Chapters

Chapter 14 Chapter 14 Not many days after the last incident narrated (no comma in MS)narrated, something befell Billy Budd that more gravelledgravelled] puzzled or confounded; but also an obsolete nautical usage referring to a ship run aground, him thatthan aught that had previously occurred. It was a warm night for the latitude; and the Foretopman, whose watch at the time was properly below, was, (comma in MS)was dozing on the uppermost deck whither he had ascended from his hot hhammock (no comma in MS)ammock, one of hundreds suspended so closely wedged together over a lower gun-deck that there was little or no swing to them. He lay as in the shadow of a hill-side stretched under the lee of the booms, a piled ridge amidships of spare spars between foremast &and mainmast and among which the ship's largest boat, the launch, was stowed., (remnant comma in MS)stowed. Alongside of three other slumberers from below, he lay near that end of the booms' (apostrophe in MS)booms which approaches from the foremastapproaches from the foremast] It is hot below decks, and Billy seeks a cooler spot to sleep on deck, beside a stack of spare spars (or booms) arranged between the foremast and central mainmast, in parallel with the ship's hull. He finds a place on the foremast end of the pile. HM heavily revised this description, and the final wording—"that end of the booms which approaches from the foremast"—seems imprecise. MEL retains the manuscript wording; NN emends by dropping "from."; his station aloft on duty as a foretopman being just over the deck-station of the forecastlemen, entitling him according to usage to make himself more or less at home in that neighborhood. Presently he was stirred into semi-consciousness by ssombodyomebody, who must have previously sounded the sleep of the others, touching his shoulder, and then as the Foretopman raised his head, breathing into his ear in a quick whisper, "Slip into the lee fore-chains, Billy; there is something in the wind. D'ontDon't speak. Quick, I will meet you there"; and disappeared. Now Billy like sundry other essentially goodnatured ones had some of the weaknesses inseparable from essential good nature; and among these was a reluctance, almost an incapacity of plumply saying no to an abrupt proposition not obviously absurd, nor on the face of it, (superfluous nor in MS)on the face of it,on the face of it,] The original text here and for the series of "nor" phrases is the result of two errors in HM's uncompleted revision: a misplaced caret and an unnecessary restoration. Originally, HM had inscribed "not obviously absurd or iniquitous." In pencil, he (mis)placed a caret after "or," changed it to "nor," and inserted new wording that if read as inserted would be confusing: "nor on the face of it, nor obviously unfriendly, nor iniquitous." Confused by the misplaced caret, HM deleted the third "nor" but then restored it. For the sake of coherency, MEL removes the first "nor," as do HS and NN. nor obviously unfriendly, nor iniquitous. And being of warm blood, he had not the phlegm to tacitly to (superfluous to in MS)phlegm tacitly tophlegm tacitly to] HM originally wrote "phlegm to negative." In a pencil revision, he inserted "tacitly to" in the left margin and neglected to delete "to" at the end of the preceding sentence, thus creating a doubled "to." MEL removes the superfluous "to." negative any proposition by unresponsive inaction. Like his sense of fear, his apprehension as to aught outside of the honest &and natural was seldom very quick. Besides, upon the present occasion, the drouzedrouze] The word means a semi-conscious state. Given that HM's "z" can look like an "s," his spelling might also be "drouse." The OED lists "drowze," "drowse," and "drouse" as acceptable variants, as well as Milton's "drouze." HS emends to "drowse." MEL and NN do not emend; however, NN reads the word as "drouse," whereas MEL reads it as "drouze." from his sleep still hung upon him. However it was, he mechanically rose, and sleepily wondering what could be in the wind, betook himself to the designated place, a narrow platform, one of six, outside of the high bulwarks and screened by the great dead-eyes and multiple columned lanyards of the shrouds and back-stays; and, in a great war-ship of that time, of dimensions commensurate commensurate hull's magnitude (to the dropped in revision)to theto the] In revising this passage, HM deleted but neglected to restore "to the." MEL restores the dropped words. hull's magnitude; a tarry balcony in short overhanging the sea, and so secluded that one mariner of the Indomitable, a non-conformist old tar of a serious turn, made it even in daytime his private oratory. In this retired nook the stranger soon joined Billy Budd. There was no moon as yet; a haze obscured the star-light. He could not distinctly see the stranger's face. Yet from something in the outline and carriage, Billy took him to be, and correctly, forfor] In composing his sentence, HM seems torn between "took him to be" and "took him for" an afterguardsman, and he inadvertently composes a mixture of both: "took him to be for one of the afterguard." HS and NN delete "for." But since the wording is not confusing, MEL retains "for" as emblematic of HM's uncompleted revision process. one of the afterguard. "Hist! Billy[quote], Billy," said the man;man in the same quick cautionary whisper as before (no period in MS)before. "You were impressed, were'twere't] HM's spelling here is unambiguous and possibly an attempt at a working-class dialect for "weren't." HS and NN emend to "weren't"; MEL retains "were't." you? Well, so was I;[quote]I"; and he paused, as to mark the effect. But Billy not knowing exactly what to make of this said nothing. Then the other: "We are not the only impressed ones, Billy. There's a gang of us.—Could'ntCouldn't you—help—at a pinch? (no quote in MS)pinch?" "What do you mean? (no quote in MS)mean?" demanded Billy here shakingshaking] HM originally wrote "thoroughly shaking off," but deleted "thoroughly" in ink. He later restored the word in pencil, but deleted the restoration with penciled loops. HS prints the restoration. MEL and NN do not. off his drouze. "Hist, hist! (no quote in MS)hist!" the hurried whisper now growing husky, see (no quotation mark in MS)"see here;" and the man held up two small objects faintly twinkling in the nightlight; "see, they are yours, Billy, if you'll only—" But Billy broke in, and in his resentful eagerness to deliver himself (no comma in MS)himself, his vocal infirmity somewhat intruded; "D-D Damme (no second hyphen)D-D-Damme, I do'ntdon't know what you are d-d-driving at, or what you mean, but you had better g-g-go where you belong!" For the moment the fellow, as confounded, did not stir; and Billy (no comma in MS)Billy, springing to his feet, said (no comma in MS)said, "If you d-dontdon't start, I'll t-t-toss you back over the r-rail!" There was no mistaking this and the mysterious emissary decamped disappearing in the direction of the mainmast in the shadow of the booms. "Hallo, what's the matter?" here came growling from a forecastleman awakened from his deck-doze by Billy's raised voice. And as the foretopman reappeared and was recognized by him; "Ah, Beauty, is it you? Well, something must have been the matter for you st-st-stuttered." "O," rejoined Billy, now mastering the impediment; "I found an afterguardsman in our part of the ship here and I bid him be off where he belongs." "And is that all you did about it, foretopman?" gruffly demanded another, an irasciableirascible old fellow of brick-colored visage and hair, and who was known to his associate forecastlemen as Red Pepper; "Such sneaks I should like to marry to the gunner's daughter!" by that expression meaning that he would like to subject them to disciplinary castigation over a gun. However, the Billy'sBilly'sBilly's] In deleting "the foretopman's" here and replacing it with "Billy's" Melville deleted only "foretopman's." MEL deletes "the" as well. rendering of the matter satisfactorily accounted to these inquirers for the brief commotion, since of all the sections of a ship's company the forecastlemen, veterans for the most part and bigoted in their sea-prejudices, are the most jealous in resenting territorial encroachments, especially on the part of any of the afterguard, of whom they have but a sorry opinion, chiefly landsmen, never going aloft except to reef or furl the mainsail, and in no wise competent to handle a marlinspike or turningturnturn] In revision, HM wrote "turning" in parallel with "handling," but when he revised "handling" to "handle," he neglected to change "turning" as well. MEL emends to "turn." in a dead-eye, say.