Tag Archives: first sentences of Moby-Dick

four chapters, first three sentences each: The Cabin-Table. The Mast-Head. The Quarter-Deck. Sunset.

The Cabin-Table. The Mast-Head. The Quarter-Deck. Sunset.

It is noon; and Dough-Boy, the steward, thrusting his pale loaf-of-bread face from the cabin-scuttle, announces dinner to his lord and master; who, sitting in the lee quarter-boat, has just been taking an observation of the sun; and is now mutely reckoning the latitude on the smooth, medallion-shaped tablet, reserved for that daily purpose on the upper part of his ivory leg. From his complete inattention to the tidings, you would think that moody Ahab had not heard his menial. But presently, catching hold of the mizen shrouds, he swings himself to the deck, and in an even, unexhilarated voice, saying, “Dinner, Mr. Starbuck,” disappears into the cabin.

It was during the more pleasant weather, that in due rotation with the other seamen my first mast-head came round.

In most American whalemen the mast-heads are manned almost simultaneously with the vessel’s leaving her port; even though she may have fifteen thousand miles, and more, to sail ere reaching her proper cruising ground. And if, after a three, four, or five years’ voyage she is drawing nigh home with anything empty in her—say, an empty vial even—then, her mast-heads are kept manned to the last; and not till her skysail-poles sail in among the spires of the port, does she altogether relinquish the hope of capturing one whale more.

(ENTER AHAB: THEN, ALL)

It was not a great while after the affair of the pipe, that one morning shortly after breakfast, Ahab, as was his wont, ascended the cabin-gangway to the deck. There most sea-captains usually walk at that hour, as country gentlemen, after the same meal, take a few turns in the garden.

THE CABIN; BY THE STERN WINDOWS; AHAB SITTING ALONE, AND GAZING OUT.

I leave a white and turbid wake; pale waters, paler cheeks, where’er I sail. The envious billows sidelong swell to whelm my track; let them; but first I pass.

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first sentences of chapters 38 to 44: a story.

Dusk. First night watch. Midnight, Forecastle. Moby Dick. The whiteness of the whale. Hark! The chart.

My soul is more than matched; she’s overmanned; and by a madman! Insufferable sting, that sanity should ground arms on such a field!

Ha! ha! ha! ha! hem! clear my throat!—I've been thinking over it ever since, and that ha, ha's the final consequence.

Farewell and adieu to you, Spanish ladies!

I, Ishmael, was one of that crew; my shouts had gone up with the rest; my oath had been welded with theirs; and stronger I shouted, and more did I hammer and clinch my oath, because of the dread in my soul. What the white whale was to Ahab, has been hinted; what, at times, he was to me, as yet remains unsaid.

“HIST! Did you hear that noise, Cabaco?”

Had you followed Captain Ahab down into his cabin after the squall that took place on the night succeeding that wild ratification of his purpose with his crew, you would have seen him go to a locker in the transom, and bringing out a large wrinkled roll of yellowish sea charts, spread them before him on his screwed-down table.

 

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first sentence of CHAPTER 71. The Jeroboam’s Story.

Hand in hand, ship and breeze blew on; but the breeze came faster than the ship, and soon the Pequod began to rock.

 

 

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first sentence of chapter 72. The Monkey-Rope.

In the tumultuous business of cutting-in and attending to a whale, there is much running backwards and forwards among the crew.

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first sentence of CHAPTER 74. The Sperm Whale’s Head—Contrasted View.

Here, now, are two great whales, laying their heads together; let us join them, and lay together our own.

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First sentence of chapter 76. The Battering-Ram.

Ere quitting, for the nonce, the Sperm Whale’s head, I would have you, as a sensible physiologist, simply—particularly remark its front aspect, in all its compacted collectedness.

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First sentence of chapter 77. The Great Heidelburgh Tun.

Now comes the Baling of the Case. But to comprehend it aright, you must know something of the curious internal structure of the thing operated upon.

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first sentence of chapter 78. Cistern and buckets.

Nimble as a cat, Tashtego mounts aloft; and without altering his erect posture, runs straight out upon the overhanging mainyard-arm, to the part where it exactly projects over the hoisted Tun.

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first sentence of chapter 79. The Prairie.

To scan the lines of his face, or feel the bumps on the head of this Leviathan; this is a thing which no Physiognomist or Phrenologist has as yet undertaken.

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