Moby-Dick: Rigging


  1. the ropes supporting the masts and spars of a vessel, and serve as purchases for adjusting the sails

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

Chapter 1 > Paragraph 3 > Sentence 4:

Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep.

Chapter 20 > Paragraph 1 > Sentence 2:

Not only were the old sails being mended, but new sails were coming on board, and bolts of canvas, and coils of rigging; in short, everything betokened that the ship's preparations were hurrying to a close.

Chapter 20 > Paragraph 1 > Sentence 3:

Captain Peleg seldom or never went ashore, but sat in his wigwam keeping a sharp look-out upon the hands: Bildad did all the purchasing and providing at the stores; and the men employed in the hold and on the rigging were working till long after night-fall.

Chapter 21 > Paragraph 22 > Sentence 2:

The cabin entrance was locked within; the hatches were all on, and lumbered with coils of rigging.

Chapter 34 > Paragraph 2 > Sentence 2:

The second Emir lounges about the rigging awhile, and then slightly shaking the main brace, to see whether it will be all right with that important rope, he likewise takes up the old burden, and with a rapid "Dinner, Mr. Flask," follows after his predecessors.

Chapter 35 > Paragraph 7 > Sentence 2:

For one, I used to lounge up the rigging very leisurely, resting in the top to have a chat with Queequeg, or any one else off duty whom I might find there; then ascending a little way further, and throwing a lazy leg over the top-sail yard, take a preliminary view of the watery pastures, and so at last mount to my ultimate destination.

Chapter 40 > Paragraph 13 > Sentence 5:

(The half of them dance to the tambourine; some go below; some sleep or lie among the coils of rigging.

Chapter 51 > Paragraph 2 > Sentence 7:

But when, after spending his uniform interval there for several successive nights without uttering a single sound; when, after all this silence, his unearthly voice was heard announcing that silvery, moon-lit jet, every reclining mariner started to his feet as if some winged spirit had lighted in the rigging, and hailed the mortal crew.

Chapter 52 > Paragraph 2 > Sentence 2:

All down her sides, this spectral appearance was traced with long channels of reddened rust, while all her spars and her rigging were like the thick branches of trees furred over with hoar-frost.

Chapter 54 > Paragraph 53 > Sentence 3:

But all these were collared, and dragged along the deck like dead cattle; and, side by side, were seized up into the mizzen rigging, like three quarters of meat, and there they hung till morning.

Chapter 54 > Paragraph 55 > Sentence 1:

"'But as for you, ye carrion rogues,' turning to the three men in the rigging—'for you, I mean to mince ye up for the try-pots;' and, seizing a rope, he applied it with all his might to the backs of the two traitors, till they yelled no more, but lifelessly hung their heads sideways, as the two crucified thieves are drawn.

Chapter 54 > Paragraph 65 > Sentence 2:

He was in Radney the chief mate's watch; and as if the infatuated man sought to run more than half way to meet his doom, after the scene at the rigging, he insisted, against the express counsel of the captain, upon resuming the head of his watch at night.

Chapter 64 > Paragraph 3 > Sentence 4:

Tied by the head to the stern, and by the tall to the bows, the whale now lies with its black hull close to the vessel's, and seen through the darkness of the night, which obscured the spars and rigging aloft, the two—ship and whale, seemed yoked together like colossal bullocks, whereof one reclines while the other remains standing.*

Chapter 64 > Paragraph 51 > Sentence 2:

But, perhaps you expect to get into heaven by crawling through the lubber's hole, cook; but, no, no, cook, you don't get there, except you go the regular way, round by the rigging.

Chapter 73 > Paragraph 12 > Sentence 2:

He hasn't got any hammock; but I've seen him lay of nights in a coil of rigging."

Chapter 73 > Paragraph 13 > Sentence 1:

"No doubt, and it's because of his cursed tail; he coils it down, do ye see, in the eye of the rigging."

Chapter 95 > Paragraph 2 > Sentence 3:

This done he turns the pelt inside out, like a pantaloon leg; gives it a good stretching, so as almost to double its diameter; and at last hangs it, well spread, in the rigging, to dry.

Chapter 96 > Paragraph 7 > Sentence 3:

But that darkness was licked up by the fierce flames, which at intervals forked forth from the sooty flues, and illuminated every lofty rope in the rigging, as with the famed Greek fire.

Chapter 98 > Paragraph 2 > Sentence 6:

The soot is brushed from the lower rigging.

Chapter 111 > Paragraph 4 > Sentence 1:

But few thoughts of Pan stirred Ahab's brain, as standing, like an iron statue at his accustomed place beside the mizen rigging, with one nostril he unthinkingly snuffed the sugary musk from the Bashee isles (in whose sweet woods mild lovers must be walking), and with the other consciously inhaled the salt breath of the new found sea; that sea in which the hated White Whale must even then be swimming.

Chapter 115 > Paragraph 2 > Sentence 2:

Signals, ensigns, and jacks of all colors were flying from her rigging, on every side.

Chapter 119 > Paragraph 8 > Sentence 1:

"Avast Stubb," cried Starbuck, "let the Typhoon sing, and strike his harp here in our rigging; but if thou art a brave man thou wilt hold thy peace."

Chapter 119 > Paragraph 19 > Sentence 2:

But as this conductor must descend to considerable depth, that its end may avoid all contact with the hull; and as moreover, if kept constantly towing there, it would be liable to many mishaps, besides interfering not a little with some of the rigging, and more or less impeding the vessel's way in the water; because of all this, the lower parts of a ship's lightning-rods are not always overboard; but are generally made in long slender links, so as to be the more readily hauled up into the chains outside, or thrown down into the sea, as occasion may require.

Chapter 119 > Paragraph 31 > Sentence 1:

At the base of the main-mast, full beneath the doubloon and the flame, the Parsee was kneeling in Ahab's front, but with his head bowed away from him; while near by, from the arched and overhanging rigging, where they had just been engaged securing a spar, a number of the seamen, arrested by the glare, now cohered together, and hung pendulous, like a knot of numbed wasps from a drooping, orchard twig.

Chapter 124 > Paragraph 11 > Sentence 3:

Instances where the lightning has actually struck the vessel, so as to smite down some of the spars and rigging, the effect upon the needle has at times been still more fatal; all its loathsome virtue being annihilated, so that the before magnetic steel was of no more use than an old wife's knitting needle.

Chapter 126 > Paragraph 19 > Sentence 19:

Some superstitious old carpenters, now, would be tied up in rigging, ere they would do the job.

Chapter 128 > Paragraph 7 > Sentence 5:

The recall signals were placed in the rigging; darkness came on; and forced to pick up her three far to windward boats—ere going in quest of the fourth one in the precisely opposite direction—the ship had not only been necessitated to leave that boat to its fate till near midnight, but, for the time, to increase her distance from it.

Chapter 130 > Paragraph 9 > Sentence 1:

When in working with his hands at some lofty almost isolated place in the rigging, which chances to afford no foothold, the sailor at sea is hoisted up to that spot, and sustained there by the rope; under these circumstances, its fastened end on deck is always given in strict charge to some one man who has the special watch of it.

Chapter 130 > Paragraph 9 > Sentence 2:

Because in such a wilderness of running rigging, whose various different relations aloft cannot always be infallibly discerned by what is seen of them at the deck; and when the deck-ends of these ropes are being every few minutes cast down from the fastenings, it would be but a natural fatality, if, unprovided with a constant watchman, the hoisted sailor should by some carelessness of the crew be cast adrift and fall all swooping to the sea.

Chapter 133 > Paragraph 9 > Sentence 1:

Fired by the cry which seemed simultaneously taken up by the three look-outs, the men on deck rushed to the rigging to behold the famous whale they had so long been pursuing.

Chapter 134 > Paragraph 12 > Sentence 1:

The rigging lived.

Chapter 134 > Paragraph 40 > Sentence 5:

Keep him nailed-Quick!—all hands to the rigging of the boats—collect the oars—harpooneers! the irons, the irons!—hoist royals higher—a pull on all the sheets!—helm there! steady, steady for your life!

Chapter 134 > Paragraph 46 > Sentence 1:

So once more the sail was shortened, and everything passed nearly as on the previous night; only, the sound of hammers, and the hum of the grindstone was heard till nearly daylight, as the men toiled by lanterns in the complete and careful rigging of the spare boats and sharpening their fresh weapons for the morrow.

Concordance for the word rigging from Moby-Dick.

Herman Melville
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