AUBREY MATURIN SERIES PDF
Aubrey-Maturin has 55 entries in the series. Der unvollendete Band Aubrey -Maturin (Series). Patrick O'Brian Author Uwe D. Minge Translator (). 'Pass the word for Dr Maturin,' said the Captain, looking angrily at the wombat: and a moment later, 'Come now, Stephen, this is coming it pretty high: your brute . Diana had been there still more often in recent days, because the Doctor was going to sea again with his particular friend Jack Aubrey, a post-captain in the.
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He walked deliberately out of the wardroom, to pace the quarterdeck in a thoughtful silence, leaving Captain Aubrey and Dr Maturin alone. 'I thought he would. PATRICK O'BRIANThe Letter of MarqueCHAPTER ONEEver since Jack Aubrey had been dismissed from the service, ever si. Stephen Maturin had thought of Aubrey as powerful resilient cheerful youth itself for so long that this change and the slow, weary motion as the distant figure.
Mind the branch, sir. Nine wickets down, and only forty-six. Mr Byron got a duck, and so did old Holles. We absolutely depend on you. You are our only hope. Oh pray come on. All you have to do is to keep your end up and let the Captain do the rest. He's still in, and there's still hope, if only you will keep your end up. Stephen advanced, carrying his hurly: he was feeling particularly well and fit; he had his land-legs again, and no longer stumped along, but walked with an elastic step.
Jack came to meet him, and said in a low voice, 'Just keep your end up, Stephen, until your eye is in; and watch out for the Admiral's twisters,' and then, as they neared the Admiral, 'Sir, allow me to name my particular friend Dr Maturin, surgeon of the Leopard.
The Admiral held the ball to his nose for a long moment, fixing his adversary, and then delivered a lob that hummed as it flew. Whom does it convey? The performers were pitifully shabby, the ship herself devoid of paint, but the rite was carried out in every detail, side-boys as brown as Malays and almost as bare darting down to offer the man-ropes with hands ludicrously gleaming in white gloves, run up by the sailmaker, the bosun's call wailing as he and his mates piped the side, the rugged Marines presenting their bright arms as Captain Yorke set foot aboard and saluted the quarterdeck.
Byron, the officer of the watch and therefore as respectable as his means would allow, received him, and a moment later Jack Aubrey, having had time to clear the cabin of wombats and to put on a pair of whole trousers, emerged from his cabin.
I am delighted to see you. As soon as the cabin door closed behind them Yorke said, 'I have a letter for you, Aubrey,' - pulling it from his pocket - 'I took the liberty of waiting on Mrs Aubrey on my way down to Portsmouth, thinking that just in case the Leopard had - that is to say, had reached the East Indies, you might like news of her.
He took the letter and stared at it with his bright blue eye. Amazingly goodnatured in you: I take it very, very kindly.
How was she? How did you find her? How did she seem to be going along? Overflowing spirits; came downstairs singing; I have never seen her look so well. She had a bran-new baby in her arms, and kept laughing at it for being so perfectly toothless and bald. I had put on a pretty solemn face, I can tell you, what with that ugly tale of the boats, and with Leopard being so damnably overdue; so I was taken aback to find her brimming over with spirits - even more so when she laughed and said she would be obliged to me if I would bring you out some warm stockings.
Indeed, I was so put about, that I could hardly follow her explanation; but it seems she had had a letter from America to say that all was well. I forget the details, though she showed me the letter - she had it in her bosom. Not that she had needed it, she said; she had always known perfectly well you were safe. But she was infinitely obliged to the sender, and the moment she received it she had set to work on a new set of active-service linen and some more stockings: she had not needed the letter, however.
Ha, ha, ha! Bless 'em. There is good in everybody, Yorke, even an American. I pressed them out of a Salem barque, a little south of Madeira.
They cut up rough at the time, but they soon made the best of it. Capital fellows. But I heard them. They were singing the Old Hundredth. You will like him; a reading man too, most amazing learned; a full-blown physician into the bargain, and my particular friend. But I must tell you this, Yorke; he is wealthy -'In point of fact Captain Aubrey had little idea of his surgeon's fortune, apart from knowing that he owned a good deal of hilly land in Catalonia with a tumbledown castle on it.
But Stephen had done pretty well out of the Mauritius campaign; his manner of living was Spartan -one suit of clothes every five years and perhaps a couple of shirts - and apart from books he had no visible expenses at all. Jack was no Macchiavel, but he did know that to the rich 'it should be given; that capital possessed a mystical significance; that even the most perfectly disinterested respected it and its owner; and that although a naval surgeon was ordinarily a person of no great consequence, the same man moved into quite a different category the moment he was endowed with comfortable private means.
In short, that whereas an ordinary surgeon, living on his pay, might not readily be indulged in room for exotic livestock, an imperfectly-preserved giant squid, and several tons of natural specimens, in a stranger's ship, a wealthy natural philosopher might meet with more consideration; and Jack knew how Stephen prized the collection he had made during their arduous voyage.
But this voyage the opportunities have been prodigious, and he has turned the Leopard into a down-right Ark. Most of the Desolation creatures are stuffed or pickled but there are some from New Holland that skip and bound about: I hope you are not too crowded in La Fleche?
Plenty, that is to say, for a twenty-gun post-ship. She had recently been repainted with a blue streak, slightly darker than the perfect sea, up to her ports, then a band of white with the black port-lids dividing it, and then a lighter blue, while discreet gold twinkled with the ripple at her head and stern.
She had been titivated off to the nines for the Admiral's inspection, scrubbed by the lifts and braces, sails furled in a body with never a wrinkle; and as she lay there, framed by the wooded Kampong headland a mile or so beyond her starboard bow and a low sandy island with a few palm-trees far on her quarter, she might have been something without weight or earthly substance, ideal, self-existing, belonging to another dimension.
But as for the post, I cannot make it out at all, unless it is that odd slender pole at the back. We all have them, you know. No: they call her a post-ship because she is commanded by a post-captain I mean she is a sixth-rate, the smallest ship a man can be posted into, you follow me? She has a curious touching beauty of her own, however. But tell me, Mr Babbington, is she not very small?
I dare say you are thinking about your collection, sir? Yet perhaps there are not many people in her - perhaps room can be found. The sea-elephants can be unstuffed and folded up. And then of course there are all of us, the passengers. Captain Yorke was leaving the ship, the usual compliments attending him: stepping into his gig he called up. She should cast pretty, at the turn of the tide; and I should not like to lose a moment of this monsoon.
And then turning to Stephen he said, 'Captain Yorke is very handsomely clearing his whole forepeak for you, and all your dunnage must be aboard within the hour. Mr Babbington will give you a party to rouse it out, and you must supervise its stowage.
There is not a moment to be lost. The minerals alone weighed several tons. His mouth opened in protest but he knew that there was no hope, closed it again, and stared distractedly around. Mind the step, sir, and clap on with both hands. Yet in spite of the young gentleman's protection, and that of the first lieutenant, and the willingness of the party, and the kindness of a great many other Leopards, who lent a hand as soon as their own messmates' property was shifted no great task, since they carried almost all of it on their backs, and the rest would scarcely fill a ditty-bag, while a single sea-chest was enough for two officers - in spite of all this, the Doctor spent a most hellish afternoon, hot, hurried, stifling, and above all extremely anxious.
He never even noticed the arrival of the Admiral's nominee, who took over command when the ship abruptly turned into a sloop, being now in charge of a lieutenant. Cheerful hands whipped the never-ending giant squid to the topmast yardarm, burst into ribald laughter, words and gestures at the appearance of the male, the very male, seaelephant, tossed jars of animals in spirits from hand to hand - irreplaceable specimens of incredible rarity.
Here the people did not know him; here the first lieutenant, instead of being a young man Stephen had known since Babbington's precocious puberty, a steady friend, was a grey, severe disciplinarian who took it very ill that the squid should leave a long greenish-yellow trail on his topsail, his main-course, and the attendant rigging, and that a wombat should have forgotten itself on the quarterdeck; and here what he had always feared would happen did in fact take place - in the darkness of the forepeak the seamen got at the double-rectified spirits of wine in which his specimens were preserved, and presently their mirth increased extremely, while at the same time their dexterity diminished.
At one point Forshaw plucked him by the sleeve and told him to come and say goodbye -they were off, they were homeward bound.
He scrambled up from the gloom to the brilliant sunshine, and there, broad on the starboard beam, lay the poor battered old ship that had so very nearly been their coffin.
It was worse than ever; the smell was like Gin Row, mingled with something of Billingsgate many of the specimens being fish ; the voices were louder; the fooling more evident. Two ship's boys were openly playing tug-of-war with a sealskin. Yet no sooner had he preserved one basket, one penguin, one blue-eyed shag but another was in danger, either from mere levity or from mistaken blundering goodwill; and now the ship was out of the sheltered anchorage - now she was taking the swell on her larboard bow, so that the forepeak and all within it was in a state of perpetual motion.
In his anguish Stephen did not hear the tall master's mate say, 'The Captain's compliments, sir, and he begs the favour of your company at dinner. Pray tell the Captain, with my compliments, that I shall be glad to wait upon him at any other time. You, sir! When he could command Dr Maturin's attention he said, 'There must be some mistake, sir.
The Captain invites you to dinner. It is the Captain who invites you to dinner. Surely you must perceive that it is impossible for me to abandon even what is already here, let alone all that is still upstairs. First things must come first. The tone rose, until Stephen, having himself cracked one of his very few whale-bird's eggs, turned on him and said, 'You are importunate, sir. You are indiscreet.
You oppress me with your civilities. I beg you will go about your affairs, and leave me to mine. Very good, Mr - ,' said the first lieutenant, swelling and at the same time growing even more rigid. Oh, you infernal set of maniacs - brute-beasts. Jack did not address him first, however: to the oldest seaman there he said, 'What is your name?
Tell my coxswain and steward I want them here at once. I sent him about his business; told him to go trim his sails. Jack waited for the weather-roll, heaved it back, passed a line round its middle, made all fast, and said, 'Yes: that was Warner, their first lieutenant.
Stephen, there is something about the Navy I should have told you before. A captain's invitation cannot be refused. Oh, for a decent ball of string. It is as who should say a royal command; and a refusal is near as a toucher mutiny. In its very nature an invitation implies an option, the possibility of refusal. You can no more compel a man to be your guest in the sense, the only valid sense, of a willing commensal, a glad partaker of your fare, than you can oblige a woman to love you.
A prisoner is not a guest; a raped wench is not a wife; an invitation is not an ukase.
[PDF] 19 Book Set: The Aubrey Maturin Series - Master and Commander Post Captain HMS Surprise
Yorke has asked you out of kindness to me. It would be a most unfortunate beginning to the voyage if there were any appearance of slighting him, unfortunate for me and all our shipmates. And all the other Leopards will give you a hand as soon as dinner is over. Pray be a good fellow for once, Stephen. But mark you, brother, it is only in compliment to you.
I do not give a fig for your immemorial tyranny and oppression, nor for his Czarish Majesty back there. They instantly dropped through the scuttle, Killick carrying what remnants of uniform Dr Maturin still possessed, a clean shirt and a comb, for he knew perfectly well what was afoot. Leopard's surgeon, mad with drink, had refused the Captain's invitation. It was with a certain feeling of disappointment, of anticlimax, therefore, that they saw him pass at a shambling run, square-ribbed and fairly trim, in his own captain's wake, at one minute to the hour.
Stephen's noncommittal sniff gave him no comfort, but immediately afterwards, he was relieved to see Stephen's courtly leg and bow, to hear his urbane 'Your servant, sir'. Stephen was, after all, a man of high breeding, though wonderfully ignorant of seafaring ways: once, when he was attending a levee, Jack had seen him walking about, perfectly at home, familiarly known and indeed caressed by a surprising number of people, some of them very grand.
Ignorant though he was of naval customs, Stephen did at least know that guests under the rank of captain were not expected to speak to the commander of the ship until they were spoken to; it was an extension of the court etiquette.
He sat mute, therefore, looking amiable, while they drank a pint of sherry and ate up their fresh turtle soup: he looked round the cabin, the only book-lined cabin he had ever seen - row after row of books, and low down, built in among the quartos, the sheet-music, and the incongruous nine-pounder gun, a small square piano: Jack had said that Captain Yorke was a musician: and evidently he was a reader too - no man carried books to sea for show.
Above Voltaire an even greater number of small octavos and duodecimos whose labels he could not distinguish: novels, in all likelihood. He looked at their owner with greater interest. A dark man, rather plump, with a clever face; about Jack's age; by no means so obviously a sailor.
He looked capable, but Stephen had the impression that he loved his ease. I dare say you have noticed, Dr Maturin, that sea-captains assume a kind of regal state; it may at times seem rather comic.
But I am sorry to hear that your creatures were giving difficulty; and even sorrier when I reflect that perhaps my invitation was ill-timed. Can my people be of any use? Our Jemmy Ducks was a sow-gelder on shore, and he is a great hand with both bird and beast. No, it is the inanimate objects that caused me some anxiety, as they tossed about.
And most fortunately the Doctor did not trust all his eggs in one basket, ha, ha, ha! Oh no, there are dozens of 'em, each with a different kind albatrosses', petrels', penguins'. His eyes vanished, and he laughed his deep, intensely amused laugh until the glasses rattled. Lord, I must remember to tell Sophie that, when I write. Yes, I do: and I see you have risen to a pianoforte.
How do you keep it in tune? How I wish I could press a piano-tuner. Yet I could not do without it; I could not do without some sort of music, all these months at sea. The Doctor and I scrape away, although his 'cello and my fiddle have suffered cruelly - glue and varnish almost gone, and our bows obliged to be replenished from the longest pigtails the crew could provide. I am sick of the sound of my own voice; and a captain, you know, hears little other.
You only have to turn the toggle behind Richardson, and they are all free. The bar in front of each keeps the books from falling out, and the boxes can be struck down into the hold in a moment. Well, in a couple of moments. Though to tell you the truth, I do not make a clean sweep fore and aft quite as often as I ought. Certainly not as often as my first lieutenant would like.
If he had his way, we should be as bare as a barn every time the drum beat for quarters - not a cabin, not a bulkhead standing - everything in fighting-trim.
He would give an arm and a leg to be made, like all of us before we reached post rank, and an action is his only chance. He had no interest at all, poor man, and the years are going by. I was astonished. It was a lady who told me this,' he added, nodding to Jack. Such penetration, such awareness of the mind that is not aware of itself. You have read Richardson, sir, I make no doubt?
The lady of whom I spoke urged me to do so, and I did indeed look into the first volume of Pamela; but the ship was sinking, the Captain in a state of wild alarm, continually turning to me for advice; and it did not seem to me that the time was quite propitious for such an enterprise. But now you have it, my dear sir! Months of calm before you - I touch upon wood: absit omen - months of mental calm, with only your few Leopards to look after, since for ourselves we have an excellent surgeon in young Mr McLean.
Let me entreat you to launch into Pamela again, and then Clarissa. Grandison I cannot quite so heartily recommend. But I believe that even Dr Maturin's understanding of human nature might be increased by the first two.
Pray take the first volume of Pamela with you now - it is just above your head - and come back for the others when it is done. His friends looked down at their wine and smiled. Admiral Burney - Captain Burney then - lent me one wrote by his sister when we were coming back with a slow convoy from the West Indies; but I could not get through with it - sad stuff, I thought.
Though I dare say the fault was in me, just as some people cannot relish music; for Burney thought the world of it, and he was as fine a seaman as any in the service. He sailed with Cook, and you cannot say fairer than that.
Every novel I have ever looked into is all about love; and I have looked into a good many, because Sophie loves them, and I read aloud to her while she knits, in the evening. All about love. When you sit trembling for a letter? Sophia was walking fast, swinging her arms and muttering 'Larboard, starboard,' as she came. The chance shot had gone straight home, for Sophia had been browsing in the admiral's library, looking at Navy Lists, naval memoirs, Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine, and the Naval Chronicle; and the admiral, coming up behind her in his list slippers had said, 'Oh, the Naval Chronicle, is it?
Ha, ha! This is the one you want,' - pulling out the volume for There is a little cut of the action, but the fellow did not know what he was about, so he put in a great quantity of smoke to hide the rigging, which is most particular in a xebec. Come, let me find it for you.
The acquaintance ripened; but it did not mature, it did not progress as fast as Mrs Williams would have liked. Captain Aubrey could not have been more friendly -perhaps too friendly; there was none of that languishing she longed to see, no pallor, nor even any marked particularity. He seemed to be as happy with Frances as he was with Sophia, and sometimes Mrs Williams wondered whether he really were quite the thing - whether those strange tales about sea-officers might possibly be true in his case.
Was it not very odd that he should live with Dr Maturin? Another thing that troubled her was Diana's horse, for from what she heard and from what little she could understand, it seemed that Diana rode better than Sophia. Mrs Williams could hardly credit this, but even so she was heartily sorry that she had ever made the present. She was in a state of anxious doubt: Had she seen them out one day with young Mr Edward Savile's pack she would have been more anxious still.
Sophia did not really care for hunting: Her mare had spirit but no great stamina, whereas Diana's powerful, short-coupled bay gelding had a barrel like a vault of a church and an unconquerable heart; he could carry Diana's eight stone from morning till night, and he loved to be in at the kill. They had been hunting since half past ten, and now the sun was low. They had killed two foxes, and the third, a barren vixen, had led them a rare old dance, right away into the heavy country beyond Plimpton with its wet plough, double oxers, and wide ditches.
She was now only one field ahead, failing fast and heading for a drain she knew. At the last check Jack had a lucky inspiration to bear away right-handed, a short-cut that brought him and Sophia closer to hounds than anyone in the field; but now there was a bank, a towering fence, mud in front of it and the gleam of broad water beyond.
Sophia looked at the jump with dismay, put her tired horse at it without any real wish to reach the other side, and felt thankful when the mare refused it. She and her mount were quite done up; Sophia had never felt so tired in her life; she dreaded the sight of the fox being torn to pieces, and the pack had just hit off the line again.
There was a deadly implacable triumph in the voice of the old bitch that led them. He had it half open - an awkward, sagging, left-handed gate - when Stephen arrived. Jack heard Sophia say 'should like to go home - pray, pray go on - know the way perfectly. Her whole being was concentrated on the fence and what lay beyond it, and she saw them only a vague group muddling in a gate.
She was sitting as straight and supple as if she had been riding for no more than half an hour: She went straight at the fence, gathered her horse just so, and with a crash and a spray of mud they were over.
Her form, her high-held head, her contained joy, competent, fierce gravity, were as beautiful as anything Jack or Stephen had ever seen. She had not the slightest notion of it, but she had never looked so well in her life.
The men's faces as she flew over, high and true, would have made Mrs Williams more uneasy by far. Mrs Williams longed for the day of the ball; she made almost as many preparations as Jack, and Mapes Court was filled with gauze, muslins and taffeta.
Her mind was filled with stratagems, one of which was to get Diana out of the way for the intervening days. Mrs Williams had no defined suspicions, but she smelt danger, and by means of half a dozen intermediaries and as many letters she managed to have a mad cousin left unattended by his family. She could not do away with the invitation, publicly given and accepted, however, and Diana was to be brought back to Champflower by one of Captain Aubrey's guests on the morning of February the fourteenth.
And he has a new tie-wig. I suppose that is why he went up to London. You have made another conquest, Di: And lend me your hat, will you? Do you remember when he came to dinner in carpet slippers? He really would be almost handsome if he held himself up. Fie upon you, Cissy, to say such things. What a neat cob you have there, upon my word! You never found him in this part of the world.
You are late. You are very late. You do know I am a woman, Maturin? Though why the trifling accident of sex should induce a sentient being, let alone such an intelligent being as you, to waste half this beautiful clear morning, I cannot conceive. Come, let me help you to mount. Sex - sex. You must not use words like that here. It was bad enough yesterday. Oh, yes. But I am not the first man to say that wit is the unexpected copulation of ideas.
Far from it. It is a commonplace. There is Polcary,' he added, nodding over the valley.
Let us ride over there tomorrow. I can show you a remarkable family of particoloured stoats, a congregation of stoats. It is all arranged.
A Mr Babbington is to take me up on his way. Did not Captain Aubrey tell you? But I must go to Dover myself next week. May I come and beg for a cup of tea? Mr Lowndes imagines he is a teapot; he crooks one arm like this for the handle, holds out the other for the spout, and says, "May I have the pleasure of pouring you a cup of tea?
But you also have to go to town again, do you not? From Monday till Thursday. I must have something to wear at the ball. If I could get ten pounds, I should be happy. And if they should give so much, then would you be even kinder and tell Harrison in the Royal Exchange to send me this list immediately?
Here is a pattern of the stuff. It could come by the mail-coach as far as Lewes, and the carrier could pick it up. I must have something to wear. Unpicked, taken in, let out, and folded in tissue-paper, it lay in the trunk that stood waiting in Mr Lowndes's hall on the morning of the fourteenth. Diana hurried into the parlour - her smile faded -she looked again, and lower than she would have thought possible she saw a figure in a three-caped coat that piped, 'Mrs Villiers, ma'am?
Babbington reporting, if you please, ma'am. How do you do? Captain Aubrey tells me you will be so very kind as to take me with you to Melbury Lodge. When do you please to start? We must not let your horse take cold. I have only a little trunk - it is ready by the front door. You will take a glass of wine before we leave, sir? Or I believe you sea-officers like rum? You will join me, ma'am? It's uncommon parky, out. But the girl was too flustered by the presence of a strange dogcart in the courtyard to understand the word 'water', and she brought a dark-brown brimming tumbler that Mr Babbington drank off with great composure.
Diana's alarm increased at the sight of the tall, dashing dogcart and the nervous horse, all white of eye and laid-back ears. May I give you a leg up? Your foot on this little step and heave away. Now this rug - we make it fast aft, with these beckets.
All a-tanto? Let go by the head,' he called to the gardener, and they dashed out of the forecourt, giving the white-painted post a shrewd knock as they passed. She wondered how he could possibly have come all the way from Arundel without a spill.
She thought of her trunk behind and when they left the main road, winding along the lanes, sometimes mounting the bank and sometimes shaving the ditch's edge, she said, 'It will never do. This young man will have to be taken down. The horse slowed to a walk - the bean-fed horse, as it proved by a thunderous, long, long fart.
But once she had established contact with the horse and had him going steadily along the path he should follow, Diana turned her mind to winning back Mr Babbington's kindness and good will. Would he explain the blue, the red, and the white squadrons to her? The weathergage? Tell her about life at sea in general? Surely it must be a very dangerous, demanding service, though of course so highly and so rightly honoured - the country's safeguard.
Could it be true that he had taken part in the famous action with the Cacafuego? Diana could not remember a more striking disparity of forces. Captain Aubrey must be very like Lord Nelson. He is a prodigious man. Though by land, you know, he is quite different.
You would take him for an ordinary person -not the least coldness or distance. He came down to our place to help my uncle in the election, and he was as jolly as a grig - knocked down a couple of Whigs with his stick. They went down like ninepins both of them poachers and Methodies, of course. Oh, it was such fun, and at Melbury he let me and old Pullings choose our horses and ride a race with him.
Three times round the paddock and the horse to be ridden upstairs into the library for a guinea a side and a bottle of wine. Oh, we all love him, ma'am, although he's so taut at sea.
Though I dare say he did it on purpose, not to take our money. You are to change in my room, which I am very glad of, now; and if I had known it was you, I should have bought a pincushion and a large bottle of scent. She had meant to allow him only the dash up the drive, but in the event he held the reins all the way from Newton Priors to the door of Melbury Lodge, where he handed her down in state, to the admiration of two dozen naval eyes. There was something about Diana, a certain piratical dash and openness, that was very attractive to sea-officers; but they were also much attracted by the two Miss Simmonses' doll-like prettiness, by Frances dancing down the middle with the tip of her tongue showing as she kept the measure, by Cecilia's commonplace, healthy good looks, and by all the other charms that were displayed under the blaze of candles in the long handsome ballroom.
And they were moon-struck by Sophia's grace as she and Captain Aubrey opened the ball: Sophia had on a pink dress with a gold sash, and Diana said to Stephen Maturin, 'She is lovely. There is not another woman in the room to touch her. That is the most dangerous colour in the world, but with her complexion it is perfect.
I would give my eye-teeth for such a skin. I will tell you a thing about women.
They are superior to men in this, that they have an unfeigned, objective, candid admiration for good looks in other women - a real pleasure in their beauty. Yours, too, is a most elegant dress: I have remarked this. Not only from their glances, but most positively, by standing behind them and listening to their conversation.
It was a fine sight, hung with bunting in the naval way - the signal engage the enemy more closely, among other messages understood by the sailors alone -shining with bees-wax and candlelight, crowded to the doors, and the lane of dancing figures: The whole neighbourhood was there, together with a score of new faces from Portsmouth, Chatham, London, or wherever the peace had cast them on shore; they were all in their best clothes; they were all determined to enjoy themselves; and so far they were succeeding to admiration.
Everyone was pleased, not only by the rarity of a ball not above three in the season in those parts, apart from the Assembly , but by the handsome, unusual way in which it was done, by the seamen in their blue jackets and pigtails, so very unlike the greasy hired waiters generally to be seen, and by the fact that for once there were more men than women - men in large numbers, all of them eager to dance.
Mrs Williams was sitting with the other parents and chaperons by the double doors into the supper-room, where she could rake the whole line of dancers, and her red face was nodding and smiling - significant smiles, emphatic nods - as she told her cousin Simmons that she had encouraged the whole thing from the beginning. Crossing over in the dance, Diana saw her triumphant face: He was in gold-laced scarlet, a big, commanding figure: He took her in with benevolent approval, said something meaningless but kind, and whirled her about.
But you must not get over-tired. Come and sit down in a fresher air. Come into the orangery.
I will come after supper. But in spite of the intuition he said, 'Diana You can smell the enemy a great way off. Don't be a fool, Maturin. You must know that married men are the worst enemies women can have. Get me something to drink, will you? I am quite faint with all that fug. They offer what they call friendship or some stuff of that kind - the name don't matter - and all they want in return for this great favour is your heart, your life, your future, your - I will not be coarse, but you know very well what I mean.
There is no friendship in men: I know what I am talking about, believe me. There is not one round here, from old Admiral Haddock to that young puppy of a curate, who has not tried it: Who the devil do they think I am?
What do you think my life is like, without a sou and under the thumb of a vulgar, pretentious, ignorant woman who detests me? What do you think it is like, looking into this sort of a future, with my looks going, the only thing I have? Listen, Maturin, I speak openly to you, because I like you; I like you very much, and I believe you have a kindness for me - you are almost the only man I have met in England I can treat as a friend -trust as a friend.
After a long pause he said with a fair attempt at lightness, 'You are not altogether just. You look as desirable as you can - that dress, particularly the bosom of that dress, would inflame Saint Anthony, as you know very well. It is unjust to provoke a man and then to complain he is a satyr if the provocation succeeds. You are not a miss upon her promotion, moved by unconscious instinctive That is exactly what I am saying. But I do not suppose you know how much you make men suffer.
In any case, you are arguing from the particular to the general: I was brought up among intelligent men - they were a loose lot on the Madras side and worse in Bombay, but they were intelligent, and oh how I miss them. And what a relief it is to be able to speak freely, after all this swimming in namby-pamby.
Well, there is a sort of quickness, if you like; but she is a girl-we do not speak the same language. I grant you she is beautiful. She is really beautiful, but she knows nothing - how could she?
It is so unjust. Life is so unjust. I have about four or five years, and if I cannot find a husband by then, I shall And where can one be found in this howling wilderness?
Do I disgust you very much? I mean to put you off, you know. You do not disgust me at all - you speak as a friend. You hunt; and your chase has a beast in view. There was a smart little whippersnapper of an attorney in Dover that had the infernal confidence to make me an offer. I have never been so mortified in my life. I had rather go to the stake, or look after the Teapot for the rest of my days.
He must have some money, of course - love in a cottage be damned. He must have some sense; he must not be actually deformed, nor too ancient.
Admiral Haddock, for example, is beyond my limit, I do not insist upon it, but I should like him to be able to sit a horse and not fall off too often; and I should like him to be able to hold his wine. You do not get drunk, Maturin; that is one of the things I like about you. Captain Aubrey and half the other men here will have to be carried to bed. I drank a good deal this evening, however. As far as Jack Aubrey is concerned, do you not think you may be a little late in the field?
I have the impression that tonight may be decisive. Has he confided in you? As far as your knowledge of me goes, it is accurate. I know Sophie. He may make a declaration, but she will need a longer time than this. She need never fear being left on the shelf - it never occurs to her at all, I dare say - and she is afraid of marriage. How she cried when I told her men had hair on their chests! And she hates being managed - that is not the word I want.
What is it, Maturin? She is a dutiful girl - a great sense of duty: You two must have had hogsheads of that grocer's claret forced down your throats. Perfectly odious: It will take a great deal to move her; much more than the excitement of a ball. I do not know; I do not suppose she knows herself. She likes him; she is flattered by his attentions; and to be sure he is a husband any woman would be glad to have - well-off, good-looking, distinguished in his profession and with a future before him, unexceptionable family, cheerful, good-natured.
But she is entirely unsuited to him - I am persuaded she is, with her secretive, closed, stubborn nature. He needs someone much more awake, much more alive: In any case, he needs a different woman and she needs a different man: I should prefer a man more - what shall I say?
More grown up, less of a boy - less of a huge boy. A man may be brilliant in his calling and a mere child outside it. I remember a mathematician - they say he was one of the best in the world - who came out to India, to do something about Venus; and when his telescope was taken away from him, he was unfit for civilized life. A blundering schoolboy! He clung to my hand all through one tedious, tedious evening, sweating and stammering. I wish Aubrey were something of a reading man. More like you - I mean what I say.
You are very good company: I like being with you. But he is a handsome fellow. Look,' she said, turning to the window, 'there he is, figuring away. He dances quite well, does he not? It is a pity he wants decision. He is sentimental. But still, he would do. Shall I tell you something that will really shock you, although you are a medical man? I was married, you know - I am not a girl - and intrigues were as common in India as they are in Paris. There are times when I am tempted to play the fool, terribly tempted.
I dare say I should, too, if I lived in London and not in this dreary hole. There are signs that mean a lot to a woman. I wonder he ever looked seriously at Sophie. He is not interested, I suppose?
Her fortune would not mean a great deal to him? Have you known him long? But I suppose all you naval people have known one another, or of one another, for ever. I first met him in Minorca, in the year one, in the spring of the year one.
I had taken a patient there, for the Mediterranean climate - he died and I met Jack at a concert. We took a liking to one another, and he asked me to sail with him as his surgeon. I agreed, being quite penniless at the time, and we have been together ever since.
I know him well enough to say that as for being interested, concerned for a woman's fortune, there never was a man more unworldly than Jack Aubrey. Maybe I will tell you a thing about him. She had the dash, the style and the courage he loves, but she was a hard, false woman, and she wounded him very deeply.
So virginal modesty, rectitude, principle, you know? Yes, I see. I see now. It is no use, I warn you. She would never do a thing without her mother's consent, and that is nothing to do with her mother's being in control of her fortune: And you would never bring my aunt Williams round in a thousand years.
Still, you may feel on Sophie's side. But I am averse to giving pain, Villiers, which you are not. I have to dance this next bout with Captain Aubrey,' she said, kissing him.
It was scattered with anatomical drawings, descriptions of plants, birds, moving creatures, and if it had been deciphered the scientific part would have been found to be in Latin; but the personal observations were all in Catalan, the language he had spoken most of his youth. The most recent entries were in that tongue. I had sworn to allow no such thing again, no strong dolorous emotion ever again: I have done everything in my power to get my heart under the harrow. I reflect upon Jack Aubrey.
How helpless a man is, against direct attack by a woman. As soon as she leaves the schoolroom a girl learns to fend off, ward off wild love; it becomes second nature; it offends no code; it is commended not only by the world but even by those very men who are thus repulsed. How different for a man! He has no such accumulated depth of armour; and the more delicate, the more gallant, the more "honourable" he is the less he is able to withstand even a remote advance.
He must not wound: Yet life with Mrs W can be no party of pleasure; and magnanimity calls for understanding. For the moment it calls in vain. There are depths of barbarity, possibilities I did not suspect. Plain common sense calls for a disengagement. Speaks of wincing fillies and their nonsense: This in part is what Diana Villiers means by his immaturity.
If he did but know it the evident mutual liking between him and DV is in fact good for his suit. Sophia is perhaps the most respectable girl I have known, but she is after all a woman.
JA is not percipient in these matters. Yet on the other hand he is beginning to look at me with some doubt. This is the first time there has been any reserve in our friendship; it is painful to me and I believe to him.
I cannot bring myself to look upon him with anything but affection; but when I think of the possibilities, the physical possibilities I say, why then -'DV insists upon my inviting her to Melbury to play billiards: Her insistence is accompanied by an ignoble bullying and an ignoble pretty pretty cajolery, to which I yield, both of us knowing exactly what we are about.
This talk of friendship deceives neither of us; and yet it does exist, even on her side, I believe. My position would be the most humiliating in the world but for the fact that she is not so clever as she thinks: She is cynical, but not nearly cynical enough, whatever she may say.
If she were, I should not be obsessed. Quo me rapis? Quo indeed. My whole conduct, meekness, mansuetude, voluntary abasement, astonishes me.
There is a direct relationship, I am sure. Bartolomeu's report should reach England in three days if the wind holds. I was afraid you had gone off to your stoats again. The carrier has brought you an ape. It had a can of ale at every pot-house on the road, and it is reeling drunk. It has been offering itself to Babbington. He believes it to be suffering from the furor uterinus, and we are to open it together when I return.
The cards flew fast, shuffled, cut, and dealt again: Jack's was a cunning alternation of risking everything for the triumphant point of eight, and of a steady, orthodox defence, fighting for every last trick. Stephen's was based upon Hoyle, Laplace, the theory of probabilities, and his knowledge of Jack's character. We must stop. Five guineas, if you please; you shall have your revenge in London. What amazing cards you have held these last few weeks, Stephen.
You have the most amazing luck with cards. I should be sorry, was you in love with anyone.
The Ionian Mission (Aubrey Maturin Series)
However, the rain stopped while they were eating their dinner at the Bleeding Heart, their half-way point, a cheerful sun came out, and they saw the first swallow of the year, a blue curve skimming over the horse-pond at Edenbridge.
Long before they walked into Thacker's, the naval coffeehouse, they were far back in their old easy ways, talking without the least constraint about the sea, the service, the possibility of migrant birds navigating by the stars at night, of an Italian violin that Jack was tempted to download, and of the renewal of teeth in elephants. Andrews was here until five minutes ago, telling us about your ball in the country - in Sussex. He said it was the finest thing - girls by the dozen, fine women, such a ball!
He told us all about it. Pray,' he said, looking arch, 'are we to congratulate you? Perhaps a little later, if all goes well. Else you will regret it when you are old - damnably mouldy a hundred years hence. Am not I right, Doctor? Am I not right? If only he will clap on, we may see him a grandfather yet. My grandson has six teeth! Six teeth in his head already! It is a prodigious sum to pay for a fiddle, and I do not think I could square it with my conscience.
I am not really a good enough player. But I should just like to handle it again, and tuck it under my chin. Certainly you must have your fiddle. Any innocent pleasure is a real good: I have a great respect for your judgment, Stephen.
If you are not long at the Admiralty, perhaps you would step round and give me your opinion of its tone. He was received by an elderly man in a black coat -received with marked consideration and begged to take a seat. Sir Joseph would be with them as soon as the Board rose; they had been sitting an hour longer than had been expected; and in the mean time Black Coat would be happy to deal with certain main heads.
They had received Bartolomeu's report. There was a fellow lounging about by the hazard on the other side of Whitehall whom I have seen in the company of Spaniards from the embassy. I may be mistaken; it may be mere chance; but - ' Sir Joseph hurried in. Nothing but the Board would have prevented me from.
How do you do, sir? It is most exceedingly good of you to come up at such short notice. We have received Bartolomeu's report, and we urgently wish to consult you upon several points that arise. May we go through it, head by head? His lordship particularly desired me to let him have the results of our conversation by tonight.
The various groups of Catalan autonomists who had approached the government had made this plain, though it was obvious before: The Admiralty, of course, was interested in the Catalan ports, shipyards, docks, naval supplies and industries; Barcelona itself would be of incalculable value, and there were many other harbours, including Port Mahon in Minorca, the British possession, so strangely given up by the politicians when they negotiated the recent peace-treaty.
The Admiralty, following the English tradition of independent intelligence agencies with little or no communication between them, had their own people dealing with this question. But few of them could speak the language, few knew much about the history of the nation, and none could evaluate the claims of the different bodies that put themselves forward as the true representatives of the country's resistance.
There were some Barcelona merchants, and a few from Valencia; but they were limited men, and the long war had kept them out of touch with their friends; Dr Maturin was the Admiralty's most esteemed adviser. He was known to have had revolutionary contacts in his younger days, but his integrity, his complete disinterestedness were never called into question. The Admiralty also had a touching respect for scientific eminence, and no less a person than the Physician of the Fleet vouched for Stephen Maturin's.
Black Coat and his colleagues also knew that in his character as a physician, a learned man of standing perfectly at home in both Catalan and Spanish, he could move about the country as freely as any native - an incomparable agent, sure, discreet, deeply covered: And from their point of view his remaining tinge of Catholicism was but one advantage more.
They would have wrung and squeezed their secret funds to retain him, and he would take nothing: He left the Admiralty by a side door, walked through the park and up across Piccadilly to Bond Street, where he found Jack still undecided. Listen-' 'If the day were a little warmer, air,' said the shopman, 'it would bring out its fruitiness. You should have heard Mr Galignani playing it when we still had the fire going, last week.
Just put up these strings in a paper for me, will you, together with the rosin. Keep the fiddle, and I will let you know one way or the other by the end of the week. Stephen,' he said, taking his friend's arm and guiding him across the busy street, 'I must have been playing that fiddle a good hour and more, and I still don't know my own mind.
He and his friend Stephen Maturin take passage for England in a dispatch vessel. But the War of breaks out while they are en route. Bloody actions precipitate them both into new and unexpected scenes where Stephen's past activities as a secret agent return on him with a vengeance. The Surgeon's Mate Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are ordered home by dispatch vessel to bring the news of their latest victory to the government.
But Maturin is a marked man for the havoc he has wrought in the French intelligence network in the New World, and the attention of two privateers soon becomes menacing. The chase that follows through the fogs and shallows of the Grand Banks is as tense, and as unexpected in its culmination, as anything Patrick O'Brian has written.
The Ionian Mission Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, veterans now of many battles, return in this novel to the seas where they first sailed as shipmates.
But Jack is now a senior captain commanding a line-of-battle ship in the Royal Navy's blockade of Toulon, and this is a longer, harder, colder war than the dashing frigate actions of his early days. A sudden turn of events takes him and Stephen off on a hazardous mission to the Greek Islands, where all his old skills of seamanship and his proverbial luck when fighting against odds come triumphantly into their own.
Treason's Harbour All Patrick O'Brian's strengths are on parade in this novel of action and intrigue, set partly in Malta, partly in the treacherous, pirate-infested waters of the Red Sea. While Captain Aubrey worries about repairs to his ship, Stephen Maturin assumes the center stage for the dockyards and salons of Malta are alive with Napoleon's agents, and the admiralty's intelligence network is compromised.
Maturin's cunning is the sole bulwark against sabotage of Aubrey's daring mission. The Far Side of the World The war of continues, and Jack Aubrey sets course for Cape Horn on a mission after his own heart: intercepting a powerful American frigate outward bound to play havoc with the British whaling trade.
Stephen Maturin has fish of his own to fry in the world of secret intelligence. Disaster in various guises awaits them in the Great South Sea and in the far reaches of the Pacific: typhoons, castaways, shipwrecks, murder, and criminal insanity.
This innocent decision ensnares him in the London criminal underground and in government espionage-the province of his friend Stephen Maturin. Is Aubrey's humiliation and the threatened ruin of his career a deliberate plot? This dark tale is a fitting backdrop to the brilliant characterization and sparkling dialogue which O'Brian's readers have come to expect.I know you do not want a command, and an Admiral of the White who has already refused a title has nothing to fear from anyone, Admiralty or not.
I tell him that the work of the mind is essentially different from manual labour; I tell him that in the second case mere industry and application will hew a forest of wood and carry an ocean of water, whereas in the first.
Pullings only said 'Go along with the Doctor,' shaking his head. But he was in the Treasury some time ago, when Jack told him he cheated at cards, told him quite openly, in his candid naval way, in Willis's rooms. I had misjudged her: Not that she showed the least sign of wishing to do so: Nor did the cleaning of the quarterdeck immediately over his head, nor the piping-up of hammocks at seven bells nor that of all hands to breakfast at eight, with the roaring, rushing and bellowing that this always entailed.
Post Captain. So I sent both these ships into Port Mahon, where they were condemned as lawful prize out of hand, a glaring breach of neutrality; but now at length the owners have appealed, and the court has decided they were not lawful prize at all, that their masters' tale of merely taking shelter from the weather was true. I cannot conceive anything more criminal.