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By In Featured, Reviews

Disabled Single Image: Pequod had been so long afloat this voyage

With a blow from the top-maul Ahab knocked off the steel head of the lance, and then handing to the mate the long iron rod remaining, bade him hold it upright, without its touching the deck. Then, with the maul, after repeatedly smiting the upper end of this iron rod, he placed the blunted needle endwise on the top of it. Icon Credit.

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Great idea!

Then going through some small strange motions with it—whether indispensable to the magnetizing of the steel, or merely intended to augment the awe of the crew, is uncertain
He called for linen thread; and moving to the binnacle, slipped out the two reversed needles there, and horizontally suspended the sail-needle by its middle.
Over one of the compass-cards. At first, the steel went round and round, quivering and vibrating at either end; but at last it settled to its place, when Ahab, who had been intently watching for this result, stepped frankly back from the binnacle, and pointing his arm towards it, exclaimed,—”Look ye, for yourselves, if Ahab be not lord of the level loadstone! The sun is East, and that compass swears it! One after another they peered in, for nothing but their own eyes could persuade such ignorance as theirs, and one after they slunk away. In his fiery eyes of scorn and triumph, you then saw Ahab in all his pride. While now the fated Pequod had been so long afloat this voyage, the log and line had but very seldom been in use. The wooden reel and angular log attached hung, long untouched, just beneath the railing of the after bulwarks. (more…)

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By In Seaside

Now, in that Japanese sea, the days in summer are as freshets of effulgences.

Both were silent again, as one man. The grey dawn came on, and the slumbering crew arose from the boat’s bottom, and ere noon the dead whale was brought to the ship. The season for the Line at length drew near; and every day when Ahab.

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Home, sweet home!

Icon Credit.   Coming from his cabin, cast his eyes aloft, the vigilant helmsman would ostentatiously handle his spokes, and the eager mariners quickly run to the braces, and would stand there with all their eyes centrally fixed on the nailed doubloon; impatient for the order to point the ship’s prow for the equator.

In good time the order came. It was hard upon high noon; and Ahab, seated in the bows of his high-hoisted boat, was about taking his wonted daily observation of the sun to determine his latitude. Now, in that Japanese sea, the days in summer are as freshets of effulgences. That unblinkingly vivid Japanese sun seems the blazing focus of the glassy ocean’s immeasurable burning-glass. Now, in that Japanese sea, the days in summer are as freshets of effulgences. (more…)

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By In Featured, Nature

The Road to Nowhere: Maine, United States

Stab me not with that keen steel! Cant them; cant them over! know ye not the goblet end? Turn up the socket! So, so; now, ye cup-bearers, advance. The irons! take them; hold them while I fill!” Forthwith, slowly going from one officer to the other, he brimmed the harpoon sockets with the fiery waters from the pewter.

“Now, three to three, ye stand. Commend the murderous chalices! Bestow them, ye who are now made parties to this indissoluble league. Ha! Starbuck! but the deed is done! Yon ratifying sun now waits to sit upon it. Drink, ye harpooneers! drink and swear, ye men that man the deathful whaleboat’s bow—Death to Moby Dick! God hunt us all, if we do not hunt Moby Dick to his death!” The long, barbed steel goblets were lifted; and to cries and maledictions against the white whale, the spirits were simultaneously quaffed down with a hiss. Starbuck paled, and turned, and shivered. Once more, and finally, the replenished pewter went the rounds among the frantic crew; when, waving his free hand to them, they all dispersed; and Ahab retired within his cabin. (more…)

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By In Featured, Life

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