Moby-Dick By Herman Melville Chapters 37-40

DANISH SAILOR. Crack, crack, old ship! so long as thou crackest, thou holdest! Well done! The mate there holds ye to it stiffly. He's no more afraid than the isle fort at Cattegat, put there to fight the Baltic with storm-lashed guns, on which the sea-salt cakes!

4TH NANTUCKET SAILOR. He has his orders, mind ye that. I heard old Ahab tell him he must always kill a squall, something as they burst a waterspout with a pistol — fire your ship right into it!

ENGLISH SAILOR. Blood! but that old man's a grand old cove! We are the lads to hunt him up his whale!

ALL. Aye! aye!

OLD MANX SAILOR. How the three pines shake! Pines are the hardest sort of tree to live when shifted to any other soil, and here there's none but the crew's cursed clay. Steady, helmsman! steady. This is the sort of weather when brave hearts snap ashore, and keeled hulls split at sea. Our captain has his birthmark; look yonder, boys, there's another in the sky — lurid-like, ye see, all else pitch black.

DAGGOO. What of that? Who's afraid of black's afraid of me! I'm quarried out of it!

SPANISH SAILOR. (ASIDE.) He wants to bully, ah! — the old grudge makes me touchy (ADVANCING.) Aye, harpooneer, thy race is the undeniable dark side of mankind — devilish dark at that. No offence.


ST. JAGO'S SAILOR. That Spaniard's mad or drunk. But that can't be, or else in his one case our old Mogul's fire-waters are somewhat long in working.

5TH NANTUCKET SAILOR. What's that I saw — lightning? Yes.

SPANISH SAILOR. No; Daggoo showing his teeth.

DAGGOO (SPRINGING). Swallow thine, mannikin! White skin, white liver!

SPANISH SAILOR (MEETING HIM). Knife thee heartily! big frame, small spirit!

ALL. A row! a row! a row!

TASHTEGO (WITH A WHIFF). A row a'low, and a row aloft — Gods and men — both brawlers! Humph!

BELFAST SAILOR. A row! arrah a row! The Virgin be blessed, a row! Plunge in with ye!

ENGLISH SAILOR. Fair play! Snatch the Spaniard's knife! A ring, a ring!

OLD MANX SAILOR. Ready formed. There! the ringed horizon. In that ring Cain struck Abel. Sweet work, right work! No? Why then, God, mad'st thou the ring?

MATE'S VOICE FROM THE QUARTER-DECK. Hands by the halyards! in top-gallant sails! Stand by to reef topsails!

ALL. The squall! the squall! jump, my jollies! (THEY SCATTER.)

PIP (SHRINKING UNDER THE WINDLASS). Jollies? Lord help such jollies! Crish, crash! there goes the jib-stay! Blang-whang! God! Duck lower, Pip, here comes the royal yard! It's worse than being in the whirled woods, the last day of the year! Who'd go climbing after chestnuts now? But there they go, all cursing, and here I don't. Fine prospects to 'em; they're on the road to heaven. Hold on hard! Jimmini, what a squall! But those chaps there are worse yet — they are your white squalls, they. White squalls? white whale, shirr! shirr! Here have I heard all their chat just now, and the white whale — shirr! shirr! — but spoken of once! and only this evening — it makes me jingle all over like my tambourine — that anaconda of an old man swore 'em in to hunt him! Oh, thou big white God aloft there somewhere in yon darkness, have mercy on this small black boy down here; preserve him from all men that have no bowels to feel fear!

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

Queequeg’s native island is called