Moby Dick: or, the White Whale eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 623 pages of information about Moby Dick.

“Oh! thou clear spirit of clear fire, whom on these seas I as Persian once did worship, till in the sacramental act so burned by thee, that to this hour I bear the scar; I now know thee, thou clear spirit, and I now know that thy right worship is defiance.  To neither love nor reverence wilt thou be kind; and e’en for hate thou canst but kill; and all are killed.  No fearless fool now fronts thee.  I own thy speechless, placeless power; but to the last gasp of my earthquake life will dispute its unconditional, unintegral mastery in me.  In the midst of the personified impersonal, a personality stands here.  Though but a point at best; whenceso’er I came; whereso’er I go; yet while I earthly live, the queenly personality lives in me, and feels her royal rights.  But war is pain, and hate is woe.  Come in thy lowest form of love, and I will kneel and kiss thee; but at thy highest, come as mere supernal power; and though thou launchest navies of full-freighted worlds, there’s that in here that still remains indifferent.  Oh, thou clear spirit, of thy fire thou madest me, and like a true child of fire, I breathe it back to thee.”

[Sudden, repeated flashes of lightning; the nine flames leap lengthwise to thrice their previous height; Ahab, with the rest, closes his eyes, his right hand pressed hard upon them.]

“I own thy speechless, placeless power; said I not so?  Nor was it wrung from me; nor do I now drop these links.  Thou canst blind; but I can then grope.  Thou canst consume; but I can then be ashes.  Take the homage of these poor eyes, and shutter-hands.  I would not take it.  The lightning flashes through my skull; mine eyeballs ache and ache; my whole beaten brain seems as beheaded, and rolling on some stunning ground.  Oh, oh!  Yet blindfold, yet will I talk to thee.  Light though thou be, thou leapest out of darkness; but I am darkness leaping out of light, leaping out of thee!  The javelins cease; open eyes; see, or not?  There burn the flames!  Oh, thou magnanimous! now do I do glory in my genealogy.  But thou art but my fiery father; my sweet mother, I know not.  Oh, cruel! what hast thou done with her?  There lies my puzzle; but thine is greater.  Thou knowest not how came ye, hence callest thyself unbegotten; certainly knowest not thy beginning, hence callest thyself unbegun.  I know that of me, which thou knowest not of thyself, oh, thou omnipotent.  There is some unsuffusing thing beyond thee, thou clear spirit, to whom all thy eternity is but time, all thy creativeness mechanical.  Through thee, thy flaming self, my scorched eyes do dimly see it.  Oh, thou foundling fire, thou hermit immemorial, thou too hast thy incommunicable riddle, thy unparticipated grief.  Here again with haughty agony, I read my sire.  Leap! leap up, and lick the sky!  I leap with thee; I burn with thee; would fain be welded with thee; defyingly I worship thee!”

“The boat! the boat!” cried Starbuck, “look at thy boat, old man!”

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