Arete : Learning Retold
Followed suit, and descending into the bar-room accosted the grinning landlord very pleasantly. I cherished no malice towards him, though he had been skylarking with me not a little in the matter of my bedfellow. The rest of his toilet was soon achieved, and he proudly marched out of the room, wrapped up in his great pilot monkey jacket, and sporting his harpoon like a marshal’s baton. And as if the now tested reality of his might had in former legendary times thrown its shadow before it; we find some book naturalists Olassen and Povelson declaring the Sperm Whale not only to be a consternation to every other creature in the sea, but also to be so incredibly ferocious as continually to be athirst for human blood. In the real living experience of living men, the prodigies related in old times of the inland Strello mountain in Portugal.
This young fellow’s healthy cheek is like a sun-toasted pear in hue, and would seem to smell almost as musky; he cannot have been three days landed from his Indian voyage. That man next him looks a few shades lighter. You might say a touch of satin wood is in him. In the complexion of a third still lingers a tropic tawn, but slightly bleached withal. He doubtless has tarried whole weeks ashore. But who could show a cheek like Queequeg? Which, barred with various tints, seemed like the Andes’ western slope, to show forth in one array, contrasting climates, zone by zone.
One of the wild
One of the wild suggestions referred to, as at last coming to be linked with the White Whale in the minds of the superstitiously inclined, was the unearthly conceit that Moby Dick was ubiquitous; that he had actually been encountered in opposite latitudes at one and the same instant of time. Nor, credulous as such minds must have been, was this conceit altogether without some faint show of superstitious probability. For as the secrets of the currents in the seas have never yet been divulged, even to the most erudite research; so the hidden ways of the Sperm Whale when beneath the surface remain, in great part, unaccountable to his pursuers; and from time to time have originated the most curious and contradictory speculations regarding them, especially concerning the mystic modes whereby, after sounding to a great dept. So that here, in the real living experience of living men, the prodigies related in old times of the inland Strello mountain in Portugal (near whose top there was said to be a lake in which the wrecks of ships floated up to the surface); And that still more wonderful story of the Arethusa fountain.