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the French Navy is passing through the valley of humiliation. In the existing grouping of the Powers, the triple entente implies liabilities which the British people are only now beginning slowly to realize. France may need assistance, and Holland, Denmark, Belgium, and Portugal stand continually in need of protection. Upon the fleet must rest our main dependence. It is unsafe to place reliance upon any naval assistance which might be rendered in time of emergency by the French or Russian Fleets. In a naval sense Great Britain still occupies a position of splendid isolation, and the calculations upon which future programmes are based must still embody this policy. At the same time naval strength must be judged not merely by balancing matériel against matériel, officers against officers, or men against men, but by the spirit which animates rival forces.
Judged on this basis, Germany is already far in advance of every other continental fleet. Of twenty-four "battleships" less than twenty-five years old, four of which are little more than coast-defence ships of 9900 tonsshe keeps sixteen always in full commission; in addition to four armored cruisers, six scouts, and a fairly large group of destroyers, varying at different seasons from eleven to over thirty; she has neither submarines nor torpedo boats; in summary about 66 per cent. of her matériel is employed in active training. As new ships are completed, the Navy Bill provides for but a small numerical growth in the German High Sea Fleet. Half the Navy, consisting of the newest and best ships, will be always on active service, and the remainder will be kept in reserve. When the naval establishment reaches its maximum strength about 50 per cent. of the ships will be kept fully manned, and the remainder will form a reserve force in accordance
with the terms of the Navy Bill which has been already quoted. The German High Sea Fleet as it exists to-day is a powerful training squadron, but it is supported by very inconsiderable reserves. It is not intended to fight, it is not intended, probably, even for use as a diplomatic weapon; it is the high school of the Navy-the seagoing university-in which admirals, captains, junior officers, and the rank and file of the Navy are being given a higher education in naval warfare. In the coming winter and onward, month by month, new ships-Dreadnoughts and Indomitables-will be completed for sea and will replace in the first line the older vessels, until, in the spring of 1914, Germany will possess an Active Fleet of eighteen, or possibly twenty-two, Dreadnoughts, with the existing High Sea Fleet held in reserve-only partly manned.
By that time Austria will also probably be on the point of reaching the first stage of development of her new naval policy. Her fleet, such as it is, is maintained to-day on a higher standard in proportion to its total strength than any other continental Navy except that of Germany. Last spring when the mobilization of the Austrian Fleet took place she had on a war footing the following ships:
intelligent, and economical administration, is evidence of the foundations which are now being laid of the great Navy of to-morrow which will be prepared to fight side by side with that of Germany.
zation of reserves; to-day behind the active fleet there is a reserve organization, the efficiency of which has been repeatedly demonstrated in the past few years and will be further tested during the present month. barest summary the peace standing of the British Fleet in European waters only is as follows:
What is the position of the British Fleet as it faces these developments? As has been already explained, ten years ago when the German Act first placed on record the new standard of naval efficiency, the British Fleet was widely dispersed in little groups over the face of the waters, with one considerable squadron in the Mediterranean and a group of eight battleships in British waters. The Navy had no organization for war, its Intelligence Department was weak; the admirals in command were without adequate staffs, there was no organization of torpedo craft, and the prestige of the Navy rested not upon its preparedness for war, but upon the triumphs it had gained in earlier days before steel had superseded wood and steam power had taken the place of sails. Ten years ago the Navy's expenditure on coal was 750,000l.; in the current year the expenditure is estimated at upwards of 2,000,000l. Ten years ago the British public credited the Navy with possessing forty-seven battleships, and of these eighteen were in seagoing commission, with only three first-class cruisers, six second-class cruisers, and a number of small craft. The German Navy Act awakened the British naval authorities from a period of slumber; they had been living upon the fruits of past victories. At first slowly, and of late years with rapid strides, the Navy has been reorganized. It now possesses two main battle forces, one in the Home seas and the other in the Mediterranean, with the Atlantic Fleet as a connecting link, held always in readiness to co-operate with one or other of the main forces. Ten years ago there existed no effective organi
Battleships.-Home Fleet, sixteen with full crews and three battleshipcruisers (Indomitables), and ten with nucleus crews; in addition the Atlantic Fleet has six and the Mediterranean Fleet six, a total of forty-one, of which all but six are always on duty in Home waters.
Armored Cruisers.-Fourteen are in full commission in Home waters, with ten others with nucleus crews, and four are on duty in the Mediterranean -a total of twenty-eight.
Protected Cruisers, Scouts and Gunboats.-Thirteen are in full commission in Home waters, with fifteen others with nucleus crews, and there are three on duty in the Mediterranean-a total of thirty-one.
Torpedo Craft.-There are forty-eight destroyers permanently associated with the two active divisions of the Home Fleet, besides thirty-two submarines and thirty new torpedo boats"coastal destroyers"-while twenty other torpedo boats are attached, as mobile defences, to the Home ports. In addition, sixty-nine destroyers. thirty torpedo boats, and some submarines are in commission with large nucleus crews; thus giving to the Navy a total of 130 torpedo craft always on active service in Home waters, and about 100 older ones with nucleus crews. There are eleven destroyers in the Mediterranean.
Auxiliary Ships.-For the first time in its history the Navy has been provided with a due proportion of auxiliary vessels. A hospital ship is always cruising with the fleet, together
with floating workshops for repairs, and a number of depot and parent ships for service with the torpedo craft, and the Admiralty have provided groups of mine-layers and minesweepers ready for instant service.
This, in briefest outline is the organization of the British Navy at present. It takes no account of older ships with small maintenance crews. Of sixty-three battleships and battleship-cruisers (Indomitables) of less than twenty-five years old, thirty-one are maintained on a war footing and ten possess nucleus crews of regular officers and men, varying in strength from 50 per cent. and upwards of the full war strength. Of thirty-eight armored cruisers less than twenty years old, eighteen are maintained in full commission in Europe, and ten have large nucleus crews. There is an even larger proportion of protected cruisers kept permanently in commission, but many of them are outside European waters, constituting the China, East Indies, Australian, Cape of Good Hope, and West Indian Squadrons. There are also four armored cruisers on the China Station, where Germany has a very small force, including one armored ship only. An examination of the Navy List shows that rather more than half of the torpedo craft of the British Fleet-the new vessels-are kept in full seagoing commission and the remainder with large nucleus
It should be added that nucleuscrew ships are not comparable with the ships in reserve in foreign fleets, in that the British vessels are dispatched to sea frequently for cruises and engage in gunnery and other competitions similar to those in the fully commissioned divisions of the fleet. Nor can one other salient fact be ignored. Ship for ship the British Navy possesses units which are without compeers under any other flag. This
month there will be in the Home Fleet a group of nine ships embodying the all-big-gun principle, four vessels of the Dreadnought type, three of the Indomitable class, and the Lord Nelson and Agamemnon. There will in addition be eight battleships of the King Edward VII. class. In no other European fleet in the world is there a single unit equal to either of these seventeen armored ships. Judged by the new standard of naval strength which rests upon peace training for war, the British Fleet has never been worked more persistently and consistently or to better purpose than to-day. So great has been the improvement of naval gunnery owing to the spirit of emulation which has been excited afloat, the institution of the war nucleus crews, and the introduction of improved weapons and resources, that as a fighting machine the fleet is today of three times the fighting value that it was ten years ago.
Looking back over the period which has elapsed since Germany abandoned the old easy-going methods of peace and inaugurated the new routine of careful preparation for war, the British people have cause for congratulation. The Navy to-day exhibits the result of careful thought and intelligent organization. Thankful for what has already been accomplished in remodelling the British forces to modern conditions, it is at the same time apparent that there are still deficiencies to be made good. The strength of a chain is that of its weakest links. The British Navy still has weak links. It requires a well-considered scheme of mobile coast defence upon our eastern shores. It requires increased docking facilities between Rosyth in the north and Portsmouth in the south-a stretch of coast which is at present without a single dock which can take a Dreadnought. It stands in need of a persistent and courageous policy
which shall provide it with an adequate number of new ships of warnot less than eight Dreadnoughts this year so that it may successfully meet the unprecedented rivalry in the new types which threatens it in the immediate future. And, lastly, it will require increasingly large expenditure on The Nineteenth Century and After.
war training if it is to maintain its traditional standing. There must be economy financially-otherwise our resources will prove inadequate-but let us be spendthrift in the attention devoted to preparation for war as a definite end. Thus and thus only can we secure peace.
A happy chance, kind alike to the writer of the following pages and to me, brought us into communication in the month of January. Letters, inquisitive on the one side and frank on the other ripened the acquaintance; and informing me little by little of all but the outward aspect of the writer, enable me to state to-day with confidence not only that he is what he represents himself to be-not only that he has lived the life and plumbed the depths which he describes-but, over and above this, that he has passed through the sharp experience unembittered, with a spirit unbroken, and with hope in his breast. So much I may permit myself to say of the writer. For the reader, it may be good for some, dozing in the sunshine of prosperity, to dwell awhile on the diverse fortunes and deserts of men. Nor, at a time when the dark twin brethren of Unemployment and the Poor Law-problems to one class, spectres to another-loom large, and demand so much of the public thought, will it harm any to hear a witness rarely qualified to speak. For to know the inside of the tramp ward and still to be able to paint it, not luridly, but with dry impartiality to see with vagrant eyes good as well as evil in the stolid householder-is to possess a knowledge and a power rarely found in a single man. Here is one who, speaking from the gulf, speaks nevertheless in our own tongue.
Stanley J. Weyman.
LEAVES FROM THE DIARY OF A TRAMP.
I have been for some months now a tramp; herding in common lodginghouses with outcasts, outlaws, men broken on the wheel of life. Sleeping by the wayside in fields, in haystacks, when fate has been cruel and I penni
Archibald S. Hurd.
less. Hungering often, not merely for bodily food, but for spiritual, human sympathy and fellowship. Going from shop to shop asking to be employed: asking at first hopefully, then timidly and with fear. Haunting railway stations, hoping to earn a copper by carrying the bag of some well-fed, selfsatisfied traveller, who rarely deigns to answer the timid request. Following luggage-piled cabs. Standing one of a hungering crowd before the dock gates. Breaking stones hard as a nether millstone in the workhouse labor yard.
My life had been such a quiet one. I went to school when I was three, so that the teacher could do the work of the nursemaid my heavily-burdened mother was too poor to employ. When I was twelve I was awarded a scholarship tenable at the grammar school; but the call to "follow the Gleam" was not for me. Money was needed in the home: I had to leave school and go to work in the velvet-mill. Hateful work to me, but helpful to the family exchequer.
Far back as my memory goes I have loved books. All my pennies went into the pocket of the second-hand bookseller in the market-place. Every Saturday night I rummaged through his "penny" box, to return home laden with my spoil. Then, as I grew older and was allowed to roam at will
through the well-stocked shop, what glorious times I had! What did it matter if I was chained to the mill in the daytime? Half-past six saw me washed, dressed, tea over, and six hours in front of me during which I could company with the wise and great of all time, and forget that at six o'clock next morning I would be called to prepare for the cramping routine of another day. In the daytime I was a machine; the evening I lived.
And so the years passed-eleven of them-quiet, uneventful. I lived in a little world of my own; then, without warning, my little world ceased to revolve on its axis.
That trade had been bad for long I knew; of the mill closing I never dreamt. Yet close it did and I was masterless. I had worked from boyhood to manhood at the one mill-grown up with it, until I grew to regard my going there as part of the settled order of things. Now I had to go out into the world to try to find another little niche into which I could creep.
I tried hard, without success; answering advertisements personally and by letter. My little stock of money soon came to an end. My belongings had to go. Then I had to face the fact that from my books also I must part. I arranged for a dealer to call; then, going into my little room, I locked the door and spent my last evening with them, bidding them farewell.
How ridiculous this will seem to the man of business, whose eyes are rarely raised from the muck his rake is turning over, or gathering together! To the British workman be-pedestalled by Smiles, whose god is Thrift; or to the British workman-my workmateswhose god is Beer, whose temple is the "Black Boy," whose high priest is the publican.
These books had made up the best
part of my life. To them I had always gone for sanctuary when troubles beset me. Not without a wrench could I part from them. And so I sat, with just the light of the fire flickering along the shelves. And as I sat memories of all the books had meant to me and been to me came round me like a flood.
Wordsworth; Coleridge; De Quincey; Swift; fussy little Oliver Goldsmith; Matthew Arnold; Malory; Mill; Gibbon; Darwin; Spenser's "Faerie Queene"; Marlowe's "Dr. Faustus"; Hakluyt; Bacon; rare Ben Jonson; More's "Utopia"; Plato's "Republic"; sententious Selden; mystical Crashaw; satirically comic Butler; Voltaire the cynic; "Religio Medici" Browne; Rabelais, with his jewelled mud and his muddied jewels; Rousseau--clay, clay, and fine gold; Schopenhauer, who always seemed to make the sun go down and the birds cease their singing; lovable Quixote; Milton, lonely, blind, immortal; inspired Bunyan; brave, sturdy old Johnson; Tolstoy; Gorki; Maeterlinck; Heine these and many others, a goodly company, flitted across the lantern screen of memory as I sat there glancing along the laden shelves.
Last of all, the little company of the elect, my special friends: Shakespeare; gentle Elia; eruptive Carlyle; Bridge's. "Prometheus the Firegiver"; "Aylwin"; "John Inglesant"; Stevenson; Keats; the old Persian Omar Khayyam; John Richard Green; George Eliot; optimistic Robert Browning; and, hiding himself, as though in company too great for his deserving, "The Road-mender."