Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:52 PM
rug (80,941 posts)
Speaking of Moby Dick, the funniest commentary on religion I have ever read.
Now, amid the green, life-restless loom of that Arsacidean wood, the great, white, worshipped skeleton lay lounging- a gigantic idler! Yet, as the ever-woven verdant warp and woof intermixed and hummed around him, the mighty idler seemed the sunning weaver; himself all woven over with the vines; every month assuming greener, fresher verdure; but himself a skeleton. Life folded Death; Death trellised Life; the grim god wived with youthful Life, and begat him curly-headed glories.
Now, when with royal Tranquo I visited this wondrous whale, and saw the skull an altar, and the artificial smoke ascending from where the real jet had issued, I marvelled that the king should regard a chapel as an object of vertu. He laughed. But more I marvelled that the priests should swear that smoky jet of his was genuine. To and fro I paced before this skeleton- brushed the vine aside- broke through the ribs- and with a ball of Arsacidean twine, wandered, eddied long amid its many winding, shaded colonnades and arbors. But soon my line was out; and following back, I emerged from the opening where I entered. I saw no living thing within; naught was there but bones.
Cutting me a green measuring-rod, I once more dived within the skeleton. From their arrow-slit in the skull, the priests perceived me taking the altitude of the final rib, "How now!" they shouted; "Dar'st thou measure this our god! That's for us." "Aye, priests- well, how long do ye make him, then?" But hereupon a fierce contest rose among them, concerning feet and inches; they cracked each other's sconces with their yard-sticks- the great skull echoed- and seizing that lucky chance, I quickly concluded my own admeasurements.
From Chapter 102 - A Bower in the Arsacides
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