sig-o-matic I read I realized, "this would make a good .sig..."

He had so suffered from the incalculable tensions, rancour and hatreds that arise from the failure of a rebellion that he could not bear any further disappointment, any further hostile, recriminatory confrontation, any fresh example of a friend grown cold, or worse.

...ordinary human conversation, with its perpetual interruption, contradiction and plain disregard.

...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.

He is obliged to reconcile the irreconcilable more often than most men, and he is less qualified to do so.

...if it were not for this foolish, illiberal persecution of reptiles...

Do you not find it happens very often, that you are gay as Garrick at dinner and then by supper-time you wonder why God made the world?

I am coming to believe that laws are the prime cause of unhappiness. ...the moral law, the civil, military, common laws, the code of honour, custom, the rules of practical life, of civility, of amorous conversation, gallantry, to say nothing of Christianity for those that practise it. All sometimes, indeed generally, at variance; none ever in an entirely harmonious relation to the rest; and a man is perpetually required to choose one rather than another, perhaps (in his particular case) its contrary. is a matter of common observation that a man may be sincerely attached to two women at once--to three, to four, to a very surprising number of women.

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All quotations copyright 1970 by Patrick O'Brian. Quotations can be found on pages 95, 149, 173, 182, 184, 231, 318-319, and 318 (respectively) of the 1990 paperback edition published by W. W. Norton.