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.. < chapter xxxix 2 FIRST NIGHT-WATCH FORE-TOP >

( Stubb solus, and

mending a brace.) Ha! ha! ha! ha! hem! clear my throat! --I've been
thinking over it ever since, and that ha, ha's the final consequence. Why
so? Because a laugh's the wisest, easiest answer to all that's queer; and
come what will, one comfort's always left -- that unfailing comfort is, it's
all predestinated. I heard not all his talk with Starbuck; but to my poor
eye Starbuck then looked something as I the other evening felt. Be sure the
old Mogul has fixed him, too. I twigged it, knew it; had had the gift,
might readily have prophesied it --for when I clapped my eye upon his skull I
saw it. Well, Stubb, wise Stubb --that's my title --well, Stubb, what of it,
Stubb? Here's a carcase. I know not all that may be coming, but be it what
it will, I'll go to it laughing. Such a waggish leering as lurks in all your
horribles! I feel funny. Fa, la! lirra, skirra! What's my juicy little pear
at home doing now? Crying its eyes out? --Giving a party to the last arrived
harpooneers, I dare say, gay as a frigate's pennant, and so am I--fa, la!
lirra, skirra! Oh-- We'll drink to-night with hearts as light, To love, as
gay and fleeting As bubbles that swim, on the beaker's brim, And break on the
lips while meeting. a brave stave that --who calls? mr. starbuck? Aye, aye,
sir -- ( Aside) he's my superior, he has his too, if I'm not mistaken. -- Aye,
aye, sir, just through with this job --coming.
..