303 313 ––//–– The night so luminous on the
waters and spar-deck but otherwise
on the cavernous ones below, levels so
like the tiered galleries in a coal-mine––
77 the luminous night passed away.
But, like the prophet in the chariot
disappearing in heaven and dropping
his mantle to Elisha, the withdrawing
night transferred its pale robe to
the ^ breaking day . -break. A meek shy light
appeared in the East ^ veiled by where stretched
a diaphonous fleece of ^ white thin furrowed
304 314 That light slowly waxed , . Suddenly
one eight bell s was struck aft, responded
to by a ^ one louder ^ metallic stroke from forward.
It was half past four o'clock in the morning.
Instantly the ^ silver whistles were heard
summoning all hands to witness
punishment. Up through the great
78 hatchways rimmed with racks of heavy
shot, the watch below came pouring
overspreading with the other watch already on deck
the space between the mainmast and
foremast including that occupied by
the capacious launch and the black booms
tiered on either side of it, boat and
booms making a summit of observation
for the ^ powder- boys and younger tars .
306 [sic] 315 A different group comprising one watch
of topmen leaned over the rail of that
sea-balcony, no small one in a seventy-four,
looking down in on the crowd below. Man
or boy none ^ spoke spake but in whisper, and
few ^ spoke spake at all. Captain Vere––
79 as before, the central figure among
the assembled commissioned officers––
stood nigh the break of the poop-deck
facing forward. The marines
Just Below him on the quarter-deck
the marines in full equipment were
drawn up much as at the scene
of the promulgated sentence.
From aloft
306 316 At sea in the old time, the
execution by halter of a military sailor
was generally from the fore-yard. In
the present instance, ^ for parparEL perS special strategic reasons the main-yard
was assigned.
Under the lee Indomitable 's lee-yard
Under weather or lee an arm of that yard the
prisoner was presently brought up,
the Chaplain attending him.
It was noted at the time and
remarked upon afterwards, that in
this final scene the good man
evinced little or nothing of the
perfunctory. Brief speech indeed
he had with the condemned one,
307 317 but the genuine Gospel was more
less on his tongue than in his ^ aspect and manner
towards him. The final preperations
personal to the latter being speedily
brought to an end by two of boatswain's -mates,
the consummation immediatly
impended. ^ Billy stood facing aft. At the penultimate
moment, Billy's his words, his only ones,
81 words wholly unobstructed in
the utterance were these—"God bless
Captain Vere!" Such a ^ W Syllables So unanticipated
a benediction coming from one with
the ignominious hemp noose about his neck—
a felon's a conventional felon's benediction directed aft ^towards
the quarters of honor; ^ syllables too delivered too
in the clear melody of a singing-bird
308 318 warbling on the point of starting
launching from the twig, had a
phenominal phenomenal effect, not unenhanced
by the rare personal beauty of the young foundling- sailor speaker
spiritualized now thro' late experiences
so poignant ly as his. profound.
82 Without volition as it were,
as if indeed the ship's populace were
but the vehicles of some vocal
current electric, from alow and aloft
with one voice ^ from alow and aloft came a resonant sympathetic echo—
"God bless Captain Vere!" And yet
^ at that instant Billy ^ alone must ^ have been in their
hearts, even as he monopolized ^ alone was ^ in their eyes.
At the pronounced words
and the spontanious spontaneous echo that
voluminously rebounded them,
309 319 Captain Vere, either thro stoic self-control
or a sort of temporary momentary paralysis
induced by emotional shock, stood
erectly rigid as a musket in an the
armory's ship-armorer's rack.
The cannoned ponderous hull deliberatly
83recovering from the periodic roll to
leeward ^ Insert from p. 84 was just regaining an
even keel, when ^ last fatal death- signal a the preconcerted ^ and dumb one
fatal sign signal was given. At the same
moment it chanced that the vapory
fleece hanging low in the East,
suddenly dyed by the sun behind
appraching nearer the horizon,
took on a ^ was shot thro with a dyed a soft glory as of the fleece of the Lamb of
God seen in mystical vision .
310 320 ^ and Simultanious Simultaniously therewith, watched
by the wedged mass of upturned
faces, Billy ascended; and, ascending,
took the full shekinah rose of that the dawn
grand dawn .
In the pinioned figure, arrived
84 at the yard-end , ^ to the amazement wonder of all no motion was visable apparent
but none— save ^ that created but by the slow roll ship's motion.
X put
previous page
of the hull ship , [in moderate weather
so solemn majestic in a great ship heavy ponderously ^ heavily -cannoned.]
End of Chapter ——//——
When subsequently, in reference to this,
the Purser, hardly an honest ^ impulsive man and [correct] [correct] S [careful? cogent?] accountant a worthy man but
not the wisest , but little more said at mess to the
Surgeon "What testimony to the force
lodged in human the human will will-power ," the
man of the knife and saw replied

practical physicist, socially
a man of ^ ^ formal metallic politeness, said
a sort of severe ^ formally urbane in causticity