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But it did not much care for hunting, and then like so many geldings it spent much of its time mourning for its lost stones: a discontented horse. -- Patrick O'brian
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Oh, the odious wench.How I wish I were rid of her. I have always loathed women, from clew to earring; hook, line and sinker; root and branch.I always said this would happen, you remember; I was against it from the start. Damn it for a flibbertigibbet, the hussy. -- Patrick O'brian
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But you know as well as I, patriotism is a word; and one that generally comes to mean either my country, right or wrong, which is infamous, or my country is always right, which is imbecile. -- Patrick O'brian
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One lives in the very present moment; lives intently. There is no urge to be doing: being is the highest good. -- Patrick O'brian
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(Officially the earliest age was eleven for officers' sons and thirteen for the rest, but no one took much notice of the regulation - seven-year-olds were not unknown.) Before -- Patrick O'brian
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I've never set out to seduce my reader. I don't see him at all clearly. -- Patrick O'brian
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Do you not find it happens very often, that you are as gay as Garrick at dinner and then by supper-time you wonder why God made the world? -- Patrick O'brian
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Christ's blood in heaven, you ignorant, incompetent whey-faced nestlecock, do you think I am a hired spy, an informer? That I have a master, a paymaster, for God's love? You silly little man. -- Patrick O'brian
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poachers and Methodies, of course. Oh, -- Patrick O'brian
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Whereas I had not meant anything so illiberal as a national reflexion, of course; only that I hated Papists. -- Patrick O'brian
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This short watch that is about to come, or rather these two short watches
why are they called dog watches? Where, heu, heu, is the canine connection?'
Why,' said Stephen, 'it is because they are curtailed of course. -- Patrick O'brian
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The modesty and diffidence that the penniless, unemployed Standish had brought aboard were now no longer to be seen; and the assurance of a monthly income and a settled position had developed a displeasing and often didactic loquacity. He was also, of course, incompetent. -- Patrick O'brian
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Of course I do know it is the French who are so wicked; but there are all these people who keep coming and going - the Austrians, the Spaniards, the Russians. Pray, are the Russians good now? It would be very shocking - treason no doubt - to put the wrong people in my prayers. -- Patrick O'brian
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Of course she will put on a cap,' said Sophie, with a pitying look. 'How could she possibly receive strange gentlemen without a cap? But her hair must be dressed under it. -- Patrick O'brian
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was an officer holding out his sword, -- Patrick O'brian
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Martin was a thoroughly amiable man, a man of wide reading, but when he came to write he mounted upon a pair of stilts, unusually lofty stilts, and staggered along at a most ungracious pace, with an occasional awkward lurch into colloquialism, giving a strikingly false impression of himself. -- Patrick O'brian
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What is a potto?"
"It is a little furry creature that sleeps all day with its head between its legs and then walks about very, very slowly all night, high in the trees, slowly eating leaves and creeping up on birds as they roost and eating them too. -- Patrick O'brian
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Since then he has said nothing and although from time to time I have thrown out what I hope were delicate hints and suggestions he has not seemed to notice them; and with a man Lucifer could not hold a book, bell or candle to for pride I cannot raise the subject directly. -- Patrick O'brian
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Gluppit the prawling strangles, there! -- Patrick O'brian
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I do not like to sound discontented neither,' said Pullings, 'nor to crab any ship I belong to; but between you and me, Doctor, between you and me, she is more what we call a floating coffin than a ship. -- Patrick O'brian
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Virtue should always be colmingled with humor. -- Patrick O'brian
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He had been quite unprepared for this particular blow, striking under every conceivable kind of armour, and for some minutes he could hardly bear the pain, but sat there blinking in the sun. 'Christ,' he said at last. 'Another day. -- Patrick O'brian
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She is remarkably dry,' he said to Stephen who, preferring to die in the open, had crept up on deck, -- Patrick O'brian
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Looking angrily at the wombat: and a moment later, 'Come now, Stephen, this is coming it pretty high: your brute is eating my hat.'
'So he is, too,' said Dr. Maturin. 'But do not be perturbed, Jack; it will do him no harm, at all. His digestive processes
-- Patrick O'brian
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God,' he thought, 'never let me outlive my wits. -- Patrick O'brian
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The first interviews I gave were entirely unpleasant. You have people trying to trip you up with impolite questions that have nothing to do with the books. It's simply vulgar curiosity, and I won't have it. -- Patrick O'brian
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I have 60 years of reading to draw upon: naval memoirs, dispatches, the Naval Chronicles, family letters. -- Patrick O'brian
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Likings arise when one has no earthly reason for liking - the most wildly improbable marriages and uncommon friendship. -- Patrick O'brian
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I read novels with the utmost pertinaity. I look upon them - I look upon good novels - as a very valuable part of literature, conveying more exact and finely-distinguished knowledge of the human heart and mind than almost any other, with greater beadth and depth and fewer contraints. -- Patrick O'brian
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If I were a woman I should march out with a flaming torch and a sword; I should emasculate right and left. -- Patrick O'brian
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There is a systematic flocci-nauci-nihili-pilification of all other aspects of existence that angers me. -- Patrick O'brian
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He held up two fingers, in case a landman might not fully comprehend so great a number. -- Patrick O'brian
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Good only for destruction - has destroyed all that was valuable in the monarchy - is destroying France with daemonic energy - this tawdry, theatrical empire - a deeply vulgar man - nothing French about him - insane ambition - the whole world one squalid tyranny. His infamous treatment of the Pope! -- Patrick O'brian
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What was independence but a word? What did any form of government matter? Freedom: to do what? -- Patrick O'brian
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Come all you thoughtless young men,
a warning take by me
And never leave your happy homes
to sail the raging sea. -- Patrick O'brian
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Yet whether wisdom can be any more profitably pursued than happiness is a question. -- Patrick O'brian
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Nothing do I know of the law at all. But I do remember that the Bible likens human justice to a woman's unclean rag - quasi pannus menstruate - and I have little faith in truth as an immediate safeguard, in this world. -- Patrick O'brian
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There are strict rules in these matters, I find.' 'There were strict rules in the arena, too. Every gladiator had to have a sword, oh yes; but if it was Caligula he was to fight with, the sword was made of lead. -- Patrick O'brian
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A freewheeling mind can conceive a virtually infinite number of sequences, but just how that mind picks out and stores those that may perhaps be used later to deal with a given tension, a given situation, is far beyond my understanding. -- Patrick O'brian
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Put those pistols down at once,' he said coldly. 'Do not you know it is very rude to point a pistol at a person you do not mean to kill? For shame, Villiers. Where were you brought up? -- Patrick O'brian
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Puddings, my dear sir?' cried Graham.
Puddings. We trice 'em athwart the starboard gumbrils, when sailing by and large. -- Patrick O'brian
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Oh for women at sea to obviate the eternal crosscat-harpings,' he said to himself, 'to do away with the grumlinfuttocks, and to inject a little civilization, even of an equivocal nature, even at the risk of moral deviation. -- Patrick O'brian
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I very much dislike being interviewed by the kind of journalist who tries to dig into your private life. -- Patrick O'brian
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I slept as the person in Plutarch that ran from Marathon to Athens without a pause would have slept if he had not fallen dead, the creature. -- Patrick O'brian
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. . . nunc et in hora mortis nostrae,' he repeated yet again, and felt the lap of water on his foot. He looked up. The people had gone; the pyre was no more than a dark patch with the sea hissing in its embers; and he was alone. The tide was rising fast. -- Patrick O'brian
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That would be locking the horse after the stable door is gone, a very foolish thing to do. -- Patrick O'brian
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Man is a deeply illogical being, and must be ruled illogically. Whatever that frigid prig Bentham may say, there are innumerable motives that have nothing to do with utility. -- Patrick O'brian
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The Navy speaks in symbols and you may suit what meaning you choose to the words. -- Patrick O'brian
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The newly-minted captain admits the irony between the gold on his shoulders and the lack of gold in his pockets. -- Patrick O'brian
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The newly-minted captain is told to let nothing stop him but to do nothing that would risk his ship or his crew. -- Patrick O'brian
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There is so much ignorant prejudice against bees in a dining-room. -- Patrick O'brian
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I have never yet known a man admit that he was either rich or asleep. -- Patrick O'brian
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He cannot hold his wine; he has no head for it. Why, on no more than three glasses, for I absolutely poured him out no more, he was on the point of singing Yankee Doodle. Yankee Doodle, in a King's ship, upon my sacred honour! -- Patrick O'brian
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Clap on with both hands, sir - never say die - one more heave and we're home, safe and dry. -- Patrick O'brian
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Killick was a cross-grained bastard, who supposed that if he sprinkled his discourse with a good many sirs, the words in between did not signify: -- Patrick O'brian
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Take a newspaper account of Waterloo or Trafalgar, with all the small advertisements: it seems much more real than reading about it in a history book. -- Patrick O'brian
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Nelson once said that love of his country served him for a greatcoat. -- Patrick O'brian
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About my books, that's all that I think the public has, in its normal way, to know. My private life is, by definition, private. -- Patrick O'brian
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Touch and away, Jack?' asked Stephen. 'Touch and away? Do you not recall that I have important business there? Enquiries of the very first interest?'

To do with our enterprise? To do with this voyage?'

Perhaps not quite directly. -- Patrick O'brian
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Still, the farther hills remained as untouched as the sea; high, remote, arid, dark and sterile, poisoned with the sun. -- Patrick O'brian
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You can't be happy if you're not tolerably happy with yourself. The addition of friends adds immeasurably to life. -- Patrick O'brian
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Better than a shove in the eye with a dry stick. [- Jack] -- Patrick O'brian
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Stephen came on deck reflecting with satisfaction upon his sloth, now a parlour-boarder with the Irish Franciscans at Rio, and a secret drinker of the altar-wine. -- Patrick O'brian
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In my case, I write in the past because I'm not really part of the present. I have nothing valid to say about anything current, though I have something to say about what existed then. -- Patrick O'brian
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Jack had never been a hypocrite until he became a father, and even now it did not come easy. -- Patrick O'brian
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From a misanthrope Bacchus makes me sociable ... Yet on the other hand I had already bowed and smiled; I had performed at least the motions of complaisancy; and how often have I not observed that the imitation begets the reality. -- Patrick O'brian
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Why there you are, Stephen,' cried Jack. 'You are come home, I find.'
That is true,' said Stephen with an affectionate look: he prized statements of this kind in Jack. -- Patrick O'brian
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Oh, what is that bird?'
'It is a wheatear. We have seen between two and three hundred since we set out, and I have told you their name twice, nay, three times. -- Patrick O'brian
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men strike out their permanent characters; or have those characters struck into them -- Patrick O'brian
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The more a victory cost, the more it was esteemed. -- Patrick O'brian
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For a moment Jack felt the strongest inclination to snatch up his little gilt chair and beat the white-faced man down with it ... -- Patrick O'brian
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I am in favour of leaving people alone, however imperfect their polity may seem. It appears to me that you must not tell other nations how to set their house in order; nor must you compel them to be happy. -- Patrick O'brian
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Would you expect a mutiny?' 'Mutiny in the sense of outright revolt and refusal of command? No. But from some of the people I expect muttering, discontent, ill-will; and nothing makes work slower or more inefficient or more unsafe than ill-will and its perpetual quarrels. -- Patrick O'brian
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I am not master of words to tell you, Jack, the value of an exceedingly remote island to a naturalist, an uninhabited fertile volcanic island covered with a luxuriant vegetation, with no vile rats, dogs, cats, goats, swine, introduced by fools to destroy an Eden, an island untouched ... -- Patrick O'brian
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The sensation of falling into the past is not unlike that of coming home for the holidays. -- Patrick O'brian
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Go and see whether the Doctor is about,' said Jack, 'and if he is, ask him to look in, when he has a moment.'
Which he is in the fish-market, turning over some old-fashioned lobsters. No. I tell a lie. That is him, falling down the companion-way and cursing in foreign. -- Patrick O'brian
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Any innocent pleasure is a real good: there are not so many of them. -- Patrick O'brian
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Surely man in general is born to be oppressed or solitary, if he is to be fully human; -- Patrick O'brian
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Diana accepted the bait, spat out the hook with contempt, and hurried away to the stables to consult with Thomas, -- Patrick O'brian
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Wittles is up' said Killick -- Patrick O'brian
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For very strangely his officers looked upon Jack Aubrey as a moral figure, in spite of all proofs of the contrary ... -- Patrick O'brian
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And although in many cases these unions proved happy enough, sailors being excellent husbands, often away and handy about the house when ashore, it did make for a curious gathering when the spouses were invited to a ball. -- Patrick O'brian
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Well, damme, William, I am sorry: I am very sorry, indeed I am. But injustice is a rule of the service, as you know very well; and since you have to have a good deal of undeserved abuse, you might just as well have it from your friends. -- Patrick O'brian
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For me the process works best with no interruptions, no breaks in the steady application, no letters to be answered, very little social life, no holidays; it is therefore a form of happy imprisonment. -- Patrick O'brian
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When you're taking a fence on a horse, you don't think much; your body does all the thinking, and you're over or you're not over. It's much the same when you are doing a tricky thing with a pen. There are times when I'm writing very, very fast. -- Patrick O'brian
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I sew his ears on from time to time, sure. -- Patrick O'brian
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What's wrong with (Captain) Jack Aubrey?"
"Everything, since he has a command and I have not. -- Patrick O'brian
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We understood one another better before ever I opened my mouth -- Patrick O'brian
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Where there was no equality there was no companionship: when a man was obliged to say 'Yes, sir,' his agreement was of no worth even if it happened to be true. -- Patrick O'brian
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Oh, there you are. I was afraid you had gone off to your stoats again. The carrier has brought you an ape.' 'What sort of an ape?' asked Stephen. 'A damned ill-conditioned sort of an ape. -- Patrick O'brian
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Rested, shaved, coffee'd, steaked, you will be a different man. -- Patrick O'brian
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Never mind manoeuvres, always go at them. -- Patrick O'brian
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It is unjust to provoke a man and then to complain he is a satyr if the provocation succeeds. You -- Patrick O'brian
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You have not bought the right to a truthful answer: your truth has not bought it. Sincerity is not to be bought: it is given, if it comes at all - given or inflicted. And really, you cannot invade a man's privacy like that. -- Patrick O'brian
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The function of the novel is the exploration of the human condition. Really, that's what it's all about. -- Patrick O'brian
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Let us drink to the renewed success of Irish arms, and confusion to the Pope. -- Patrick O'brian
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Take it easy, Teague,'said another. But Peter would not take it easy: he hesitated, trying to quell the wild indignation; but he failed; it possessed him, and with a furious shriek he hurled himself upon his country's oppressors. -- Patrick O'brian
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I say these damned things,' Jack went on, musing as they drank their bottle, 'and don't quite understand at the time, though I see people looking black as hell, and frowning, and my friends going "Pst, pst", and then I say to myself, "You're brought by the lee again, Jack. -- Patrick O'brian
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He reflected on his hitherto reflection that soldiers and sailors were, upon the whole, quite different creatures. 'And perhaps they are, too: yet perhaps drink, in very large quantities, may make the difference less evident. -- Patrick O'brian
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Jack, you've debauched my sloth. -- Patrick O'brian
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After all a book can be represented as a conversation with one's demon. -- Patrick O'brian
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He that would make a pun would pick a pocket. -- Patrick O'brian
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It all gave a pleasant illusion of eternity, this quiet sailing under a perfect sky towards a horizon perpetually five miles ahead, never nearer. -- Patrick O'brian
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Most men find [peace] entirely unlike what they had expected - like love... -- Patrick O'brian
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Sheep ain't poetical. -- Patrick O'brian
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Wondering just how Mr Church thought he had deserved anything short of impalement, Stephen walked into the cabin. -- Patrick O'brian
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The sea has receded!' cried Stephen. 'I am amazed.' 'They tell me it does so twice a day in these parts,' said Jack. 'It is technically known as the tide. -- Patrick O'brian
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How wonderfully strange,' he thought, 'to be upset by this trifle; yet I am upset. -- Patrick O'brian
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What are bashed neeps?"
"Neeps hackit with balmagowry. -- Patrick O'brian
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A virtuous esculent! -- Patrick O'brian
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I've come down from the mountains, with an ass-full of specimens... -- Patrick O'brian
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I have never written for an audience. On the other hand I do not write merely to please myself. -- Patrick O'brian
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Come athwart my hawse and I shall ride you down, you half-baked son of an Egyptian fart,' to a wool-gathering jolly-boat; and art echoed from either shore. -- Patrick O'brian
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Invincible ignorance could not be enlightened; and -- Patrick O'brian
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How much better a man feels when he is mixed with halibut and leg of mutton and roebuck -- Patrick O'brian
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Jack and Stephen were neither of them human until the first pot of coffee was down, hot and strong. -- Patrick O'brian
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There are some midshipmen who will never have the decency to lie down and die, whatever the circumstances. Because they are born to be hanged, no doubt,' added the lieutenant darkly. -- Patrick O'brian
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I wonder, James, whether it is not too easy for a rich man to despise money -- Patrick O'brian
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Should I feel better if I were to vomit?' asked Jagiello. 'I doubt it,' said Stephen. 'It has done nothing for the Colonel. -- Patrick O'brian
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We are always the most violent against those whom we have injured. -- Patrick O'brian
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Other people's marriages are a perpetual source of amazement. -- Patrick O'brian
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I know of few men over 50 that seem to me entirely human, virtually none who has long exercised authority. -- Patrick O'brian
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No man born of woman has ever understood spoken Portuguese. -- Patrick O'brian
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The back of my hand to guilt. -- Patrick O'brian
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all that wretched schoolmastering.' 'On some it acts like a poison, making them unfit for the society of grown men. -- Patrick O'brian
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aboard ship, and then hard tack, salt-horse, -- Patrick O'brian
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Trollops are capital things in port, but will not do at sea. -- Patrick O'brian
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You do not mean there is danger of peace?, cried Jack. -- Patrick O'brian
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My wife and I have spent most of our lives in France, and we are both pretty well bilingual, my wife more purely than I, since as a little girl she went to school in French Switzerland. -- Patrick O'brian
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Lord Nelson's maxim 'Never mind manoeuvres: always go straight at 'em. -- Patrick O'brian
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The words 'Very finely played, sir, I believe' were formed in his gullet if not in his mouth when he caught the cold and indeed inimical look and heard the whisper, 'If you really must beat the measure, sir, let me entreat you to do so in time, and not half a beat ahead. -- Patrick O'brian
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On a ship, everything is enclosed: the people are right on top of each other and can't get up and walk away. -- Patrick O'brian
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Since I grew up, I have never deliberately used any technique at all other than the physical shaping of my tale so that it more or less resembles what has been thought of as a novel for these last two hundred years. -- Patrick O'brian
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Stephen had spared no expense in making himself more unhappy, his own position as a rejected lover clearer. -- Patrick O'brian
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For my own part,' said Captain Aubrey, 'I have no notion of disliking a man for his beliefs, above all if he was born with them. I find I can get along very well with Jews or even ... ' The P of Papists was already formed, and the word was obliged to come out as Pindoos. -- Patrick O'brian
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The pleasant thing about fighting with the Spaniards, Mr Ellis,' said Jack, smiling at his great round eyes and solemn face, 'is not that they are shy, for they are not, but that they are never, never ready. -- Patrick O'brian
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It must be a weary life, being in a permanent state of rage or at least at half-cock. -- Patrick O'brian
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The lookout that first sights the cat shall have ten guineas and remission of sins, short of mutiny, sodomy, or damaging the paintwork. -- Patrick O'brian
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Wit is the unexpected copulation of ideas. -- Patrick O'brian
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Jack, you have debauched my sloth. -- Patrick O'brian
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Wallis,' said Maturin, 'I am happy to see you. How is your penis? -- Patrick O'brian
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He was conscientious, he did his duty as he understood it; but he was no seaman. -- Patrick O'brian
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Compulsion is the death of friendship. -- Patrick O'brian
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Sometimes you receive a knock in action: it may be your death-wound or just a scratch -- Patrick O'brian
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For Captain Aubrey, as for the rest of brute creation, there were only two kinds of birds, the edible and the inedible. -- Patrick O'brian
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It has always seemed to me that books are the supreme decorations of a room -- Patrick O'brian
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I have often observed that extremely violent noise and activity go with good-fellowship and heightened spirits. -- Patrick O'brian
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Although wealth may not bring happiness, the immediate prospect of it provides a wonderfully close imitation. -- Patrick O'brian
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It is a great while since I felt the grind of bone under my saw,' he added, smiling with anticipation. -- Patrick O'brian
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I am so happy that you saw your epop. -- Patrick O'brian
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There never was a ship that fought well without she was a happy ship. -- Patrick O'brian
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The author says that when an angry impulse is not immediately expressed, it turns to melancholy. -- Patrick O'brian
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But when a man puts on maturity and invulnerability, it seems that he necessarily becomes indifferent to many things that gave him joy. -- Patrick O'brian
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In a day when, if you insulted a man it might cost you your life, you were probably more civil. -- Patrick O'brian
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I am opposed to authority, that egg of misery and oppression; I am opposed to it largely for what it does to those who exercise it. -- Patrick O'brian
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What was independence but a w<>ong>oong>rd? What did any f<>ong>oong>rm <>ong>oong>f g<>ong>oong>vernment matter? Freed<>ong>oong>m: t<>ong>oong> d<>ong>oong> what? -- Patrick O'brian