"He's a grand, ungodly, god-like man, Captain Ahab; doesn't speak much; but, when he does speak, then you may well listen. Mark ye, be forewarned; Ahab's above the common; Ahab's been in colleges, as well as 'mong the cannibals; been used to deeper wonders than the waves; fixed his fiery lance in mightier, stranger foes than whales. "
Musing: This is our first introduction to Ahab in Moby Dick. Captain Peleg is describing Ahab to IshMael after Ishmael has signed on to sail on the Pequod. All of the descriptors will turn out to be true. And the fiery lance will be dipped in stranger things than fire!