Ch. VII- The Chapel (The Whalemans Chapel)

by Buxton Brown

At some point it seems pertinent to admit that this book here, this Moby Dick, is not a necessarily a comedy of errors. Or perhaps it is. At what point do I acknowledge that there are serious forces at work here? When do I admit that I am not above being moved by the words of Hermano Melville, that something resonates with me, you’re dearest, drunkest, literary tour guide? Almost now. But not quite.

Wandering around New Bedford, our dear homeboy Ishmael stumbles upon a chapel. The Whalemans Chapel. There are whalers, widows, widows-to-be, and a pastor that has yet to show. There are many an inscription of the deceased whaling community and Ishmael is kind enough to share a few with us. They all read “sacred” at the top, which is courteous, if not redundant. I assumed all things in the house of the lord had varying degrees of sacredness. I enjoyed this one in particular.

Sacred.

To the Memory

O F

ROBERT LONG, WILLIS ELLERY

NATHAN COLEMAN, WALTER CANNY, SETH MACY

AND SAMUEL GLEIG,

Forming on of the boats’ crews

of

THE SHIP ELIZA

Who were towed out of sight by a Whale,

On the Off-shore Ground in the

P A C I F I C,

December 31st, 1839.

T H I S  M A R B L E

Is here placed by their surviving

SHIPMATES.

Towed out of sight by a whale, on New Years Eve no less. I wonder if they were aware of that fact and had some sort of celebration planned after they had killed and secured the goods of said whale. Sometimes I become truly indignant about the cost of my cellphone bill ($100, which, mind you, does more than my home PC did 10 years ago). Somewhere, someone is probably (definitely) starving to death. I quit smoking and so I eat all the time (the need hole must be filled) and now I’m worried about getting fat. Which is happening. At some point or another, someone was very likely towed out to sea by an angry whale, never to be seen again. Happy New Years. I shall try to complain less and do more stuff without congratulating myself for merely existing. Truth. Fact. Next.

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