Sunday, January 11, 2009

Excerpt from Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Chapter X
Bosom Friend

I was a good Christian; born and bred in the bosom of the infallible Presbyterian Church. How then could I unite with this wild idolater in worshipping his piece of wood? But what is worship, thought I? Do you suppose now, Ishmael, that the magnanimous God of heaven and earth - pagans and all included - can possibly be jealous of an insignificant bit of black wood? Impossible! But what is worship? - To do the will of God - that is worship. And what is the will of God? - To do to my fellow man what I would have my fellow man to do to me - that is the will of God. Now, Queequeg is my fellow man. And what do I wish this Queequeg would do to me? Why, unite with me in my particular Presbyterian form of worship. Consequently, I must unite with him in his; ergo, I must turn idolater. So I kindled the shavings; helped prop up the innocent little idol; offered him burnt biscuit with Queequeg; salaamed before him twice or thrice; kissed his nose; and that done, we undressed and went to bed, at peace with our own consciences and all the world. But we did not go to sleep without some small chat.

How is it I know not; but there is no place like a bed for confidential disclosures between friends. Man and wife, they say, there open the very bottom of their souls to each other; and some old couples often lie and chat over old times till nearly the morning. Thus, then, in our hearts' honeymoon, lay I and Queequeg - a cozy, loving pair.

Saturday, January 3, 2009