quotations from Moby Dick 1

   a purse is but a rag unless you have something in it

(it) was certainly very coolly done by him, and every one knows that in most people’s estimation, to do anything coolly is to do it genteelly.      re Queequeg’s use of a harpoon at the breakfast table

a good laugh is a mighty good thing, and rather too scarce a good thing; the more’s the pity.  So, if any one man…afford stuff for a good joke to anybody, …let him cheerfully allow himself to spend and be spent in that way.

Jonah’s Captain, Shipmates, was one whose discernment detects crime in any, but whose cupidity exposes it only in the penniless.  In this world, Shipmates, Sin that pays its way can travel freely, and without a passport; whereas Virtue, if a pauper, is stopped at all frontiers.

(Queequeg’s home island) …is not down in any map; true places never are.

Think not, is my eleventh commandment; and sleep when you can, is my twelfth              from Stubb, second-mate

…fabulous rumors naturally grow out of the very body of all surprising events, – as the smitten tree gives birth to its fungi



Author: abookwomansholiday

The perfect holiday for a lifelong reader is one with a stack of books and few distractions. Retiring after three decades as a bookseller, I look forward to reading my way through the stacks and shelves and lists of books waiting for me. This blog will be something of a grab bag or commonplace book of reviews, quotations, notes on the history of books, the contemporary book trade, and anything connected with books and language. Reading is a great pleasure. Thinking and talking about books multiplies and intensifies that pleasure.

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