Surprise - She is a private man-of-war owned by Stephen Maturin, and captained by Jack Aubrey.
Letter of Marque - This is also known as a private man-of-war or a privateer--a privately-owned ship that received an official government license to conduct war upon the shipping interest of a national enemy.
Shelmerston - This is a fictional port town on the southern coast of England; much of Surprise's initial fitting out and crew operations are conducted here.
Diane - She is a French man-of-war safely tied up at the quay in St. Martin's.
Laudanum - This is an alcoholic herbal extract of opium--in simple terms, it is ethanol fortified with morphine.
Carronades - This is a short smoothbore cannon used by the British Navy until about 1860.
Canister Shot - Cannons and carronades typically fired solid iron balls or cannonballs, but they could be loaded with this type of...
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