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Treason's Harbour

From: John Finneran
Sent: Sunday, July 07, 2002 6:30 PM
Subject: GRP: TH: Stephen's First Love

Beginning our group read discussion of Treason's Harbour:

There's an intriguing passage on pp. 25 - 26 (Norton pb):

"He [Stephen] watched her [Laura Fielding] with curiosity, and with something more than that. For one thing she reminded him strongly of his first love: she had the same build, rather small but as slim and straight as a rush, and the same striking dark red hair; and by a very singular coincidence she too had arranged it so that a touchingly elegant nape was to be seen, and an ear with a delicate curve. For another she had shown him particular attention."

PO'B has told us very little of Stephen's mysterious first love, other than the passage above, and some more intriguing hints from Master and Commander (p. 52):

"The sun had reached Dr Maturin ten minutes earlier, for he was a good deal higher up: he, too, stirred and turned away, for he too had slept uneasily. But the brilliance prevailed. He opened his eyes and stared about very stupidly: a moment before he had been so solidly, so warmly and happily in Ireland, with a girl's hand under his arm, that his waking mind could not take in the world he saw. Her touch was still firm upon his arm and even her scent was there: vaguely he picked at the crushed leaves under him -- dianthus perfragrans. The scent was reclassified -- a flower, and nothing more -- and the ghostly contact, the firm print of fingers, vanished. His face reflected the most piercing unhappiness, and his eyes misted over. He had been exceedingly attached; and she was so bound up with that time...

"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."

As far as I can see, Stephen's first love is mentioned only once more, in The Thirteen Gun Salute (tiny Spoiler ahead):

"I was terribly low in those days, after the obvious, inevitable failure of the rising, the infamous conduct of so very, very many people, and of course the loss of Mona; to say nothing of the intolerable miseries in France and the destruction of all our sanguine generous youthful hopes." (p. 89)

From which we learn that her name was Mona, and that she was "lost", though what this means is unclear: Dead perhaps (explaining the "ghostly contact" in M & C)?

One particularly interesting aspect of the TH passage is the description of Mona as "straight as a rush". This is a phrase from the United Irishman test that Stephen discusses with James Dillon in M & C:

"Are you straight? I am. How straight? As straight as a rush. Go on then. In truth, in trust, in unity and liberty. What have you got in your hand? A green bough. Where did it first grow? In America. Where did it bud? In France. Where are you going to plant it? In the crown of Great Britain." (p. 171)

and Stephen uses the phrase again as he discusses with Dillon the failed Irish rising of 1798:

"Because I had to convince him [his cousin Edward Ftizgerald] that his plans [for a rising] were disastrously foolish, that they were known to the Castle and that he was surrounded by traitors and informers ... Poor Edward! Straight as a rush; and so many of them around him were as crooked as men can well be -- Reynolds, Corrigan, Davis ... Oh, it was pitiful." (p. 172)

John Finneran


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Sunday, July 07, 2002 6:45 PM
Subject: Re: GRP: TH: Stephen's First Love

on 7/7/02 9:30 PM, John Finneran at John.Finneran@PILEOFSHIRTS.COM wrote:

As far as I can see, Stephen's first love is mentioned only once more, in The Thirteen Gun Salute

I do believe that there is a fourth reference to Maturin's first love, a quite oblique reference. I quite forget the context or the book, but Sir Joseph and somebody else are discussing Maturin as an agent, and the somebody else person hints that there may have been a question as to Stephen being homosexual, and Sir J says something to the effect that "we" were worried about that too but we found that he had been in love, and that it ended tragically, "of course."

Charlezzzzz


From: John Finneran
Sent: Monday, July 08, 2002 1:11 AM
Subject: Re: GRP: TH: Stephen's First Love

Quite right, it's from H.M.S. Surprise, p. 87. Sir Joseph is discussing Stephen with a Mr. Waring.

Mr. Waring asks: "Is he romantic in the common sense?"

Sir J. replies, "No. So chaste indeed that at one time we were uneasy: Old Subtlety was particularly disturbed. There was one liaision, however, and that set our minds at rest. A young woman of very good family: it ended unhappy, of course."

I'd forgotten about this reference, but I think I had it somewhere in the back of my mind.

The liaison could possibly be Diana (this is after their first separation), but I think it more likely refers to Mona, partly from the context (J and W had been discussing Stephen's activities form the '98 rising) and partly from the language about a "very good family": again, this could possibly be a reference to Diana's family, but it seems over-stated: the Williams family was respectable, possibly even what Sir J would call "good family", but probably not "very good family".

What's particularly revealing about this passage (assuming it's about Mona) is that "it ended unhappy" seems a very odd bit of phrasing if Mona had died (I knew I had a reason for thinking Mona had not died, despite the hints in the other passages in my earlier e-mail, but I couldn't remember what it was): what it seems to imply is that Mona threw Stephen over because of his own inferior family background.

Now if Mona and Stephen separated for a reason besides Mona's death, we have to wonder what that reason was; for all the passages show the separation as irrevocable, with Stephen giving no consideration to attempting a reunion, even though we know the enormous obstacles that didn't deter him in the case of Diana (e.g., repeated rejection, taking up with his best friend, apparently marrying another man, moving to the other end of the world, the passage of years, etc.).

Sir J's implication about irreconciliable differences in social backgrounds looks possible, but my guess is that there is something more; and what I thought it was was something to do with the '98 rising and its aftermath: that Mona had committed some act of betrayal of Stephen or some of the other United Irishman;

however, I'm now revising my speculation, based on the "straight as a rush" passage I previously quoted, which implies that Mona was a true believer in the Irish republican cause: so perhaps the break had to do with Stephen being insufficiently supportive of the rising.

John Finneran


From: Rosemary Davis
Sent: Monday, July 08, 2002 1:55 PM
Subject: Mona

I have always believed that Mona, Maturin's early love, had died, but I don't have any evidence to support that belief. -RD

If they suspect me of intelligence, I am sure it will soon blow over (TFOW, p.184)


From: Robin Welch
Sent: Monday, July 08, 2002 9:01 PM
Subject: Re: Mona

In M&C, somewhat after Stephen awakens from his dream about Mona (at that time, unnamed), he sees the Sophie sailing away (Jack's little test drive) and is despondent. The text says something like Stephen couldn't bear yet another disappointment. That MIGHT be interpreted as indicating that Mona was one of the disappointments in Stephen's life, as opposed to being a tragedy in Stephen's life.

The theme of a love moving over to an opposing political stance might have been in it, as, I think, John Finneran suggested. Remember, say, the oldest daughter's boyfriend in "The Sound of Music" who went over to the Nazis, and wasn't there a character in Doctor Zhivago? Pasha? Lara's husband? He chooses politics before love. I know the genders are switched, but Stephen also comments to Dillon later that he, Stephen has become a pacifist now. Perhaps because Mona chose another path, or while Mona chose another path? And perhaps Mona refused to bend?

Robin


From: Pete the Surgeons Mate
Sent: Tuesday, July 09, 2002 12:15 PM
Subject: Re: Mona

Why, HMS Coincidence strikes again! Only an hour or so ago I was dreaming of TSOM. An Austrian lady in a weird head-dress was terrorising my dreams and there were definite links.

But Rolf never "went over". He was always there, trading furtive Heils with Herr Zeller to start with, but by the end he was all but goose-stepping.

What a rat.

He had a great song, though. I loved that performance in the summerhouse. And the love scene was mirrored later with Georg and Maria. Another great song.

Come to think of it, they were all great. Remember the film "The Postman", by one of Astrid's mates? A penal battalion of toughened renegados would sit quietly each night to watch the tattered old film. Singalong Sound of Music was a big hit here last year, with the audience traipsing along in their dirndls if not wetterflecks to chorus along with the cast. Great family fun!

Peter, keeping a watchful eye out for Rolf, now that his daughter Maria is sixteen going on seventeen.


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Tuesday, July 09, 2002 12:29 PM
Subject: Re: Mona

Keep a sharp look out for Bachelor Dandies-drinkers of Brandies

nudge nudge wink wink.

alec

53 23 N 006 35 W


From: John Finneran
Sent: Sunday, July 07, 2002 6:34 PM
Subject: GRP: TH: Jack's Joke

From Treason's Harbour, p. 141:

"'Smoked it at once,' repeated Jack, smiing peasantly as the possibility of a brilliant play on the words cannon and smoke hovered in his mind. Yet even as he turned the matter over it was eclipsed by an even better thing. 'But perhaps Rowan is a second Bossuet,' he said. His deep, fruity intensely amused laugh filled the cabin, filled the after part of the Dromedary, and echoed forward; he went scarlet in the face, and redder still. Killick and Stephen stood looking at him, grinning in spite of themselves, until his breat was gone; and reduced to a wheeze he wiped his eyes and stood up, still murmuring 'A second Bossuet. Oh Lord...'"

I'm sure there's something funny in here, but I can't figure it out. Can anyone explain Jack's joke?

John Finneran


From: Pete the Surgeons Mate
Sent: Sunday, July 07, 2002 4:30 PM
Subject: Re: GRP: TH: Jack's Joke

No, but linking Bossuet and joke is fruitful:

"A celebrated French bishop and pulpit orator, born at Dijon, 27 September, 1627, died at Paris, 12 April, 1704. For more than a century his ancestors, both paternal and maternal, had occupied judicial functions. He was the fifth son of Beneigne Bossuet, a judge in theParliament of Dijon, and Madeleine Mouchet. He began his classical studies in the Collège des Godrans, conducted by the Jesuits, in Dijon, and, on his father's appointment to a seat in the Parliament of Metz, he was left in his native town, under the care of his uncle, Claude Bossuet d'Aiseray, a renowned scholar. His extraordinary ardour for study gave occasion to the schoolboy joke, deriving his name from Bos suetus aratro."

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02698b.htm


From: Batrinque@AOL.COM
Sent: Sunday, July 07, 2002 4:32 PM
Subject: Re: GRP: TH: Jack's Joke

No, I don't claim to have smoked it at all. Per Gary Brown's admirable PASC, Jacques-Beigne Bossuet (1627-1704) was a renowned orator whose powers of persuasion are said to have converted many Protestants to Catholicism as well as being a deeply admired literary stylist. But why the thought of Rowan being another Bossuet would produce such merriment in Jack is beyond me. At first I thought it might be due to some mispronunciation of the name ("suet" ain't in it) but Stephen had just mentioned the French theologian's name, so I doubt if that is it.

Bruce Trinque
41°37'52"N 72°22'29"W


From: Rosemary Davis
Sent: Sunday, July 07, 2002 6:01 PM
Subject: GRP: TH: Jack's Joke

Is Rowan not the second lieutenant? -RD

If they suspect me of intelligence, I am sure it will soon blow over (TFOW, p.184)


From: Anthony Gary Brown
Sent: Tuesday, July 09, 2002 11:31 AM
Subject: The Bossuet Joke

I too find this puzzling. But I think I also read it a tad differently. I don't think that 'Rowan as a second Bossuet' *is* the joke - I think it's the prelude to a punchline that amuses Jack so much that he never quite gets it out. And the punchline might be something to do with the original matter - ie that Rowan's waxing poetical doesn't always go over the heads of sea officers.

Gary
recalling the frustration of writing PASC on those several instances when I could find the man, but not the point of the reference................


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2002 9:05 AM
Subject: GRPRead:TH - dreaded epaulettes

I tried to follow the threads posted by the great and the good in their discussions of 'Commander' Ranks in the Royal Navy of the 19th Century and also their epaullette entitlement but I fear I was left floundering(somewhere off the coast Southhampton-outward journey)

And now I'm even more confused.

Page 9(harper)-on Pullings promotion

..'but he would willingly have suffered ten times the pain and disfigurement for the golden epaulettes that he kept glancing at with a secret smile,while his hand perpetually strayed to the one or to the other.'

Pullings had been promoted to 'the very lowest of those entitled to be called Captain,and that only by courtesy'

Was he entitled to two epaulettes, for all love?

alec

53 23 N 006 35 W


From: Ted
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2002 10:05 AM
Subject: Re: GRPRead:TH - dreaded epaulettes

Afterv 1812 Master & Commander rank had two epaulettes, while the true Post Captain also had two, but with anchors on &, after three years an anchor & even a crown for all love.

Ted

(With thanks to Tom Lewis RAN)


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2002 11:44 AM
Subject: Re: GRPRead:TH - dreaded epaulettes

Is that a 'yes' or a 'no' to my question (for all love)


From: Larry & Wanda Finch
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2002 11:53 AM
Subject: Re: GRPRead:TH - dreaded epaulettes

Some deduction is required to get the answer. If Pullings promotion was after 1812, then he was entitled to two.

Larry

--
Larry Finch

N 40° 53' 47"
W 74° 03' 56"


From: Ted
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2002 12:05 PM
Subject: Re: GRPRead:TH - dreaded epaulettes

Yes it is a yes for all love, if it was after 1812.

Ted

=====
"They are the scum of the earth, all enlisted for drink, but it is marvelous the fine fellows we have made them." Wellington (the Iron Duke) on his Army at Waterloo.
"After a battle lost the most melancholy thing is a battle won." Wellington on battlefields.
"I don't know what they do to the enemy, but they put the fear of God into me" Wellington on British soldiers.
At about: Lat: 10° 35'S Lon: 142° 13'E.
http://www.therainforestsite.com


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2002 12:02 PM
Subject: GRPRead:TH Jesus Mary and Joseph

'Jesus, Mary and Joseph' said Maturin (page 11)

'Wow what memories that evokes.

Ireland as you all know is a predominantly Catholic country. Nowadays most of us take Catholicism on an A la Carte basis. But in the 60's when I was growing up the Catholic Church and individual priests had amazing power (some of which they very sadly abused -but I digress)

The Second commandment was (is) 'Thou shalt not take the name of thy lord thy God in vain.

It with along the other eight (the one about thy neighbour's wife was skipped over for us squeakers) was drummed into us--and how.

Using the word 'Jesus' as a swear was, we were told a Mortal sin, and a MORTLAR as we used to call them, was one you could go to hell for eternity for!!

But it was forbidden fruit and therefore all the more challenging and rewarding to use.

At confession everybody's first sin was 'Bless me father for I have sinned I took the name of our lord in vain thirty times since my last confession.'

It was a three hail mary sin yep and you would say those hail Mary's rapid to make sure you were not going to an eternity of fire and brimstone for screaming 'Jesus' when the car ran over your toe.


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2002 12:09 PM
Subject: GRPRead:TH Jesus mary and Joseph

I got an error message on my last post nad I see that it was 'curtailed'

No more posting during the Dog Watch!


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2002 12:11 PM
Subject: GRPRead:TH Jesus mary and Joseph

And all sorts of corruptions were invented as obviously happened elsewhere- Jeepers (US) In Ireland (elsewhere??) Jayney and Jayneymac (because of accents Jesus is pronounced Jaysus in some areas-and it's used that way as a curse or exclamation throughout Ireland)

But my mother and I suppose her mother before her (both Atlantic shores people) and many other mothers had a way around this blasphemy problem and that was-simply to add 'Mary and Joseph' in as a tag-on,after your Initial Jesus outburst-thus making it an evocation or mini prayer.

JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH- ALEC if you don't stop messing with your food -you'll go straight to bed. The emphasis was very strongly on the ~JESUS

JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH don't tell me your watching TV and no homework done.

No sin! No Hell! No need for Confession, The Irish Mother's solution to a Catholic problem.

And the strange thing is that kids (nor Dads) ever really wanted to say Jesus Mary and Joseph it just wasn't cool -too girly.

Having said that it sounds totally natural to me in the context in which Stephen says itin TH and nowadays I often find myself saying it under my breathe kinda,

alec

(who writes opinions not facts)

And who gets opinions wrong very often, as his very rich bookie will confirm.


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2002 12:30 PM
Subject: Re: GRPRead:TH Jesus mary and Joseph

Sincere apologies for the truncated version of this post -for some reason the full message would not go through in one go-maybe the Gunroom has an upper limit bullshit threshold for each post!!

hehe

alec


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2002 1:19 PM
Subject: GRPRead: TH - Ballinasloe

Page 10/11

'You might say that Duns Scotus stands in much the same relationship to Aquinas as Kant to Leibnitz' said Graham, carrying on their earlier conversation'.

Sure,I have often heard that remark in Ballinasloe' said Maturin

Hehehe-The implied insult is biting -but Graham justs let's it pass

Mayo early 1800's -british rule

The local government is vested in a lieutenant, a vice-lieutenant, 32 deputy-lieutenants, and 124 magistrates; besides whom are the usual county officers, including four coroners. There are 46 constabulary police stations, having in the whole a force of a chief and sub-inspector, a paymaster, 9 chief and 42 subordinate constables, and 208 men, with 13 horses. Under the new arrangements of the constabulary police act, the residence of the chief inspector, and the headquarters of the police force of Connaught, are at Ballinrobe, and occupy the cavalry barrack there, in which all the young men and horses for the service of the province are to be trained.

Along the coast there are 18 coast-guard stations, 6 in the district of Westport, having a force of 6 officers and 52 men; 6 in that of Belmullet, with 3 officers and 37 men; and 6 in the district of Killala, with 6 officers and 50 men; each district is under the control of a resident inspecting commander. The county infirmary, at Castlebar, is supported by a government grant of £100 and by Grand Jury presentments of £500 per annum. The district lunatic asylum is at Ballinasloe, and there are dispensaries at Westport, Galway, Ballyhaunis, Cong, Erris, Ballina, Gallen, Carra, and Burrishoole, maintained by subscriptions and Grand Jury presentments in equal portions.'

Four lines from the bottom there you will see what Balinasloe was famous for in the 1800's -The main Lunatic asylum (as called at the time) for ALL of the province of Connaught.

Was O Brian aware of that? Maybe!

By the way I would much preferred Stephen's line if it was delivered thus....

Sure I have often heard that remark in Ballinasloe' (i.e.no comma)

When Susan lends me the original MSS I bet I will find that that is what O'Brian wrote-or else he just misheard Stephen.

alec


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2002 1:32 PM
Subject: Re: GRPRead: TH - Ballinasloe

Hehehe-The implied insult is biting -but Graham justs let's it pass

Sorry correction- not an insult but a little bit of a 'put down'.

alec

who you will be glad to hear will leave the lissuns alone for the rest of the day.


From: John Gosden
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2002 6:20 PM
Subject: Re: GRPRead: TH - Ballinasloe

Four lines from the bottom there you will see what Balinasloe was famous for in the 1800's -The main Lunatic asylum (as called at the time) for ALL of the province of Connaught.

Was O Brian aware of that? Maybe!

Surely he was, else the remark loses its edge.

--
John R. Gosden
7*51'59"N / 98*20'28"E


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2002 6:38 PM
Subject: Re: GRPRead: TH - Ballinasloe

But as Jean wrote some time ago--

quote

'I recall that Maturin mentions the town of Ballinasloe, more than once.

Is that a clue as to where he was fostered by a peasant family and learned Irish as his first language from his wet nurse?

The custom of fosterage goes far back in Irish history. Ballinasloe is in eastern Galway near the border with Westmeath. Oddly enough, 13 miles south-east of Ballinasloe, on the banks of the Shannon, is Clonfert, the site of a monastic settlement founded by St. Brendan the Navigator in 563.'

unquote

CLONFERT??? MY Lord!

alec

wheels within wheels


From: Anthony Gary Brown
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2002 9:11 PM
Subject: Re: GRPRead: TH - Ballinasloe

I think another lissus has siad that the remark doesn't quite ring unless POB *was* aware of the lunatic connotations. Certainly that add an extra dimension of spice - and well done Alec for digging it up - but I don't know that it is wholly necessary to the joke. Some years ago an academic colleague greeted the first sentence of a newly offered piece "Postmodernity is now a household word in Britain....." with 'Not in Kirkby-under-Lonsdale it's not..........". Collapse of stout party.

Gary
who thinks there's rather more postmodernism than postmodernity.......


From: John Gosden
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2002 6:14 PM
Subject: Re: GRPRead: TH - Ballinasloe

Gary
who thinks there's rather more postmodernism than postmodernity.......

And more deconstructionalism than either
--
John R. Gosden
7*51'59"N / 98*20'28"E


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2002 2:41 AM
Subject: Re: GRPRead: TH - Ballinasloe-Napoleon connection

Anthony Gary Brown wrote

I think another lissus has siad that the remark doesn't quite ring unless POB *was* aware of the lunatic connotations. Certainly that add an extra dimension of spice - and well done Alec for digging it up - but I don't know that it is wholly necessary to the joke.

(1) I don't really deserve much credit for 'digging' it up. Ballinasloe to this day houses the main 'Home for Mentally Ill'for the area and residents of the town often get remarks like -'Oh your from Ballinasloe -that explains it' or some such. My only task was to establish that such was the casen early 1800's.

(2) I agree that the 'lunatic' connotation is not necessary for the joke and if asked I would choose I would have to 'plump' for the concept that it is just a co incidence.

Four books earlier in Mauritius Command -the following passage occurs(Chapter 7)

'they fell out over the advisability of cingulum,a black draught,and phlebotomy,all of which Stephen rejected in a weak hoarse but passionate voice as 'utterly exploded,fit for Paracelsus,or a quicksilver at the fair of Ballinasloe'

(By the way The Ballinasloe International Horse Fair and Agricultural Show, is one of Europe's oldest horse fairs and still lives on today as a great festival.

Its formal charter was issued by George I in 1722, but its unofficial history dates long before this time. It's said this is where NAPOLEON bought 'Marengo', the horse he rode at Waterloo).

So Stephen had nailed his colours to the Ballinasloe 'mast' long before he met Graham.

What I think is interesting and as I alluded to in my last post is that Chapter 7 in MC is very much a Lord 'Clonfert' Chapter and the Ballinasloe/Clonfert and in turn Saint Brendan the VOYAGER interconnection as pointed out by Jean is,in my opinion, worthy of consideration.

alec


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2002 6:24 AM
Subject: Re: GRPRead: TH - Ballinasloe-Napoleon connection

Just as a follow up-maybe these are worth considering

(1) There really is only one place in Ireland with a direct tie-in with Napoleon's downfall/Waterloo- i.e Ballinsloe. Maybe thats why POB implies that Stephen may have links there. Bitter irony.

Certainly if POB had ever visited Ballinasloe - he would have become aware of the Napoleon Horse connection as it is a sigfificant claim to fame for what is a for 51 weeks a small rural town.

(2) Or perhaps that fair in Ballinasloe stuck in Stephen's mind-as maybe Blaine/or someone through intelligence received had told him 'do you know that scrub Napoleon rides a horse which he bought on British soil(as it was then) at the fair in Balinasloe.'He mentions it in TMC and I think at that stage he had been up to his neck in anto Napoleon counter intellignece in Spain.

(3) Neither of the above


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2002 8:10 AM
Subject: Re: GRPRead: TH - Ballinasloe-Napoleon connection

(1) There really is only one place in Ireland with a direct tie-in with Napoleon's downfall/Waterloo- i.e Ballinsloe.

Sorry if I seem to be flogging a dead emperor's horse but I'd prefer to correct myself rather than give anyone else the pleasure hehehe

I totally forgot about this feller! But he denied us the scub!I quote-

''Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852), was probably Britain's greatest military commander, but he was also perhaps one of her worst prime ministers.

Wellesley was born in Dublin, the fourth son of the 1st Earl of Mornington. He always denied being Irish, however, saying that being born in a barn does not make someone a horse. He felt he was not truly Irish because he hailed from the Anglo-Irish aristocratic 'Protestant Ascendancy' that ruled Ireland until the partition of 1922.''

alec


From: Ted
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2002 5:52 PM
Subject: Re: GRPRead: TH - Ballinasloe-Napoleon connection

Then there was the high proportion of Wellington's soldiers who were Irish & not just in very fine Irish Regiments like the 88th Foot (Connaught Rangers).

Ted


From: Jean A
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2002 8:02 AM
Subject: Re: Ballinasloe

Thanks, alec, for resurrecting my old Ballinasloe, Clonfert, and St. Brendan posts from the Archives.

Of course, I had no knowledge of the Asylum at Ballinasloe, or of the horse fair and the Marengo connection.

I was familiar with Wellington's disclaimer, however. Why do I seem to remember having seen Marengo, somewhere, stuffed?

Jean A.
(hallucinating?)


From: Jebvbva@AOL.COM
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2002 8:49 AM
Subject: Re: Ballinasloe

could you be thinking of Gen RE Lee's horse, Traveller?


From: Martin
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2002 10:30 AM
Subject: Re: Ballinasloe

Marengo's skeleton is at the National Army Museum in Chelsea. Wellington's horse Copenhagen was buried at Stratfield Saye, his country estate. Napoleon's chicken Marengo was not stuffed either....

However the one we are about to eat is and so I will bid you au revoir in tribute to this auspicious day when the Dutch came 1st 2nd and 3rd in the day's stage of the Tour de France.

Martin @ home:
50° 44' 58" N
1° 58' 35" W


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2002 10:48 AM
Subject: Napoleon's horse; was, Re: [POB] Ballinasloe

When Napoleon went aboard Billy Ruffian, d'ye see, he left his horse Marengo on the pier. Marengo was immediately seized by a pair of amiable sluts, murdered, butchered, stuffed, dressed, and his left side served to the crew of a passing British frigate. His right side was preserved in aspic, and has been sold bit by bit to gourmets over the last two centuries.

You can find the recipe on page 666 of Lobscouse and Spotted Dog, a strange cookbook of unknown provenance wch teaches how to prepare a variety of puddings and popovers, and how to cook horse. (Rumor has it that it was translated from the French by POB himself.)

If you want a slice or two of Marengo, merely send a small bag of gold to the usual address. If you wish a bit of the stuffing, send two bags. A lock of genuine Napoleon-hair, suitable either for cooking or for plaiting into your pigtail, will cost you three.

Charlezzzzz, apologizing for any political content in this message, and explaining that the passing British frigate was Surprise


From: Jean A
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2002 5:22 PM
Subject: Re: Chicken Marengo, was Ballinasloe

No, Charlezzzzz.

I was not thinking of Chicken Marengo, although the birth of that dish is a great story.

I am still trying to figure out what famous horse I saw somewhere, in a glass case.

It definitely was not Lee's Traveler.

And it was not a skeleton in the Chelsea museum.

As sometimes happens when one is of a certain age, it may come to me in a blinding flash when I least expect it.

Jean A.
( I could have sworn that it was Marengo.)


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2002 6:10 PM
Subject: Re: Chicken Marengo, was Ballinasloe

Could it have been Sea Biscuit ?

Guess the sire?

alec

who has just finished reading the book commemorating that great little horse-and can recommend it.


From: Ted
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2002 5:48 PM
Subject: Re: Napoleon's Horse was [POB] GRPRead: TH - Ballinasloe-Napoleon connection

Today one can see the skeleton of Napoleon's horse, Marengo, at the British National Army Museum, in Chelsea, London.

Ted

(& the museum is very well worth a visit)


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2002 12:18 PM
Subject: GRPRead:TH Radical?

Page 22

'Jack's father an everlasting member of parliament in the Radical interest and a sad trial to them all'

I am reasonably familiar with thru English/British political parties as in -Tories/Conservative and Whigs/Liberals.

Would some kind knowledgeable British Lisson (or from anywhere for that matter)kindly explain in reasonably succinct terms -what the Radical party's history/policy/heritage/legacy is or was.

Was that the first usage of the word Radical in a political context?

Thanks

alec


From: Martin
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2002 12:39 PM
Subject: Re: GRPRead:TH Radical?

Here is a page from the recent Channel 4 series "War Against Napoleon": http://makeashorterlink.com/?N24F12241

I think they were a fringe of the Whigs.

Martin @ home:
50° 44' 58" N
1° 58' 35" W


From: Ted
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2002 6:08 PM
Subject: Re: GRPRead:TH Radical?

They were, more or less, an extreme wing of the Whigs (who eventually became Liberals). Many called for universal male suffrage & peace with France. Radicals were fairly often accused of treason during the wars with France in the 1790's & 1800's.

Ted


From: Don Seltzer
Sent: Monday, July 15, 2002 8:37 AM
Subject: GRP:TH Brush up on Shakespeare

On page 140, Rowan is stealing two lines from Othello,

" O, now, for ever
Farewell the tranquil mind! farewell content!
Farewell the plumed troop and the big wars
That make ambition virtue! O, farewell!
Farewell the neighing steed and the shrill trump,
The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife,
The royal banner, and all quality,
Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!
And, O you mortal engines, whose rude throats
The immortal Jove's dread clamours counterfeit,
Farewell! Othello's occupation's gone!"

On page 52, Jack comes across two mating tortoises while visiting retired Admiral Hartely,

"Unwilling to disturb them, he fetched a cast quite round the pair and walked on, trying to recall some lines of Shakespeare that had to do not exactly with tortoises but with wrens . . . "

Jack is probably thinking of King Lear,

"The wren goes to 't,
and the small gilded fly
Does lecher in my sight
Let copulation thrive"

Speaking of tropes and parallels, the tortoise scene is one of my favorites. But the comparison of the fireflies to Laura Fielding seems a little too forced.

Don Seltzer


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Monday, July 15, 2002 9:33 PM
Subject: Group reading TH: "A wig must be worn"

Treason's Harbour--so that's where we are. Let's look at the shipboard dinner in chapter four.

Especially in the early stages of dinner, before things got too rowdy, a wig, "was as necessary as a pair of breeches." Maturin was told, "A wig must be worn."

It wd be interesting to trace all the wearings-of-wigs in the canon, and I'm not going to do it, though I remember Maturin's awakening at the beginning of M&C, and his wig on the ground and ants in it.

But...

Here's a brief history of formal wig-wearing, stimulated not only by POB, whose people came near the end of the wig's rule, but by Pepys, who came in early.

In the beginning was the hat. If you wanted to dress up in in the 16th century, gentlemen, you'd wear a fancy hat indoors. Think of Henry VIII tearing into a chicken; no wig-wearer, he. But he'd wear a nifty hat to dinner, complete with feathers and stuff.

Nor, to move down a ways, can you picture Shakespeare in a wig.

But shift your gaze to France, to those style-setting frogs to whom the English, though they'd have denied it, played the sedulous ape. Louis Thirteenth, around 1630, found himself growing bald. He got himself a wig; his courtiers, of course, followed suit.

With the Restoration, wigs, as style, entered England. (You can hardly imagine Cromwell in a wig.) By 1663, Charles II found his hair turning gray: bango! wigs became the fashion. In November of that year, Pepys, no slouch as a courtier, got his hair cut short and ordered his first two wigs. At first, his wig looked rather like a normal head of hair.

Two years later, Pepys feared getting a new wig -- the story got around that they were made from the hair of victims of the Great Plague. No matter: the top people kept on wearing wigs, so Pepys wore a wig.

Wigs rather quickly became bigger and fancier. You'd look more important in a big wig. You'd be a bit cleaner, too. And warmer. By the 1680's, men quit wearing hats indoors. (Nowadays there seem to be more and more men wearing caps in restaurants. Suss on that, says I.)

In general, portraits of the 17th century show wigs that are long and curly and sometimes brown, but during the 18th century, the were usually shorter and always whitened with powder. The movie Amadeus does a lovely job with wigs, both for men and women.

Gradually, during those centuries, wigs began to differentiate, not only in style, but by profession. By Maturin's time, physicians were likely to wear a "physical bob."

'Twasn't long after Surprise dropped her hook for the last time that formal wigs simply went away and gentlemen moved their heads toward stovepipe hats. The last man to regularly wear the formal wig for fashion's sake is said to be Dr Routh, President of Magdalen College, Oxford. He died in 1854. As the college poet, chided too often for tardiness, said:

I do not like thee, Doctor Routh
With wigg-ed head and angry mouth.
Prexy, thou, of College Magdalen
Thou flips thy wig at students dawdlin.

Did I read somewhere that the British court system was planning to do away with wigs? (I sincerely hope they don't. The world is running short of quaintness.)

Charlezzzzz, who quit wearing the hat when he quit wearing the uniform, and who had never worn the great full-bottomed wig, alas, nor the periwig nor even the bob


From: Margaret Morgan-Jones
Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2002 3:36 PM
Subject: Re: Group reading TH: "A wig must be worn"

I am a new lissum and, unfortunately, a complete land lubber. I was interested to read the comments on wigs as there are several portraits of physicians in Bath's Holbourne Museum, wearing their distinctive wigs. Although they look rather smug they have supplied my mental image of Stephen. There is also a portrait of Cochrane's father or perhaps his grandfather in Highland dress. The astronomer and musician Hershel lived quite near this museum and it is strange to think of him and his sister grinding the glasses, at the very forefront of technology, in what appears to be a small basic kitchen.

Margaret MJ


From: Lois Anne du Toit
Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2002 5:19 AM
Subject: "suss on that" - was : Group reading TH: "A wig must be worn"

Charlezzzzz wrote a prodigious fine and fascinating disquisition upon wigs: and in the course of it, the sage remarked: "(Nowadays there seem to be more and more men wearing caps in restaurants. Suss on that, says I."

"Suss on that" - a cant phrase, I take it, Charlezzzzz? It struck uncommon familiar upon my South African ear, for out there at the ends of the earth the uncouth are wont to remark: "Ag, sies on that, man!" when expressing profound disapproval: and the "sies" is very often pronounced "siss". Which ain't a country mile from "suss" ... Indeed, given the typical Sarf Efrican pronunciation of the vowel "i", "suss" might be the more accurate rendition of the phrase as she is spoke.

Whence ariseth your "suss"???

London Lois, etymological fancy tickled

51º 26' 22" N 000º 03' 05" E

Lois Anne du Toit

"Man is the only animal that both laughs and weeps for man alone is struck by the difference between what things are and what they ought to be."
(William Hazlitt)


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2002 8:33 AM
Subject: Re: "suss on that" - was : Group reading TH: "A wig must be worn"

Somewhere, somewhere in the canon, Maturin says, "Suss on him, " or on them, or on it, and the phrase has stuck with me, a fine phrase which you (welcome back, Lois) have carried forward.

I hope some Lissun can (a) find the quotation, and (b) give us the full etymology.

I shall now make a guess: I guess that "suss" is related to "cess," as in "bad cess to him," and that "cess" is at the root of "cesspool." Anybody know?

As for the wretched builder who some 35 years ago built a septic system into my front yard, a system wch now needs fixing, and wch may not indeed be fixable, I cry, "Ag, sies on him, man," and a fine comforting cry it is, especially if it means what I think it means. Very appropriate.

Charlezzzzz


From: Norman Crandles
Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2002 2:51 PM
Subject: Re: "suss on that" - was : Group reading TH: "A wig must be worn"

Forgive me, Lois and all, if this answer has been offered previously for another 'suss(ed)', the one meaning 'caught out' or 'busted'. This from the act of law( or somesuch) which allowed the authorities to arrest persons in Northern Ireland 'under suspicion'. Persons so arrested were said to have been 'sussed' It is more commonly used these days to mean 'caught out' or 'busted' in the general sense. As well, "I`ve got it sussed" means "I understand". "I`ll suss it out" means " I`ll look into it" etc. JA would have smoked it out, for sure. NormC.


From: John Gosden
Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2002 6:22 PM
Subject: Re: "suss on that" - was : Group reading TH: "A wig must be worn"

I first came across cess in Malaya where it was the tax paid on each pound of rubber produced to support the local hospita or other communal works. In the Irish sense I always thought it was derived from success - i.e. wishing failure on someone, but on consulting my favourite OED it tells me:

2. Ireland: The obligation to supply the soldiers and the lord deputy's household with provisions "assessed"; hence loosely, military exactions. Hence, presumably

3. Assessment, estimation.

So "Bad cess to you" is wishing someone to be burdened with excessive tax demands!
--
John R. Gosden
7*51'59"N / 98*20'28"E


From: Howard Douglass
Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2002 3:58 PM
Subject: Re: "suss on that" - was : Group reading TH: "A wig must be worn"

John Gosden wrote, after referring to "cess" in the OED:

So "Bad cess to you" is wishing someone to be burdened with excessive tax demands!

Not exactly. If you look up the phrase "bad cess" in the OED, you get:

In phrase bad cess to = 'bad luck to, evil befall'.

1859 Punch 17 Dec. Carlisle and Russell-bad cess to their clan!
1860 S. Lover Leg. & Stories (ed. 10) 313 Bad cess to you, can't you say what you're bid.

Howard


From: John Gosden
Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2002 3:56 AM
Subject: Re: "suss on that" - was : Group reading TH: "A wig must be worn"

But if you look at the derivation (also in the OED) you will see:
perh. f. CESS (1), a tax or levy.
--
John R. Gosden
7*51'59"N / 98*20'28"E


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2002 3:53 PM
Subject: GRPRead:TH The Fifth Gardener and opera

page 11

the young womwn.....

snip

one of them coming up to the steps,poised herself for a moment on the arms of Captain Pellews chair,drank off his glass of wine and told them they must all come to the opera on Saturday-she was to sing the the part of the fifth gardener. At this Captain Aubrey made some amazingly witty remark: it was lost to Maturin but the roar of laughter that followed must have been heard in St Angelo'

To those opera buffs-is there an opera with a fifth gardener?

And is there an obvious comment that Jack could have made to get the laugh he did??

Whether the fifth gardener exists or not(And I certainly don't know) -

-the initial use of those words adds the amazing power of the line on page 24 about Mrs Fielding

'all the Men at Aubrey's table sprang to their feet,for this was not an example of local solace,no fifth gardener:for from it.

hhhmm?

Any clues from all you brainy guys?

Or is Patrick being Patrick?

alec

53 23 N 006 35


From: Gerry Strey
Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2002 6:22 AM
Subject: Re: GRPRead:TH The Fifth Gardener and opera

I know not of opera gardeners, but the easy going fifth obviously wasfree with her favors, while Laura Fielding, though living a somewhat perilous and unprotected life, obviously was not.

Gerry Strey
Madison, Wisconsin (who would liked to have been Mrs. Fielding, though perhaps the lieutenant's company would have been a bit disappointing after the first raptures had worn off)


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2002 8:13 PM
Subject: Re: Group reading TH: a tortoise, a saint, a house

Jack's walk to visit his old captain, now Admiral Hartley, turns out sadly, since the Admiral, crushed by anno domini, and clearly dominated by his no-longer functional sexual apparatus, has fallen into bad hands.

Way back long ago we had some interesting discussions of the two copulating tortoises that Jack meets on the way. The male "raised his face to the sun. stretched up his neck, opened his mouth wide and uttered the strangest dying cry."

Poor tortoise: a image of the Admiral, clearly. And later, as Jack leaves the Admiral's house he is nearly struck by the tortoise itself, as it strikes the ground at his feet and bursts apart, dropped from the sky by an ominous black bird that looked down at Jack, "circling, circling as it stared."

There are more echoes of the admiral in that scene. For one, just outside his house there is a wayside shrine dedicated to St. Sebastian, the martyr's "blood recently renewed with startling brilliance and profusion." Why, out of the entire saintery, did POB pick Sebastian? Shot with arrows, wasn't he? Not quite Cupid's arrows, but deadly arrows, like the arrows of lust that we might read into Admiral Hartley's character.

And then the house, with its high stone wall, partly fallen, with an ornate wrought-iron gate, once gilded [gilded, yes, on epaulette and hat] leaning unhinged [the perfect word for the admiral in his present condition] against the masonry. The house itself is described as "gaunt yellow," words wch might be applied to the admiral, gaunt yellow, unhinged, and partly fallen.

To return to the tortoise: a simpler author, an allegorical author, might use a tortoise as a warning of things-gone-wrong elsewhere in the canon. But no: think of the great Testudo Abreii -- the great tortoise of the world, whose discovery completes Maturin's recovery from the wicked capers of the French, and whose name will carry Jack's name down through history.

Charlezzzzz, pondering on Admiral Harte and Admiral Hartley and on POB's propensity for using near-similar names for people, but there is only one Muñoz in the entire canon, and he never appears.


From: Gary W. Sims
Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2002 9:41 PM
Subject: Re: Group reading TH: a tortoise, a saint, a house

From: "Charles Munoz"

There are more echoes of the admiral in that scene. [...] wayside shrine dedicated to St. Sebastian, the martyr's "blood recently renewed with startling brilliance and profusion." Why [...] Sebastian? Shot with arrows, wasn't he? [...] deadly arrows, like the arrows of lust that we might read into Admiral Hartley's character.

Oh, well done, Charlezzzzz. Missed that one, in my protestant state of ignorance. But you've got to explain this one before I start a free text search of the whole canon:

there is only one Muñoz in the entire canon, and he never appears.

Gary W. Sims, Major, USAF(ret)
--------------------------------------------
Wondering is Charlezzzzz a myth after all?
At or about 34°42' N 118°08' W


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2002 11:42 PM
Subject: Re: Group reading TH: a tortoise, a saint, a house

on 7/18/02 12:41 AM, Gary W. Sims at simsgw@GTE.NET wrote:

there is only one Muñoz in the entire canon, and he never appears.

Think of Peru. Think of Maturin out to overthrow the gov't of Peru. (It's in Chapter 7 of WDS.) Now think of all the new things that arise. One of them is that Muñoz, who wd have been a great help because he controlled something or other, has left town--called back to Spain, or some such. Or so Maturin is told. And that's all we hear of him.

Charlezzzzz


From: Gary W. Sims
Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2002 8:53 PM
Subject: Re: Group reading TH: a tortoise, a saint, a house

Oh him! Wasn't there some problem with the viceroy's nephew and the alligators in Muñoz's cellar?

Gary W. Sims, Major, USAF(ret)
--------------------------------------------
Glad he needn't make a tenth pass through
the canon looking for Muñoz
At or about 34°42' N 118°08' W


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2002 3:09 PM
Subject: GRPRead:TH Irregular Verb

Mrs F with JA

'Very on in their recapitulation of the imperfect subjunctive of the irregular verb 'stare' Mrs Fielding say with alarm that her pupil's conduct was likely to grow even more irregular than her verb.'

heheheh

As one who had 'Amat Amet Amabet and Amaret' drummed in to a totally non comprehending brain as a 12/13 year old-thank you indeed Mr O Brian, Sir, for allowing me to even smile at the mention of the Imperfect Subjunctive!

alec


From: Jebvbva@AOL.COM
Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2002 5:08 PM
Subject: Re: GRPRead:TH Irregular Verb

OK- A tourist to Boston jumps into a cab and asks the cabbie to to him to a place to get Scrod. the cabbie roars- what's your problem, -??? The cabbie says it's the first time i have ever heard it asked for in the past pluperfect tense.

John B


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Saturday, July 20, 2002 11:03 AM
Subject: GRPRead:TH -All my eye and Betty Martin

Jack on Page 48 -

'They(sharks)look fierce and throw out their chests,but it is all my eye and Betty Martin,you know all cry and no wool.'

Who was this Betty Martin I wondered, and went agoogling.

For anyone interested-

http://www.quinion.com/words/qa/qa-all3.htm

alec


From: Susan Wenger
Sent: Saturday, July 20, 2002 4:35 PM
Subject: Re: GRPRead:TH -All my eye and Betty Martin

Nice googling.

I'm not sure about "this is one of the most puzzling phrases in the language." I can probably think of a few more puzzling phrases.

One of the things I like best about the group read is the combined research powers of the gunroom members. Alec, you are a pearl without a thorn.


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Sunday, July 21, 2002 3:35 AM
Subject: GRPRead:TH St Simeon

Page 33

.but this was the feast of St Simeon Stylites ,and a great deal of licence was tolerated ; in any case Jack's hat (which he wore out of love for Lord Nelson and a liking for the ways of his youth..)

At the ever more likely risk of googling people to death,I decided this Sunday morning to check up on St Simeon Stylites and took on board that Nelson was mentioned in the same sentence!

Firstly what I noticed was the uncanny resemblance between St Simeon in the drawing in this piece

http://www.redemptorists.org.uk/mag/syrian1.htm

and Nelson in this pic- 6 down right -click on image

http://www.geocities.com/kirwilli2000/Liffey.htm

hehehehe

The most refreshing commentary that I found on the Saint was here

http://ship-of-fools.com/Columns/Canons/Canons16.html

And I also discovered that Tennyson had written a poem

http://www.online-literature.com/tennyson/728/

Wow this googling is thirsty work!!

alec

53 23 N 006 35 W


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Sunday, July 21, 2002 5:30 AM
Subject: GROUPRead :TH- Kresimir's Croats

Are there any Eastern European experts in the gunroom??

Page 7

-A cosmopolitan crowd, for although most of the colour was the scarlet and gold of the British Army, many of the nations engaged in the war against Napoleon were represented and the shell-pink of KRESIMIR'S Croats, for example made a charming contrast with the Neapolitan hussars' silver laced blue.

I was trying to establish who this 'Kresimir' might be and assumed initially he must be a contemporary of Napoleon.

My searches along those lines came up blank and in fact all the famous Kresimirs appear to have lived pre 1100 A.D- .

Peter Kresimir is credited with uniting the country

'After Tomislav's death, a series of civil wars weakened central authority and lost peripheral territories including Bosnia. The Byzantines helped Stjepan Drzislav (969-997) to liberate the coastal towns from Venice but succeeded in re-establishing their own influence on the Adriatic

Peter KRESIMIIR changed this situation, by breaking off relations with Byzantium, strengthening Croatia's ties with the papacy and enlarged the state boundaries. Croatia then reached the peak of its power. It spread southwards along the Adriatic coast from the river Rasa in Istria to the rivers Tara and Piva in Montenegro, eastward to the Drina and northward to the Drava and to the Danube.

See 'also

http://www.hic.hr/books/yu-genocide/history.htm

Has anyone any further light to throw on Kresimir's Croats????

alec


From: Susan Wenger
Sent: Monday, July 22, 2002 8:51 AM
Subject: Group:Read:TH:title

I think there's room for fruitful inquiry about the title. Here's a piece from Henry VI, Part II:

Maybe I'm reading more into this than intended, but most of these events turn up in "Treason's Harbour." POB used a piece of this quote in the book, but I think he intended that as a pointer to the rest of the story Henry VI. "Intended" is too strong a word - maybe he subconsciously had the rest of the HVI story in mind.

Yet by reputing of his high descent-
As next the King he was successive heir-
And such high vaunts of his nobility,
Did instigate the bedlam brainsick Duchess
By wicked means to frame our sovereign's fall.
Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep,
And in his simple show he harbours treason.
The fox barks not when he would steal the lamb.
No, no, my sovereign, Gloucester is a man
Unsounded yet, and full of deep deceit.

CARDINAL. Did he not, contrary to form of law,
Devise strange deaths for small offences done?

YORK. And did he not, in his protectorship,
Levy great sums of money through the realm
For soldiers' pay in France, and never sent it?
By means whereof the towns each day revolted.


From: Don Seltzer
Sent: Monday, July 22, 2002 5:29 PM
Subject: GRP:TH Historical basis

How much historical basis is there to the plot of TH? Practically none. As best as I can determine, there were no naval actions such as the mission to the Red Sea or the battle in the Gulf of Zambra. For the first time in the canon, POB was relying entirely upon his own imagination.

Admiral Sir Francis Ives also seems to be a product of POB's imagination. Whereas Adm. Thorton from IM was largely based upon Adm. Collingwood, Ives has no clear model.

However, Lt. Charles Fielding is likely inspired by Lt. Donat Henchy O'Brien, who escaped from the prison at Bitche, made his way to the Adriatic, and was rescued by his former ship.

Don Seltzer


From: Pete the Surgeons Mate
Sent: Monday, July 22, 2002 5:47 PM
Subject: Re: GRP:TH Historical basis

In a bear suit?

Personally, I think the campaigns where O'Brian makes up too much are weak. The whole TH mission smacks of unlikelihood - much like the fanciful expedition in THD. Lugging the diving bell across a desert is about as likely as the bear suit or the Amazons - or Stephen swamping nakedly with Christine.

But the Fielding subplot, with the dog and the wife and the double-cross, ahhh, but that is one of my favorite bits of plotting in the entire canon. Stephen is smoking!

I have the Honour to be
Mate
your Obedient servant

Peter Mackay

35° 17' 30" S, 149° 9' 59" E


From: Susan Wenger
Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2002 5:21 PM
Subject: GroupRead:TH:Gambling

On page 62, Wray asks his controller for extra money to cover his gambling expenses. He claims tht it is essential for him to play for high stakes to keep in with his contacts.

We may think that Wray is poor at cards and that he has a gambling problem, an addiction.

Patrick O'Brian sees things from both sides. Wray isn't a sympathetic character, but O'Brian understands how difficult it is to maintain cover, to get information. Whatever his own intelligence activities were, he was part of a community, he revelled in tht community, it was a high point in his own life. Wray DOES believe that he has to play for high stakes to maintain his contacts. He really does believe it, whether he's right or wrong doesn't matter. His taskmasters are pound-foolish to not support this. Wray can't stop spying - he's already committed and can't go back. Lack of funds puts him in a bad situation, and makes him ripe for exposure and turning.

Earlier in the series, Aubrey accused him of cheating, and Wray didn't duel him for it. Maybe Wray was afraid of the battle-scarred big guy who was known to be experienced at matches of honor, but I think it is more likely that Wray thought a duel would expose him as someone who plays beyond his means, the public chatter that would follow a duel would harm his cause and his ability to gain the confidence of his espionage marks that he played with - possibly he hoped that the whole thing would go away quietly if he didn't fight.

O'Brian thought poorly of an intelligence circuit that didn't support its agents, whether a friendly circuit or foe. I think he had it in mind that Wray's downfall, and the eventual downfall of the entire ring, would eventually occur as a result of the shortsightedness of the controllers.

- Susan


From: Susan Wenger
Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2002 5:30 PM
Subject: GroupRead:TH:Title

I'm still thinking about the title, "Yreason's Harbour." I posted about the title yesterday, and it's still in mind. There's one famous quote I remember about treason:

Treason doth never prosper; what's the reason?
Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason. - Harrington

I'd guess that POB had this quote in mind when he picked his title. The French came very close to prospering in this book, in several of the books, in the war itself. He cited a different quotation to open the book, but was probably thinking this one, also. Maybe.

- Susan


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Saturday, July 27, 2002 11:17 AM
Subject: GROUPRead:TH: Fireflies

Stephen with Laura - page 79- reflecting on what he had heard of fireflies from an American.

.. 'the different species emitted signals to show their willingness for sexual congress: this was natural enough -indeed, a laudable practice-but what seemed less so was the fact that certain females of say species A, moved not by any amorous warmth but by mere voracity, would imitate the signals of species B, whose males, all unsuspecting, would descend, not to a glowing nuptial couch but to a dismal butcher's block.'

Was Stephen (at this early stage)aware that LAURA (under duress) wearing her 'flame coloured dress' and who served a 'red paste'-which 'beneath all the fire'. apart from the 'red peppers' -contained Spanish Fly aphrodisiac (from the wing cases of a beetle) was FIREFLY Species A -sending out signals to Stephen -the male of Species B?

Was he subconsciously wary of landing on the butcher's block?

and

Nice POB irony page 107 when the Admiral overrules Hairbedian as special adviser to Jack -instead preferring Stephen

'it must not be forgotten that the poor fellow(Hairbedian) is only a foreigner, after all.'

Not at all like our hero the half Irish, half Catalan, totally Catholic Stephen.

hehe

alec


From: Bob Kegel
Sent: Saturday, July 27, 2002 11:31 PM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH: Fireflies

Stephen is not above such considerations himself: "He is the best of creatures - I love him dearly - but he is an Englishman, no more - emotional, lachrymose." PC, page 157

Bob Kegel
46°59'18.661"N 123°49'29.827"W


From: Susan Wenger
Sent: Saturday, July 27, 2002 11:32 AM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH: Fireflies

I think you're onto someething here. Stephen didn't know what Laura was about, but he did know that SOMEthing was amiss.

I think that O'Brian worked a lot in the subconscious. Stephen might have been thinking of the fireflies without himself being aware yet of the parallel. We often catch fleeting visual images which, if considered consciously, provide analogies to problems we are pondering.

- Susan


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Saturday, July 27, 2002 1:21 PM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH: Fireflies

Susan, the image Species B of the male firefly descending to the Butcher's Block of the female Species A - has a parallel in Stephen's earlier(and referred to here before) observation of the Mantises during copulation(M&C/267)

'Minutes passed. The male shifted his hold a little.The female moved her triangular head,pivoting slightly from left to right.

Stephen could see her sideways jaws open and close:then there was a blur of movements so rapid that for all his care and extreme attention he could not follow them, and the males head was off.

snip

.on her back the headless male continued to copulate rather more strongly than before...

snip

Ten minutes later the female took off three pieces of her mates thorax...and ate them with every appearance of appetite dropping off crumbs of chitinous shell in front of her.'

Can anyone think of a POB analogy where it is the Female who is on the 'Butcher's Block' and it is the male who wields the 'Butcher's knives'?

alec

(the 'snips' are not pob's)


From: Marian Van Til
Sent: Saturday, July 27, 2002 1:59 PM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH: Fireflies

I guess POB wouldn't have liked Leah McLaren's column either.

Marian


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Saturday, July 27, 2002 2:36 PM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH: Fireflies

Can anyone think of a POB analogy where it is the Female who is on the 'Butcher's Block' and it is the male who wields the 'Butcher's knives'?

On reflection -not a fair question to ask- as both the observation and the recollection are Stephen's, who may subconsciously or otherwise feel justification for 'this' view of the the manner in which males are treated by females.

alec


From: Rick Ansell
Sent: Saturday, July 27, 2002 4:58 PM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH: Fireflies

And there aren't that many 'Predatory Males' in the cannon - other than Wray who simply arranges things with the father.

And of course the infamous Johnston (sp?), that fine example of perfidy who dismembers Diana, breaking her spirit (thankfully temporarily) in the process. A definitive Cad and Bounder, a Scrub most wretched.

Rick

--

David Farrent and Dougie O'Hara on the Cold War role of the ROC: 'What a world of sorrow is hidden in those few words - "[Post attack] crew changes would have been based on crew availability."'


From: Don Seltzer
Sent: Saturday, July 27, 2002 5:05 PM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH: Fireflies

There was some nice imagery in the brief appearance that Johnstone made in HMSS, as he rode the magnificent mare up the long driveway, petting her beautiful neck, IIRC.

Don Seltzer


From: Gerry Strey
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2002 6:47 AM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH: Fireflies

Yes, and she reared at the appearance of a snake in the road.

Gerry Strey
Madison, Wisconsin


From: Gerry Strey
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2002 6:43 AM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH: Fireflies (adding fuel to the fire)

". . .The headless male continued to copulate rather more strongly than before."

An example of the brain being below the waist?

Gerry Strey
Madison, Wisconsin (evil and unfair, I know, but so hard to resist!)


From: Mary S
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 8:10 AM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH: Fireflies

And there aren't that many 'Predatory Males' in the cannon - other than Wray who simply arranges things with the father.

Well, we do get Clarissa Oakes' background, and it ain't nice.

(When I looked up THE TRUELOVE by Patrick O'Brian on Amazon, I was offered three choices including THE BEAR IN THE ATTIC by Patrick McManus, which was startling, particularly in the mention of, well, the bear.

savage, explosive, obstinate and cantankerous [HMSS 78]

Mary S
35° 58' 11" N
86° 48' 57" W


From: Rick Ansell
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 11:55 AM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH: Fireflies

Well, we do get Clarissa Oakes' background, and it ain't nice.

SPOILER FOR CLARISSA OAKES / THE TRUELOVE

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Yes, Uncle Edward (IIRC). Not quite the sort of predatory I had in mind, but he is one of the 'not many'.

I rather think that POB created an opportunity there to write something rather more like Dickens than Austen, had he chosen to make an excursion into Clarissas earlier life.

One longs to know _why_ she took a shotgun to that cove.

rICK


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Sunday, July 28, 2002 3:53 AM
Subject: GROUPRead:TH: A Hape- Pronounciation

The bosun and the odabashi.

'Well he is a hairy bugger and make no mistake,' said the bosun,surveying him. 'Such an ugly cove I never seen: more like a hape than what you might call a human.'

'Hape! cried the odabashi,stung out of his shyness. 'You can put that where the monkey put the nuts. You're no oil painting youself,neither.

The dead silence that followed this waas broken at last by the bosun,who asked 'did the odabashi speak English?'

'Not a fucking word,' said the odabashi.

'No offence intended,mate,' said the bosun,holding out his hand.

'And none taken' said the odabashi,shaking it.

As well as re-telling the above just for the sheer good fun of it,I was also interested in the use of the term 'a hape' rather than 'an ape'.

(and this runs parallel to some Gunroom pronounciation discussions.}

I presume the saying 'don't spoil the ship for a hape worth of tar' was in use at the time in question. As in halfpenny.

Does anyone know if the term 'a hape' was in use for 'the ape' at any time or did O'Brian just use it as it just sounds so much better in this context?

Halec


From: Martin
Sent: Sunday, July 28, 2002 4:21 AM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH: A Hape- Pronounciation

As well as re-telling the above just for the sheer good fun of it,I was also interested in the use of the term 'a hape' rather than 'an ape'.

And it is fun.

I presume the saying 'don't spoil the ship for a hape worth of tar' was in use at the time in question. As in halfpenny.

The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary renders the expression as ha'p'orth so I don't think there is a connection.

Does anyone know if the term 'a hape' was in use for 'the ape' at any time or did O'Brian just use it as it just sounds so much better in this context?

I think this was just the bosun showing away. Think of "My Fair Lady" when Eliza is working on the expression "In 'ertfordshire, 'erefordshire and 'ampshire, 'urricanes 'ardly hever 'appen". Not an aitch to be heard - except in "hever". The SOED quotes Maria Edgeworth: "Londoners [are] always aspirating where they should not, and never aspirating where they should."

Perhaps he wanted to become an officer and was confused between "aspirate" and "aspirant".

Martin @ home:
50° 44' 58" N
1° 58' 35" W


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Sunday, July 28, 2002 4:52 AM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH: A Hape- Pronounciation

The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary renders the expression as ha'p'worth* so I don't think there is a connection.

(*may appear incorrectly as distorted with those ''s- alec)

Sorry,Martin I see I didn't make myself clear.

I agree there is absolutely no connection- I was just making the point that a word/bit of a word pronounced 'hape' with a totally different meaning may have existed at this time. That I thought might make it less likely that it would be used to replace 'ape'.

I like your explanation and will stow it away carefully. Thanks.


From: Rick Ansell
Sent: Sunday, July 28, 2002 12:08 PM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH: A Hape- Pronounciation

To roigt mate. Us Lunereners er always dropping our 'aiches.

The slow disappearance of the genuine Cockney has led to unemployment for the night sweepers who used to prevent the city from being buried under a mountain of unused aspirants.

Rick


From: Heather Robertson
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2002 3:30 PM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH: A Hape- Pronounciation

An' if I hever get called 'Ev-va' agen by a Lunerener...

*H*eaTHer


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2002 2:29 PM
Subject: GROUPRead:TH; Sex on the Mizen Mast

Tune in next week for details

alec


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2002 4:04 PM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH; Sex on the Mizen Mast

Anyone know any unusual words that rhyme with Mast?


From: Thistle Farm
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2002 3:34 PM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH; Sex on the Mizen Mast

Bast-

ard


From: Charles Munoz
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2002 8:47 PM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH; Sex on the Mizen Mast

avast
ecclesiast, scholiast, iconoclast
bombast
half-assed

Charlezzzzz


From: Gary W. Sims
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2002 8:57 PM
Subject: GROUPREAD: Lament for the Late Lieutenant

Oh foolish Babbington, our young iconoclast
Twas not his wooing on the mizzen mast
but his ill-judged whizzin' past
the captain's ear that was his last


From: Pete the Surgeons Mate
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 2:06 AM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH; Sex on the Mizen Mast

Damn and blast, I'm aghast!

There's a pass in New Zealand called Haast.

That unusual enough for you?

Cheers,

Peter


From: Nathan Varnum
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 4:11 AM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH; Sex on the Mizen Mast

Iconoclast, avast, lashed, cached

Nathan


From: Jebvbva@AOL.COM
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2002 8:07 PM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH; Sex on the Mizen Mast

bast, pederast ?-dast(darest)

John B


From: EB
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 7:28 PM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH; Sex on the Mizen Mast

(words rhyming with mast)

chiliast.


From: Jebvbva@AOL.COM
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 10:37 PM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH; Sex on the Mizen Mast

Mine's not too warm either-

John B


From: Vanessa Brown
Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2002 12:27 PM
Subject: Re: GROUPRead:TH; Sex on the Mizen Mast

Out classed? Fat Assed? Teddy Pendergast?

Vanessa, frowsty and dissolute.


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2002 4:01 PM
Subject: GROUPREAd:TH: Jack's Laugh

It's taken for granted that the people who read this will have read the previous Bossuet references on Groupreads and elsewhere.

140/141

Referring to Martin's totally off the mark(and ok,interrupted) sermon

Stephen mentioned 'unless one is the second Bossuet perhaps it is a mistake to to use tropes and parallels in this eminently unpoetic age'

Next page

Jack- empting his glass

-a few words about smoke and cannons and a possible 'vile clench'

Then

Yet even as he turned the matter over in his mind(the cannon and smoke joke) it was eclipsed by an even better thing-

'But perhaps Rowen is the second Bosseut' he said.

His deep fruity,intensely amused laugh filled the cabin,filled the afterpart of the 'Dromedary' and echoed forward; he went scarlet in the face.and redder still......until his breath was gone:and reduced to a wheese he wiped his eyes and stood up-still murmuring

'A second Bossuet. Oh! Lord.

Is there somwthing I'm missing?

what is so funny?

Is it just and only the Rowan/Bossuet comparison?

Sorry its Ok - It's just Jack!

BtW

How many times did Jack roar with laughter in TH?
How many times did POB not indicate 'directly' why?

Don't ask me!
alec


From: Gary W. Sims
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2002 8:16 PM
Subject: Re: GROUPREAd:TH: Jack's Laugh

Well, I've never been sure either, Alec. For what it's worth, Bossuet was himself a canon, so that may hint at the vile clench Jack was seeking. And I've forgotten, but was Rowen the second lieutenant at that juncture? Maybe something there.

More helpfully, Bossuet was the Bishop of Condom, so as to sex at the mizzenmast... No, Jack would never countenance so low a simile.

Gary W. Sims, Major, USAF(ret)
--------------------------------------------
At or about 34°42' N 118°08' W


From: Nathan Varnum
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 4:14 AM
Subject: Re: GROUPREAd:TH: Jack's Laugh

How many times did Jack roar with laughter in TH?

I don't remember - did he seem to do so more than normal in this book?

How many times did POB not indicate 'directly' why?

Throughout the Canon there are many times I don't know quite why Jack is laughing like a fool. Still makes me laugh, tho.

Nathan


From: Don Seltzer
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 6:25 AM
Subject: Re: GROUPREAd:TH: Jack's Laugh

At 8:16 PM -0700 7/29/2002, Gary W. Sims wrote:

Well, I've never been sure either, Alec. For what it's worth, Bossuet was himself a canon, so that may hint at the vile clench Jack was seeking.

I think that you have hit upon it, Gary. That's just the type of connection that Jack would attempt to make.

In a later book, Jack makes some remark to an officer who is the son of a Canon, declaring that a son of a gun was most welcome aboard a ship that prided itself on gunnery.

Don Seltzer


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 12:41 PM
Subject: Re: GROUPREAd:TH: Merely a Commannder-wasJack's Laugh

Thanks guys that does make sense to me and indeed Don ,the reference to 'the son of a gun' in TH itself on pg 45 and was very -nearly the subject of a Post by me but I thought I might be seen to be even stupider if I asked the question so I didnt bother-but seeing as Don has ginven me the opening -here goes

'Jack led Pullings up the steps and introduced him to Ball and Hamner,Post captains, and to Meares who only a Commander. A brilliant play upon his name occurred to Jack,but he did not give it voice:not long before this on hearing that an officer's father was a Canon of Windsor he had flashed out a remark that no one could be more welcome on a ship that prided itself on artillery practice than the sun of a gun,only to find the officer receive it coldly,with no more than a pinched,obligatory smile.'

The question that I did not give voice to previously- was can anyone think of the play on words on the name 'Meares'?

Is it pronounced MEERes? or Mares?

I suppose he was MERELY a Commander -but would that be enough for Jack's 'brilliant play on words? And it doesn't really sound like something that Jack would instictively think.

(The fact that Jack had used a Canon pun before makes Gary's 'Canon Bossuet' theory all the more valid.)

Thanks

alec


From: Samuel Bostock
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 12:47 PM
Subject: Re: GROUPREAD:TH: Merely a Commannder

I always thought that was the joke, and sure, it does not rival son of a gun, one of Jack's best. Look out for the original 'vile clench' in Far Side...

Sam


From: Johnny the Bassman
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 7:12 PM
Subject: Re: GROUPREAd:TH: Merely a Commannder-wasJack's Laugh

I always thought it was the ball and hammer that was where he was going...

J the Confused


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Friday, August 02, 2002 3:11 PM
Subject: GRPRead: TH ;Waste not a minute

I've still got 36 pages to go on TH.

Hollar -put a shot across the bows of those FSOW vagabonds!!

Shot cuts a tearing hole in the mainsail.

Russell comes on deck- bucknaked-

Laura -any chance of a coffee?

And she says -what about the spotted dick

He looks down

Time 4 bed alec


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Sunday, August 04, 2002 3:28 PM
Subject: TH ; Jack

Jack had the Blackwater promised

As part of Stephen's letter to Diana

'At at the dinner, this gentleman happened to observe that his brother,a lieutenant in the Navy ,was amazingly proud of his new ship the 'Blackwater',and that he made no doubt but that should prove match for any of the heavy Amecicans

'Are you sure he said the the Blackwater sir?' asked Jack -surprised, as well he might be, since he had been promised the vessel ever since its keel was was laid down and has wholly relied upon taking to the North American Station as soon as this short spell in the Med was ovr

'Quite sure sir' replies the soldier.

snip

Then Lets drink to its healtyh said Jack-Thre Blackwater and all who sail in her---

In the evening when we were alone I made small allusion to the broken promises, all he said was

'Yes it is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help -let's get on with our music'.

Why do we like Jack so much?

a

alec

53 23 N 006 35 W


From: Alec O' Flaherty
Sent: Monday, August 05, 2002 12:42 PM
Subject: GRPRead : TH :Nosey Parker

pg 322 -

'If Nosey Parker goes on like this,they will have to make two legs of it.....

But was the phrase 'Nosey Parker' ever used in 1812??

http://www.quinion.com/words/qa/qa-nos2.htm

Who cares!!

alec


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