Sunday, April 01, 2012

Melville's Ships: The Leviathan

Like all large comfortable old whalers, she had a sort of motherly look: - broad in the beam, flush decks, and four chubby boats hanging at the breast. Her sails were furled loosely upon the yards, as if they had been worn long and fitted easily; her shrouds swung negligently slack; and as for the running rigging, it never worked hard as it does in some of your 'dandy ships', jamming in the sheaves of blocks, like Chinese slippers, too small to be useful: on the contrary, the ropes ran glibly through, as if they had many a time travelled the same road, and were used to it.

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