Herman

Melville

Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

Moby-Dick oder Der Wal

Übersetzt von Alice und Hans Seiffert, Lizenz der Aufbau Verlagsgruppe
Synchronisation und Ergänzungen © Doppeltext 2012

TITELBLATT

ETYMOLOGY

EXTRACTS

MOBY DICK

1 — LOOMINGS

2 — THE CARPET-BAG

3 — THE SPOUTER-INN

4 — THE COUNTERPANE

5 — BREAKFAST

6 — THE STREET

7 — THE CHAPEL

8 — THE PULPIT

9 — THE SERMON

10 — A BOSOM FRIEND

11 — NIGHTGOWN

12 — BIOGRAPHICAL

13 — WHEELBARROW

14 — NANTUCKET

15 — CHOWDER

16 — THE SHIP

17 — THE RAMADAN

18 — HIS MARK

19 — THE PROPHET

20 — ALL ASTIR

21 — GOING ABOARD

22 — MERRY CHRISTMAS

23 — THE LEE SHORE

24 — THE ADVOCATE

25 — POSTSCRIPT

26 — KNIGHTS AND SQUIRES

27 — KNIGHTS AND SQUIRES

28 — AHAB

29 — ENTER AHAB; TO HIM, STUBB

30 — THE PIPE

31 — QUEEN MAB

32 — CETOLOGY

33 — THE SPECKSYNDER

34 — THE CABIN-TABLE

35 — THE MAST-HEAD

36 — THE QUARTER-DECK

37 — SUNSET

38 — DUSK

39 — FIRST NIGHT-WATCH

40 — MIDNIGHT, FORECASTLE

41 — MOBY DICK

42 — THE WHITENESS OF THE WHALE

43 — HARK!

44 — THE CHART

45 — THE AFFIDAVIT

46 — SURMISES

47 — THE MAT-MAKER

48 — THE FIRST LOWERING

49 — THE HYENA

50 — AHAB’S BOAT AND CREW — FEDALLAH

51 — THE SPIRIT-SPOUT

52 — THE ALBATROSS

53 — THE GAM

54 — THE TOWN-HO’S STORY

55 — OF THE MONSTROUS PICTURES OF WHALES

56 — OF THE LESS ERRONEOUS PICTURES OF WHALES, AND THE TRUE PICTURES OF WHALING SCENES

57 — OF WHALES IN PAINT; IN TEETH; IN WOOD; IN SHEET-IRON; IN STONE; IN MOUNTAINS; IN STARS

58 — BRIT

59 — SQUID

60 — THE LINE

61 — STUBB KILLS A WHALE

62 — THE DART

63 — THE CROTCH

64 — STUBB’S SUPPER

65 — THE WHALE AS A DISH

66 — THE SHARK MASSACRE

67 — CUTTING IN

68 — THE BLANKET

69 — THE FUNERAL

70 — THE SPHYNX

71 — THE JEROBOAM’S STORY

72 — THE MONKEY-ROPE

73 — STUBB AND FLASK KILL A RIGHT WHALE; AND THEN HAVE A TALK OVER HIM

74 — THE SPERM WHALE’S HEAD — CONTRASTED VIEW

75 — THE RIGHT WHALE’S HEAD — CONTRASTED VIEW

76 — THE BATTERING-RAM

77 — THE GREAT HEIDELBURGH TUN

78 — CISTERN AND BUCKETS

79 — THE PRAIRIE

80 — THE NUT

81 — THE PEQUOD MEETS THE VIRGIN

82 — THE HONOR AND GLORY OF WHALING

83 — JONAH HISTORICALLY REGARDED

84 — PITCHPOLING

85 — THE FOUNTAIN

86 — THE TAIL

87 — THE GRAND ARMADA

88 — SCHOOLS AND SCHOOLMASTERS

89 — FAST-FISH AND LOOSE-FISH

90 — HEADS OR TAILS

91 — THE PEQUOD MEETS THE ROSE-BUD

92 — AMBERGRIS

93 — THE CASTAWAY

94 — A SQUEEZE OF THE HAND

95 — THE CASSOCK

96 — THE TRY-WORKS

97 — THE LAMP

98 — STOWING DOWN AND CLEARING UP

99 — THE DOUBLOON

100 — LEG AND ARM

101 — THE DECANTER

102 — A BOWER IN THE ARSACIDES

103 — MEASUREMENT OF THE WHALE’S SKELETON

104 — THE FOSSIL WHALE

105 — DOES THE WHALE’S MAGNITUDE DIMINISH? — WILL HE PERISH?

106 — AHAB’S LEG

107 — THE CARPENTER

108 — AHAB AND THE CARPENTER

109 — AHAB AND STARBUCK IN THE CABIN

110 — QUEEQUEG IN HIS COFFIN

111 — THE PACIFIC

112 — THE BLACKSMITH

113 — THE FORGE

114 — THE GILDER

115 — THE PEQUOD MEETS THE BACHELOR

116 — THE DYING WHALE

117 — THE WHALE WATCH

118 — THE QUADRANT

119 — THE CANDLES

120 — THE DECK TOWARDS THE END OF THE FIRST NIGHT WATCH

121 — MIDNIGHT — THE FORECASTLE BULWARKS

122 — MIDNIGHT ALOFT — THUNDER AND LIGHTNING

123 — THE MUSKET

124 — THE NEEDLE

125 — THE LOG AND LINE

126 — THE LIFE-BUOY

127 — THE DECK

128 — THE PEQUOD MEETS THE RACHEL

129 — THE CABIN

130 — THE HAT

131 — THE PEQUOD MEETS THE DELIGHT

132 — THE SYMPHONY

133 — THE CHASE — FIRST DAY

134 — THE CHASE — SECOND DAY

135 — THE CHASE — THIRD DAY

EPILOGUE

IMPRESSUM

IN TOKEN OF MY AD­MIR­A­TION FOR HIS GENI­US,
THIS BOOK IS IN­SCRIBED TO NATH­ANIEL HAWTHORNE.

ETYMOLOGY

(Supplied by a Late Consumptive Usher to a Grammar School.)

The pale Ush­er — thread­bare in coat, heart, body, and brain; I see him now. He was ever dust­ing his old lex­icons and gram­mars,
with a queer handker­chief, mock­ingly em­bel­lished with all the gay flags of all the known na­tions of the world.
He loved to dust his old gram­mars; it some­how mildly re­minded him of his mor­tal­ity.
ETY­MO­LOGY
“While you take in hand to school oth­ers, and to teach them by what name a whale-fish is to be called in our tongue,
leav­ing out, through ig­nor­ance, the let­ter H, which al­most alone maketh up the sig­ni­fic­a­tion of the word, you de­liv­er that which is not true.”
Hackluyt.
“WHALE. * * * Sw. and Dan. hval. This an­im­al is named from round­ness or rolling; for in Dan. hvalt is arched or vaul­ted.”
Web­ster’s Dic­tion­ary.
“WHALE. * * * It is more im­me­di­ately from the Dut. and Ger. Wal­len; A.S. Walw-ian, to roll, to wal­low.”
Richard­son’s Dic­tion­ary.
תז Hebrew.
κητοϛ Greek.
CETUS, Lat­in.
WHŒL, Anglo-Sax­on.
HVALT, Dan­ish.
WAL, Dutch.
HWAL, Swedish.
HVALUR, Iceland­ic.
WHALE, Eng­lish.
BALEINE, French.
BAL­LENA, Span­ish.
PE­KEE-NUEE-NUEE, Fegee.
PE­HEE-NUEE-NUEE, Er­ro­man­goan.

EXTRACTS

(Supplied by a Sub-Sub-Librarian.)

It will be seen that this mere painstak­ing bur­row­er and grub-worm of a poor dev­il of a Sub-Sub
ap­pears to have gone through the long Vat­ic­ans and street-stalls of the earth,
pick­ing up whatever ran­dom al­lu­sions to whales he could any­ways find in any book what­so­ever, sac­red or pro­fane.
There­fore you must not, in every case at least, take the higgledy-piggledy whale state­ments, however au­then­t­ic, in these ex­tracts, for ver­it­able gos­pel cet­o­logy. Far from it.
As touch­ing the an­cient au­thors gen­er­ally, as well as the po­ets here ap­pear­ing, these ex­tracts are solely valu­able or en­ter­tain­ing,
as af­ford­ing a glan­cing bird’s eye view of what has been promis­cu­ously said, thought, fan­cied, and sung of Le­viath­an, by many na­tions and gen­er­a­tions, in­clud­ing our own.
So fare thee well, poor dev­il of a Sub-Sub, whose com­ment­at­or I am.
Thou be­longest to that hope­less, sal­low tribe which no wine of this world will ever warm;
and for whom even Pale Sherry would be too rosy-strong;
but with whom one some­times loves to sit, and feel poor-dev­il­ish, too; and grow con­vivi­al upon tears;
and say to them bluntly, with full eyes and empty glasses, and in not al­to­geth­er un­pleas­ant sad­ness — Give it up, Sub-Subs!
For by how much the more pains ye take to please the world, by so much the more shall ye for ever go thank­less!
Would that I could clear out Hamp­ton Court and the Tu­iler­ies for ye!
But gulp down your tears and hie aloft to the roy­al-mast with your hearts;
for your friends who have gone be­fore are clear­ing out the sev­en-stor­ied heav­ens,
and mak­ing refugees of long-pampered Gab­ri­el, Mi­chael, and Raphael, against your com­ing.
Here ye strike but splintered hearts to­geth­er — there, ye shall strike un­splin­ter­able glasses!
EX­TRACTS
“And God cre­ated great whales.”
Gen­es­is.
“Le­viath­an maketh a path to shine after him;
One would think the deep to be hoary.”
Job.
“Now the Lord had pre­pared a great fish to swal­low up Jo­nah.”
Jo­nah.
“There go the ships; there is that Le­viath­an whom thou hast made to play therein.”
Psalms.
“In that day, the Lord with his sore, and great, and strong sword, shall pun­ish Le­viath­an the pier­cing ser­pent, even Le­viath­an that crooked ser­pent;
and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.”
Isai­ah.
“And what thing so­ever be­sides cometh with­in the chaos of this mon­ster’s mouth, be it beast, boat, or stone,
down it goes all in­con­tin­ently that foul great swal­low of his, and per­ish­eth in the bot­tom­less gulf of his paunch.”
Hol­land’s Plut­arch’s Mor­als.
“The In­di­an Sea bree­de­th the most and the biggest fishes that are:
among which the Whales and Whirl­pooles called Balænæ, take up as much in length as four acres or arpens of land.”
Hol­land’s Pliny.
“Scarcely had we pro­ceeded two days on the sea, when about sun­rise a great many Whales and oth­er mon­sters of the sea, ap­peared.
Among the former, one was of a most mon­strous size.
* * This came to­wards us, open-mouthed, rais­ing the waves on all sides, and beat­ing the sea be­fore him into a foam.”
Tooke’s Lu­cian. “The True His­tory.”
“He vis­ited this coun­try also with a view of catch­ing horse-whales,
which had bones of very great value for their teeth, of which he brought some to the king. * * *
The best whales were catched in his own coun­try, of which some were forty-eight, some fifty yards long.
He said that he was one of six who had killed sixty in two days.”
Oth­er or Octh­er’s verbal nar­rat­ive taken down from his mouth by King Al­fred. A.D. 890.
“And where­as all the oth­er things, wheth­er beast or ves­sel, that enter into the dread­ful gulf of this mon­ster’s (whale’s) mouth, are im­me­di­ately lost and swal­lowed up,
the sea-gudgeon re­tires into it in great se­cur­ity, and there sleeps.”
MON­TAIGNE. — Apo­logy for Rai­mond Se­bond.
“Let us fly, let us fly! Old Nick take me if it is not Le­viath­an de­scribed by the noble proph­et Moses in the life of pa­tient Job.”
Ra­belais.
“This whale’s liv­er was two cart-loads.”
Stowe’s An­nals.
“The great Le­viath­an that maketh the seas to seethe like boil­ing pan.”
Lord Ba­con’s Ver­sion of the Psalms.
“Touch­ing that mon­strous bulk of the whale or work we have re­ceived noth­ing cer­tain.
They grow ex­ceed­ing fat, in­somuch that an in­cred­ible quant­ity of oil will be ex­trac­ted out of one whale.”
Ibid. “His­tory of Life and Death.”
“The sov­er­eignest thing on earth is par­ma­cetti for an in­ward bruise.”
King Henry.
“Very like a whale.”
Ham­let.
“Which to re­cure, no skill of leach’s art
Mote him availle, but to re­turne againe

To his wound’s work­er, that with lovely dart,
Dint­ing his breast, had bred his rest­less paine,

Like as the wounded whale to shore flies from the maine.”
The Fair­ie Queen.
“Im­mense as whales, the mo­tion of whose vast bod­ies can in a peace­ful calm trouble the ocean till it boil.”
Sir Wil­li­am Dav­en­ant. Pre­face to Gond­ibert.
“What sper­ma­cetti is, men might justly doubt, since the learned Hos­man­nus in his work of thirty years, saith plainly, Nes­cio quid sit.”
Sir T. Browne. Of Sperma Ceti and the Sperma Ceti Whale. Vide his V.E.
“Like Spen­cer’s Talus with his iron flail
He threatens ruin with his pon­der­ous tail.
* * * * * *

Their fixed jav’lins in his side he wears,
And on his back a grove of pikes ap­pears.”
Wall­er’s Battle of the Sum­mer Is­lands.
“By art is cre­ated that great Le­viath­an, called a Com­mon­wealth or State
— (in Lat­in, Civ­itas) which is but an ar­ti­fi­cial man.”
Open­ing sen­tence of Hobbes’s Le­viath­an.
“Silly Man­soul swal­lowed it without chew­ing, as if it had been a sprat in the mouth of a whale.”
Pil­grim’s Pro­gress.
“That sea beast
Le­viath­an, which God of all his works
Cre­ated hugest that swim the ocean stream.”
Para­dise Lost.
— “There Le­viath­an,
Hugest of liv­ing creatures, in the deep
Stretched like a promon­tory sleeps or swims,

And seems a mov­ing land; and at his gills
Draws in, and at his trunk spouts out a sea.”
Ibid.
“The mighty whales which swim in a sea of wa­ter, and have a sea of oil swim­ming in them.”
Fuller’s Pro­fane and Holy State.
“So close be­hind some promon­tory lie
The huge Le­viath­ans to at­tend their prey,

And give no chance, but swal­low in the fry,
Which through their gap­ing jaws mis­take the way.”
Dry­den’s An­nus Mirabil­is.
“While the whale is float­ing, at the stern of the ship, they cut off his head, and tow it with a boat as near the shore as it will come;
but it will be aground in twelve or thir­teen feet wa­ter.”
Thomas Edge’s Ten Voy­ages to Spitzber­gen, in Pur­chass.
“In their way they saw many whales sport­ing in the ocean, and in wan­ton­ness fuzz­ing up the wa­ter through their pipes and vents,
which nature has placed on their shoulders.”
Sir T. Her­bert’s Voy­ages into Asia and Africa. Har­ris Coll.
“Here they saw such huge troops of whales, that they were forced to pro­ceed with a great deal of cau­tion
for fear they should run their ship upon them.”
Schouten’s Sixth Cir­cum­nav­ig­a­tion.
“We set sail from the Elbe, wind N. E. in the ship called The Jo­nas-in-the-Whale. * * *
Some say the whale can’t open his mouth, but that is a fable. * * *
They fre­quently climb up the masts to see wheth­er they can see a whale, for the first dis­cover­er has a ducat for his pains. * * *
I was told of a whale taken near Sh­et­land, that had above a bar­rel of her­rings in his belly. * * *
One of our har­poon­eers told me that he caught once a whale in Spitzber­gen that was white all over.”
A Voy­age to Green­land, A.D. 1671. Har­ris Coll.
“Sev­er­al whales have come in upon this coast (Fife).
Anno 1652, one eighty feet in length of the whale-bone kind came in, which, (as I was in­formed)
be­side a vast quant­ity of oil, did af­ford 500 weight of baleen. The jaws of it stand for a gate in the garden of Pit­fer­ren.”
Sib­bald’s Fife and Kinross.
“My­self have agreed to try wheth­er I can mas­ter and kill this Sper­ma­ceti whale, for I could nev­er hear of any of
that sort that was killed by any man, such is his fierce­ness and swift­ness.”
Richard Straf­ford’s Let­ter from the Ber­mu­das. Phil. Trans. A.D. 1668.
“Whales in the sea
God’s voice obey.”
N. E. Primer.
“We saw also abund­ance of large whales, there be­ing more in those south­ern seas, as I may say, by a hun­dred to one; than we have to the north­ward of us.”
Cap­tain Cow­ley’s Voy­age round the Globe. A.D. 1.729.
* * * * * “and the breath of the whale is fre­quently at­ten­ded with such an in­sup­port­able smell, as to bring on a dis­order of the brain.”
Ulloa’s South Amer­ica.
“To fifty chosen sylphs of spe­cial note,
We trust the im­port­ant charge, the pet­ti­coat.

Oft have we known that sev­en-fold fence to fail,
Tho’ stuffed with hoops and armed with ribs of whale.”
Rape of the Lock.
“If we com­pare land an­im­als in re­spect to mag­nitude, with those that take up their abode in the deep, we shall find they will ap­pear con­tempt­ible in the com­par­is­on.
The whale is doubt­less the largest an­im­al in cre­ation.”
Gold­smith, Nat. Hist.
“If you should write a fable for little fishes, you would make them speak like great whales.”
Gold­smith to John­son.
In the af­ter­noon we saw what was sup­posed to be a rock,
but it was found to be a dead whale, which some Asi­at­ics had killed, and were then tow­ing ashore.
They seemed to en­deavor to con­ceal them­selves be­hind the whale, in or­der to avoid be­ing seen by us.”
Cook’s Voy­ages.
“The lar­ger whales, they sel­dom ven­ture to at­tack.
They stand in so great dread of some of them, that when out at sea they are afraid to men­tion even their names,
and carry dung, lime-stone, ju­ni­per-wood, and some oth­er art­icles of the same nature in their boats, in or­der to ter­rify and pre­vent their too near ap­proach.”
Uno Von Troil’s Let­ters on Banks’s and So­lan­der’s Voy­age to Ice­land in 1772.
“The Sper­ma­cetti Whale found by the Nan­tuckois, is an act­ive, fierce an­im­al, and re­quires vast ad­dress and bold­ness in the fish­er­men.”
Thomas Jef­fer­son’s Whale Me­mori­al to the French min­is­ter in 1778.
“And pray, sir, what in the world is equal to it?”
Ed­mund Burke’s ref­er­ence in Par­lia­ment to the Nan­tuck­et Whale-Fish­ery.
“Spain — a great whale stran­ded on the shores of Europe.”
Ed­mund Burke. (some­where.)
“A tenth branch of the king’s or­din­ary rev­en­ue, said to be groun­ded on the con­sid­er­a­tion of his guard­ing and pro­tect­ing the seas from pir­ates and rob­bers,
is the right to roy­al fish, which are whale and stur­geon.
And these, when either thrown ashore or caught near the coast, are the prop­erty of the king.”
Black­stone.
“Soon to the sport of death the crews re­pair:
Rod­mond un­err­ing o’er his head sus­pends
The barbed steel, and every turn at­tends.”
Fal­con­er’s Ship­wreck.
“Bright shone the roofs, the domes, the spires,
And rock­ets blew self driv­en,
To hang their mo­ment­ary fire
Around the vault of heav­en.
“So fire with wa­ter to com­pare,
The ocean serves on high,
Up-spouted by a whale in air,
To ex­press un­wieldy joy.”
Cowper, on the Queen’s Vis­it to Lon­don.
“Ten or fif­teen gal­lons of blood are thrown out of the heart at a stroke, with im­mense ve­lo­city.”
John Hunter’s ac­count of the dis­sec­tion of a whale. (A small sized one.)
“The aorta of a whale is lar­ger in the bore than the main pipe of the wa­ter-works at Lon­don Bridge,
and the wa­ter roar­ing in its pas­sage through that pipe is in­feri­or in im­petus and ve­lo­city to the blood gush­ing from the whale’s heart.”
Pa­ley’s Theo­logy.
“The whale is a mam­mi­fer­ous an­im­al without hind feet.”
Bar­on Cu­vi­er.
“In 40 de­grees south, we saw Sper­ma­cetti Whales, but did not take any till the first of May, the sea be­ing then covered with them.”
Col­nett’s Voy­age for the Pur­pose of Ex­tend­ing the Sper­ma­cetti Whale Fish­ery.
“In the free ele­ment be­neath me swam,
Floundered and dived, in play, in chace, in battle,

Fishes of every col­or, form, and kind;
Which lan­guage can­not paint, and mar­iner

Had nev­er seen; from dread Le­viath­an
To in­sect mil­lions peopling every wave:

Gath­er’d in shoals im­mense, like float­ing is­lands,
Led by mys­ter­i­ous in­stincts through that waste

And track­less re­gion, though on every side
As­saul­ted by vo­ra­cious en­emies,

Whales, sharks, and mon­sters, arm’d in front or jaw,
With swords, saws, spir­al horns, or hooked fangs.”
Mont­gomery’s World be­fore the Flood.
“Io! Pæan! Io! sing,
To the finny people’s king.

Not a migh­ti­er whale than this
In the vast At­lantic is;

Not a fat­ter fish than he,
Flounders round the Po­lar Sea.”
Charles Lamb’s Tri­umph of the Whale.
“In the year 1690 some per­sons were on a high hill ob­serving the whales spout­ing and sport­ing with each oth­er, when one ob­served;
there — point­ing to the sea — is a green pas­ture where our chil­dren’s grand-chil­dren will go for bread.”
Obed Macy’s His­tory of Nan­tuck­et.
“I built a cot­tage for Susan and my­self and made a gate­way in the form of a Goth­ic Arch, by set­ting up a whale’s jaw bones.”
Hawthorne’s Twice Told Tales.
“She came to be­speak a monu­ment for her first love,
who had been killed by a whale in the Pa­cific ocean, no less than forty years ago.”
Ibid.
“No, Sir, ’tis a Right Whale,” answered Tom;
“I saw his spout; he threw up a pair of as pretty rain­bows as a Chris­ti­an would wish to look at.
He’s a raal oil-butt, that fel­low!”
Cooper’s Pi­lot.
“The pa­pers were brought in, and we saw in the Ber­lin Gaz­ette that whales had been in­tro­duced on the stage there.”
Eck­er­mann’s Con­ver­sa­tions with Goethe.
“My God! Mr. Chace, what is the mat­ter?” I answered, “we have been stove by a whale.”
“Nar­rat­ive of the Ship­wreck of the Whale Ship Es­sex of Nan­tuck­et,
which was at­tacked and fi­nally des­troyed by a large Sperm Whale in the Pa­cific Ocean.”
By Owen Chace of Nan­tuck­et, first mate of said ves­sel. New York. 1821.
“A mar­iner sat in the shrouds one night,
The wind was pip­ing free;

Now bright, now dimmed, was the moon­light pale,
And the pho­s­pher gleamed in the wake of the whale,
As it floundered in the sea.”
Eliza­beth Oakes Smith.
“The quant­ity of line with­drawn from the dif­fer­ent boats en­gaged in the cap­ture of this one whale, amoun­ted al­to­geth­er to 10,440 yards or nearly six Eng­lish miles.” * * *
“Some­times the whale shakes its tre­mend­ous tail in the air, which, crack­ing like a whip, re­sounds to the dis­tance of three or four miles.”
Scoresby.
“Mad with the ag­on­ies he en­dures from these fresh at­tacks, the in­furi­ated Sperm Whale rolls over and over;
he rears his enorm­ous head, and with wide ex­pan­ded jaws snaps at everything around him;
he rushes at the boats with his head; they are pro­pelled be­fore him with vast swift­ness, and some­times ut­terly des­troyed.
* * * It is a mat­ter of great as­ton­ish­ment that the con­sid­er­a­tion of the habits of so in­ter­est­ing,
and, in a com­mer­cial point of view, of so im­port­ant an an­im­al (as the Sperm Whale) should have been so en­tirely neg­lected, or should have ex­cited so little curi­os­ity
among the nu­mer­ous, and many of them com­pet­ent ob­serv­ers, that of late years must have pos­sessed the most abund­ant and the most con­veni­ent op­por­tun­it­ies of wit­ness­ing their habitudes.”
Thomas Beale’s His­tory of the Sperm Whale, 1839.
“The Cach­alot” (Sperm Whale) “is not only bet­ter armed than the True Whale” (Green­land or Right Whale) “in pos­sess­ing a for­mid­able weapon at either ex­tremity of its body,
but also more fre­quently dis­plays a dis­pos­i­tion to em­ploy these weapons of­fens­ively, and in a man­ner at once so art­ful, bold, and mis­chiev­ous,
as to lead to its be­ing re­garded as the most dan­ger­ous to at­tack of all the known spe­cies of the whale tribe.”
Fre­d­er­ick De­bell Ben­nett’s Whal­ing Voy­age Round the Globe. 1840.
Oc­to­ber 13. “There she blows,” was sung out from the masthead.
“Where away?” de­man­ded the cap­tain.
“Three points off the lee bow, sir.”
“Raise up your wheel. Steady!”
“Steady, sir.”
“Mast-head ahoy! Do you see that whale now?”
“Ay ay, sir! A shoal of Sperm Whales! There she blows! There she breaches!”
“Sing out! sing out every time!”
“Ay ay, sir! There she blows! there — there — thar she blows — bowes — bo-o-o-s!”
“How far off?”
“Two miles and a half.”
“Thun­der and light­ning! so near! Call all hands!”
J. Ross Browne’s Etch­ings of a Whal­ing Cruize. 1846.
“The Whale-ship Globe, on board of which ves­sel oc­curred the hor­rid trans­ac­tions we are about to re­late, be­longed to the is­land of Nan­tuck­et.”
“Nar­rat­ive of the Globe Mutiny,” by Lay and Hus­sey, sur­viv­ors. A.D. 1828.
“Be­ing once pur­sued by a whale which he had wounded, he par­ried the as­sault for some time with a lance;
but the furi­ous mon­ster at length rushed on the boat;
him­self and com­rades only be­ing pre­served by leap­ing into the wa­ter when they saw the on­set was in­ev­it­able.”
Mis­sion­ary Journ­al of Ty­er­man and Ben­nett.
“Nan­tuck­et it­self,” said Mr. Web­ster, “is a very strik­ing and pe­cu­li­ar por­tion of the Na­tion­al in­terest.
There is a pop­u­la­tion of eight or nine thou­sand per­sons, liv­ing here in the sea, adding largely every year to the Na­tion­al wealth by the bold­est and most per­sever­ing in­dustry.”
Re­port of Daniel Web­ster’s Speech in the U.S. Sen­ate, on the ap­plic­a­tion for the Erec­tion of a Break­wa­ter at Nan­tuck­et. 1828.
“The whale fell dir­ectly over him, and prob­ably killed him in a mo­ment.”
“The Whale and his Captors, or The Whale­man’s Ad­ven­tures and the Whale’s Bio­graphy,
gathered on the Home­ward Cruise of the Com­modore Preble.” By Rev. Henry T. Cheever.
“If you make the least damn bit of noise,” replied Samuel, “I will send you to hell.”
Life of Samuel Com­stock (the mutin­eer), by his broth­er, Wil­li­am Com­stock.
An­oth­er Ver­sion of the whale-ship Globe nar­rat­ive.
“The voy­ages of the Dutch and Eng­lish to the North­ern Ocean, in or­der, if pos­sible, to dis­cov­er a pas­sage through it to In­dia,
though they failed of their main ob­ject, laid open the haunts of the whale.”
McCulloch’s Com­mer­cial Dic­tion­ary.
“These things are re­cip­roc­al; the ball re­bounds, only to bound for­ward again;
for now in lay­ing open the haunts of the whale, the whale­men seem to have in­dir­ectly hit upon new clews to that same mys­tic North-West Pas­sage.”
From “Something” un­pub­lished.
“It is im­possible to meet a whale-ship on the ocean without be­ing struck by her near ap­pear­ance.
The ves­sel un­der short sail, with look-outs at the mast-heads, eagerly scan­ning the wide ex­panse around them,
has a totally dif­fer­ent air from those en­gaged in a reg­u­lar voy­age.”
Cur­rents and Whal­ing. U.S. Ex. Ex.
“Ped­es­tri­ans in the vi­cin­ity of Lon­don and else­where may re­col­lect hav­ing seen large curved bones set up­right in the earth,
either to form arches over gate­ways, or en­trances to al­coves, and they may per­haps have been told that these were the ribs of whales.”
Tales of a Whale Voy­ager to the Arc­tic Ocean.
“It was not till the boats re­turned from the pur­suit of these whales, that the whites saw their ship in bloody pos­ses­sion of the sav­ages en­rolled among the crew.”
News­pa­per Ac­count of the Tak­ing and Re­tak­ing of the Whale-ship Hobomack.
“It is gen­er­ally well known that out of the crews of Whal­ing ves­sels (Amer­ic­an) few ever re­turn in the ships on board of which they de­par­ted.”
Cruise in a Whale Boat.
“Sud­denly a mighty mass emerged from the wa­ter, and shot up per­pen­dic­u­larly into the air. It was the whale.”
Miri­am Coffin or the Whale Fish­er­men.
“The Whale is har­pooned to be sure; but be­think you, how you would man­age a power­ful un­broken colt,
with the mere ap­pli­ance of a rope tied to the root of his tail.”
A Chapter on Whal­ing in Ribs and Trucks.
“On one oc­ca­sion I saw two of these mon­sters (whales) prob­ably male and fe­male, slowly swim­ming, one after the oth­er,
with­in less than a stone’s throw of the shore” (Terra Del Fuego), “over which the beech tree ex­ten­ded its branches.”
Dar­win’s Voy­age of a Nat­ur­al­ist.
“‘Stern all!’ ex­claimed the mate, as upon turn­ing his head,
he saw the dis­ten­ded jaws of a large Sperm Whale close to the head of the boat, threat­en­ing it with in­stant de­struc­tion; — ‘Stern all, for your lives!’”
Whar­ton the Whale Killer.
“So be cheery, my lads, let your hearts nev­er fail,
While the bold har­poon­eer is strik­ing the whale!”
Nan­tuck­et Song.
“Oh, the rare old Whale, mid storm and gale
In his ocean home will be
A gi­ant in might, where might is right,
And King of the bound­less sea.”
Whale Song.

MOBY DICK

1 — LOOMINGS

Call me Ish­mael. Some years ago — nev­er mind how long pre­cisely — hav­ing little or no money in my purse, and noth­ing par­tic­u­lar to in­terest me on shore,
I thought I would sail about a little and see the wa­tery part of the world.
It is a way I have of driv­ing off the spleen, and reg­u­lat­ing the cir­cu­la­tion.
Whenev­er I find my­self grow­ing grim about the mouth; whenev­er it is a damp, drizzly Novem­ber in my soul;
whenev­er I find my­self in­vol­un­tar­ily paus­ing be­fore coffin ware­houses, and bring­ing up the rear of every fu­ner­al I meet;
and es­pe­cially whenev­er my hy­pos get such an up­per hand of me, that it re­quires a strong mor­al prin­ciple to pre­vent me from de­lib­er­ately step­ping into the street,
and meth­od­ic­ally knock­ing people’s hats off — then, I ac­count it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.
This is my sub­sti­tute for pis­tol and ball. With a philo­soph­ic­al flour­ish Cato throws him­self upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
There is noth­ing sur­pris­ing in this. If they but knew it, al­most all men in their de­gree, some time or oth­er, cher­ish very nearly the same feel­ings to­wards the ocean with me.
There now is your in­su­lar city of the Man­hat­toes, belted round by wharves as In­di­an isles by cor­al reefs — com­merce sur­rounds it with her surf.
Right and left, the streets take you wa­ter­ward.
Its ex­treme down-town is the Bat­tery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes,
which a few hours pre­vi­ous were out of sight of land. Look at the crowds of wa­ter-gazers there.
Cir­cum­am­bu­late the city of a dreamy Sab­bath af­ter­noon. Go from Cor­lears Hook to Coen­ties Slip, and from thence, by White­hall, north­ward.
What do you see? — Pos­ted like si­lent sen­tinels all around the town, stand thou­sands upon thou­sands of mor­tal men fixed in ocean rev­er­ies.
Some lean­ing against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads;
some look­ing over the bul­warks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rig­ging, as if striv­ing to get a still bet­ter sea­ward peep.
But these are all lands­men; of week days pent up in lath and plaster —
tied to coun­ters, nailed to benches, clinched to desks.
How then is this? Are the green fields gone? What do they here?
But look! here come more crowds, pa­cing straight for the wa­ter, and seem­ingly bound for a dive.
Strange! Noth­ing will con­tent them but the ex­tremest lim­it of the land;
loiter­ing un­der the shady lee of yon­der ware­houses will not suf­fice.
No. They must get just as nigh the wa­ter as they pos­sibly can without fall­ing in. And there they stand — miles of them — leagues.
In­land­ers all, they come from lanes and al­leys, streets and av­en­ues — north, east, south, and west. Yet here they all unite.
Tell me, does the mag­net­ic vir­tue of the needles of the com­passes of all those ships at­tract them thith­er?
Once more. Say, you are in the coun­try; in some high land of lakes.
Take al­most any path you please, and ten to one it car­ries you down in a dale, and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is ma­gic in it.
Let the most ab­sent-minded of men be plunged in his deep­est rev­er­ies — stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-go­ing,
and he will in­fal­libly lead you to wa­ter, if wa­ter there be in all that re­gion.
Should you ever be athirst in the great Amer­ic­an desert, try this ex­per­i­ment, if your cara­van hap­pen to be sup­plied with a meta­phys­ic­al pro­fess­or.
Yes, as every one knows, med­it­a­tion and wa­ter are wed­ded for ever.
But here is an artist. He de­sires to paint you the dream­i­est, shadiest, quietest, most en­chant­ing bit of ro­mantic land­scape in all the val­ley of the Saco.
What is the chief ele­ment he em­ploys? There stand his trees, each with a hol­low trunk, as if a her­mit and a cru­ci­fix were with­in;
and here sleeps his mead­ow, and there sleep his cattle; and up from yon­der cot­tage goes a sleepy smoke.
Deep into dis­tant wood­lands winds a mazy way, reach­ing to over­lap­ping spurs of moun­tains bathed in their hill-side blue.
But though the pic­ture lies thus tranced, and though this pine-tree shakes down its sighs like leaves upon this shep­herd’s head,
yet all were vain, un­less the shep­herd’s eye were fixed upon the ma­gic stream be­fore him.
Go vis­it the Prair­ies in June, when for scores on scores of miles you wade knee-deep among Ti­ger-lilies — what is the one charm want­ing?
— Wa­ter — there is not a drop of wa­ter there! Were Niagara but a catar­act of sand, would you travel your thou­sand miles to see it?
Why did the poor poet of Ten­ness­ee, upon sud­denly re­ceiv­ing two hand­fuls of sil­ver,
de­lib­er­ate wheth­er to buy him a coat, which he sadly needed, or in­vest his money in a ped­es­tri­an trip to Rock­away Beach?
Why is al­most every ro­bust healthy boy with a ro­bust healthy soul in him, at some time or oth­er crazy to go to sea?
Why upon your first voy­age as a pas­sen­ger, did you your­self feel such a mys­tic­al vi­bra­tion,
when first told that you and your ship were now out of sight of land?
Why did the old Per­sians hold the sea holy?
Why did the Greeks give it a sep­ar­ate deity, and own broth­er of Jove? Surely all this is not without mean­ing.
And still deep­er the mean­ing of that story of Nar­cissus, who be­cause he could not grasp the tor­ment­ing,
mild im­age he saw in the foun­tain, plunged into it and was drowned.
But that same im­age, we ourselves see in all rivers and oceans.
It is the im­age of the un­grasp­able phantom of life; and this is the key to it all.
Now, when I say that I am in the habit of go­ing to sea whenev­er I be­gin to grow hazy about the eyes, and be­gin to be over con­scious of my lungs,
I do not mean to have it in­ferred that I ever go to sea as a pas­sen­ger.
For to go as a pas­sen­ger you must needs have a purse, and a purse is but a rag un­less you have something in it.
Be­sides, pas­sen­gers get sea-sick — grow quar­rel­some — don’t sleep of nights —
do not en­joy them­selves much, as a gen­er­al thing — no, I nev­er go as a pas­sen­ger;
nor, though I am something of a salt, do I ever go to sea as a Com­modore, or a Cap­tain, or a Cook.
I aban­don the glory and dis­tinc­tion of such of­fices to those who like them.
For my part, I ab­om­in­ate all hon­or­able re­spect­able toils, tri­als, and tribu­la­tions of every kind what­so­ever.
It is quite as much as I can do to take care of my­self, without tak­ing care of ships, barques, brigs, schoon­ers, and what not.
And as for go­ing as cook,— though I con­fess there is con­sid­er­able glory in that, a cook be­ing a sort of of­ficer on ship-board
— yet, some­how, I nev­er fan­cied broil­ing fowls —
though once broiled, ju­di­ciously buttered, and judg­mat­ic­ally salted and peppered,
there is no one who will speak more re­spect­fully, not to say rev­er­en­tially, of a broiled fowl than I will.
It is out of the id­ol­at­rous dot­ings of the old Egyp­tians upon broiled ibis and roas­ted river horse,
that you see the mum­mies of those creatures in their huge bake-houses the pyr­am­ids.
No, when I go to sea, I go as a simple sail­or, right be­fore the mast, plumb down into the fore­castle, aloft there to the roy­al masthead.
True, they rather or­der me about some, and make me jump from spar to spar, like a grasshop­per in a May mead­ow.
And at first, this sort of thing is un­pleas­ant enough.
It touches one’s sense of hon­or, par­tic­u­larly if you come of an old es­tab­lished fam­ily in the land, the Van Rens­selaers, or Ran­dolphs, or Hardic­a­nutes.
And more than all, if just pre­vi­ous to put­ting your hand into the tar-pot,
you have been lord­ing it as a coun­try school­mas­ter, mak­ing the tallest boys stand in awe of you.
The trans­ition is a keen one, I as­sure you, from a school­mas­ter to a sail­or, and re­quires a strong de­coc­tion of Seneca
and the Stoics to en­able you to grin and bear it. But even this wears off in time.
What of it, if some old hunks of a sea-cap­tain or­ders me to get a broom and sweep down the decks?
What does that in­dig­nity amount to, weighed, I mean, in the scales of the New Test­a­ment?
Do you think the archangel Gab­ri­el thinks any­thing the less of me,
be­cause I promptly and re­spect­fully obey that old hunks in that par­tic­u­lar in­stance? Who aint a slave? Tell me that.
Well, then, however the old sea-cap­tains may or­der me about — however they may thump and punch me about,
I have the sat­is­fac­tion of know­ing that it is all right;
that every­body else is one way or oth­er served in much the same way — either in a phys­ic­al or meta­phys­ic­al point of view, that is;
and so the uni­ver­sal thump is passed round, and all hands should rub each oth­er’s shoulder-blades, and be con­tent.
Again, I al­ways go to sea as a sail­or, be­cause they make a point of pay­ing me for my trouble,
where­as they nev­er pay pas­sen­gers a single penny that I ever heard of.
On the con­trary, pas­sen­gers them­selves must pay. And there is all the dif­fer­ence in the world between pay­ing and be­ing paid.
The act of pay­ing is per­haps the most un­com­fort­able in­flic­tion that the two orch­ard thieves en­tailed upon us.
But be­ing paid,— what will com­pare with it?
The urbane activ­ity with which a man re­ceives money is really mar­vel­lous, con­sid­er­ing that we so earn­estly be­lieve
money to be the root of all earthly ills, and that on no ac­count can a monied man enter heav­en.
Ah! how cheer­fully we con­sign ourselves to per­di­tion!
Fi­nally, I al­ways go to sea as a sail­or, be­cause of the whole­some ex­er­cise and pure air of the fore­castle deck.
For as in this world, head winds are far more pre­val­ent than winds from astern (that is, if you nev­er vi­ol­ate the Py­thagorean max­im),
so for the most part the Com­modore on the quarter-deck gets his at­mo­sphere at second hand from the sail­ors on the fore­castle.
He thinks he breathes it first; but not so.
In much the same way do the com­mon­alty lead their lead­ers in many oth­er things, at the same time that the lead­ers little sus­pect it.
But where­fore it was that after hav­ing re­peatedly smelt the sea as a mer­chant sail­or, I should now take it into my head to go on a whal­ing voy­age;
this the in­vis­ible po­lice of­ficer of the Fates, who has the con­stant sur­veil­lance of me,
and secretly dogs me, and in­flu­ences me in some un­ac­count­able way — he can bet­ter an­swer than any one else.
And, doubt­less, my go­ing on this whal­ing voy­age, formed part of the grand pro­gramme of Provid­ence that was drawn up a long time ago.
It came in as a sort of brief in­ter­lude and solo between more ex­tens­ive per­form­ances.
I take it that this part of the bill must have run something like this:
“Grand Con­tested Elec­tion for the Pres­id­ency of the United States.

“WHAL­ING VOY­AGE BY ONE ISH­MAEL.
“BLOODY BATTLE IN AF­FGH­ANISTAN.”
Though I can­not tell why it was ex­actly that those stage man­agers, the Fates, put me down for this shabby part of a whal­ing voy­age,
when oth­ers were set down for mag­ni­fi­cent parts in high tra­gedies,
and short and easy parts in gen­teel com­ed­ies, and jolly parts in farces — though I can­not tell why this was ex­actly;
yet, now that I re­call all the cir­cum­stances, I think I can see a little into the springs
and motives which be­ing cun­ningly presen­ted to me un­der vari­ous dis­guises, in­duced me to set about per­form­ing the part I did,
be­sides ca­jol­ing me into the de­lu­sion that it was a choice res­ult­ing from my own un­biased freewill and dis­crim­in­at­ing judg­ment.
Chief among these motives was the over­whelm­ing idea of the great whale him­self. Such a portent­ous and mys­ter­i­ous mon­ster roused all my curi­os­ity.
Then the wild and dis­tant seas where he rolled his is­land bulk; the un­deliv­er­able, name­less per­ils of the whale;
these, with all the at­tend­ing mar­vels of a thou­sand Pa­tago­ni­an sights and sounds, helped to sway me to my wish.
With oth­er men, per­haps, such things would not have been in­duce­ments;
but as for me, I am tor­men­ted with an ever­last­ing itch for things re­mote. I love to sail for­bid­den seas, and land on bar­bar­ous coasts.
Not ig­nor­ing what is good, I am quick to per­ceive a hor­ror, and could still be so­cial with it — would they let me —
since it is but well to be on friendly terms with all the in­mates of the place one lodges in.
By reas­on of these things, then, the whal­ing voy­age was wel­come; the great flood-gates of the won­der-world swung open,
and in the wild con­ceits that swayed me to my pur­pose,
two and two there floated into my in­most soul, end­less pro­ces­sions of the whale,
and, mid most of them all, one grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air.

Herman Melville
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale / Moby-Dick oder Der Wal
Zweisprachige Ausgabe
Übersetzt von Alice und Hans Seiffert

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