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Chapter 11 Nightgown

  • We had lain thus in bed, chatting and napping at short intervals, and Queeque_ow and then affectionately throwing his brown tattooed legs over mine, an_hen drawing them back; so entirely sociable and free and easy were we; when,
  • at last, by reason of our confabulations, what little nappishness remained i_s altogether departed, and we felt like getting up again, though day-brea_as yet some way down the future.
  • Yes, we became very wakeful; so much so that our recumbent position began t_row wearisome, and by little and little we found ourselves sitting up; th_lothes well tucked around us, leaning against the headboard with our fou_nees drawn up close together, and our two noses bending over them, as if ou_nee-pans were warming-pans. We felt very nice and snug, the more so since i_as so chilly out of doors; indeed out of bed-clothes too, seeing that ther_as no fire in the room. The more so, I say, because truly to enjoy bodil_armth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in thi_orld that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. I_ou flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so _ong time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. But if, lik_ueequeg and me in the bed, the tip of your nose or the crown of your head b_lightly chilled, why then, indeed, in the general consciousness you feel mos_elightfully and unmistakably warm. For this reason a sleeping apartmen_hould never be furnished with a fire, which is one of the luxuriou_iscomforts of the rich. For the height of this sort of deliciousness is t_ave nothing but the blankets between you and your snugness and the cold o_he outer air. Then there you lie like the one warm spark in the heart of a_rctic crystal.
  • We had been sitting in this crouching manner for some time, when all at once _hought I would open my eyes; for when between sheets, whether by day or b_ight, and whether asleep or awake, I have a way of always keeping my eye_hut, in order the more to concentrate the snugness of being in bed. Becaus_o man can ever feel his own identity aright except his eyes be closed; as if,
  • darkness were indeed the proper element of our essences, though light be mor_ongenial to our clayey part. Upon opening my eyes then, and coming out of m_wn pleasant and self-created darkness into the imposed and coarse outer gloo_f the unilluminated twelve-o’clock-at-night, I experienced a disagreeabl_evulsion. Nor did I at all object to the hint from Queequeg that perhaps i_ere best to strike a light, seeing that we were so wide awake; and besides h_elt a strong desire to have a few quiet puffs from his Tomahawk. Be it said,
  • that though I had felt such a strong repugnance to his smoking in the bed th_ight before, yet see how elastic our stiff prejudices grow when love onc_ove comes to bend them. For now I liked nothing better than to have Queeque_moking by me, even in bed, because he seemed to be full of such seren_ousehold joy then. I no more felt unduly concerned for the landlord’s polic_f insurance. I was only alive to the condensed confidential comfortablenes_f sharing a pipe and a blanket with a real friend. With our shaggy jacket_rawn about our shoulders, we now passed the Tomahawk from one to the other,
  • till slowly there grew over us a blue hanging tester of smoke, illuminated b_he flame of the new-lit lamp.
  • Whether it was that this undulating tester rolled the savage away to fa_istant scenes, I know not, but he now spoke of his native island; and, eage_o hear his history, I begged him to go on and tell it. He gladly complied.
  • Though at the time I but ill comprehended not a few of his words, ye_ubsequent disclosures, when I had become more familiar with his broke_hraseology, now enable me to present the whole story such as it may prove i_he mere skeleton I give.