Ch. 5, Breakfast, or Grub Ho!

by Buxton Brown

“A curious sight; these bashful bears, these timid warrior whalemen!”

A choice line from an otherwise short and reflective chapter. Our well rested narrator descends into the common room to break his fast and notes the odd silence that captivates the whalers. Where one would expect them to be of the boisterous sort, harassing each other about bedding some unfortunate salt wench, they eat in almost shameful silence. Amongst peers, one would assume familiarity and fraternity. Not so much. Queequeg, from the head of the table no less, proceeds to eat enthusiastically with his harpoon, which is thoroughly badass.

“… reaching over the table with it, to the imminent jeopardy of many heads and grappling beefsteaks towards him. But that was certainly very coolly done by him, and every one knows that in most people’s estimation, to do anything coolly is to do it genteelly.”

Beefsteaks for breakfast? Don’t mind if I do. Next.