I quickly followed suit, and descending into the bar-room accosted th_rinning landlord very pleasantly. I cherished no malice towards him, thoug_e had been skylarking with me not a little in the matter of my bedfellow.
However, a good laugh is a mighty good thing, and rather too scarce a goo_hing; the more’s the pity. So, if any one man, in his own proper person,
afford stuff for a good joke to anybody, let him not be backward, but let hi_heerfully allow himself to spend and to be spent in that way. And the ma_hat has anything bountifully laughable about him, be sure there is more i_hat man than you perhaps think for.
The bar-room was now full of the boarders who had been dropping in the nigh_revious, and whom I had not as yet had a good look at. They were nearly al_halemen; chief mates, and second mates, and third mates, and sea carpenters,
and sea coopers, and sea blacksmiths, and harpooneers, and ship keepers; _rown and brawny company, with bosky beards; an unshorn, shaggy set, al_earing monkey jackets for morning gowns.
You could pretty plainly tell how long each one had been ashore. This youn_ellow’s healthy cheek is like a sun-toasted pear in hue, and would seem t_mell almost as musky; he cannot have been three days landed from his India_oyage. That man next him looks a few shades lighter; you might say a touch o_atin wood is in him. In the complexion of a third still lingers a tropi_awn, but slightly bleached withal; he doubtless has tarried whole week_shore. But who could show a cheek like Queequeg? which, barred with variou_ints, seemed like the Andes’ western slope, to show forth in one array,
contrasting climates, zone by zone.
“Grub, ho!” now cried the landlord, flinging open a door, and in we went t_reakfast.
They say that men who have seen the world, thereby become quite at ease i_anner, quite self-possessed in company. Not always, though: Ledyard, th_reat New England traveller, and Mungo Park, the Scotch one; of all men, the_ossessed the least assurance in the parlor. But perhaps the mere crossing o_iberia in a sledge drawn by dogs as Ledyard did, or the taking a lon_olitary walk on an empty stomach, in the negro heart of Africa, which was th_um of poor Mungo’s performances— this kind of travel, I say, may not be th_ery best mode of attaining a high social polish. Still, for the most part,
that sort of thing is to be had anywhere.
These reflections just here are occasioned by the circumstance that after w_ere all seated at the table, and I was preparing to hear some good storie_bout whaling; to my no small surprise nearly every man maintained a profoun_ilence. And not only that, but they looked embarrassed. Yes, here were a se_f sea-dogs, many of whom without the slightest bashfulness had boarded grea_hales on the high seas—entire strangers to them— and duelled them dea_ithout winking; and yet, here they sat at a social breakfast table—all of th_ame calling, all of kindred tastes—looking round as sheepishly at each othe_s though they had never been out of sight of some sheepfold among the Gree_ountains. A curious sight; these bashful bears, these timid warrior whalemen!
But as for Queequeg—why, Queequeg sat there among them— at the head of th_able, too, it so chanced; as cool as an icicle. To be sure I cannot say muc_or his breeding. His greatest admirer could not have cordially justified hi_ringing his harpoon into breakfast with him, and using it there withou_eremony; reaching over the table with it, to the imminent jeopardy of man_eads, and grappling the beefsteaks towards him. But that was certainly ver_oolly done by him, and every one knows that in most people’s estimation, t_o anything coolly is to do it genteelly.
We will not speak of all Queequeg’s peculiarities here; how he eschewed coffe_nd hot rolls, and applied his undivided attention to beefsteaks, done rare.
Enough, that when breakfast was over he withdrew like the rest into the publi_oom, lighted his tomahawk-pipe, and was sitting there quietly digesting an_moking with his inseparable hat on, when I sallied out for a stroll.