Loomings

CallmeIshmael. Someyearsagonevermindhowlongpreciselyhavinglittleornomoneyinmypurse, andnothingparticulartointerestmeonshore, IthoughtIwouldsailaboutalittleandseethewaterypartoftheworld. ItisawayIhaveofdrivingoffthespleenandregulatingthecirculation. WheneverIfindmyselfgrowinggrimaboutthemouth; wheneveritisadamp,drizzlyNovemberinmysoul; wheneverIfindmyselfinvoluntarilypausingbeforecoffinwarehouses, andbringinguptherearofeveryfuneralImeet; andespeciallywhenevermyhyposgetsuchanupperhandofme, thatitrequiresastrongmoralprincipletopreventmefromdeliberatelysteppingintothestreet, andmethodicallyknockingpeople’shatsoff then,IaccountithightimetogettoseaassoonasIcan. Thisismysubstituteforpistolandball. WithaphilosophicalflourishCatothrowshimselfuponhissword; Iquietlytaketotheship. Thereisnothingsurprisinginthis. Iftheybutknewit,almostallmenintheirdegree,sometimeorother, cherishverynearlythesamefeelingstowardstheoceanwithme.  

TherenowisyourinsularcityoftheManhattoes, beltedroundbywharvesasIndianislesbycoralreefscommercesurroundsitwithhersurf. Rightandleft,thestreetstakeyouwaterward. Itsextremedowntownisthebattery, wherethatnoblemoleiswashedbywaves,andcooledbybreezes, whichafewhourspreviouswereoutofsightofland. Lookatthecrowdsofwater-gazersthere.  

CircumambulatethecityofadreamySabbathafternoon. GofromCorlearsHooktoCoentiesSlip, andfromthence,byWhitehall,northward. Whatdoyousee? Postedlikesilentsentinelsallaroundthetown, standthousandsuponthousandsofmortalmenfixedinoceanreveries. Someleaningagainstthespiles; someseateduponthepier-heads; somelookingoverthebulwarksofshipsfromChina; somehighaloftintherigging,asifstrivingtogetastillbetterseawardpeep. 

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