Moby Dick: or, the White Whale eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 769 pages of information about Moby Dick.

(During the ensuing scene, the carpenter continues sneezing at times).

Well, manmaker!

Just in time, sir.  If the captain pleases, I will now mark the length. 
Let me measure, sir.

Measured for a leg! good.  Well, it’s not the first time.  About it!  There; keep thy finger on it.  This is a cogent vice thou hast here, carpenter; let me feel its grip once.  So, so; it does pinch some.

Oh, sir, it will break bones—­beware, beware!

No fear; I like a good grip; I like to feel something in this slippery world that can hold, man.  What’s Prometheus about there?—­ the blacksmith, I mean—­what’s he about?

He must be forging the buckle-screw, sir, now.

Right.  It’s a partnership; he supplies the muscle part. 
He makes a fierce red flame there!

Aye, sir; he must have the white heat for this kind of fine work.

Um-m.  So he must.  I do deem it now a most meaning thing, that that old Greek, Prometheus, who made men, they say, should have been a blacksmith, and animated them with fire; for what’s made in fire must properly belong to fire; and so hell’s probable.  How the soot flies!  This must be the remainder the Greek made the Africans of.  Carpenter, when he’s through with that buckle, tell him to forge a pair of steel shoulder-blades; there’s a pedlar aboard with a crushing pack.


Hold; while Prometheus is about it, I’ll order a complete man after a desirable pattern.  Imprimis, fifty feet high in his socks; then, chest modelled after the Thames Tunnel then, legs with roots to ’em, to stay in one place; then, arms three feet through the wrist; no heart at all, brass forehead, and about a quarter of an acre of fine brains; and let me see—­shall I order eyes to see outwards?  No, but put a sky-light on top of his head to illuminate inwards.  There, take the order, and away.

Now, what’s he speaking about, and who’s he speaking to,
I should like to know?  Shall I keep standing here? (aside.)

’Tis but indifferent architecture to make a blind dome; here’s one.  No, no, no; I must have a lantern.

Ho, ho!  That’s it, hey?  Here are two, sir; one will serve my turn.

What art thou thrusting that thief-catcher into my face for, man? 
Thrusted light is worse than presented pistols.

I thought, sir, that you spoke to carpenter.

Carpenter? why that’s—­but no;—­a very tidy, and, I may say, an extremely gentlemanlike sort of business thou art in here, carpenter;—­or would’st thou rather work in clay?

Sir?—­Clay? clay, sir?  That’s mud; we leave clay to ditchers, sir.

The fellow’s impious!  What art thou sneezing about?

Bone is rather dusty, sir.

Take the hint, then; and when thou art dead, never bury thyself under living people’s noses.

Sir?—­oh! ah!—­I guess so; so;—­yes, yes—­oh dear!

Project Gutenberg
Moby Dick: or, the White Whale from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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