"Cuilibet in arte sua credendum est."
There is no question about the sphere of usefulness of naval officers in time of war. But, owing to a prolonged peace, the necessity even of maintaining such officers is sometimes questioned. In order to keep its position among the nations of the earth, every country is obliged to have a war establishment of some kind; depending upon its location and surroundings, upon its obligations and duties. When we survey the vast extent of our own land, intersected as it is by great navigable rivers, surrounded by two oceans, the gulf and the great lakes, with an enormous coast-line studded with commodious harbors, and when we reflect upon our immense undeveloped capabilities, upon our extensive commerce, which compels us to trade across the broadest oceans with the most distant lands, we may justly aspire to commercial supremacy and to hold a position in the front rank of nations.