"Aut Caesar, aut nullus."
In the treatment of the subject proposed for competition, there are two radically different courses that may be pursued. By the first, which may not inaptly be termed the method of induction, a type of vessel may be selected which shall show the development of some one or more excellencies to an extreme; and, having fully worked out all the details of its constructional points, it becomes an easy matter to cite individual instances involving different combinations of attack and defense that shall prove this type to be the one best suited to the needs of the country. This is the method that is most generally adopted either by those who give but a casual attention to the subject or by those who, having at some time past become especially attracted by certain elements of naval strength, have from force of constant thinking and argument come to treat them as hobbies to be applied everywhere and under all circumstances. It is from following this method that we find devotees of an exclusive type of ram, torpedo vessel, gun boat, or heavy armored defense vessel.