Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“
[blocks in formation]

STARLIGHT ON THE HILL,

And yet—when all seems void and vain, And all the world grown gray with

prose, Some whispering echo wakes again, Some mountain wind of memory

blows; The Blue Bird sings-the Fountain

flows, All golden shine the skies of gray:

Gladly the heart a-maying goes With Gracieuse and Percinet.

Envoi, Prince, though the knightly years are

fled, You still may find the magic way; Youth and Enchantment are not dead With Gracieuse and Percinet.

Rosamund Marriott Watson. The Pall Mall Magazine.

From the world's petulant babble

newly fledThe faithless wail, th' unmeaning

festivalWe climb where high the heavenly

splendors call Unto a wide land not inhabited: There, where the unutterable things

are said, And from our feet the dizzy hollows

fall Like altar-stairs, with Aaron and

with Paul We stand betwixt the living and the

dead.

LINES ON A BULLFINCH, FREED.

Who once was held in durance vile

Now flits among the leafy trees, Nor wit, nor will, nor food, nor guile

May lure him back to captive ease.

Well-nigh persuaded that earth's night

grows old And the long vigil nears its final

WardSing to us, chorus of the prophet

souled, Sing that our absent Sun shall be

restored, And even the meanest of his kind be.

hold, As in a glass, the glory of the Lord.

W. K. Fleming. The Nation.

Where finches throng in buoyant flight

He dips and rises with the rest: And the warm amber of the light

Flushes the ruby of his breast.

THE BALANCE OF NAVAL POWER AND THE

TRIPLE ALLIANCE.

on

In the last few weeks there has been and win a naval war does not mainly a remarkable development of the naval depend the possession of war situation in Europe. We have be- matériel in proportions corresponding come familiar with the rapid progress to such a formula. This method of of the German Fleet. Now Austria- comparison did well enough ten or Hungary, hitherto possessing a fleet of twenty years ago, and is a rough and insignificant proportions, has prepared rendy-very rough and ready-rule for a programme of naval expansion, and to-day Times have changed, and it is Italy, the least prominent and possi- essential to look deeper into the probbly the least enamored of the signato- lem. The principles upon which Gerries to the Triple Alliance, has decided many fought and won the war of 1870 to follow the Austrian lead. The are 110w being interpreted in naval Triple Alliance has had the breath of terms, and Austria-Hungary is about life breathed into it. Hitherto even to assist in this task. This is the at its period of greatest strength, it dominating factor in the naval situahas been a combination of military tion. Naval strength is not simply a strength; in future, if opportunity oc- matter of mathematical calculation: curs it will maneuvre great fleets with it is a question of organization, of the a common purpose. If the new naval application of the old proverb-si vis ambitions are realized, the balance of pacem, para bellum. naval power in Europe will be se- A cursory study of the history of riously disturbed, and not to our ad- the modern British Fleet shows that vantage. The facts and fears of the it has been created as a result of a moment merit the closest examination series of panics, wasteful, undignified, in order that the British people may and illogical, but apparently as essenunderstand the present standing of the tial to the maintenance of our naval British Fleet, and the responsibilities supremacy as the explosions of a gius which the new factors in the situation engine for supplying power. These may cast upon them.

agitations have always been concerned Naval warfare is a matter of fore- with ships, and especially battleships. sight, intelligence, organization, and, The cry is always for battleships and lastly, money. Six months ago the yet more battleships. For instance, Prime Minister stated that the Gov- during the past few weeks the nation ernment accepted the Two-Power has had Dreadnoughts on the brain. It Standard and interpreted it as mean- has suddenly realized that Germany is ing a preponderance of 10 per cent. building a large number of vessels of over the combined strength in capital this type, and that if we are to hold ships of the next two strongest Pow- our own in this respect large sums of ers. This was a pledge-definite as a money must be devoted in the course pledge can be--as to the provision of of the next ten years to what has been one type of ship, but as to what that described as the rebuilding of the type is no two authorities are agreed. British Fleet. It might be imagined But the main point is that this form- that this is an entirely new experience. ula is based purely on things seen- The fact is that the British Fleet has on ships—and these alone do not con- been in process of rebuilding over and stitute naval power. Ability to go in over again ever since iron replaced

[ocr errors]

wood and steam superseded

sail a reserve fund for the replacement of power. For half a century there has plant and machinery, have come to be never been a time when this essential recognized as essential expenses on the work has not been in progress, and it part of the manufacturer and trader. is an irony of fate that before the The British nation's expenditure upon fleet has been refashioned in accord- the fleet comes into the same category. ance with one naval fashion another But whereas the combined influence of has taken the stage. Mechanical fire insurance and the most costly science has progressed so rapidly that equipment of fire brigades cannot prethe naval designer has been unable to vent destructive outbreaks of fire, if keep pace with it. Year by year for the British Navy is maintained at ademany decades it has been rendering quate strength it is essentially a pregood, well-found ships obsolete; but ventive force, while on the other this process has been no more rapid in hand it also serves as an advertising naval construction than in industry, medium for the nation and the nawhere it has come to be recognized tion's trade. During the long years that periodically machinery and plant of maritime peace the British Fleet must be scrapped in the interests of has been a standing and effective ad. efficiency and economy. When vertisement of British prestige, and as great manufacturer admits that his occasion has offered it has been peacemachinery has become out of date and fully employed in advancing civilizadecides that he must replace it by new tion, protecting the weak from the machinery if he is to hold his own, he strong, stamping out slavery, and is applauded in the business world for driving piracy from the seas. The his foresight and business capacity.

British Fleet has been the most powIf he is the first in his particular erful liberalizing agency ever created branch of industry to realize the ne- - as history proves-ard yet it is the cessity of the change, he is held up as advanced Liberal who complains of an example to others. The same busi- the "burden of armaments." ness principles apply to the Navy.

In the circumstances it is not surThe maintenance of our naval su- prising that the British people should premacy is as much a productive in- be seized by panic whenever they fee! dustry as the manufacture of boots that their naval supremacy is threatand shoes or broadcloth, because ade- ened from this quarter that. quate defensive preparations are Twenty years ago the great rival essential element in our national life Power on the seas was France; later owing to the commercial and political the Russian Fleet, the British rivalry which exists between nation Navy's own child, increased steadily and nation, and which may lead to in strength year by year, and at last war.

No practical man regrets the Great Britain was faced by these two money which he pays for the insur- great nations in definite and unfriendly ance of his house against the risk of alliance. By a series of explosions of fire, although he cannot thereby, how- lic opinion successive Governever heavy the premium, guard his ments were forced into the necessary property against destruction. He can Ertivity, and ships, and sometines merely insure that the destruction will men, were provided to meet this combe made good out of the accumulated bined competition by these Powers. funds to which he has periodically con- British action was confined mainly to tributed. Fire insurance and other the accumulation of material and informs of prudential provision, such as creasing the number of officers and

or

an

on

men.

During these years of naval of war. The minimum extent of comcontest there was no considerable im- missioning in peace time would be the provement in the efficiency of the permanent formation of a fleet comprisBritish naval force, no intellectual ad. ing the best and most modern vessels,

as an active force constantly commisvancement finding expression in bet- sioned, i. e. a force in which all the batter preparation for war. A mere bal- tleships and cruisers are in commission. ancing of ship against ship, officer The fleet will form the school for the against officer, and man against man tactical training in the double squadby a process of numerical calculation ron, and in the case of war will bear

the first brunt. As regards the second supplied a rough and ready system of

fleet, which will comprise the older assessing relative naval strength.

battleships, it will have to suffice if Germany has now become the most

one half of the number of its vessels active naval Power in Europe. The only are in commission.

Of course, old formulee no longer apply. The for the purpose of practice in larger German Navy is of new creation; it is bodies, it will be necessary to commisessentially a modern fleet, without sion certain further vessels temporarily

for maneuvres. In the event of war those accretions of naval lore which

this second fleet, the reserve fleet, prohave been handed down from the sail

tected by the active battle fleet, will era. Germany started in the race for have to supplement the inferior training naval power unencumbered, and from of its various crews and the insufficient the first decision to make herself one practice in manæuvring in large bodies, of the great naval Powers of the by making good this deficiency after

mobilization. world, she definitely set aside as more or less meaningless the old principles In this State document was enunupon which during the long period of ciated a new standard which must in: maritime peace it had become the creasingly govern the calculations of custom in Europe to judge the relative the relative strength of the Pow. naval power of the great nations. In ers. German naval authorities admitthe draft of the Navy Bill of 1900 ap- ted that, even when the strength of peared the following remarkable state- the fleet had been increased by the ment:

building of new ships and the enroll

ment of additional officers and men, As regards the extent to which ves

the matériel and personnel judged sepsels should be kept commissioned in peace time, we must be guided by the

arately by the old formulæ would still following considerations. As,

represent Germany as one of the lesser after the projected increase has been naval Powers. This numerical infecarried out, the number of vessels of riority it was announced, would be the German Navy will still be more or compensated for by a higher standard less inferior to that of other individual

of training in time of peace, and it Great Powers, our endeavors must be directed towards compensating for this

might have been added a higher standsuperiority by the individual training

ard of organization for war on the of the crews, and by tactical training lines familiarized by Moltke than had by practice in large bodies.

hitherto been adopted by any of the A satisfactory personal training of in- fleets of the world. dividual crews, as well as sufficient

A few months later Mr. Theodore tactical training by practice in large bodies, can only be guaranteed by per:

Roosevelt, in writing of the war of manent commissioning in peace time.

1812-15, dealt with this subject at Economy as regards commissioning of

greater length and with admirable lu. vessels in peace time means jeopardiz- cidity. Commenting upon the fortune ing the efficiency of the fleet in case of the British during these operations,

even

he recalled the fact that the British, will win the victory over those who do accustomed to almost invariable vic, not. Doubtless it helps if the sailortory

men—the sea mechanics as they are over foes—the undisciplined

now called—have the sea habit to start French after the Revolution-who

with, and they must belong to the fightwere their inferiors alike in gunnery ing stocks. But the great factor is and seamanship, neglected their own the steady, intelligent training in the gunnery and sunk into a condition of actual practice of their profession. . ignorant confidence that even without Among brave and intelligent men of preparation they would “pull through different race stocks, when the day of

battle comes, the difference of race somehow.” In the meantime, how

will be found to be as nothing when ever, the American Navy was trained compared with the difference in thorby years of sea service including much ough and practical training in advance. scrambling warfare with the Algerines; "and," added Mr. Roosevelt, "the Herein lies the new standard of American captains, fully aware of the naval power by which, and by which formidable nature of the foe whom alone, the sea standings of the nations they were to meet, drilled their crews of the world can be judged. Preparto as near perfection as might be. In edness for war presupposes the supply such circumstances they distinctly out of an adequate number of ships and marched their average opponents and sufficient crews to man them, but the could be encountered on equal terms ships and the men are merely the maonly by men like Broke and Manners.” terial out of which naval power may Summarizing his conclusions, formed be created. after a period of service in the Navy Almost simultaneously with this Department of the United States, change naval nomenclature has bewhich had merely moulded his general come hopelessly disordered, and the observation as soldier and statesman, citizen who casually interests himself Mr. Roosevelt added this significant in sea affairs not unnaturally becomes statement:

confused as to the issues. He learns

that there may be battles without batThere is unquestionably a great differ- tleships, as at the Yalu; cruises withence in fighting capacity, as there is a out cruisers, as in the case of the great difference in intelligence, between

world-cruise of the fleet of the United certain races. But there are a num

States; torpedo warfare without torber of races, each of which is intelligent, each of which has the fighting

pedo craft, as occurred when the Huasedge. Among these races the victory car was sunk. He finds on reference in any contest will go to the man or to any naval handbook that battleships the nation that has earned it by thor- may be inferior in gun power to vesough preparation. This preparation

sels frequently designated as cruisers; was absolutely necessary in the days

and that cruisers may be found in the of sailing ships; but the need for it is even greater now, if it be intended to

great fleets which are distinctly infeget full benefit from the delicate and

rior in speed to battleships. He discomplicated mechanism of the formida- covers that torpedo boats, such as those ble war engines of the present day. most recently added to the British The officers must spend many years, Fleet, may be larger and swifter than and the men not a few, in unvaried and

many destroyers; that there are torintelligent training before they are fit to do all that is possible with them

pedo-boat destroyers which are bigger selves and their weapons. Those who

and more powerful than torpedo gundo this, whether they be Americans or boats; that there are submarines, British, French, German, or Russian, which he has come to regard as "little

« AnkstesnisTęsti »