The Daily Dick: Musings From the Greatest Novel Ever
"But were the coming narrative to reveal in any instance, the complete abasement of poor Starbuck’s fortitude, scarce might I have the heart to write it; but it is a thing most sorrowful, nay shocking, to expose the fall of valor in the soul. Men may seem detestable as joint stock-companies and nations; knaves, fools, and murderers there may be; men may have mean and meager faces; but, man, in the ideal, is so noble and so sparkling, such a grand and glowing creature, that over any ignominious blemish in him all his fellows should run to throw their costliest robes. "
Musing: This paragraph deserves a pause or two. I love each line. It is true that when I see someone fail it almost hurts to watch. I want to protect the ideal in us all. Melville also seems to say the shocking thing is in the exposing of failure or the fall from grace. Lots to ruminate on in this chapter and much more to come as the book rolls on.