Old age is always wakeful; as if, the longer linked with life, the less man has to do with aught that looks like death. Among sea-commanders, the old greybeards will oftenest leave their berths to visit the night-cloaked deck. It was so with Ahab; only that now, of late, he seemed so much to live in the open air, that truly speaking, his visits were more to the cabin, than from the cabin to the planks. "It feels like going down into one's tomb,"--he would mutter to himself--"for an old captain like me to be descending this narrow scuttle, to go to my grave-dug berth."
Herman Melville, Moby Dick (cap. XXIX)