Quote of the Day

‘A gentleman to see you, sir,’ said the waiter. ‘A lieutenant.’

‘A lieutenant?’ said Stephen; and after a pause, ‘Desire him to walk up.’

A thundering on the stairs, as though someone had released a bull; the door burst inwards, trembling, and Pullings appeared, lighting up the room with his happiness and his new blue coat. ‘I’m made, sir,’ he cried, seizing Stephen’s hand. ‘Made at last! My commission came down with the mail. Oh, wish me joy!’

‘Why, so I do,’ said Stephen, wincing in that iron grip, ‘if more joy you can contain — if more felicity will not make your cup overflow. Have you been drinking, Lieutenant Pullings? Pray sit in a chair like a rational being, and do not spring about the room.’

‘Oh, say it again, sir,’ said the lieutenant, sitting and gazing at Stephen with pure love beaming from his face. ‘Not a drop.’

‘Then it is with present happiness you are drunk. Well. Long, long may it last.’

‘Ha, ha, ha! That is exactly what Parker said. “Long may it last,” says he; but envious, like, you know — the grey old toad. Howsomever, I dare say even I might grow a trifle sour, or rancid, like, five and thirty years without a ship of my own, and this cruel fitting-out. And he is a good, righteous man, I am sure; though he was a proper pixy-led before the captain came.’

‘Lieutenant, will you drink a glass of wine, a glass of sherry-wine?’

‘You’ve said it again, sir,’ cried Pullings, with another burst of effulgence. (‘You would swear that light actually emanated from that face,’ observed Stephen privately.)

Post Captain – Patrick O’Brian

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