It has about it the ring of reality; the language is sometimes pithy and vigorous; and now and then we meet with apt metaphors, such as those borrowed from boxing (i.
Beetles and crickets abound; and now and then a blind crawfish darts through the waters; but as compared with many caverns the fauna and flora are not abundant.
Until Cabaco's published discovery, the sailors had little foreseen it, though to be sure when, after being a little while out of port, all hands had concluded the customary business of fitting the whaleboats for service; when some time after this Ahab was now and then found bestirring himself in the matter of making thole-pins with his own hands for what was thought to be one of the spare boats, and even solicitously cutting the small wooden skewers, which when the line is running out are pinned over the groove in the bow: when all this was observed in him, and particularly his solicitude in having an extra coat of sheathing in the bottom of the boat, as if to make it better withstand the pointed pressure of his ivory limb; and also the anxiety he evinced in exactly shaping the thigh board, or clumsy cleat, as it is sometimes called, the horizontal piece in the boat's bow for bracing the knee against in darting or stabbing at the whale; when it was observed how often he stood up in that boat with his solitary knee fixed in the semi-circular depression in the cleat, and with the carpenter's chisel gouged out a little here and straightened it a little there; all these things, I say, had awakened much interest and curiosity at the time.
Anxious to retain so promising an adherent, and probably desirous at the same time to avoid public scandal, the chiefs of the community offered him a yearly pension of r000 florins if he would outwardly conform and appear now and then in the synagogue.
However, by dint of beating about a little in the dark, and now and then knocking up a peaceable inhabitant to inquire the way, we at last came to something which there was no mistaking.
Yet was this half-horrible stolidity in him, involving, too, as it appeared, an all-ramifying heartlessness;--yet was it oddly dashed at times, with an old, crutch-like, antediluvian, wheezing humorousness, not unstreaked now and then with a certain grizzled wittiness; such as might have served to pass the time during the midnight watch on the bearded forecastle of Noah's ark.
The curly- headed, delicate boy sat with shining eyes unnoticed in a corner, starting every now and then and muttering something to himself, and evidently experiencing a new and powerful emotion as he turned his curly head, with his thin neck exposed by his turn-down collar, toward the place where Pierre sat.
As an overladen Indiaman bearing down the Hindostan coast with a deck load of frightened horses, careens, buries, rolls, and wallows on her way; so did this old whale heave his aged bulk, and now and then partly turning over on his cumbrous rib-ends, expose the cause of his devious wake in the unnatural stump of his starboard fin.
It is natural that Lotze, having this great and final conception always before him, works under its influence from the very beginning of his speculations, permitting us, as we progress, to gain every now and then a glimpse of that interpretation of things which to him contains the solution of our difficulties.
The host and hostess look toward the door, and now and then glance at one another, and the visitors try to guess from these glances who, or what, they are waiting for--some important relation who has not yet arrived, or a dish that is not yet ready.