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Chapter 32: Cetology.

	


Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost
in its unshored, harbourless immensities. Ere that come to pass; ere the
Pequod's weedy hull rolls side by side with the barnacled hulls of the
leviathan; at the outset it is but well to attend to a matter almost
indispensable to a thorough appreciative understanding of the more
special leviathanic revelations and allusions of all sorts which are to
follow.

It is some systematized exhibition of the whale in his broad genera,
that I would now fain put before you. Yet is it no easy task. The
classification of the constituents of a chaos, nothing less is here
essayed. Listen to what the best and latest authorities have laid down.

"No branch of Zoology is so much involved as that which is entitled
Cetology," says Captain Scoresby, A.D. 1820.

"It is not my intention, were it in my power, to enter into the
inquiry as to the true method of dividing the cetacea into groups and
families.... Utter confusion exists among the historians of this animal"
(sperm whale), says Surgeon Beale, A.D. 1839.

"Unfitness to pursue our research in the unfathomable waters."
"Impenetrable veil covering our knowledge of the cetacea." "A field
strewn with thorns." "All these incomplete indications but serve to
torture us naturalists."

Thus speak of the whale, the great Cuvier, and John Hunter, and Lesson,
those lights of zoology and anatomy. Nevertheless, though of real
knowledge there be little, yet of books there are a plenty; and so in
some small degree, with cetology, or the science of whales. Many are
the men, small and great, old and new, landsmen and seamen, who have at
large or in little, written of the whale. Run over a few:--The Authors
of the Bible; Aristotle; Pliny; Aldrovandi; Sir Thomas Browne; Gesner;
Ray; Linnaeus; Rondeletius; Willoughby; Green; Artedi; Sibbald; Brisson;
Marten; Lacepede; Bonneterre; Desmarest; Baron Cuvier; Frederick Cuvier;
John Hunter; Owen; Scoresby; Beale; Bennett; J. Ross Browne; the
Author of Miriam Coffin; Olmstead; and the Rev. T. Cheever. But to what
ultimate generalizing purpose all these have written, the above cited
extracts will show.

Of the names in this list of whale authors, only those following Owen
ever saw living whales; and but one of them was a real professional
harpooneer and whaleman. I mean Captain Scoresby. On the separate
subject of the Greenland or right-whale, he is the best existing
authority. But Scoresby knew nothing and says nothing of the great
sperm whale, compared with which the Greenland whale is almost unworthy
mentioning. And here be it said, that the Greenland whale is an usurper
upon the throne of the seas. He is not even by any means the largest
of the whales. Yet, owing to the long priority of his claims, and the
profound ignorance which, till some seventy years back, invested the
then fabulous or utterly unknown sperm-whale, and which ignorance to
this present day still reigns in all but some few scientific retreats
and whale-ports; this usurpation has been every way complete. Reference
to nearly all the leviathanic allusions in the great poets of past days,
will satisfy you that the Greenland whale, without one rival, was to
them the monarch of the seas. But the time has at last come for a new
proclamation. This is Charing Cross; hear ye! good people all,--the
Greenland whale is deposed,--the great sperm whale now reigneth!

There are only two books in being which at all pretend to put the living
sperm whale before you, and at the same time, in the remotest degree
succeed in the attempt. Those books are Beale's and Bennett's; both in
their time surgeons to English South-Sea whale-ships, and both exact and
reliable men. The original matter touching the sperm whale to be found
in their volumes is necessarily small; but so far as it goes, it is of
excellent quality, though mostly confined to scientific description. As
yet, however, the sperm whale, scientific or poetic, lives not complete
in any literature. Far above all other hunted whales, his is an
unwritten life.

Now the various species of whales need some sort of popular
comprehensive classification, if only an easy outline one for the
present, hereafter to be filled in all its departments by subsequent
laborers. As no better man advances to take this matter in hand, I
hereupon offer my own poor endeavors. I promise nothing complete;
because any human thing supposed to be complete, must for that very
reason infallibly be faulty. I shall not pretend to a minute anatomical
description of the various species, or--in this place at least--to much
of any description. My object here is simply to project the draught of a
systematization of cetology. I am the architect, not the builder.

But it is a ponderous task; no ordinary letter-sorter in the Post-Office
is equal to it. To grope down into the bottom of the sea after them;
to have one's hands among the unspeakable foundations, ribs, and very
pelvis of the world; this is a fearful thing. What am I that I should
essay to hook the nose of this leviathan! The awful tauntings in Job
might well appal me. Will he the (leviathan) make a covenant with thee?
Behold the hope of him is vain! But I have swam through libraries and
sailed through oceans; I have had to do with whales with these visible
hands; I am in earnest; and I will try. There are some preliminaries to
settle.

First: The uncertain, unsettled condition of this science of Cetology
is in the very vestibule attested by the fact, that in some quarters it
still remains a moot point whether a whale be a fish. In his System of
Nature, A.D. 1776, Linnaeus declares, "I hereby separate the whales from
the fish." But of my own knowledge, I know that down to the year 1850,
sharks and shad, alewives and herring, against Linnaeus's express edict,
were still found dividing the possession of the same seas with the
Leviathan.

The grounds upon which Linnaeus would fain have banished the whales from
the waters, he states as follows: "On account of their warm bilocular
heart, their lungs, their movable eyelids, their hollow ears, penem
intrantem feminam mammis lactantem," and finally, "ex lege naturae jure
meritoque." I submitted all this to my friends Simeon Macey and Charley
Coffin, of Nantucket, both messmates of mine in a certain voyage, and
they united in the opinion that the reasons set forth were altogether
insufficient. Charley profanely hinted they were humbug.

Be it known that, waiving all argument, I take the good old fashioned
ground that the whale is a fish, and call upon holy Jonah to back me.
This fundamental thing settled, the next point is, in what internal
respect does the whale differ from other fish. Above, Linnaeus has given
you those items. But in brief, they are these: lungs and warm blood;
whereas, all other fish are lungless and cold blooded.

Next: how shall we define the whale, by his obvious externals, so as
conspicuously to label him for all time to come? To be short, then, a
whale is A SPOUTING FISH WITH A HORIZONTAL TAIL. There you have
him. However contracted, that definition is the result of expanded
meditation. A walrus spouts much like a whale, but the walrus is not a
fish, because he is amphibious. But the last term of the definition is
still more cogent, as coupled with the first. Almost any one must have
noticed that all the fish familiar to landsmen have not a flat, but a
vertical, or up-and-down tail. Whereas, among spouting fish the tail,
though it may be similarly shaped, invariably assumes a horizontal
position.

By the above definition of what a whale is, I do by no means exclude
from the leviathanic brotherhood any sea creature hitherto identified
with the whale by the best informed Nantucketers; nor, on the other
hand, link with it any fish hitherto authoritatively regarded as alien.*
Hence, all the smaller, spouting, and horizontal tailed fish must be
included in this ground-plan of Cetology. Now, then, come the grand
divisions of the entire whale host.


*I am aware that down to the present time, the fish styled Lamatins and
Dugongs (Pig-fish and Sow-fish of the Coffins of Nantucket) are included
by many naturalists among the whales. But as these pig-fish are a noisy,
contemptible set, mostly lurking in the mouths of rivers, and feeding on
wet hay, and especially as they do not spout, I deny their credentials
as whales; and have presented them with their passports to quit the
Kingdom of Cetology.


First: According to magnitude I divide the whales into three primary
BOOKS (subdivisible into CHAPTERS), and these shall comprehend them all,
both small and large.

I. THE FOLIO WHALE; II. the OCTAVO WHALE; III. the DUODECIMO WHALE.

As the type of the FOLIO I present the SPERM WHALE; of the OCTAVO, the
GRAMPUS; of the DUODECIMO, the PORPOISE.

FOLIOS. Among these I here include the following chapters:--I. The SPERM
WHALE; II. the RIGHT WHALE; III. the FIN-BACK WHALE; IV. the HUMP-BACKED
WHALE; V. the RAZOR-BACK WHALE; VI. the SULPHUR-BOTTOM WHALE.

BOOK I. (FOLIO), CHAPTER I. (SPERM WHALE).--This whale, among the
English of old vaguely known as the Trumpa whale, and the Physeter
whale, and the Anvil Headed whale, is the present Cachalot of the
French, and the Pottsfich of the Germans, and the Macrocephalus of the
Long Words. He is, without doubt, the largest inhabitant of the globe;
the most formidable of all whales to encounter; the most majestic in
aspect; and lastly, by far the most valuable in commerce; he being
the only creature from which that valuable substance, spermaceti, is
obtained. All his peculiarities will, in many other places, be enlarged
upon. It is chiefly with his name that I now have to do. Philologically
considered, it is absurd. Some centuries ago, when the Sperm whale was
almost wholly unknown in his own proper individuality, and when his oil
was only accidentally obtained from the stranded fish; in those days
spermaceti, it would seem, was popularly supposed to be derived from a
creature identical with the one then known in England as the Greenland
or Right Whale. It was the idea also, that this same spermaceti was that
quickening humor of the Greenland Whale which the first syllable of
the word literally expresses. In those times, also, spermaceti was
exceedingly scarce, not being used for light, but only as an ointment
and medicament. It was only to be had from the druggists as you nowadays
buy an ounce of rhubarb. When, as I opine, in the course of time, the
true nature of spermaceti became known, its original name was still
retained by the dealers; no doubt to enhance its value by a notion so
strangely significant of its scarcity. And so the appellation must at
last have come to be bestowed upon the whale from which this spermaceti
was really derived.

BOOK I. (FOLIO), CHAPTER II. (RIGHT WHALE).--In one respect this is the
most venerable of the leviathans, being the one first regularly hunted
by man. It yields the article commonly known as whalebone or baleen; and
the oil specially known as "whale oil," an inferior article in commerce.
Among the fishermen, he is indiscriminately designated by all the
following titles: The Whale; the Greenland Whale; the Black Whale;
the Great Whale; the True Whale; the Right Whale. There is a deal of
obscurity concerning the identity of the species thus multitudinously
baptised. What then is the whale, which I include in the second species
of my Folios? It is the Great Mysticetus of the English naturalists; the
Greenland Whale of the English whalemen; the Baliene Ordinaire of the
French whalemen; the Growlands Walfish of the Swedes. It is the whale
which for more than two centuries past has been hunted by the Dutch and
English in the Arctic seas; it is the whale which the American fishermen
have long pursued in the Indian ocean, on the Brazil Banks, on the Nor'
West Coast, and various other parts of the world, designated by them
Right Whale Cruising Grounds.

Some pretend to see a difference between the Greenland whale of the
English and the right whale of the Americans. But they precisely agree
in all their grand features; nor has there yet been presented a single
determinate fact upon which to ground a radical distinction. It is by
endless subdivisions based upon the most inconclusive differences, that
some departments of natural history become so repellingly intricate. The
right whale will be elsewhere treated of at some length, with reference
to elucidating the sperm whale.

BOOK I. (FOLIO), CHAPTER III. (FIN-BACK).--Under this head I reckon
a monster which, by the various names of Fin-Back, Tall-Spout, and
Long-John, has been seen almost in every sea and is commonly the whale
whose distant jet is so often descried by passengers crossing the
Atlantic, in the New York packet-tracks. In the length he attains, and
in his baleen, the Fin-back resembles the right whale, but is of a less
portly girth, and a lighter colour, approaching to olive. His great lips
present a cable-like aspect, formed by the intertwisting, slanting folds
of large wrinkles. His grand distinguishing feature, the fin, from which
he derives his name, is often a conspicuous object. This fin is some
three or four feet long, growing vertically from the hinder part of the
back, of an angular shape, and with a very sharp pointed end. Even if
not the slightest other part of the creature be visible, this isolated
fin will, at times, be seen plainly projecting from the surface. When
the sea is moderately calm, and slightly marked with spherical ripples,
and this gnomon-like fin stands up and casts shadows upon the wrinkled
surface, it may well be supposed that the watery circle surrounding it
somewhat resembles a dial, with its style and wavy hour-lines graved on
it. On that Ahaz-dial the shadow often goes back. The Fin-Back is not
gregarious. He seems a whale-hater, as some men are man-haters. Very
shy; always going solitary; unexpectedly rising to the surface in the
remotest and most sullen waters; his straight and single lofty jet
rising like a tall misanthropic spear upon a barren plain; gifted with
such wondrous power and velocity in swimming, as to defy all present
pursuit from man; this leviathan seems the banished and unconquerable
Cain of his race, bearing for his mark that style upon his back. From
having the baleen in his mouth, the Fin-Back is sometimes included with
the right whale, among a theoretic species denominated WHALEBONE WHALES,
that is, whales with baleen. Of these so called Whalebone whales, there
would seem to be several varieties, most of which, however, are little
known. Broad-nosed whales and beaked whales; pike-headed whales; bunched
whales; under-jawed whales and rostrated whales, are the fishermen's
names for a few sorts.

In connection with this appellative of "Whalebone whales," it is of
great importance to mention, that however such a nomenclature may be
convenient in facilitating allusions to some kind of whales, yet it is
in vain to attempt a clear classification of the Leviathan, founded upon
either his baleen, or hump, or fin, or teeth; notwithstanding that those
marked parts or features very obviously seem better adapted to afford
the basis for a regular system of Cetology than any other detached
bodily distinctions, which the whale, in his kinds, presents. How
then? The baleen, hump, back-fin, and teeth; these are things whose
peculiarities are indiscriminately dispersed among all sorts of whales,
without any regard to what may be the nature of their structure in other
and more essential particulars. Thus, the sperm whale and the humpbacked
whale, each has a hump; but there the similitude ceases. Then, this same
humpbacked whale and the Greenland whale, each of these has baleen;
but there again the similitude ceases. And it is just the same with the
other parts above mentioned. In various sorts of whales, they form such
irregular combinations; or, in the case of any one of them detached,
such an irregular isolation; as utterly to defy all general
methodization formed upon such a basis. On this rock every one of the
whale-naturalists has split.

But it may possibly be conceived that, in the internal parts of the
whale, in his anatomy--there, at least, we shall be able to hit the
right classification. Nay; what thing, for example, is there in the
Greenland whale's anatomy more striking than his baleen? Yet we have
seen that by his baleen it is impossible correctly to classify the
Greenland whale. And if you descend into the bowels of the various
leviathans, why there you will not find distinctions a fiftieth part as
available to the systematizer as those external ones already enumerated.
What then remains? nothing but to take hold of the whales bodily, in
their entire liberal volume, and boldly sort them that way. And this is
the Bibliographical system here adopted; and it is the only one that can
possibly succeed, for it alone is practicable. To proceed.

BOOK I. (FOLIO) CHAPTER IV. (HUMP-BACK).--This whale is often seen on
the northern American coast. He has been frequently captured there, and
towed into harbor. He has a great pack on him like a peddler; or you
might call him the Elephant and Castle whale. At any rate, the popular
name for him does not sufficiently distinguish him, since the sperm
whale also has a hump though a smaller one. His oil is not very
valuable. He has baleen. He is the most gamesome and light-hearted of
all the whales, making more gay foam and white water generally than any
other of them.

BOOK I. (FOLIO), CHAPTER V. (RAZOR-BACK).--Of this whale little is known
but his name. I have seen him at a distance off Cape Horn. Of a retiring
nature, he eludes both hunters and philosophers. Though no coward, he
has never yet shown any part of him but his back, which rises in a long
sharp ridge. Let him go. I know little more of him, nor does anybody
else.

BOOK I. (FOLIO), CHAPTER VI. (SULPHUR-BOTTOM).--Another retiring
gentleman, with a brimstone belly, doubtless got by scraping along the
Tartarian tiles in some of his profounder divings. He is seldom seen;
at least I have never seen him except in the remoter southern seas,
and then always at too great a distance to study his countenance. He is
never chased; he would run away with rope-walks of line. Prodigies are
told of him. Adieu, Sulphur Bottom! I can say nothing more that is true
of ye, nor can the oldest Nantucketer.

Thus ends BOOK I. (FOLIO), and now begins BOOK II. (OCTAVO).

OCTAVOES.*--These embrace the whales of middling magnitude, among which
present may be numbered:--I., the GRAMPUS; II., the BLACK FISH; III.,
the NARWHALE; IV., the THRASHER; V., the KILLER.


*Why this book of whales is not denominated the Quarto is very plain.
Because, while the whales of this order, though smaller than those of
the former order, nevertheless retain a proportionate likeness to them
in figure, yet the bookbinder's Quarto volume in its dimensioned form
does not preserve the shape of the Folio volume, but the Octavo volume
does.


BOOK II. (OCTAVO), CHAPTER I. (GRAMPUS).--Though this fish, whose
loud sonorous breathing, or rather blowing, has furnished a proverb
to landsmen, is so well known a denizen of the deep, yet is he not
popularly classed among whales. But possessing all the grand distinctive
features of the leviathan, most naturalists have recognised him for one.
He is of moderate octavo size, varying from fifteen to twenty-five feet
in length, and of corresponding dimensions round the waist. He swims in
herds; he is never regularly hunted, though his oil is considerable in
quantity, and pretty good for light. By some fishermen his approach is
regarded as premonitory of the advance of the great sperm whale.

BOOK II. (OCTAVO), CHAPTER II. (BLACK FISH).--I give the popular
fishermen's names for all these fish, for generally they are the best.
Where any name happens to be vague or inexpressive, I shall say so,
and suggest another. I do so now, touching the Black Fish, so-called,
because blackness is the rule among almost all whales. So, call him the
Hyena Whale, if you please. His voracity is well known, and from the
circumstance that the inner angles of his lips are curved upwards, he
carries an everlasting Mephistophelean grin on his face. This whale
averages some sixteen or eighteen feet in length. He is found in almost
all latitudes. He has a peculiar way of showing his dorsal hooked fin
in swimming, which looks something like a Roman nose. When not more
profitably employed, the sperm whale hunters sometimes capture the Hyena
whale, to keep up the supply of cheap oil for domestic employment--as
some frugal housekeepers, in the absence of company, and quite alone by
themselves, burn unsavory tallow instead of odorous wax. Though their
blubber is very thin, some of these whales will yield you upwards of
thirty gallons of oil.

BOOK II. (OCTAVO), CHAPTER III. (NARWHALE), that is, NOSTRIL
WHALE.--Another instance of a curiously named whale, so named I suppose
from his peculiar horn being originally mistaken for a peaked nose. The
creature is some sixteen feet in length, while its horn averages five
feet, though some exceed ten, and even attain to fifteen feet. Strictly
speaking, this horn is but a lengthened tusk, growing out from the jaw
in a line a little depressed from the horizontal. But it is only
found on the sinister side, which has an ill effect, giving its owner
something analogous to the aspect of a clumsy left-handed man. What
precise purpose this ivory horn or lance answers, it would be hard to
say. It does not seem to be used like the blade of the sword-fish and
bill-fish; though some sailors tell me that the Narwhale employs it for
a rake in turning over the bottom of the sea for food. Charley Coffin
said it was used for an ice-piercer; for the Narwhale, rising to the
surface of the Polar Sea, and finding it sheeted with ice, thrusts his
horn up, and so breaks through. But you cannot prove either of these
surmises to be correct. My own opinion is, that however this one-sided
horn may really be used by the Narwhale--however that may be--it would
certainly be very convenient to him for a folder in reading pamphlets.
The Narwhale I have heard called the Tusked whale, the Horned whale, and
the Unicorn whale. He is certainly a curious example of the Unicornism
to be found in almost every kingdom of animated nature. From certain
cloistered old authors I have gathered that this same sea-unicorn's horn
was in ancient days regarded as the great antidote against poison,
and as such, preparations of it brought immense prices. It was also
distilled to a volatile salts for fainting ladies, the same way that the
horns of the male deer are manufactured into hartshorn. Originally it
was in itself accounted an object of great curiosity. Black Letter tells
me that Sir Martin Frobisher on his return from that voyage, when
Queen Bess did gallantly wave her jewelled hand to him from a window
of Greenwich Palace, as his bold ship sailed down the Thames; "when Sir
Martin returned from that voyage," saith Black Letter, "on bended knees
he presented to her highness a prodigious long horn of the Narwhale,
which for a long period after hung in the castle at Windsor." An Irish
author avers that the Earl of Leicester, on bended knees, did likewise
present to her highness another horn, pertaining to a land beast of the
unicorn nature.

The Narwhale has a very picturesque, leopard-like look, being of a
milk-white ground colour, dotted with round and oblong spots of black.
His oil is very superior, clear and fine; but there is little of it, and
he is seldom hunted. He is mostly found in the circumpolar seas.

BOOK II. (OCTAVO), CHAPTER IV. (KILLER).--Of this whale little is
precisely known to the Nantucketer, and nothing at all to the professed
naturalist. From what I have seen of him at a distance, I should say
that he was about the bigness of a grampus. He is very savage--a sort of
Feegee fish. He sometimes takes the great Folio whales by the lip, and
hangs there like a leech, till the mighty brute is worried to death. The
Killer is never hunted. I never heard what sort of oil he has. Exception
might be taken to the name bestowed upon this whale, on the ground
of its indistinctness. For we are all killers, on land and on sea;
Bonapartes and Sharks included.

BOOK II. (OCTAVO), CHAPTER V. (THRASHER).--This gentleman is famous for
his tail, which he uses for a ferule in thrashing his foes. He mounts
the Folio whale's back, and as he swims, he works his passage by
flogging him; as some schoolmasters get along in the world by a similar
process. Still less is known of the Thrasher than of the Killer. Both
are outlaws, even in the lawless seas.

Thus ends BOOK II. (OCTAVO), and begins BOOK III. (DUODECIMO).

DUODECIMOES.--These include the smaller whales. I. The Huzza Porpoise.
II. The Algerine Porpoise. III. The Mealy-mouthed Porpoise.

To those who have not chanced specially to study the subject, it may
possibly seem strange, that fishes not commonly exceeding four or five
feet should be marshalled among WHALES--a word, which, in the popular
sense, always conveys an idea of hugeness. But the creatures set
down above as Duodecimoes are infallibly whales, by the terms of my
definition of what a whale is--i.e. a spouting fish, with a horizontal
tail.

BOOK III. (DUODECIMO), CHAPTER 1. (HUZZA PORPOISE).--This is the
common porpoise found almost all over the globe. The name is of my own
bestowal; for there are more than one sort of porpoises, and something
must be done to distinguish them. I call him thus, because he always
swims in hilarious shoals, which upon the broad sea keep tossing
themselves to heaven like caps in a Fourth-of-July crowd. Their
appearance is generally hailed with delight by the mariner. Full of fine
spirits, they invariably come from the breezy billows to windward. They
are the lads that always live before the wind. They are accounted a
lucky omen. If you yourself can withstand three cheers at beholding
these vivacious fish, then heaven help ye; the spirit of godly
gamesomeness is not in ye. A well-fed, plump Huzza Porpoise will
yield you one good gallon of good oil. But the fine and delicate fluid
extracted from his jaws is exceedingly valuable. It is in request among
jewellers and watchmakers. Sailors put it on their hones. Porpoise
meat is good eating, you know. It may never have occurred to you that
a porpoise spouts. Indeed, his spout is so small that it is not very
readily discernible. But the next time you have a chance, watch him; and
you will then see the great Sperm whale himself in miniature.

BOOK III. (DUODECIMO), CHAPTER II. (ALGERINE PORPOISE).--A pirate. Very
savage. He is only found, I think, in the Pacific. He is somewhat larger
than the Huzza Porpoise, but much of the same general make. Provoke him,
and he will buckle to a shark. I have lowered for him many times, but
never yet saw him captured.

BOOK III. (DUODECIMO), CHAPTER III. (MEALY-MOUTHED PORPOISE).--The
largest kind of Porpoise; and only found in the Pacific, so far as it is
known. The only English name, by which he has hitherto been designated,
is that of the fishers--Right-Whale Porpoise, from the circumstance that
he is chiefly found in the vicinity of that Folio. In shape, he differs
in some degree from the Huzza Porpoise, being of a less rotund and jolly
girth; indeed, he is of quite a neat and gentleman-like figure. He has
no fins on his back (most other porpoises have), he has a lovely tail,
and sentimental Indian eyes of a hazel hue. But his mealy-mouth spoils
all. Though his entire back down to his side fins is of a deep sable,
yet a boundary line, distinct as the mark in a ship's hull, called
the "bright waist," that line streaks him from stem to stern, with two
separate colours, black above and white below. The white comprises part
of his head, and the whole of his mouth, which makes him look as if he
had just escaped from a felonious visit to a meal-bag. A most mean and
mealy aspect! His oil is much like that of the common porpoise.


Beyond the DUODECIMO, this system does not proceed, inasmuch as
the Porpoise is the smallest of the whales. Above, you have all the
Leviathans of note. But there are a rabble of uncertain, fugitive,
half-fabulous whales, which, as an American whaleman, I know by
reputation, but not personally. I shall enumerate them by their
fore-castle appellations; for possibly such a list may be valuable to
future investigators, who may complete what I have here but begun. If
any of the following whales, shall hereafter be caught and marked, then
he can readily be incorporated into this System, according to his Folio,
Octavo, or Duodecimo magnitude:--The Bottle-Nose Whale; the Junk Whale;
the Pudding-Headed Whale; the Cape Whale; the Leading Whale; the Cannon
Whale; the Scragg Whale; the Coppered Whale; the Elephant Whale; the
Iceberg Whale; the Quog Whale; the Blue Whale; etc. From Icelandic,
Dutch, and old English authorities, there might be quoted other lists of
uncertain whales, blessed with all manner of uncouth names. But I omit
them as altogether obsolete; and can hardly help suspecting them for
mere sounds, full of Leviathanism, but signifying nothing.

Finally: It was stated at the outset, that this system would not be
here, and at once, perfected. You cannot but plainly see that I have
kept my word. But I now leave my cetological System standing thus
unfinished, even as the great Cathedral of Cologne was left, with the
crane still standing upon the top of the uncompleted tower. For small
erections may be finished by their first architects; grand ones, true
ones, ever leave the copestone to posterity. God keep me from ever
completing anything. This whole book is but a draught--nay, but the
draught of a draught. Oh, Time, Strength, Cash, and Patience!