Moby Dick: Or, The Whale (Paperback)
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Call me Ishmael. Some years ago-never mind how long precisely-having little or nomoney in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sailabout a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleenand regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth;whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarilypausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; andespecially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strongmoral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodicallyknocking people's hats off-then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This ismy substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon hissword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelingstowards the ocean with me.There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted round by wharves as Indian islesby coral reefs-commerce surrounds it with her surf. Right and left, the streets take youwaterward. Its extreme downtown is the battery, where that noble mole is washed bywaves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land. Look atthe crowds of water-gazers there.