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2015

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. You could pretty plainly tell how long each one had been ashore. 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. That man next him looks a few shades lighter you might say a touch of satin wood is in him. In the complexion of a third still lingers a tropic tawn, but slightly bleached withal.

A designer knows he has achieved perfection not
when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

brook_post16_1
by Jeff Sheldon

Do they say that men who have seen the world, thereby become quite at ease in manner, quite self-possessed in company. Not always, though: Ledyard, the great New England traveller, and Mungo Park, the Scotch one of all men, they possessed the least assurance in the parlor. Perhaps the mere crossing of Siberia in a sledge drawn by dogs as Ledyard did, or the taking a long solitary walk on an empty stomach, in the negro heart of Africa, which was the sum of poor Mungo’s performances this kind of travel, I say, may not be the very best mode of attaining a high social polish. Still, for the most part, that sort of thing is to be had anywhere. The intense Pequod sailed on; the rolling waves and days went by; the life-buoy-coffin still lightly swung; and another ship.

He doubtless has tarried whole weeks ashore. 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. The intense Pequod sailed on; the rolling waves and days went by; the life-buoy-coffin still lightly swung; and another ship, most miserably misnamed the Delight, was descried. As she drew nigh, all eyes were fixed upon her broad beams, called shears, which, in some whaling-ships, cross the quarter-deck at the height of eight or nine feet; serving to carry the spare, unrigged, or disabled boats. Upon the stranger’s shears were beheld the shattered, white ribs, and some few splintered planks, of what had once been a whale-boat. But you now saw through this wreck, as plainly as you see through the peeled, half-unhinged, and bleaching skeleton of a horse. That man next him looks a few shades lighter; you might say a touch of satin wood is in him.

For several consecutive years, Moby Dick had been periodically descried, lingering in those waters for awhile, as the sun, in its annual round, loiters for a predicted interval in any one sign of the Zodiac. There it was, too, that most of the deadly encounters with the white whale had taken place; there the waves were storied with his deeds; there also was that tragic spot where the monomaniac old man had found the awful motive to his vengeance. But in the cautious comprehensiveness and loitering vigilance with which Ahab threw his brooding soul into this unfaltering hunt, he would not permit himself to rest all his hopes upon the one crowning fact above mentioned. But in the cautious comprehensiveness and unloitering vigilance.

fact above mentioned, however flattering it might be to those hopes; nor in the sleeplessness of his vow could he so tranquillize his unquiet heart as to postpone all longitude this year, say, will turn out to be identically the same with those that were found there the preceding season; though there are peculiar and unquestionable instances where the contrary of this has proved true. In general, the same remark, only within a less wide limit, applies to the solitaries and hermits among the matured, aged sperm whales.There was a circumstance which at first sight seemed to entangle his delirious.

He then donned his waistcoat, and taking up a piece of hard soap on the wash-stand centre table, dipped it into water and commenced lathering his face was watching to see where he kept his razor, when lo and behold, he takes the harpoon from the bed corner, 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. 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.

Curious sight these bashful bears, these timid warrior whalemen. They say that men who have seen the world, thereby become quite at ease in manner, quite self-possessed in company. Perhaps the mere crossing of Siberia in a sledge drawn by dogs as Ledyard did, or the taking a long solitary walk on an empty stomach, in the negro heart of Africa, which was the sum of poor Mungo’s performances this kind of travel, I say, may not be the very best mode of attaining a high social polish. He complied, and then proceeded to wash himself. Ahab’s harpoon, the one forged at Perth’s fire, remained firmly lashed in its conspicuous crotch, so that it projected beyond his whale-boat’s bow the sea that had stove its bottom had caused the loose leather sheath to drop off from the keen steel barb there now came a leveled flame of pale, forked fire. As the silent harpoon burned there like a serpent’s tongue.

For several consecutive years, Moby Dick had been periodically descried, lingering in those waters for awhile, as the sun, in its annual round, loiters for a predicted interval in any one sign of the Zodiac. There it was, too, that most of the deadly encounters with the white whale had taken place; there the waves were storied with his deeds; there also was that tragic spot where the monomaniac old man had found the awful motive.

But in the cautious comprehensiveness and unloitering vigilance with which Ahab threw his brooding soul into this unfaltering hunt, he would not permit himself to rest all his hopes upon the one crowning fact above mentioned, however flattering it might be to those hopes nor in the sleeplessness of his vow could he so tranquillize his unquiet heart as to postpone all longitude this year, say, will turn out to be identically the same.

Tycho – Awake (Com Truise Remix)
Design and layout by Scott Hansen

And where Ahab‘s chances of accomplishing his object have hitherto been spoken of, allusion has only been made to whatever way-side, antecedent, extra prospects were his, ere a particular set time or place were attained, when all possibilities would become probabilities, and, as Ahab fondly thought, every possibility the next thing to a certainty. That particular set time and place were conjoined in the one technical phrase the Season-on-the-Line. There was a circumstance which at first sight seemed to entangle his delirious but still methodical scheme. The same with those that were found there the preceding season; though there are peculiar and unquestionable instances where the contrary of this has proved true.

What are your thoughts?