alcyone301: (diiiiivesplash)
[personal profile] alcyone301 posting in [community profile] where_away
Stephen was a wretched patient; sometimes he looked to M’Alister as an omniscient being who would certainly produce the one true physic; sometimes the ship resounded to the cry of ‘Charlatan’, and drugs would be seen hurtling through the scuttle. The chaplain suffered more than the rest: most of the officers haunted other parts of the ship when the convalescent Maturin was on the quarterdeck, but Mr White could not climb and in any case his duty required him to visit the sick – even to play chess with them. Once, goaded by a fling about Erastianism, he concentrated all his powers and won: he had to bear not only the reproachful looks of the helmsman, the quartermaster at the con, and the whole gunroom, but a semi-official rebuke from his captain, who thought it ‘a poor shabby thing to set back an invalid’s recovery for the satisfaction of the moment’, and the strokes of his own conscience. Mr White was in a hopeless position, for if he lost, Dr Maturin was quite as likely to cry out that he did not attend, and fly into a passion.


-- from HMS Surprise, chapter eleven
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