First Night-Watch


Stubb solus, and mending a brace.

Ha! ha! ha! ha! hem! clear my throat!⁠—I’ve been thinking over it ever since, and that ha, ha’s the final consequence. Why so? Because a laugh’s the wisest, easiest answer to all that’s queer; and come what will, one comfort’s always left⁠—that unfailing comfort is, it’s all predestinated. I heard not all his talk with Starbuck; but to my poor eye Starbuck then looked something as I the other evening felt. Be sure the old Mogul has fixed him, too. I twigged it, knew it; had had the gift, might readily have prophesied it⁠—for when I clapped my eye upon his skull I saw it. Well, Stubb, wise Stubb⁠—that’s my title⁠—well, Stubb, what of it, Stubb? Here’s a carcase. I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing. Such a waggish leering as lurks in all your horribles! I feel funny. Fa, la! lirra, skirra! What’s my juicy little pear at home doing now? Crying its eyes out?⁠—Giving a party to the last arrived harpooneers, I dare say, gay as a frigate’s pennant, and so am I⁠—fa, la! lirra, skirra! Oh⁠—

We’ll drink tonight with hearts as light,
To love, as gay and fleeting
As bubbles that swim, on the beaker’s brim,
And break on the lips while meeting.

A brave stave that⁠—who calls? Mr. Starbuck? Aye, aye, sir⁠—Aside he’s my superior, he has his too, if I’m not mistaken.⁠—Aye, aye, sir, just through with this job⁠—coming.