Best Quotes by Patrick O'Brian (Top 10)

  1. Wit is the unexpected copulation of ideas.
  2. We understood one another better before ever I opened my mouth
  3. They will not be pleased. But they know we must catch the monsoon with a well-found ship; and they know they are in the Navy—they have chosen their cake, and must lie on it.' You mean, they cannot have their bed and eat it.' No, no, it is not quite that either. I mean—I wish you would not confuse my mind, Stephen.
  4. Sir,' said Stephen, ‘I read novels with the utmost pertinacity. I look upon them—I look upon good novels—as a very valuable part of literature, conveying more exact and finely-distinguished knowledge of the human heart and mind than almost any other, with greater breadth and depth and fewer constraints.
  5. I am opposed to authority, that egg of misery and oppression; I am opposed to it largely for what it does to those who exercise it.
  6. Go and see whether the Doctor is about,' said Jack, ‘and if he is, ask him to look in, when he has a moment.' Which he is in the fish-market, turning over some old-fashioned lobsters. No. I tell a lie. That is him, falling down the companion-way and cursing in foreign.
  7. ...I have had such a sickening of men in masses, and of causes, that I would not cross this room to reform parliament or prevent the union or to bring about the millennium. I speak only for myself, mind - it is my own truth alone - but man as part of a movement or a crowd is indifferent to me. He is inhuman. And I have nothing to do with nations, or nationalism. The only feelings I have - for what they are - are for men as individuals; my loyalties, such as they may be, are to private persons alone.
  8. No man born of woman has ever understood spoken Portuguese.
  9. Why there you are, Stephen,' cried Jack. 'You are come home, I find.' That is true,' said Stephen with an affectionate look: he prized statements of this kind in Jack.
  10. My dear creature, I have done with all debate. But you know as well as I, patriotism is a word; and one that generally comes to mean either MY COUNTRY, RIGHT OR WRONG, which is infamous, or MY COUNTRY IS ALWAYS RIGHT, which is imbecile.

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