Quotes from The Mauritius Command

Patrick O'Brian ·  365 pages

Rating: (11.4K votes)


“Why, sir," said he, looking about him, "what splendour I see: gold lace, breeches, cocked hats. Allow me to recommend a sandwich. And would you be contemplating an attack, at all?"
"It had crossed my mind, I must admit," said Jack. "Indeed, I may go so far as to say, that I am afraid a conflict is now virtually inevitable. Did you notice we have cleared for action?”
― Patrick O'Brian, quote from The Mauritius Command


“...for very strangely his officers looked upon Jack Aubrey as a moral figure, in spite of all proofs of the contrary...”
― Patrick O'Brian, quote from The Mauritius Command


“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, quote from The Mauritius Command


“Within himself Jack had not the slightest doubt of victory, but it would never do to let this conviction take the form of even unspoken words; it must remain in the state of that inward glow which had inhabited him ever since the retaking of the Africaine, and which had now increased to fill the whole of his heart - a glow that he believed to be his most private secret, although in fact it was evident to everyone aboard from Stephen Maturin to the adenoidal third-class boy who closed the muster-book.”
― Patrick O'Brian, quote from The Mauritius Command


“Not that I mean the least fling against men who have won a great fleet action - it is right and proper that THEY should be peers - but when you look at the mass of titles, tradesmen, dirty politicians, moneylenders...why, I had as soon be plain Jack Aubrey - Captain Jack Aubrey, for I am as proud as Nebuchadnezzar of my service rank, and if ever I hoist my flag, I shall paint HERE LIVES ADMIRAL AUBREY on the front of Ashgrove Cottage in huge letters.”
― Patrick O'Brian, quote from The Mauritius Command



“But it appears to me that for our patient truth is what he can persuade others to believe: yet at the same time he is a man of some parts, and I suspect that were you to attack him through his reason, were you to persuade him to abandon this self-defeating practice, with its anxiety, its probability of detection, and to seek only a more legitimate approval, then we should have no need for belladonna or any other anhidrotic.”
― Patrick O'Brian, quote from The Mauritius Command


“Why, the devil, do you see,' said Jack, 'is the seam between the deck-planking and the timbers, and we call it the devil, because it is the /devil/ for the caulkers to come at: in full we say, the devil to pay and no pitch hot; and what we mean is, that there is something hell-fire difficult to be done - must be done - and nothing to do it with. It is a figure.”
― Patrick O'Brian, quote from The Mauritius Command


“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, quote from The Mauritius Command


“On the one hand he derived his notion of himself as a lord from people who have had to cringe these many generations to hold on to the odd patch of land that is their only living; and on the other, though half belonging to them, he has been bred up to despise their religion, their language, their poverty, their manners and traditions. A conquering race, in the place of that conquest, is rarely amiable; the conquerors pay less obviously than the conquered, but perhaps in time they pay even more heavily, in the loss of the humane qualities. Hard, arrogant, profit-seeking adventurers flock to the spoil, and the natives, though outwardly civil, contemplate them with a resentment mingled with contempt, while at the same time respecting the face of conquest – acknowledging their greater strength.”
― Patrick O'Brian, quote from The Mauritius Command


“It was quite unlike their friendly discourse of some days before, and presently Stephen grew sadly bored: lies or half-lies, he reflected, had a certain value in that they gave a picture of what the man would wish to seem; but a very few were enough for that. And then they had a striving, aggressive quality, as though the listener had to be bludgeoned into admiration; they were the antithesis of conversation.”
― Patrick O'Brian, quote from The Mauritius Command



About the author

Patrick O'Brian
Born place: in Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire, The United Kingdom
Born date December 12, 1914
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