Moby Dick Chapter 64 - 66
Chapter 64 - 66
Stubb's Supper/The Whale as a Dish/The Shark Massacre
The dead whale is brought back to the Pequod, and it is tied to the side of the ship. Ahab, who led the chase as was typical, is now dissatisfied and depressed about the whole operation. It seems to only remind him that Moby-Dick is still alive.
Stubb is extremely excited, and orders Daggoo to cut him a piece of the whale to eat for his supper. That night, as he eats the cooked whale-steak, large numbers of sharks attack the corpse of the whale in the water, doing their best to devour it.
Stubb calls Fleece, the black cook, over to him. He accuses Fleece of overcooking the steak, and tells him to preach to the sharks to stop eating so loudly. Fleece goes over to the side of the boat, and delivers a sermon of sorts, with Stubb's encouragement.
"'Your woraciousness, fellow-critters, I don't blame ye so much for; dat is natur, and can't be helped; but to gobern dat wicked natur, dat is de pint. You is sharks, sartin; but if you gobern de shark in you, why den you be angel; for all angel is not'ing more dan de shark well goberned.'" Chapter 64, pg. 250
Stubb congratulates Fleece on a job well done, then lectures him on cooking whale steak properly.
There is a long history of men eating whale; the whale would naturally be considered by all a good meal, except for the fact that there is so much of him that it takes away your appetite. Very few men eat whale nowadays, because it is also exceedingly rich.
When a sperm whale is killed at night, it is customary to send the men to bed till morning before cutting into it; but this isn't always possible, because of the many sharks that always gather around the corpse, and devour it.
When Queequeg comes out on watch, he and another sailor take spears and stab at the sharks attacking the dead whale; this drives the sharks into a further frenzy, because when one of their own is injured, they quickly attack it.