The Daily Dick: Musing in a Time of Angst
From: The Chase - First Day
"What soulless thing is this that laughs before a wreck? Man, man! did I not know thee brave as fearless fire (and as mechanical) I could swear thou wert a poltroon. Groan nor laugh should be heard before a wreck.”
A poltroon is an utter coward, by the way. Moby-Dick has been spotted and, as the chapter title implies, the chase is on. The end is near. Ahab has overheard heard Stubb nervously laughing and the quote above is Ahab's response to the laugh. Ahab knows the end is near. I suspect the rest of the crew think there is still a chance, but are nervous enough.
A few people said, before the election of -Rump, that at least it would be funny to see him in the White House. But it wasn't funny. Not then, not now. We should have all wept and gnashed our teeth when he was announced as the president. Groaned together in a big heavy sound that would shake the earth back to its senses. We all saw the wreck coming. We all went down with that ship.
Time for calmer seas.