• Oct. 23rd, 2008 at 9:01 AM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] Surprise is on our side)
Stephen said, "Have you ever contemplated upon sex, my dear?"

"Never," said Jack. "Sex has never entered my mind, at any time."

"The burden of sex, I mean. This bird, for example, is very heavily burdened; almost weighed down. He can scarcely fly or pursue his common daily round with any pleasure to himself, encumbered by a yard of tail and all this top-hamper. All these extravagant plumes have but one function — to induce the hen to yield to his importunities. How the poor cock must glow and burn, if these are, as they must be, an index of his ardour."

"That is a solemn thought."

"Were he a capon, now, his life would be easier by far. These spurs, these fighting spurs, would vanish; his conduct would become peaceable, social, complaisant and mild. Indeed, were I to castrate all the Surprises, Jack, they would grow fat, placid and unaggressive; this ship would no longer be a man-of-war, darting angrily, hastily from place to place; and we should circumnavigate the terraqueous globe with never a harsh word. There would be none of this disappointment in missing Linois."

"Never mind the disappointment. Salt water will wash it away. You will be amazed at how unimportant it will seem in a week's time — how everything will fall into place."

It was the true word: once the Surprise had turned south about Ceylon to head for the Java Sea, the daily order seized upon them all. The grind of holystones, the sound of swabs and water on the decks at first light; hammocks piped up, breakfast and its pleasant smells; the unvarying succession of the watches; noon and the altitude of the sun, dinner, grog; Roast Beef of Old England on the drum for the officers; moderate feast; quarters, the beating of the retreat, the evening roar of the guns, topsails reefed, the setting of the watch; and then the long, warm starlit, moonlit evenings, often spent on the quarterdeck, with Jack leading his two bright midshipmen through the intricate delights of astral navigation. This life, with its rigid pattern punctuated by the sharp imperative sound of bells, seemed to take on something of the nature of eternity as they slanted down towards the line, crossing it in ninety-one degrees of longitude east of Greenwich. The higher ceremonies of divisions, of mustering by the open list, church, the Articles of War, marked the due order of time rather than its passage; and before they had been repeated twice most of the frigate's people felt both past and future blur, dwindling almost into insignificance: an impression all the stronger since the Surprise was once more in a lonely sea, two thousand miles of dark blue water with never an island to break its perfect round: not the faintest smell of land even on the strongest breeze — the ship was a world self-contained, swimming between two perpetually-renewed horizons.

-- Patrick O'Brian, HMS Surprise, p. 246-248

Aug. 21st, 2008

  • 10:09 PM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] i'm not crazy i swear)
Because I just realised I never posted it, and it is juuust long enough to warrant doing so, a comment drabble (which really became more of a ficlet) that I wrote for [livejournal.com profile] genarti back in... March. Oops.

(Further O'Brian-flavoured tidbits to be found here. Warning: insanity.)

The prompt: Aubreyad folks meet waterbenders.

scuba soph: The problem with Aubreyad drabbles: a character can't even tie his shoelaces in a hundred words.
ravelfic: heeeee
ravelfic: true

Untitled Aubreyad/Avatar crossover. Sort of. [Rated J for Jack's Puns, and U for Unbeta'd] )

Apr. 12th, 2008

  • 2:22 PM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] utterly dished)
Just finished reading Blue at the Mizzen.

Oh, Jack.

Apr. 11th, 2008

  • 6:16 PM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] happy tree friends)

"Good, good: very good. You ease my mind: but tell me, Jack -- for I see that in spite of a sleepless night you are eager to be up and about, inspecting booms, gunwales, lifts... Pray tell me when you are inclined to sit down quietly and talk about the less physical aspects of our affair."

-- Patrick O'Brian, Blue at the Mizzen, p. 156

Apr. 8th, 2008

  • 10:42 PM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] utterly dished)
Maybe it's partly that I know what's coming, and maybe it's partly that I only have two full Aubreyad books left, but the last chapter of The Yellow Admiral was just so lovely that I nearly cried just now, down in the tv room and all.

Apr. 7th, 2008

  • 7:21 PM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] utterly dished)
The gravy came, somewhat pale and thin, but adequate: Jack ate and drank. "Surely you will have a little more?" he said. "The bird lies before you, or what is left of it. And another glass of wine?"

"I will not. I have done quite well; and as I said, I must be tolerably Spartan. I shall probably have a busy day tomorrow, starting early. But I will join you when the port comes on."

Jack ate on without embarrassment -- they were very old friends, differing widely in size, weight, capacity, requirements -- but without much appetite either.

Stephen said, "Will I tell you another of Plato's observations?"

"Pray do," said Jack, his smile briefly returning.

"It should please you, since you have a very pretty hand. Hinksey quoted it when I dined with him in London and we were discussing the bill of fare: 'Calligraphy,' said Plato, 'is the physical manifestation of an architecture of the soul.' That being so, mine must be a turf-and-wattle kind of soul, since my handwriting would be disowned by a backward cat; whereas yours, particularly on your charts, has a most elegant flow and clarity, the outward form of a soul that might have conceived the Parthenon."

-- Patrick O'Brian, The Commodore, p. 173


That day, Jack was amazed to discover that when Stephen was saying, "Blah blah Parthenon," what he meant was, "I love you."

(A turf-and-wattle kind of soul. Oh, Stephen.)

Apr. 7th, 2008

  • 5:47 AM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] captain tightpants)
This is dedicated to [livejournal.com profile] toko. Keep reaching for the stars.

Apr. 3rd, 2008

  • 9:22 PM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] Surprise is on our side)
Stephen had been put to sleep in his usual room, far from children and noise, away in that corner of the house which looked down to the orchard and the bowling-green, and in spite of his long absence it was so familiar to him that when he woke about three he made his way to the window almost as quickly as if dawn had already broken, opened it and walked out onto the balcony. The moon had set: there was barely a star to be seen. The still air was delightfully fresh with falling dew, and a late nightingale, in an indifferent voice, was uttering a routing jug-jug far down in Jack's plantations; closer at hand, and more agreeable by far, nightjars churred in the orchard, two of them, or perhaps three, the sound rising and falling, intertwining so that the source could not be made out for sure. There were few birds he preferred to nightjars, but it was not they that had brought him out of bed: he stood leaning on the balcony rail and presently Jack Aubrey, in a summerhouse by the bowling-green, began again, playing very gently in the darkness, improvising wholly for himself, dreaming away on his violin with a mastery that Stephen had never heard equalled, though they had played together for years and years.

- Patrick O'Brian, The Commodore, p.78

What? What's that sound, you ask? Oh, that's just this paragraph in context dancing on the shattered pieces of MY HEART.

Mar. 31st, 2008

  • 8:35 AM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] lolbrey and lmaoturin)
scuba soph: okay... nnnnnow I'm a bad person.
UndeadWriter1488: and before you were . . .?
scuba soph: shush.
UndeadWriter1488: Just checking.

scuba soph: - SCREAM
scuba soph: Lolbrey & Lmaoturin
scuba soph: is Pic 666 in my scrapbook
Zebosity: ..
scuba soph: my soooouuuuul I am going to hell
Zebosity: HEEE.
UndeadWriter1488: *snort*

Mar. 27th, 2008

  • 12:59 PM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] captain tightpants)
Okay, the bulk of today is for writing up find/artefact descriptions for an index, and some gentle editing of Ch. 1. This is not brain-numbing in a bad way, but that isn't to say that I won't need periodic entertainment. So, with the usual caveats about completion: drabble requests! But, to mix things up a bit and because I had terrible amounts of fun with the last ones, I am especially looking for crossover requests. Give me two or more canons (or characters from said canons, or 'character A in universe B', etc.), and I will cross them over. If you're feeling adventurous, include a prompt as well - anything from a word or a scenario to a song lyric or picture/icon.

As usual, you guys more or less know my fandoms, and if you know I've read/seen/am familiar via osmosis with something, I'm willing to take a swing at it. If I can't, or if I don't know a requested canon/character at all, I'll let you know, and you can ask for summat else.



Mar. 23rd, 2008

  • 11:39 AM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] Surprise is on our side)
Ahahaha, okay. Attempting to collate orgy of Red Cross ficathon stuff from past two nights, mainly so I can force people to go read some MAGNIFICENT riffs on them by certain co-conspirators. By fandom, then.

Rome [Marc Antony] )

Rome/Good Omens )

Good Omens/Aubreyad )

Aubreyad/PotC; or, The Case of the Problematic Natives )

Mar. 21st, 2008

  • 4:19 PM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] utterly dished)
Move along, move along! Just reposting Red Cross charity ficlet (GO DO THIS WHEN IT OPENS UP AGAIN) here for neatness. Look ma! Actually archiving things and using tags as they were intended by God!

Untitled snippet, Aubreyad/*ahem* crossover. )


  • Mar. 21st, 2008 at 5:41 AM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] utterly dished)
"You are to consider that a certain melancholy and often a certain irascibility accompany advancing age: indeed, it might be said that advancing age equals ill-temper. On reaching the middle years a man perceives that he is no longer able to do certain things, that what looks he may have had are deserting him, that he has a ponderous great belly, and that however he may yet burn he is no longer attractive to women; and he rebels. Fortitude, resignation and philosophy are of more value than any pills, red, white or blue."

"Stephen, surely you would never consider me middle-aged, would you?"

"Navigators are notoriously short-lived, and for them middle-age comes sooner than for quiet abstemious country gentlemen. Jack, you have led as unhealthy a life as can well be imagined, perpetually exposed to the falling damps, often wet to the skin, called up at all hours of the night by that infernal bell. You have been wounded the Dear knows how many times, and you have been cruelly overworked. No wonder your hair is grey."

"My hair is not grey. It is a very becoming buttercup-yellow."

Jack wore his hair long, clubbed and tied with a broad black bow. Stephen plucked the bow loose and brought the far end of plait round before his eyes.

"Well I'm damned," said Jack, looking at it in the sunlight. "Well I'm damned; you are quite right. There are several grey hairs... scores of grey hairs. It is positively grizzled, like a badger-pie. I had never noticed."

Six bells.

"Will I tell you something more cheerful?" asked Stephen.

"Please do," said Jack, looking up from his queue with that singularly sweet smile Stephen had known from their earliest acquaintance.

- Patrick O'Brian, Clarissa Oakes, p.17-18


Also, I wrote a thing (related). I know, try not to die of shock. To which point: you should all go fic for charity as well.

Mar. 19th, 2008

  • 1:24 PM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] utterly dished)
Oh, boys.

(Faintly spoilery, but only if you do not choose to read, you know, the blurbs on the back of the books; thus, blurb-y context of a few novels ago.)

'Well,' said Jack, 'I am sorry I flew out. I am sorry I spoke so chuff.' )

Mar. 12th, 2008

  • 9:30 PM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] utterly dished)
I said I'd do this earlier anyway, but tonight's O'Brianspam is ex post facto in honour of me having Maturin'd a great dirty splinter out from under the nail of my middle finger. That fucker was all the way in.

Now, Doctor, do you choose to have a bout? )

In other news: it is very hard to ignore the upcoming St. Patrick's Day when a key point in the dating of Latin loan-words into Irish hinges on the translation of his name from 'Patricius'; it is likewise hard, when you can feel the impending and inevitable Irish Rage, to try and write an unbiased dissertation that is partly about why the Roman question gives scholars Irish Rage.

Feb. 14th, 2008

  • 5:44 PM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] la mer (a bercé mon coeur))
Well, I would scarcely have credited it - and it may well be the rum1. But in the space of the last fifty(ish) pages of The Surgeon's Mate, and the first twenty-five of The Ionian Mission, Patrick O'Brian has contrived to make me discover une espèce de... how to say. Of fond tolerance, bordering on genuine liking, for one Diana Villiers. I KNOW, WHAT. Possibly it is the fact that, the way PO'B writes them, Sophie/Jack and Diana/Stephen are both wholly valid and endearing and adorable, and in no way an obstacle to the true OTP of Jack/Stephen. That said, I am not 100% sure if I have been spoilered for [future event], so let's call this Diana's probationary period.

1jaa;lskdsdlkas thanks boxchat, for nattering on at length about Captain Morgan's. Resistance level for both alcohol and Age-of-Sail-related things = severely diminished at the moment.

Meanwhile, later Valentine's post will be... later. After I have ceased to be confounded by Captain Morgan technical difficulties, and all that.

P.S. ♥♥Jagiello♥♥ I gurgle in delight.

Icon post! Now with 33% more irreverence.

  • Feb. 10th, 2008 at 5:28 PM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] ha ha ha!)
Batch-posting the Aubreyad icons from the past few days for comm purposes - along with a few variations on a new one. A day may come when I can decide on a single colour/version of an icon, but this is not that day.

is that an eighteen-pounder in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me? )