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ballast
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Moby Dick
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ballast
Used In
Moby Dick
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  • Where unrecorded names and navies rust, and untold hopes and anchors rot; where in her murderous hold this frigate earth is ballasted with bones of millions of the drowned; there, in that awful water-land, there was thy most familiar home.
  • She is ballasted with utilities; not altogether with unusable pig-lead and kentledge.
  • Then, again, it would never do in plain sight of the world’s riveted eyes, it would never do, I say, for this straddling captain to be seen steadying himself the slightest particle by catching hold of anything with his hands; indeed, as token of his entire, buoyant self-command, he generally carries his hands in his trowsers’ pockets; but perhaps being generally very large, heavy hands, he carries them there for ballast.

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  • Without ballast, the ship will roll too much.
  • ...she looked at the marked passages [of the manuscript] and was surprised to find that all the moral reflections—which she had carefully put in as ballast for much romance—had been stricken out.
    Louisa May Alcott  --  Little Women

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