Tonight, we’ll read the opening to “Mr. Midshipman Easy,” an 1836 novel by Frederick Marryat, a retired captain in the Royal Navy. The novel is set during the Napoleonic Wars, in which Marryat himself served with distinction.
At fourteen, the naïve Jack Easy leaves the luxury of his family estate in England and sails into a world of adventure aboard the sloop of war HMS Harpy. At first, Jack finds it hard to bear the discipline of naval life and is always getting himself into trouble. But soon he is bravely taming a band of mutinous seamen as the Harpy chases Spanish ships on the Mediterranean.