The New Bedford Whaling Museum's Moby-Dick Marathon is an annual non-stop reading of Herman Melville's literary masterpiece. The multi-day program of entertaining activities and events is presented every January. Admission to the Marathon is free.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"I like the Nantucketers"

In her 1859 novel The Minister's Wooing, Harriet Beecher Stowe depicts the religious, social, and romantic concerns of the good citizens of Newport, Rhode Island, in the 1790s.  In Chapter XXX ("The Quilting"), she presents a sewing bee, during which some of the young single women discuss marriage.  The topic of a husband's occupation comes up:
Cerinthy Ann contrived to produce an agreeable electric shock by declaring, that, for her part, she never could see into it, how any girl could marry a minister,-- that she should as soon think of setting up housekeeping in a meeting-house.

"Oh, Cerinthy Ann!" exclaimed her mother, "how can you go on so?"

"It's a fact," said the adventurous damsel; "now other men let you have some peace,-- but a minister's always round under your feet."

"So you think, the less you see of a husband, the better?" said one of the ladies.

"Just my views," said Cerinthy, giving a decided snip to her thread with her scissors; "I like the Nantucketers, that go off on four-years' voyages, and leave their wives a clear field.  If ever I get married, I'm going to have one of those fellows."


  1. I can remember feeling the exact same way when I was in my 20s. And now that I'm married to the right person? No way, no how!

  2. I think Mrs. Stowe felt the same way.