The Daily Dick: Musings on the Greatest Novel Ever
"There is that in thee, poor lad, which I feel too curing to my malady. Like cures like; and for this hunt, my malady becomes my most desired health."
Musing: Ahab is speaking to Pip. The Pequod has just met another ship, The Rachel, which has seen the white whale. Ahab is preparing for the end. Pip, in his madness, brings out the comforter in Ahab. Ahab also sees his own madness in Pip and admits that he does not want to lose his crazed focus on Moby Dick by staying near Pip. There is a sense here that Ahab recognizes that he must remain 'born in fire' to continue his hunt.