Monday, February 28, 2005

Poem for Monday

I Am the People, the Mob
By Carl Sandburg

I am the people--the mob--the crowd--the mass.
Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?
I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the world's food and
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons come from me
        and the Lincolns. They die. And then I send forth more Napoleons
        and Lincolns.
I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand for much plowing.
        Terrible storms pass over me. I forget. The best of me is sucked out
        and wasted. I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and makes
        me work and give up what I have. And I forget.
Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red drops for history
        to remember. Then--I forget.
When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the People, use the
        lessons of yesterday and no longer forget who robbed me last year,
        who played me for a fool--then there will be no speaker in all the
        world say the name: "The People," with any fleck of a sneer in his
        voice or any far-off smile of derision.
The mob--the crowd--the mass--will arrive then.


The late news is at this moment threatening me with seven inches of snow by morning so forgive me if I am distracted. We had an unenthralling Sunday: older son had Hebrew school, then a meeting with his science group from school, so while took him to that, I took younger son to Toys R Us to get the Series of Unfortunate Events card game and to the food store to get Absolute Necessities in case of blizzard (I laugh at the radio when they start putting out warnings, then realize that I really would rather face the crowds than face a week without toilet paper in case of absolute disaster). Incidentally, LOTR fans, TRU had the "There And Back Again" Hobbit action figure set for $6! I am so glad I didn't buy it when it was $30, and I am so happy to have it!

So as blah as I felt last year after the ROTK sweep of the Academy Awards last year, which left M&C out entirely, I am even more blah this year. I am extremely thrilled that Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind won the screenplay award, which was the one I cared most about; I think that film is absolutely brilliant and am only sorry it didn't get more nominations all around. But it's pretty sad when my second most-excited moment all evening was listening to the Academy orchestra playing the Star Trek: The Motion Picture theme early on in the broadcast. I'm delighted Cate and Jamie got the recognition I think they deserve -- Cate in particular was overdue, having been beaten by the odious Gwyneth in a year she clearly should have taken home top honors -- and Morgan Freeman, who made Driving Miss Daisy a masterpiece and then watched everyone in the film but himself honored, deserves everything he ever wins.

But I'm still sorry that what looked early on like an Aviator sweep didn't pan out; though I don't think it's Scorsese's best film, I think he's long overdue, and I really did not like Unforgiven for which Eastwood won an award years ago so as far as I'm concerned he's already got more than he deserves. Everything else, I was apathetic about; I think Hilary Swank is an excellent performer but we all know that the Oscars are always given for what you're in when and against whom as much as for any given performance (hence Jodie Foster has two, Glenn Close has none), and I was annoyed they gave Best Actress to someone who really doesn't need another trophy, instead of Imelda or Catalina who may never again be in a film prominent enough in the US to get them nominations. And Kate was SO good in two different movies this year, and is 0 for 4...I adore Annette and would begrudge her nothing but she really doesn't need an Oscar either, so I was rooting against both favorites in that category.

Otherwise I loved the guy who won for the short and hyped the entire Canadian film industry, I loved Chris Rock's Bush-bashing, I wanted Shrek 2 to beat The Incredibles but not passionately. I also loved Chris Rock's comments about Russell Crowe but they would have been lots funnier had he not already made them to Entertainment Weekly a couple of weeks ago. Really, one of the neatest moments was Salma Hayek speaking so passionately while introducing "Al Otro Lado Del Río" -- the song from The Motorcycle Diaries -- and I loved Antonio Banderas' excitement when it won (the songwriter had the best speech of the night hands down!) and again when The Sea Inside won foreign language film. Would that it had won best picture. There was just so little passion, either on my end or on the show.
I would like to note in public however that I did not suffer Death By Orlando Bloom...I think because he looked so utterly terrified. I might have suffered a little teeny Death By Antonio but whenever I remember who he's married to, I get over that!

From , a quiz, and isn't this interesting -- I'm more Green than Democrat, nearly as anarchist, and I wonder what I said that made me even 17% fascist.

You scored as Green.
Imunimaginative's Deviantart Page

















What Political Party Do Your Beliefs Put You In?
created with

Also, Kim Schultz has a hot new Gerard Butler drawing on her homepage.

Geese on the ice at Wheaton Regional Park last weekend. The stones in the background are the monument to the victims of the sniper who terrorized the area in 2002, shooting among others a high school student and keeping my kids' school on lockdown for several weeks.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Poem for Sunday

The Story

of him who knew the most of all men know;
who made the journey; heartbroken; reconciled;

who knew the way things were before the Flood,
the secret things, the mystery; who went

to the end of the earth, and over; who returned,
and wrote the story on a tablet of stone.

He built Uruk. He built the keeping place
of Anu and Ishtar. The outer wall

shines in the sun like brightest copper; the inner
wall is beyond the imagining of kings.

Study the brickwork, study the fortification;
climb the great ancient staircase to the terrace;

study how it is made; from the terrace see
the planted and fallow fields, the ponds and orchards.

This is Uruk, the city of Gilgamesh
the Wild Ox, son of Lugalbanda, son

of the Lady Wildcow Ninsun, Gilgamesh
the vanguard and the rear guard of the army,

Shadow of Darkness over the enemy field,
the Web, the Flood that rises to wash away

the walls of alien cities, Gilgamesh
the strongest one of all, the perfect, the terror.

It is he who opened passes through the mountains;
and he who dug deep wells on the mountainsides;

who measured the world; and sought out Utnapishtim
beyond the world; it is he who restored the shrines;

two-thirds a god, one-third a man, the king.
Go to the temple of Anu and Ishtar:

open the copper chest with the iron locks;
the tablet of lapis lazuli tells the story.


From Gilgamesh: A New Rendering in English Verse by David Ferry, quoted in Poet's Choice by Robert Pinsky in the Sunday Washington Post Book World. Pinsky labels this 1992 edition "one of the very best translations written in our time, of anything," calling the retelling of the ancient Sumerian epic "a mixture of the enigmatic and the Ferry's supercharged lines, Gilgamesh resembles a folk tale and a myth, a savage epic and a sophisticated dazzlement, stylishly elaborate as a Fabergé egg." The critic describes this first section as "the opening credits" of the poem, introducing the hero who sets out to challenge death when his beloved friend Inkidu is taken from him. (The narrative of Gilgamesh and Inkidu, who start out as enemies and end up willing to die for one another, is one of the slashiest stories ever told even if one does not read it, as does poet and translator Stephen Mitchell, as the story of the first gay marriage.)

It was a gorgeous 40ish degrees on Saturday but there was still snow covering the ground. The morning was taken up with Hebrew school and writing articles and playing The Return of the King board game with my son -- I finally got this, so we could attach our Fellowship and Two Towers games and play the massive continuous march through Middle-earth. In the afternoon we went to Black Hill Regional Park, specifically chosen because we knew it had a paved circuit path around the lake and figured it would be more likely to be navigable in our unimpressive boots than any of the muddy hiking trails. So we went to the nature center there, learned about meteors and copperheads, then walked around the lake, stopping on the way home at various stores in Milestone for recordable DVDs and cat food.

My original plan for the evening was to get the kids to bed at a reasonable hour, then watch Reign of Fire (hi Kim!) but since we had gone into Best Buy, we had, for better or worse, acquired Garfield: The Movie since my kids still have holiday money. So we started to put that on, but then my parents called and invited us out for Thai food, which is something none of us ever turn down. So Garfield didn't get put on until nearly 9 and Reign of Fire didn't get put on until nearly 10:30, and that is my excuse for not having even glanced at LJ today. I am nearly a week behind on fic communities! Please leave me recs!

Certain people (hi again, Kim!) have been telling me to watch Reign of Fire for nearly a year, but I had lost the tape and then kept getting interrupted by other things but I got a Christian Bale craving earlier last week and voila, I finally watched it. And totally loved it! Why did this film get such bad reviews when it opened? Okay, it had some really hokey historical fantasy elements welded onto dystopian sci-fi, but the acting was good, the visual effects were well-done and in addition to Bale, Gerard Butler and Matthew McConaughey, it had Alice Krige and Alexander Siddig in smaller roles and Izabella Scorupco (who was also with Siddig in Vertical Limit, one of my guilty pleasures) played a kick-ass woman who was not a cliche. It was very obvious to me that Butler's character was in love with Bale's and there really should be far more fic on this theme than I've seen.

If I think too much about the dragon-designated sex roles, I might conclude that men are given far too important a role in both human and dragon culture, but, you know, if I think too much about half of this year's Oscar nominees I will have the same problem. Sally Quinn wrote an editorial on this year's male mid-life crisis entry, Sideways, in Saturday's Washington Post that just made me so happy because I DO NOT want to see this movie and I feel utterly vindicated that her reasons for hating it are the same as my reasons for not wanting to see it, here: "Imagine, if you can, a movie about two unattractive, gross women slobs going on a week-long spree and ending up with Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck. Imagine that becoming a hit, nominated for five Academy Awards, acclaimed by critics." I loathed American Beauty -- I don't give a shit whether Kevin Spacey is supposed to be the thinking woman's sex symbol or one of the least effectively closeted big name actors in the world -- and I am not sitting through another film about guys angsting over their lives while women who could be wonderful waste their time on them. You can get me to take Paul Giamatti seriously as adorable when his girlfriend is being played by..sheesh, I can't even say "Camryn Manheim" while her new slimmed-down self is being shoved at me from magazines.

Anyway, enough thinking for the evening. From my newest friend, :

You scored as Carrot Orange. You are carrot orange. You are different and a little bit strange. Your style is your own and you don\'t like to follow the mainstream.

Carrot Orange


Lime Green




Royal Violet


Blood Red


Hot Pink


Bright Yellow


Jet Black


Pure White


Gloomy Grey


Which Crayon Color Are You??
created with

In the morning older son has Hebrew school and then is meeting with his science project group so I imagine I will be finding ways to entertain younger son in the afternoon. And at night, of course, I shall pay far more attention to that awards show than it deserves. Am rooting for Scorsese or Ray Charles to win, as I have no hope that Finding Neverland will and these awards are never about merit for an individual film anyway!

Afternoon light over Little Seneca Lake at Black Hill Regional Park.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Poem for Saturday

Sublime Generosity
By Jelalludin Rumi
Translated by Coleman Barks

I was dead, then alive.
Weeping, then laughing.

The power of love came into me,
and I became fierce like a lion,
then tender like the evening star.

He said, "You're not mad enough.
You don't belong in this house."

I went wild and had to be tied up.
He said, "Still not wild enough
to stay with us!"

I broke through another layer
into joyfulness.

He said, "It's not enough."
I died.

He said, "You're a clever little man,
full of fantasy and doubting."

I plucked out my feathers and became a fool.
He said, "Now you're the candle
for this assembly."

But I'm no candle. Look!
I'm scattered smoke.

He said, "You are the sheikh, the guide."
But I'm not a teacher. I have no power.

He said, "You already have wings.
I cannot give you wings."

But I wanted his wings.
I felt like some flightless chicken.

Then new events said to me,
"Don't move. A sublime generosity is
coming toward you."

And old love said, "Stay with me."

I said, "I will."

You are the fountain of the sun's light.
I am a willow shadow on the ground.
You make my raggedness silky.

The soul at dawn is like darkened water
that slowly begins to say Thank you, Thank you

Then at sunset, again, Venus gradually
changes into the moon and then the whole night sky.

This comes of smiling back
at your smile.

The chess master says nothing,
other than moving the silent chess piece.

That I am part of the ploys
of this game makes me
amazingly happy.


My kids had no school again today, my editor is on vacation, so of course Star Trek news hit the fan all over. Just trying to cover the rallies alone required reading numerous articles. I did not even manage to figure out why Firefox won't let me listen here to see if I'd made a complete fool of myself. Has anyone out there got capture software by any chance that can download All Things Considered from the site instead of my having to stream it, by any chance? I would be enormously grateful.

And speaking of Trek, here is my negative-bordering-on-scathing "Divergence" review. It's almost too bad that last week's episode was so thoroughly enjoyable on every level, because the sequel was bound to be a letdown, but really there is no excuse for utterly ridiculous science and for gratuitous nonsensical cloak-and-dagger crap! I am feeling terribly deflated, not in the mood for covering the ways in which fans can spend their money to try to save the show. While writing the review roundup today I noted that one reviewer had admitted to being uncomfortable with the extent to which Enterprise is the fanboy show this season, and I know what he means: I can tell original Trekkies lots of good reasons to watch it, but new audiences, not so much.

To get the kids out of the house today, we picked up and went out for Indian food for lunch. Everyone ate very well. Then we had dinner at my parents, Mexican food, and everyone ate very well again! Snow days are obviously not good for my waistline. In between I actually succeeded in making them do some homework and practice the violin, and then as a reward we all sat down and watched Highlander together -- "The Lady and the Tiger," because they like Jason Isaacs nearly as much as I do, though for completely different reasons (they seem to be under the impression that he might be a tough guy or something and don't seem to notice his exceptional hotness at all). My older son liked Amanda, too, but ironically their favorite character seems to be Richie. Which I suppose is why he's on the show.

: Strike a Pose
1. Do you own a camera? Describe it:
I think everyone here knows this already. *g* I use two regularly, a Nikon Coolpix 995 which is the world's most perfect digital camera unless you're planning to print 8x14s or larger or unless carrying a lot of weight bothers you; hence I also now have a Nikon Coolpix 4100, which has a lot of preprogrammable modes, weighs next to nothing and fits in the palm of my hand.
2. Do you prefer digital or film? Digital. I only took pictures of my kids in scenery when I had to pay to print every photo. I still know next to nothing about 35mm photography.
3. When is the last time you posed for a picture? I'm not sure but I bet my mother took it at some family gathering. My birthday or Chanukah maybe.
4. Tell us about your favorite photograph: My father took this one on a boat, the first sunrise of the new millennium, which involves several of my favorite things -- sea, sunlight, and a spiritual sort of sense. Of photos I've taken, it's probably this one of Stonehenge, for sentimental reasons as well as photographic ones.
5. Use the flash or flash the camera? Use the flash.

: Name 5 shows/books/movies that you thought you would like, but didn't.
1. Farscape. This is the first time I've actually come out and said this in public: not only didn't I love Farscape, I didn't even like it very much. It certainly had some wonderful moments -- the episode where everyone switches bodies for instance -- but I kept trying to watch, and I'd watch for a couple of weeks, and then I'd just stop. I never fell for any of the characters in any meaningful way, not even Aeryn though I adore Claudia, and there were some I actively disliked.
2. Babylon 5. Say what you will...I think this is the most overrated science fiction series I've ever watched, and with the exception of the first season which I watched only sporadically, I watched it for its entire run. Even though I adored some of the characters and thought it had some excellent storylines, I just didn't find it terribly entertaining. Some of the actors were terrible, and some of them, while quite good when they had good scripts, just didn't seem to know what to do when they had terrible scripts...and that includes Mira, whom I adore even more than Claudia.
3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. First time thought just emotional, second time thought just disappointed by own expectations; third time could admit actively disliked parts.
4. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Which isn't to say that there weren't things I liked about it; which isn't to say I didn't love some of the characters; which isn't to say I'm sorry I saw it. But my reaction when I walked out of it was sheer disbelief at how completely unenthralled I was. Again, it wasn't as if I'd had any agenda; I hadn't been a big Star Wars fan since Return of the Jedi, hadn't read any of the books since the first Timothy Zahn novel, didn't have any sort of fannish vision about what I wanted or expected. But it wasn't that.
5. The new Battlestar Galactica. I've generally liked most Ron Moore projects, and I am perfectly well aware of all the pitfalls of the original BSG so it isn't as though I had a big agenda about what a remake should have included, but for some reason it hasn't held my interest at all. Intellectually I can appreciate the things people say about the female characters and the real world parallels, but it just isn't ringing my bells.

: Has had way too many surveys about death and dying in the past several weeks for my taste. No, I don't want to know when I am going to die, and yes, I have many goals I have not yet accomplished, as I said last time around...and that's enough said.

When we were at Brookside Gardens last weekend, they had a sculpture display by local artists in the greenhouse. Here are some more pictures of the artwork.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Poem for Friday

The Conjugation of the Paramecium
By Muriel Rukeyser

This has nothing
to do with

The species
is continued
as so many are
(among the smaller creatures)
by fission

(and this species
is very small
next in order to
the amoeba, the beginning one)

The paramecium
achieves, then,
by dividing

But when
the paramecium
desires renewal
strength another joy
this is what
the paramecium does:

The paramecium
lies down beside
another paramecium

Slowly inexplicably
the exchange
takes place
in which
some bits
of the nucleus of each
are exchanged

for some bits
of the nucleus
of the other

This is called
the conjugation of the paramecium.


Better tonight -- the storm came through, my head cleared, and if I have managed not to have a headache after being stuck in the house all day with my beloved sons and their friends who came over to play, that is really saying something. *g* Despite my resistance to overmedicating, I took Excedrin PM last night and slept like a rock...till 9 this morning, when I woke in a panic as Thursday is supposed to be my husband's early day and I have to get the kids to school. I came downstairs to find snow covering the van, the kids peacefully watching the new Pokemon movie that came out on DVD last week and school cancelled. Things were so peaceful that I even got to fight with AOL for two hours about my inability to download McAfee's firewall (an issue still not resolved, grr, and my free trial that came with my computer is about to expire).

I finished a draft of my fic which is absolutely meritless porn and I am hoping that is what my recipient wants, decided I really need to redo part of my Remix fic -- it's a fandom I have never written in before though I am very familiar with it, a very short story but an absolutely brilliant concept, but I think I need to review some episodes! I am afraid of changing too much, saying too much and mucking it up, but the minute I read it I said, "THIS is the fic I want to do," even though she's written several in fandoms with which I am much more intimately familiar. And I don't know her at all, which scares me as well.

So since TWW last night, I am totally craving Josh/Donna/Matt fic. Is there any? Will someone write me some? *doe eyes* Can I trade you something? You can have Matt's wife in there too, that would be perfectly fine with me. Or Sam. Or, um, Toby. Or just Josh/Matt, or Josh/Matt/Matt's wife with the assumption that Josh is consciously blocking Donna out (I forgot to squee about The Closet in my post yesterday! Eeee!) I'm feeling quite flexible, but I must have some Matt Santos porn. What can I offer?

Anyway, my day was uneventful: writing articles around making lunch for kids, bundling to go out in snow, un-bundling and hanging up wet clothes after coming in from snow, taking some photos but really not many because the snow was falling so hard all day that I was afraid of the camera getting too wet and damaged, watching the Highlander pilot which I borrowed from the delectable , going through another book's worth of O'Brian quotes, making semi-porny new Alan Rickman in Mesmer icon. Had a brief incident involving cat paws, snow, and the most pathetic mewling and glaring imaginable -- I'd hope she had learned her lesson but do cats ever really learn lessons? *g*

Oh. Almost forgot. I may, heh, be on All Things Considered on NPR tomorrow. They're doing a thing on Enterprise's cancellation and...heh. Um, if anyone in the DC area knows when it's on, will you tell me? Many thanks!

To go with the flower photos from yesterday...look, my daffodils! Yes, that's right, the daffodils in my front yard as they looked this morning. Erm. Will they ever bloom now?

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Poem for Thursday

From "The Congressional Library"
By Amy Lowell

Where else in all America are we so symbolized
As in this hall?
White columns polished like glass,
A dome and a dome,
A balcony and a balcony,
Stairs and the balustrades to them,
Yellow marble and red slabs of it,
All mounting, spearing, flying into color.
Color round the dome and up to it,
Color curving, kite-flying, to the second dome,
Light, dropping, pitching down upon the color,
Arrow-falling upon the glass-bright pillars,
Mingled colors spinning into a shape of white pillars,
Fusing, cooling, into balanced shafts of shrill and interthronging light.
This is America,
This vast, confused beauty,
This staring, restless speed of loveliness,
Mighty, overwhelming, crude, of all forms,
Making grandeur out of profusion,
Afraid of no incongruities,
Sublime in its audacity,
Bizarre breaker of moulds,
Laughing with strength,
Charging down on the past,
Glorious and conquering,
Destroyer, builder,
Invincible pith and marrow of the world,
An old world remaking,
Whirling into the no-world of all-colored light.


Still not really well so please forgive lack of responses and blathering. Felt fine this morning while driving to 's and enjoying "Methos shows up, declares his love and rescues Duncan", I mean "Deliverance," plus "The Samurai" and "Studies in Light," and I am definitely a Duncan slut because I didn't miss Methos at all in the latter two. (Though conveniently provided me with Peter Wingfield softcore porn which I had to share with my husband between West Wing and now, heh, and my god that man's body when he takes his clothes off...! But I got clobbered with a migraine this afternoon which is hanging on tenaciously; am blaming the time of month, and it better be gone in the morning since Thursday is always my early sucky morning. My throat is still not a hundred percent, my head is pounding and in general I feel like a whiny bitch. ( had an even worse day, being unable to join us on account of having had her wallet stolen, which sucks immensely!)

"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Lana" on Smallville did not do a lot for me despite Michael Rosenbaum and Jensen Ackles in various states of torn shirts; I like Lana better possessed by evil witches than as herself, but I like her even better not there at all, which I feel guilty about because I really want to like the women on the show...I just don't, most of the time. The West Wing however brought me to tears twice and gave me two revelations, one CJ/Toby moment and one Matt/Josh moment, the first when CJ joked to Toby that maybe this could be one of those nights where they got drunk and pretended they didn't work together -- okay, fine, maybe I see the CJ/Toby a little, though I still prefer both of them with other people (fine, so he's not interested in Annabeth and Will might be, at least that takes care of the Will/Donna problem but CJ still deserves someone who can make her smile far more often) -- the second being when Hollywood Matt is enthusiastically crooning to Josh who says, "You're not going to kiss me, are you?" I missed whatever got said after that because I was squealing in ecstasy. I really thought the Toby-Josh fight by definition was going to be idiotic, and was astonished at how moving it was -- god, I love Toby so much when he makes it about issues because although I totally understand where Josh's heart is (and I don't mean THAT way, I mean in terms of wanting to back a candidate who can win), I agree with the copping to the center charges completely. And I would be more articulate about all of this if I did not have a murderous splitting headache, I swear.

Have been corresponding with my older son's teachers about his work and think we have to consider going back to the doctors to talk about going back on meds for ADHD, which bothers me more than it should -- last time I convinced myself that what mattered was his overall physical and mental health and educational and social life, which I need to do again, but I am so sick and tired of chemicals being prescribed as the solution for fully half the boys we know, whether their issues have to do with mood, learning, social problems, temper, study did my generation survive, anyway, without all these drugs? Are there more of us in institutions now because they didn't have all these magic pills? I don't know actual statistics, but my gut instinct is that there is too much being prescribed too readily for too many kids. How one determines whether one's own child is one of the too many, though, is really tricky.

Spring comes early to Brookside's greenhouse. Photos taken last weekend during the Maple Sugaring Festival.

You Are a Social Blogger!

Your blog is more of a semi-private affair for your friends.
It's how you keep in touch... sharing stories, jokes, and pics.

We are supposed to get a significant amount of snow tomorrow, possibly starting by the morning rush hour so school could be delayed, closed early or cancelled; they're saying 6-8 inches could fall by tomorrow night. I will attempt to catch up then, particularly if I am stuck in the house.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

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

Poem for Wednesday

Nearing Autobiography
By Pattiann Rogers

Those are my bones rifted
and curled, knees to chin,
among the rocks on the beach,
my hands splayed beneath my skull
in the mud. Those are my rib
bones resting like white sticks
wracked on the bank, laid down,
delivered, rubbed clean
by river and snow.

Ethereal as seedless weeds
in dim sun and frost, I see
my own bones translucent as locust
husks, light as spider bones,
as filled with light as lantern
bones when the candle flames.
And I see my bones, facile,
willing, rolling and clacking,
reveling like broken shells
among themselves in a tumbling surf.

I recognize them, no other's,
raggedly patterned and wrought,
peeled as a skeleton of sycamore
against gray skies, stiff as a fallen
spruce. I watch them floating
at night, identical lake slivers
flush against the same star bones
drifting in scattered pieces above.

Everything I assemble, all
the constructions I have rendered
are the metal and dust of my locked
and storied bones. My bald cranium
shines blind as the moon.


Throat better today, as is my older son's. I took it very easy, stayed home except to get my kids and run out to the grocery store en famille, drank lots of tea, ate the rest of my Valentine's Day chocolate, so while I accomplished little besides writing three articles and working on my ficathon story, it must be considered a good day despite the pre-emption of Veronica Mars in favor of a Terrapins basketball game. (Anyone in the DC area, if you find out when the episode will be aired, will you let me know?) I also got goodies electronically from and via snail mail from : ladies, I have not had a chance to sample either, but I am most grateful and will let you know when I do! Thank you! *smooch*

Someone here must know this: where can I find speculation about animagi and their clothing? When McGonagall turns from a cat into a woman at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, she's wearing square glasses and a green cape as Dumbledore turns to look at her; Sirius becomes a dog and then a man without losing his clothes. I suppose maybe their clothes are under some spell to transfigure into their collars when they transform, but I know there must be someone somewhere who's written in more detail about this (especially since the film of POA, when Peter transfigures but leaves his suit behind, though it's on him when he becomes a man after twelve years as a rat). Help? Thanks.

It was nice enough out that I wanted to take a walk in the early evening right after got home, but the moon had just risen in a cloudy sky, where it was creating amazing color patterns. Instead of walking I raced back home, got my camera and took a couple of pictures because it looked so gorgeous. None of my photos do it justice; I really must put the tripod where I can get to it easily for such situations. There were deer walking on the sidewalk right in the neighborhood a little later in the evening when we went to the store, which were beautiful to see but make me sad; we regularly have dead deer at the side of the road not far from here because the woods keep getting cut closer and closer to Bucks Branch Creek to make room for more and more houses, so they have nowhere to go. We saw a fox race across the road, too. I wish I could move quickly enough to photograph that.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Poem for Tuesday

By Bei Dao (Zhao Zhenkai)
Translated by David Hinton and Yanbing Chen

at the end of a perfect day
those simple people looking for love
left scars on twilight

there must be a perfect sleep
in which angels tend certain
blossoming privileges

when the perfect crime happens
clocks will be on time
trains will start moving

a perfect flame in amber
war’s guests
gather around it keeping warm

stage hushed, perfect moon rising
the pharmacist is preparing
a total poison of time


One of the kids in my older son's carpool has bronchitis, my son has been coughing all day, and now my throat hurts -- this cannot be good. We took it easy today -- went out only to get haircuts (we still take the kids to Cartoon Cuts, and I always get my hair cut with them because there's a woman there who for under $20 gives me a better haircut than any $60+ haircut I've ever gotten). Other than stopping for ice cream, Yankee Candles and to see the fish at the aquarium shop, that was the extent of the excitement for the day.

Otherwise, I did quite a bit of reading, typed up a bunch of O'Brian quotes, watched Horatio Hornblower: Retribution to go with The Mutiny from last night because I seem to be in a slutty fannish mood, wrote up some Trek stuff and produced a few drabbles: "Likeness", for two different challenges, reflections at and mirrors at ; "Somniloquy", for the "caught" challenge at ; and "The Beginning of the Sentence" for the cold challenge at . And while I'm talking HP, drew Madam Hooch, and while I'm talking art, Kim Schultz drew a new Christian Bale.

I'm pretty zotzed and need to go collapse, haven't read any of my flist, will try to catch up tomorrow. In the meantime, some amusing images from the zoo yesterday:

The giant pandas trying to lick honey out of milk crates. The zookeepers explained that this is an activity designed to keep them engaged, instead of, you know, plotting to tear down their enclosure and head for the White House or something.

They are so utterly adorable that it is easy to forgive them for failing to take an active interest in politics and their own liberation. And that's why pandas don't rule the world.

Here, why elephants and giraffes don't rule the world: they are too easily distracted by hanging tires they can stick their heads and trunks through.

Why Asian otters don't rule the world: after trying to bite the hand that feeds them, thus necessitating that they be in their underwater lair when the zookeeper arrives with the fresh fish, they exhaust themselves chasing each other around and need some quiet time.

Why emus don't rule the world...actually, I think this one does.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Notes on 'The Letter of Marque' and 'The Thirteen Gun Salute'

Sequel to this post about my favorite moments from The Far Side of the World and The Reverse of the Medal, with the rest to be found filed under "O'Brian":


10: "The Surprise now probably had a more efficient, more professional ship's company than any vessel of her size afloat, which might well have filled her captain's heart with joy: and indeed when he reflected upon the fact it did bring a certain amount of conscientious pleasure and what joy the heart could hold; this was not very much. It might have been said that Jack Aubrey's heart had been sealed off, so that he could accept his misfortune without its breaking; and that the sealing-off had turned him into a eunuch as far as emotion was concerned. The explanation would have been on the simple side, yet whereas in former times Captain Aubrey, like his hero Nelson and so many of his contemporaries, had been somewhat given to tears - he had wept with joy at the masthead of his first command; tears had sometimes wetted the lower part of his fiddle when he played particularly moving passages; and cruel sobs had racked him at many a shipmate's funeral by land or sea - he was now as hard and dry-eyed as a man could well be. He had parted from Sophie and the children at Ashgrove Cottage with no more than a constriction in his throat which made his farewells sound painfully harsh and unfeeling. And for that matter his fiddle lay there still in its wax-clothed case, untouched since he came aboard."

12: In the open sea the Surprise folded her wings again, dropped the anchor from her cathead, veered away a reasonable scope and rode easy. It had been a simple operation, one that Jack had seen many thousand times, but it had run perfectly smoothly, without the slightest fuss or fault, and it pleased him. This was just as well, since for some considerable time a feeling of indignation at Maturin's lateness had been growing in him: his huge misfortune he could, if not accept, then at least endure without railing or complaint, but small things were capable of irritating him as much as ever they did - indeed a great deal more - and he had prepared a curt note for Stephen, to be left on shore, appointing another rendezvous in a fortnight's time.

41: Jack is ordered aboard a Royal Navy vessel that plans to try to press his privateersmen. "'Listen, brother,' said Stephen, drawing him to the stern window, 'it is not without some inward wrestling that I produce this, because there was a tacit assumption that it was designed to cover our South American voyage alone. Yet the carpenter tells me that this Viper is commanded by a peculiarly busy coxcomb, a newly-appointed lieutenant who is habitually rude and tyrannical, and it appears to me that if the puppy were to be as provoking as I fear he may be, you might commit yourself and there would be no voyage to South America, no voyage at all.' 'By God, Stephen,' said Jack, reading the document, which was the Admiralty's letter of exemption from impressment for the entire ship's company, 'I admire your judgment. I have looked at the Navy List, and Viper is commanded by the son of that scrub in Port Mahon, Dixon. It might have been hard to avoid kicking him, if he gave himself airs. By God, I shall be easy in my mind now.' Even so, Jack Aubrey required all his self-command - more indeed than he thought he possessed - to avoid kicking the young man; for the loss of almost all pleasurable emotion left susceptibility, irritation, anger and rage intact or in fact strengthened, except during his long periods of apathy; and this was not one of them." Jack goes aboard, is ignored and treated shabbily, is finally admitted to the cabin. "Dixon was sitting at a table: he did not offer Aubrey a chair. He had hated him from those remote days in Minorca and ever since the Surprise had heaved in sight he had been preparing sarcastic remarks of a particularly cutting nature. But the sight of Jack's bulk towering there, filling the meagre space and all the more massive since he had to crouch under the low deckhead, his grim face and the natural authority that emanated from him, overcame young Dixon's resolution; he said nothing when Jack pushed some objects from a locker and sat down. It was only when he had leafed through the papers that he said 'I see you have a very full ship's company, Mr Aubrey. I shall have to relieve you of a score or so.' 'They are protected,' said Jack. 'Nonsense. They cannot be protected. Privateersmen are not protected.' 'Read that,' said Jack, gathering up the other papers and standing over him. Dixon read it, read it again and held the paper against the light to see the watermark: while he did so Jack gazed out of the scuttle at his boat's crew's tarpaulincovered hats, rising and falling on the gentle swell. 'Well,' said Dixon at last, 'I suppose there is nothing more to be said. You may go.' 'What did you say?' said Jack, turning short upon him. 'I said there is nothing more to say.' 'Good day to you, sir.'

43-47: Jack tells Stephen how grateful he is for that exemption. "If any of our old shipmates who are deserters had been taken - and I am sure that poor mean-spirited young hound would not have spared them - they would have run the risk of hanging: of several hundred lashes, in any case. And we should have been perpetually playing hide-and-seek with King's ships...I believe I must not ask you how you came by it.' 'I shall tell you, however,' said Stephen, 'for I know you are as silent as the tomb where discretion is required. On this South American journey I shall hope to make some contacts that may be of interest to government. In a hemi-demi-semi official way the Admiralty is aware of this; it is also aware that I cannot reach South America in a ship stripped of its hands. That is why this protection was given. I should have told you before. Indeed there are many things that I should have told you, had we not been so far apart, or had they been fit subjects for correspondence.'" Then Stephen tries to explain the situation involving Jack's trial and conviction, and Wray and Ledward's escape. "For the last few minutes Jack's heart had been beating with steadily greater strength and speed and now it seemed to fill his chest. Breathing deeply and controlling the pitch of his voice with some success he said 'Does that mean I may be reinstated?' 'If there were any justice in the world, I am sure it would, my dear," said Stephen. 'But you must not look for it with any kind of certainty - never with any kind of strong hope at all...General Aubrey is a sad handicap. Then again all authority implies an extreme reluctance to admit past error. On the other hand I believe a friend would advise you not to despair; above all not to give way to melancholy - be not idle, be not alone, as dear Burton says. For activity, naval activity is the solution, if solution there be.' 'I am sorry if I seemed so hipped this morning,' said Jack. 'The fact of the matter is - I do not mean to complain, Stephen, but the fact of the matter is, I had just had a dream so real and true that even now I can touch it. The dream was that the whole affair, the trial and everything that followed, was itself a dream; and my huge relief, my joy at realizing this, my immense happiness I think it was that woke me. But even then I was still partly in the dream and for a moment I looked confidently for my old uniform coat.'" Then after target practice, "Martin said to Stephen, 'Surely the Captain is looking more himself, do not you think? Yesterday evening I was extremely shocked.'"

54-5: It was tense work, a very fair imitation of a real engagement, for the guns were fired so fast they soon heated and grew skittish, leaping high and recoiling with frightful force. Once Jumping Billy broke both breeching and after side-tackle and since there was a heavy swell from the south-west the whole lethal mass of gun and carriage would have run amok on the deck if Padeen, who was enormously strong, had not wedged it with a handspike until his mates could make all fast. They worked as quick as ever they could, but all this time Padeen had to stand there with his excoriated hand pressed hard against the hot gun, so hot that his blood hissed as it ran down the metal. Bonden, the captain of the main top, brought him below, openly weeping with the pain, and as they came he could be heard comforting him in the loud and distinct voice used for invalids, foreigners, and those who were not quite exactly (and Padeen for the moment fit all of these qualifications): 'Never mind, mate, the Doctor will soon put you right - what a rare plucked 'un you are to be sure - you smell like a grilled beefsteak, mate- he may save your poor bloody hand too, I dare say- anyway he will take away the pain.' And reaching up, for Padeen was far taller, he gently wiped the tears from his cheeks.

64: "'Stephen,' cried Jack. 'Not another note, I beg. I have it exactly, if only it don't fly away.' He whipped the cloth off his violin-case, tuned roughly, and swept straight into the true line. After a while Stephen joined him, and when they were thoroughly satisfied they stopped, tuned very exactly, passed the rosin to and fro and so returned to the direct statement, to variations upon it, inversions, embroideries, first one setting out in a flight of improvisation while the other filled in and then the other doing the same, playing on and on until a lee-lurch half-flung Stephen from his seat, so that his 'cello gave a dismal screech. He recovered, bow and strings unharmed, but their free-flowing rhythm was destroyed, and they played no more. 'It is just as well, however,' said Jack, 'I should very soon have been most damnably out of tune. During the great-gun exercise I ran up and down without a pause, doing what half a dozen midshipmen usually do, each for his own set of guns - I never knew the little brutes were so useful before - and now I am quite fagged out. Hold hard, Stephen,' he cried, catching Stephen as he fell again, this time from a standing position. 'Where are your sea-legs?' 'It is not a question of sea-legs at all,' said Stephen. 'The ship is moving about in a very wild, unbridled manner. A crocodile would fall, in such circumstances, without it had wings.'" Knowing it will be a dirty night, Jack strikes his fiddle and the cello down into the hold "'with the article'" which Killick calls "'the object'" - the cabinet that serves as music stand, wash-basin, desk, etc. with gold fittings.

86-7: Killick wakes Stephen, "'Captain's compliments and should the Doctor like to see a glorious sight?'" Stephen steps out into the sun, "happy seamen all along the windward gangway, laughter on the forecastle. 'There you are, Doctor,' cried Jack. 'Good morning to you. Ain't it charming? The breeze veered in a black squall soon after you had turned in, and began to blow from west by south in the morning watch; and I believe it may haul north of west. But come with me - mind your step.' He led him still blinking and heavy to the taffrail and said 'There. That's what I woke you up for." At first Stephen could not make it out: then he realized that the near sea to leeward was filled, filled with whales: an immense school of sperm whales travelling in one direction, passing above, below, round and amongst a school of right whales travelling in the other. Everywhere he looked there were huge dark forms rising, blowing, sometimes lying awash, more often diving again almost at once, often showing their enormous flukes above the surface as they did so. Some were so close he could hear their breath, their strong, almost explosive outward breath and their heaving inspiration. 'Lord, Lord,' he said at last. 'What a splendour of creation.' 'I am so glad you saw them,' said Jack. 'In five minutes time it would have been too late.'"

144-6: Jack learns about the Sethians and defuses the problem of the name painted on the ship.

158: Stephen wonders at the discomfort with which the men will cope in the exercises. "He made the remark to Martin as they sat each side of Tom Edwards, Stephen's left hand on the wound, feeling for the coldness of gangrene, and his right taking the patient's fine steady hopeful pulse: he made it in Latin, and in the same language or rather his comic English version of it Martin replied 'Perhaps you are so used to your friend that you no longer see what a great man he is to the sailors. If he can leap and bound at night in the pouring rain, defying the elements, they would be ashamed not to do the same, though I have seen some almost weep at the second assault, or when they are desired to go through the cutlass exercise once more. I doubt they would do so much for anyone else. It is a quality some men possess.' 'I dare say you are in the right of it,' said Stephen. 'But if he were to ask me to come out in a rowing-boat on a night like this, even wrapped in waterproof garments and wearing a cork jacket, I should decline.' 'I should never have the moral courage.'" But Stephen is also dissatisfied with Padeen, whom unbeknownst to him is stealing his laudanum.

162: Stephen has rowed to Old Scratch. "A rock-dove, gliding placidly along before him, abruptly swerved, flying very fast northwards; a peregrine, stooping from high above with the sound of a rocket, struck a cloud of feathers from the dove and bore it off to the mainland cliff, beyond the Surprise. As he watched the falcon's heavier but still rapid flight he heard eight bells strike aboard, followed by the remote pipe of all hands to breakfast and the much more emphatic roar of the hungry seamen: a moment later he saw Jack Aubrey, mother-naked, plunge from the taffrail and swim out towards Old Scratch, his long yellow hair streaming behind him. When he was half way across two seals joined him, those intensely curious animals, sometimes diving and coming up ahead to gaze into his face almost within hand's reach. 'I give you joy of your seals, brother,' said Stephen, as Jack waded ashore on the little golden strand, where the skiff now lay high, dry and immovable. 'It is the universal opinion of the good and the wise that there is nothing more fortunate than the company of seals.' 'I have always liked them,' said Jack, sitting on the gunwale and dripping all over. 'If they could speak, I am sure they would say something amiable, but Stephen, have you forgot breakfast?' 'I have not. My mind has been toying with thoughts of coffee, stirabout, white pudding, bacon, toast, marmalade and more coffee, for some considerable time.' 'Yet you would never have had it until well after dinner, you know, because your boat is stranded and I doubt you could swim so far.' 'The sea has receded!' cried Stephen. 'I am amazed.' 'They tell me it does so twice a day in these parts,' said Jack. 'It is technically known as the tide.' 'Why, your soul to the Devil, Jack Aubrey,' said Stephen, who had been brought up on the shores of the Mediterranean, that unebbing sea. He struck his hand to his forehead and exclaimed 'There must be some imbecility, some weakness here. But perhaps I shall grow used to the tide in time. Tell me, Jack, did you notice that the boat was as who should say marooned, and did you then leap into the sea?' 'I believe it was pretty generally observed aboard. Come, clap on to the gunwale and we will run her down. I can almost smell the coffee from here.'

191: Preparing for the cutting-out expedition: "As Bonden passed, Jack took him by the arm and said in a low voice, 'Keep very close to the Doctor when we board.' Then he went below, where Stephen was playing chess with Martin by the glittering candle with his sword on the table in front of him. 'Will you come with me?' said Jack. 'We are on our way.' Stephen stood up, smiling, and put his sword-belt over his shoulder; Martin fastened it behind, an expression of very great concern upon his face. Jack led the way up to the quarterdeck, aft to the taffrail, where Pullings and Martin followed to wish them Godspeed, and over on to the stern-ladder. The boats had already formed in the long linked line that the captain's launch was to lead; and as Jack reached it, the last of the cutting-out party, Bonden shoved off and Jack murmured 'Give way.'"

218-19: Soames comes to have unofficial words with Jack about the possibility of a solicitation for a free pardon for the Stock Exchange fraud. 'But surely, sir, you must be aware that I pleaded not guilty? That I said upon my honour that I was not guilty?' 'Yes, sir, I remember it perfectly.' 'Then how in God's name am I to be forgiven for what I have not done? How can I conceivably solicit a free pardon when I am innocent?' Jack had begun the interview in a state of strong, ill-defined, diffused irritation; he was now white with anger and he went on 'Do not you see that if I ask for a pardon I am giving myself the lie? Proclaiming that there is something to be forgiven?' 'It is no more than a formality - it might almost be called a legal fiction - and it must affect the question of your eventual reinstatement.' 'No, sir,' said Jack, rising. 'I cannot see the matter as a formality at all. I am aware that neither you nor the gentlemen who desired you to speak to me means any offence, but I must beg you to return them my compliments and state that 1 see the matter in a different light.' 'Sir, will you not consider for a while, and take advice?' 'No, sir; these are things a man must decide for himself.'" Jack sends him away, and Sir Joseph says Jack "has missed his tide." Stephen blames Soames, the messenger, for not making comparisons to false musters like the one that has Philip Aubrey on the books.

224-5: Jack bonds with his half-brother Philip at Woolcombe, the house that he will inherit now.

232-33: "'The Ministry (said he) had heard that I was to be member for Milport; his brother rejoiced at the news because this additional influence in my favour would allow him to urge his colleagues even more strongly that I should be reinstated by mere motion - that is to say, without having to sue out any pardon. But in order to do so with full effect Melville would have to be able to assure them of my attitude in the House. It was not required that I should engage to support the Ministry through thick and thin, but Melville hoped he could say that at least I should not violently and systematically oppose it - that I should not be a vehement or enthusiastic member. I looked at Sophie, who knew perfectly well what I meant; she nodded, and I said to Heneage that it was excessively unlikely I should ever address the House on anything but a naval question...Melville had told him that in the event of a favourable answer the papers would be put in hand directly, and that although they would take some months to pass through all the proper channels, while the official announcement would not be made until it could coincide with some victory in the Peninsula or even better at sea, he undertook that my name and present command should be placed on a special list, and that I should not suffer in seniority. Lord, Stephen, we are so happy! Sophie goes singing about the house. She says she would give anything for you to share our joy, so here I am scribbling this in the greatest haste, hoping it may catch you before you set out for Leith... God bless you, Stephen. Sophie bids me send her dear love. Yours ever Jno Aubrey'"

239-40: Stephen waits for his draught to have its effect and thinks while waiting to fall asleep. "There was a a vast expanse in which his thoughts could take their pleasure: Jack Aubrey's affairs could hardly be more prosperous, and short of a very hideous mischance (Stephen unhooked his hand to cross himself) it was scarcely possible that he should not be fully, publicly reinstated within the next few months. He would most probably be given a command after the South American voyage: and perhaps it would be another independent commission - his genius lay that way. Conceivably they might explore the high northern latitudes together: extremely interesting, no doubt; though they could scarcely hope for the fantastic wealth of the south again." Then he thinks about seeing Diana, returning her blue diamond, how he did not want to duel Jagiello, how other than money he had no idea what he had to offer her.

251-52: "No one could have looked at the new Member for Milport's face without his heart lifting: it was not that Jack Aubrey's was exultant or filled with obvious pleasure - indeed for some time after they had lain close to the Leopard it was clouded - but it possessed a shining inner life, a harmony of its own, and the strange almost paralytic deadness that had hung over it in repose these last months was now quite gone. His had been a naturally cheerful countenance until all joy was driven out of it, a fine ruddy face whose lines and creases had been formed by laughter and smiling; now it was essentially the same again, ruddier if anything, and lit by eyes that seemed an even brighter blue. Stephen felt his sadness and near-desperation recede, almost vanish, as they talked and talked about Cousin Edward Norton's extraordinarily handsome conduct, and about the House of Commons, where they agreed that Jack's wisest course would be silence except in the case of overwhelming conviction on a naval point, and a general but by no means unconditional support of the Ministry: or at least of Lord Melville." Jack shows Stephen around the ship and Stephen gets worried about rapidly approaching Sweden. "This view of the present racing along to become the future grew in Stephen's mind as they ate their dinner, and by the time they had said everything that could be said about parliament, Ashgrove, Woolcombe, the children, Philip Aubrey and the Surprise's new iron water-tanks, his mind tended to stray away. In spite of the very profound satisfaction of seeing the old Jack Aubrey on the other side of the table, his anxiety was welling up again."

276-77: Diana tends Stephen after his accident from the laudanum overdose. "They had known one another these many years, but their relations had never called for tenderness on her side and he would have said that it formed no part of her character: courage, spirit and determination, yes, but nothing nearer tenderness than generosity and good nature. He was weak, having been much battered in his physical and metaphysical fall and having eaten nothing since, weak and somewhat maudlin, and reflecting upon this new dimension he wept silently in the darkness." The doctors will not give him laudanum. "'Have you any reason to suppose that I had taken laudanum?' 'Your pupils, of course; and the apothecary's label was still on the broken glass. A wise physician would no more add a drop of laudanum to an already overcharged body than a gunner would take a naked light into a powder-magazine.' 'Many medical men use the tincture against pain and emotional disturbance.' 'Certainly. But in this case I am persuaded that we should be well advised to bear the pain and deal with the agitation by exhibiting a moderate dose of hellebore.' Stephen felt inclined to congratulate Mersennius on his fortitude, but he did not and they parted on civil terms. Within the limits of his information Mersennius was right; he obviously thought that his patient was addicted to laudanum, and he had no means of knowing, as Stephen knew, that this frequent and indeed habitual use was not true addiction, but just the right side of it. The boundary was difficult to define and he did not blame Mersennius for his mistake, the less so as his body was at this moment feeling more than a hint of that craving which was the mark of a man who had gone too far. Yet the present unsteady emotional state must be taken in hand. The pain he could bear, but he would never forgive himself if he were to weep at Diana or behave weakly." He explains to Diana that Laura was not his mistress: "The removal certainly preserved her life, but it damaged her reputation among those who were not connected with intelligence. Even Jack was deceived, which surprised me; I had thought he knew me better.'"

281-4: Jack arrives, Diana packs to go with them, Stephen buys coca leaves to sustain himself. "West was the only officer on the quarterdeck... 'This is Dr Maturin's cabin. Who are you, ma'am?' 'I am his wife, sir,' she said, 'and I beg you will desire the carpenter to sling a cot for me here.' She pointed, and then bending and peering out of the scuttle she cried 'Here they are. Pray let people stand by to help him aboard: he will be lying on a door.' She urged West out of the cabin and on deck, and there he and the amazed foremast hands saw a blue and gold coach and four, escorted by a troop of cavalry in mauve coats with silver facings, driving slowly along the quay with their captain and a Swedish officer on the box, their surgeon and his mate leaning out of the windows, and all of them, now joined by the lady on deck, singing 'Ah tutti contend saremo cost, ah tutti contenti saremo, saremo cosi' with surprisingly melodious full-throated happiness.


8: "Jack Aubrey, by a mere count of days, must have spent more time afloat than ashore; and if the formative years of his youth were given greater value, an impartial observer might have set him down as nine-tenths marine, particularly as his strongest emotions had all been known at sea. To be sure, love and an encounter with the law at its most unjust had marked him deeply by land, but these feelings, powerful though they were, could not equal those he had known as a sailor in number or intensity. Quite apart from the extreme perils of storm and shipwreck natural to his calling, he had fought in more great fleet battles and in more single-ship actions than most officers of his time. He had boarded many and many an enemy and it was at these times that he felt most wholly alive. Ordinarily he was not at all aggressive - a cheerful, sanguine, friendly, good-natured creature, severe only in the event of bad seamanship - but when he was on a Frenchman's deck, sword in hand, he felt a wild and savage joy, a fulness of being, like no other; and he remembered every detail of blows given or received, every detail of the whole engagement, with the most vivid clarity."

9: "People walked about at ease, even with their hands in their pockets; there was a certain amount of laughter in the forecastle in spite of the parting; and the quartermaster at the con, wiping a tear from his cheek and shaking his grey head, did not scruple to address Jack directly: 'I shall never see her like again, sir. The loveliest young woman in Shelmerston.' 'A lovely young woman indeed, Heaven,' said Jack. 'Mrs Heaven, if I do not mistake?' 'Why, sir, in a manner of speaking: but some might say more on the porcupine-lay, the roving-line, if you understand me.' 'There is a great deal to be said for porcupines, Heaven: Solomon had a thousand, and Solomon knew what o'clock it was, I believe. You will certainly see her again.'"

15-19: Stephen suggests to Jack that they put to sea directly and Jack takes it to mean as near-instantaneously as possible, making Stephen cross, as Diana is pregnant and temperamental and he has business in town. 'Oh for all love,' cried Stephen with a most unusual jet of ill-humour, 'must our lives be ruled by bells on land as well as by sea?' 'Dear Stephen,' said Jack, looking down on him kindly, though with a little surprise, 'this is Liberty Hall, you know...' Stephen ponders that Diana should stay with Sophie and use Jack's lands for her horses, though he doesn't really want her riding while pregnant; they have married in a church and Stephen has given up opium, and they have been quarrelling, for the giving up the laudanum has restored his temper: "it was in all likelihood the cause of the heat with which they now argued, each preserving an imperilled independence, it was quite certainly the cause of this baby. When Stephen had first heard that foetal heart beat, his own had stopped dead and then turned over. He was filled with a joy he had never known before, and with a kind of adoration for Diana." He remembers that he has letters from Sam, "as tall as Aubrey and even broader...Jack's natural son, as black as polished ebony yet absurdly recognizable - the same carriage, the same big man's gentleness, even the same features, transposed to another key."

33-4: "'I can't swim,' roared the pilot, and Jack...grasped the situation at once. Flinging off his coat, he plunged striking the purser as he rose again and driving him down breathless a good four fathoms, into quite dim water. This however gave time for entering ropes to be shipped and for a line with a man-harness hitch to be passed down, so that when Jack - a practised hand - brought Standish's head clear of the water, the purser could be hauled aboard and the Captain could walk up the steps of his ship at his ease. He found Standish sitting on a carronade-slide and gasping while the surgeons examined his wound. 'Nothing at all,' said Stephen. 'A mere superficial tear. Mr Martin will sew it up in a trice.' 'I am most exceedingly obliged to you, sir,' said the purser, standing up and fairly pouring blood from the superficial tear. 'My dear sir, I beg you will not think of it,' replied Jack, shaking his bloody hand. Leaning over the rail he called out to the pilot, who was clawing up into the wind, 'All's well, 'and ran below, where a furious Killick was waiting with a towel, a dry shirt and trousers. 'And these here woollen drawers, sir,' he said. 'You done it again - you are always a-doing of it - but this time you will catch your death, without you put on these woollen drawers. Who ever heard of dipping his bare arse off of the Eddystone?'"

38-9: "Since he was not alone he and Stephen shared the great cabin and Stephen had the coach to himself. As the frigate's surgeon, Maturin also had a cabin below, a stuffy little hole which, like those of the other officers, opened on to the gunroom: he used it on occasion, when Jack, the other side of the frail partition, snored beyond all bearing; but at present, in spite of a steady volume of sound, he was sitting there with his papers, chewing a few coca leaves. He had woken not long since from a most unusually explicit and vivid erotic dream; they had become increasingly frequent of late, with the laudanum dying even in its remotest lingering effects, and the vehemence of his desire quite distressed him. 'I am becoming a mere satyr,' he said. 'Where should I be without my coca-leaves? Where indeed?'...'Buggers,' said Stephen, using a word that he had quite often heard aboard but that rarely came to his mind as a term of reproach. A little surprised at himself, he took up the small heavy parcel that had been delivered at the same time."

62: "There was no music that evening apart from some quiet rumbling over familiar paths by Aubrey and Maturin - an evenly-shared mediocrity - and an hour or so of their favourite exercise, which was improvisation on a theme proposed by one and answered by the other, which sometimes rose well above mediocrity because of their deep mutual comprehension, in this field at least."

70: "'Hola, Stephen,' called Jack from the other side of the street. 'Well met, shipmate. Come and help me choose some taffeta for Sophie. I want some so fine it will go through a ring. I am sure you understand taffeta, Stephen.' 'I doubt there is a man in the whole of Ballinasloe that understands it better,' said Stephen. 'And if there is blue taffeta to be had, I shall buy some for Diana too.' They walked back to the quay carrying their parcels, and since Jack, not knowing how long they would be, had not taken his own gig ashore, they were about to hail a boat when a party of the Surprise's liberty men, gathering about the launch true to their hour, caught sight of them the whole breadth of the square away and roared out, 'Never waste your money on a skiff, sir. Come along o' we.' Jack went along o' they in the democratical corsair fashion quite happily, though he was just as glad that there were no serving officers in their formal barges to watch him: though in fact, apart from their first free, uninhibited invitation the Shelmerstonians were as prim and mute as any long-serving man-of-war's men throughout the crossing."

71: "It was clear that Jack was right in saying that Killick regarded Stephen as his own property. He at once took him down to the coach and made him take off his fine English broadcloth coat, crying out in a shrill nagging tone, 'Look at these here great slobs of grease, so deep you could plough a furrow in them: and your best satin breeches, oh Lord! Didn't I say you was to call for two napkins and never mind if they stared? Now it will be scrub-scrub, brush-brush for poor bloody Killick all through the night watches; and even then they will never be the same.'" Stephen gives him a box of Portugal marchpane and Killick abruptly forgives him.

73: Mail from home finally arrives. "Jack had a couple [of letters] from Hampshire, and according to their usual habit they read them at breakfast, exchanging pieces of family news. Stephen had scarcely broken the seal of his first before he cried, with a passion rare in him, 'Upon my word, Jack, that woman is as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of Nile.' Jack was not always quick, but this time he instantly grasped that Stephen was talking about his wife and he said, 'Has she taken Barham Down?' 'She has not only taken it, she has bought it.' And in an undertone 'The animal.' 'Sophie always said she was very much set upon the place.' Stephen read on, and then said, 'But she means to live with Sophie until we come home, however. She is only sending Hitchcock and a few horses.' 'So much the better. Stephen, did she tell you the kitchen boiler at Ashgrove blew up on Tuesday?' 'She is doing so at this minute - the words are before me. Brother, there is much to be said for living in a monastery.'"

84: On Jack rushing to take the Diane to Pulo Prabang: "Nothing, travel, guilt, extreme discomfort, could take away from the deep glow in his heart: if he could stay alive for the next couple of weeks or so, he would be gazetted and he would have a command - the charming promises would become infinitely more solid realities: changing from what his mind believed to what his whole person knew as a living fact. The fact, however, could not be mentioned, nor the glow acknowledged; even the inward singing must be repressed."

91-2: Stephen suddenly realizes that the women may learn they are in town and have not sailed with Surprise. 'I have been thinking, brother. Diana will be in a very delicate condition by now, and if we suddenly appear, it may shock her extremely.' 'Oh,' said Jack, who had been on the point of sending for horses, 'I suppose it might. Pen a discreet, diplomatic note hinting that you might be in the neighbourhood presently...' The boy on a mule set off with a note - 'My dear, pray do not be alarmed or in any way concerned if you should see us presently: we are both perfectly well and send our love' - and the men were about to set off to gaze at the Diane from a discreet distance when they ran into the Port Admiral, a cheerful soul, who insisted on their cracking a bottle." They drink together with the loquacious officers. "Talk flowed, bottles came and went, time passed, passed. But at length the landlord's son came and stood by Stephen: 'Oh, Dr Maturin, sir,' he said when Stephen paused in his account of the Basrah method of setting broken bones, 'there is a coach outside with some ladies asking for you' 'Jesus, Mary and Joseph,' muttered Stephen, darting from the room. Diana was at the near-side window She leant out and cried, 'Oh Maturin, my dear, what a monster you are to terrify innocent women like this 'Inside the coach behind her Sophie's voice rose to a high squeak, 'Is not Jack there? You said Jack would be there.' Diana opened the door and offered to jump out, but Stephen took her elbows and lifted her down. 'My dear, you are a fine size,' he said, kissing her tenderly. 'Sophie, will you come in and see Jack and Admiral Martin and a number of other sailors? They are drinking port in the Dolphin room.' 'Oh Stephen,' called Sophie, 'pray bring him out and let us all go home together at once. I do not want to lose a minute of him. Nor of you either, dear Stephen.' 'Sure you are right, for the moments are few: we must be in town on Tuesday, I do believe.'"

96-8: "No one but a man far more obtuse than Maturin would have had to ask the result of the interview as Jack came running upstairs, his papers in his hand. 'He did it as handsomely as the thing could be done,' he said. 'No humming and whoreing, no barking about the wrong bush, no God-damned morality: just shook my hand, said "Captain Aubrey, let me be the first to congratulate you" and showed me these.' Then, having chuckled over the Gazette again, observing that it would make poor Oldham, the postcaptain who had stepped into his seniority, look pretty blank tomorrow, he gave Stephen a minute account of the conversation, the subsequent dinner - 'it went down remarkably well, considering; but I believe I could have ate a hippopotamus in my relief.'" Stephen says it's a "'most wonderfully auspicious date, so it is. On this same fifteenth of May, a Saturday if I remember but in any event just forty days before the Flood, Noah's granddaughter Ceasoir came to Ireland with fifty maidens and three men. They landed I believe at Dun-na-Mbarc in the County Cork; she was the first person that ever set foot on an Irish strand, and she was buried at Carn Ceasra in Connaught, beside which I have often sat, watching the blue hares run.' 'You astonish me, Stephen: I am amazed. So the Irish are really Jews?' 'Not at all. Ceasoir's father was a Greek. And in any case they were all drowned in the Flood. It was not for close on three hundred years more that Partholan arrived.'" Jack asks how Stephen's day dealing with bankers was, learns that it was unpleasant: "'Eventually I carried my point, though not without the use of some very warm expressions, such as the nautical 'lobcock' and 'bugger.'' 'Quite rightly applied too. I am sure I should never have been so your place I should cashier your lobcocks out of hand and place everything with Smith.'"

144-47: "'Come and have a look, sir,' cried Reade in great glee, checking his eager pace at the sight of the Doctor, 'I have never seen the like in all my time at sea. Nor has the master. Come along; I will fetch you a griego.' Most of what Reade said was drowned by the thunder, but he urged Stephen up the ladder to the half-deck, fetched him a hooded watch-coat, and led him up to a total blackness filled with hurtling water, a blackness so thick that the bulwark could not be seen - nothing but a faint orange glow from the binnacle lights. But a moment later the entire horizon, clean round the ship, was lit by such lightning that everything stood out clear - sails, rigging, people, their expressions - the whole length of the ship, in spite of the rain. Stephen felt Reade pull his sleeve and saw his delighted face say something, but the continuous bellow of thunder covered the words. Jack was standing by the weather rail with Fielding and he called Stephen over. Even his powerful voice, at close quarters, was somewhat overlaid, yet 'beats Guy Fawkes night' came through, and his smile, oddly cut by the intermittent flashes so that it appeared to spread in jerks, was quite distinct. They stood there with this stupendous display roaring and flashing for an indeterminate time and then Jack said, 'You are ankle deep and in your slippers. I will give you a tow below.' 'Lord, Jack,' said Stephen, sitting and dripping in the cabin while Ahmed pulled off his stockings, 'a fleet-action must be quite like this.' 'Very like, but for the lack of smoke,' said Jack. 'Now listen, I shall be in and out till morning, waking you with my light, because it is likely to cut up rough, so you had better sleep below. Ahmed, see that the Doctor's cot is aired, and make sure that his feet are thoroughly dry before he turns in.' Their Guy Fawkes night was as it were a gateway from one region to another totally different." Jack shows Stephen nautical phenomena, taking readings, testing the Diane. Stephen watches the albatrosses when weather permits.

160: Jack can't land Stephen on a naturalist's paradise. "'How I shall ever tell the Doctor I do not know,' said Jack. 'He was so set upon it.' 'So he was, poor gentleman,' said the master, shaking his head. 'But haste commands all; and perhaps all these mollymawks and albatrosses will be some comfort to him. I never saw so many all together. There's a whale-bird. Two nellies; and a stink-pot.' 'Stephen,' said Jack, 'I am very sorry to tell you I have made a cock of your island. It lies astern, directly to windward of us. We cannot beat back with this breeze and current and if we were to lie to waiting for the wind to change we should lose days that we cannot afford to lose; we must pick up the south-east trades as soon as possible, if we are to reach Pulo Prabang with the tail of the monsoon.' 'Never grieve, soul,' said Stephen. 'We shall go there at our leisure in the Surprise once that Buonaparte has been knocked on the head. In the meantime I shall look at the master's birds: I should never have expected to see a stink-pot so far from the Cape.'"

161-2: "Day after day they travelled slowly over a vast disk of sea, perpetually renewed; and when, as the Thane was approaching Capricorn at four knots, Captain Aubrey ended church with the words 'World without end, amen,' he might have been speaking of this present voyage: sea, sea, and then more sea, with no more beginning and no more end than the globe itself. Yet this mild, apparently eternal sameness did leave time for things that had been laid aside or neglected. Jack and Stephen returned to their music, sometimes playing into the middle watch." Jack teaches the midshipmen as well: "'What do you know about the last American war?' 'Not very much, sir, except that the French and Spaniards joined in and were finely served out for doing so.' 'Very true. Do you know how it began?' 'Yes, sir. It was about tea, which they did not choose to pay duty on. They called out 'No reproduction without copulation' and tossed it into Boston Harbour.' Jack frowned, considered, and said, 'Well, in any event they accomplished little or nothing at sea, that bout.' He passed on to the necessary allowance for dip and refraction to be made in working lunars, matters with which he was deeply familiar; but as he tuned his fiddle that evening he said, 'Stephen, what was the Americans' cry in 1775?' 'No representation, no taxation.' 'Nothing about copulation?' 'Nothing at all. At that period the mass of Americans were in favour of copulation.' 'So it could not have been No reproduction without copulation?' 'Why, my dear, that is the old natural philosopher's watchword, as old as Aristotle, and quite erroneous. Do but consider bow the hydra and her kind multiply without any sexual commerce of any sort. Leeuenhoek proved it long ago, but still the more obstinate repeat the cry, bike so many parrots.' 'Well, be damned to taxation, in any case. Shall we attack the andante?'"

192-3: "These days Stephen rarely saw either Fox or Jack Aubrey. He stayed ashore, usually sleeping in the favourite haunt of the small Javanese colony, a house where there were exquisite dancing-girls and a famous Javanese orchestra, a gamelan, whose rhythms, intervals and cadences, though entirely foreign to his ear, pleased him as he lay there through the night by his scented sleeping-partner, a young woman so accustomed to her clients' peculiarities - some very bizarre indeed - that his passivity neither surprised nor displeased her. Here, in the main hail where the dancers performed, he sometimes met his shipmates, surprised, embarrassed, shocked by his presence. Mr Blyth the purser, a kindly man and older than Stephen, took him aside and said, 'I think I ought to warn you, Doctor, that this place is little better than a disorderly house; prostitution often occurs.'" He spends the rest of his time walking about the countryside "in a way that would be expected of a natural philosopher, the Captain's guest, sometimes with Richardson, sometimes with Macmillan, occasionally with Jack, but more often by himself, for his companions objected to the forest-leeches that fastened upon them by the score in the wilder parts and the tormenting flies and mosquitoes in the irrigated fields. Jack finds him: 'There you are, Stephen...they told me you might be here; but if I had known you was gone so far up the mountain-side I should have taken a pony. Lord, ain't it hot! Where you get the energy from, after your nightly activities, I cannot tell, I am sure.' Like the rest of the ship's company Jack had heard of the Doctor's extraordinarily dissolute life, smoking and drinking until all hours, gambling; but he alone knew that Stephen could take the sacrament without confession. 'To be sure,' said Stephen, thinking of their work on the tapir, now a mere skeleton, 'I was very busy last night. But you too would walk far up the mountain-side without gasping if you did not eat so much. You were much better, physically, when you were poor and wretched. What do you weigh now?' 'Never mind.' 'At least another stone and a half, perhaps two stone, God be with us. You fellows of an obese and sanguine habit are always on the verge of an apoplexy, particularly in this climate. Will you not omit suppers, at least? Suppers have killed more than Avicenna ever cured.'"

201: The sultan's cup-bearer Abdul is "a youth like a gazelle." "Stephen watched [Ledward, the spy] empty his goblet and hold it over his right shoulder to be refilled; and as he made this gesture he glanced towards the throne with a very slight but significant change of expression - a private look. Stephen's eye darted to the left and just caught Abdul's answering smile. For some time Stephen could not believe that his first impression was not a mistake; but although from this point on Ledward was perfectly discreet, Abdul, behind the Sultan, was not; and the impression grew to a moral certainty." He ponders the consequences. "'Jack,' he said, as they walked along the rim of the crater to a point where they could hail the ship, 'did you reflect on Ganymede at all?' 'Yes,' said Jack. 'I was up with him all last night, and should be this night were it not for the Sultan's visit tomorrow. Such an endearing little pale golden body as he peeps out - he is easily my favourite. But I shall still have him almost all night, once the Sultan is done with.' 'Shall you though?' said Stephen, looking at his friend's pleased, well-fed face, rather more florid than usual from the Sultan's wine; and after a pause, 'Brother, can we be speaking of the same thing?' 'I should hope so,' said Jack, smiling. 'Jupiter is in opposition you know. No one could have missed his splendour.' 'No indeed: A very glorious sight. And Ganymede is connected with him, I collect?' 'Of course he is - the prettiest of the satellites. What a fellow you are, Stephen.'" Jack was oblivious to the cup-bearer, whom he thought at first was a girl, and Stephen explains, "'Ganymede was Jupiter's cup-bearer; and I believe their connexion, their relations, their friendship, would now be frowned upon.'"

226-7: Stephen at the monastery. "Stephen gave a short account of himself: he was a medical man, a naval surgeon, brought into these parts by the war between England and France; apart from medicine his greatest interest was living things and their way of life He also had a friend who was deeply concerned with the first spread of Buddhism and the remaining early temples. Stephen therefore hoped he might be permitted to look at Kumai, measure it, draw it as far as his powers allowed, and to walk about the country for a few days to observe its inhabitants. 'Certainly you may look at our temple, and draw it,' said the abbot. 'But as for the animals, there is no killing here. We eat rice, fruit and such things; we take no life.' 'I have no wish to kill anything here; only to observe. I have no weapons at all.' While the Abbot was considering this, another monk, who had been gazing at Stephen through his spectacles, said, 'So you are an Englishman.' 'No, sir,' said Stephen. 'I am an Irishman. But for the moment Ireland is subject to England, and therefore at war with France.' 'England and Ireland are small islands on the farthest western extremity of the world,' said another monk. 'They are so close together that they can scarcely be distinguished; birds flying at a great height may land on the one rather than on the other. But in fact England is the larger.' 'It is true that they are close together, and that it is not always easy to distinguish them from a great distance; but then, sir, the same applies to right and wrong.' 'Good and evil are so close at times,' observed the Abbot, 'that there is scarcely the breadth of a hair between them. But as for the animals, young man, since you undertake not to do any harm, you may certainly walk about among them." An ape will be his tour guide for part of the visit. "There were few carnivores in Pub Prabang - no tigers at all - and fewer still at Kumai. Some pythons were to be found, and they had to make a living; but three months between meals were not unusual for them, and neither they nor the odd small cats, still less the honey-bears, created that perpetual half-conscious wariness and apprehension among the peaceful animals that made them so nervous and difficult to watch in most other parts. But above all they had not been persecuted by men for a thousand years and they took no more notice of human beings than of cattle; and Stephen found to his stupefaction that he could walk through a herd of rusa, pushing his way where they stood thick, as though he were one of themselves."

246-50: Jack has climbed to see the French Cornelie. "Everything grew in its usual wild profusion, trees, rattans, screw-pines, and all along the shore itself coconut palms soaring up in a thousand graceful attitudes. A few paces from where he stopped there was a little platform with a spring coming out of the cliff-face, a dense growth of soft fern, and an astonishing display of orchids growing on the rock, the deep moss, the trees and bushes, orchids of every size, shape and colour. 'Lord, I wish Stephen were here,' he said, sitting on a convenient mound and taking a small telescope and an azimuth compass from his ditty-bag. He said it again some time later, when a large black and white bird laboured across the field of his glass, carrying a heavy fish in its talons." Soon he meets Dumesnil, Christy-Palliere's nephew, and can't wait to tell Stephen. 'Well, Stephen,' he said, 'there you are, back from your Godforsaken steps and all alive, I am happy to see. What luck to find you aboard. Have you abandoned your bawdyhouse? Have the girls all proved poxed? Or have you turned evangelical? Ha, ha, ha, ha!' He sat down, wheezing and wiping his eyes. Stephen waited until he had had his laugh out, no small matter, since mirth in Jack Aubrey fed upon what it laughed at. 'What a rattle you are, to be sure,' he said at last. 'Forgive me, Stephen, but there is something so infinitely comic in the idea of you being a Methody, haranguing the girls, handing out tracts...Oh...'"

272-3: Jack reflects on his mood. "I cannot play easy with ill-will just at hand - we have had no music since we sailed. Yet even with this wind we should reach our cruising-ground by something like noon tomorrow, and then it is only a week of going to and fro if Tom is not already there or has left no message, and then the couple of days' run to Batavia. Perhaps there will be news from home waiting for us there. Lord, how I should love to know how things are going.' 'Oh so should I,' cried Stephen. 'Though it is not yet possible that there should be word of Diana and our daughter. Sometimes when I think of that little soul I grow quite lachrymose.' 'A few months of roaring and bawling and swaddling-clothes will soon cure you of that. You have to be a woman to bear babies.' 'So I have always understood,' said Stephen. 'Oh very well, Dr Humorous Droll...' And later still, when he was floating in the warm South China Sea by Stephen's skiff, his hair spreading like a mat of yellow seaweed...calling upon Stephen to 'lay over, there,' heaved himself into the little boat, gliding his seventeen stone over the gunwale so that it remained just free of the surface. 'I believe you once said you were taught Greek when you were a little boy,' said Stephen as he paddled gently towards the frigate. 'To be sure I was taught it,' said Jack, laughing. 'Or rather I was attempted to be taught it, and with many a thump; but I cannot say I ever learnt it. Not beyond zeta, at all events.' 'Well, I am no Grecian either, but I did get as far as upsilon; and there I met with the word hybris, which some writers use for insolent pride of strength or achievement, open unguarded triumph and exultation.' 'Nothing more unlucky.' 'Nor in a way more impious, which is perhaps close kin. Herod was probably guilty of hybris, before being eaten by worms.' 'My old nurse - back astern, there. T'other oar. Look alive.' Jack's old nurse had had a capital remedy for worms, or rather against worms, but it was lost in the dismal collision, the rescuing of Maturin from the bottom of the boat, the recovery of his sculls. Jack, when he at last got there, was received at the gangway by Killick, screened by Richardson, Elliott, the young gentlemen and two quartermasters, and wrapped in a large towel. All hands knew perfectly well how the wind was blowing, and though utterly indifferent to his state themselves, they did not wish Fox and his Old Buggers to see their Captain mother-naked."

293: "Jack sailed along the chosen parallel until the end of the chosen time for
conscience sake, and then, sad at heart, he gave the order to steer south-west, following the course he and the master, working throughout the afternoon on all the available charts, all Dalrymple's and Muffitt's notes and observations, had plotted as the best for Java. Sad at heart and angry too, or rather deeply vexed: he and his clerk had been making their usual readings of temperature, salinity and so on for Humboldt before sunset; he had all his tubes, pots and instruments by his open book in the cabin, but before recording the figures he had retired to the quarter-gallery, his privy. Sitting there he heard a crash and a confused tumbling, and when he came out he found that Stephen had fallen off the chair from which he was trying to catch a spider under the skylight and had not only flung sea-water all over his records but had broken an improbable number of instruments - hygrometers, seven different kinds of thermometer, Crompton's device for measuring specific gravity: practically everything made of glass. He had also contrived to shatter the hanging barometer and tear down a sword-rack: all this in a very moderate sea. By the time the cabin was in order darkness was at hand, and after quarters Jack climbed into the maintop to watch the rising of the moon."

318-19: The marooned Diane is wrecked in a typhoon. Jack, being optimistic, notes that there is plenty of wood on the island where they are stranded, and suggests building a boat as fast as they can.


"Stephen," said Jack, "We cannot beat back with this breeze and current...we must pick up the south-east trades as soon as possible, if we are to reach Pulo Prabang with the tail of the monsoon." "Never grieve, soul," said Stephen. "We shall go there at our leisure in the Surprise once that Buonaparte has been knocked on the head." <3