A coral grave is a tranquil grave, and may heaven grant that my companions and I rest in no other!
In reference to seeing a ship that's been sunk a long time. This foreshadows the death of his own companions and his own coral graveyard. It also sickly contrasts against the reality of funerals, graveyards and death on the surface where to be put to rest is a costly, noisy affair.
If you're invited to hunt bears in the Swiss mountains, you might say: 'Oh good, I get to go bear hunting tomorrow!' If you're invited to hunt lions on the Atlas plains or tigers in the jungles of India, you might say: 'Ha! Now's my chance to hunt lions and tigers!' But if you're invited to hunt sharks in their native element, you might want to think it over before accepting.
I found this amusing as sharks are not man-eaters, and it's said with reference to the Professor's manservant. It also sharply points out the difference in terrain, underwater humans are poor hunters, more vulnerable and susceptible. On land, they have need of a spear and nothing more. It may also refer to the relatively aristocratic pastime of hunting for sport and hunting for game.
For poets a pearl is a tear from the sea; for Orientals it's a drop of solidified dew; for ladies it's a jewel they can wear on their fingers, necks and ears that's oblong in shape, glassy in lustre, and formed from mother-of-pearl; for chemists it's a mixture of calcium phosphate and calcium carbonate with a little gelatin protein; and finally for naturalists it's a simple festering secretion from the organ that produces mother-of-pearl in certain bivalves.
I found this quote to be enlightening on the multiple perspectives of so simple an object, and how a single piece of symbolism can mean so much to people.
Rifles! What for? Don't your mountaineers attack bears dagger in hand? And isn't steel surer than lead? Here's a sturdy blade. Slip it under your belt and let's be off.
I found this comical, but it underlies the point of hunting being for sport, challenge and game. I thought of the daredevils of those Spanish Bullrings when reading this.
Captain Nemo pointed to this prodigious heap of shellfish, and I saw that these mines were genuinely inexhaustible, since nature's creative powers are greater than man's destructive instincts. True to those instincts, Ned Land greedily stuffed the finest of these molluscs into a net he carried at his side.
I enjoyed this phrasing as it immediately shows what swiftness people take in their destructive nature, even acknowledging how much more creative and life-affirming nature is. Even today, it's greater, and that greatness is as inexhaustible in beauty as it is in creation and destruction.
A life in Jail is a life without joy.
Reminds me of a nice saying I used to say. "Better the pains than the chains". Regardless, it brings the question of what is Joy, is our current life Joy? Consider how we live in effective psychological and physical prisons ensured by our biology, our sociology and or psychiatry. The irony is also that the Nautilus is a prison to Ned Land, who himself is the spitting image of the destructive man.
Luck plus Logic, professor, but logic even more than luck.
I like this phrase. Those who are lucky tend to be those who seize opportunities as they arise, and are life-affirming in this manner. Combine this with Logic, and opportunities multiply. The very lucky, are the very logical opportunists.
'Bid us a fond farewell?' the Canadian exclaimed. 'You mean beat us to a fare-thee-well!'
I like this as it shows the hilarity of farewells, being both good-meaning and ill-meaning.
The soul of a flower is its scent, and those splendid water plants, flowers of the sea, have no souls!
Commentary on a world devoid of senses being a world devoid of soul. Not sure how much I follow in this being deaf myself, and being relatively smell-blind. Even still, something must evoke a serious sense or feeling in order to be seriously soulful. It's in this way the vast majority of modern works are so "soulless" as they evoke no feeling, and do not titillate the senses.
'Farewell, O' Sun!' he called. 'Disappear, O radiant orb! Retire beneath this open sea, and let six months of night spread their shadows over my new domains!'
Captain Nemo waxing lyrical, but the poetry of his words are very nice. It also foreshadows an upcoming darkness, as the reader are about to see just how dark and fiery his misanthropy is.
One may defy human laws, but no one can withstand the laws of nature.
Very true, and reflects how not all human laws are even worth following. A lot of laws have no moral basis, as is the case in all intellectual property, copyright, censorship, voting and drafting laws. All power stems from the barrel of a gun, as the saying goes, and the might to make rights(which erodes without citizen might) do not have right in mind. In all liklihood, it will wrong. Nature's laws or more accurately, the laws of physics(as best as we can understand them from our theories) are the closest laws we have that can't be broken- but that's based on theory and hypotheses.
'Those 11,000,000 eggs. But I'll make one comment.'
'If all their eggs hatched, just four codfish could feed England, America and Norway'
An optimistic take, but one that underlines how ineffective our current farming abilities are, and one that highlights how nature's gifts of food far outweigh even Jesus' miracles when he provided bread and fish to the thousands. Here, just four ordinary fish provide food for the millions.
Thus to that question asked 6,000 years ago in the Book of Ecclesiastes - 'Who can fathom the soundless depths?' - Two men out of all humanity have now earned the right to reply. Captain Nemo and I.
Another poetic phrasing, that refers the book of Ecclesiastes which refers to the bottom of the Ocean(among other things), as a demonstration of the worlds mysteries and science's inferiority. Here, it is shown that just one man divorced of all ties to the world, can uncover these mysteries - To this day, this remains true that just one man can uncover so many mysteries, considering that the ocean depths are misunderstood compared to our understandings of Space.
Aures habent et non audient!
Latin, translates to "I can't believe my ears!"
Mobilis in Mobili
Latin, translates to "Change in a Changing medium".
Latin, translates to "Sick Man's dreams", but dreams can be nightmares or hallucinations.
The Eighth Wonder
The Devil Take him
A selection of short witty phrases I enjoyed.