But though similar disasters,however little bruited ashore, were by no means unusual in thefishery; yet, in most instances, such seemed the White Whale'sinfernal aforethought of ferocity, that every dismembering ordeath that he caused, was not wholly regarded as having beeninflicted by an unintelligent agent.
Judge, then, towhat pitches of inflamed, distracted fury the minds of his moredesperate hunters were impelled, when amid the chips of chewedboats, and the sinking limbs of torn comrades, they swam out ofthe white curds of the whale's direful wrath into the serene,exasperating sunlight, that smiled on, as if at a birth or abridal.
His three boats stove around him, and oars and menboth whirling in the eddies; one captain, seizing the line-knifefrom his broken prow, had dashed at the whale, as an Arkansasduellist at his foe, blindly seeking with a six inch blade toreach the fathom-deep life of the whale.
The White Whale swambefore him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those maliciousagencies which some deep men feel eating in them, till they areleft living on with half a heart and half a lung.
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Itwas while gliding through these latter waters that one serene andmoonlight night, when all the waves rolled by like scrolls ofsilver;and, by their soft, suffusing seethings, made what seemed asilvery silence, not a solitude: on such a silent night a silveryjet was seen far in advance of the white bubbles at the bow.
In describing the idiosyncrasies of allthese different castes of men our author has evinced acuteness ofobservation and powers of discrimination, which would alonerender his work a valuable addition to the literature of theday....
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As he advanced, he threw off thepretense of probability, and wondered from the verisimilitude offiction into the mist and vagueness of poetry and fantasy, andnow in this last venture, has reached the very limbo ofeccentricity.
Yetcalm, enticing calm, oh, whale!
The plot is meagre beyond comparison, as the whole of theincident might very conveniently have been comprised in half ofone of these three interminable volumes.
This is an ill-compounded mixture of romance and matter-of-fact.
There is so mucheccentricity in its style and in its construction, in theoriginal conception and in the gradual development of its strangeand improbable story, that we are at a loss to determine in whatcategory of works of amusement to place it....
Thisfeature of Herman Melville's new work we cannot but deeplyregret.
The description ofFather Mapple's sermon is a powerful piece of sailor-oratory; andpassages of great eloquence, and artistic beauty and force, areto be found everywhere.
Gepostet Von am Feb 18, 2018 |
will worthily support hisreputation for singularly vivid and reckless imaginative power --great aptitude for quaint and original philosophical speculation,degenerating, however, too often into rhapsody and purposelessextravagance -- an almost unparalled power over the capabilitiesof the language....