Quotation by Herman Melville

Hardly have we mortals by long toilings extracted from this world's vast bulk its small but valuable sperm; and then, with weary patience, cleansed ourselves from its defilements, and learned to live here in clean tabernacles of the soul; hardly is this done, when—Thar she blows!—the ghost is spouted up, and away we sail to fight some other world, and go through young life's old routine again.
Herman Melville (1819–1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 98, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).

Referring to the quest for sperm oil.
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