Brydges, George, the Baron Rodney Brydges (1718-1792) was an English admiral who won some major victories against the French, Dutch, and Spanish. He was especially successful against European nations that supported the Americans in their War of Independence.
bulwarks The planking or woodwork above a deck.
Bunker Hill In June 1775, Bunker Hill was the site of the bloodiest battle of the American Revolutionary War. More than 1,000 British soldiers and nearly 400 Americans were killed or wounded.
Burke, Edmund Burke (1729-1797), was a British statesman and politician, a prolific author, and a skilled orator. During the American Revolution he had urged British conciliation believing the colonists deserved the same rights as all British citizens. He was, however, highly critical of the French Revolution that stretched over nearly the entire final decade of his life. Most vehemently in his Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), Burke attacked the French for what he saw as violations of individual rights, unwarranted attacks on the Church, and highly volatile attempts to establish a new social order.
cabin The apartment occupied by the commanding officer and other line officers. The cabin is often divided into compartments by light bulkheads to form two or more staterooms. Vere's cabin is divided thus.
Cain Cain was the oldest son of Adam and Eve. His is a story of sibling rivalry and fratricide, for he killed his younger brother Abel. As punishment for the murder, God forced Cain to wander perpetually, "a fugitive and a vagabond" (Genesis 4).
Calvin, John Calvin (1509-1564) was one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation and founder of Presbyterianism. The tenets of his religious philosophy, as recorded and developed in Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536), clarified his support for constitutional government, representative government, the right of people to change their government, and the separation of civil government from church government. He also subscribed to the theory of the "Elect," those predestined by God to be saved. For Melville, the foundations of the Calvinistic theory of the Elect are flawed.
capacious Capable of containing a large quantity; spacious or roomy.
capricious Characterized by or subject to whim; impulsive and unpredictable.
capstan The cylindrical wheel and axle mechanism powered by the crew hands and used to wind up a cable around the barrel. Its primary function is to weigh the anchor.
Captain In the navy, the Captain holds the commissioned rank next below rear-admiral. By extension, the term is applied to a commander of any naval vessel, regardless of commissioned rank.