Billy Budd and Other Tales (Signet Classics)

Billy Budd and Other Tales (Signet Classics)

Herman Melville

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 0451530810

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A master of the american short story

Included in this rich collection are: The Piazza, Bartleby the Scrivener, Benito Cereno, The Lightning-Rod Man, The Encantadas, The Bell-Tower, and The Town-Ho's Story.















many days of sun; the sixth, of clouds; which last, of the two, was the greater one. Long night of busy numbering, misery’s mathematics, to weary her too-wakeful soul to sleep; yet sleep for that was none. The panel of the days was deeply worn—the long tenth notches half effaced, as alphabets of the blind. Ten thousand times the longing widow had traced her finger over the bamboo—dull flute, which, played on, gave no sound—as if counting birds flown by in air would hasten tortoises creeping

but not often, be half filled overnight. It held six quarts, perhaps. “But,” said she, “we were used to thirst. At sandy Payta, where I live, no shower from heaven ever fell; all the water there is brought on mules from the inland vales.” Tied among the thickets were some twenty moaning tortoises, supplying Hunilla’s lonely larder, while hundreds of vast tableted black bucklers, like displaced, shattered tombstones of dark slate, were also scattered round. These were the skeleton backs of those

confronted by a series of clues that challenge him to understand what is really happening, which is precisely the mutiny that Vere sees is not happening on his ship, and where Vere is able to figure things out and act on what he sees, Delano’s moral innocence leads him instead to misread the situation despite his best efforts. Then, in a powerful instance of Melvillean irony, Delano’s failure of perception saves not only his own skin but also his capacity to keep looking at life on the bright

sick man, is it credible that I should have imagined he meant to spill all my blood, who can’t endure the sight of one little drop of his own? Surely, Amasa Delano, you have been beside yourself this day. Tell it not when you get home, sappy Amasa. Well, well, he looks like a murderer, doesn’t he? More like as if himself were to be done for. Well, well, this day’s experience shall be a good lesson. Meantime, while these things were running through the honest seaman’s mind, the servant had taken

fourth, Ghofan; and six full-grown Negroes, aged from thirty to forty-five, all raw, and born among the Ashantees—Matiluqui, Yan, Lecbe, Mapenda, Yambaio, Akim; four of whom were killed;*** a powerful Negro named Atufal, who being supposed to have been a chief in Africa, his owner set great store by him.*** And a small Negro of Senegal, but some years among the Spaniards, aged about thirty, which Negro’s name was Babo;*** that he does not remember the names of the others, but that still expecting

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