The doctor also asks him at one point whether he was speaking to the commander or his friend, which is an important distinction, when he was queried about how the men were doing as he went far beyond his orders off the coast of Brazil and chased his quarry around the Cape. I think that’s a very fair question, as each situation contains rules and assumptions that don’t necessarily translate to the other. Once on the ship the doctor is subject to the rules of the Crown, which he understands, but by the same token his opinion is valued, but has to be both received and respected within the set of strict rules of the time. That delicate balance and the difficulties it raised between these two men are part of why I so love this movie. After the doctor was shot, the devotion that Aubrey shows him is exquisite. I also found that the connection the two had as musicians- an art form that we no longer share among leaders, to our detriment as we demand increasing specialization and the limitations this places on all of us emotionally and intellectually- was an insight not only into the people at the time but also in what we are missing today. After the captain has taken his prize, he notes with interest a French horn and sheet music which connects himself and the French captain as peers. I have studied this movie over and over again, and still find delight and lessons in the smallest details.