Since Roddenberry's inspiration for Kirk was Hornblower, it could have been a nod to that.
Wait, what? How did I not
know that? That's awesome! Although I don't see much of Hornblower in Kirk. Now, Picard
, on the other hand... I could totally see Picard being influenced by Hornblower. Both are reserved, analytical, introverted, and extremely well-read.
But I didn't know Roddenberry was a C.S. Forester fan. That makes me happy.