It is well to parenthesize here, that of the fatal accidents in the
Sperm-Whale Fishery, this kind is perhaps almost as frequent as any.
Sometimes, nothing is injured but the man who is thus annihilated;
oftener the boat's bow is knocked off, or the thigh-board, in which the
headsman stands, is torn from its place and accompanies the body. But
strangest of all is the circumstance, that in more instances than one,
when the body has been recovered, not a single mark of violence is
discernible; the man being stark dead.

The whole calamity, with the falling form of Macey, was plainly descried
from the ship. Raising a piercing shriek--"The vial! the vial!" Gabriel
called off the terror-stricken crew from the further hunting of the
whale. This terrible event clothed the archangel with added influence;
because his credulous disciples believed that he had specifically
fore-announced it, instead of only making a general prophecy, which any
one might have done, and so have chanced to hit one of many marks in the
wide margin allowed. He became a nameless terror to the ship.

Mayhew having concluded his narration, Ahab put such questions to
him, that the stranger captain could not forbear inquiring whether he
intended to hunt the White Whale, if opportunity should offer. To which
Ahab answered--"Aye." Straightway, then, Gabriel once more started
to his feet, glaring upon the old man, and vehemently exclaimed, with
downward pointed finger--"Think, think of the blasphemer--dead, and down
there!--beware of the blasphemer's end!"

Ahab stolidly turned aside; then said to Mayhew, "Captain, I have
just bethought me of my letter-bag; there is a letter for one of thy
officers, if I mistake not. Starbuck, look over the bag."