Thursday, May 04, 2006

Maggie's Margin margarine

This is from the margin of something else Maggie wrote about a mutiny in the British Navy during the Napolean wars. I do not know if it is a quote from an actual mutiny trial or not, but it’s really a treat to see it in her handwriting:
“…I heard the deceased, abusing of the prisoner in a most dreadful manner; he first called him a Dutch galleot?-built bugger, damned him, and asked how he came to be in the ship, or who brought him into her; then he damned the person whoever did bring him. I could not afterwards make out what the deceased said, as he was in a horrid passion, but Jos. Bates, yeoman of the sheets, bade him kiss his arse – he was no seaman….
I would love it if people talked like that – using bade as the past tense of to bid – or even using the word bid not in reference to something on eBay.
I bid you consider it, gentle reader.
? I have no idea; due to a stain that smells like margarine, this word is almost illegible.

1 comment:

Nicholas said...

This is a quote from _The Ionian Mission_, by Patrick O'Brian; it's from a court-martial scene in the novel. And a galliot was a small trading vessel with a shallow draft and rounded bow and stern used by the Dutch for the sheltered waters of the Netherlands and Germany: not really suited for the open sea, and thus a handy term of contempt when used by real blue-water sailors.