232 words • < 1 min read

Finding Melville’s Whale: The Specksynder (Chapter 33)

Chapter 33 of Herman Melville’s classic – Moby Dick. Read along with us and discuss this chapter or the book as a whole in the comments. Visit this page for the complete collection to date: Finding Melville’s Whale.

The Specksynder

Such it is on a whale ship that officers,
even captains, serve at the harpoons’ will.
And though the captain is the lord of his ship,

the harpooner is its only master.
And so, while the crew sleeps before the mast,
harpooner and officer dwell astern.

It must always be, on such a journey,
that the savage seamen of lesser rank
reside apart from their superiors.

A disinterested Ahab regards
this distinction as a formality.
He demands obedience, not manners.


Deep-sea biologist, population/conservation geneticist, backyard farm advocate. The deep sea is Earth's last great wilderness.


Connect with SFS


  • Recent Popular Articles

    Alberta, Canada is the proud owner of the largest man-made pyramid on the planet
    The Trouble with Teacup Pigs
    24 species of sharks that have killed fewer people than Jack Bauer on 24
    Mermaids: The New Evidence is a Fake Documentary
    Severely injured great white shark found, are scientists responsible?
    10 reasons why marine mammals aren't as cute as you think they are
    28 fallacies about the Fukushima nuclear disaster's effect on the US West Coast
    Charm City's Water Wheel: The first truly feasible ocean cleaning array is already afloat