Captain Ahab Quotes

I’ll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition’s flames before I give him up!

I am madness maddened!

All my means are sane, my motive and my object mad.

There is no folly of the beasts of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men.

Ahab never thinks; he only feels, feels, feels!

What is it that drives me, sends me forth as a lone wanderer over the seas, restless and unmindful of the dangers I face? It is the thirst for revenge, the desire to hunt down and destroy the white whale!

Aye, I will pursue him round the world, and round the world and round the world again, until he spouts black blood and rolls fin out.

He tasks me; he heaps me; I see in him the irredeemable folly of a man in pursuit of a relentless vengeance.

I’m tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas and land on barbarous coasts.

Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries – stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water.

I’ll have no man in my boat who is not afraid of a whale.

It is a mild, mild wind, and a mild looking sky; and the air smells now, as if it blew from a far-away meadow; they have been making hay somewhere under the slopes of the Andes, Starbuck, and the mowers are sleeping among the new-mown hay.

For in their interflowing aggregate, those grand fresh-water seas of ours—who knows?—may be forming the deeps for the one final dive into the ultimate thule.

Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.

I have sworn by the Gods that this is the place. Be sure of it!

I tell you it will be more tolerable for the Fejee that salted down a lean missionary in his cellar against a coming famine.

I tell you, the sperm whale will stand no nonsense.

Look ye, beneath yon far-off horizon lie the other ports to which ye flag of distress signals for pilots.

I owe almost as much to you as to myself, for I love you; and so love you, that I feel as if I could not live out of you.

Of all these poor creatures among the overwhelmed crew, I alone was their elected lord and master.

The honest eye of a caravansary should be intent upon the highway, but mine was a gaze of constant questioning.

I’ll try a pagan friend, thought I, since Christian kindness has proved but hollow courtesy.

Delight is to him— a far, far upward and inward delight—who against the proud gods and commodores of this earth, ever stands forth his own inexorable self.

True, true; ye must, poor strangers, have trust in me.

In this same New Bedford there stands a Whaleman’s Chapel, and few are the moody fishermen, shortly bound for the Indian Ocean or Pacific, who fail to make a Sunday visit to the spot.

To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be who have tried it.

Oh, time, strength, cash, and patience!

Next morning, when the Otter received his apologies, he launched into a gentle, and to my mind, a rather pathetic, reproof of Ahab’s conduct.

But what’s this long face about, Mr. Starbuck; wilt thou not chase the white whale? art not game for Moby-Dick?

Yes, Starbuck; aye, my hearties all round; it was Moby Dick that dismasted me; Moby Dick that brought me to this dead stump I stand on now.

The white whale is to me Moby Dick. Whenever I find him, I shall kill him, unless killed by him.

Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.

Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! and since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!

For the instant he almost turns to flee again. But he rallies. I seek ye not! he cries, and thrusts me backwards, footing me, as if to illustrate an assertion of his own- I seek not Captain Ahab.

It was a clear steel-blue day. The firmaments of air and sea were hardly separable.

Only that one I bury; the rest were buried underneath her, when, by chance, her mother died.

Oh, my captain! my captain! noble heart! go not—go not!—see, it’s a brave man that weeps; how great the agony of the persuasion then!

The sea had jeeringly kept his finite body up, but drowned the infinite of his soul.

I abandon the glory and distinction of such offices to those who like them.

Delight is to him—a far, far upward, and inward delight-who against the proud gods and commodores of this earth, ever stands forth his own inexorable self.

He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it.

The man that hath a woman and says nothing, is a captain with two anchors.

He’s too masculine to cry.

Whilst other hulls are dancing round their keels in the same sea.

We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.

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