Moby-Dick/Chapter 39

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(Stubb solus, and mending a brace.)

Ha! ha! ha! ha! hem! clear my throat!—I’ve been thinking over it ever since, and that ha, ha’s the final consequence.  Why so?  Because a laugh’s the wisest, easiest answer to all that’s queer; and come what will, one comfort’s always left— that unfailing comfort is, it’s all predestinated.  I heard not all his talk with Starbuck; but to my poor eye Starbuck then looked something as I the other evening felt.  Be sure the old Mogul has fixed him, too.  I twigged it, knew it; had had the gift, might readily have prophesied it—for when I clapped my eye upon his skull I saw it.  Well, Stubb, wise Stubb— that’s my title—well, Stubb, what of it, Stubb?  Here’s a carcase.  I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.  Such a waggish leering as lurks in all your horribles!  I feel funny.  Fa, la! lirra, skirra!  What’s my juicy little pear at home doing now?  Crying its eyes out?— Giving a party to the last arrived harpooneers, I dare say, gay as a frigate’s pennant, and so am I—fa, la! lirra, skirra!  Oh—

We’ll drink to-night with hearts as light,
To love, as gay and fleeting
As bubbles that swim, on the beaker’s brim,
And break on the lips while meeting.

A brave stave that—who calls?  Mr. Starbuck?  Aye, aye, sir— (Aside) he’s my superior, he has his too, if I’m not mistaken.— Aye, aye, sir, just through with this job—coming.