George Reilly

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Patrick O'Brian
“Valuable and ingenious he might be, thought Jack, fixing him with his glass, but false he was too, and perjured. He had voluntarily sworn to have no truck with vampires, and here, attached to his bosom, spread over it and enfolded by one arm, was a greenish hairy thing, like a mat - a loathsome great vampire of the most poisonous kind, no doubt. ‘I should never have believed it of him: his sacred oath in the morning watch and now he stuffs the ship with vampires; and God knows what is in that bag. No doubt he was tempted, but surely he might blush for his fall?’

No blush; nothing but a look of idiot delight as he came slowly up the side, hampered by his burden and comforting it in Portuguese as he came.

‘I am happy to see that you were so successful, Dr Maturin,’ he said, looking down into the launch and the canoes, loaded with glowing heaps of oranges and shaddocks, red meat, iguanas, bananas, greenstuff. ‘But I am afraid no vampires can be allowed on board.’

‘This is a sloth,’ said Stephen, smiling at him. ‘A three-toed sloth, the most affectionate, discriminating sloth you can imagine!’ The sloth turned its round head, fixed its eyes on Jack, uttered a despairing wail, and buried its face again in Stephen’s shoulder, tightening its grip to the strangling-point.”
Patrick O'Brian, H.M.S. Surprise

Patrick O'Brian
“Authority is a solvent of humanity: look at any husband, any father of a family, and note the absorption of the person by the persona, the individual by the role. Then multiply the family, and the authority, by some hundreds and see the effect upon a sea-captain, to say nothing of an absolute monarch. Surely man in general is born to be oppressed or solitary, if he is to be fully human; unless it so happens that he is immune to the poison.”
Patrick O'Brian, H.M.S. Surprise

Mark Forsyth
“The standard modern measurement for inebriation is the Ose system. This has been considerably developed over the years, but the common medical consensus currently has jocose, verbose, morose, bellicose, lachrymose, comatose, adios.

This is a workable but incomplete system, as it fails to take in otiose (meaning impractical) which comes just after jocose. Nor does it have grandiose preceding bellicose. And how they managed to miss out globose (amorphous or formless) before comatose is beyond me.”
Mark Forsyth, The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language

Iain Banks
“That’s the thing about a good porter”–and he shrugged, or shook his head and sounded so rueful and sort of growly as he said, “Deals with all your baggage.”
Iain Banks, The Quarry

Patrick O'Brian
“The weather had freshened almost to coldness, for the wind was coming more easterly, from the chilly currents between Tristan and the Cape; the sloth was amazed by the change; it shunned the deck and spent its time below. Jack was in his cabin, pricking the chart with less satisfaction than he could have wished: progress, slow, serious trouble with the mainmast-- unaccountable headwinds by night-- and sipping a glass of grog; Stephen was in the mizentop, teaching Bonden to write and scanning the sea for his first albatross. The sloth sneezed, and looking up, Jack caught its gaze fixed upon him; its inverted face had an expression of anxiety and concern. 'Try a piece of this, old cock,' he said, dipping his cake in the grog and proffering the sop. 'It might put a little heart into you.' The sloth sighed, closed its eyes, but gently absorbed the piece, and sighed again.

Some minutes later he felt a touch upon his knee: the sloth had silently climbed down and it was standing there, its beady eyes looking up into his face, bright with expectation. More cake, more grog: growing confidence and esteem. After this, as soon as the drum had beat the retreat, the sloth would meet him, hurrying toward the door on its uneven legs: it was given its own bowl, and it would grip it with its claws, lowering its round face into it and pursing its lips to drink (its tongue was too short to lap). Sometimes it went to sleep in this position, bowed over the emptiness.

'In this bucket,' said Stephen, walking into the cabin, 'in this small half-bucket, now, I have the population of Dublin, London, and Paris combined: these animalculae-- what is the matter with the sloth?' It was curled on Jack's knee, breathing heavily: its bowl and Jack's glass stood empty on the table. Stephen picked it up, peered into its affable bleary face, shook it, and hung it upon its rope. It seized hold with one fore and one hind foot, letting the others dangle limp, and went to sleep.

Stephen looked sharply round, saw the decanter, smelt to the sloth, and cried, 'Jack, you have debauched my sloth.”
Patrick O'Brian, H.M.S. Surprise

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