This is Moby Dick Chapter 2: The Carpet-Bag (summary).
Vocabulary Words found in this chapter: Moby Dick Chapter 2: The Carpet-Bag (Vocabulary Words)
Previous Chapter: Chapter 1: Loomings (summary)
It was Saturday night of December. Ishmael had stuffed a shirt or two into his old carpet-bag preparing for his journey to New Bedford. It was disappointing though because the little packet had already sailed. Fortunately, the next batch will go there next Monday, so he decided to use a Nantucket craft to explore that old boisterous island.
In comparison, New Bedford has monopolized the whaling business, so the place is rich. But Nantucket is penurious and poor. Nevertheless, Nantucket was known for the first dead American whale ever stranded and caught. Moreover, the early adventurous people who started hunting for whales came from Nantucket.
Upon the arrival at New Bedford, Ishmael felt anxious, dubious, and uncertain because he knew no one there, and no one knew him. So he kept whispering to comfort and brighten himself up a little. Afterwards, he started to walk to look for a lodging place.
He passed the signs “The Crossed Harpoons” and “Sword-Fish Inn,” and thought that both were too jolly and too expensive. Then, he guessed that he could find the cheapest inns, and maybe even the cheeriest people, if he went in the direction towards the sea. But as he goes that way, there was not a single house on either side of the street. It was very cheerless and gloomy.
Finally, he saw a smoky, low, open, and wide building that seems intended for public use. He pushed through the interior doors. Incidentally, he sees a negro beating the pulpit as he gives a sermon to black people seated at the benches. He realized that it was not an inn—it was a negro church! So he went back out and continued onto the street.
Then the sign ‘The Spouter Inn:—Peter Coffin’ caught his attention. The house where the sign hung, was very old, ill, cold, and poor-shaped. It’s looked like someone had taken and carried this house from a burnt district because it was hideous. So Ishmael concluded that this might be the cheapest inn in town. In the next chapter, we’ll see what sort of inn this is.
End of Moby Dick Chapter 2: The Carpet-Bag (summary).