Russell Crowe: Capt. Jack Aubrey
[Dinner in the officers' mess. The captain is inebriated, but asks apparently seriously]
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Do you see those two weevils doctor?
Dr. Stephen Maturin : I do.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Which would you choose?
Dr. Stephen Maturin : [sighs annoyed] Neither; there is not a scrap a difference between them. They are the same species of Curculio.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : If you had to choose. If you were forced to make a choice. If there was no other response...
Dr. Stephen Maturin : [Exasperated] Well then if you are going to *push* me...
[the doctor studies the weevils briefly]
Dr. Stephen Maturin : ...I would choose the right hand weevil; it has... significant advantage in both length and breadth.
[the captain thumps his fist in the table]
Capt. Jack Aubrey : There, I have you! You're completely dished! Do you not know that in the service...
Capt. Jack Aubrey : ...one must always choose the lesser of two weevils.
[the officers burst out in laughter]
Capt. Jack Aubrey : The simple truth is, not all of us become the men we once hoped we might be. But we are all God's creatures. If there are those among us who thought ill of Mr. Hollom, or spoke ill of him, or failed him in respect of fellowship... then we ask for your forgiveness, Lord. And we ask for his.
[the wind begins to blow, allowing the Surprise to move once again]
Capt. Jack Aubrey : God be praised.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : Jack, have you forgotten your promise?
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Subject to the requirements of the service. I cannot in all conscience delay for the sake of an iguana or giant peccary. Fascinating, no doubt, but of no immediate application.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : There is, I think, an opportunity here to serve both our purposes. As I understand it, this is a long, thin island. You need to sail around it to continue your voyage. I could walk across it. I'd be on the other side...
Capt. Jack Aubrey : I have known you to spend hours staring into a deserted bird's nest.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : I could walk briskly, pausing only to take the most important measurements. Making valuable discoveries that could help advance our knowledge of natural history.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : If wind and tide had been against us, I should have said yes. They're not. I'm obliged to say no.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : Oh, I see. I see. So, after all this time in your service, I must simply content myself to form part of this belligerent expedition. Hurry past inestimable wonders, bent solely on destruction. I shall say nothing of the corruption of power or its abuse...
Capt. Jack Aubrey : You forget yourself, Doctor.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : No, Jack. No. You've forgotten yourself. You see, for my part, I look upon a promise as binding.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : The promise was conditional.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : It never occurred to me...
Capt. Jack Aubrey : I command a king's ship, not a private yacht! WE DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR YOUR DAMNED HOBBIES, SIR!
Capt. Jack Aubrey : This is the second time he's done this to me. There will not be a third.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : By comparison, the Surprise is a somewhat aged man-o-war. Am I not correct?
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Would you call me an aged man-o-war, doctor? The Surprise is not old; no one would call her old. She has a bluff bow, lovely lines. She's a fine seabird: weatherly, stiff and fast... very fast, if she's well handled. No, she's not old; she's in her prime.
Mr. Allen, Master : [after seeing that the Acheron is closing in on them] My God, what can we do? He has us by the hip.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Run like smoke and oakum.
Mr. Allen, Master : We'll have to bend every sail.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : We'll put up our handkerchiefs if we have to. We must survive this day.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Right lads, now, I know there's not a faint heart among you, and I know you're as anxious as I am to get into close action. But we must bring them right up beside us before we spring this trap. That will test our nerve, and discipline will count just as much as courage. The Acheron is a tough nut to crack... more than twice our guns, more than twice our numbers, and they will sell their lives dearly. Topmen, your handling of the sheets to be lubberly and un-navy like. Until the signal calls, you're to spill the wind from our sails, this will bring us almost to a complete stop. Gun crews, you must run out and tie down in double quick time. With the rear wheels removed, you've gained elevation. and without recoil, there'll be no chance for re-load, so gun captains, that gives you one shot from the lardboard battery... one shot only. You'll fire for her mainmast. Much will depend on your accuracy... however... even crippled, she will still be dangerous, like a wounded beast. Captain Howard and the marines will sweep their weather deck with swivel gun and musket fire from the tops. They'll try and even the odds for us before we board. They mean to take us as a prize.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : And we are worth more to them undamaged. Their greed... will be their downfall. England is under threat of invasion, and though we be on the far side of the world, this ship is our home. This ship, is England. So it's every hand to his rope or gun, quick's the word and sharp's the action. After all... surprise is on our side.
Crew : Huzzah, huzzah!
Dr. Stephen Maturin : I'll rest easier when I know they've reached shore. So many wounded. And only that poor, unfortunate Higgins to tend to them. Still, he's better than no doctor at all.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : [Looking surprised] I met their doctor. I spoke to him.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : No, he died of fever months ago.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Le Vigny?
Dr. Stephen Maturin : Yes.
[Aubrey, realizing he's been tricked, slams down a cloth]
Dr. Stephen Maturin : [realizing] Ah.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : [Opens cabin door] Pass the word for Mr. Mowett.
Able Seaman : [Off camera] Aye, sir. Mr. Mowett to the great cabin.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Their doctor gave me this sword.
2nd Lt. William Mowett : Sir?
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Mr. Mowett, change of course. Southeast by east. We'll intercept the Acheron and we'll escort them into Valparaiso.
2nd Lt. William Mowett : Aye, sir. Sou'east by east.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : And William?
2nd Lt. William Mowett : Sir?
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Beat to quarters.
2nd Lt. William Mowett : Very good, sir.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : [looking at his map of the Galapagos] "Subject to the requirements of the service."
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Ah... Well, Stephen, the bird's flightless?
Dr. Stephen Maturin : Yes.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : It's not going anywhere.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : They're exhausted. These men are exhausted. You've pushed them too hard.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Stephen, I invite you to this cabin as my friend. Not to criticise nor to comment on my command.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : Well, shall I leave you until you're in a more harmonious frame of mind.
[he stands and is about to leave]
Capt. Jack Aubrey : What would you have me do, Stephen?
Dr. Stephen Maturin : [turns back to him and knows what to say] Tip the ship's grog over the side.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Stop their grog?
Dr. Stephen Maturin : Nagle was drunk when he insulted Hollom. Did you know that?
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Stop 30 years of privilege and tradition. I'd rather have them three sheets to the wind than face a mutiny.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : You see I'm rather understanding of mutinies. Men pressed from their homes, confined for months aboard a wooden prison...
Capt. Jack Aubrey : I respect your right to disagree with me, but I can only afford one rebel on this ship. I hate it when you talk of the service in this way. It makes me feel so very low. You think I want to flog Nagle? A man who hacked the ropes that sent his mate to his death? Under MY orders? Do you not see? The only things that keep this wooden world together are hard work...
Dr. Stephen Maturin : Jack, the man failed to salute. There's hierarchies even in nature. There is no disdain in nature. There is no...
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Men must be governed! Often not wisely, but governed nonetheless.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : That's the excuse of every tyrant in history, from Nero to Bonaparte. I, for one, am opposed to authority. It is an egg of misery and opression.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : You've come to the wrong shop for anarchy, brother.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : [referring to Blankeley's amputation] I'm sorry, Jack. I'm doing everything I can. I know you were close to his father.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : His father would've understood. He knew the life. His mother, however...
Dr. Stephen Maturin : Let me take a look at that brow of yours.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : What?
[finally realizes he's bleeding, sits down on the steps to get cleaned up]
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Damn, he was good. Just came out of nowhere. Hit us with a full broadside, cut across our tail and took out our rudder. Damn fine gunnery. We only slipped away because of the fog. Quite fortunate, really. He may have had the weather gauge, but we had the weather gods.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : I have no idea what precisely it is you're talking about, but he did seem to come off rather well.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Seven weeks sailing, and he happens in darkness on our exact position.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : Hm. Well, the French have their spies in England and elsewhere. As do we.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Indeed. If he knew we were looking for him, he could have stood to sea and passed well clear.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : Well then, perhaps he was looking for us.
[Stephen asks how long the Surprise will stay moored off the Galapagos]
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Oh a week, perhaps.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : A week?
Capt. Jack Aubrey : There's no great hurry.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : Mustn't we make haste for...
Capt. Jack Aubrey : I'm not even sure it was the Acheron we sighted. And if it was, she'll be well away by now. Like looking for an honest man in parliament.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Killick, an extra ration of rum for these men.
Joseph Nagle, Carpenter's Mate : Thank you very much, sir.
William Warley, Cpt. of Mizzentop : Thank you, sir.
Preserved Killick, Captain's Steward : Which I was savin' for Salutin' Day, I was.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : We'll drink wine.
Preserved Killick, Captain's Steward : Oh, drink wine for Salutin' Day...
Calamy, Midshipman : Sir?
[everyone looks to Calamy as he addresses Aubrey]
Calamy, Midshipman : Excuse me, sir, but Mr. Blankeney said that you served under Lord Nelson at the Nile.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Indeed. I was a young lieutenant, not much older than you are now. And Mr.Pullings... Mr.Pullings was a snivelling midshipman,
[Pullings laughs and smiles]
Capt. Jack Aubrey : still yearning for hearth and home.
Calamy, Midshipman : Did you meet him, sir? Can you tell me what he was like?
Capt. Jack Aubrey : I have had the honour of dining with him twice. He spoke to me on both occasions. A master tactician and a man of singular vision.
1st Lt. Tom Pullings : Right. He always said in battle... "Never mind the manoeuvres, just go straight at 'em."
Mr. Allen, Master : Some would say not a great seamen, but a great leader.
Capt. Howard, Royal Marines : He's England's only hope if old Boney intends to invade.
Mr. Allen, Master : Sir, might we press you for an anecdote?
Capt. Jack Aubrey : The first time he spoke to me... I shall never forget his words. I remember it like it was yesterday. He leaned across the table, he looked me straight in the eye, and he said "Aubrey... may I trouble you for the salt?"
[the other men roar in laughter, Aubrey tries to contain himself]
Capt. Jack Aubrey : I've always tried to say it exactly as he did ever since.
[his mood changes]
Capt. Jack Aubrey : The second time... The second time he told me a story... about how someone offered him a boat cloak on a cold night. And he said no, he didn't need it. That he was quite warm. His zeal for his king and country kept him warm.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : I know it sounds absurb, and were it from another man, you'd cry out "Oh, what pitiful stuff" and dismiss it as mere enthusiasm. But with Nelson... you felt your heart glow.
[him and Calamy share a smile]
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Wouldn't you say, Mr.Pullings?
1st Lt. Tom Pullings : [sincerely] You did indeed, sir.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : For England, for home, and for the prize!
Capt. Jack Aubrey : England is under threat of invasion, and though we be on the far side of the world, this ship is our home. This ship *is* England.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : [to Midshipman Calamy on being pulled from the sea] Tell me that wasn't fun!
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Master at arms, take that man below and clap him in irons.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : I'm sorry you had to leave the majority of your collection behind, Stephen.
Dr. Stephen Maturin : In actual fact, Mr. Blakeney and I did make one very interesting find.
[Hands Jack a small stick of wood]
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Is that right?
[looks at it]
Capt. Jack Aubrey : Let me guess: a stick?
[Stephen chuckles and hands him a magnifying glass. Jack looks at the stick through the glass, then squints in wonder]
Dr. Stephen Maturin : Tell him about it, Mr. Blakeney.
Blakeney : It's a rare phasmid, sir.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : A phasmid?
Blakeney : It's an insect that disguises itself as a stick, to confuse its predators.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : [examining some sheet music on the floor below deck in the Acheron. A French sailor, whom Aubrey thought was dead, suddenly leaps at him. Aubrey stops the sailors' dagger just in time. Aubrey puts his cutlass to the sailors' head. Asks suspiciously] Le Capitaine?
French sailor : [strained] L'infirmerie.
Capt. Jack Aubrey : [HMS Surprise is being pursued by the Acheron] Run like smoke and oakum!
Capt. Jack Aubrey : I never realized that the study of nature could advance the science of naval warfare.