... a billion years before this ocean rolled. The air. Do you smell it, lads, what the wind carries? It smells like land. -Like an island. -Aye. A coral reef, green moss, shells... bits and pieces from all the oceans he ever swam through. An island to himself is the white whale. Elijah. What say you, lad? The day we sailed, a man.... Elijah, his name was. -Well? -He said.... He said, "A day will come at sea... "when you smell land where there be no land. "And on that day, Ahab will go to his grave. "But he will rise again and beckon. "And then all... "all, save one, shall follow." There she blows! Look. Mastheaders, the birds mark the place. Watch the birds! Helmsman, luff a point. Stand by the boats! Down topgallants! -Same old bet, Stubb? -Aye. No, Pip. Stay on board. You be captain in my absence. Stand ye there on the deck in my place. Lower away! I'm Captain Pip. Did you see him, men? Did you see his hump? Like a great snow hill. Did you see the way he slides along? There's majesty for you. Don't look. I'll look for you. Did you see the lances in his back? My lances. Mine. Struck in him years ago. That's my lads. Wrack the oars off. Lay into it. Pull there, boys! Pull, you green-faced posies! Long and strong, men. Shake your bones, men. Break in two. Moby Dick, show your trump. Blister your lungs! We'll dam off your blood for ye! Pull soft now. He's sounded. Ship oars. Rise now, ye white whale. Show us your crooked jaw. Show us your wrinkled brow. Rise. Those birds. He rises! In! In and after him! Ride! Pull in! Let the men go! Pull in, men! Closer! He'll not escape! Thunder in hell! What's wrong with ye? Damn ye! Ye whale! Ye damned whale! From hell's heart I stab at thee! For hate's sake... I spit my last breath at thee... thou damned whale! Away, no more of this. Back to the Pequod. No more of this. You see? Do you see? Ahab beckons. He's dead, but he beckons. In after him! After him! After that devil? Moby Dick's no devil. He's a whale. A monstrous big whale, aye, but a whale, no more. And we're whaling men, no less. We do not turn from whales. We kill them. We'll kill Moby Dick! Pull! Ye heard Mr. Starbuck, didn't ye? Didn't ye? Be ye whaling men or no? Pull, ye sheep-heads. Pull! Ye should not have come back, ye grinning whale. We're cutting new mouths in ye to grin with. The coffin. Drowned Queequeg's coffin was my life buoy. For one whole day and night... it sustained me on that soft and dirge-like main. Then a sail appeared. It was the Rachel. The Rachel, who in her long melancholy search... for her missing children found... another orphan. The drama 's done. All are departed away. The great shroud of the sea... rolls over the Pequod, her crew... and Moby Dick. I only am escaped, alone... to tell thee.
Please be patient...
this is going to
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this makes use of