anticipating ‘the wire’ circa 1851

“I have sat before the dense coal fire and watched it all aglow, full of its tormented naming life; and I have seen it wane at last, down, down, to dumbest dust. Old man of oceans! of all this fiery life of thine, what will at length remain but one little heap of ashes!”

“Ay,” cried Stubb, “but sea-coal ashes mind ye that, Mr. Starbuck-sea-coal, not your common charcoal. Well, well; I heard Ahab mutter. ‘Here some one thrusts these cards into these old hands of mine; swears that I must play them, and no others.’ And damn me, Ahab, but thou actest right; live in the game, and die in it!”

-Herman Melville, Moby Dick

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~ by ironcupshrug on 02/03/2011.

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