Chapter 16: The Ship
How now in the contemplative evening of his days, the pious Bildad reconciled these things in the reminiscence, I do not know; but it did not seem to concern him much, and very probably he had long since come to the sage and sensible conclusion that a man’s religion is one thing, and this practical world quite another.
Chapter 17: The Ramadan
Besides, argued I, fasting makes the body cave in; hence the spirit caves in; and all thoughts born of a fast must necessarily be half-starved. This is the reason why most dyspeptic religionists cherish such melancholy notions about their hereafters. In one word, Queequeg, said I, rather digressively; hell is an idea first born on an undigested apple-dumpling; and since then perpetuated through the hereditary dyspepsias nurtured by Ramadans.
Chapter 19: The Prophet
… he was nothing but a humbug, trying to be a bugbear.
Chapter 32: Cetology
God keep me from ever completing anything. This whole book is but a draught — nay, but the draught of a draught. Oh, Time, Strength, Cash, and Patience!
Chapter 34: The Cabin-Table
… however it was, Flask, alas! was a butterless man!
Chapter 1: Loomings
The transition is a keen one, I assure you, from a schoolmaster to a sailor, and requires a strong decoction of Seneca and the Stoics to enable you to grin and bear it. But even this wears off in time.
Chapter 2: The Carpet-Bag
It was a very dubious-looking, nay, a very dark and dismal night, bitingly cold and cheerless. I knew no one in the place.
Chapter 3: The Spouter-Inn
:: A boggy, soggy, squitchy picture truly, enough to drive a nervous man distracted.
:: Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.
Chapter 5: Breakfast
:: However, a good laugh is a mighty good thing, and rather too scarce a good thing; the more’s the pity. So, if any one man, in his own proper person, afford stuff for a good joke to anybody, let him not be backward, but let him cheerfully allow himself to spend and be spent in that way. And the man that has anything bountifully laughable about him, be sure there is more in that man then you perhaps think four.
:: But that was certainly very coolly done by him, and every one knows that in most people’s estimation, to do anything coolly is to do it genteelly.
Chapter 12: Biographical
It is not down on any map; true places never are.
The above are my recent images
of detail from Anselm Kiefer’s “Midgard” (1982-85).
Yes, of course, I realize that this, one of my favorite stops at the Milwaukee Art Museum
, is rooted in Norse mythology, but I cannot help myself: Every time I stand in front of it, I think of the Iliad.
Rage — Goddess, sing the rage….
Nothing, to my way of thinking, is a better proof of a well ordered mind than a man’s ability to stop just where he is and pass some time in his own company.
For a delight in bustling about is not industry — it is only the restless energy of a hunted mind. And the state of mind that looks on all activity as tiresome is not true repose, but a spineless inertia.
:: Finding wealth an intolerable burden is the mark of an unstable mind.
:: Wild animals run from the dangers they actually see, and once they have escaped them worry no more. We however are tormented alike by what is past and what is to come. A number of our blessings do us harm, for memory brings back the agony of fear while foresight brings it on prematurely. No one confines his unhappiness to the present.
What is my object in making a friend? To have someone to be able to die for, someone I may follow into exile, someone for whose life I may put myself up as security and pay the price as well. The thing you describe is not friendship but a business deal, looking to the likely consequences, with advantage as its goals.
It is in times of security that the spirit should be preparing itself to deal with difficult times; while fortune is bestowing favours on it then is the time for it to be strengthened against her rebuffs.
The fact that it was unforeseen has never failed to intensify a person’s grief. This is a reason for ensuring that nothing ever takes us by surprise. We should project our thoughts ahead of us at every turn and have in mind every possible eventuality instead of only the usual course of events. For what is there that fortune does not when she pleases fell at the height of its powers?