alcyone301: (jack and stephen)
[personal profile] alcyone301
[Jack] said to Plaice, ‘Well, Plaice, at least some good has come out of this: at least nobody will ever be able to say, “Poor old Plaice is down to his last shilling.”’

‘How do you make that out, sir?’ asked Plaice, closing one eye and smiling in anticipation.

‘Why, because there are three of ’em screwed to your head, ha, ha, ha!’ said his Captain.

‘You are not unlike Shakespeare,’ observed Stephen, as they walked back to the cabin.

‘So I am often told by those who read my letters and dispatches,’ said Jack, ‘but what makes you say so at this particular moment?’

‘Because his clowns make quips of that bludgeoning, knock-me-down nature. You have only to add marry, come up,or go to, with a pox on it, and it is pure Gammon, or Bacon, or what you will.’

‘That is only your jealousy,’ said Jack. ‘What do you say to some music tonight?’

- FSotW, ch. 5
sharpiefan: Line of Age of Sail Marines on parade (Marines)
[personal profile] sharpiefan
Which book was it in where the parody on the Commander in Chief and his dictates, based on the biblical story of King Nebuchadnezzar and the Golden Image shows up?

I've just come across a reference to it in a book on the Marines, in a section on Admiral Jervis, Earl St Vincent, and want to re-read it.

(The quote referring to it, from The Formative Years 1803 to 1806 by Lt-Col Brian Edwards, RM:

Though he [Admiral Jervis] did have a sense of humour, it apparently took the form of schoolboy pranks prom a position of prefect - summoning all Chaplains to the Flagship by boat in choppy seas, or sending for his Senior RM Officer, who had no watchkeeping duties, in the middle watch so that he might smell the scent of oranges wafting from the Spanish shore. Jokes against himself were no doubt risky but those of similar schoolboy derivation might amuse; the junior lieutenant, who composed a parody on the Commander-in-Chief and his dictates, based on the Biblical story of 'the Golden Image that Nebuchadnezzar the King had set up', was invited to dinner and unexpectedly provided with a copy of his own work to read aloud over the port; having had his fun, the Earl then sent the young man on three months leave 'to entertain those at home as much as he had been entertained' and with an invitation to dine with him again on his return.)
ozfille: (Default)
[personal profile] ozfille

Quote from The Far Side of the World, Chapter Eight -

He had gone on to think about ways of making fire when Stephen said, 'And these things being so, I became convinced that the large rounded object about the size of a moderate turtle but more lumpish there on the strand to your right, where the water is lapping it, could not be a boulder. No, I have more than half persuaded myself that it is an enormous piece of ambergris, washed up by the sea.'

'Have you not been to look at it?'

'I have not. The association of rarity, wealth and so on instantly brought that unfortunate brass box to my mind, the most unwelcome box from the Danaë packet which is now aboard the Surprise; and as recollection came to me, so I grew perfectly convinced, as by a revelation, that rats or cockroaches or book-worms or various moulds were eating its contents, to our utter ruin - eating them with tropical avidity, a million of money. The thought fairly cut my legs from under me, and I have sat here ever since.'

 'It is a thousand to one we shall never have any need of the brass box, nor of the ambergris unless it can be eaten,' said Jack to himself. 'And if th weather goes on breaking up like this - if it really comes on to blow and Surprise is driven a great way to leeward, then it is ten thousand to one or more, much more.' But aloud, giving Stephen a hand up, he said, 'Let us go and have a look. If it is ambergris, we are made men: we have but to go to the nearest dealer and change it for its weight in gold, ha,ha, ha!'

It was not ambergris: it was a piece of crystalline limestone, mottled and in part translucent, and it fairly stupefied Maturin. 'How can such things be?' he asked, gazing out into the offing. 'There is no question of glaciers, icebergs ... How can such things possibly come about? There is the boat. I have it,' he cried. 'This rock was brought tangled in the roots of a tree, a great tree swept away by some remote flood or tornado, cast up the Dear knows how many thousands miles drifting, and here decaying, leaving its incorruptible burden. Come, Jack, help me turn it - see,' he cried with a shining face as it heaved over, 'in these fractuosities there are still traces of my roots. What a discovery!'

'What did you mean when you said boat?'

'Why, our boat, of course. The big one, the launch, come to fetch us, as you always said it would. Lord, Jack,' he said, looking up with an entirely different expression, 'how in God's name shall I ever face them at all?'

A perfect representation of the way both of these men's minds work in completely different ways and yet work so well together.

Stephen measures things in 'turtle sizes' and falls easily into the depths of despair by the sight of an object setting off reflections that cause him to sink into a slough of despondency, unable to move but then his emotions are rapidly reversed into a high state of excitement and joy when he believes he has hit on the perfect explanation for the presence of a geological oddity. So excited that the arrival of the rescue boat seems to be barely worth a mention. Then sinks back into a funk almost immediately when he realises how difficult and embarrassing it will be to face his saviours in the rescue boat. No wonder he needs laudanum to dampen down the volatility of his emotions.

While in comparison Jack is supremely practical in his way of thinking and at the same time so solicitous of his friend's state of mind he humours him by encouraging him to check out the lumpish rock to see whether they have become made men. He completely ignores Stephen's theories concerning the provenance of the 'lump of limestone' and focuses entirely on Stephen's throwaway line about the 'boat'. Jack the calm and practical one, trying to protect and support his friend as always.
sharpiefan: Line of Age of Sail Marines on parade (Marines on parade)
[personal profile] sharpiefan
"Good morning, Oakes," he said to the Marine sentry at his door, and "Good morning, gentlemen," as he stepped onto the quarterdeck. In the general chorus of "Good morning, sir," hats flew off and immediately afterwards a dozen waistcoats partly vanished under close-buttoned coats.


The Marines were already drawn up far aft, near the taffrail. The midshipmen inspected the hands in their divisions, tried to make them stand up straight and soldierly and stop talking and then reported to the lieutenants and the master; the lieutenants and the master inspected them again, tried to make them stop staring about and hitching up their trousers and reported that the men were 'present, properly dressed and clean' to Mowett, who stepped across the deck to Captain Aubrey, took off his hat and said, "All the officers have reported, sir."

"Then we will go round the ship, Mr Mowett," said Jack and turned aft, to where the Marines were standing as straight as ramrods in their scarlet coats: their cross-belts were brilliant with pipeclay, their muskets and sidearms shone again, their hair was powdered to a turn, their leather stocks were as tight as stocks could well be and allow a little circulation of the blood; and although awnings had been rigged, the eastern sun, not yet as its height, beat on their backs with shocking force. They might not be beautiful, but they were certainly suffering. Accompanied by Howard, his sword drawn, and by Mowett, he passed along the rows of faces, many of them nameless to him even now and all of them impersonal, gazing out beyond him, wholly without expression.

"Very creditable, Mr Howard," said Jack. "I believe you may dismiss your men now. They may put on their duck jackets and wait quietly under the forecastle until church."


When the barge was a little nearer he said to the Marine sentry, "Trollope, hail that boat."

The Marine was on the point of saying, "But it's our own barge, sir," when a glazed, disciplined look came over his face: he shut his mouth, drew a deep breath and called, "The boat ahoy."

All (unless I mistake myself) from Chapter Nine of The Far Side of the World
sharpiefan: Jack and Stephen playing music (Music at sea)
[personal profile] sharpiefan
The sun-baked decks leaked abominably and the Surprise (though bowling along so cheerfully) echoed with the sound of drips right down to the orlop and the hold itself, wetting all the storerooms, except the tin-lined bread-room, all the cabins and all the hanging beds within these cabins; and even before the evening sun went down in its abrupt, tropical fashion, the hot imprisoned air was filled with the smell of mould: mould, blue or green or sometimes a mottled grey, growing on books, clothes, shoes, marine specimens, portable soup, and of course the great beams under which everybody slept and against which everybody except the Captain banged his head from time to time. This was not because Jack Aubrey was more dwarfish than the rest - indeed he stood rather more than six feet tall - but because his cabin had more clearance. Or rather his cabins, since he had three: the coach, to larboard, which included the lower part of the mizzen mast and a thirty-two pounder carronade and in which he had his meals unless there were more than four or five guests; his sleeping place to starboard; and then right aft the noble great cabin, stretching clean across the ship and lit by the splendid inwardly-sloping, seven-light stern-window, the airiest, lightest place in the ship, Killick's kingdom, perpetually scoured, swabbed, scraped and polished, smelling of beeswax, fresh sea-water and clean paint.

"Perhaps we might have some music tonight?" suggested Stephen, coming up from his fetid dog-hole.
esteven: (Default)
[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