While in London last winter on a special mission for the United States Shipping Board I saw on the wall of one of the offices of the British Board of Trade an old English shipping text. I liked it so much that I brought a copy back to America and now have it framed in my own office. It is this:
As concerning ships, it is that which everyone knoweth and can say, they are our weapons, they are our ornaments, they are our strength, they are our pleasures, they arc our defense, they are our profit; the subject by them is made rich, the Kingdom through them, strong; the Prince in them is mighty; in a word, by them, in a manner, we live, the Kingdom is, the King reigneth.
We knew all this at various and sundry times, knew it well, and practiced it. It is the Law of Gravity of Shipping. For all practical purposes it may be called the great Natural Law of Sea Power. Now, a natural law requires unceasing obedience. It is not something to be obeyed every other generation or every seventh year or only when we have a Republican administration. All this we know, too, and yet—