Moby Dick Chapter 60 The Line
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In preparation for the description of whaling, a discourse on the danger of a rope aboard a whale boat zinging out at such ferocious speed with a whale attached to the other end of it that it risks taking limbs of unwary whalers with it.
Melville describes its strength, its material, its manner of coiling and storage, and other details which make sitting in a whale boat rather like sitting inside a working steam engine
In case you think this detail is tedious, Ishmael explains his parable