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Chapter 39: First Night Watch.




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

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.