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Many major plot elements of the Hornblower TV series were drawn from this volume, as well as from Lieutenant Hornblower and Hornblower and the Atropos. Hornblower reports aboard HMS Justinian , Captain Keene commanding , in January, , as a midshipman of seventeen years of age; this is unusual as most begin their careers at the age of twelve or younger. He becomes seasick at anchor in Spithead , a dubious distinction. Seasickness is a trait seen often throughout his career.
Soon after being assigned to the midshipman's berth, Hornblower meets Simpson who just failed the examination for Lieutenant. Simpson was the terror of the midshipman's berth, wreaking havoc with all the other midshipmen, making them do demeaning chores. Soon after, Simpson and Hornblower were sent to town along with officers and crew members from other ships comprising a press gang.
They were soon playing a round of whist. Simpson made a comment which Hornblower took as an accusation of cheating, and Hornblower challenged Simpson. Two days later, after Hornblower chose pistols, one charged, the other not, as his choice of weapons, Hornblower and Simpson met for the duel. As neither one was killed in the duel, they found out that Captain Keene had ordered that both weapons would be primed, but, not charged.
After taking the brig Marie Galante of Bordeaux with a cargo of rice, Pellew assigns Hornblower , with four crew members from the cutter, to take command and to take her to any English port he can make. Upon taking command, Hornblower locked up the French crew and dumped the wine they were drinking overboard, then set his prize crew to re-slinging the foretopsail yard, then set course for England.
The next morning, he and Matthews sounded the well to find no water, unusual for any ship at sea. In conversation with the French Captain, Hornblower made the decision to investigate the damage to the hull below the waterline.
Being lowered overboard on a line, Hornblower determined the size of the hole, and had a sail fothered to plug the hole to minimize the leak, but, to no avail. The brig had taken on too much water which was absorbed by the rice, causing it to expand placing pressure on the hull and the deck. The crew tried to save the ship by jettisoning the cargo, but they were unable to bring the cargo up from the hold, it was lodged too tightly by the swelling of the wet rice.
Soon, Marie Galante began to break up due to the expansion of the rice causing the prize crew and the French crew to abandon ship, and she sunk very quickly, alas for Hornblower's first command. Hornblower, his prize crew, and the French crew are in a boat after the loss of the Marie Galante. Hornblower is seasick and has self doubts because of his loss of the ship.
The boat set sail after having out a sea anchor overnight. Hornblower and the French captain argued whether to sail for Bordeaux or for England, the wind fair for Bordeaux, but, difficult for England.
Then the crew was picked up by the French privateer Pique , Captain Neuville commanding, the English crew taken prisoner. Hornblower has his eighteenth birthday while aboard Pique. After a few days, the Indefatigable appears. But, the Pique was the faster sailor. Hornblower starts a fire outside the paint locker, so the Pique was forced to heave to so the wind would not accelerate the fire, allowing Indefatigable to take the Pique as a prize for his dead.
Captain Pellew took the loss of the Marie Gallante lightly and when questioned about the cause of the fire aboard Pique , Hornblower guessed that, perhaps, it was spontaneous combustion.
Having chased Papillon into the Gironde , Indefatigable lay just out of shot of the batteries, Pellew sought a way to take Papillon. Midshipmen Hornblower and Mallory are called to join the Captain and the other officers for dinner. After dinner, Hornblower found that this was a meeting to detail a cutting out expedition to take Papillon.
Hornblower was assigned to command the jolly-boat and to board Papillon and to aloft to set sail while the other boats are engaged in a battle to take the ship. Hornblower goes aloft on Indefatigable to practice his assignment. Hornblower assigns Jackson to take command if Hornblower falls. Hales , assigned to stroke oar, mentions that he feels 'queer-like'. When the boats shove off for the expedition, Hornblower takes the tiller. Hales apparently has a seizure putting the oars into disarray.
After Jackson takes stroke oar, Hales becomes incoherent and Hornblower is forced to strike him with the tiller bar to silence him. After the other boats boarded Papillon , Hornblower steers for the larboard mainchains and board Papillon.
Climbing aloft, his crew discovers that the foot ropes are missing. Led by Hornblower, they climb onto the topmast yard and loosed the sail from there. Sliding down the brace, Hornblower let his hands slide on the rope causing severe friction burns.
Meanwhile other prize crew members set sail with other sails, Papillon getting underway with the Indefatigable crew. French batteries open fire. Jackson provides first aid to Hornblower's hands and cautions him as to the proper technique of descending by rope. Hornblower discovers the loss of the jolly boat and Hales as no one was aboard the jolly boat to bring her out with Papillon, Hales being either dead or unconscious. Midshipman Hornblower looking over his men before the Captain's inspection notices that Styles had several spots of sticking plaster on his face.
When questioned Styles replies that they're boils. After discussing the situation with the surgeon, Hornblower retreated to the mizzen-top, a good place for some solitude. Finch arrives on the top and Hornblower gives permission to join him. Finch tells Hornblower that God's in the maintop and the devil's in the cable tier during the dog watches. Later, during the dog watches, Hornblower finds Finch's comment about the Devil strange, so, decided to investigate.
Upon entering the tier, Hornblower finds Styles part of a rat fight in which he has his hands tied and tries to kill rats by biting them, and others bet on the outcome.
The marks on Styles' face are from rat bites. Hornblower recognizes several of the hands encouraging Styles and placing bets.
He breaks up the ring and warns them to never be caught again in this activity. Indefatigable begins a chase of a French ship, Hornblower assigned to the swivel gun at the mizzentop.
As the ships come together, Hornblower fires the swivel gun at the Frenchman's helm disabling one of the helmsman, the French opens fire with a broadside followed by a broadside by Indefatigable then a shot strikes the mizzen, Hornblower fires at the helm again disabling all the remaining helmsman, then the ships crashes together, the mizzen snapping off near the deck crashing into the mainmast coming to rest on the mainyard.
Hornblower attempting to get Finch to jump to the mainyard, Finch was frozen with fear. Hornblower yells that God was on the mainyard, that puts Finch into action and they both jump to the mainyard, then meets with Midshipman Bracegirdle , then descends to deck to safety.
Hornblower was assigned to attend to the embarkation of the French troops as he spoke the language. Meeting with the Baron de Charette commanding and additional five thousand troops, the forces were to invade Quiberon and Muzillac.
Hornblower was assigned to accompany Pouzauges and to report to Edrington of any developments. Then Midshipman Bracegirdle, after he and Hornblower set up the gun emplacement, invites Hornblower to help him blow up the bridge.
Hornblower, then, returns to Muzillac and upon his arrival witnesses the portable guillotine in action, then is invited to dinner by Pouzauges. After the french muster in the morning and during breakfast, shots are heard from the six pounders of Bracegirdle firing upon the republic infantry across the causeway.
Leaving Bracegirdle, Hornblower rides to the 43rd to report to Edrington. As he approaches the French, he realizes that royalist forces are in retreat from republic forces. Hornblower hightails it back to Edrington to report and the 43rd takes position to cover the French retreat. Bracegirdle and his men came by in a horse cart sans cannon, and Edgrington sends them off to shore to make ready for the 43rd to embark and leave France.
The 43rd re-embarks while causing considerable damage and casualties to the republic forces. This chapter opens with Hornblower as midshipman of the watch aboard Indefatigable while at anchor in Cadiz , when he observes an eight-oared pinnace approaching.
Hornblower translates the conversation between Pellew and the Spanish Captain, who states that Spain has made peace with France and that Indefatigable will be fired upon unless she leaves within six hours. As Indefatigable made ready to get underway Hornblower was able to observe a couple of Spanish galleys as they row about the area. Sometime later, Indefatigable is providing escort for a convoy of merchants with stores from the Barbary States en-route to Gibraltar.
At this time the convoy was becalmed and all the ships were in tow by their boats to try to make for the Mole when they see a couple of galleys making for the convoy to engage some of the ships. This would be easy pickings. Hornblower calls for his jolly boat crew and got into the water. The cutter and longboat, which were towing Indefatigable are also in the chase.
The cutter is rammed by one of the galleys, and the jolly boat comes about in chase. They grapple onto and board the galley, taking her in just a couple of minutes, then manages to get the galley near the gig so it's crew can board and assist. Lieutenant Chadd , taking command, Hornblower reports to Captain Pellew who, since Soames , the sailing master, was lost when the galley collided with the cutter, makes Hornblower Acting-Lieutenant.
He has been Acting-Lieutenant for about two months. After anchoring at the mole, Hornblower is called into the Captain's cabin who informs him that he is to report to the prison hulk Santa Barbara the next day for his Lieutenant's examination. After a day of studying and extreme uniform preparation with help from the midshipmen's berth, Hornblower was rowed to Santa Barbara At the sight of Hammond, one midshipman immediately leaves because of an incident some previous years ago.
After several others had their examinations, some successful, some not, it's Hornblower's turn. His first question was: 'You are close-hauled on the port tack beating up the channel with a nor'easterly wind blowing hard, with Dover bearing north two miles, the wind veers four points and takes the ship flat aback.
What would he do? With Dover cliffs under his lee, serious trouble! With that the board members hurried out of the cabin, with Hornblower following. He and they saw the red rocket, the general alarm, then saw the fire ships running before the wind straight for the anchorage.
Pulling for Calypso they came across a brig on fire caught on the Santa Barbara 's cable endangering some two thousand prisoners. Foster makes the decision to attempt to board her and steer her clear, Hornblower accompanies Foster.
Hornblower boards first followed by Foster. Hornblower takes the wheel. Guided by Foster, and steered by Hornblower, the fire ship clears the Santa Barbara and the Dauntless then as the fire burns through the tiller ropes, they jumped overboard, Hornblower shoved by Foster.
Soon they were picked up by a Spanish boat.
Mr Midshipman Hornblower
Many major plot elements of the Hornblower TV series were drawn from this volume, as well as from Lieutenant Hornblower and Hornblower and the Atropos. Hornblower reports aboard HMS Justinian , Captain Keene commanding , in January, , as a midshipman of seventeen years of age; this is unusual as most begin their careers at the age of twelve or younger. He becomes seasick at anchor in Spithead , a dubious distinction. Seasickness is a trait seen often throughout his career. Soon after being assigned to the midshipman's berth, Hornblower meets Simpson who just failed the examination for Lieutenant. Simpson was the terror of the midshipman's berth, wreaking havoc with all the other midshipmen, making them do demeaning chores. Soon after, Simpson and Hornblower were sent to town along with officers and crew members from other ships comprising a press gang.
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower [Hornblower Saga #1]
A January gale was roaring up the Channel, blustering loudly, and bearing in its bosom rain squalls whose big drops rattled loudly on the tarpaulin clothing of those among the officers and men whose duties kept them on deck. So hard and so long had the gale blown that even in the sheltered waters of Spithead the battleship moved uneasily at her anchors, pitching a little in the choppy seas, and snubbing herself against the tautened cables with unexpected jerks. A shore boat was on its way out to her, propelled by oars in the hands of two sturdy women; it danced madly on the steep little waves, now and then putting its nose into one and sending a sheet of spray flying aft. The oarswoman in the bow knew her business, and with rapid glances over her shoulder not only kept the boat on its course but turned the bows into the worst of the waves to keep from capsizing. It slowly drew up along the starboard side of the Justinian , and as it approached the mainchains the midshipman of the watch hailed it. That was as much as Mr. Masters, the lieutenant of the watch, could see; he was sheltering as best he could in the lee of the mizzen-mast bitts, and in obedience to the order of the midshipman of the watch the boat drew up towards the mainchains and passed out of his sight.
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
Midshipman Hornblower published is a Horatio Hornblower novel written by C. Although it may be considered as the first episode in the Hornblower saga, it was written as a prequel ; the first Hornblower novel, The Happy Return "Beat to Quarters" in the U. Horatio Hornblower commences his career in the Royal Navy as an inexperienced midshipman in January Through a series of challenges and adventures both in and out of combat, Hornblower discovers he is actually talented in both seamanship and leadership.