Fiction > Herman Melville > Moby-Dick
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Herman Melville (1819–1891).  Moby-Dick.  1922.
 
Chapter XXXIX
First Night-Watch
 
FORE-TOP
(Stubb solus, and mending a brace.)

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 meeting.
  1
  A brave stave that—who calls? Mr. Starbuck? Ay, ay, sir—(Aside) he ’s my superior, he has his too, if I ’m not mistaken.—Ay, ay, sir, just through with this job—coming.  2
 
 
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