Do they say that men who have seen the world, thereby become quite at ease in manner, quite self-possessed in company. Not always, though: Ledyard, the great New England traveller, and Mungo Park, the Scotch one of all men, they possessed the least assurance in the parlor. Perhaps the mere crossing of Siberia in a sledge drawn by dogs as Ledyard did, or the taking a long solitary walk on an empty stomach, in the heart which was the sum of poor Mungo’s performances this kind of travel, I say, may not be the very best mode of attaining a high social polish. Still, for the most part, that sort of thing is to be had anywhere. The intense Pequod sailed on; the rolling waves and days went by; the life-buoy-coffin still lightly swung; and another ship.
You could pretty plainly tell how long each one had been ashore. This young fellow’s healthy cheek is like a sun-toasted pear in hue, and would seem to smell almost as musky. He cannot have been three days landed from his Indian voyage.
He doubtless has tarried whole weeks ashore. But who could show a cheek like Queequeg? Which, barred with various tints, seemed like the Andes’ western slope, to show forth in one array, contrasting climates, zone by zone. The intense Pequod sailed on; the rolling waves and days went by; the life-buoy-coffin still lightly swung; and another ship, most miserably misnamed the Delight, was described. As she drew nigh, all eyes were fixed upon her broad beams, called shears, which, in some whaling-ships, cross the quarter-deck at the height of eight or nine feet; serving to carry the spare, unrigged, or disabled boats. Upon the stranger’s shears were beheld the shattered, white ribs, and some few splintered planks, of what had once been a whale-boat. But you now saw through this wreck, as plainly as you see through the peeled, half-unhinged, and bleaching skeleton of a horse. That man next him looks a few shades lighter; you might say a touch of satin wood is in him. In the complexion of a third still lingers a tropic tawn.
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