“Captain Ahab,” said Tashtego, “that white whale must be the same that some call Moby Dick.” “Moby Dick?” shouted Ahab. “Do ye know the white whale then, Tash?” “Does he fan-tail a little curious, sir, before he goes down?” said the Gay-Header deliberately. “And has he a curious spout, too,” said Daggoo, “very bushy, even for a parmacetty, and mighty quick, Captain Ahab?”
“And he have one, two, three—oh! good many iron in him hide, too, Captain,” cried Queequeg disjointedly, “all twiske-tee be-twisk, like him—him—” faltering hard for a word, and screwing his hand round and round as though uncorking a bottle—”like him—him—”
“Captain Ahab, I have heard of Moby Dick—but it was not Moby Dick that took off thy leg?” “Who told thee that?” cried Ahab; then pausing, “Aye, 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.
Aye, aye,” he shouted with a terrific, loud, animal sob, like that of a heart-stricken moose; “Aye, aye! it was that accursed white whale that razeed me; made a poor pegging lubber of me for ever and a day!” Then tossing both arms, with measureless imprecations he shouted out: “Aye, aye! and 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.
And this is what ye have shipped for, men! to chase.