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Herman Melville

“For in their interflowing aggregate, those grand fresh-water seas of ours,--Erie, and Ontario, and Huron, and Superior, and Michigan,--possess an ocean-like expansiveness, with many of the ocean's noblest traits; with many of its rimmed varieties of races and climes. They contain round archipelagoes of romantic isles, even as the Polynesian water do; in large part, are shored by two great contrasting nations, as the Atlantic is; they furnish long maritime approaches to our numerous territorial colonies from the East, dotted all round their banks; here and there are frowned upon by batteries, and by the goat-like craggy guns of Mackinaw; they have heard the fleet thunderings of naval victories; at intervals, they have yield their beaches to wild barbarians, whose red painted faces flash from out their pelty wigwams; for leagues and leagues are flanked by ancient and unentered forests, where the gaunt pines stand like serried lines of kings in Gothic genealogies; those same woods harboring wild Afric beasts of prey, and silken creatures whose exported furs gives robes to Tartar Emperors; they mirror the paved capitals of Buffalo and Cleveland, as well as Winnebago villages; they float alike the full-rigged merchant ship, the armed cruiser of the State, the steamer, and the birch canoe; they are swept by Borean and dismasting blasts as direful as any that lash the salted wave; they know what shipwrecks are, for out of sight of land, however inland, they have drowned full many a midnight ship with all its shrieking crew.”


Herman Melville, Moby Dick
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Moby Dick Moby Dick by Herman Melville
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