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[personal profile] esteven
Two weevils crept from the crumbs. 'You see those weevils, Stephen?' asked Jack solemnly.
'I do.' 'Which would you choose?' 'There is not a scrap of difference. Arcades ambo. They are the same species of curculio, and there is nothing to choose between them.'
'But suppose you had to choose?'
'Then I should choose the right-hand weevil; it has a perceptible advantage in both length and breadth.'
'There I have you,' cried Jack. 'You are bit -- you are completely dished. Don't you know that in the Navy you must always choose the lesser of two weevils? Oh ha, ha, ha, ha!'

(chapter 2)
Oh ha, ha, ha, ha!
In the movie RC got Jack completely right there!
sharpiefan: Jack facedesking, text 'Monday' (JA Monday blues)
[personal profile] sharpiefan
'Killick, Killick there: what's amiss?'

'Which it's your scraper, sir, your number one scraper. The wombat's got at it.'

'Then take it away from him, for God's sake.'

'I dursen't, sir,' said Killick. 'For fear of tearing the lace.'

'Now, sir,' cried the Captain, striding into the great cabin, a tall, imposing figure. 'Now, sir,' - addressing the wombat, one of the numerous body of marsupials brought into the ship by her surgeon, a natural philosopher - 'give it up directly, d'ye hear me, there?'

The wombat stared him straight in the eye, drew a length of gold lace from its mouth, and then deliberately sucked it in again.

'Pass the word for Dr Maturin,' said the Captain, looking angrily at the wombat: and a moment later, 'Come now, Stephen, this is coming it pretty high: your brute is eating my hat.'

'So he is, too,' said Dr Maturin. 'But do not be so perturbed, Jack; it will do him no harm at all, at all. His digestive processes -'

At this point the wombat dropped the hat, shuffled rapidly across the deck and swarmed up into Dr Maturin's arms, peering at close range into his face with a look of deep affection.

'Well, I can keep it under my arm, together with my reports,' said the Captain, picking up a bundle of papers and carefully fitting them round his gold-laced hat to conceal the tear.

Fortune of War, Chapter One
sharpiefan: Group of sailors, text 'Is there anything that doesn't have entertainment value' (Entertainment)
[personal profile] sharpiefan
Jack was of a sanguine temperament; he liked most people and he was surprised when they did not like him. This readiness to be pleased had been damaged of recent years, but it remained intact as far as horses, dogs and sloths were concerned; it wounded him to see tears come into the creature's eyes when he walked into the cabin, and he laid himself out to be agreeable. As they ran down to Rio he sat with it at odd moments, addressing it in Portuguese, more or less, and feeding it with offerings that it sometimes ate, sometimes allowed to drool slowly from its mouth; but it was not until they were approaching Capricorn, with Rio no great distance on the starboard bow, that he found it respond.

The weather had freshened almost to coldness, for the wind was coming more easterly, from the chilly currents between Tristan and the Cape; the sloth was amazed by the change; it shunned the deck and spent its time below. Jack was in his cabin, pricking the chart with less satisfaction than he could have wished: progress, slow, headwinds by night - unaccountable headwinds by night - and sipping a glass of grog; Stephen was in the mizzen-top teaching Bonden to write and scanning the sea for his first albatross. The sloth sneezed and looking up, Jack caught its gaze fixed on him; its inverted face had an expression of anxiety and concern. 'Try a piece of this, old cock,' he said, dipping his cake in the grog and proffering the sop. 'It might put a little heart into you.' The sloth sighed, closed its eye, but gently absorbed the piece, and sighed again.

Some minutes later he felt a touch on his knee: the sloth had silently climbed down and it was standing there, its beady eyes looking up into his face, bright with expectation. More cake, more grog: growing confidence and esteem...

'In this bucket,' said Stephen, walking into the cabin, 'in this small bucket, now, I have the population of Dublin, London and Paris combined: these animalculae - what is the matter with the sloth?' It was curled on Jack's knee, breathing heavily: its bowl and Jack's glass stood empty on the table. Stephen picked it up, peered into its affable, bleary face, shook it, and hung it upon its rope. It seized hold with one fore and one hind foot, letting the others dangle limp, and went to sleep.

Stephen looked sharply round, saw the decanter, smelt the sloth, and cried, 'Jack, you have debauched my sloth.'

(HMS Surprise - not sure of the exact chapter as I don't have the book to hand and am copy/pasting from an entry I posted a while back in my own journal. :( )
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[personal profile] esteven
The bosun's cat dropped through the open skylight: it was a lean young cat of indifferent character, somewhat whorish, and it at once began rubbing itself against their legs, purring.
'That reminds me,' said Jack, absently pulling its tail, 'Hollar is going to ask you for a really good name, a classical name that will reflect credit on the ship. He thinks Puss or Tib is low.'
'The only possible name for a bosun's cat is Scourge,' said Stephen.
Understanding dawned on Captain Aubrey quite fast, and his great fruity laugh boomed out, setting the larboard watch on the grin as far forward as the break of the forecastle. 'Oh Lord,' he said, wiping his bright blue eyes at last, 'how I wish I had said that. Get away, you silly beast,' - this to the cat, which had now crawled up his breast and was rubbing its whiskers against his face, its eyes closed in a foolish ecstasy
'Killick, Killick there. Remove the bosun's cat: take it back to his cabin. Killick, do you know its name?'
Killick detected the slight tremble in his Captain's voice, and since for once he was feeling relatively benign he said No, he did not.
'Its name is Scourge,' said Jack, bursting out again. 'Scourge is the name of the bosun's cat, oh ha, ha, ha, ha!'

(chapter 3)

Scourge must be the only animal that loves Jack. :D
esteven: (Default)
[personal profile] esteven
' We have laid down the island as exactly my God, what is that monstrous thing?'
'It is a tortoise, my dear. The great land-tortoise of the world: a new genus. He is unknown to science, and in comparison of him, your giants of Rodriguez and Aldabra are inconsiderable reptiles. He must weight a ton. I do not know that I have ever been so happy. I am in such spirits, Jack! How you will ever get him aboard,I cannot tell; but nothing is impossible to the Navy.'
'Must we get him aboard?'
'Oh, no question about it. He is to immortalise your name. This is Testudo aubreii for all eternity; when the I hero of the Nile is forgotten, Captain Aubrey will live on in his tortoise.
There's glory for you.'
'Why, I am much obliged, Stephen, I am sure. I suppose we might parbuckle him down the beach.

(chapter 11)

Testudo aubreii just has to put in an appearance at [community profile] where_away
esteven: (Default)
[personal profile] esteven
On a walk of this kind in the Mediterranean islands he usually saw tortoises, which he did not dislike at all - far from it - but they seemed rare on Gozo, and it was not until he had been going for some time that he heard a curious tock-tock-tock and he saw a small one running, positively running across the road, perched high on its legs; it was being pursued by a larger tortoise, who, catching it up, butted it three times in quick succession: it was the clap of the shells that produced the tock-tock-tock. 'Tyranny,' said Jack, meaning to intervene: but either the last blows had subdued the smaller tortoise - a female ? or she felt that she had shown all the reluctance that was called for; in any case she stopped. The male covered her, and maintaining himself precariously on her domed back with his ancient folded leathery legs
he raised his face to the sun, stretched up his neck, opened his mouth wide and uttered the strangest dying cry.
'Bless me,' said Jack, 'I had no notion . . . how I wish Stephen were here.' Unwilling to disturb them, he fetched a cast quite round the pair and walked on, trying to recall some lines of Shakespeare that had to do not exactly with tortoises but with wrens...

(chapter 2)

This charming scene has it all: tortoises, Jack yearning for Stephen and sex. ;D
esteven: (Default)
[personal profile] esteven
'Must I put on silk stockings?'
'Certainly you must put on silk stockings. And do show a leg, my dear chap: we shall be late, without you spread a little more canvas.'
'You are always in such a hurry,' said Stephen peevishly, groping among his possessions. A Montpellier snake glided out with a dry rustling sound and traversed the room in a series of extraordinarily elegant curves, its head held up some eighteen inches above the ground.
'Oh, oh, oh,' cried Jack, leaping on to a chair. 'A snake!'
'Will these do?' asked Stephen. 'They have a hole in them.'
'Is it poisonous?'
'Extremely so. I dare say it will attack you, directly. I have very little doubt of it. Was I to put the silk stockings over my worsted stockings, sure the hole would not show:
but then, I should stifle with heat. Do not you find it uncommonly hot?'
'Oh, it must be two fathoms long. Tell me, is it really poisonous? On your oath now?'
'If you thrust your hand down its throat as far as its back teeth you may meet a little venom; but not otherwise. Malpolon monspessulanus is a very innocent serpent. I think of carrying a dozen aboard, for the rats - ah, if only I had more time, and if it were not for this foolish, illiberal persecution of reptiles. . . What a pitiful figure you do cut upon that chair, to be sure. Barney, Barney, buck or doe, Has kept me out of Channel Row,' he sang to the serpent; and, deaf as an adder though it was, it looked happily into his face while he carried it away.

(chapter six)

With its head held up some eighteen inches above the ground it must have been close to those7 ft mentioned in wike. Venom or not, I, too, might have jumped on a chair
esteven: (Default)
[personal profile] esteven
Do you see those green roofs and terraces? That is Elsinore.'
'Elsinore itself? The very Elsinore? God bless my soul: and yours too, joy. A noble pile. I view it with reverence. I had supposed it to be merely ideal - hush, do not move. They come, they come!'
A flight of duck wheeled overhead, large powerful heavy swift-flying duck in files, and pitched between the castle and the ship.
'Eiders without a doubt,' said Stephen, his telescope fixed upon them. 'They are mostly young: but there on the right is a drake in full dress. He dives: I see his black belly. This is a day to mark with a white stone.' A great jet of white water sprang from the surface of the sea. The eiders vanished. 'Good God!' he cried, staring in amazement, 'What was that?'
'They have opened on us with their mortars,' said Jack. 'That was what I was looking for." A puff of smoke appeared on the nearer terrace, and half a minute later a second fountain rose, two hundred yards short of the Ariel.
'The Goths,' cried Stephen, glaring angrily at Elsinore. 'They might have hit the birds. These Danes have always been a very froward people. Do you know, Jack, what they did at Clonmacnois? They burnt it, the thieves, and their queen sat on the high altar mother-naked, uttering oracles in a heathen frenzy. Ota was the strumpet's name. It is all of a piece: look at Hamlet's mother. I only wonder her behaviour caused any comment.'

I cannot but adore this scene. So many wonderful Stephen remarks in it: Elsinor the noble pile, his love for eider-ducks and then he likens Hamlet's mother to a strumpet. Dear, oh dear.

Just today I came across (thanks to [personal profile] joyful_molly the title of a future zombie movie calledThe Curse of the Buxom Strumpet playing in the 18th century,with McKellan, Buchan and Judy Dench. It may well be the first zombie movie I will ever watch