ten bears of the largest size could not deter Maturin from what he thought
right. And I do assure you
you [my] lord that we have some people
on the sick-list in a very parlous state.'
'How do you mean, parlous?'
'Well, my lord, nip and tuck as you might say, or touch and go.
And it is my impression that as soon as his assistant, Dr. Jacob, comes
aboard he means to operate on a strangled hernia.'
'A twisting of the guts, my lord. The poor soul, swelling above because
his shipmates feed him twice at every meal, and he shrinks below: the
patient is a sailmaker's mate.'
'Well. I am sorry for him, but I am sure to have nothing to recommend
but a double handful of small-shot followed by a pint of castor oil.
Yet it really is a medicoe's business & I shall certainly leave it to them.
Would it be a very bloody affair?'
'Shockingly so, I fear: though with clips and swabs we shall try to
diminish the flow.'
'I might mention it to Miller. He walking miles to see the castrating of
lamb and bullock -- geldings, for that matter.' The Admiral gazed up
at the taut sails with unmoved pleasure. 'Now hear it getting
something like the full Trades, clear of the land and its turbulences,'
said the Admiral, and
presently he formed the whole South African squadron into the sailing
order, sending his guests back to their ships in the kindest manner.
Truly, once they had sunk the land it was the purest sailing:
nearly 300 miles in the first day, never touching tack nor sheet,
and even the Suffolk kept in splendidly. How this minded them
[of their] keenest navigators Hansen and Daniel, who would so have loved