I have several questions and again i need your help.
1. The whale has no voice. but then again what has the whale to say? seldom have i known any profound being that had anything to say to this word, unless to stammer out something by way of getting a living.
here what does the underlined parts mean exaclty? also, could you please paraphrase this one. it is very hard for me to understand what the author is trying to say. please !!!!!!!!!!!!
2. .... play back a recorded humback song at fourteen times the correct speed and it sounds like a nightingale. here what does it mean by at fourteen times the correct speed?
3. the conclusion about whale cultures that would have sruck Melville dumb. . what does it mean by struck... dumb?
look forward to herng from you. I alway appreciate your assistance.
1a. "What thoughts or sentiments would a whale want to communicate?"
1b. "Profound" = "wise"; thus a profound being = a wise creature. There's also a pun here, as "profound" means "deep", as in "depths of the sea"; and a whale inhabits the depths of the sea. It is therefore literally "profound", i.e. found at great depths.
2. If you took a tape recording of a humpback whale's song, and played it as "fast forward" instead of normal speed, you might be playing it at nearly 14 times its usual speed!
3. To strike dumb = to astonish to the point of speechlessness.
"Profound being" could mean any creature – man, beast, or god.
In the passage you quote, which seems to be from Moby Dick, the author's line of thought is as follows:
1. Whales say nothing to the world (I'm presuming there's a typo, and it should be "to this world", not "to this word").
2. Whales are "profound beings".
3. Other "profound beings" the author has known – human ones – also had nothing to say to the world (i.e. are silently wise; or perhaps wisely silent).
4. Thus "having nothing to say to the world" does not preclude profundity; in fact, it may be a sign of profundity.