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Patrick O'Brian, CBE (12 December 1914 – 2 January 2000), born Richard Patrick Russ, was an English novelist and translator, best known for his Aubrey–Maturin series of novels set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars.
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- "Come," he said, taking her by the hand and leading her to a distant sopha, "come and sit by me, and let us talk of bats."
- The Unknown Shore (1959).
- "And pray, what in sea language is meant by a ship?"
- "She must have three square-rigged masts, sir," they told him kindly, "and a bowsprit; and the masts must be in three - lower, top and topgallant - for we never call a polacre a ship."
- Master and Commander (1970)
- "... He is not very sharp in some ways; and in his simple view of the world, paederasts are dangerous only to powder-monkeys and choir boys, or to those epicene creatures that are to be found in Mediterranean brothels. I made circuitous attempt at enlightening him a little, but he looked very knowing and said, 'Don't tell me about rears and vices; I have been in the Navy all my life.'"
- "Then surely he must be wanting a little in penetration?"
- "James, I trust there was no mens rea in that remark?"
- Master and Commander (1970) ("rears and vices" is O'Brian's homage to Jane Austen's Mansfield Park)
- “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.”
- Post Captain (1972)
- "Jack,you have debauched my sloth."
- HMS Surprise (1973)
- "My God, oh my God," he said. "Six hundred men."
- Desolation Island (1979)
- “Other people's marriages are a perpetual source of amazement.”
- The Commodore (1995)