Moby-Dick: Mast


  1. a pole, or long, strong, round piece of timber, or spar, set upright in a boat or vessel, to sustain the sails, yards, rigging, etc

The word mast appears in the following sentences from Moby-Dick:

Chapter 1 > Paragraph 8 > Sentence 1:

No, when I go to sea, I go as a simple sailor, right before the mast, plumb down into the fore-castle, aloft there to the royal mast-head.

Chapter 27 > Paragraph 9 > Sentence 7:

As for the residue of the Pequod's company, be it said, that at the present day not one in two of the many thousand men before the mast employed in the American whale fishery, are Americans born, though pretty nearly all the officers are.

Chapter 28 > Paragraph 4 > Sentence 3:

"Aye, he was dismasted off Japan," said the old Gay-Head Indian once; "but like his dismasted craft, he shipped another mast without coming home for it.

Chapter 28 > Paragraph 6 > Sentence 4:

And, by and by, it came to pass, that he was almost continually in the air; but, as yet, for all that he said, or perceptibly did, on the at last sunny deck, he seemed as unnecessary there as another mast.

Chapter 33 > Paragraph 2 > Sentence 6:

Nevertheless, as upon the good conduct of the harpooneers the success of a whaling voyage largely depends, and since in the American Fishery he is not only an important officer in the boat, but under certain circumstances (night watches on a whaling ground) the command of the ship's deck is also his; therefore the grand political maxim of the sea demands, that he should nominally live apart from the men before the mast, and be in some way distinguished as their professional superior; though always, by them, familiarly regarded as their social equal.

Chapter 34 > Paragraph 6 > Sentence 10:

I am an officer; but, how I wish I could fish a bit of old-fashioned beef in the fore-castle, as I used to when I was before the mast.

Chapter 35 > Paragraph 3 > Sentence 3:

For though their progenitors, the builders of Babel, must doubtless, by their tower, have intended to rear the loftiest mast-head in all Asia, or Africa either; yet (ere the final truck was put to it) as that great stone mast of theirs may be said to have gone by the board, in the dread gale of God's wrath; therefore, we cannot give these Babel builders priority over the Egyptians.

Chapter 35 > Paragraph 6 > Sentence 5:

Being fixed on the summit of the mast, you ascend into it through a little trap-hatch in the bottom.

Chapter 36 > Paragraph 22 > Sentence 1:

"Huzza! huzza!" cried the seamen, as with swinging tarpaulins they hailed the act of nailing the gold to the mast.

Chapter 52 > Paragraph 2 > Sentence 6:

Standing in iron hoops nailed to the mast, they swayed and swung over a fathomless sea; and though, when the ship slowly glided close under our stern, we six men in the air came so nigh to each other that we might almost have leaped from the mast-heads of one ship to those of the other; yet, those forlorn-looking fishermen, mildly eyeing us as they passed, said not one word to our own look-outs, while the quarter-deck hail was being heard from below.

Chapter 56 > Paragraph 8 > Sentence 6:

The harpoons and lances lie levelled for use; three oarsmen are just setting the mast in its hole; while from a sudden roll of the ship, the little craft stands half-erect out of the water, like a rearing horse.

Chapter 73 > Paragraph 25 > Sentence 1:

"Do you see that mainmast there?" pointing to the ship; "well, that's the figure one; now take all the hoops in the Pequod's hold, and string along in a row with that mast, for oughts, do you see; well, that wouldn't begin to be Fedallah's age.

Chapter 81 > Paragraph 18 > Sentence 7:

Halloo, here's grass growing in the boat's bottom—and by the Lord, the mast there's budding.

Chapter 89 > Paragraph 7 > Sentence 2:

Alive or dead a fish is technically fast, when it is connected with an occupied ship or boat, by any medium at all controllable by the occupant or occupants,—a mast, an oar, a nine-inch cable, a telegraph wire, or a strand of cobweb, it is all the same.

Chapter 98 > Paragraph 4 > Sentence 1:

But mark: aloft there, at the three mast heads, stand three men intent on spying out more whales, which, if caught, infallibly will again soil the old oaken furniture, and drop at least one small grease-spot somewhere.

Chapter 99 > Paragraph 11 > Sentence 3:

He luffs up before the doubloon; halloa, and goes round on the other side of the mast; why, there's a horse-shoe nailed on that side; and now he's back again; what does that mean?

Chapter 99 > Paragraph 22 > Sentence 3:

Then again, if it stays here, that is ugly, too, for when aught's nailed to the mast it's a sign that things grow desperate.

Chapter 99 > Paragraph 22 > Sentence 8:

And so they'll say in the resurrection, when they come to fish up this old mast, and find a doubloon lodged in it, with bedded oysters for the shaggy bark.

Chapter 119 > Paragraph 2 > Sentence 2:

When darkness came on, sky and sea roared and split with the thunder, and blazed with the lightning, that showed the disabled mast fluttering here and there with the rags which the first fury of the tempest had left for its after sport.

Chapter 119 > Paragraph 19 > Sentence 1:

Now, as the lightning rod to a spire on shore is intended to carry off the perilous fluid into the soil; so the kindred rod which at sea some ships carry to each mast, is intended to conduct it into the water.

Chapter 121 > Paragraph 3 > Sentence 11:

What's the mighty difference between holding a mast's lightning-rod in the storm, and standing close by a mast that hasn't got any lightning-rod at all in a storm?

Chapter 121 > Paragraph 3 > Sentence 12:

Don't you see, you timber-head, that no harm can come to the holder of the rod, unless the mast is first struck?

Chapter 126 > Paragraph 7 > Sentence 1:

And thus the first man of the Pequod that mounted the mast to look out for the White Whale, on the White Whale's own peculiar ground; that man was swallowed up in the deep.

Chapter 130 > Paragraph 8 > Sentence 7:

And thus, with one hand clinging round the royal mast, Ahab gazed abroad upon the sea for miles and miles,—ahead astern, this side, and that,—within the wide expanded circle commanded at so great a height.

Chapter 133 > Paragraph 30 > Sentence 1:

Meantime, from the beginning all this had been descried from the ship's mast heads; and squaring her yards, she had borne down upon the scene; and was now so nigh, that Ahab in the water hailed her!—"Sail on the"—but that moment a breaking sea dashed on him from Moby Dick, and whelmed him for the time.

Chapter 134 > Paragraph 29 > Sentence 3:

Can any lead touch yonder floor, any mast scrape yonder roof?—Aloft there! which way?"

Chapter 135 > Paragraph 1 > Sentence 1:

The morning of the third day dawned fair and fresh, and once more the solitary night-man at the fore-mast-head was relieved by crowds of the daylight look-outs, who dotted every mast and almost every spar.

Chapter 135 > Paragraph 11 > Sentence 18:

But aye, old mast, we both grow old together; sound in our hulls, though are we not, my ship?

Chapter 135 > Paragraph 37 > Sentence 7:

And now marking that the vane or flag was gone from the main-mast-head, he shouted to Tashtego, who had just gained that perch, to descend again for another flag, and a hammer and nails, and so nail it to the mast.

Concordance for the word mast from Moby-Dick.

Herman Melville
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