OST Question #20 - Another Character Question

by Tim Powers

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Liz
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OST Question #20 - Another Character Question

Unread postby Liz » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:19 am

Uh oh. Not another quote question?......


Book Two quote (pg. 117):


Cut off from the land that bore us,
Betrayed by the land we find,
Where the brightest have gone before us,
And the dullest are most behind—
Stand, stand to your glasses, steady!
'T is all we have left to prize:
One cup to the dead already—
Hurrah for the next that dies!

—Bartholomew Dowling


How does this quote fit almost every character in this book? Choose one or two characters to demonstrate how each exhibits the characteristics described in this quote.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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gemini
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Re: OST Question #20 - Another Character Question

Unread postby gemini » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:08 pm

When you hit bottom......... bottoms up!
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

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Re: OST Question #20 - Another Character Question

Unread postby shadowydog » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:53 pm

Hear Hear..... :toastingpirates:
I have nothing to do and all day to do it in.

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Re: OST Question #20 - Another Character Question

Unread postby nebraska » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:47 pm

gemini wrote:When you hit bottom......... bottoms up!

Fabulous!!!!!! That might be my email tag line one of these days (although I am glad for certain family members hitting bottom meant NO MORE bottoms up!) :bigwink:

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Re: OST Question #20 - Another Character Question

Unread postby Buster » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:49 am

When you hit bottom......... bottoms up!

And up...is down!

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Re: OST Question #20 - Another Character Question

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:31 am

Drink up, me hearties yo ho! :toastingpirates:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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Re: OST Question #20 - Another Character Question

Unread postby fireflydances » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:26 pm

When I first came across this quote I stopped to research it, of course. (It’s a habitual affliction, possibly contagious.) I found more than expected. It’s been around forever (early 1830s at least), there are a number of claims of authorship, Dowling being only one, and it’s been adopted repeatedly by men in the teeth of battle, at death’s edge, as a drinking song. Yes, “drink up me hearties!”

It first appears in India during a time of fever (circa 1835)under the name “Indian Revelry” composed by a British writer named W.F. Thompson, who was serving with the British East India Company in Calcutta. Pieces of it – mainly that part we have here -- were almost immediately circulated anonymously, and then it is soon set to music, published and carried on to New Zealand, to Great Britain and to the States, its name variously appearing as “The Last Carouse” “Revelry of the Dying”. From about 1860 forward it was regarded as a well known folk song at both American and British universities. I find the fact that it lost its original attribution telling: I think it struck some universal bell in the hearts of those facing unalterable and life threatening situations. It’s wry, satiric, a thing you can chant fearlessly to keep away fear from engulfing you. It mocks death. “Hurrah for the next one that dies!”

Here is a simply wonderful version of it from the movie “The Dawn Patrol (1938), Howard Hawks directing and starring Errol Flynn.
[youtube]http://youtu.be/Pz4tvD1S3AI[/youtube]

So, which characters here does it relate to? Any pirate of course, anyone lifted from one life into enforced service on a ship, anyone dodging changing geopolitical considerations (ie. I got this territory and you have that), anyone subject to the moral relativity of “now you’re a loyal protector of the Crown, now you’re a brigand to be strung up at dawn." I would name Blackbeard, Phil Davies and all the men on all the ships we met. They find pleasure at the edge of things, they take what they can get, they are comradely to a wonderful extreme. In sum, they play in the face of Death.

Here is the rest of the poem:
We meet 'neath the sounding rafter
And the walls around are bare;
As they shout to our peals of laughter
It seems that the dead are there.
So stand to your glasses! steady!
We drink in our comrades' eyes
A cup to the dead already--
Hurrah! for the next that dies.

Not here are the goblets glowing,
Not here is the vintage sweet;
'Tis cold, as our hearts are growing,
And dark, as the doom we meet.
But stand to your glasses! steady!
And soon shall our pulses rise;
Here's a cup to the dead already--
Hurrah! for the next that dies.

There's many a hand that's shaking,
And many a cheek that's sunk;
But soon, though our hearts are breaking,
They'll burn with the wine we've drunk.
So stand to your glasses! steady!
'Tis here the revival lies;
A cup to the dead already!
And hurrah! for the next that dies.

Time was when we frowned at others,
We thought we were wiser then;
Ha! ha! let THEM think of their mothers
Who hope to see them again:
Ho! stand to your glasses! steady!
The thoughtless is here the wise;
Here's a cup to the dead already--
Hurrah! for the next that dies.

Not a sigh for the lot that darkles,
Not a tear for the friends that sink;
We'll fall, mid the wine cup's sparkles,
As mute as the wine we drink:
Come stand to your glasses steady!
'Tis this that the respite buys;
Quaff a cup to the dead already--
Hurrah! for the next that dies.

There's a mist on the glass congealing--
'Tis the hurricane's fiery breath;
And thus does the warmth of feeling
Turn ice in the grasp of death:
But stand to your glasses! steady!
For a moment the vapor flies;
Here's a cup to the dead already--
Hurrah! for the next that dies.

Who dreads to the dust returning?
Who shrinks from the sable shore,
Where the high and haughty yearning
Of the soul shall sting no more?
No! stand to your glasses! steady!
The world is a world of lies:
A cup to the dead already,
And hurrah! for the next that dies.

Cut off from the land that bore us,
Betrayed by the land we find,
When the brightest have gone before us,
And the dullest remain behind,
Stand! stand! to your glasses, steady!
'Tis all we have left to prize;
One cup to the dead already--
Hurrah! for the next that dies!
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

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Re: OST Question #20 - Another Character Question

Unread postby gemini » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:14 pm

Thanks for letting us see it in it's entirety, fireflydances.
It is easy to take something depressing and turn to something light so as not to think of the reality. And so they are doing with drink. Although this fits many, it seems to have been written likely for Brits or other armies off fighting for their homeland without much chance of every returning to it. The pirates may have left their home for adventure or wealth but find themselves in the same situation. If the situation is dire, make the most of whats left. 'Tis all we have left to prize;
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers



Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

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Re: OST Question #20 - Another Character Question

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:33 pm

Good point, gemini. That makes total sense. :cool:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Re: OST Question #20 - Another Character Question

Unread postby Liz » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:51 pm

I was looking at it differently than everyone else, looking at each line separately instead of looking at it globally as a theme.

Thanks for the additional info and the rest of poem, firefly. Yes, the need to research can be contagious and addicting.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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