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It would have appalled Melville to know that a biography such as Hershel Parker's--1,864 pages altogether--would put his presence in the world as twelve-year-old bank clerk, sixteen-year-old salesboy, unqualified teacher in a country school, sailor, farmer, and unimpressive lecturer so in front of his books that reading this densely detailed biography keeps us on the constant lookout for him in crowds of cousins, aunts, sisters, brothers, and the mulishly genteel gaggle of publishers and editors in New York and London who policed his language.
But the fellow was now staring down mulishly at his hands.
I mulishly believed that if I had at least one more opportunity like the one during the winter, everything would be different, and Mary or Magdalene, it didn't matter which, would talk like Sapfo, like our beautiful, sweet Bozena Nemcova.
But Kipling was far too smart to mean that people should be victims of incompetence or mulishly stubborn or blindly loyal to either their professions or their class.