mr florey

There was a pause. Jack filled their glasses (how the tide went in and out) and observed, ‘Had I known you was a surgeon, sir, I do not think I could have resisted the temptation of pressing you.’

‘Surgeons are excellent fellows,’ said Stephen Maturin with a touch of acerbity. ‘And where should we be without them, God forbid: and indeed, the skill and dispatch and dexterity with which Mr Florey at the hospital here everted Mr Browne’s eparerial bronchus would have amazed and delighted you. But I have not the honour of counting myself among them, sir. I am a physician.’

‘I beg your pardon: oh dear me, what a sad blunder. But even so, Doctor, even so, I think I should have had you run aboard and kept under hatch till we were at sea. My poor Sophie has no surgeon and there is no likelihood of finding her one. Come, sir, cannot I prevail upon you to go to sea? A man-or-war is a very fine thing for a philosopher, above all in the Mediterranean: there are he birds, the fishes – I could promise you some monstrous strange fishes – the natural phenomena, the meteors, the chance of prize money. For even Aristotle would have been moved by prize money. Doubloons, sir: they lie in soft leather sacks, you know, about so big, and they are wonderfully heavy in your hand. Two is all a man can carry.’

He had spoken in a bantering tone, never dreaming of a serious reply…

—  Patrick O’Brian, Master and Commander