In a message dated 1/30/00 10:43:15 PM Eastern Standard Time, RxBACH[at]AOL[dot]COM writes:
<< This discussion must have occurred before I embarked. As an editor I'd like my curiosity satisfied: if the paragraph was in the original UK Collins edition, and in the Lippincott edition, why would it have been deleted later? At POB's instigation? At an editor's? Does the paragraph contain crucial information? >>
My understanding is that it was deleted inadvertently when a new edition was prepared. I am not sure whether it was in the original (1973) Collins edition or not, but I have been told it is not in the present Harper Collins version. The paragraph reads as follows (it should be the sixth paragraph in Chapter Eight):
Jack and Stourton had never met, but they knew one another by reputation. Stourton had expected a big, yellow-haired man (Captain Aubrey was known on the lower deck as Goldilocks, or as Lucky Jack Aubrey in the service generally), a fire-eater, a fighting captain; but he had not expected him to be quite so big, nor so forbidding. Stourton loved the service, but his quick glance at the Surprise's perfect order on deck, and now his longer, more anxious inspection of the scarred leonine head the other side of the table - of the man who would have despotic power over his career and his happiness for the next year or so, made his heart sink. A year or so in a tartar's ship, with no possibility of exchange in these waters nor of distinguishing himself. 'Perhaps he is not as savage as he looks,' he reflected, without conviction.
As you can see, there is nothing of vital importance there but, especially taken in conjunction with following paragraph which describes Jack's preconceptions about his new first lieutenant, it is an interesting extra light on the scene.