The life-buoy--a long slender cask--was dropped from the stern, where it always hung obedient to a cunning spring; but no hand rose to seize it, and the sun having long beat upon this cask it had shrunken, so that it slowly filled, and that parched wood also filled at its every pore; and the studded iron-bound cask followed the sailor to the bottom, as if to yield him his pillow, though in sooth but a hard one.
Cupellus, cup, diminutive of cupa, tub, cask (see Drinkingvessels).
A popular legend represents the bishop as descending from the window of his cell by a rope which friends had conveyed to him in a cask of wine.
The lost life-buoy was now to be replaced; Starbuck was directed to see to it; but as no cask of sufficient lightness could be found, and as in the feverish eagerness of what seemed the approaching crisis of the voyage, all hands were impatient of any toil but what was directly connected with its final end, whatever that might prove to be; therefore, they were going to leave the ship's stern unprovided with a buoy, when by certain strange signs and inuendoes Queequeg hinted a hint concerning his coffin.
Later, earthenware vessels were employed, but the wooden cask -not to mention the glass bottle-was not generally known until a much later period.
The great hatch is scrubbed and placed upon the try-works, completely hiding the pots; every cask is out of sight; all tackles are coiled in unseen nooks; and when by the combined and simultaneous industry of almost the entire ship's company, the whole of this conscientious duty is at last concluded, then the crew themselves proceed to their own ablutions; shift themselves from top to toe; and finally issue to the immaculate deck, fresh and all aglow, as bridegrooms new-leaped from out the daintiest Holland.
So deep did they go; and so ancient, and corroded, and weedy the aspect of the lowermost puncheons, that you almost looked next for some mouldy corner-stone cask containing coins of Captain Noah, with copies of the posted placards, vainly warning the infatuated old world from the flood.
According to Skeat, the origin is to be found in the name for a cask or liquid measure appearing in various forms in several Teutonic languages, in Dutch oxhooft (modern okshoofd), Dan.
After five to eight years it may become an amontillado, and if it is left in cask and allowed to develop, it will, after it attains an age of nine to fourteen years, become an oloroso, and still later it may become a secco.
As a rule, wines which are kept for many years in cask become very dry, and the loss of alcohol by evaporation - particularly in the case of light wines - has as a result the production of acidity by oxidation.