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  • From The Doubloon

The Daily Dick: Musings from the Greatest Novel Ever

"So in this vale of Death, God girds us round; and over all our gloom, the sun of Righteousness still shines a beacon and a hope. If we bend down our eyes, the dark vale shows her moldy soil; but if we lift them, the bright sun meets our glance half way, to cheer. Yet, oh, the great sun is no fixture; and if, at midnight, we would fain snatch some sweet solace from him, we gaze for him in vain! This coin speaks wisely, mildly, truly, but still sadly to me. I will quit it, lest Truth shake me falsely."


Musing: And here is Starbuck, reading the doubloon Ahab nailed to the mast. Starbuck is as Starbuck is - he sees the darkness of earth and the sun/Son up above. Interesting that he sees the sun/son only half way. That makes sense though. To Starbuck you'd have to work to see light. But even as Starbuck sees the truth (himself) in the coin, he shys away from it. And this last line, 'lest Truth (capital T intended by Melville) shake me falsely' is, in the end, what dooms Starbuck. How can Truth shake one falsely? I find this so intriging!

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