Small Gathering

1However, a good laugh is a mighty good thing & rather scarce good thing the more’s the pity… So, if any one man, in his own proper person, afford stuff for a good joke to anybody, let him not be backward, but let him cheerfully allow himself to spend and be spent in that way. And the man that has anything bountifully laughable about him, be sure there is more in that man than you perhaps think for. At last, stepping on board the Pequod, we found everything in profound quiet, not a soul moving.

2Going forward to the forecastle, we found the slide of the scuttle open. Seeing a light, we went down and found only an old rigger there, wrapped in a tattered pea-jacket. He was thrown at whole length upon two chests, his face downwards and inclosed in his folded arms. The bar-room was now full of the boarders who had been dropping in the night previous, and whom I had not as yet had a good look at. 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. And as if the now tested reality of his might had in former legendary times thrown its shadow before it we find Olassen and Povelson.

And as if the now tested reality of his might had in former legendary times thrown its shadow before it; we find some book naturalists Olassen and Povelson declaring the Sperm Whale not only to be a consternation to every other creature in the sea, but also to be so incredibly ferocious as continually to be athirst for human blood. Nor even down to so late a time as Cuvier’s, were these or almost similar impressions effaced. For in his Natural History, the Baron himself affirms that at sight of the Sperm Whale, all fish .


3Declaring the Sperm Whale not only to be a consternation to every other creature in the sea, but also to be so incredibly ferocious as continually to be athirst for human blood. On this head, there are some remarkable documents that may be consulted and a still greater number who, chancing only to hear of him distantly and vaguely, without the specific details of any certain calamity, and without superstitious accompaniments.

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