Quote of the Day

She spoke little, in company or out, but she was capable of a sudden dart of sharpness, of a remark that showed much more intelligence and reflection than would have been expected from her rudimentary education and her very quiet provincial life. These remarks had a much greater force, coming from an amiable, pliant, and as it were sleepy reserve, and before now they had startled men who did not know her well — men who had been praying away happily with the conscious superiority of their sex. They dimly grasped an underlying strength, and they connected it with her occasional expression of secret amusement, the relish of something that she did not choose to share. 

Post Captain – Patrick O’Brian

Quote of the Day

The Spanish bowman was about to hook on when Stephen, speaking a Scandinavian but instantly comprehensible Spanish, called out, ‘Have you a surgeon that understands the plague aboard your ship?’

The bowman lowered his hook. The officer said, ‘Why?’

‘Some of our men were taken poorly at Algiers, and we are afraid. We cannot tell what it is.’

‘Back water,’ said the Spanish officer to his men. ‘Where did you say you had touched?’

‘Algiers, Alger, Argel: it was there the men went ashore. Pray what is the plague like? Swellings? Buboes? Will you come and look at them? Pray, sir, take this rope.’

‘Back water,’ said the officer again. ‘And they went ashore at Algiers?’

‘Yes. Will you send your surgeon?’

‘No. Poor people, God and His Mother preserve you.’

‘May we come for medicines? Pray let me come into your boat.’

‘No,’ said the officer, crossing himself. ‘No, no. Keep off, or we shall fire into you. Keep out to sea — the sea will cure them. God be with you, poor people. And a happy voyage to you.’ He could be seen ordering the bowman to throw the boathook into the sea, and the launch pulled back fast to the bright-red xebec.

They were within very easy hailing distance now, and a voice from the frigate called out some words in Danish; Pram replied; and then a tall thin figure on the quarter-deck, obviously the captain, asked, had they seen an English sloop-of-war, a brig?

‘No,’ they said; and as the vessels began to draw away from one another Jack whispered, ‘Ask her name.’

Cacafuego,’ came the answer over the widening lane of sea. ‘A happy voyage.’

‘A happy voyage to you.’

Master and Commander – Patrick O’Brian

Quote of the Day

‘Take great care of the paint, now.’

At this point Stephen fell straight into the sea — into the hollow of the sea between the boat and the side of the sloop as they drew away from one another. He sank at once, rose just as they came together, struck his head between the two and sank again, bubbling. Most of the Sophie‘s people who swim leapt into the water, Jack among them; and others ran with boat-hooks, a dolphin-striker, two small grapnels, an ugly barbed hook on a chain; but it was the brothers Sponge that found him, five fathoms down (heavy bones for his size, no fat, lead-soled half-boots) and brought him up, his clothes blacker than usual, his face more white, and he streaming with water, furiously indignant.

Master and Commander – Patrick O’Brian

Quote of the Day

By the Right Honourable Lord Keith, Knight of the Bath, Admirable of the Blue and Commander in Chief of His Majesty’s Ships and Vessels employed and to be employed in the Mediterranean, etc., etc., etc.
Whereas Captain Samuel Allen of His Majesty’s Sloop Sophie is removed to the Pallas, Captain James Bradby deceased —
You are hereby required and directed to proceed on board the Sophie and take upon you the Charge and Command of Commander of her; willing and requiring all the Officers and Company belonging to the said Sloop to behave themselves in their several Employments with all due Respect and Obedience to you their Commander; and you likewise to observe as well the General Printed Instructions as what Orders and Directions you may from time to time receive from any your superior Officer for His Majesty’s Service. Hereof nor you nor any of you may fail as you will answer the contrary at your Peril.
And for so doing this shall be your Order.
Given on board the Foudroyant
at sea, 1st April, 1800.

To John Aubrey, Esqr,
hereby appointed Commander of
His Majesty’s Sloop Sophie
By command of the Admiral Thos Walker

Master and Commander – Patrick O’Brian