The Daily Dick: Musings From the Greatest Novel Ever
"The first boat we read of, floated on an ocean, that with Portuguese vengeance had whelmed a whole world without leaving so much as a widow. That same ocean rolls now; that same ocean destroyed the wrecked ships of last year. Yea, foolish mortals, Noah's flood is not yet subsided; two thirds of the fair world it yet covers.
Wherein differ the sea and the land, that a miracle upon one is not a miracle upon the other?"
Musing: This is a bit of a shiver-me-timbers line. The first boat would be Noah's Ark and it is, obviously, long gone. But it is true that that same flood is with us today. Melville often reminds us that the sea is eternal, unchanging, always changing - almost a god.