Hornblower During the Crisis by Cecil S. Forester

(New York: Back Bay / Little, Brown & Co, 1950/1990), 174

  • "There was nothing to read on board, there was nothing todo, and there was nowhere comfortable where he could do that nothing. " (12)
  • Phrases to use: "If a thing was worth doing it was worth doing well" (42)
  • "A touch of formality would clear the nightmares from his mind." (51)
  • PTSD: "He had repressed the almost automatic reaction to drawback from a public caress, before he realised what it was that Maria had observed. Now there was a flood of recollection. The night before last, he had stormed onto the deck of the Guêpe with a gang of yelling madmen with blackened faces. He had heard cutlass blades crunch on bone, he had heard screams for mercy, he had seen nine pounds of canister fired down into a crowded 'tween-decks. Only the night before last, and here was Maria, simple and innocent and ignorant, and his child, and the staring onlookers, in the English sunshine. It was only a step out of one world into another, but it was a step infinitely long, over a bottomless chasm." (69)
  • "There was a bed and a chair and a wash-hand stand and a mirror on the wall; all a man could need." (72)
  • "It was a wooden chair, unfriendly to his tormented sitting parts, but it had a high back with wings against which it was comfortable to lean." (75)
  • "Then he shut his mouth again, remembering the philosopher who said that he had often regretted having spoken but had never regretted remaining silent. A few seconds of silence—utterly fortuitous—had won him promotion to post rank; a few seconds of speech might imperil it." (115-116, cf. Negotiation)
  • Hornblower's Temptation: Hornblower sacrifices personal gain so as to not make Payne look bad.
  • "The life of a country gentleman may be pleasant and secure, but sometimes it was damnably dull." (155)

Topic: Hornblower Series (#4)

New Words

  • somnolent: Sleepy; drowsy; inclined to sleep (18)
  • ormolu: A variety of brass made to resemble gold by the use of less zinc and more copper in its composition than ordinary brass contains. Its golden color is often heightened by means of lacquer of some sort, or by use of acids. Called also mosaic gold. (155)

Created: 2022-07-23-Sat
Updated: 2022-08-08-Mon