Jan. 25th, 2012

esteven: (Default)
[personal profile] esteven
'Jack,' he said, as they walked along the rim of the crater to a point where they could hail the ship, 'did you reflect upon Ganymede at all?'
'Yes,' said Jack. '1 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 talking of the same thing?'
'I should hope so,' said Jack, smiling. 'Jupiter is in opposition, you know. Nobody 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.'
'How well named. But I meant another Ganymede, the Sultan's cup-bearer. Did you notice him?'
'Well, yes, I did. I said to myself, Why, damn my eyes, there is a girl. But then I remembered that there would be no girls at a feast like that, so I returned to my excellent haunch of venison, no bigger than a hare's, but uncommon well-tasting. Why do you call him Ganymede?'
'Ganymede was Jupiter's cup-bearer; and I believe their connexion, their relations, their friendship, would now be frowned upon. But I use the name loosely, as it is so often used: I mean no reflexion upon the Sultan.'

(chapter six of TGS)

I feel O'Brian has never led his readers up the garden path so well. :D It is easily my favourite piece of conversation.
heather_mist: (The Commodore)
[personal profile] heather_mist

Stephen said, ‘Will I tell you another of Plato’s observations?’
‘Pray do,’ said Jack, his smile briefly returning.
‘It should please you, since you have a very pretty hand. Hinksey quoted it when I dined with him in London and we were discussing the bill of fare: “Calligraphy,” says Plato, “is the physical manifestation of an architecture of the soul.” That being so, mine must be a turf-and-wattle kind of soul, since my handwriting must be disowned by a backward cat; whereas yours, particularly on your charts, has a most elegant flow and clarity, the outward form of a soul that might have conceived the Parthenon.’
(TC Chapter 6)

This is one of my favourite quotes because I like using fountain pens, dip pens, and inks for writing - a far more civilised method of creating than the utility of a computer keyboard. Sadly however I have far too much affinity with Stephen's handwriting than I would like, although I long to have Jack's 'elegant flow and clarity'. A backward cat would probably laugh at my attempts.