“No; they nearly drowned you, and not even on purpose but only through carelessness. I am not letting them have you back,” Temeraire said.”
“[Maximus] put his head down and said in a conspiratorial whisper, “Tell Temeraire that Lily and I have not forgotten our promise; we will not let them hang you at all."
Laurence stared up at the immense Regal Copper. All his crew looked deeply distressed, as well they might, the outlaw remark being perfectly audible several clearings over.”
“Elsie eyed him puzzledly, and then offered, "Would you like to see my plate?”
“I should like to know if he has sunk a frigate, alone, with a Fleur-de-Nuit on his back; and as for distinction, my ancestors were scholars in China while his were starving in pits.”
“We are not going to be herded anywhere we do not like,” [Temeraire] said, dangerously, “by Napoleon or by your admirals; and if you like to ask the other dragons of the Corps to try it, I expect they will see at once how very foolish it is, and if not, I will explain it to them, and I daresay they will join us instead.”
“Darby, sir, but Janus they call me,” the seaman said, “on account of a surgeon we shipped in the Sophie, a learned bloke, saying I saw both ways like some old Roman cut-up by that name.”
“He could not help a certain resentment that a conscience seemed to be so very expensive, and yet had no substantial form which one might admire, and display to one’s company.”
“And to crown the whole, you must needs come back and make a martyr of yourself, so now anyone who cares a farthing for your life must watch you hanged; that is, if they do not decide to make a spectacle of it and draw and quarter you in the fine old style. I suppose you would go to it like Harrison, 'as cheerful as any man could do in that condition.' Well, I should not be damned cheerful, and neither should anyone else who loved you, and some of them can knock down half of London Town if they should choose.”
“He settled for writing a letter, in a quiet corner, while Temeraire dictated his own:
"Gentlemen, I am very happy to accept your commission, and we should like to be the eighty-first regiment, if that number is not presently taken. We do not need any rifles, and we have got plenty of powder and shot for our cannons,” Laurence wrote with a vivid awareness of the reactions this should produce, “but we are always in need of more cows and picks and sheep, and goats would also do, if a good deal easier to come by. Lloyd and our herdsmen have done very well, and I should to commend them to your attention, but there are a lot of us, and some more herdsmen would be very useful.”
“Pepper, put in pepper,” another dragon said, craning her head over; she was a middle-weight, yellowish striped with gray, some kind of cross-breed. “And canvas, we must have a lot of canvas—“
“Oh, very well, pepper,” Temeraire said, and continuing his list of requests added, “I should very much like Keynes to come here, and also Gong Su, and Emily Roland, who has my talon-sheaths, and the rest of my crew; and also we need some surgeons for the wounded me. Dorset had better come, too, and some of the other dragon-surgeons. You had all better not stay where you are at present—“
“Temeraire, you cannot write so to your superior officers,” Laurence said, breaking off.”
“He coiled himself neatly and waited without fidgeting, as was polite; but at length, when Majestatis showed no signs of waking—after ten minutes, or perhaps five—very nearly five—Temeraire coughed; then he coughed again, a little more emphatically, and Majestatis sighed and said, without opening his eyes, “So you are not leaving, I suppose?”
“Oh,” Temeraire said, his ruff prickling, “I thought you were only sleeping, not ignoring me deliberately; I will go at once.”
“Well, you might as well stay now,” Majestatis said, lifting his head and yawning himself away. “I don’t bother to wake up if it isn’t important enough to wait for, that’s all.”
“You are not wrong," Laurence said. He had assumed as much himself, after all, in his Navy days: had thought the Corps full of wild, devil-may-care libertines, disregarding law and authority as far as they dared, barely kept in check-- to be used for their control over the beasts, and not respected.
"But if we have more liberty than we ought," Laurence said, after a moment, struggling through, "it is because they have not enough: the dragons. They have no stake in victory but our happiness; their daily bread and nation would give them just to have peace and quiet. We are given licence so long as we do what we ought not; so long as we use their affections to keep them obedient and quiet, to ends which serve them not at all-- or which harm."
"How else do you make them care?" Granby said. "If we left off, the French would only run right over us, and take our eggs themselves."
"They care in China," Laurence said, "and in Africa, and they care all the more, that their rational sense is not imposed on, and their hearts put into opposition with their minds. If they cannot be woken to a natural affection for their country, such as we feel, it is our fault, and not theirs.”
“your own individual life is the value and its own end, and what you achieve is yours. “Only you can achieve self-worth for yourself. Any group offering it to you, or demanding it of you, comes bearing chains of slavery.”
“Morning Star log, Nov. 24. Ain’t got nothing good to say. Seas still high. Black clouds out there and black clouds in my mind. To hell with this. To hell with everything.”
“...poor examples because of mechanical needs of typing, of the flow of river sounds, words, dark, leading to the future and attesting to the madness, hollowness, ring and roar of my mind which blessed or unblessed is where trees sing -- in a funny wind -- well-being believes he'll go to heaven -- a word to the wise is enough -- 'Smart went Crazy”
“Solo allora saprai che qualsiasi strada è solo una strada, e che non c'è nessun affronto, a se stessi o agli altri, nel lasciarla andare se questo è ciò che il tuo cuore ti dice di fare. Ma il tuo desiderio di insistere sulla strada o di abbandonarla deve essere libero dalla paura e dall'ambizione. Ti avverto. Guarda ogni strada attentamente e deliberatamente. Mettila alla prova tutte le volte che lo ritieni necessario. Quindi poni a te stesso, e a te stesso soltanto, una domanda. Questa è una domanda posta solo da un uomo molto vecchio. Il mio benefattore me l'ha detta una volta quando ero giovane, e il mio sangue era troppo vigoroso perché la comprendessi. Ora la comprendo. Ti dirò cosa è: questa strada ha un cuore? Tutte le strade sono uguali; non portano da nessuna parte. Sono strade che passano attraverso la boscaglia o che vanno nella boscaglia. Nella mia vita posso dire di aver percorso strade lunghe, molto lunghe, ma io non sono da nessuna parte. La domanda del mio benefattore ha adesso un significato. Questa strada ha un cuore? Se lo ha, la strada è buona. Se non lo ha, non serve a niente. Entrambe le strade non portano da nessuna parte; ma una ha un cuore e l'altra no. Una porta a un viaggio lieto; finché la segui sei una sola cosa con essa. L'altra ti farà maledire la tua vita. Una ti rende forte. L'altra ti indebolisce.”
“It was not a day to remember; it was a day to forget...the memory of it could not pass soon enough.”
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