Seamen have a custom, when they meet a whale, to fling him out an empty tub by way of amusement, to divert him from laying violent hands upon the ship.1
Tale of a Tub. Preface.
Note 1. In Sebastian Munsters Cosmography there is a cut of a ship to which a whale was coming too close for her safety, and of the sailors throwing a tub to the whale, evidently to play with. This practice is also mentioned in an old prose translation of the Ship of Fools.Sir James Mackintosh: Appendix to the Life of Sir Thomas More. [back]