This is where I come to sit when I cannot bear it any longer in the house,' she said, pointing to a little green-mouldy Grecian temple, leprous and scaling. 'And this is where Diana and I had our quarrel.'
'I never heard you had quarrelled.'
'I should have thought we could have been heard all over the county, at least. It was my fault; I was horrid that day. I had had Mr Bowles to endure all the afternoon, and I felt as though I had been flayed: so I went for a ride as far as Gatacre, and then came back here. But she should not have taunted me with London, and how she could see him whenever she liked, and that he had not gone down to Portsmouth the next day at all. It was unkind, even if I had deserved it. So I told her she was an ill-natured woman, and she called me something worse, and suddenly there we were, calling names and shouting at one another like a couple of fishwives - oh, it is so humiliating to remember. Then she said something so cruel about letters and how she could marry him any moment she chose, but she had no notion of a half-pay captain nor any other woman's leavings that I quite lost my temper, and swore I should thrash her with my riding-crop if she spoke to me like that. I should have, too: but then Mama came, and she was terribly frightened and tried to make us kiss and be friends. But I would not; nor the next day, either. And in the end Diana went away, to Mr Lowndes, that cousin in Dover.'
'I come from Mapes. They told me you were here.'
'Did they tell you of my battle with Sophie?'
'I understood there had been a disagreement.'
'She angered me with her mooning about the lake and her tragic airs - if she had wanted him, why did she not have him when she could? I do loathe and despise want of decision - shilly-shallying. And anyhow, she has a perfectly suitable admirer, an evangelical clergyman full of good works: good connections too, and plenty of money. I dare say he will be a bishop. But upon my word, Maturin, I never knew she had such spirit! She set about me like a tiger, all ablaze; and I had only quizzed her a little about Jack Aubrey. Such a set-to! There we were roaring away by the little stone bridge, with her mare hitched to the post, starting and wincing - oh, I don't know how long - a good fifteen rounds. How you would have laughed. We took ourselves so seriously; and such energy! I was hoarse for a week after. But she was worse than me - as loud as a hog in a gate, and her words tumbling over one another, in a most horrid passion. But I tell you what, Maturin, if you really want to frighten a woman, offer to slash her across the face with your riding whip, and look as if you meant it. I was quite glad when my aunt Williams came up, screeching and hallooing loud enough to drown the both of us. And for her part she was just as glad to send me packing, because she was afraid for the parson; not that I would ever have laid a finger on him, the greasy oaf. So here I am again, a sort of keeper or upper-servant to the Teapot. Will you drink some of his honour's sherry? You are looking quite glum, Maturin. Don't be mumchance, there's a good fellow. I have not said an unkind thing since you appeared: it is your duty to be gay and amusing. Though harking back, I was just as pleased to come away too, with my face intact: it is my fortune, you know...'
'Why,' said Stephen, 'it is because they are curtailed, of course.'
A total blank. Stephen gave a faint inward sigh; but he was used to this.
and the soared up and away, up, joining, separating, twisting, the one answering the other, rising into their native air
I vaguely remember it but really do not wish to wait for the new read to discover it again.
ETA: Thanks to heather_mist and feroxargentea here is the wonderfully complete excerpt:
'Where did you get this?' he asked.
'I picked it up in a pawnshop near the Sally-Port. It cost twelve and six.'
'You were not cheated, my dear. I like its tone extremely warm, mellow. You are a great judge of a fiddle, to be sure. Come, come, there is not a moment to lose; I make my rounds at seven bells. One, two, three,' he cried, tapping his foot, and the cabin was filled with the opening movement of Boccherini's Corelli sonata, a glorious texture of sound, the violin sending up brilliant jets through the 'cello's involutions, and they soared up and away from the grind of pumps, the tireless barking, the problems of command, up, the one answering the other, joining, separating, twining, rising into their native air.
"'Come, let me have your pistols. I thought as much: what's this?'
'A teratoma,' said Stephen sulkily.
'What's a teratoma?' asked Jack, holding the object in his hand. 'A kind of grenado?'
'It is an inward wen, a tumour: we find them, occasionally, in the abdominal cavity. sometimes they contain long black, hair, sometimes a set of teeth: this has both hair and teeth. It belonged to a Mr Elkins of the City, an eminent cheese-monger. I prize it much.'
'By God,' cried Jack, thrusting it back into the holster and wiping his hand vehemently upon the horse, 'I do wish you would leave people's bellies alone. So you have no pistols at all, I collect?'
'If you wish to be so absolute, no I have not.' "
'Aye?' said Stephen, setting a cabbage-leaf parcel on the table and taking an egg from his pocket and a loaf from his bosom. 'I have brought a beef-steak to recruit you for your interview, and what passes for bread in these parts. I strongly urge you to take off your clothes, to sponge yourself all over - the copper will answer admirably -and to lie between sheets for an hour. Rested, shaved, coffee'd, steaked, you will be a different man.
Just for the Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww... and maybe a contribution or two for the wip ;D
'His ear!' cried Sophia, turning white and coming to a dead halt in the middle of the Parade.
'You are standing in a puddle, my dear. Let me lead you to dry land. Yes, his ear, his right ear, or what was left of it. But it was nothing. I sewed it back on again; and as I say, if you had seen him last night, you would be easy in your mind.'
'What a good friend you are to him, Dr Maturin. His other friends are so grateful to you.'
'I sew his ears on from time to time, sure.'
Stephen, speaking to Sophie, Post Captain, chapter 6
"And as Stephen rose to wave and hoot, Jack saw that he was dressed from head to foot in a single tight dull-brown garment; it clung to him, and his pale, delighted face emerged from a woollen roll at the top, looking unnaturally large. His general appearance was something between that of an attenuated ape and a meagre heart....
'Mr Simmons,' said Jack, fixing him with a hard, savage eye, 'this is my friend Dr Maturin, who will be accompanying me. Dr Maturin, Mr Simmons, the first lieutenant of the Lively.'
'Your servant, sir,' said Stephen, making a leg: and this, thought Jack, was perhaps the most hideous action that a person in so subhuman a garment could perform....
Jack got him into the after-cabin at last... here he sat on a locker and gazed at Stephen's garment. It had been horrible at a distance; it was worse near to - far worse...
'Stephen, will you for the love of God take off that thing?'
'My wool garment? You have noticed it have you? I had forgot, or I should have pointed it out. Have you ever seen anything so deeply rational? See, I can withdraw my head entirely: the same applies to the feet and the hands. Warm yet unencumbering; light; and above all healthy - no constriction anywhere! Paris, who was once a framework knitter made it to my design: he is working on one for you at present' "
Post Captain Ch. 12
Words Fail Me.
But what of those quotes that –though short- remind us of long scenes, may even move us to smile or sniffle, and where we know exactly where they are?
Let me give you some examples that you surely know intimately well:
The music-room in the Governor's House at Port Mahon, a tall, handsome, pillared octagon, was filled with the triumphant first movement of Locatelli's C major quartet
'Come, brother,'said Stephen in his ear, very like a dream.'Come below.
Stephen saw them walk into his timeless dream: they had been there before, but never together.
Would you know any more of quotes like these? Please post them here. :D