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All that I have said above would be sufficient to solve these points of the question. The attack on Port Arthur was not an attack of surprise in the sense of international law. It can be at the most spoken of as an attack of tactical surprise, though it was not also the case. The party who was defeated can complain of it no more than he can complain of the defeat of the Yalu or Kinchow. The Russian plan was to deprive Japan of her chance, and either to bluff her off to the end or to fight at the hour of their own choice. Japan was patient enough; if she were patient longer she would have been completely duped. As a matter of fact, there was some report that the plan of the Russians was to make a sudden raid on Japan on about the 20th of February, and that was not at all improbable. Some Russians say that Russia never meant to go to war, and that the very fact that she was not at all prepared to cope with a little nation like Japan is the best proof of it. This does not follow at all, and nothing is more foreign to the fact than to imagine that Russia was sincerely anxious to maintain peace. In the eyes of the Russians there was no such Japan as they have, or rather the world has, begun to see since the opening of the war. They trusted, no doubt, either to be able to bluff through or crush at a blow if necessary. Even in the battle of the Yalu, nay, even in the battle of Kinchow, or Wafangu, they were unable to believe that the Japanese were not after all'monkeys with the brain of birds?! Only a little time ago an eminent French statesman told me that France understood Japan little ; Russia still less. It was the sole cause of the present unfortunate war. “In that respect,' he continued, ‘England was sharper, for she understood the Far East, and, consequently, the changing circumstances of the world, before any other Occidental nation.' There is, I believe, a good deal in it.



On the 4th of August 1704 (New Style), the Rock of Gibraltar was captured by Great Britain, and it has remained in her possession from that day to this. Among the many possessions scattered all over the globe that are comprised in the British Empire to-day, there is none that the nation holds with greater tenacity for reasons both of sentiment and of material interest, and none that it would lose with more poignant shame and sorrow, than the redoubtable stronghold we took from Spain at the beginning of the reign of Queen Anne. Short-lived indeed would be the Ministry who, in some amicable settlement of long-standing disputes, proposed to hand over Gibraltar to its original and (in a geographical sense) natural owners or to any other Power; and the pride and strength of England would have to be humbled to the very dust in war before the surrender of the Rock could be included in any conditions which a British Government would so much as take into consideration as the price of peace.

The fact that throughout the eighteenth century, when so many conquests in both hemispheres changed hands backwards and forwards in successive wars and under successive treaties, Gibraltar remained permanently in the keeping of England, might seem to prove that British sentiment with regard to it was from the first the same as it is to-day. But this is far from having been the case. For, although at the end of two hundred years of our possession of the fortress, at a time when the Imperial instinct of Englishmen has become more consciously developed and more deeply ingrained than ever before, and at the same time more intelligently appreciative of the true meaning of sea power and alive to the strategical requirements of its maintenance, the retention of the key of the Mediterranean has become an essential article of our political creed, it was a considerable time before the immense value of the acquisition was fully realised by British statesmen. It seems strange enough to us to remember that King George the First and his Ministers were ready to give up Gibraltar merely to secure Spain's acquiescence in the arrangement by which the Quadruple Alliance was anxious to make some pettifogging modifications in the shufile of territories effected by the Treaty of Utrecht; but it is still more extraordinary that so clear-sighted, patriotic, and high-spirited an empire-builder as Lord Chatham himself should have made a similar offer as an inducement to Spain to help us to recover Minorca—and this, moreover, at a time when the fortress had been in our hands for more than half a century, and its vital importance to our growing maritime supremacy had already been abundantly proved in the naval wars of the period. Happily the Spaniards were as blind as ourselves to the supreme importance of the position commanding the road from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Their pride was, it is true, grievously wounded by its loss, and throughout the greater part of the eighteenth century its recovery was one of the most cherished aims of their policy and of their warlike efforts; but they clung to the hope that fortune would restore it to them without requiring them to pay even the paltry price demanded on different occasions by England. At all events, the continual readjustments of territory elsewhere in Europe made or proposed to be made in the interests of the various reigning dynasties were deemed by Spain of greater immediate moment than the ownership of Gibraltar. England's short-sighted proposals to part with its possession were therefore once and again rejected, with the fortunate result that we are this month entering on our third century of occupation of the Rock.

The truth is, as readers of Mahan do not need to be reminded, that the importance of sea power and the nature of the foundations on which it is based were very imperfectly grasped even by England in the seventeenth and the first half of the eighteenth century, and scarcely at all by any other European Power. Occasionally, at intervals, some statesman like Colbert in France or Alberoni in Spain had more than an inkling of the truth ; but no nation except England made deliberate and sustained efforts with a view to maritime development. Even England did so rather by instinct than by insight. Instinct led her to take measures, first for expanding, and secondly for protecting her sea-borne trade; and these measures proved to be just those required for the establishment of a world-wide Empire based on sea power. But it was only by slow degrees that she gained insight into the significance of this commercial policy in relation to empire.

Of this blindness to the true principles of maritime policy, the taking of Gibraltar and its history during the following three-quarters of a century afford a striking illustration. Just as the vast importance of its acquisition was at the time underrated both by England and Spain, so its actual capture by the former was an afterthought, and (it may almost be said) an accident. It became a British possession in the first instance because at a time when we happened to be at war with one of the rival claimants to the Spanish throne our admiral in the Mediterranean happened to have no particular objective in view, and, having failed in his only enterprise of that year, was unwilling to return home with a fine fleet that had done nothing for the honour of the Alag. So he thought he might as well make an attack on Gibraltar as do anything else. Nevertheless, his action has to be reckoned among the notable ' deeds that won the Empire,' and one that on its bi-centenary deserves to be had in remembrance. Compared with Wolfe's memorable exploit fifty-five years later, Rooke's achievement in 1704 was less heroic and illustrious in a military sense, and produced results less conspicuous at the moment. But if it did not, like the storming of Quebec, accomplish the conquest of half a continent, nor add an immense territory to the dominions of the Crown, the acquisition of Gibraltar was destined to have a still more far-reaching influence in building up and rendering secure for the future the maritime power, and with it the over-sea empire, of Great Britain.

England became involved in the war of the Spanish Succession, in which this famous episode occurred, within two months of the accession of Queen Anne. One of the first acts of the new Sovereign was to appoint her consort, Prince George of Denmark, to the office of Lord High Admiral. At the same time Sir George Rooke became 'Vice-Admiral of England,' and received in addition the high-sounding title of 'Lieutenant of the Admiralty of England and Lieutenant of the fleets and seas of this Kingdom.' He was also made a member of a Council established to assist Prince George in the execution of his office. His administrative duties at the Admiralty did not, however, prevent his taking command of a fleet as soon as war was declared. Sir George Rooke was at this time an officer who had seen a lot of active service in which he had won distinction, though for political reasons he had not received as much credit as he deserved. Thirty years before, while still a lieutenant, he had made his mark in the wars against the Dutch. He it was who as Commodore commanded the squadron that convoyed Kirke to the Foyle in 1689, and raised the siege of Londonderry. In the following year, having been promoted to flag rank, he took part in the battle of Beachy Head, and at La Hogue he performed a brilliant exploit in following the French inshore and burning their men-of-war and transports—a service for which he was rewarded by the honour of knighthood from William the Third when the King shortly afterwards dined on board his flagship at Portsmouth. Since that date Rooke had been in command of fleets in the Mediterranean and the Channel, besides holding the appointment of a Lord of the Admiralty ; and so recently as the year 1700 in conjunction with a Swedish squadron had forced the Danes to come to terms with Charles the Twelfth.

There was therefore no British naval officer with a higher reputation than Sir George Rooke when the disputed succession to the Spanish crown led to a declaration of war by England against France and Spain on the 14th of May (N.S.) 1702. The events of the first

two years of the war do not concern us here, though it may be mentioned that Rooke received the thanks of the House of Commons he was himself member for Portsmouth-for his success in destroying the Spanish treasure-ships in the harbour of Vigo. In the beginning of 1704 he was ordered to escort to Lisbon the Archduke Charles, who had proclaimed himself King of Spain and had resolved to proceed in person to the Peninsula to assert his rights. A powerful fleet was commissioned for this service, but it was found impossible to fit out all the ships by the appointed date, so Sir Cloudesley Shovel was placed in command of a second squadron with orders to follow the Commander-in-Chief as quickly as possible. After Rooke sailed information reached the Admiralty that a French fleet was preparing to sail from Brest. Shovel thereupon received fresh orders to proceed to Brest and blockade it. He was too late, however, to do this, and was obliged to follow in the wake of the French in the hope of eluding them and effecting a junction with Rooke somewhere near the Straits of Gibraltar. Rooke, meantime, had reached Lisbon without falling in with an enemy, and landed the Archduke' after two days had been spent in adjusting the ceremonial' for conducting ‘His Catholic Majesty Charles the Third' from the flagship to the shore. The admiral then spent a month cruising off the Spanish and Portuguese coasts in search of a Spanish fleet returning from the West Indies. But early in May orders reached him from home to go on to the Mediterranean to relieve Nice and Villafranca, which were in danger of falling into the hands of the French. This move was not at all to the liking of Charles the Third, who was chiefly intent on securing his own position in Spain, and accordingly 'the admiral was extremely pressed by his Catholic Majesty to undertake somewhat in his favour.' Rooke's orders were explicit, and he knew he might incur a heavy responsibility by delaying their execution. But he was hampered by the additional absurd instructions to undertake nothing without the consent of the Kings of Spain and Portugal, who could seldom agree on anything whatever. Anyhow, he consented to make an attempt on Barcelona, where it was represented to him that the inhabitants were ready to declare for the Austrian candidate as soon as he appeared before the city. This soon proved to be a complete delusion, and the attempt to reduce the place was a fiasco.

Ten days after this abortive undertaking Rooke learnt the whereabouts of the French fleet from Brest, and, although still without Sir Cloudesley Shovel's reinforcements, he gave chase to the French and succeeded in driving them into Toulon. He next passed the Straits into the Atlantic once more, and on the 26th of June was joined at last by Shovel's squadron off Lagos. The combined fleet then con. tinued aimlessly cruising about while awaiting orders from home. But, as the old eighteenth-century naval chronicler puts it, “Sir George Rooke being very sensible of the reflections that would fall upon him,

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