The Daily Dick: Musings From the Greatest Novel Ever
"For I believe that much of a man's character will be found betokened in his backbone. I would rather feel your spine than your skull, whoever you are. A thin joist of a spine never yet upheld a full and noble soul. I rejoice in my spine, as in the firm audacious staff of that flag which I fling half out to the world."
Musing: Melville has left the whale head to go down the length of the spine. I rather agree with him. Most people with full brains are simply full of many other things as well. But a spine - well, that holds us up. And a metaphorical spine will do here as just as well.