The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Notes on 'The Nutmeg of Consolation' and 'The Truelove (Clarissa Oakes)'

Sequel to this post about my favorite moments from The Letter of Marque and The Thirteen Gun Salute, with the rest to be found filed under "O'Brian":


19-20: Jack: "'Do you know, I very nearly said a good thing just now, about your cock and hen turtles. It was on the lines of sauce - sauce for the goose being sauce for the gander, you understand. But it would not quite take shape.' 'Perhaps, my dear, it was just as well. A facetious lieutenant is good company, if he happens to be endowed with wit; a facetious commander among his equals, perhaps; but may not the post-captain who sets the quarterdeck in a roar conceivably lose some of his Jovian authority? Did Nelson crack jokes, at all?' 'I never heard him, to be sure. He was nearly always cheerful, nearly always smiling - he once said to me "May I trouble you for the salt, sir?" in such a kind way that it was far better than wit. But I do not remember him making downright jokes. Perhaps I shall save my good things, when they happen, for you and Sophie.' They walked along in silence, Stephen regretting his unkind words, his remorse much increased by the mildness of the response: he saw an unmistakable Philippine pelican overhead, but fearing that he might be even more of a bore with his birds than Jack with his puns, clenches and set pieces he did not point it out."

28: Stephen introduces Kesegaran to Jack as St. Famine's Day approaches, and, assuming she speaks no English, addresses him: "'Jack, first may I beg you not to gaze upon the young woman with such evident lubricity; it is not only uncivil but it puts you at a moral disadvantage. Secondly shall I ask these people will they carry a message to Batavia for a fee? And if so, what shall the message be?' 'It was a look of respectful admiration: and who is calling the kettle black, anyway? But I will turn my eyes elsewhere, in case it should be please ask whether they will go to Batavia for us.'"

44-6: "'Sir,' said Bonden, with a queer look on his face, 'Doctor's compliments and in five minutes, if you please.' Every man has his own five minutes: Jack's was shorter than Stephen's and he came into the tent too early. Stephen was carrying a slender arm to a heap of amputated limbs and the bodies of patients who had already died; he put it down on a shattered foot and said 'Show me your scalp, will you now? Sit on this barrel.' 'Whose was that arm?' asked Jack. 'Reade's,' said Stephen. 'I have just taken it off at the shoulder.' 'How is he? May I speak to him? Will he be all right?' 'With the blessing, he may do well,' said Stephen. 'With the blessing.'" The next day Stephen arrives late to the Captain's address to the ship's company. "By the time he slipped into his place Jack was still dealing with naval law, the perennity of commissions, the Articles of War and so on: all hands listened attentively, with grave, judicial expressions as he repeated his main points once again, particularly that which had to do with the continuance of their pay, each according to his rating, and the compensation in lieu of spirits not served out. They stood there close-packed, confined between imaginary rails, exactly as though they were still aboard the Diane, and they weighed every word. Stephen, who had heard the essence before, paid little attention...he had saved as he had in fact saved young Reade, now sitting there wraith-like on a carronade-slide, his empty sleeve pinned across his chest."

70-1: Stephen reflects on his expected poverty from the failure of his new bank. "He had better luck in the den he shared with Jack Aubrey... 'There you are, Stephen,' cried Jack, an involuntary smile ruining the severity of his tone, 'and much credit have you spread on the service, no doubt: I wonder the dogs did not set upon you. Ahmed and Killick took your clothes in hand the moment the invitation came, and there they are laid out on the chest. I will pass the word for the ship's barber.' 'Before he comes,' said Stephen, 'let me tell you two things or three. The first is that Raffles has a ship for you, a Dutch twenty-gun ship that was wholly immersed for some months on purpose and that has now been raised.' 'Oh, oh!' cried Jack, his face lighting with joy - that is to say glowed bright red, his teeth gleaming in the redness and his eyes a brighter blue - and he shook Stephen's hand with paralysing force."

78-80: Stephen sleeps deeply until he becomes aware of "a massive form between him and the faint source of light and of Jack's rumbling whisper asking him if he were awake. 'What if I am, brother?' he replied. 'Why, then,' said Jack, his deep voice filling the room as usual, 'Bonden has as it were found a little green skiff, and I thought you might like to come with me and look at the raised Dutch sloop whose name I never can recall.' 'By all means,' said Stephen, getting out of bed and flinging on his clothes...'What sweet, sweet lines,' said Jack, and in a parenthesis to Stephen, 'She will be towed to the sheer-hulk in a day or - masts in God's plenty. Did you ever see sweeter, Bonden?' 'Never, sir: barring Surprise, in course.' 'Pray go along and take your breakfast, sir,' said Jack. 'I can find my way about perfectly well. His Excellency gave me her plans last night.' She was in fact perfectly familiar from his last night's studies, yet as he led Stephen up and down the ladders, along the decks and into the holds he kept exclaiming 'Oh what a sweet little ship! What a sweet little ship!...Tell me, what was the title poor Fox tripped over during our first audience of the Sultan...what was the last piece?' 'Nutmeg of consolation.' 'That's it: those were the very words hanging there in the back of my mind. Oh what a glorious name for a tight, sweet, newly-coppered, broad-buttocked little ship, a solace to any man's heart. The Nutmeg for daily use: of Consolation for official papers. Dear Nutmeg! What joy.'"

129: Jack is yet again forced to explain the weather-gage to Stephen, who calls himself an old sea-dog. Then Jack explains his plan to take the Cornelie. "Let us hope that the first plan of running in and boarding her straight away comes to root. That is to say...' He paused, frowning. 'Rules the roost?' '' 'Takes fruit?' 'Oh be damned to it. The trouble with you, Stephen, if you do not mind my saying so, is that although you are the best linguist I was ever shipmates with, like the Pope of Rome that spoke a hundred languages - Pentecost come again…' 'Would it be Magliabechi you have in mind?' 'I dare say: a foreigner, in any case. And I am sure you speak quite as many, and like a native, or better; but English is not one of them. You do not get figures quite right, and now you have put the word clean out of my head.' The old sea-dog appeared on deck next day at dawn, looking as some other old dogs do when they are roused untimely from their pad: uncombed, unbrushed, matted."

155: Stephen hopes they will meet up with Tom. "And then there is the much surer, more genteel, more comfortable rendezvous at Botany Bay, or Sydney Cove to be more exact. Jack, I cannot tell you how I long to see a platypus.' 'I remember you spoke of it last time we were will be much better this time. You shall watch great flights of platypuses at your leisure.' 'My dear, they are mammals, furry animals.' 'I thought you said they laid eggs.' 'So they do. That is what is so delightful. They also have bills like a duck.' 'No wonder you long to see one.'"

194-7: "'It is the long road you have come, Jack, that you can forget a hundred guineas or so.' 'Lord, yes,' said Jack. 'Lord, we were so miserably poor! I remember how you came back to that house in Hampstead with a fine beef-steak wrapped in a cabbage-leaf, and how happy we were.' They talked of their poverty - bailiffs - arrest for debt -sponging-houses - fears of more arrests - various expedients - but presently, when these, considerations of wealth and poverty, the wheel of fortune and so on had been dealt with, the zest and cheerfulness went out of the conversation; and after his second dish of cheese Stephen became aware of a certain constraint in his friend. The frank hearty laugh was heard no more; Jack's eyes were directed more at the massive gun that shared the cabin with them than at Stephen's face." Jack mentions how he went around the ship and realized how much older his shipmates had grown. "'That made me think perhaps I was older too; and when you spoke of the barky as an aged man-of-war it quite put me about. And yet it was absurd in me to toss all these together in one gloomy pot...a ship and a man are different things.' 'Is that right, brother?' 'Yes, it is: you may not think so, but they are quite different. The Surprise is not old...she may have been built some time ago, but she is not old. And you know - who better? - the improvements that have been carried out: diagonal bracing, reinforced knees, sheathing...' 'You speak quite passionately, my dear: protectively, as if I had said something disagreeable about your wife.' 'That is because I do in fact feel passionate and protective. I have known this ship so many years, man and boy, that I do not like to hear her blackguarded.' 'Jack, when I said aged I referred only to the generations, or ages, of filth that have accumulated below; I did not mean to blackguard her any more than I should blackguard dear Sophie, God forbid.' 'Well,' said Jack, 'I am sorry I flew out. I am sorry I spoke so chuff. My tongue took the bit between its teeth, so I was laid by the lee again; which is very absurd, because I had meant to be particularly winning and agreeable. I had meant to say that yes, there was a hundred tons of shingle ballast down there that should have been changed long ago; and after having admitted so much and said that we intended to open the sweetening-cock and pump her cleaner, I was to go on and ask whether you would consider selling her to me. It would give me so much pleasure.' Stephen was chewing a large, rebellious piece of cheese. As it went down at last he said indistinctly, 'Very well, Jack.' And covertly looking at the decently-restrained delight on his friend's face he wondered 'How, physically speaking, do his eyes assume this much intenser blue?'" They agree that Jack will pay Stephen what Stephen paid for her, Jack calls for their instruments, they share excellent wine.

214: Jack writing to Sophie: "'I know you do not like it when I speak ill of any man, but I shall just say that there are moments when I wish Mr. Martin at the Devil. It is not that he is not the most obliging gentlemanly fellow, as you know very well, but he does take up so much of Stephen's time that I scarcely see anything of him. I should have liked to run through the score of this evening's piece with him, but they are nattering away in the mizentop twenty to the dozen and I do not like to break in. To be sure, it is the usual fate of the captain of a man-of-war to live in solitary splendour, relieved only by some more or less obligatory and formal entertainment on one side or the other; but I have gotten so used to the luxury of having a particular friend aboard these many commissions past that I feel quite bereft when he is taken from me.'"

239: Stephen has listened to Ireland being trashed all evening: "'I don't give a bugger for Joe Banks; and I don't give a bugger for you either, you half-baked sod of a ship's surgeon.' He spoke very loud and hoarse and two or three officers turned. Stephen looked at him attentively. The man was in choking rage but he was perfectly steady on his feet; he was not drunk. 'Will you answer for that, sir?' he asked. 'There's my answer,' said the big man, with a blow that knocked Stephen's wig from his head. Stephen leapt back, whipped out his sword and cried, 'Draw, man, draw or I shall stick you like a hog.' Lowe unsheathed his sabre: little good did it do him. In two hissing passes his right thigh was ploughed up. At the third, Stephen's sword was through his shoulder. And at the issue of a confused struggle of close quarters he was flat on his back, Stephen's foot on his chest, Stephen's sword-point at his throat and the cold voice saying above him 'Ask my pardon or you are a dead man. Ask my pardon, I say, or you are a dead man, a dead man.' 'I ask your pardon,' said Lowe and his eyes filled with blood."

246-7: Stephen learns that his careless casual signature, with only his first name, on his note to Sir Joseph Blaine ordering his funds to be transferred to the now-insolvent bank was rejected and the funds are still safe at his original snobbish bank. Sir Joseph affectionately signs his note "Joseph" and Stephen realizes that he must have signed his note to Diana "S. Maturin," reserving the "strange though not unpleasant familiarity" for Sir Joseph.

256: Stephen and Martin meet Paulton, a writer, who tells them, "'No doubt there are men who can bring a novel to a splendid resounding close in solitary confinement, I am not one of them. Though Heaven knows I am sadly in need of an end.' 'You paint a sombre picture of New Holland, sir. Are there no compensations, no birds, beasts and flowers?' 'I am told that ours is an exceptionally unfavoured part of the country, sir...nature's beauties are wasted on me, though her shortcomings are not - I hear the dreadfully raucous voices of the birds, and I feel the innumerable mosquitoes that plague us, particularly after the rains.' 'As for an end,' said Martin, 'are endings really so very important? Sterne did quite well without one; and often an unfinished picture is all the more interesting for the bare canvas. I remember Bourville's definition of a novel as a work in which life flows in abundance, swirling without a pause: or as you might say without an end, an organized end. And there is at least one Mozart quartet that stops without the slightest ceremony: most satisfying when you get used to it.' Stephen said 'There is another Frenchman whose name escapes me but who is even more to the point: 'La bétise c'est de vouloir conclure.' The conventional ending, with virtue rewarded and loose ends tied up is often sadly chilling; and its platitude and falsity tend to infect what has gone before, however excellent. Many books would be far better without their last chapter: or at least with no more than a brief, cool, unemotional statement of the outcome.'"

275: Stephen comes from the Government House and meets Jack Aubrey and the carpenter. "Their voyage could hardly be called a success...'Obstruction at every infernal step,' said Jack. 'How I hate an official.' But his face cleared when Stephen told him of the little girls' escape and asked whether he disliked having them aboard. 'Never in life,' he said. 'I quite like to see them skipping about. They are far better than wombats. Last time we touched here, you bought a wombat, you remember, and it ate my hat. That was in the Leopard: Lord, the horrible old Leopard, how she griped!' He laughed at the memory, but Stephen saw that he was not his old self: there was an underlying resentment, and he looked yellowish, far from well."

307-15: Jack tells Stephen that he may not rescue Padeen from New South Wales. "'My hands are tied. I have given the Governor my word. It would be said that I was abusing my authority as a post-captain and my immunity as a member.' Stephen looked at him for some time, weighing the value of any reply: the look conveyed or was thought to convey something of pity and contempt and it stung Jack extremely. He said, 'You have brought this on yourself.'" Stephen thinks that Nelson would not have acted so "but Nelson was not a righteous man," and believes that middle age has come upon Jack Aubrey. After leaving the ship he is stung by a platypus, not knowing the male has a poisonous spur. Half-conscious, he hears Jack telling Padeen to put Stephen in his cot, "Then his concern at the loss of sequence disappeared...the reason for his present inner happiness fell into place, though not without a lingering dreamlike imprecision as he lay there at his ease, contemplating. 'Back to the ship': and indeed here was the old familiar rise and heave, the creak of his hanging cot, the attenuated smell of sea and tar. But it was not quite right either, for now here again was Padeen's face hanging over him: which was nearer delirium or dream than reality. Yet at all hazards he wished the face a good day, and Padeen, straightening with a great smile on his solid factual face said 'And God and Mary and Patrick be with your honour' then in English 'Captain, sir, he he...he has spoken in his...his...senses.' 'Dear God, I am so happy to hear it,' said Jack, and very gently, 'Stephen, how do you do?' 'I have survived, I find,' said Stephen, taking his hand. 'Jack, I cannot tell you how ardently, how very ardently, I look forward to going home.'


9: After recovering from his platypus sting, Stephen "could now be heard playing his 'cello in the cabin, a remarkably happy piece he had composed for the birth of his daughter. Jack smiled - he was very deeply attached to his friend - but after a couple of bars he said 'Why Stephen should be so pleased with a baby I cannot tell. He was born to be a bachelor - no notion of domestic comforts, family life - quite unsuited for marriage, above all for marriage with Diana...yet between them they have produced this baby; and a girl at that.' The wake stretched away, as true as a taut line now, and after a while he said 'He longed for a daughter, I know, and it is very well that he should have one; but I wish she may not prove a platypus to him,' and he might have added some considerations on marriage and the relations, so often unsatisfactory, between men and women, parents and children, had not Davidge's voice called out 'Every rope an-end' cutting the thread of his thought."

12: Along with being manipulated by Stephen into having Padeen aboard ("their difference of opinion was so strong that it endangered their friendship") and being chaste for so long, Jack is suffering from the Selina Wesley episode. "A fine plump young woman with a prominent bosom, an indifferent reputation and a roving eye...she had naval connexions...they got along famously. She had no patience with Romish monks or nuns, she said; celibacy was great nonsense - quite unnatural; and when during the interval in an evening concert given in some gardens outside Sydney she asked him to walk with her down to the tree-fern dell he found himself in such a boyish state of desire that his voice was scarcely at his command. She took his arm and they moved discreetly out of the lantern-light, walked behind a summer-house and down the path. 'We have escaped Mrs Macarthur's eye,' she said with a gurgle of laughter, and her grasp tightened for a moment. Down through the tree-ferns, down; and at the bottom a man stepped out of the shadows. 'There you are, Kendrick,' cried Mrs Wesley. 'I was not sure I should find you. Thank you so much, Captain Aubrey.'"

13: "It was impossible to dislike Martin, a deeply respectable man, though his playing of the viola would never have recommended him anywhere; yet Jack could not love him either. Martin was of course a more suitable companion for Stephen in certain respects, but it seemed to Jack that he took up altogether too much of his time, prating away about primates in the mizen-top or endlessly turning over his collections of beetles and mummified toads in the gunroom."

16-17: Jack has been talking to Stephen about needing medicine, since he's been "damnably hipped" and would prefer general benevolence. "He cleared his throat and said 'I suppose you have patients with, well, desires?' 'It would be strange if I had not.' 'I mean, if you will forgive a gross expression, with importunate pricks?' 'Sure, I understand you. There is little in the pharmacopoeia to help them. Sometimes' - waving his lancet - 'I propose a simple little operation - a moment's pang, perhaps a sigh, then freedom for life, a mild sailing on an even keel, tossed by no storms of passion, untempted, untroubled, sinless- but when they decline, which they invariably do, though they may have protested that they would give anything to be free of their torments, why then unless there is some evident physical anomaly, all I can suggest is that they should learn to control their emotions. Few succeed; and some, I am afraid, are driven to strange wild extremes. But were the case to apply to you, brother, where there is a distinct physical anomaly, I should point out that Plato and the ancients in general made the liver the seat of love: Cogit amare jecur, said the Romans. And so I should reiterate my plea for more sea-bathing, more going aloft, more pumping of an early morning, to say nothing of a fitting sobriety at table, to preserve the organ from ill-considered freaks.'" Then Stephen says he cannot give Jack happiness from a bottle: "You are to consider that a certain melancholy and often a certain irascibility accompany advancing age: indeed, it might be said that advancing age equals ill-temper. On reaching the middle years a man perceives that he is no longer able to do certain things, that what looks he may have had are deserting him, that he has a ponderous great belly, and that however he may yet burn he is no longer attractive to women; and he rebels. Fortitude, resignation and philosophy are of more value than any pills, red, white or blue.' 'Stephen, surely you would never consider me middle-aged, would you?' 'Navigators are notoriously short-lived, and for them middle-age comes sooner than for quiet abstemious country gentlemen. Jack, you have led as unhealthy a life as can well be imagined, perpetually exposed to the falling damps, often wet to the skin, called up at all hours of the night by that infernal bell. You have been wounded the Dear knows how many times, and you have been cruelly overworked. No wonder your hair is grey.' 'My hair is not grey. It is a very becoming buttercup-yellow.' Jack wore his hair long, clubbed and tied with a broad black bow. Stephen plucked the bow loose and brought the far end of plait round before his eyes. 'Well I'm damned,' said Jack, looking at it in the sunlight. 'Well I'm damned; you are quite right. There are several grey hairs...scores of grey hairs. It is positively grizzled, like a badger-pie. I had never noticed.' Six bells. 'Will I tell you something more cheerful?" asked Stephen. 'Please do,' said Jack, looking up from his queue with that singularly sweet smile Stephen had known from their earliest acquaintance.

33-4: Jack is ranting about a woman having been brought aboard, which Stephen finds entirely hypocritical and says "'it is perfectly well known throughout the ship that when you were about Oakes' age you were disrated and turned before the mast for hiding a girl...surely you must see that this pope-holy sanctimonious attitude has a ludicrous as well as a most unamiable side?' 'You may say what you please, but I shall turn them both ashore on Norfolk Island.' 'Pray take off your breeches and bend over that locker,' said Stephen, sending a jet from his enema through the open stern window. A little later, and from this position of great moral advantage, he went on 'What surprises me extremely in this whole matter is that you should so mistake the people's frame of mind," saying that if Jack ordered Oakes and the girl off the ship and kept Stephen and Padeen aboard, he would lose their respect and esteem. "You have many old followers on board who might say My Captain, right or wrong; but you have no Marines, and I do not think the followers would prevail, with the community as it now stands and with its overriding sense of what is fair and right. You may put your breeches on again.' 'Damn you, Stephen Maturin.' 'And damn you, Jack Aubrey.'"

36: Stephen explains to Martin that he gave the patient, aka Jack, enough opium to plunge him "into an oblivion as deep as that of the Seven Sleepers," but "The Seven Sleepers however had not been brought up from boyhood with a ship's bell. At the second stroke in the morning watch Jack Aubrey flung himself from his cot on the leeward roll and staggered, dazed and half blind, to the starboard chain-pump, where the hands were gathering." He pumps, as Stephen ordered, then "dived from the the long bubbling plunge with his hair streaming out behind in the pure water, just cool enough to be refreshing. He dived and dived again, revelling in the sea; and once he came face to face with two of the dolphins, cheerful creatures, inquisitive but discreet. By the time he came aboard again the sun was well clear of the sea, and it was full day, glorious indeed, though lacking that sense of another world entirely."

48: Jack realizes that the seamen had already made wedding garlands for the Oakeses, having anticipated that he would marry them rather than strand them. "The infernal buggers had known what he would do - had foretold his decision - had made game of him. 'God damn them all to Hell: I must be as transparent as a piece of glass,' he said, but without particular anger. In any case his mind was diverted by the sight of Dr Maturin showing Reade a series of extraordinarily exact and rapid steps from an Irish dance. 'There,' he said, 'that is a way we have of tripping it at a marriage; but you must never wave your arms or show any emotion, far less hoot aloud, as some unhappy nations do: a most illiberal practice. Here is the Captain himself, who will tell you that hallooing as you dance is not at all genteel.'"

49-50: Jack has assured Stephen that by the time any ship catches up, Clarissa will be a free and married woman rather than a convict. "'You would never be forgetting Padeen, I am sure?' said Stephen in a low voice. 'No,' said Jack, smiling. 'I am not. We have no Judases aboard, I believe; and even if we had it would be a bold cutter-commander who would find him in my ship.'" Then he notes of Clarissa, "'It is a very surprising thing, you know, the power of a young woman that sits quiet, self-contained and modest, looking down, answering civil - not like a booby, mark you, Stephen - civil, but not very much. A man could not speak chuff to such a girl, without he was a very mere Goth. Old Jarvey could not speak chuff to such a girl.' 'It is my belief, brother, that your misogyny is largely theoretical.' 'Ay,' said Jack, shaking his head. 'I love a wench, it is true; but a wench in her right place.

65-6: Diana writes of Brigid, "'She seems rather stupid. Do not expect too much.'" To Stephen, "Two or three things were clear...that she was not very happy; that she and Sophie had disagreed about entertainments, Sophie and her mother maintaining that two women whose naval husbands were away at sea should go out very little, certainly not to assemblies where there was dancing, and should receive even less - only immediate family and very old friends. And that Diana was spending a good deal of time at Barham Down, the big remote house with extensive grazing and high down-land she had bought for her Arabians, rather than at Ashgrove Cottage, driving herself to and fro in her new green coach. He had hoped that having a baby would make a fundamental change in Diana. The hope had not been held with much conviction, but on the other hand he had never thought that she would be quite so indifferent a mother as she appeared in these letters, these curiously disturbing letters. They were worrying in what they said and perhaps more so in their silences; and Jack's behaviour made him uneasy too. Ordinarily when letters came from home they read pieces out to one another: Jack did so still, telling him about the children, the garden and the plantations; but there was a constraint - almost nothing about Barham Down or indeed Diana herself - and it was not at all the same frank and open interchange."

84: Stephen tells Jack that Martin is trying to teach Clarissa to play the viola, says that she has no talent whatsoever, and adds, "'Pray do not, I repeat, do not, endeavour to conceal my rosin in your breeches pocket.'"

94-6: Stephen writes to Diana about Clarissa. "'Her chief claim to beauty is an excellent, unstudied carriage, not unlike yours. As for her face - but where faces are concerned, what can description do? All I will say is that hers reminds me of an amiable young cat: no whiskers, no furry ears, to be sure, but something of the same triangularity, poise, and sloping eyes.'" He explains that she is interested in naval matters, not a flirt, "as comfortable a companion as a man. You may say that this is because I am no Adonis, which is very true. But unless I mistake it is the same with Jack, on those rare occasions when he comes to exchange the time of are sadly apt to misinterpret such conduct and even when no masculine vanity or self-love steps in, a tenderness may arise in some bosoms, I fear. A tenderness or perhaps something with a grosser name in certain cases, or a mixture of the two in yet others: for after all, the lady came aboard in circumstances that could never be called ambiguous, and even the faintest remains of a bad reputation are wonderfully stimulating. Dear Jack, who is not insensible to her charms, keeps very much aloof; but to my astonishment I find that he is anxious for my peace of mind. For my peace of mind. Some of his more obscure general remarks upon human happiness became clear to me on Tuesday, when he surprised me extremely by repeating the sonnet that begins 'Th' expense of spirit', saying it in his deep voice better than I thought he could possibly have done, and ending 'All this the world well knows, but none knows well/To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell' with the fine sullen growl it calls for, generally in vain. I was transfixed. And the words savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust echoed strangely in my mind.' ... Stephen was not infallible. He was by no means infallible." Clarissa arrives for her medical examination, Stephen finds no improvement, prescribes wine as well as bark. "''How very kind,' said Clarissa, her voice muffled in the folds of her dress; and again he reflected that she took no more notice of her nakedness than if they had both been men. Perhaps this was because he was a physician and did not count." She asks him for another kindness. "Mr Martin was showing me how to tune the viola when his little cat...suddenly jumped on my lap, as it so often does. I dislike cats and I pushed it off, perhaps a little harder than usual.'" Now she fears that Martin will think she threw it overboard.

148: Jack is worried that Stephen will see his defense of the island as imperialism. "'As you know very well,' said Stephen, 'I am in favour of leaving people alone, however imperfect their polity may seem. It appears to me that you must not tell other nations how to set their house in order; nor must you compel them to be happy. But I too am a naval officer, brother; long, long ago you taught me that anyone nourished on ship's biscuit must learn to choose the lesser of two weevils. On that basis alone I may be said to have no objection to Moahu's becoming a nominal British possession.'"

179: "'Why, Stephen, there you are!' cried Jack, his grim face breaking into a smile. 'I have kept half a pot of coffee for you, but I am sure you could do with another, having watched so late. Your eyes are as red as a ferret's. Killick! Killick, there. Another pot for the Doctor.' 'We are bounding along at a fine pace, are we not? At a rate of knots, I make no doubt. See how the table leans.' 'Pretty well. We have spread everything she can carry, perhaps even a little more than is quite wise; but I felt so hell-fire hipped and mumpish in the channel with that parcel of Goddamned lubbers, nearly missing my tide, that I longed for a breath of fresh air. Try one of these toasted slices of breadfruit: they eat well with coffee. The chief's sister sent me a net-full, dried.' He slowly ate a piece of crisp breadfruit, drank out his cup, and said, 'Yet, you know, it has not made quite the difference I had reckoned on. Perhaps it will be better presently, when we bring the breeze abaft the beam.'"

183-4: "Jack and Stephen had played some deeply satisfying music that evening, Stephen sitting with his feet braced against the heel of the ship on a batten shipped for the purpose and Jack standing to play his fiddle."

206: Jack kept his severity for the quarterdeck: once in the cabin he was as amiable as ever. He played his violin to Stephen's 'cello with his usual wholehearted enjoyment, and apart from the deep lines in his weather-beaten face there was little to show the strain he was under. 'Lord, Stephen,' said he, after a day of particularly wearing exercise, 'I cannot tell you what a refuge this cabin is, and what a happiness it is for me to have you to talk to and play music with. Most captains have trouble with their ship's people from time to time - on occasion it is a continual sullen covert war - and unless they make cronies of their first lieutenants, as some do, they have to chew over it alone. I do not wonder that so many of them grow strange or bloody-minded; or run melancholy mad, for that matter.'"

242-3: Jack to Stephen after exploring the battlefields on the Polynesian island: "'I am so sorry you had to stay with your patients,' he said, taking his ease at last in the great cabin with a bowl of fruit to quench his thirst. 'You would have rejoiced in the birds. There was one with a beak.' 'That alone would have been worth the voyage.' 'A yellow bird, with a heavy great beak shaped like a sickle: and many others. You would have been delighted. However, you shall see them later.'"

254: "On the threshold [Jack] turned, as in a dream, and made his bow. Puolani, with the kindest look, returned it: then there was a warm darkness and these sure hands; they took his feather cloak, he slipped off his clothes and they lowered him on to the wonderful ease of the long, flat, soft couch in the house that had been built for him. He had rarely been so tired, had rarely gone so very far down; yet he rose up clear and fresh, no muddiness, no staring about; he knew, as a sailor knows, that it was near the end of the middle watch, and the tide was on the turn; he knew that there was someone in the room, and as he sat up a strong arm pressed him back, a warm, scented arm. He was not altogether surprised - perhaps his half-waking mind had caught the scent - nor at all displeased: his heart began to beat violently, and he made room. First light was coming through the door when he heard Tom Pullings' agitated whisper, 'Sir, sir, excuse me, sir. The Franklin is in the offing. Sir, sir..." 'Pipe down, Tom,' he murmured, pulling on his clothes. She was still asleep, flat, her head back, her mouth open, looking perfectly beautiful."


"Lord, Stephen," said Jack, after a day of particularly wearing exercise, "I cannot tell you what a refuge this cabin is, and what a happiness it is for me to have you to talk to and play music with." <3

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