A monologue from the book by Herman Melville

NOTE: This monologue was first published in Moby Dick. Herman Melville. London: Richard Bentley, 1851. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

STUBB: Such a queer dream, King-Post, I never had. You know the old man's ivory leg, well I dreamed he kicked me with it; and when I tried to kick back, upon my soul, my little man, I kicked my leg right off! And then, presto! Ahab seemed a pyramid, and I, like a blazing fool, kept kicking at it. But what was still more curious, Flask -- you know how curious all dreams are -- through all this rage that I was in, I somehow seemed to be thinking to myself, that after all, it was not much of an insult, that kick from Ahab. 'Why,' thinks I, 'what's the row? It's not a real leg, only a false leg.' And there's a mighty difference between a living thump and a dead thump. That's what makes a blow from the hand, Flask, fifty times more savage to bear than a blow from a cane. The living member -- that makes the living insult, my little man. And thinks I to myself all the while, mind, while I was stubbing my silly toes against the cursed pyramid -- so confoundingly contradictory was it all, all the while, I say, I was thinking to myself, 'what's his leg now, but a cane -- a whalebone cane. Yes,' thinks I, 'it was only a playful cudgelling -- in fact, only a whaleboning that he gave me -- not a base kick. Besides,' thinks I, 'look at it once; why, the end of it -- the foot part -- what a small sort of end it is; whereas, if a broad-footed farmer kicked me, _there's_ a devilish insult. But this insult is whittled down to a point only. No, you were kicked by a great man, and with a beautiful ivory leg, Stubb! It's an honour!'

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