From Our Humor Department:
The British Frigate caught site of a French Sloop-of-War shelling a cargo ship. The First Officer ran to the Quarter Deck and asked the Captain, “Shall we beat to quarters, Sir?” The Captain, watching the action through the telescope, replied, “no we must proceed on our very important mission.” And so, the Frigate sailed past.
The next day, the lookout shouted down the mast. It was the same enemy Sloop-of-War. It was locked with a smaller British warship and its men were storming aboard the British ship. The Frigate’s Captain calmly watched the loss of another British ship but he sailed on. “We must proceed on our very important mission,” he told the crew.
The French Captain raised his hand in victory, shouted, “Vive l’Emperor!” and spat in the direction of the captured ship. Seeing this, the British Captain turned to the First Officer and said, “Order Battle Stations, Immediately!”
The First Officer asked, “Why did you order that now?”
The Captain replied, “When he captured our cargo ship, that was a misfortune of war. When he captured our warship, that was unfortunate but part of the game. However, when he spat in our ocean, it’s Battle Stations.”