Skip to main content

Posts

Moby-Dick or the Whale

MOBY-DICK; or, THE WHALE. By Herman Melville 1851 ETYMOLOGY. EXTRACTS (Supplied by a Sub-Sub-Librarian). CHAPTER 1. Loomings. CHAPTER 2. The Carpet-Bag. CHAPTER 3. The Spouter-Inn. CHAPTER 4. The Counterpane. CHAPTER 5. Breakfast. CHAPTER 6. The Street. CHAPTER 7. The Chapel. CHAPTER 8. The Pulpit. CHAPTER 9. The Sermon. CHAPTER 10. A Bosom Friend. CHAPTER 11. Nightgown. CHAPTER 12. Biographical. CHAPTER 13. Wheelbarrow. CHAPTER 14. Nantucket. CHAPTER 15. Chowder. CHAPTER 16. The Ship. CHAPTER 17. The Ramadan. CHAPTER 18. His Mark. CHAPTER 19. The Prophet. CHAPTER 20. All Astir. CHAPTER 21. Going Aboard. CHAPTER 22. Merry Christmas. CHAPTER 23. The Lee Shore. CHAPTER 24. The Advocate. CHAPTER 25. Postscript. CHAPTER 26. Knights and Squires. CHAPTER 27. Knights and Squires. CHAPTER 28. Ahab. CHAPTER 29. Enter Ahab; to Him, Stubb. CHAPTER 30. The Pipe. CHAPTER 31. Queen Mab. CHAPTER 32. Cetology. CHAPTER 33. The Specksnyder. CHAPTER 34. The Cabin-Table. CHAPTER 35. The Mast-Head. CHAPTER
Recent posts

I and My Chimney

I and My Chimney by  Herman Melville 1856 I and my chimney, two grey-headed old smokers, reside in the country. We are, I may say, old settlers here; particularly my old chimney, which settles more and more every day. Though I always say, I and My Chimney, as Cardinal Wolsey used to say, "I and My King," yet this egotistic way of speaking, wherein I take precedence of my chimney, is hardly borne out by the facts; in everything, except the above phrase, my chimney taking precedence of me.

The Bell-Tower

The Bell-Tower by Herman Melville 1856 In the south of Europe, nigh a once frescoed capital, now with dank mould cankering its bloom, central in a plain, stands what, at distance, seems the black mossed stump of some immeasurable pine, fallen, in forgotten days, with Anak and the Titan. As all along where the pine tree falls, its dissolution leaves a mossy mound—last-flung shadow of the perished trunk; never lengthening, never lessening; unsubject to the fleet falsities of the sun; shade immutable, and true gauge which cometh by prostration—so westward from what seems the stump, one steadfast spear of lichened ruin veins the plain.

The Encantadas

The Encantadas by Herman Melville 1856 Sketch First - The Isles at Large    "—That may not be, said then the ferryman,     Least we unweeting hap to be fordonne;     For those same islands seeming now and than,     Are not firme land, nor any certein wonne,     But stragling plots which to and fro do ronne     In the wide waters; therefore are they hight     The Wandering Islands; therefore do them shonne;     For they have oft drawne many a wandring wight     Into most deadly daunger and distressed plight;     For whosoever once hath fastened     His foot thereon may never it secure     But wandreth evermore uncertain and unsure."    "Darke, dolefull, dreary, like a greedy grave,     That still for carrion carcasses doth crave;     On top whereof ay dwelt the ghastly owl,     Shrieking his baleful note, which ever drave     Far from that haunt all other cheerful fowl,     And all about it wandring ghosts did wayle and howl."

The Lightning Rod Man

The Lightning Rod Man by Herman Melville 1856 What grand irregular thunder, thought I, standing on my hearth-stone among the Acroceraunian hills, as the scattered bolts boomed overhead, and crashed down among the valleys, every bolt followed by zigzag irradiations, and swift slants of sharp rain, which audibly rang, like a charge of spear-points, on my low shingled roof. I suppose, though, that the mountains hereabouts break and churn up the thunder, so that it is far more glorious here than on the plain. Hark!-some one at the door. Who is this that chooses a time of thunder for making calls? And why don't he, man-fashion, use the knocker, instead of making that doleful undertaker's clatter with his fist against the hollow panel? But let him in. Ah, here he comes. "Good day, sir:" an entire stranger. "Pray be seated." What is that strange-looking walking-stick he carries: "A fine thunder-storm, sir."

Benito Cereno

Benito Cereno by  Herman Melville 1856 In the year 1799, Captain Amasa Delano, of Duxbury, in Massachusetts, commanding a large sealer and general trader, lay at anchor with a valuable cargo, in the harbor of St. Maria—a small, desert, uninhabited island toward the southern extremity of the long coast of Chili. There he had touched for water. On the second day, not long after dawn, while lying in his berth, his mate came below, informing him that a strange sail was coming into the bay. Ships were then not so plenty in those waters as now. He rose, dressed, and went on deck.

The Piazza

The Piazza by Herman Melville 1856 "With fairest flowers, Whilst summer lasts, and I live here, Fidele—" When I removed into the country, it was to occupy an old-fashioned farm-house, which had no piazza—a deficiency the more regretted, because not only did I like piazzas, as somehow combining the coziness of in-doors with the freedom of out-doors, and it is so pleasant to inspect your thermometer there, but the country round about was such a picture, that in berry time no boy climbs hill or crosses vale without coming upon easels planted in every nook, and sun-burnt painters painting there. A very paradise of painters. The circle of the stars cut by the circle of the mountains. At least, so looks it from the house; though, once upon the mountains, no circle of them can you see. Had the site been chosen five rods off, this charmed ring would not have been.

Bartleby, the Scrivener

Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville 1856 A Story of Wall Street I am a rather elderly man. The nature of my avocations for the last thirty years has brought me into more than ordinary contact with what would seem an interesting and somewhat singular set of men, of whom as yet nothing that I know of has ever been written:—I mean the law-copyists or scriveners. I have known very many of them, professionally and privately, and if I pleased, could relate divers histories, at which good-natured gentlemen might smile, and sentimental souls might weep. But I waive the biographies of all other scriveners for a few passages in the life of Bartleby, who was a scrivener of the strangest I ever saw or heard of. While of other law-copyists I might write the complete life, of Bartleby nothing of that sort can be done. I believe that no materials exist for a full and satisfactory biography of this man. It is an irreparable loss to literature. Bartleby was one of those beings of whom nothing is