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Fortunately, his next school, Columbia Grammar School, was more liberal and humane. Despite the fact that both parents favored the glib Gansevoort over the inarticulate dreamer, Herman had fond memories of his worldly father. ’’ Even shipping notices held ‘‘a strange, romantic charm’’ (R 4) for the imaginative boy. Between the ages of eight and twelve, Herman spent three summers with his Boston grandparents and a summer with his Aunt Mary and Uncle John D’Wolf in Bristol, Rhode Island. Captain John D’Wolf had sailed to Archangel in Russia and crossed Siberia by dogsled from the Sea of Okhotsk to St.

Between visits to the red cottage overlooking Lake Mahkeenac where Nathaniel Hawthorne lived with his wife Sophia, their son Julian, and their daughter Una, and philosophical discussions in the barn at Arrowhead with the author of dark tales of Puritan New England, he finished writing Moby-Dick (1851). Melville’s oceanic cadences and cosmic images infuse Moby-Dick with magic and mysticism. From the magic of ‘‘the pool in the stream’’ Ishmael evokes in ‘‘Loomings’’ to the ‘‘mystical vibration’’ he says he felt when, during his maiden voyage, he realized he was out of sight of land, Ishmael puts before us ‘‘the image of the ungraspable phantom of life’’ (5) that drew Melville to the American West, the South Seas, Europe, the Holy Land, and, in 1860, California.

In Paris, he purchased fine linen handkerchiefs, kid gloves, lace mantillas, Leghorn hats, merino shawls, ostrich feathers, Moroccan reticules, satin, taffeta and velvet ribbons and perfumes from Cologne and had them shipped home to America. He also dined with the Marquis de Lafayette and the French family of his brother Thomas’s first wife. Allan Melvill approached business with a kind of missionary zeal. He repeatedly expressed the conviction that religious piety guaranteed material success, and that commercial success was a sign of the favor of GOD, always capitalizing that name.

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