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 In Hubby’s recent readings of Patrick O’Brian’s books (Master and Commander, Far side of the World, Etc)  He stubbled across this quote which we thought to share with our readers.


Not far into the second book of the Aubrey/Maturin novels by Patrick O’Brian, Stephen Maturin becomes acquainted with a young widow named Diana Villiers, who lives with her aunt and three cousins in the vicinity of the residence that Captain Aubrey and Stephen Maturin occupy. At a ball given by Diana’s aunt, Mrs. Williams, Stephen and Diana are engaged in a conversation, a portion of which revolves around Diana’s forceful comments:

“…You must know that married men are the worst enemies women can have…They offer what they call friendship or some stuff of that kind – the name don’t matter – and all they want in return for this great favour is your heart, your life, your future, your – I will not be coarse, but you know very well what I mean. There is no friendship in men….Listen, Maturin, I speak openly to you, because I like you; I like you very much, and I believe you have a kindness for me – you are almost the only man I have met in England I can treat as a friend – trust as a friend.”

“You have my friendship, sure,” said Stephen heavily. After a long pause he said with a fair attempt at lightness, “You are not altogether just. You look as desirable as you can – that dress, particularly the bosom of that dress, would inflame Saint Anthony, as you know very well. It is unjust to provoke a man and then to complain he is a satyr if the provocation succeeds…”

“Do you tell me I am provocative?” cried Diana.

“Certainly I do. That is exactly what I am saying. But I do not suppose you know how much you make men suffer. In any case, you are arguing from the particular to the general: you have met some men who wish to take advantage of you, and you go too far. Not all French waiters have red hair.” ………

~Post Captain By Patrick O’Brian page 50-51 ~

Typed out by David.