Moby Dick

by Herman Melville

Chapter 120. The Deck at the End of the First Night


We must send down the main- top-sail yard, sir. The band is working loose and the lee lift is half- stranded. Shall I strike it, sir?"

"Strike nothing; lash it. If I had sky- sail poles, I'd sway them up now."

"Sir!- in God's name!- sir?"


"The anchors are working, sir. Shall I get them inboard?"

"Strike nothing, and stir nothing, but lash everything. The wind rises, but it has not got up to my table- lands yet. Quick, and see to it.- By masts and keels! he takes me for the hunch- backed skipper of some coasting smack. Send down my main- top-sail yard! Ho, gluepots! Loftiest trucks were made for wildest winds, and this brain- truck of mine now sails amid the cloud- scud. Shall I strike that? Oh, none but cowards send down their brain- trucks in tempest time. What a hooroosh aloft there! I would e'en take it for sublime, did I not know that the colic is a noisy malady. Oh, take medicine, take medicine!"

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