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  • No! You trice puddings athwart the starboard gumbrils when sailing by and large?? Say it ain't so!

    February 13, 2008

  • "'...There is an art in puddings, to be sure; but what is art without suet?'

    "'What indeed?' said Graham. 'But there are also puddings in art, I understand — in the art of managing a ship. Only yesterday I learnt, to my surprise, that you trice puddings athwart the starboard gumbrils, when sailing by and large.'

    "Graham's surprise was nothing to that of the wardroom: 'By and large?' they said. 'Gumbrils? starboard gumbrils?' Jack's spotted dog hung in his gullet for a moment before he understood that someone had been practising upon the Professor's credulity, an ancient naval form of wit..."

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Ionian Mission, 83-84

    February 13, 2008

  • "'Such tales have I heard of Captain Bentinck's palls, or rather shrouds, and his triangular courses, of Captain Pakenham's newly-discovered rudder, of Captain Bolton's jury-mast, of improved iron-horses, dogs, dolphins, mouses — or mice as some say — puddings...'

    "'Puddings, my dear sir?' cried Graham.

    "'Puddings. We trice 'em athwart the starboard gumbrils, when sailing by and large.'

    "'The starboard gumbrils ... by and large,' said Graham, and with a passing qualm Stephen recalled that the Professor had an unusually good memory..."

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Ionian Mission, 76

    February 11, 2008