• The relationship between Maturin, a scientist, and his wife is described as rather strained. They basically live separate lives.
• Diana attends and throws lavish parties, and Maturin has strange habits while he works at his research and experiments.
• Maturin has a post as a secret agent for the Navy, and is gone for months at a time for this. His next trip is to sail on the Worcester under his good friend Jack Aubrey.
• Aubrey does not want to take this post, but chooses to because his other option is to go to debtor's prison due to his extensive debts.
• Diana throws her husband a going away party, and this causes him to be late to board the ship.
• Aubrey waits for him for hours. Just as they are about to leave without him, Maturin arrives and has to jump to get on. He gets dipped in...
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