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Patrick O'Brian

“All your sea-omens are of disaster; and of course, with man in his present unhappy state, huddled together in numbers far too great and spending all his surplus time and treasure beating out his brother's brains, any gloomy foreboding is likely to be fulfilled; but your corpse, your parson, your St Elmo's fire is not the cause of the tragedy.”

Patrick O'Brian, H.M.S. Surprise
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H.M.S. Surprise (Aubrey & Maturin #3) H.M.S. Surprise by Patrick O'Brian
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