But the calm, luxurious life of Petersburg, concerned only about phantoms and reflections of real life, went on in its old way and made it hard, except by a great effort, to realize the danger and the difficult position of the Russian people.
But be all this as it may, certain it is that while the subordinate phantoms soon found their place among the crew, though still as it were somehow distinct from them, yet that hair-turbaned Fedallah remained a muffled mystery to the last.
As I sat there in that now lonely room; the fire burning low, in that mild stage when, after its first intensity has warmed the air, it then only glows to be looked at; the evening shades and phantoms gathering round the casements, and peering in upon us silent, solitary twain; the storm booming without in solemn swells; I began to be sensible of strange feelings.
With a start all glared at dark Ahab, who was surrounded by five dusky phantoms that seemed fresh formed out of air.
Sometimes the spirits were summoned to appear as did the phantoms of the Greek heroes to Odysseus; sometimes they were called to enter a crystal (see Crystal-Gazing); sometimes they are merely asked to declare the future or communicate by moving external objects without taking a visible form; thus among the Karens at the close of the burial ceremonies the ghost of the dead man, which is said to hover round till the rites are completed, is believed to make a ring swing round and snap the string from which it hangs.