importance of poise at table

The Importance of Poise at theTable

Photo by Andrew Bardwell
“But as for Queequeg — why, Queequeg sat there among them — at the head of the table, too, it so chanced; as cool as an icicle. To be sure I cannot say much for his breeding. His greatest admirer could not have cordially justified his bringing his harpoon into breakfast with him, and using it there without ceremony; reaching over the table with it, to the imminent jeopardy of many heads, and grappling the beefsteaks towards him. But that was certainly very coolly done by him, and everyone knows that in most people’s estimation, to do anything coolly is to do it genteelly.”

Moby Dick, first published 1851 by Herman Melville. New York: Signet Classic, 1980, page 48.

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