Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day

Great pirate talk to impress your friends!
An excerpt from Moby Dick: Stubbs exhorations to the crew as they pursue a whale in their first lowering in the long boats. Stubbs is my favourite character. Something about walking that fine line between insanity and joy...

Pull, then, do pull; never mind the brimstone --devils are good fellows enough. So, so; there you are now; that's the stroke for a thousand pounds; that's the stroke to sweep the stakes! Hurrah for the gold cup of sperm oil, my heroes! Three cheers, men --all hearts alive! Easy, easy; don't be in a hurry --don't be in a hurry. Why don't you snap your oars, you rascals? Bite something, you dogs! So, so, so, then; --softly, softly! That's it -- that's it! long and strong. Give way there, give way! The devil fetch ye, ye ragamuffin rapscallions; ye are all asleep. Stop snoring, ye sleepers, and pull. Pull, will ye? pull, can't ye? pull, won't ye? Why in the name of gudgeons and ginger-cakes don't ye pull? --pull and break something! pull, and start your eyes out! Here! whipping out the sharp knife from his girdle; every mother's son of ye draw his knife, and pull with the blade between his teeth.
That's it --that's it. Now ye do something; that looks like it, my steel-bits. Start her --start her, my silver-spoons! Start her, marling-spikes!
Stubb's exordium to his crew is given here at large, because he had rather a peculiar way of talking to them in general, and especially in inculcating the religion of rowing. But you must not suppose from this specimen of his sermonizings that he ever flew into downright passions with his congregation. Not at all; and therein consisted his chief peculiarity. He would say the most terrific things to his crew, in a tone so strangely compounded of fun and fury, and the fury seemed so calculated merely as a spice to the fun, that no oarsman could hear such queer invocations without pulling for dear life, and yet pulling for the mere joke of the thing. Besides he all the time looked so easy and indolent himself, so loungingly managed his steering-oar, and so broadly gaped --open-mouthed at times --that the mere sight of such a yawning commander, by sheer force of contrast, acted like a charm upon the crew. Then again, Stubb was one of those odd sort of humorists, whose jollity is sometimes so curiously ambiguous, as to put all inferiors on their guard in the matter of obeying them.
Sing out and say something, my hearties. Roar and pull, my thunderbolts! Beach me, beach me on their black backs, boys; only do that for me, and I'll sign over to you my Martha's Vineyard plantation, boys; including wife and children, boys. Lay me on --lay me on! O Lord, Lord! but I shall go stark, staring mad: See! see that white water! And so shouting, he pulled his hat from his head, and stamped up and down on it; then picking it up, flirted it far off upon the sea; and finally fell to rearing and plunging in the boat's stern like a crazed colt from the prairie. Look at that chap now, philosophically drawled Stubb, who, with his unlighted short pipe, mechanically retained between his teeth, at a short distance, followed after -- He's got fits, that Flask has. Fits? yes, give him fits --that's the very word -- pitch fits into 'em. Merrily, merrily, hearts-alive. Pudding for supper, you know; --merry's the word. Pull, babes --pull, sucklings -- pull, all. But what the devil are you hurrying about? Softly, softly, and steadily, my men. Only pull, and keep pulling; nothing more. Crack all your backbones, and bite your knives in two -- that's all. Take it easy --why don't ye take it easy, I say, and burst all your livers and lungs!

I love it.