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  • "'But I beg your pardon. You were speaking of wetting a swab.'

    'Oh, yes. It is a cant expression we have in the Navy. The swab is this' -- patting his epaulette -- 'and when we first ship it, we wet it: that is to say, we drink a bottle or two of wine.'"

    --Master and Commander, p. 24

    July 29, 2011