The lines seemed to crackle with life and happiness, but still the swam. ‘Wish me joy!’ Well, so I do, too. ‘You will never guess the news I have to tell you!’ Oh yes I shall, brother: pray do not use so many points of admiration. ‘I have the best part of a wife!! viz, her heart!!’ Stephen sniffed again. An intolerably tedious description of Miss Williams, whom Stephen knew a good deal better than Captain Aubrey — her appearance, virtues. ‘So direct — straightforward — nothing hole in the corner, if you understand me — no damned purser’s tricks — must not swear, however, — like a 32 lber.’ Could he really have likened Sophie to a thirty-two pounder? It was quite possible. How the lines did swim. ‘He must not speak disrespectfully of his putative mother-in-law, but . . . ‘ What did Jack imagine putative to mean?
Post Captain – Patrick O’Brian