No apology seems necessary for transferring to our pages from the columns of the London Times and Fortnightly Review the following articles, the first two suggested by the anniversary of the battle of Trafalgar. The first, a letter from "A Student of Naval History," points to two lessons to be drawn from that battle; "his (Nelson's) legacy to us," he observes, "is, that strategic and tactical study is that with which, above all things, a naval officer should occupy himself." The other lesson is that "the sea-trained fleet, weaker in numbers as it was, not only defeated, but crushed the harbor-trained fleet."
The second article is an editorial of the Times, in which the writings of an officer of our own navy, Captain A.T. Mahan, are alluded to in such high terms of commendation, that we take equal pleasure and pride in reproducing them for the benefit of those of our readers to whom the English papers may not be accessible.
The editorial, it will be observed, was called forth by the letter already referred to. After alluding to "Sea Power," as "having effected a revolution in the study of naval history," it goes on to say that "it is not difficult to trace the influence of this writer's teachings in the letter of "A Student of Naval History." If imitation be the highest form of flattery to a member of the profession, we have here a compound compliment well worthy of permanent record in these pages.
The success that has attended Captain Mahan's labors as a lecturer on naval history, suggests the thought that there may be, and probably are, other naval officers who would achieve a like success in other branches of professional research if the way were only opened to them.—Editor.
THE ANNIVERSARY OF TRAFALGAR.
[London Times, Oct. 21, 1893.]
To-morrow (Saturday, October 21) will be the anniversary of Trafalgar. The reflections to which the recurrence of the day gives rise may lead us to consider the lessons which that great victory teaches. The intensely dramatic nature of the combat so dazzles us that it is not always easy to distinguish its real significance. The shattering in less than two hours—between 12.20 p.m. and 2 p.m., in which interval the action was practically decided—of the great fabric of belligerent policy which Napoleon had for years been laboriously trying to construct is by itself at most enough to monopolize our whole power of attention. The catastrophe was as awful as any that the tragedians of antiquity ascribed to the intervention of the gods. The tremendous interest of the tragedy is immensely augmented by its inseparable connection with the death of the most romantic personage in modern history. To our fathers of 1805 the result of Trafalgar seemed only the frustration—for a long time if not for ever—of Napoleon's long-cherished project of invading England. We who live now can see that the consequences were of far wider reach. We know that the victory of October 21 permitted the development of the British Empire as it is at this minute; that it put the extension of British rule in India above the power of any European rival to hinder it; that it secured the maintenance of that rule; that it rendered possible the eventual rise of great English communities in southern seas; and that it was the parent of a vast expansion of our ocean commerce. All this may be of mere historical interest; but Trafalgar teaches us at least two lessons which are worth learning at the present day.
The beaten fleet was larger; its ships, compared with those of corresponding class, were bigger; its guns were heavier; its weapons generally were superior; its crews were numerically stronger than the British. It had just left port, where it had lain for many weeks in the neighborhood of a great naval arsenal. Though every want may not have been supplied and every defect may not have been made good, the French and Spanish ships had had at their disposal equipment resources far exceeding in abundance those to which Nelson's were restricted. That there was no inferiority in courage on the part of our antagonists was proved by many incidents. To take a single one, the devoted gallantry of Captain Lucas and the crew of the Redoutable, which did not surrender till five-sixths of her officers and men had been killed and wounded, has never been surpassed in any navy. Why was it, then, that we were able to inflict upon our enemy so crushing a defeat? In the answer to this question are contained the two lessons which the battle teaches.
The British Admiral was an industrious student of strategy and tactics.
If there was ever an officer to whom the study of these subjects might seem unnecessary, assuredly it was Nelson. Never in any commander have the strategic faculty and the tactical faculty—by no means necessarily compatible—been so conspicuously united as they were in him. His extraordinary tactical gift had been displayed at St. Vincent. His equally extraordinary strategical gift had been displayed in the Baltic when he discerned the main objective and urged his chief to strike at it first and leave the secondary to be dealt with afterwards. It was made still more clearly apparent in his favorite maxim that the British fleet should always try to keep touch of and as close as it could to the fleet of the enemy. Gifted as he was, he still made strategy and tactics his study. To the closeness of this study was owing in no small degree the remarkable lucidity of his written explanations of his method of fighting. Speaking of the celebrated memorandum of October 9, Professor Laughton says, "No clearer exposition of tactical principles was ever penned." On questions of mere materiel Nelson, like all great commanders, thought little. The enormous dimensions of the Santissima Trinidad, the comparatively great weight of the enemy's shot, had for him far less importance than the enemy's strategy, tactical formations, intentions, and mode of engaging. His genius told him that to beat a powerful enemy you must understand the strategic requirements of the campaign and the tactical requirements of the battle. His legacy to us is, that strategic and tactical study is that with which, above all things, a navy officer should occupy himself.
The other lesson to be learned from Trafalgar is this—the weaker sea-trained fleet beat the more powerful harbor-trained fleet.
The French and Spanish navies of 1805 were almost as strictly harbor-trained forces as any navy of the present day. This was not voluntary on their part. The activity of our fleet enforced it on them. A frequent occupation of the watching British ships was to stand close in and look on at the harbor exercises sedulously carried out in the waters of Brest and Toulon. The time that the officers of our enemy's fleet could not devote to gaining sea experience was devoted to scholastic study and many non-naval exercises. In one or other of these some attained a high degree of proficiency. There were probably as many trained mathematicians in one of Villeneuve's ships as there were in the whole of Nelson's fleet. Whilst dozens of officers in the former could have named the supposed curve followed by a cannon-ball in its flight, in the British fleet there was probably not one—unless it were a chaplain—who had ever heard of the appellation. In barrack square drill and in mimicry of the less useful evolutions of infantry soldiers the enemy's seamen were, no doubt, immeasurably superior to those who fought under Nelson's flag. The sight of young officers struggling for "marks" in class-rooms, as though they were scholars of a provincial grammar school or training college, was familiar enough in Continental ports. Familiar, too, was the imposition on naval officers of a scholastic course imparting a faint and to-be-speedily forgotten smattering of mathematics, and a fainter smattering of natural science, suitable for those who aspire to posts of ushers in schools of the less efficient class. Fortunately for England, it was not on her own but on the enemy's officers that this course was imposed. This, then, is the second of the two lessons of Trafalgar—the sea-trained fleet, weak in numbers as it was, not only defeated but crushed the harbor-trained fleet.
Your obedient servant,
A Student of Naval History.
[London Times, Oct. 23, 1893.]
Saturday, as we were opportunely reminded by "A Student of Naval History" was the anniversary of Trafalgar, undoubtedly the greatest naval victory of our history; perhaps, in its wider issues and effects, the most decisive battle of the modern world. Our correspondent writes with great authority and insight, and there are not a few reasons, some of which will occur to all at the present moment, why the lessons which he inculcates in so salutary and so timely a fashion should be pressed upon the earnest attention of his countrymen. Englishmen are very apt to ignore, or, if not to ignore, to misapprehend, the real teaching of their naval history. Historians have rarely seized its true import and significance. They have treated it, for the most part, as a series of external episodes, subsidiary and subordinate to contemporary military enterprises, and not as the central and dominant factor of our National and Imperial fortunes. It has been reserved for an American writer to show us, almost for the first time, what "Sea Power" really is, and what its influence has been on the history and condition of the modern world. By his pregnant conception of "Sea Power" and his masterly exposition of its influence upon, history, especially upon the history of the British Isles. Captain Mahan may almost be said to have effected a revolution in the study of naval history similar in kind to that effected by Copernicus in the domain of astronomy. It is not difficult to trace the influence of this writer's teaching in the letter of "A Student of Naval History." "At Trafalgar," writes Captain Mahan, "it was not Villeneuve that failed, but Napoleon that was vanquished; not Nelson that won, but England that was saved."…"The tactics at Trafalgar, while open to criticism in detail, were, in their main features, conformable to the principles of war, and their audacity was justified as well by the urgency of the case as by the results; but the great lessons of efficiency in preparation, of activity and energy in execution, and of thought and insight on the part of the English leader during the previous months are strategic lessons, and as such they still remain good."
It is virtually on this text that "A Student of Naval History" takes up his parable. Trafalgar was fought and won by a fleet inferior to the enemy in numbers and in armament, and by tactics open to criticism, not merely because Nelson was the greatest naval leader the world has ever seen, but because he devoted all the powers of his unique genius to the patient study of the naval problem before him, and to the consummate adaptation of naval means to naval ends. It was not the intuition of genius alone, but incessant and profound study, directed, no doubt, and inspired by genius, that enabled him to penetrate to the core of a problem and to disengage its essence from its accidents. This it was that riveted his attention on Villeneuve's fleet as the one strategic object, paramount to all others, in his front, that carried him to the West Indies in pursuit of it, and brought him back into European waters in time to frustrate the combinations of Napoleon. This it was, too, that determined the tactics at Trafalgar—tactics theoretically faulty in some respects, but justified in his hands, as Captain Mahan says, "as well by the urgency of the case as by the results." This, according to our "Student," is the first great lesson of Trafalgar—the lesson that even the most consummate naval genius cannot dispense with—patient and prolonged study of the "strategic requirements of the campaign and the tactical requirements of the battle." The second lesson is that the sea-trained fleet, although inferior, defeated and crushed the harbor-trained fleet, superior as it was in number and size of ships, in armament and weight of metal, and in the numbers of men engaged. Here, again, we may cite the impartial authority of Captain Mahan. The French officers were highly-trained in all but the one thing that makes the seaman—namely, constant experience and exercise at sea. This was the training that Nelson's officers got, and they got very little else. Nevertheless, Captain Mahan attributes the victory of Trafalgar quite as much to "the very superior character of the British personnel" as to the superior strategic position occupied by the British fleets. "Continually cruising, not singly, but in squadrons more or less numerous, the ships were ever on the drill ground—nay, on the battlefield—experiencing all the varying phases impressed upon it by the changes of the ocean. Thus practiced and hardened into perfect machines, though inferior in numbers, they were continually superior in force and 'mobility to their opponents.'" This is the true training of the naval officer. He cannot be made a seaman without constant experience of the sea. Everything else that he learns in the course of his professional studies is, or should be, merely subsidiary and subordinate to the teaching of the sea itself. His proper training-ground is the quarter-deck and the bridge of a sea-going ship at sea. It is not the mastery of scientific appliances nor the chamber and lecture-room study of the sciences on which they depend, important though these things undoubtedly are, that makes a man a seaman of the type of Nelson and his officers. The sea itself is the one element of a seaman's experience that cannot be reduced to book-knowledge and must be assimilated on the quarter-deck. A man is no more made a seaman by scientific study on shore than he is made an athlete by a knowledge of human physiology or of the chemical properties of food.
If, then, we would profit by the true lessons of Trafalgar, we must never allow ourselves to forget that, while the genius of Nelson was inspired and sustained by profound study of the art and history of naval warfare, the training of his officers was acquired on the sea and from the sea. Their enemies were as brave as they were, and in theoretical training they were far superior to them. They had learned all that a seaman could learn on shore and in harbor, but, when they came to apply at sea what they had learned only on shore, their enforced lack of sea experience told fatally against them. We are in some danger of suffering from a like disability in the naval warfare of the future. Whether our admirals are students of naval strategy in the sense that Nelson was it might, perhaps, be invidious to inquire; but it is certain that our officers are now encouraged, and practically required, to pursue scientific training on shore at the cost of experience at sea. We live in a scientific age, of course, and a modern battleship is a wilderness of scientific appliances. A naval officer should be master of all the knowledge that enables him to fight his ship to the best advantage, or, if he is in command of a fleet, to divine and frustrate the strategic designs of his adversary. But, of this indispensable knowledge, surely the most important factors are those which are derived, on the one hand, from an intelligent study of the principles of naval warfare as illustrated by its history, and, on the other hand, from the teaching of the sea itself. Our forefathers acted on these principles, and Trafalgar was the glorious result. We cannot always have Nelsons at command, but we may, and must, at least take care that, in making our officers mathematicians and electricians, engineers and artillerists trained for the most part on shore or in harbor, we do not deprive them of those qualities and that experience which enabled the sea-trained fleet of Nelson to annihilate the superior harbor-trained fleet of his ill-starred opponent.
SEA POWER: ITS PAST AND ITS FUTURE.
The continents and islands of the world are growing- tame and vulgarized. Already at the bidding of the old civilization they have surrendered very nearly all their secrets and mysteries, and many of their idiosyncrasies. He who will may now go by train to Jerusalem or Samarkand. In Japan they brew excellent bottled beer and manufacture matches that strike only on the box. Both are exported to India. A telegraph wire is being laid almost through the village in which Livingstone died; the Sandwich Islands have experienced a coup d’état of the most enlightened and least bloody European type; Niukalofa, the capital of the Tonga-Tabu Islands, has a daily postal delivery; Delhi enjoys a telephone system; China buys her field-guns at Essen; the faithful Moslem from the farthest east makes the greater part of his pilgrimage to Mecca by steamboat; and the bicycle has crossed Asia.
Nor are there in these continents and islands many corners which European and American diplomacy can still regard as no-man's land. Progress has occupied, as well as overcome, almost every one of them, and we are rapidly nearing the moment when an attempt on the part of any government to make the smallest further annexation will excite throughout civilization a commotion scarcely less dangerous than would be excited to-day by a French occupation of Antwerp or an Italian seizure of Nice. The various continents and islands are, in fact, quickly settling down into order, and the discoverers, the adventurers, and the chartered companies will soon find no more savage worlds to conquer on shore. But the sea remains.
Twenty years, or a little more, may perhaps elapse ere the last scrap of Africa and the last Pacific islet shall be snatched from their aboriginal owners and formally added to the possessions of an older power. Thenceforward those who hunger for empire will be stinted of their ordinary food. No doubt they will continue to be as hungry as of yore, but they will have to starve, unless they either satisfy themselves with the accustomed pabulum at the risk of provoking a great war, or find some other and still plentiful diet which, in default of land, will content their appetites.
For thousands of years the struggle has been for earth. When the ownership of the whole of the earth shall have been determined, will there not arise an equally keen and persistent rivalry for the mastery of the sea?
I venture to think that there will, firstly, because humanity will continue to be acquisitive; and, secondly, because we are already beginning to learn that the empire of the ocean, or of particular parts of it, may be, from the military and commercial points of view, no less desirable than the empire of the solid land.
Some vague suspicion of the value of the ocean to him who might be wise and strong enough to take advantage of it may perhaps have flitted through the brains of those rulers of England who from early times exacted in the narrow seas the Honor of the Flag. But they obliged Frenchmen, Netherlanders, and Spaniards to strike their topsails, not so much because there was any clear and definite impression abroad that the dominion of the sea was a strategical and commercial benefit, as because the British race, in those days especially, despised foreigners and loved nothing better than to humiliate them, and because the Howards, the Drakes, the Blakes, the Monks, and the Ruperts were truculent dogs who found pleasure in flying at all who approached them. It was a question rather of national pride than of studied policy. And so little was the claim to the Honor of the Flag regarded as being of serious importance, that in the very days when England was strongest on the sea and could most easily enforce it, she began gradually to cease to press it.
In the last century, and during the whole period of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, every Englishman recognized, in a general way, that a great and efficient navy was necessary, indirectly for the protection of his shores, and directly for the winning of battles, the destruction of the enemy's commerce, and the accumulation of prize-money; but no one in Europe seems to have then clearly realized all that preponderating naval power may mean to its possessor if it be intelligently employed. No one accepted it at its true and full strategical value. No one pointed out the significance of the Nile and of Trafalgar. It was enough to regard those actions merely as glorious victories in which so many Frenchmen were killed or wounded and so many French line-of-battleships destroyed or taken. British naval strategy, although upon the whole it was soundly guided, and although under Hawke, Rodney, Hughes, St. Vincent, and Nelson it was conducted almost flawlessly, was not professedly based upon scientific principles. Much of it was of the happy-go-lucky order. It succeeded because the execution of it happened to fall into the hands of geniuses, who worked not so much by the light of reason as by the light of inspiration. The naval tactics of the age were of the .same type. The maneuver of breaking and cutting off a part of the hostile line gave Great Britain more than one glorious victory; yet it seems to have been first adopted upon the spur of the moment, and to have been afterwards utilized again and again in response to the promptings, not of logical deductions but of practical experience. That John Clerk, of Eldin, had advocated it from the arm-chair before it was employed in the Battle of the Saints is a coincidence only. It had been employed, and with success, before Clerk was born. And as for the particular maneuver of the 12th of April, 1782, it was the result of no deliberate intention but of a shift of wind. There were such things as strategical and tactical axioms, but they were crude and general. Victories were valued chiefly for their immediate and most tangible results. Their probable bearing upon the issue even of the naval campaign was not seriously studied. Their possible bearing upon the issue of the campaign which was concurrently in progress on shore was often altogether ignored.
It was from this standpoint, and from no higher one, that in 1822 William James, one of the most pertinacious of investigators and most plodding of dullards, published the best and worst of all naval histories in the English language—that of the eventful period between 1793 and 1815. All earlier English naval histories leave very much to be desired not only as regards the arrangement of events and the attribution of them to their true origins and to those phases of change to which they conduced, but also as regards the accuracy of the facts set forth. Lediard is little better than Burchett. Schomberg is a great deal worse than Campbell. James set a new example. Except, perhaps, in the case of some of the incidents of the war of 1812, he honestly did his utmost to satisfy himself of the absolute truth of every statement which he submitted to his readers. He wrote hundreds of letters to the surviving actors in the events which he purposed to describe. He read and digested all the dispatches, logs, gazettes, previous histories, foreign reports and private narratives upon which he could lay his hands. He carefully balanced conflicting accounts, and arrived, in the majority of instances, at conclusions the correctness of which has never yet been successfully attacked. He went to immense pains to give the exact Christian names of all officers whom he had occasion to mention, and to analyze the true force of every ship the exploits of which he recounted. Never was there a man more painstaking, more indefatigable, more scrupulously conscientious—save, as I have said, when he was in presence of the Stars and Stripes. Yet, though he presented to the world a monument of his industrious patience, he failed utterly to give it a naval history in the proper sense of those words. His history is nothing more than a long string of disconnected episodes, a series of miscellaneous dioramic views, each very well done, and each accompanied by an explanatory commentary, but each entirely dissociated from the view which precedes and from the view which follows it. After reading Mr. James' numerous volumes the student is tempted to the conclusion that in the days of the Republic and the First Empire the nations embarked upon naval enterprises as thoughtlessly as young English couples embark upon matrimony, and with as little eye to the serious and legitimate objects of the undertaking. He can distinguish very few traces of the existence of steady policy or of intelligent and provident plans of campaign. He learns that at a given moment a fleet of a given force was in a given latitude; but he is left to discover for himself how it got there and why it went there. James' usual preface to an account of a hostile meeting between single ships runs to the effect that, "On the 13th of March, in latitude 50 22' north and longitude 18 14' west, the British 12-pounder 32-gun frigate Pantomime, Captain Nelson Rodney Howe, being on a cruise, descried the French 36-gun frigate Chocolat," etc., etc. He gives no hint of the general policy in pursuance of which frigates were cruising in those waters, and his omission to afford information upon this subject intensifies the reader's suspicion that, to a large extent, in those days ships were sent hither and thither at hazard, that there was no proper directing brain at home, that the strategical factor was often absolutely neglected, and that actions were won entirely by the adventitious and unaccountable presence of a superior force at the right point, by simple hard fighting, or by the heaven-born genius of the senior officer who by chance was upon the spot.
Yet for more than half a century James was everywhere accepted as a great naval historian; nor did English-speaking students ask or hope for a greater one. The truth is that James was a remarkable collector of facts, a brilliant diarist. Of the real historian's breadth of view he had no share whatever. He knew not how to separate the important from the trivial. He was incapable of looking behind or to either side of the events which he was describing. He had no sense of the continuity of episodes. He expressly declares: "In reasoning upon the issue of any battle, I have found neither the talent nor the inclination to dwell on the consequences which might or did accrue to either nation from success or failure. The merits of the combat, considered as a combat, I have fully detailed and freely discussed, and have left the field of politics open to those who know better how to traverse it." To say that James avoided the field of strategy with almost as much pains as he avoided the field of politics is to commit no exaggeration; and to pretend that naval history can be seriously discussed without reference both to politics and to strategy is obviously absurd. It is, therefore, surprising that during the fifty years which followed the publication of James' work, no English writer made an effort to examine into the causes, the origins, the ruling principles, .and the results of the series of events which James had so carefully but so inconsequently described.
At last there arose, in Great Britain, Philip Howard Colomb, and, in America, A.T. Mahan. The former, an Irish naval officer, retired from the service in 1886 and consoled in the following year with the rank of rear-admiral, and in 1892 with that of vice-admiral, was, at the period of his active life, a distinguished ornament of his profession. His book, "Naval Warfare; its Ruling Principles and Practice Historically Treated (1891)," exhibits him as a very indifferent historian. He shows, it is true, that he comprehends the way in which the naval history of the past must be viewed ere it can provide useful lessons for the future; but he is without the literary art, and he presents neither his facts nor his conclusions in such a manner as to convince the reader. Verbose to a degree, afflicted with an apparently incurable mania for dancing round every subject instead of at once attacking it, obscure in his processes of reasoning, and unable, in spite of the inherent attractiveness of his materials, to breathe life into them, Admiral Colomb has produced a book which is a little learned and perfectly unreadable. He has tried, and he has failed, to do what James left undone. Captain A.T. Mahan, U.S.N., who is likewise of Irish descent, engaged, at about the same time, on a task similar to that in which Admiral Colomb gained no laurels. The American officer, who is still on the active list of his navy, was fitted by nature as well as by training for the work to which he happily turned his hand. Possessed of a charming style; precise and clear instead of verbose; completely conscious of what he intends to convey and perfectly competent to convey it; and dowered with a perspicacious breadth of view which dwells on all that is important and passes over all that is irrelevant, Captain Mahan has given us two very remarkable books, "The Influence of Sea-Power upon History, 1660-1783" (1890), and "The Influence of Sea Power upon the French Revolution and Empire, 1793-1812" (1892), books which, it may with truth be asserted, have already firmly established themselves as the standard strategical histories of the periods with which they deal. Sea power, of course, has influenced the world in all ages. So also has oxygen. Yet, just as oxygen, but for Priestley, might have remained until this day an indefinite and undetected factor, so also might sea power but for Mahan. The predecessors of each discoverer were conscious that around them was something which was responsible for certain observed results, but the predecessors of neither knew exactly what that something was. Priestley explained, "The effects are produced by oxygen; here is oxygen, and you may obtain it after such and such a manner." Mahan announces, "The effects are due to sea power; here is a definition of sea power, and you may secure sea power after such and such a fashion." Not until a factor has been defined and separated can it be intelligently and fully utilized. Herein lies the merit of Mahan as of Priestley. The discovery of oxygen went far towards placing the science of chemistry on a sound basis. The discovery—for it is a genuine discovery—of the nature, limitations and influence of sea power does as much, and perhaps even more, for naval strategy.
Captain Mahan's discovery is now more than three years old, and during those three years it has been so widely written and spoken about in Europe, as well as in America, that its nature can scarcely remain unfamiliar to many. It will be here useful, nevertheless, to briefly summarize that portion of Captain Mahan's earlier book in which the elements of sea power are discussed.
The author bids us regard the sea as a wide plain, over which men may pass in all directions, but on which some well-worn paths show that controlling reasons have led people to choose certain lines of travel rather than others. We are to remember, too, that travel and traffic by sea have always been easier and cheaper than by land. The countries which border upon the sea may be looked upon in the light of so many mountainous tracts abutting upon the edges of, or isolated by, the wide plain aforesaid. It is obvious that he who dominates the plain, across which transport is so cheap and facile; who can at will bar a path or trade-route; and who at all times retains for himself the ability to move freely hither and thither upon every part of the plain, holds a position vastly superior to the position of any of his neighbors. If, moreover, this dominator of the level plain be also the possessor of a few of the abutting mountainous tracts, and of some of the isolated hills which rise from the plain, it is clear that he enjoys additional advantages, especially over those of his neighbors who, like himself, have scattered possessions. He can insure and keep open communication between his various farms. They cannot, save with his permission. It is not necessary that he shall have such absolute mastery of the plain as to render impossible occasional hasty forays upon it from hostile hills. Those forays will not materially affect the general result. All that is necessary is that he shall be always the real tenant of the plain, and that he shall be strong enough to make trespassers and poachers flee at the approach of him or of his servants. His hold upon the plain and its pathways will, if he be a wise man, tighten as the number and value of his farms and products increase; and as his hold tightens, so will his power and influence grow among his neighbors. As a foe he will be feared—as an ally he will be welcomed; and he will become the arbitrator and peace-keeper of the district.
Substituting the ocean for the plain, and the nations and islands for the surrounding and isolated hills, we get a tolerably true picture of the general conditions which make sea power the paramount factor in the ultimate solution of the majority of international questions. We see also how trade and commerce beget sea power, and how important a bearing sea power may have upon land power. We moreover, if we still keep the analogy in mind, may distinguish at once the terms upon which alone sea power can be maintained. It may be local sea power, or it may be universal ocean power; but whether it be the one or whether it be the other, it cannot be enjoyed by more than one tenant at a time in any given district. Again, the tenancy may be precarious, feeble, and uninfluential, or it may be unchallengeable and all-dominating. And its nature is necessarily to a large extent controlled by the geographical position, physical conformation, extent, population, national character, government policy and commercial needs of the tenant state. It is useless here to enter into consideration of the modifying effects of any of these conditions. They must suggest themselves to all thoughtful men. The important point to which attention should be directed is the law that sea power, or mastery of any sea, in proportion as it is complete, confers upon its possessor an ultimately dominating position with regard to all the countries the coasts of which border that sea. This is the gist of Captain Mahan's discovery. In his volume on "The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783," he tested what was at first only a theory, by applying it to the second Anglo-Dutch war, to the Franco-English war with the United Provinces, to the war of France against combined Europe, to the war of the League of Augsburg, to the wars of the Spanish and Polish successions, to the war of the Austrian succession, to the Seven Years' War, and to the war of the American Revolution. So consistently did the theory everywhere fit in with the course of events, that all doubt as to its correctness disappeared. It is now accepted as a strategical fact. That it was left for Captain Mahan to discover is astonishing, for, after perusing his books, the reader is tempted to marvel that a law apparently so obvious could have escaped the notice even of early historians. Yet late writers, like Arnold and Creasy, as well as early ones, have dealt with so remarkable an example of the influence of sea power upon history as is afforded by the final success of the Romans against Hannibal, without perceiving that sea power had any definite bearing upon the result. As Captain Mahan says:
"The Roman control of the water forced Hannibal to that long, perilous march through Gaul in which more than half his veteran troops wasted away; it enabled the elder Scipio, while sending his army from the Rhone on to Spain to intercept Hannibal's communications, to return in person and face the invader at the Trebia. Throughout the war the legions passed by water, unmolested and unwearied, between Spain, which was Hannibal's base, and Italy; while the issue of the decisive battle of the Metaurus, hinging as it did upon the interior position of the Roman armies with reference to the forces of Hasdrubal and Hannibal, was ultimately due to the fact that the younger brother could not bring his succoring reinforcements by sea, but only by the land route through Gaul. Hence at the critical moment the two Carthaginian armies were separated by the length of Italy, and one was destroyed by the combined action of the Roman generals."
The fact that throughout the whole of his first great historical work Captain Mahan endeavored to exhibit the successive naval events of a period of a hundred and twenty-three years as illustrations of the truth of one general law of the higher strategy lends a singular consecutiveness and completeness to his admirably told narrative; and I am delighted that in his second great historical work he has adhered to the same plan. The period covered by the two volumes dealing with "The Influence of Sea Power upon the French Revolution and Empire" is nearly coincident with the period covered by James' "Naval History,'' and one cannot, as I have hinted, but compare the two books to the advantage of the newer one. The older one is, of course, far fuller in detail, but it is a book with no beginning, no plot and no denouement, whereas Captain Mahan's work forms a harmonious whole.
The first volume begins with a survey of the course of events in Europe for the ten years preceding 1793, and with an account of the condition of the British and French navies at the time of the declaration of war by France. The influence of the Revolution upon the fleet of the Republic had not been of a healthy character. Many of the best officers had been proscribed, or had quitted the service in disgust; discipline had been subverted; and courage and audacity were believed by the chiefs of the Government to be almost the only qualifications needed by the fighting seaman. Immediately after the outbreak of hostilities, Admiral Morard de Galles, one of the most capable of the remaining- officers of the older and better school, wrote despairingly: "The tone of the seaman is wholly ruined. If it does not change we can expect nothing but reverses in action, even though we be superior in force. The boasted ardor attributed to them stands only in the words 'patriot,' 'patriotism,' which they are ever repeating, and in shouts of 'Vive la Nation!' 'Vive la Republique!' when they have been well flattered. They have no idea of doing right, or of attending to their duties." Mutiny, mismanagement, peculation and anarchy produced their inevitable results. The British Navy was in a better condition, but not by any means in a perfect one. Confusion and waste characterized the administration, and during the ten years' peace the efficiency of the service had noticeably slackened. "But," says Captain Mahan, "although administration lacked system, and agents were neglectful or dishonest, the Navy itself, though costing more than it should, remained vigorous; the possessor of actual, and yet more of reserved, strength in the genius and pursuits of the people—in a continuous tradition, which struck its roots far back in a great past—and, above all, in a body of officers, veterans of the last and some of yet earlier wars, still in the prime of life for the purposes of command, and steeped to the core in those professional habits and feelings which, when so found in the chief, transmit themselves quickly to the juniors." In the British as well as in the French fleets there was, it is true, some mutiny, but there was no anarchy. The forms of discipline were maintained, and though in more than one case the men refused to sail before their grievances were redressed, they qualified their refusal by adding, "Unless the enemy's fleet should put to sea." This spirit, the experience of the officers, and, last but not least, the material superiority of her fleet, placed Great Britain at an advantage from the hour when the first shot was fired. The relative forces, so far as ships of the line were concerned, was at that time: British, 115 vessels, 8718 guns, 88,957 pounds broadside weight of metal; French, 76 vessels, 6002 guns, 73,957 pounds broadside weight of metal. In 1793, therefore, France could not hope for success at sea. But although Great Britain entered the war allied with many of the nations of Europe against France, one by one her allies dropped away, until the island kingdom, with two-fifths of the population of France, and a disaffected Ireland, stood alone face to face with the mighty onset of the Revolution. Again and again she knitted new coalitions, which were as often cut asunder by the victorious sword of the French army. Still she stood alone, ever on the defensive, until the destruction of the combined fleets at Trafalgar, and the ascendency of her own navy, due to the immense physical loss, and yet more to the moral annihilation of that of the enemy, enabled her to assume the offensive in the Peninsula after the Spanish uprising—an offensive based absolutely upon her control of the sea. Her presence in Portugal and Spain kept festering that Spanish ulcer which drained the strength of Napoleon's Empire; and so, by slow degrees, the greatest military power that has been created in modern times was reduced to impotence.
How the whale thus effected the defeat of the elephant is told at length by Captain Mahan. That the powers of the sea can bring low those of the land is a paradox, and this is, I suspect, one of the reasons why these volumes, although they deal with many matters which do not usually interest lay people, have met with such a general welcome. I need not summarize the course of events, or attempt to show what bearing each one of them had upon the results which were ultimately attained. No one will ever show this better than Captain Mahan himself, and therefore I refer the student to the two volumes, which are published in Boston by Messrs. Little, Brown & Co. , and in London by Messrs. Sampson Low, Marston & Co., Limited, and which do not, in my humble opinion, contain a page that cannot be read with pleasure as well as with profit by any man for whom foreign politics, the history of the rise and fall of nations, and the sources of national greatness possess the slightest attractions. My purpose here is first to endeavor to indicate broadly the processes by which, in the period under consideration, Great Britain established the predominance of her sea power; next to show some of the effects which that predominant sea power had upon a military combination that had been at length reduced to absolute maritime impotency; and finally to offer a few conclusions which seem to me to suggest to certain Powers important lessons for the future. I write, as far as possible, from the point of view of the unprejudiced and disinterested observer; from the point of view, if I may be allowed to say so, of a naval expert of neutral nationality; from the point of view of a publicist who finds in the Independance Belge a tribune which is truly independent and truly international; and, above all, from the point of view of one who ardently hopes for continued peace, for increasing commercial prosperity, and for the advancement of civilization.
The naval policy of Great Britain between 1793 and 1805 was not, especially at first, a fixed and steadily pursued one; but experience, aided by the intuitive genius of St. Vincent and of Nelson, at length set it moving along a path which, while the struggle continued, it never again entirely abandoned. One feature in this policy was to spare no pains to improve and to maintain the efficiency of the personnel, even at the expense of some amount of deterioration in the materiel. The men were kept constantly at sea off the enemy's coasts, were ceaselessly trained, and were, upon the whole, very well taken care of. Service afloat bettered the quality of the men more than it injured the ships, and historically, as Captain Mahan points out, "good men with poor ships are better than poor men with good ships. Over and over again the French Revolutionary wars taught this lesson, which our own age, with its rage for the last new thing in material improvement, has largely dropped out of memory." Another feature—even in the days when a course of action that was mainly defensive had to be followed—was the practice of treating the sea as British territory, and of endeavoring to hold it right up to the shore of the country with which hostilities happened to be in progress. This practice had the effect of giving to the British fleets such advantages as resulted from the tenure of interior positions. A third, and perhaps the most important feature, was the general recognition of the fact that the first duty of a British admiral was to bring the enemy's fleet to action and to destroy it. The traditions of the service did not encourage a commander to attempt great enterprises of territorial conquest until he had either captured the floating foe or driven him into port, and this tradition, which found its most famous exponent in Nelson, was very seldom violated. The tradition was the lodestar of Nelson's glory. In 1798 it led him, after his feverish search of the Mediterranean, into the Bay of Aboukir; in 1801 it enticed him to Copenhagen; in 1805 it took him on that hot chase of Villeneuve. That he might come up with the enemy and drub him was, whenever there was an enemy at sea, his daily prayer and his nightly dream; and when the enemy was in port, Nelson's grand preoccupation was to induce him to come out and accept battle, or, in default of being able to induce him to come out, to go in and bring him out. Very different was the prevailing French policy. France built better ships than England, and gunned them more heavily, but paid far less attention to the condition of her seamen. After his voyage to the West Indies, Nelson was able to write, "We have lost neither officer nor man by sickness since we left the Mediterranean." At about the same time, as Nelson also tells us, the allied French and Spaniards "landed a thousand sick at Martinique, and buried full that number during their stay." And in 1801, Admiral Ganteaume, addressing his superiors, had to say, "I once more call your attention to the frightful state in which are left the seamen, unpaid for fifteen months, naked or covered with rags, badly fed, discouraged; in a word, sunk under the weight of the deepest and most humiliating wretchedness. It would be horrible to make them in this state undertake a long and doubtless arduous cruise." The Englishmen fought in warm clothes and with full stomachs. Nor had the French the same practice at sea as the English. The standing French order seems to have been: "Husband the fleet in order that we may use it for ulterior purposes: do not risk it in any such dangerous affair as a general action, unless, indeed, you be absolutely certain of gaining a splendid victory. Even if you be not defeated you will damage some of your ships, and so unfit them for the ulterior purposes which we have in view." Often, therefore, for months, and occasionally for years at a time, a French fleet remained in port, steadily deteriorating at its moorings, and sometimes, though in its own protected anchorage, meeting with such an ignominious fate as overtook, in 1809, part of the squadron of Admirals Allemand and Gourdon in Basque Roads. When a French fleet did put to sea, it almost invariably did so for some purpose other than the destruction of the fleet of the foe. If brought to action it fought well, but it very seldom sought action, and frequently—though from no motives dishonorable to its commander—it took pains to avoid it. It is unnecessary to point out which of the two policies is the more likely to breed a competent and confident race of officers and seamen. From the first day of the long war the British Navy began to grow and the French Navy began to decrease, until at last the island kingdom was almost undisputed mistress of the ocean plains around her.
I say that she was almost undisputed mistress of them; but she could not, and no conceivable maritime supremacy ever can, wholly put a stop to the spasmodic incursions of corsairs and privateers. England had for the nonce annihilated French sea-borne commerce; she had rendered it impossible for France to keep an organized fleet at sea for more than a few days at a time; but she could not prevent French privateers and small cruisers from preying upon British trade. Frenchmen, and some Englishmen, believed the guerre de course would wear down or at least seriously cripple Great Britain, and the method of warfare possessed the obvious advantage of being both cheap and profitable; but it proved to be absolutely incapable of producing serious results. While the effect of the naval war, as waged by British policy, was at last decisive and crushing, that of the naval war as waged by French policy never amounted to anything more formidable than an annual tax equal to between two and two and a half per cent, of the British shipping afloat. Under this tax British shipping not merely held its own, but increased enormously. In 1795, Great Britain and her dependencies owned 16,728 vessels; in 1805, 22,051. The prosecution by France of the guerre de course did little more than double the ordinary risks of the sea. The damage done was a mere fleabite. After Trafalgar, Napoleon strained every effort to destroy British prosperity by enforcing the continental system. It was his last hopeless struggle against the inexorable influence of sea power. For this purpose, as Captain Mahan points out, edict after edict was issued to France and her allied countries; annexation after annexation was made; a double cordon of French troops lined the shores of the Continent from France to the Baltic; British goods were not only seized, but publicly and wastefully burnt throughout the empire; demands were made upon all neutral states to exclude British manufactures and colonial produce; the calamitous Spanish war was incurred; and the fatal invasion of Russia was undertaken. The game was a terribly costly one. It would have ruined Great Britain had not the sea been hers. It did ruin Napoleon.
Such was the work done by sea power towards the settlement of the most general and tremendous conflict that the modern world has seen. Sea power, or, to put it otherwise, commercial and naval maritime supremacy, intelligently employed, under the great Pitt and his successors, by St. Vincent, Keith, Nelson, Collingwood, Cotton, and Pellew, who were successive commanders-in-chief in the Mediterranean, and by Cornwallis, Saumarez, Samuel Hood, Strachan, Stopford, and a score more in other capacities, was too much for the most magnificent of military combinations, even though headed by a soldier whose ability was unique, and who in Europe wielded more power, commanded more devotion, and disposed of more forces than any other chief of whom history has left a record. The result was no accidental one. It was necessary: it was inevitable; it was the outcome of the strategical law which exists now as it existed then, but which only now is fully understood.
Captain Mahan's demonstration of this law of the influence of sea power has roused the dockyards of Europe and America to unwonted activity. It seems to have occurred to half a dozen maritime states that all the military advantages resultant from sea power may be secured, at least locally, by the creation of a navy larger and stronger than any of the navies of neighboring nations. This, of course, is an entirely false theory, for sea power does not rest primarily upon the possession of a strong navy, but upon the possession and the maintenance of a superior maritime trade. A navy does not make trade; but trade either makes a navy that is strong enough to support it, or passes into the hands of more provident merchants. Spain had at one time the best trade of the two hemispheres. When she lost her naval supremacy she also lost her trade. The Netherlands inherited Spain's business, but preserved it only so long as the Netherlands navy was equal to the task of its guardianship. Yet it is true that a superior navy, although it cannot make a national trade, can destroy it by causing it to be transferred to a fresh flag; and it is for this reason that the present general activity of the naval dockyards is significant. I do not mean to imply for a moment that it is in the power, even of a superior navy, to conquer trade to itself. After long years circumstances might cause trade to shelter itself under that navy's flag; but it is far more probable that the trade would go at once, not to the conqueror, but to the neutral who happened at the moment to i.e. best able to undertake the responsibility.
If, to imagine an illustration, a naval war were to break out between France and Great Britain, and if the latter were to experience a decisive and crushing defeat at sea, she would lose her trade. But, in the existing circumstances, it would certainly not pass under the control of France. There is no doubt whatever that Germany, which is already the second commercial Power, would immediately become the first. Nor is it likely that Germany would fail to perfect her thus acquired materials of sea power by the speedy creation of a proportionate navy. I do not believe that such a transfer would be less disagreeable to France than it would be to Great Britain; and although I have ample opportunities of perceiving that neither in France nor in any other part of maritime Europe, except perhaps in Italy, is Great Britain regarded with feelings of even tepid friendship, I refuse to suppose that any power would deliberately connive at the obliteration of the United Kingdom for the benefit of Germany. Even Austria would regard with terror so enormous a disturbance of the balance of power.
Unfortunately, France does not appreciate the necessary results, to Germany and to Europe, of a humiliation of Great Britain. She is, moreover, alone among the nations in refusing to accept the law of sea power as it has been formulated and demonstrated by Captain Mahan. France has no definite malign intentions. Of that I am sure. But she chafes at being second instead of first of the naval Powers, especially in the Mediterranean. She will not let slip an opportunity for endeavoring to seize the position to which she considers that she is entitled, and which she fondly supposes would give her sea power in the full sense. And she is making ready accordingly. I do not attach the smallest importance to the individual opinions of that amusing chauvinist, M. Francois Deloncle, but I know that his utterances at Marseilles on November 4 reflected for once the views of a large number of his countrymen upon the question of the British position in the Mediterranean, and therefore I cite them. "It is a good thing," said the thoughtless deputy, ''to remember that the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and the Red Sea belong to the Latin, the Greek, the Slav, and the Arab races, who are either born on, or have colonized their shores. The Anglo-Saxons are aliens there, and not regular settlers. Neither the Latins, the Greeks, the Slavs, nor the Arabs, will permit them to establish themselves there permanently, for the Anglo-Saxon is their enemy. This fact is proved by the heap of telegrams which I received from Spain, from Greece, and from Turkey on the occasion of our recent demonstrations at Toulon." M. Deloncle then exhibited telegrams from Barcelona, Cadiz, Seville, Almeira, Athens, Smyrna, and Alexandria, in which occurred such phrases as "Long live the Mediterranean!" "Long live the union of France, Russia, and Spain in the Mediterranean!" etc.
It is this thoughtless and short-sighted impulsiveness of many Frenchmen—who, by the way, know less about Great Britain than about Cochin China—-that constitutes the real European danger. I do not speak solely of the danger to Great Britain, but more particularly of the danger to the balance of power, which is now in equilibrium, and to the maintenance of the general peace for which all good men pray. France would pull down England, regardless of, or blind to, the fact that the vacated place would be occupied by Germany. She persists in believing that she could take it. And this is because, as I have said, she will not accept Captain Mahan's law of sea power. The strategical heresis of the "jeune ecole" of naval officers, headed by Rear-Admiral Reveillere, "Commandant Z," and M. H. Montechant, are gaining ground among French public men. The new teachers assure them—I quote the recently-published text-book of the "jeune ecole," "Essai de Strategie Navale (Berger-Levrault, Paris, 1893)"—that "France can be victorious at sea without battleships, and that she cannot be victorious at sea, and will condemn herself to final defeat, should she attempt to meet battleships with battleships." They declare, again, that the whole art of modern naval warfare consists in the employment of cruisers and light and fast vessels for the work, and that decisive results can be attained by coast-raiding and commerce destroying. They have not yet succeeded in preventing the construction of battleships. Very many new and magnificent battleships are indeed being built by France as I write, and more are in contemplation. But they have succeeded in obtaining the construction of a vast number of small, fast craft, which could, no doubt, do an immense amount of damage to the commerce of a state like Great Britain, and they have succeeded in persuading a majority of their countrymen not only that France can enter, with prospects of success, upon a guerre de course with Great Britain, but also that she may derive substantial and permanent advantages from it in return for a comparatively small expenditure of men and money. Anything that tends to diminish the popular estimate of the seriousness of war is immoral, and anything that tends to obscure the probable results of war is dangerous; and I do not hesitate to say that much of the teaching of the "jeune ecole " is as wicked as it is foolish. Unhappily, it finds favor in France, where it has created an aggressive chauvinism in the minds of some even of those who do not accept all its dogmas. It is menacing peace; it is encouraging false hopes; and I regret to note that the policy of Great Britain provides daily encouragement of the hot-headed "jeune ecole," and aggravates the danger of the situation.
I am concerned not for Great Britain but for Europe. Great Britain pretends to the supremacy of the sea, and Europe is, upon the whole, resigned to her enjoyment of it. But British maritime supremacy necessarily jostles and inconveniences many members of the European family; and Europe has a right to demand that so long as Great Britain continues to put forward her claims, she shall support them so determinedly and with such a convincing display of her ability to maintain them as to accustom her envious neighbors to the idea that in a quarrel with her they are foredoomed to defeat. Upon no other terms is her presence in the Mediterranean either tolerable or defensible. If she be obviously weak, her Mediterranean fleet becomes merely a provocation. If she be overwhelmingly strong, her Mediterranean fleet becomes one of the most potent guarantees of peace that Europe can desire; for efficient sea power is as weighty as an argument for peace as it is infallible as a promise of victory.
Efficient sea power—power proportionate to pretentions, proportionate to the interests which are to be guarded! That is no true description of the present maritime power of Great Britain, either in the Mediterranean or elsewhere. I can tell Englishmen that they are very much mistaken if they believe that other nations accept them at their own valuation. I can tell Englishmen that there are as good ships, as good guns, as good men under other flags as there are under the white ensign. I can tell Englishmen that to stamp a thing English is not nowadays sufficient to guarantee its superiority or even its trustworthiness. Great Britain is dreaming while the world is hastening onward with ever-increasing rapidity. Her sea power has ceased to be convincing, undoubted, recognized.' To-morrow it could be shattered, perhaps immediately, by France alone, if only France had no other preoccupations, and if she were assured beforehand of Italy's non-interference. For the citadel of British sea power, the vantage-point upon which rests the centre of the British position in Europe is in the Mediterranean; and, excluded from the Mediterranean, the United Kingdom would, in a few years, be no weightier a factor in international politics than the Netherlands or Denmark. It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that it is only because the Anglo-Italian understanding is generally imagined to be of an extremely cordial and intimate, if not of a formal, nature, that an effort has not already been made to expel the alien whom M. Deloncle openly speaks of as "the enemy." No doubt the good feeling of Italy is very pleasing to British statesmen who have not many friends elsewhere. But it must gall British pride to reflect that British sea power—which, in the old days, was triumphant over an allied continent—is now too decrepit to stand in the Mediterranean without the support of a country which, little more than a generation ago, was disunited and feeble, and which, to this day, has never thoroughly vindicated its claim to consideration as a state of the first class. Upon the danger to Great Britain of relying, even in the smallest degree, upon a foreign country for the maintenance of a situation which is essentially a perpetual source of offence to all the national and racial ambitions of Southern and Central Europe, I will not insist. But upon the risk to the peace of the world which results from Great Britain's illogical and provocative attitude I may say something, for it does not concern Englishmen only. And what I say is: "For the sake of peace, either be strong or have done with your pretensions. In the Mediterranean you are an interloper, and, except for temporary or evanescent purposes, you can call no one there your friend. In the past, I admit, you have done a good work there; you have been upon the whole a benevolent usurper. In the future, if you be adequately strong, you may do an equally good work there, particularly in the direction of preserving peace. But if, while ceasing to be crushingly superior in force, you seek to remain there, you will speedily bring the whole European edifice tumbling about our heads. And you have absolutely ceased to be superior in force there even to France alone."
The Monthly Navy List for November notes the names of Her Majesty's ships which, on October 18 last, were then in the Mediterranean. Since that list was published certain alterations have taken place. The Colossus and Inflexible have returned to England, the Ramillies and Howe have gone out, and the Skipjack has been put under orders to go out. We know, therefore, approximately, what will be the constitution of the fighting portion of the British Mediterranean fleet in, say, the middle of December. French official and semi-official documents supply us with particulars of the French naval forces in the Mediterranean. Below I venture to analyze the two lists, a comparison of which will be found exceedingly instructive.
The reader may institute comparisons for himself. Should he desire particulars of the thickness of armor, and of the number of torpedo-launching tubes carried by the ships, he can find them and other details in M. Leon Renard's Carnet de I'Oficier de Marine for 1893, or in Lord Brassey's Naval Annual, or in the Almanack fur die k. u. k. Kriegs-Marine, 1893. And while he is making his comparisons and forming his conclusions, let him not forget that in the Mediterranean Great Britain has no dockyard where she can build anything larger than a sloop-of-war, and that her two naval stations there are in no sense self-supporting, and depend entirely upon Great Britain's ability to supply and succor them by way of the sea. France, on the other hand, has at Toulon a building yard second to none in the world, a practically impregnable arsenal which has behind it the well-nigh inexhaustible resources of France. She also has private building-yards in the Mediterranean at La Seyne, Marseilles, and elsewhere, and ample dry-dock accommodation. All her reserves of men, money, and raw material are on the spot: all those of Great Britain are two thousand miles away.
At the beginning of this article I hinted my opinion that when all the spare land of the world has been allotted and settled, the value of the sea—thanks largely to Captain Mahan's teaching—will be perfectly appreciated; and that when it is perfectly appreciated, the empire of the sea will be hotly struggled for. British theorists fully accept the great law that has been laid down by the American writer; but the British public neither knows nor cares anything about it. It is apathetic; it is asleep. France, though she does not as yet appear to understand the true principles of sea power, and though she is incapable commercially of securing maritime ascendancy for herself, will certainly not let slip the first favorable occasion for crippling the sea power of England. And she can now cripple it when she will. The situation is one to sorely tempt her natural ambition and her inherited prejudices. If Mr. John Bull is content to sleep himself away into impotence, he will not have any of my humble sympathy when at length he awakes to find that his traditional glory—already slipping from him—has vanished beyond recall. But it is time, I think, for Mr. Bull to be roused and made to understand that, having assumed certain responsibilities towards Europe, he ought now either to formally abdicate them, ere he goes to sleep once more, or to rise and strengthen himself in order to carry them out. His present policy of pretension and powerlessness in the Mediterranean, is perhaps the most formidable of existing menaces to the peace of the world. Nauticus.