Quote of the Day

‘Stephen,’ he cried, with a meretricious affectation of gaiety, ‘just toss this off, will you, and we will get under way. Is your great-coat warming?’

‘I will not,’ said Stephen. ‘It is another of your damned possets. Am I in childbed, for all love, that I should be plagued, smothered, destroyed with caudle?’

‘Just a sip,’ said Jack. ‘It will set you up for the journey. Mrs Moss does not quite like your travelling; and I must say I agree with her. However, I have brought you a bottle of Dr Mead’s Instant Invigorator; it contains iron. Now just a drop, mixed with the posset.’

‘Mrs Moss – Mrs Moss – Dr Mead – iron, forsooth,’ cried Stephen. ‘There is a very vicious inclination in the present age, to –’

‘Great-coat, sir,’ said Killick. ‘Warm as toast. Now step into it before it gets cold.’

They buttoned him up, tweaked him into shape, and carried him downstairs, one at each elbow, so that his feet skimmed the steps, to where Bonden was waiting by the chaise. They packed him into the stifling warmth with understanding smiles over his head as he cried out that they were stifling him with their God-damned rugs and sheepskins – did they mean to bury him alive? Enough damned straw underfoot for a regiment of horse.

HMS Surprise – Patrick O’Brian

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