This is Moby Dick Chapter 10: A Bosom Friend (summary)
Vocabulary Words found in this chapter: Moby Dick Chapter 10: A Bosom Friend (Vocabulary Words)

Previous Chapter: Chapter 9: The Sermon (summary)

Ishmael realized that Queegqueg had left the chapel, just before Mapple led the closing prayer.

When he was near the Spouter-Inn, he saw Queegqueg. He was quite alone at the door, carving his idol’s nose. Later, Queegqueg went inside, sat on the table, took a large book, and counted its pages by fifties.

Queegqueg in Moby Dick Chapter 10: A Bosom Friend (summary)
Queegqueg as he counts the book by fifties.

As Ishmael watched him while he did that, he observed that Queegqueg’s head was like that of George Washington‘s—cannibalistically developed, though. Interestingly, Ishmael began to feel like he’s mysteriously drawn to Queegqueg. So he took a chair and sat beside Queegqueg. He did his best to be very friendly to him.

Later, Queegqueg asked if they were going to be bedfellows again. Ishmael happily replied ‘yes’. They continued on flipping the pages together, as Ishmael explains the purpose of the book, and the meaning of a few pictures in it, to Queegqeug.

Afterwards, they wandered about in that famous town. Ishmael proposed a social smoke. From time to time, they were regularly exchanging puffs of Queegqueg’s wild pipe. Then unexpectedly, Queegqueg pressed his forehead onto Ishmael’s, saying that they were married. In Queegqueg’s country, it means that he is ready to die for Ishmael, if needed. And thus, they became bosom friends.

After supper in the Spouter-Inn, they had another social chat and social smoke. By the time they were in their bedroom already, Queegqueg took all his money out and laid them all out on the table. Next, he divided his thirty dollars into two equal parts, and gave the half to Ishmael. He refused, but Queegqueg insisted.

Afterwards, Queegqueg took his little idol out, and then prayed to it. According to Ishmael, one should not think that God will get jealous when a person worships other gods instead of him. 

Besides, He created all things, including the tree from where Queegqueg’s idol came from. Additionally, it is God’s will to love our neighbor. So he decided to join Queegqueg in his prayer, and offered a biscuit to the idol, too.

Technically, Ishmael was right when he said that it is God’s will to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) But to worship God in the right way, we should worship him ‘with our whole heart and with our whole soul and with our whole mind.’—Matthew 22:37.

So what did Jesus mean when he said this? Jesus meant to say that it is only Jehovah God his Father who we should serve ‘with our whole heart’—not serve him in half-heartedly, and then the other half for other gods.—1 Corinthians 10:21, 22; Galatians 5:20, 21; 1 Corinthians 10:14.

For more information, check out this article: Should We Worship Images?

Before Ishmael and Queegqueg went to sleep, they chatted for a while. And they were, as Ishmael has put it, like a couple.

End of Moby Dick Chapter 10: A Bosom Friend (summary)

Next Chapter: Chapter 11: Nightgown (summary)

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