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Moby Dick: or, the White Whale by Herman Melville
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MOBY DICK;
OR THE WHALE

by Herman Melville




CHAPTER 1

Loomings



Call me Ishmael. Some years ago--never mind how long precisely--
having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular
to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little
and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have
of driving off the spleen and 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 involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses,
and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet;
and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me,
that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from
deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking
people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea
as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball.
With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword;
I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this.