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C.S. Forester quotes (showing 1-30 of 39)

“When a man who is drinking neat gin starts talking about his mother he is past all argument.”
C.S. Forester, The African Queen
“I thank God daily for the good fortune of my birth, for I am certain I would have made a miserable peasant.”
C.S. Forester, Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
tags: funny
“Clairvoyant, Hornblower could foresee that in a year's time, the world would hardy remember the incident. In twenty years, it would be entirely forgotten. Yet those headless corpses up there in Muzillac; those shattered redcoats; those Frenchmen caught in the four-pounder's blast of canister -- they were as dead as if it had been a day in which history had been changed.”
C.S. Forester, Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
“I did not ask for objections, but for comments, or helpful suggestions. I looked for more loyalty from you, Captain Hornblower.'

That made the whole argument pointless. If Leighton only wanted servile agreement there was no sense in continuing...”
C.S. Forester, Ship of the Line
“Bush put both arms round Hornblower’s shoulders and walked with dragging feet. It did not matter that his feet dragged and his legs would not function while he had this support; Hornblower was the best man in the world and Bush could announce it by singing ‘For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow’ while lurching along the alleyway.”
C.S. Forester, Lieutenant Hornblower
“Hornblower bowed to Lady This and Lady That, to Lord Somebody and to Sir John Somebody-else. Bold eyes and bare arms, exquisite clothes and blue Garter-ribbons, were all the impressions Hornblower received.”
C.S. Forester, Flying Colours
“The material came bubbling up inside like a geyser or an oil gusher. It streamed up of its own accord, down my arm and out of my fountain pen in a torrent of six thousand words a day.”
C.S. Forester
“...irresponsibility was something which, in the very nature of things, could not co-exist with independence.”
C.S. Forester, Commodore Hornblower
“Hornblower worked as hard to conceal his human weaknesses as some men worked to conceal ignoble birth.”
C.S. Forester, Lieutenant Hornblower
“Happy is the bride the sun shines on.”
C.S. Forester
“It was not a conspiratorial wink, nor did Hornblower attempt the hopeless task of trying to pretend he stuffed hot greasy sausages into his pockets every day of his life; the wink simply dared the old gentleman to comment on or even think of the remarkable act.”
C.S. Forester
“The cork was in the bottle. He and the Atropos were trapped.”
C.S. Forester, Hornblower and the Atropos
“They were setting off on an adventure, and Hornblower was only too conscious that it was his own fault.”
C.S. Forester
“If one plan goes wrong there is need to make another, that is all. And, as for despair — there was no room for despair in Dodd’s make-up. The regiment had taught him that he must do his duty or die in the attempt; a simple enough religion fit for his simple mind. As long as there was breath in his body or a thought in his mind he must struggle on; as long as he went on trying there was no need to meditate on success or failure. The only reward for the doing of his duty would be the knowledge that his duty was being done.”
C.S. Forester, Rifleman Dodd
“Though there are very serious disadvantages about being a true believer. Who would want four wives at any time, especially when one pays for the doubtful privilege by abstaining from wine?”
C.S. Forester, The young Hornblower : comprising Mr. midshipman Hornblower, Lieutenant Hornblower, Hornblower and the Hotspur
“His self-respect was at its lowest ebb.”
C.S. Forester, Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
“Harm began to come to Hornblower from that day forth, despite his obedience to orders and diligent study of his duties, and it stemmed from the arrival in the midshipmen’s berth of John Simpson as senior warrant officer.”
C.S. Forester, Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
“Yet if he had been asked… if he were happy… He would have admitted readily enough that he was uncomfortable, that he was cold, and badly fed, and venomous; that his clothes were in rags, and his feet and knees and elbows raw and bleeding through much walking and crawling; that he was in ever-present peril of life, and that he really did not expect to survive the adventure he was about to thrust himself into voluntarily, but all this had nothing to do with happiness: that was something he never stopped to think about.”
C.S. Forester
“The stinks of the true believers have to be smelt to be believed.”
C.S. Forester
tags: humor
“His officers saw little of him, and did not love what they saw.”
C.S. Forester, The young Hornblower : comprising Mr. midshipman Hornblower, Lieutenant Hornblower, Hornblower and the Hotspur
“July 4th, 1776,” mused Keene, reading Hornblower’s date of birth to himself.”
C.S. Forester, Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
C.S. Forester, The Good Shepherd
“The skysails had already hinted strongly in”
C.S. Forester, Hornblower in the West Indies
“The boarders cheered and followed him. “Boarders away!” shouted the petty officers, and everywhere the Marguerite’s men grabbed up weapons and came pouring over into the Castilla, yelling like madmen in their excitement. Here and there resistance was offered to them. Somebody banged off a weapon apparently right at Hornblower, but the bullet missed him miraculously, although his left hand bore for the rest of his days the ingrained stain of the burning powder. Most of the Spaniards — raw recruits without a shred of discipline to hold them together — broke and ran before the attack, scuttling below to safety. Only on the high poop did the officers attempt a last”
C.S. Forester, Hornblower Addendum - Five Stories
“Bush could never understand Hornblower's disciplinary methods. He had been positively horrified when he had heard his captain's public admission that he too had baths under the washdeck pump — it seemed madness for a captain to allow his men to guess that they were of the same flesh as his.”
C.S. Forester, Ship of the Line
“Arma virumque”
C.S. Forester, Flying Colours
“Hornblower sat down at table; in the seven months' voyage every luxury had long since been consumed. The coffee was a black extract of burnt bread, and all that could be said in its favor was that it was sweet and hot. The burgoo was a savoury mess of unspeakable appearance compounded of mashed biscuit crumbs and minced salt beef.”
C.S. Forester, Beat to Quarters
“The wise man does not mix grain and grape”
C.S. Forester, Lieutenant Hornblower
“He went hurrying off to take his stand by the left-hand gun, which”
C.S. Forester, The young Hornblower : comprising Mr. midshipman Hornblower, Lieutenant Hornblower, Hornblower and the Hotspur
“now accustomed to”
C.S. Forester, Captain Hornblower R.N.: Hornblower and the Atropos / The Happy Return / A Ship of the Line

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