Wednesday, July 27, 2005

S. was in a production of The Odyssey last week, and this is the boat the kids built prior to the performance.

And here are Jack Aubrey's views towards Ulysses and those who wish to go off course to catch a glimpse of Ithaca, as told in a letter Stephen Maturin writes home to Diana in Treason's Harbour:

. . . 'To Ithaca itself, upon my word of honour. But would any amount of pleading on my part or on the part of all the literate members of the ship's company induce that animal to bear away for the sacred spot? It would not. Certainly he had heard of Homer, and had indeed looked into Mr Pope's version of his tale; but for aught he could make out, the fellow was no seaman. Admittedly Ulysses had no chronometer, and probably no extant neither; but with no more than log, lead and lookout an officer-like commander would have found his way home from Troy a d-d sight quicker than that. Hanging about in port and philandering, that was what it amounted to, the vice of navies from the time of Noah to that of Nelson. And as for that tale of all his foremast hands being turned into swine, so that he could not win his anchor or make sail, why, he might tell that to the Marines. Besides, he behaved like a very mere scrib to Queen Dido-though on second thought perhaps that was the other cove, the pious Anchises. But it was all one: they were six of one and half a dozen of the other, neither seamen nor gentlemen, and both of 'em God d-d bores into the bargain. For his part he far preferred what Mowett and Rowan wrote; that was poetry a man could get his teeth into, and it was sound seamanship too; in any case he was here to conduct his convoy into Santa Maura, not to gape at curiosities.'

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