In the book, a wandering seafaring rat is describing to Mr. Rat the port toward which he is traveling:
“There, sooner or later, the ships of all seafaring nations arrive; and there, at its destined hour, the ship of my choice will let go its anchor. I shall take my time, I shall tarry and bide, till at last the right one lies waiting for me, warped out into midstream, loaded low, her bowsprit pointing down harbour. I shall slip on board, by boat or along hawser; and then one morning I shall wake to the song and tramp of the sailors, the clink of the capstan, and the rattle of the anchor-chain coming merrily in.
“We shall break out the jib and the foresail, the white houses on the harbour side will glide slowly past us as she gathers steering-way, and the voyage will have begun! As she forges towards the headland she will clothe herself with canvas; and then, once outside, the sounding slap of great green seas as she heels to the wind, pointing South!
“And you, you will come too, young brother, for the days pass, and never return. Take the Adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes! ’Tis but a banging of the door behind you, a blithesome step forward, and you are out of the old life and into the new! Then some day, some day long hence, jog home here if you will, when the cup has been drained and the play has been played, and sit down by your quiet river with a store of goodly memories for your company.”
Journeys, like artists, are born and not made. A thousand differing circumstances contribute to them, few of them willed or determined by the will — whatever we may think.— Lawrence Durrell
Tailpiece“Johnny, why is your nose bleeding?”
“A boy punched me, Miss.”
“What boy? Would you recognize him if you saw him again?”
“Yes, of course, I’d know him anywhere. I’ve got his ear in my pocket.”
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