Frederick Marryat





Frederick Marryat

Author profile


born
in London, The United Kingdom
July 10, 1792

died
August 09, 1848

gender
male

genre


About this author

Captain Frederick Marryat was a Royal Navy officer and novelist.

For more information, please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederic...


Average rating: 3.76 · 3,448 ratings · 217 reviews · 92 distinct works · Similar authors
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More books by Frederick Marryat…
“The squadron of men-of-war and transports was collected, the commodore’s flag hoisted, and the expedition sailed with most secret orders, which, as usual, were as well known to the enemy, and everybody in England, as they were to those by whom they were given. It is the characteristic of our nation, that we scorn to take any unfair advantage, or reap any benefit, by keeping our intentions a secret. We imitate the conduct of that English tar, who, having entered a fort, and meeting a Spanish officer without his sword, being providentially supplied with two cut-lasses himself, immediately offered him one, that they might engage on fair terms.

The idea is generous, but not wise. But I rather imagine that this want of secrecy arises from all matters of importance being arranged by cabinet councils. In the multitude of counsellors there may be wisdom, but there certainly is not secrecy. Twenty men have probably twenty wives, and it is therefore twenty to one but the secret transpires through that channel. Further, twenty men have twenty tongues; and much as we complain of women not keeping secrets, I suspect that men deserve the odium of the charge quite as much, if not more, than women do. On the whole, it is forty to one against secrecy, which, it must be acknowledged, are long odds.

On the arrival of the squadron at the point of attack, a few more days were thrown away,—probably upon the same generous principle of allowing the enemy sufficient time for preparation.”
Frederick Marryat

“Whose destinies can be in these stars, which appear not to those who inhabit the northern regions?' said Amine, as she cast her eyes above, and watched them in their brightness; 'and what does that falling meteor portend? What causes its rapid descent from heaven?'

'Do you then put faith in stars, Amine?'

'In Araby we do; and why not? They were not spread over the sky to give light—for what then?'

'To beautify the world. They have their uses, too.'

'Then you agree with me—they have their uses, and the destinies of men are there concealed. My mother was one of those who could read them well. Alas! For me they are a sealed book.'

'Is it not better so, Amine?'

'Better!—say better to grovel on this earth with our selfish, humbled race, wandering in mystery and awe, and doubt, when we can communicate with the intelligences above! Does not the soul leap at her admission to confer with superior powers? Does not the proud heart bound at the feeling that its owner is one of those more gifted than the usual race of mortals? Is it not a noble ambition?'

'A dangerous one—most dangerous.'

'And therefore most noble. They seem as if they would speak to me; look at yon bright star—it beckons to me.”
Frederick Marryat, The Phantom Ship

“How many troops do we embark?' inquired Philip.

'Two hundred and forty-five rank and file, and six officers. Poor fellows! There are but few of them will ever return; nay, more than one-half will not see another birthday. It is a dreadful climate. I have landed three hundred men at that horrid hole, and in six months, even before I had sailed, there were not one hundred left alive.'

'It is almost murder to send them there,' observed Philip.

'Pshaw! They must die somewhere, and if they die a little sooner, what matter? Life is a commodity to be bought and sold like any other. We send out so much manufactured goods and so much money to barter for Indian commodities. We also send out so much life, and it gives a good return to the Company.'

'But not to the poor soldiers, I am afraid.'

'No; the Company buy it cheap and sell it dear,' replied the captain, who walked forward.

True, thought Philip, they do purchase human life cheap, and make a rare profit of it, for without these poor fellows how could they hold their possessions in spite of native and foreign enemies? For what a paltry and cheap annuity do these men sell their lives? For what a miserable pittance do they dare all the horrors of a most deadly climate, without a chance, a hope of return to their native land, where they might happily repair their exhausted energies, and take a new lease of life!”
Frederick Marryat, The Phantom Ship

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