Beautiful Writing

Patrick O’Brian on Gothenburg, Sweden, from The Surgeon’s Mate, book seven of the Aubrey/Maturin series.

“Gothenburg, a melancholy town, most of it quite recently burnt, inhabited by tall, spare melancholiacs dressed in grey wool, much given to drinking and self-murder (the river brought three suicides past the Ariel during her brief stay), but kind to strangers if not to themselves. The Commandant at once provided powder, best red-letter cylinder powder, together with a present of smoked reindeer’s tongues and a barrel of salted honey-buzzards.”

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