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CHAPTER 127: The Deck. (continued)
"Sing, sir? Do I sing? Oh, I'm indifferent enough, sir, for that; but the reason why the grave-digger made music must have been because there was none in his spade, sir. But the caulking mallet is full of it. Hark to it."
"Aye, and that's because the lid there's a sounding-board; and what in all things makes the sounding-board is this--there's naught beneath. And yet, a coffin with a body in it rings pretty much the same, Carpenter. Hast thou ever helped carry a bier, and heard the coffin knock against the churchyard gate, going in?
"Faith, sir, I've--"
"Faith? What's that?"
"Why, faith, sir, it's only a sort of exclamation-like--that's all, sir."
"Um, um; go on."
"I was about to say, sir, that--"
"Art thou a silk-worm? Dost thou spin thy own shroud out of thyself? Look at thy bosom! Despatch! and get these traps out of sight."
"He goes aft. That was sudden, now; but squalls come sudden in hot latitudes. I've heard that the Isle of Albemarle, one of the Gallipagos, is cut by the Equator right in the middle. Seems to me some sort of Equator cuts yon old man, too, right in his middle. He's always under the Line--fiery hot, I tell ye! He's looking this way--come, oakum; quick. Here we go again. This wooden mallet is the cork, and I'm the professor of musical glasses--tap, tap!"
(AHAB TO HIMSELF.)
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