"For even the high lifted and chivalric Crusaders of old times were not content to traverse two thousand miles of land to fight for their holy sepulchre, without committing burglaries, picking pockets, and gaining other pious perquisites by the way. Had they been strictly held to their one final and romantic object- that final and romantic object, too many would have turned from in disgust. I will not strip these men, thought Ahab, of all hopes of cash- aye, cash. They may scorn cash now; but let some months go by, and no perspective promise of it to them, and then this same quiescent cash all at once mutinying in them, this same cash would soon cashier Ahab."
Musing: So much to look at in this passage. Ahab recognizes that while he is focused on killing Moby Dick, the rest of the men want to kill any old whale so they can make money from the oil. Using the analogy of the crusaders is brilliant. Crusaders were focused on finding the 'good,' yet what a horrid history they left in their wake. And as much as Ahab turned finding Moby Dick into a shared 'holy' goal, he also recognizes that high will only last so long. Ahab may be mad, but he is also cunning. And he knows how to lead. Why has no one made the study of Ahab a course in leadership? Isn't this how many businesses work?