Mr. Midshipman Easy
Frederick Marryat
Teen & Young Adult
Mr. Midshipman Easy

From the Father of Modern Nautical Fiction Mr. Midshipman Easy is probably Frederick Marryat's best known work, and justifiably so. It's a delightful story. Jack Easy is a boy who comes from wealth. Along the way, his father, who regards himself as something of a philosopher, imbues him with the notion that all men are utterly and completely equal. That is a notion, however, that is a tad alien to the 19th Century Royal Navy. Jack's beliefs are quickly put to the test when he becomes a midshipman and experiences the rigid hierarchy of a naval vessel-a hierarchy that must be maintained if everyone is to stay alive. In the process, he becomes friends with Mesty, an escaped slave who claims he was once an African prince. Together they face a host of adventures as Midshipman Easy comes of age. One of the more interesting sidelights of the book is the connection between Frederick Marryat and the famous Admiral Lord Thomas Cochrane. Marryat served under Cochrane and played a role in his controversial victory at the Battle of the Basque Roads. It is believed that Midshipman Easy is patterned after Lord Cochrane when he was a young man. Cochrane is also reported to be the model for the fictional hero, Horatio Hornblower.

Captain Frederick Marryat
"Mr. Midshipman Easy"
Chapter One.
Which the reader will find very easy to read.
Chapter Two.
In which Mrs Easy, as usual, has her own way.
Chapter Three.
In which our hero has to wait the issue of an argument.
Chapter Four.
In which the Doctor prescribes going to school as a remedy for a cut finger.
Chapter Five.
Jack Easy is sent to a school at which there is no flogging.
Chapter Six.
In which Jack makes essay of his father’s sublime philosophy and arrives very near to truth at last.
Chapter Seven.
In which Jack makes some very sage reflections, and comes to a very unwise decision.
Chapter Eight.
In which Mr Easy has his first lesson as to zeal in His Majesty’s Service.
Chapter Nine.
In which Mr Easy finds himself on the other side of the Bay of Biscay.
Chapter Ten.
Showing how Jack transgresses against his own philosophy.
Chapter Eleven.
In which our hero proves that all on board should equally sacrifice decency to duty.
Chapter Twelve.
In which our hero prefers going down to going up; a choice, it is to be hoped, he will reverse upon a more important occasion.
Chapter Thirteen.
In which our hero begins to act and think for himself.
Chapter Fourteen.
In which our hero finds that disagreeable occurrences will take place on a cruise.
Chapter Fifteen.
In which mutiny, like fire, is quenched for want of fuel and no want of water.
Chapter Sixteen.
In which Jack’s cruise is ended, and he regains the Harpy.
Chapter Seventeen.
In which our hero finds out that trigonometry is not only necessary to navigation, but may be required in settling affairs of honour.
Chapter Eighteen.
In which our hero sets off on another cruise, in which he is not blown off shore.
Chapter Nineteen.
In which our hero follows his destiny and forms a tableau.
Chapter Twenty.
A long story, which the reader must listen to, as well as our hero.
Chapter Twenty One.
In which our hero is brought up all standing under a press of sail.
Chapter Twenty Two.
Our hero is sick with the service, but recovers with proper medicine—an argument, ending, as most do, in a blow up—Mesty lectures upon craniology.
Chapter Twenty Three.
Jack goes on another cruise—love and diplomacy—Jack proves himself too clever for three, and upsets all the arrangements of the high contracting powers.
Chapter Twenty Four.
Our hero plays the very devil.
Chapter Twenty Five.
In which the old proverb is illustrated, “that you must not count your chickens before they are hatched.”
Chapter Twenty Six.
In which our hero becomes excessively unwell, and agrees to go through a course of medicine.
Chapter Twenty Seven.
In which Captain Wilson is repaid with interest for Jack’s borrowing his name; proving that a good name is as good as a legacy.
Chapter Twenty Eight.
“Philosophy made easy” upon agrarian principles, the subject of some uneasiness to our hero—the first appearance, but not the last, of an important personage.
Chapter Twenty Nine.
In which our hero sees a little more service, and is better employed than in fighting Don Silvio.
Chapter Thirty.
Modern philanthropy which, as usual, is the cause of much trouble and vexation.
Chapter Thirty One.
A regular set-to, in which the parties beaten are not knocked down, but rise higher and higher at each discomfiture—nothing but the troops could have prevented them from going up to Heaven.
Chapter Thirty Two.
In which our hero and Gascoigne ought to be ashamed of themselves, and did feel what might be called midshipmite compunction.
Chapter Thirty Three.
In which Mesty should be called throughout Mephistopheles, for it abounds in black cloaks, disguises, daggers, and dark deeds.
Chapter Thirty Four.
Jack leaves the service, in which he had no business, and goes home to mind his own business.
Chapter Thirty Five.
Mr Easy’s wonderful invention fully explained by himself—much to the satisfaction of our hero, and, it is to be presumed, to that also of the reader.
Chapter Thirty Six.
In which Jack takes up the other side of the argument, and proves that he can argue as well on one side as the other.
Chapter Thirty Seven.
In which our hero finds himself an orphan, and resolves to go to sea again, without the smallest idea of equality.
Chapter Thirty Eight.
In which our hero, as usual, gets into the very middle of it.
Chapter Thirty Nine.
A council of war, in which Jack decides that he will have one more cruise.
Chapter Forty.
In which there is another slight difference of opinion between those who should be friends.
Chapter Forty One.
Which winds up the Nautical Adventures of Mr Midshipman Easy.
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