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Stubb was the second mate. He was a native of Cape Cod;
and hence, according to local usage, was called a Cape-Cod-man.
A happy-go-lucky; neither craven nor valiant; taking perils
as they came with an indifferent air; and while engaged in the
most imminent crisis of the chase, toiling away, calm and collected


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as a journeyman joiner engaged for the year. Good-humored,
easy, and careless, he presided over his whale-boat as
if the most deadly encounter were but a dinner, and his crew
all invited guests. He was as particular about the comfortable
arrangement of his part of the boat, as an old stage-driver is
about the snugness of his box. When close to the whale, in
the very death-lock of the fight, he handled his unpitying lance
coolly and off-handedly, as a whistling tinker his hammer. He
would hum over his old rigadig tunes while flank and flank with
the most exasperated monster. Long usage had, for this Stubb,
converted the jaws of death into an easy chair. What he
thought of death itself, there is no telling. Whether he ever
thought of it at all, might be a question; but, if he ever did
chance to cast his mind that way after a comfortable dinner,
no doubt, like a good sailor, he took it to be a sort of call of
the watch to tumble aloft, and bestir themselves there, about
something which he would find out when he obeyed the order,
and not sooner.

What, perhaps, with other things, made Stubb such an easygoing,
unfearing man, so cheerily trudging off with the burden
of life in a world full of grave peddlers, all bowed to the ground
with their packs; what helped to bring about that almost impious
good-humor of his; that thing must have been his pipe. For,
like his nose, his short, black little pipe was one of the regular
features of his face. You would almost as soon have expected
him to turn out of his bunk without his nose as without his pipe.
He kept a whole row of pipes there ready loaded, stuck in a
rack, within easy reach of his hand; and, whenever he turned
in, he smoked them all out in succession, lighting one from the
other to the end of the chapter; then loading them again to be
in readiness anew. For, when Stubb dressed, instead of first
putting his legs into his trowsers, he put his pipe into his

I say this continual smoking must have been one cause, at


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least, of his peculiar disposition; for every one knows that this
earthly air, whether ashore or afloat, is terribly infected with the
nameless miseries of the numberless mortals who have died exhaling
it; and as in time of the cholera, some people go about
with a camphorated handkerchief to their mouths; so, likewise,
against all mortal tribulations, Stubb's tobacco smoke might
have operated as a sort of disinfecting agent.

The third mate was Flask, a native of Tisbury, in Martha's
Vineyard. A short, stout, ruddy young fellow, very pugnacious
concerning whales, who somehow seemed to think that the
great Leviathans had personally and hereditarily affronted him;
and therefore it was a sort of point of honor with him, to destroy
them whenever encountered. So utterly lost was he to
all sense of reverence for the many marvels of their majestic
bulk and mystic ways; and so dead to anything like an apprehension
of any possible danger from encountering them; that in
his poor opinion, the wondrous whale was but a species of magnified
mouse, or at least water-rat, requiring only a little circumvention
and some small application of time and trouble in
order to kill and boil. This ignorant, unconscious fearlessness
of his made him a little waggish in the matter of whales; he
followed these fish for the fun of it; and a three years' voyage
round Cape Horn was only a jolly joke that lasted that length
of time. As a carpenter's nails are divided into wrought nails
and cut nails; so mankind may be similarly divided. Little
Flask was one of the wrought ones; made to clinch tight and
last long. They called him King-Post on board of the Pequod;
because, in form, he could be well likened to the short, square
timber known by that name in Arctic whalers; and which by
the means of many radiating side timbers inserted into it, serves
to brace the ship against the icy concussions of those battering

Now these three mates—Starbuck, Stubb, and Flask, were
momentous men. They it was who by universal prescription


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commanded three of the Pequod's boats as headsmen. In that
grand order of battle in which Captain Ahab would probably
marshal his forces to descend on the whales, these three headsmen
were as captains of companies. Or, being armed with
their long keen whaling spears, they were as a picked trio of
lancers; even as the harpooneers were flingers of javelins.

And since in this famous fishery, each mate or headsman,
like a Gothic Knight of old, is always accompanied by his boatsteerer
or harpooneer, who in certain conjunctures provides him
with a fresh lance, when the former one has been badly twisted,
or elbowed in the assault; and moreover, as there generally subsists
between the two, a close intimacy and friendliness; it is
therefore but meet, that in this place we set down who the Pequod's
harpooneers were, and to what headsman each of them

First of all was Queequeg, whom Starbuck, the chief mate,
had selected for his squire. But Queequeg is already known.

Next was Tashtego, an unmixed Indian from Gay Head, the
most westerly promontory of Martha's Vineyard, where there
still exists the last remnant of a village of red men, which has
long supplied the neighboring island of Nantucket with many
of her most daring harpooneers. In the fishery, they usually go
by the generic name of Gay-Headers. Tashtego's long, lean,
sable hair, his high cheek bones, and black rounding eyes—for
an Indian, Oriental in their largeness, but Antarctic in their glittering
expression—all this sufficiently proclaimed him an inheritor
of the unvitiated blood of those proud warrior hunters, who,
in quest of the great New England moose, had scoured, bow in
hand, the aboriginal forests of the main. But no longer snuffing
in the trail of the wild beasts of the woodland, Tashtego
now hunted in the wake of the great whales of the sea; the
unerring harpoon of the son fitly replacing the infallible arrow
of the sires. To look at the tawny brawn of his lithe snaky
limbs, you would almost have credited the superstitions of some


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of the earlier Puritans, and half believed this wild Indian to be
a son of the Prince of the Powers of the Air. Tashtego was
Stubb the second mate's squire.

Third among the harpooneers was Daggoo, a gigantic, coal-black
negro-savage, with a lion-like tread—an Ahasuerus to behold.
Suspended from his ears were two golden hoops, so large
that the sailors called them ring-bolts, and would talk of securing
the top-sail halyards to them. In his youth Daggoo had
voluntarily shipped on board of a whaler, lying in a lonely bay
on his native coast. And never having been anywhere in the
world but in Africa, Nantucket, and the pagan harbors
most frequented by whalemen; and having now led for many
years the bold life of the fishery in the ships of owners uncommonly
heedful of what manner of men they shipped; Daggoo
retained all his barbaric virtues, and erect as a giraffe, moved
about the decks in all the pomp of six feet five in his socks.
There was a corporeal humility in looking up at him; and a
white man standing before him seemed a white flag come to beg
truce of a fortress. Curious to tell, this imperial negro, Ahasuerus
Daggoo, was the Squire of little Flask, who looked like a
chess-man beside him. As for the residue of the Pequod's
company, be it said, that at the present day not one in two of
the many thousand men before the mast employed in the American
whale fishery, are Americans born, though pretty nearly all
the officers are. Herein it is the same with the American
whale fishery as with the American army and military and
merchant navies, and the engineering forces employed in the
construction of the American Canals and Railroads. The
same, I say, because in all these cases the native American liberally
provides the brains, the rest of the world as generously
supplying the muscles. No small number of these whaling
seamen belong to the Azores, where the outward bound Nantucket
whalers frequently touch to augment their crews from the
hardy peasants of those rocky shores. In like manner, the


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Greenland whalers sailing out of Hull or London, put in at the
Shetland Islands, to receive the full complement of their crew.
Upon the passage homewards, they drop them there again. How
it is, there is no telling, but Islanders seem to make the best
whalemen. They were nearly all Islanders in the Pequod, Isolatoes
too, I call such, not acknowledging the common continent of men,
but each Isolato living on a separate continent of his own. Yet
now, federated along one keel, what a set these Isolatoes were!
An Anacharsis Clootz deputation from all the isles of the sea, and
all the ends of the earth, accompanying Old Ahab in the Pequod
to lay the world's grievances before that bar from which not very
many of them ever come back. Black Little Pip—he never
did—oh, no! he went before. Poor Alabama boy! On the
grim Pequod's forecastle, ye shall ere long see him, beating his
tambourine; prelusive of the eternal time, when sent for, to
the great quarter-deck on high, he was bid strike in with angels,
and beat his tambourine in glory; called a coward here, hailed
a hero there!