Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

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"My God! Mr. Chace, what is the matter?" I answered, "we have been stove by a whale." —"NARRATIVE OF THE SHIPWRECK OF THE WHALE SHIP ESSEX OF NANTUCKET, WHICH WAS ATTACKED AND FINALLY DESTROYED BY A LARGE SPERM WHALE IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN." BY OWEN CHACE OF NANTUCKET, FIRST MATE OF SAID VESSEL. NEW YORK, 1821.

     "A mariner sat in the shrouds one night,
     The wind was piping free;
     Now bright, now dimmed, was the moonlight pale,
     And the phospher gleamed in the wake of the whale,
     As it floundered in the sea."
     —ELIZABETH OAKES SMITH.

"The quantity of line withdrawn from the boats engaged in the capture of this one whale, amounted altogether to 10,440 yards or nearly six English miles....

"Sometimes the whale shakes its tremendous tail in the air, which, cracking like a whip, resounds to the distance of three or four miles." —SCORESBY.

"Mad with the agonies he endures from these fresh attacks, the infuriated Sperm Whale rolls over and over; he rears his enormous head, and with wide expanded jaws snaps at everything around him; he rushes at the boats with his head; they are propelled before him with vast swiftness, and sometimes utterly destroyed.... It is a matter of great astonishment that the consideration of the habits of so interesting, and, in a commercial point of view, so important an animal (as the Sperm Whale) should have been so entirely neglected, or should have excited so little curiosity among the numerous, and many of them competent observers, that of late years, must have possessed the most abundant and the most convenient opportunities of witnessing their habitudes." —THOMAS BEALE'S HISTORY OF THE SPERM WHALE, 1839.

"The Cachalot" (Sperm Whale) "is not only better armed than the True Whale" (Greenland or Right Whale) "in possessing a formidable weapon at either extremity of its body, but also more frequently displays a disposition to employ these weapons offensively and in manner at once so artful, bold, and mischievous, as to lead to its being regarded as the most dangerous to attack of all the known species of the whale tribe." —FREDERICK DEBELL BENNETT'S WHALING VOYAGE ROUND THE GLOBE, 1840.

     October 13.  "There she blows," was sung out from the mast-head.
     "Where away?" demanded the captain.
     "Three points off the lee bow, sir."
     "Raise up your wheel.  Steady!"  "Steady, sir."
     "Mast-head ahoy!  Do you see that whale now?"
     "Ay ay, sir!  A shoal of Sperm Whales!  There she blows!  There she
     breaches!"
     "Sing out! sing out every time!"
     "Ay Ay, sir!  There she blows! there—there—THAR she
     blows—bowes—bo-o-os!"
     "How far off?"
     "Two miles and a half."
     "Thunder and lightning! so near!  Call all hands."
     —J. ROSS BROWNE'S ETCHINGS OF A WHALING CRUIZE.  1846.

"The Whale-ship Globe, on board of which vessel occurred the horrid transactions we are about to relate, belonged to the island of Nantucket." —"NARRATIVE OF THE GLOBE," BY LAY AND HUSSEY SURVIVORS. A.D. 1828.

Being once pursued by a whale which he had wounded, he parried the assault for some time with a lance; but the furious monster at length rushed on the boat; himself and comrades only being preserved by leaping into the water when they saw the onset was inevitable." —MISSIONARY JOURNAL OF TYERMAN AND BENNETT.

"Nantucket itself," said Mr. Webster, "is a very striking and peculiar portion of the National interest. There is a population of eight or nine thousand persons living here in the sea, adding largely every year to the National wealth by the boldest and most persevering industry." —REPORT OF DANIEL WEBSTER'S SPEECH IN THE U. S. SENATE, ON THE APPLICATION FOR THE ERECTION OF A BREAKWATER AT NANTUCKET. 1828.