"In via virtute via nulla.''
Mr. President and Gentlemen:—
The attention of this Institute has been invited to the naval defense of our country. At a time when public sentiment, as reflected in the leading papers, appears to be awakening to a sense of our necessities, a more interesting topic could not well be selected.
Of the two principal classes of vessels required to perform the extremely varied duties that devolve upon a fleet, we will first consider—
THE ARMORED VESSEL.
Some eighteen years ago Mr. Ericsson's uncanny looking production gave a most vigorous, almost a creative, impulse to a wave of revolution in naval warfare. That wave left our shores soon after, to ebb and flow in all the channels of human knowledge and ingenuity that so enlighten parts of the old world. It would ill become us, at this juncture, to close our eyes to the panorama spread before us, and remain insensible to the march of professional thought and the development of mechanical skill.