A View From My Quarterdeck
Based upon the Characters Captain Sir Edward Pellew and Horatio Hornblower
Created By C.S. Forester
By Jacqui Cohen
In my many years of service in His Majesty's Navy, I have come
across many types of men. These men come from various backgrounds
and levels of society. Whether they were a criminal in search
of a new life or a younger son of a noble looking for fortune,
almost all come to the seas in hope of escape . Throughout my
service I have seen extremes, men who have died too young while
others have lived on and succeeded. Below are my thoughts on who
managed to do the latter and succeed.
At first glance, Mr. Hornblower's looks surprised me. The boy resembled nothing like the stories had made him to be. From tales of fights and duels, I envisioned him to have the body of a prize fight; strong and athletic. Instead what I saw from my quarterdeck was a child of no more than eighteen. He was a tall, lanky thing with a boney face surrounded by curls. As he past me I repeated the same question: "Could this be the same Hornblower who was disciplined for his conduct aboard the HMS Justinian?"
In his deep brown eyes I could see what was inside, his potential. I could see myself embodied in him. He was brash, quick-witted and decisive. Like me however, he would have to learn discipline and use the vast intelligence he possessed in a more fruitful manner. Therefore, I set out to do this for him. I setup strict boundaries for him to abide by and kept him under my close watch. By doing so, I forced him to prove to me what I knew he had inside.
His eyes provided something else. I cannot fully explain it, even now, the magic which they encompassed. But, it was through them that his subordinates were comforted and his men disciplined. He had a gift of communicating with just his eyes. His men trusted so completely that with a glance they would go through the fires of hell, should he have asked it.
In his years aboard my ship, I have enjoyed watching him mature. The boy whom I once eyed closely upon his arrival maintained most of his features: He was still tall and lanky with curly hair. However, I could no longer call him a boy. He came aboard the HMS Indefatigable a green midshipman and left a commissioned Lieutenant.