The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Departure Is A Simple Act (M

Have just watched the Showtime 20-minute preview for their production of The Lion In Winter starring one of my goddesses, Glenn Close, and the illustrious Patrick Stewart, about whom I have one thing to say from this preview: omgHAIR! Yes, I know this is a rather shallow reaction, but I was so distracted by seeing him with long lovely hair that I couldn't get a sense of him as Henry II at all.

In truth, much as I love the cast of the remake -- Jonathan Rhys-Meyers plays Philip of France, and he looked great in the preview, as did the guy playing Geoffrey, whom I don't know -- this is not a movie that in any way needed to be redone. The O'Toole-Hepburn version is absolutely perfect. And Nigel Terry in that one...rawrr. Now my kids want to watch that one and despite the fact that it really needed to be remastered for DVD, it's so wonderful...

So, this is a lots-of-spam post. First of all some Russell spam since I'm on a roll with it today: "Russell Crowe Offers Aid to Montreal Jewish School", with more here. (Am so glad my imaginary boyfriend has not turned out to be an anti-Semitic asshole like Mel Gibson.) And some Paul spam, an interview with his father, Thane Bettany, from The Scotsman. In which, unlike many interviews, he actually talks about being gay.

seascribe has posted all her favorite O'Brian lines, making me realize that I could do the same, having dutifully written them down (or borrowed them from other people's posts in a couple of cases). Here are the lines from the first novel, with more to follow...


1: "The listener further to the left was a man between twenty and thirty whose big form overflowed his seat, leaving only a streak if gilt wood to be seen here and there. He was wearing his best uniform – the white-lapelled blue coat, while waistcoat, breeches and stockings of a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, with the silver medal of the Nile in his buttonhole – and the deep white cuff of his gold-buttoned sleeve beat the time, while his bright blue eye, staring from what would have been a pink-and-white face if it had not been so deeply tanned, gazed fixedly at the bow of the first violin. The high note came, the pause, the resolution; and with the resolution, the sailor's fist swept firmly down upon his knee. He leant back into his chair, extinguishing it entirely, sighed happily and turned to his neighbour with a smile. The words 'Very finely played, sir, I believe' were formed in his gullet if not quite in his mouth when he caught the cold and indeed inimical look and head the whisper, 'If you really must keep beat the measure, sir, let me entreat you to do so in time, and not half a beat ahead. Jack Aubrey's face instantly changed from friendly ingenuous communicative pleasure to an expression of somewhat baffled hostility: he could not bet acknowledge that he had been beating the time; and although he had certainly done so with perfect accuracy, in itself the thing was wrong. His colour mounted; he fixed his neighbour's pale eye for a moment, said, 'I trust...' and the opening notes of the slow movement cut him short. The ruminative 'cello uttered two phrases of its own and then began a dialogue with the viola. Only part of Jack's mind paid attention, for the rest of it was anchored to the man at his side. A covert glance showed that he was a small, dark, white-faced creature in a rusty black coat – a civilian. It was difficult to tell his age, for not only did he have that kind of face that does not give anything away, but he was wearing a wig, a grizzled wig, apparently made of wire and quite devoid of powder: he might have been anything between twenty and sixty. 'About my age,' thought Jack. 'The ill-looking son of a bitch, to give himself such airs.'"

4: "Jack let his face return to its expression of cold dislike – the dying remnants of his artificial rapture were peculiarly disagreeable, as the faced – and in a low voice he said, 'My name is Aubrey, sir: I am staying at the Crown.' 'Mine, sir, is Maturin. I am to be found any morning at Joselito's coffee-house. May I beg you to stand aside?' For a moment Jack felt the strongest urge to snatch up his little gilt chair and beat the white-faced man down with it; but he gave way to a tolerable show of civility – he had no choice, unless he was to be run into..."

11: Stephen sees the hoopoe. "'What is a hoopoe?' cried Jack, staring about. 'A bird. That cinnamon-coloured bird with barred wings. Upupa epops. There! There, over the roof. There! There!' 'Where? Where? How does it bear?' 'It has gone now. I had been hoping to see a hoopoe ever since I arrived. In the middle of the town! Happy Mahon, to have such denizens. But I beg your pardon. You were speaking of wetting a swab.' 'Oh yes. It is a cant expression we have in the navy. The swab is this' – patting his epaulette – 'and when we first ship it, we wet it: that is to say, we drink a bottle or two of wine.' 'Indeed?' said Maturin with a civil inclination of his head. 'A decoration, a badge of rank, I make no doubt? A most elegant ornament, so it is, upon my soul. But, my dear sir, have you not forgot the other one?' 'Well,' said Jack laughing, 'I dare say I shall put them both on, by and by. Now I wish you a good day and thank you for the excellent chocolate. I am so happy you saw your epop."

33: "Jack filled their glasses (how the tide went in and out) and observed, 'Had I known you was a surgeon, sir, I do not think I could have resisted the temptation of pressing you.' 'Surgeons are excellent fellows,' said Stephen Maturin with a touch of acerbity. 'And where should we be without them, God forbid: and indeed, the skill and dispatch and dexterity with which Mr Florey at the hospital here everted Mr Browne's eparerial bronchus would have amazed and delighted you. But I have not the honour of counting myself among them, sir. I am a physician.' 'I beg your pardon: oh dear me, what a sad blunder. But even so, Doctor, even so, I think I should have had you run aboard and kept under hatch till we were at sea. My poor Sophie has no surgeon and there is no likelihood of finding her one. Come, sir, cannot I prevail upon you to go to sea? A man-of-war is a very fine thing for a philosopher, above all in the Mediterranean: there are he birds, the fishes – I could promise you some monstrous strange fishes – the natural phenomena, the meteors, the chance of prize money. For even Aristotle would have been moved by prize money. Doubloons, sir: they lie in soft leather sacks, you know, about so big, and they are wonderfully heavy in your hand. Two is all a man can carry.'

47: "'What am I to think of Captain Aubrey's invitation?' he said aloud, in the great emptiness of light and air- all the more vast for the inhabited patch down there and its movement, and the chequered fields behind, faded into pale dun formless hills. 'Was it merely Jack ashore? Yet he was such a pleasant, ingenuous companion.' He smiled as the recollection. 'Still and all, what weight can be attached to...? We dined extremely well: four bottles, or possible five. I must not expose myself to affront.' He turned it over and over, arguing against his hopes."

61: Stephen believes he will be left behind: "The strength of his emotion at the sight of the Sophie, her white sails and her low hull dwindling fast over the shining sea, showed him how much he had come to look forward to the prospect of a new place and new skies, a living, and a closer acquaintance with this friend who was now running fast towards the quarantine island, behind which he would presently vanish. He walked up through the town with his mind in a curious state; he had suffered so many disappointments recently that it did not seem possible that he could bare another. What was more, he had allowed his defences to disperse – unarm. It was while he was reassembling them and calling out his reserves that his feet carried him past Joselito's coffee-house and voices said, 'There he is – call out – run after him – you will catch him if you run.' He had not been into the coffee-house that morning because it was question either of paying for a cup of coffee or of paying for a boat to row him to the Sophie, and he had therefore been unavailable for the midshipman, who now came running along behind him. 'Dr Maturin?' asked young Mowett, and stopped short, quite shocked by the pale glare of reptilian dislike. However, he delivered his message; and he was relieved to find that it was greeted with a far more human look."

109: Able seaman to be hanged for sodomy with a goat. "Why will they report these things? The goat must be slaughtered – that's but fair – and it shall be served out to the mess that informed on him.' 'Could you not set them both ashore – on separate shores, if you have strong feelings on the moral issue – and sail quietly away?' 'Well,' said Jack, whose anger had died down. 'Perhaps there is something in what you propose. A dish of tea? You take milk, sir?' 'Goat's milk, sir?' 'Why, I suppose it is.' 'Perhaps without milk, then, if you please.'

115: "'Were I under naval discipline, could that fellow have me whipped?' He nodded towards Mr. Marshall." Jack is astounded. "'But he's the master...' said Jack. If Stephen had called the Sophie's stem her stern, or her trunk her keel, he would have understood the situation directly; but that Stephen should confuse the chain of command, the relative status of a captain and a master, of a commissioned officer and a warrant officer, so subverted the natural order, so undermined the sempiternal universe, that for a moment his mind could hardly encompass it... 'My dear sir, I believe you have been led astray by the words master and master and commander - illogical terms, I must confess. The first is subordinate to the second. You must allow me to explain our naval ranks some time. But in any case you will never be flogged – no, no; you shall not be flogged,' he added, gazing with pure affection and something like awe, at so magnificent a prodigy, at an ignorance so vary far beyond anything even his wide-ranging mind had yet conceived.

150-51: Stephen complains about "this foolish insistence upon the word surgeon." "'Do hereby appoint you surgeon...take upon you the employment of surgeon...together with such allowance for wages and victuals for yourself as is usual for the surgeon of the said sloop." It is a false description; and a false description is anathema to the philosophic mind.' 'I am sure it is anathema to the philosophic mind,' said James Dillon. 'But the naval mind fairly revels in it, so it does. Take that word sloop, for example.' 'Yes,' said Stephen, narrowing his eyes through the haze of port and trying to remember the definitions he had heard. 'Why, now, a sloop, as you know, is properly a one-masted vessel, with a fore-and-aft rig. But in the Navy a sloop may be ship-rigged - she may have three masts.' 'Or take the Sophie,' cried the master, anxious to bring his crumb of comfort. 'She's rightly a brig, you know, Doctor, with her two masts.' He held up two fingers, in case a landman might not fully comprehend so great a number. 'But the minute Captain Aubrey sets foot in her, why, she too becomes a sloop; for a brig is a lieutenant's command.' 'Or take me,' said Jack. 'I am called captain, but really I am only a master and commander.' 'Or the place where the men sleep, just for'ard,' said the purser, pointing. 'Rightly speaking, and official, 'tis the gun-deck, though there's never a gun on it. We call it the spar-deck - though there's no spars, neither - but some say the gun-deck still, and call the right gun-deck the upper-deck. Or take this brig, which is no true brig at all, not with her square mainsail, but rather a sorts of snow, or a hermaphrodite.' 'No, no, my dear sir,' said James Dillon, 'never let a mere word grieve your heart. We have nominal captain's servants who are, in fact, midshipmen; we have nominal able seamen on our books who are scarcely breeched - they are a thousand miles away and still at school; we swear we have not shifted any backstays, when we shift them continually; and we take many other oaths that nobody believes - no, no, you may call yourself what you please, so long as you do your duty. The Navy speaks in symbols, and you may suit what meaning you choose to the words.'

161-62: "'What, what's this? Walking about in the rain in your shirt? This is madness,' said Stephen's voice just behind him...'Madness. Think of the night air - the falling damps - the fluxion of the humours. If your duty requires you to walk about in the night air, you must wear a woollen garment. A woollen garment, there, for the captain! I will fetch it myself.'" Later "Jack stuffed his glass into the pocket of the grego Stephen had brought him" and later still, "'Allow me to fill your glass,' said Jack, with the utmost benevolence. 'This is rather better than our ordinary, I believe?' 'Better, dear joy, and very, very much stronger - a healthy, roborative beverage,' said Stephen Maturin."

175: James asks Stephen if he knows Marshall is a paederast, "And he is enamoured of Captain Aubrey – toils like a galley-slave – would holystone the quarter-deck if allowed – hounds the men with far more zeal than the bosun – anything for a smile from him.' Stephen nodded. 'Yes,' he said. 'But surely you do not think Jack Aubrey shares his tastes?' 'No. But I do think he is aware of them and that he encourages the man. Oh, this is a very foul, dirty way of speaking...I go too far. Perhaps I am drunk. We have nearly emptied the bottle.' Stephen shrugged. 'No. But you are quite mistaken, you know. I can assure you, speaking in all sober earnest, that he has no notion of it. He is not very sharp in some ways; and in his simple view of the world, paederasts are dangerous only to powder-monkeys and choir-boys, or to those epicene creatures that are to be found in Mediterranean brothels. I made a circuitous attempt at enlightening him a little, but he looked very knowing and said, "Don't tell me about rears and vices; I have been in the Navy all my life."' 'Then surely he must be wanting a little in penetration?' 'James, I trust there was no mens rea in that remark?'"

184: Jack has just told Stephen to put on silk stockings. "A Montpellier snake glided out with a dry rustling sound and traversed the room in a series of extraordinarily elegant curves, its head held up some eighteen inches above the ground. 'Oh, oh, oh,' cried Jack, leaping on to a chair. 'A snake!' 'Will these do?' asked Stephen. 'They have a hole in them.' 'Is it poisonous?' 'Extremely so. I dare say it will attack you, directly. I have very little doubt of it. Was I to put the silk stockings over my worsted stockings, sure the hole would not show: but then, I should stifle with heat. Do you not find it uncommonly hot?' 'Oh, it must be two fathoms long. Tell me, is it really poisonous? On your oath now?' 'If you thrust your hand down its throat as far as its back teeth you may meet a little venom but not otherwise. Malpolon monspessulanus is a very innocent serpent. I think of carrying a dozen aboard, for the rats – ah, if only I had more time, and if it were not for this foolish, illiberal persecution of reptiles... what a pitiful figure you do cut upon that chair, to be sure. Barney, Barney, buck or doe, Has kept me out of Channel Row,' he sang to the serpent; and, deaf as an adder though it was, it looked happily into his face as he carried it away."

188-9: Stephen is being bored to tears at the party by Captain Nevin while Jack makes and arse of himself. "Captain' Nevin's dyspepsy had puzzled the faculty for years, for years, sir; but he was sure it would yield to Stephen's superior powers; he had better give Dr Maturin all the details he could remember, for it was a very singular, interesting case, as Sir John Abel had told him - Stephen knew Sir John? - but to be quite frank (lowering his voice and glancing furtively round) he had to admit there were certain difficulties in - in evacuation, too... His voice ran on, low and urgent, and Stephen stood with his hands behind his back, his head bowed, his face gravely inclined in a listening attitude. He was not, indeed, inattentive; but his attention was not so wholly taken up that he did not hear Jack cry, 'Oh, yes, yes! The rest of them are certainly coming ashore - they are lining the rail in their shore-going rig, with money in their pockets, their eyes staring out of their heads and their pricks a yard long.' He could scarcely have avoided hearing it, for Jack had a fine carrying voice, and his remark happened to drop into one of those curious silences that occur even in very numerous assemblies. Stephen regretted the remark; he regretted its effect upon the ladies the other side of the orange-tree, who were standing up and mincing away with many an indignant glance; but how much more did he regret Jack's crimson face, the look of maniac glee in his blazing eyes and his triumphant, 'You needn't hurry, ladies - they won't be allowed off the sloop till the evening gun.' A determined upsurge of talk drowned any possibility of further observations of this kind, and Captain Nevin was settling down to his colon again when Stephen felt a hand on his arm, and there was Mrs Harte, smiling at Captain Nevin in such a manner that he backed and lost himself behind the punch-bowls. 'Dr Maturin, please take your friend away,' said Molly Harte in a low, urgent tone. 'Tell him his ship is on fire - tell him anything. Only get him away - he will do himself such damage.' Stephen nodded. He lowered his head and walked directly into the group, took Jack by the elbow and said, 'Come, come, come,' in an odd, imperative half-whisper, bowing to those whose conversation he had interrupted. 'There is not a moment to be lost.'"

200: "'A very fine landfall, Mr Marshall,' said Jack, coming down from the top, where he had been scrutinizing the cape through his glass. 'The Astronomer Royal could not have done better.' 'Thank you, sir, thank you,' said the master, who had indeed taken a most painstaking series of lunars, as well as the usual observations, to fix the sloop's position. 'Very happy to - approbation - ' His vocabulary failed him, and he finished by jerking his head and clasping his hands by way of expression. It was curious to see this burly fellow - a hardfaced, formidable man - moved by a feeling that called for a gentle, graceful outlet; and more than one of the hands exchanged a knowing glance with a shipmate. But Jack had no notion of this whatsoever - he had always attributed Mr Marshall's painstaking, scrupulous navigation and his zeal as an executive officer to natural goodness, to his nautical character; and in any case his mind was now quite taken up with the idea of exercising the guns in the darkness."

203-4: 'I am really pleased with tonight's exercise,' said Jack, tuning his fiddle. 'Now I feel I can run inshore with a clearer Conscience - without risking the poor sloop too much.' 'I am happy you are pleased; and certainly the mariners seemed to ply their pieces with a wonderful dexterity; but you must allow me to insist that that note is not A.' 'Ain't it?' cried Jack anxiously. 'Is this better?' Stephen nodded, tapped his foot three times, and they dashed away into Mr Brown's Minorcan divertimento. 'Did you notice my bowing in the pump-pump-pump piece?' asked Jack. 'I did indeed. Very sprightly, very agile. I noticed you neither struck the hanging shelf nor yet the lamp. I only grazed the locker once myself.' 'I believe the great thing is not to think of it. Those fellows, rattling their guns in and out, did not think of it. Clapping on to the tackles, sponging, swabbing, ramming - it has grown quite mechanical. I am very pleased with them, particularly three and five of the port broadside. They were the merest parcel of lubbers to begin with, I do assure you.' 'You are wonderfully earnest to make them proficient.' 'Why, yes: there is not a moment to be lost.' 'Well. You do not find this sense of constant hurry oppressive - jading?' 'Lord, no. It is as much part of our life as salt pork -even more so in tide-flow waters. Anything can happen, in five minutes' time, at sea - ha, ha, you should hear Lord Nelson!

228+: Stephen asks Jack to let him go ashore to visit a friend; Jack assumes a romantic liaison and agrees to send the cutter after sunrise, or the next day if necessary. Stephen praises Jack to Dillon as he is rowed ashore and spends the night enjoying nature. "He meant to sit there until dawn, and to establish a continuity in his mind, if that could be done: the friend (though existent) was a mere pretext. Silence, darkness and these countless familiar scents and the warmth of the land had become (in their way) as necessary to him as air. 'I think we may run in now,' said Jack. 'It will do no harm to be before our time, for I should like to stretch my legs a little. In any case, I should like to see him as early as can be; I am uneasy with him ashore. There are times when I feel he should not be allowed out alone; and then again there are times when I feel he could command a fleet, almost.' The Sophie had been standing off and on, and it was now the end of the middle watch, with James Dillon relieving the master; they might just as well take advantage of having all hands on deck to tack the sloop, observed Jack, wiping the dew off the taffrail and leaning upon it to stare down at the cutter towing astern, clearly visible in the phosphorescence of the milk-warm sea." Stephen has not returned and Jack is called away; he worries about manning his ships, but more, "If the Spaniards caught Stephen Maturin they would shoot him for a spy." He ends up anxious and exhausted, "Yet in that brief interval his darkening mind had time for two darts of intuition, the one stating that all was well with Stephen Maturin, the other that with James Dillon it was not. 'I had no notion he minded so about the cruise: though no doubt he has grown attached to Maturin too: a strange fellow,' he said, sinking right down. Down, down, into the perfect sleep of an exhausted healthy well-fed young fattish man - a rosy sleep; yet not so far that he did not wake sharply after a few hours, frowning and uneasy." During a chase "Jack found himself pondering anxiously about Stephen, forgetful of his duty."

245-9: "In times of stress Jack Aubrey had two main reactions: he either became aggressive or he became amorous; he longed either for the violent catharsis of action or for that of making love." He wishes there were a girl in his cabin. Indeed, this awareness of Jack's state of tension was general throughout the brig. 'Goldilocks is in a rare old taking about the Doctor,' they said. 'Watch out for squalls.' ... But Goldilocks was not the only one to be anxious, by any manner of means, and when Stephen Maturin was at last seen to walk out of the trees and cross the beach to meet the jolly-boat, a general exclamation of 'There he is!' broke out from waist to fo'c'sle, in defiance of good discipline: 'Huzzay!' 'How very glad I am to see you,' cried Jack, as Stephen groped his way aboard, pushed and pulled by well-meaning hands. 'How are you, my dear sir? Come and breakfast directly - I have held it back on purpose. How do you find yourself? Tolerably spry, I hope? Tolerably spry?' 'I am very well, I thank you,' said Stephen, who indeed looked somewhat less cadaverous, flushed as he was with pleasure at the open friendliness of his welcome."

276: "'Did you say Alexandria?' 'Yes.' 'In Lower Egypt?' 'Yes. Did I not tell you? We are to run an errand to Sir Sidney Smith's squadron before our next cruise. He is watching the French, you know.' 'Alexandria,' said Stephen, stopping in the middle of the quay. '0 joy. I wonder you did not cry out with delight the moment you saw me. What an indulgent admiral - paler classis - 0 how I value that worthy man!' 'Why, 'tis no more than a straight run up and down the Mediterranean, about six hundred leagues each way, with precious little chance of seeing a prize either coming or going.' 'I did not think you could have been such an earthling,' cried Stephen. 'For shame. Alexandria is classic ground.' 'So it is,' said Jack, his good nature and pleasure in life flooding back at the sight of Stephen's delight."

278: "It would have been difficult to imagine a pleasanter way of spending the late summer than sailing across the whole width of the Mediterranean as fast as the sloop could fly. She flew a good deal faster now that Jack had hit upon her happiest trim, restowing her hold to bring her by the stern and restoring her masts to the rake her Spanish builders had intended. What is more, the brothers Sponge, with a dozen of the Sophie's swimmers under their instruction, had spent every moment of the long calms in Greek waters (their native element) scraping her bottom; and Stephen could remember an evening when he had sat there in the warm, deepening twilight, watching the sea; it had barely a ruffle on its surface, and yet the Sophie picked up enough moving air with her topgallants to draw a long straight whispering furrow across the water, a line brilliant with unearthly phosphorescence, visible for quarter of a mile behind her. Days and nights of unbelievable purity. Nights when the steady Ionian breeze rounded the square mainsail - not a brace to be touched, watch relieving watch - and he and Jack on deck, sawing away, sawing away, lost in their music, until the falling dew untuned their strings. And days when the perfection of dawn was so great, the emptiness so entire, that men were almost afraid to speak."

302: Stephen on Dillon and Aubrey: "'JA is in many ways more suited to be a pirate chief in the Caribbean a hundred years ago: and for all his acumen JD is in danger of becoming an enthusiast - a latter-day Loyola, if he is not knocked on the head first, or run through the body.'"

317-19: Jack feels that he has played badly and Stephen says his heart is not in the music. "'Pom, pom, pom, pom,' went Stephen in unison with his 'cello, glancing at Jack: there was an exceedingly serious look on that darkened, heavy face, a kind of red light in his clouded eyes. 'I am coming to believe that laws are the prime cause of unhappiness. It is not merely a case of born under one law, required another to obey - you know the lines: I have no memory for verse. No, sir: it is born under half a dozen, required another fifty to obey. There are parallel sets of laws in different keys that have nothing to do with one another and that are even downright contradictory. You, now - you wish to do something that the Articles of War and (as you explained to me) the rules of generosity forbid, but that your present notion of the moral law and your present notion of the point of honour require. This is but one instance of what is as common as breathing. Buridan's ass died of misery between equidistant mangers, drawn first by one then by the other. Then again, with a slight difference, there are these double loyalties - another great source of torment.' 'Upon my word, I cannot see what you mean by double loyalty. You can only have one King. And a man's heart can only be in one place at a time, unless he is a scrub.' 'What nonsense you do talk, to be sure,' said Stephen. 'What "balls", as you sea-officers say: it is a matter of common observation that a man may be sincerely attached to two women at once - to three, to four, to a very surprising number of women. However,' he said, 'no doubt you know more of these things than I. No: what I had in mind were those wider loyalties, those more general conflicts - the candid American, for example, before the issue became envenomed; the unimpassioned Jacobite in '45; Catholic priests in France today - Frenchmen of many complexions, in and out of France. So much pain; and the more honest the man the worse the pain. But there at least the conflict is direct: it seems to me that the greater mass of confusion and distress must arise from these less evident divergencies The moral law, the civil, military, common laws, the code of honour, custom, the rules of practical life, of civility, of amorous conversation, gallantry, to say nothing of Christianity for those that practise it. All sometimes, indeed generally, at variance; none ever in an entirely harmonious relation to the rest; and a man is perpetually required to choose one rather than another, perhaps (in his particular case) its contrary. It is as though our strings were each tuned according to a completely separate system - it is as though the poor ass were surrounded by four and twenty mangers.' 'You are an antinomian,' said Jack. 'I am a pragmatist,' said Stephen. 'Come, let us drink up our wine, and I will compound you a dose - requies Nicholai. Perhaps tomorrow you should be let blood: it is three weeks since you was let blood.' 'Well, I will swallow your dose,' said Jack. 'But I tell you what - tomorrow night I shall be in among those gunboats and I shall do the blood-letting. And don't they wish they may relish it.'"

348-9: Jack is in trouble for having flaunted his liaison with Molly Harte. "Do you suppose one of your squills would be a good thing, in a general way, to set a man up? I feel as low as a gib cat - quite out of order.' Stephen looked at him attentively, took his pulse, gazed at his tongue, asked squalid questions, examined him. 'Is it a wound going bad?' asked Jack, alarmed by his gravity. 'It is a wound, if you wish,' said Stephen. 'But not from our battle with the Cacafuego. Some lady of your acquaintance has been too liberal with her favours, too universally kind.' 'Oh, Lord,' cried Jack, to whom this had never happened before. 'Never mind,' said Stephen, touched by Jack's horror. 'We shall soon have you on your feet again: taken early, there is no great problem. It will do you no harm to keep close, drink nothing but demulcent barley-water and eat gruel, thin gruel - no beef or mutton, no wine or will certainly be in a state to ruin your health, prospects, reason, features and happiness again by the time we raise Cape Mola.' He left the cabin with what seemed to Jack an inhuman want of concern and went directly below, where he mixed a draught and a powder from the large stock that he (like all other naval surgeons) kept perpetually at hand...he knew very well that Jack would act on the ancient seafaring belief that more is better and dose himself into Kingdom Come if not closely watched, and he stood there reflecting upon the passage of authority from one to the other in relationships of this kind (or rather of potential authority, for they had never entered into any actual collision) as Jack gasped and retched over his nauseous dose."

401: "'They tell me I am to be tried for the loss of the Sophie.' Jack had not thought of the court-martial since early that morning, when it became certain that the combined fleet was coming out: now it came back to him with an extraordinarily unpleasant shock, quite closing his stomach. However, he only replied, 'Who told you that? The physical gentlemen at the hospital, I suppose.' 'Yes.' 'Theoretically, they are right, of course. The thing is officially called the trial of the captain, officers and ship’s company; and they formally ask the officers if they have any complaints to make against the captain and the captain whether he has any to make against the officers; but obviously it is only my conduct that is in question. You have nothing to worry about, I assure you, upon my word and honour, nothing at all.' 'Oh, I shall plead guilty at once,’ said Stephen. 'And I shall add that I was sitting in the powder magazine with a naked light at the time, imagining the death of the king, wasting the medical stores, smoking tobacco and making a fraudulent return of the portable soup. What solemn nonsense this is' –- laughing heartily –- 'I am surprised so sensible a man as you should attribute any importance to the matter.' 'Oh, I do not mind it,' cried Jack. 'How you lie,' said Stephen affectionately, but within his own bosom. After a longish pause Jack said, 'You do not rate post-captains and admirals very high among intelligent beings, I believe? I have heard you say some tolerable severe things about admirals, and great men in general.' 'Why, to be sure, something sad seems to happen to your great men and your admirals, with age, pretty often: even to your post-captains. A kind of atrophy, a withering-away of the head and the heart. I conceive it may arise...' 'Well,' said Jack, laying a hand upon his friend’s dimly lit shoulder in the starlight, 'how would you like to place your life, your profession and your good name between the hands of a parcel of senior officers?'"

412: "'...the court is of the opinion that Captain Aubrey, his officers and ship's company used every possible exertion to prevent the King's sloop from falling into the hands of the enemy: and do therefore honourably acquit them. And they are hereby acquitted accordingly,' said the judge-advocate, and Jack heard none of it. The inaudible voice stopped and Jack's blurred vision saw the black form sit down. He shook his singing head, tightened his jaw and compelled his faculties to return; for here was the president of the court getting to his feet. Jack's clearing eyes caught Keats' smile, saw Captain Stirling pick up that familiar, rather shabby sword, holding it with its hilt towards him, while with his left hand he smoothed a piece of paper by the inkwell. The president cleared his throat again in the dead silence, and speaking in a clear, seamanlike voice that combined gravity, formality and cheerfulness, he said, 'Captain Aubrey: it is no small pleasure to me to receive the commands of the court I have the honour to preside at, that in delivering to you your sword, I should congratulate you upon its being restored by both friend and foe alike; hoping ere long you will be called upon to draw it once more in the honourable defence of your country.'"


Happy late birthday phantomas! And happy early birthday pegkerr! See, I do eventually check the portal page...

Meme from copperbadge: Invent a fanfiction I wrote and post about it in the comments. It can be anything you want, so long as it is something that I never wrote. Give me feedback! Mention your favourite quote! Flame me! Illustrate it! You know you want to.

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