He inquires about his kinsman, Major Molineux

Robin gazed with dismay and astonishment, on the unprecedented physiognomy of the speaker. The forehead with its double prominence, the broad-hooked nose, the shaggy eyebrows, and fiery eyes, were those which he had noticed at the inn, but the man’s complexion had undergone a singular, or, more properly, a two-fold change. One side of the face blazed of an intense red, while the other was black as midnight, the division line being in the broad bridge of the nose; and a mouth, which seemed to extend from ear to ear, was black or red, in contrast to the color of the cheek. The effect was as if two individual devils, a fiend of fire and a fiend of darkness, had united themselves to form this infernal visage.

 

Melville in detail: “the livery of nakedness”



Source of the illustration: “View of Honolulu. No. 1. From the Harbor.” Sketched by Paul Emmert, lithographed by G. H. Burgess. San Francisco: Britton & Rey, 1854. Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2003681551/. Photoshopped.

Audio: Stephen Crane

At the Library of Congress’s wonderful National Jukebox site (new last May) I recently discovered this item, “Coming Home from Coney Isle,” by a duo, Ada Jones and Len Spencer, who recorded a whole stack of dialect novelty songs in 1905 and 1906.

http://www.loc.gov/jukebox/recordings/detail/id/1068

When I heard the disdainful “Aw, gee” and the plaintive, “Will I open the window?” I thought, “This sounds just like the dialogue in Maggie, A Girl of the Streets.” Well, it turns out that that was no accident. Your proof:

http://www.loc.gov/jukebox/recordings/detail/id/6020

— a song called “Chimmie and Maggie at the Hippodrome.”

Americanists may want to give this site a listen.