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conduct in the individual. The economy which prompted the discontinuance of that soothing bond of peace, in the last moments of the de. parting spirit of the veteran, who had given the best of his days and energies to the service of his country was, to say the least of it, a false
The rates of pay of petty officers, and able seamen, appear to require revision.
We may now venture a few words on a subject that has given rise to much discussion-the manning of the navy.
War is an expensive game-Willingly no doubt, Britain would keep out of it; but, if drawn into the vortex-then, she must not be either niggardly of her means—nor, taking the power to impress sea-going men as a right, allow that to blind her to the superior advantages to be derived from obtaining them for general service by voluntary entry. .
We want a system, a regular routine of servitude, by enrolment. At present the Registry of Seamen appears of no farther use than to show the number of sea-goers belonging to the country who are employed in our own vessels: but as that does not provide hands for the navy, we may now enquire how that object may be effected without compulsion.
It may be thought that the ballot should be substituted for impressment, in war time; but, the question starts up, can the ballot be lawfully extended beyond the principle which regulates its adoption with reference to the militia?
It appears that the crown, or the state as an undoubted right to the services of every male, of a certain age with some privileged exceptions--in defensive war,—but no farther. By the power thus constitutionally given, such men are enrolled to serve only in Great Britain. It has not been adopted with seamen, because, hitherto, the assumed power of impressment has been exercised with impunity-a power which has been declared to be a prerogative of the crown, but has never been proved to be such. The system for it was reduced to one, is so repugnant to the spirit of liberty which pervades every British heart, that it can be likened to no more appropriate type than that, so long deplored, of kidnapping the negro and consigning him to the chains of slavery! now, surely, there must be some inconsistency in the will that would authorise such a practice whilst its voice was loud in the support of the liberty of the subject upon whom that very practice was employed.
It seems clear therefore, that if the conscription alluded to, were adopted without farther assistance, it would from its limited scope the defence of our shores — fall short of the object required—foreign servitude in aggressive war.
To extend the principle upon which the ballot is founded, would be unconstitutional; and if you made it compulsory on the seaman, after being enrolled, to serve in any part of the world, it would be no more than impressment under a different name;the necessity would not be lawful, or be an excuse for violating the statute in the one case and not in other; the militia man cannot be sent, even to Ireland, without his voluntary agreement, nor can he be drafted into the Line against his will. The same privileges belong to both, then place them upon a par. Establish the ballot system in the navy, first; and by offering the seaman the same advantages as the soldier there seems to be no reason why you would not obtain volunteers in abundance.
It appears to us, that were the ballot once established with reference to seamen, it would not require much encouragement to induce them to volunteer for general service afloat; and there would not probably be very great difficulty in arranging the details of such a plan. Allow the servitude to be alternate in the navy and the mercantile marine during a period of war; say, ten years in the first, (renewable), and five in the second service. The surety of not being molested whilst in the latter, would in all probability reconcile the seamen to the arrangement; besides, the hope of prize-money, &c., would have much weight with them.
Situated as this country is, it appears to be a false economy to limit the expenses of the navy to within narrow bounds; to do so is, to endanger your safety. Restrict your expenses in other matters not so decidedly demanding a liberal vutlay of your means; but, with your ships and your seamen, be rather profuse than niggardly, for, what the blood is to the body, they are to the State "the life”! Your economic patriots are all very well in their way; but, when they talk of cutting down naval expenditure, even to the doing away with the half-pay, the horrible "dead-weight," they assuredly lack wisdom. Put them when the time comes in a steam-fight, and we will warrant they would cry out in another key, supposing their economy to be adopted.
Every possible encouragement should be given to the seamen in order to make him satisfied with the public service. A liberal scale of pensions, increasing with prolonged servitude, is of the first consideration, and a certain additional time admitted for servitude in tropical climes in counting for pension.
The date and year when each man is to be called upon for his personal services, should be printed on the Register Ticket, and entered (alphabetically) in a book, a copy of which should be in the possession of every naval commander employed; and it would be advisable whenever it could possibly be done, not to separate those men who had not completed their allotted period, on paying off a ship.
Until a system shall have been established, and found to work well, of course the power to impress will be held, as one of imperative necessity: the cry against its practice goes for nought, when a country's safety is at stake, necessity rises above established laws; this is apparent from the fact, that since the peace we have kept up a large standing army.
We do not know whether Mr. Bull has been dreaming of a whole century of amity, or like another Hercules has been spell-bound; but we believe that the subject has been greatly neglected. Had marine schools been established at the close of last war, in all the principal ports of the United Kingdom, and the students been bound by contract, to serve a certain time alternately in the navy and merchant service, a sound plan would have been matured by this time, without any further necessity for legislative interference.
An over confidence has wrecked many a ship, and lost many a battle. Procrastination may bring fair weather to the traveller, but it has sealed the fate of empires! and time enough” is a “shocking bad” counsellor.
What has neglect not done? It lost to Portugal the “New World.”— And to Spain, the celebrity of establishing steam navigation 304 years ayo! To us, a vast sacrifice of valuable lives may be the result of delay and neglect. Europe, may be said to be at the present time, in a transition state; like the calm on the ocean, the quietude which the world has been enjoying, may prove only a prelude to commotion. Ships, we have in plenty, but they may as well be where the Old Royal George was, unless we can get crews to man them readily. From an ardent zeal for the service, we have ventured to give the outline of a plan, which if it be not the best that could be devised, has at least the merit of being better than none, and is well meant.
Connected, intimately with the subject of the best means for obtaining and retaining seamen in the navy is their treatment. I shall close this article with a few remarks bearing on that point.
It has been observed that “all happy obedience must arise from affection.” To produce happiness and content in a ship's company, it is essential that the obedience exacted, should by every proper meaus, be made subservient in establishing the feelings of respect and regard towards the person of the chief who commands, and the subordinate officers throughout.
Mere external obedience springing alone from the force of professional law, may, indeed, ensure the strictest dicipline and the nicest order, but it will not accomplish the more elevated moral effect of attachment, which adds so pleasing a feature to the fulfilment of both; and which also must prove of reciprocal advantage to the governing power, and the governed.
The “law of kindness”—and no man is more susceptible of its impressions than the seaman,-is one which the most stubborn disposition cannot long resist,—and it is the only human moral-instrument that is capable in conjunction with an appeal to reason, of reclaiming an irregular nature. This may partly be accounted for, perhaps, from the fact that the affections are not subject to the will; and also from the consideration that austerity of conduct or rule, exercised with a view to impress the mind with a befitting respect for station, may gain that end—but nothing more; acting similarly to the effect of severity of punishment inflicted on the body,—which, though it may break the spirit — will never reform the mind, or purify the heart.
It has likewise been observed that, “an effect could as easily exist without a cause, as affection in the bosom of any human being, which was not produced by goodness, or excellence seen, or believed to exist in some other being.” Thc converse of this may be taken, perhaps, as a general fact; and, if so, a harsh or tyrannical commander, however much
his better nature may prompt the desire to be beloved by those under him will be disappointed; he must first establish a cause to induce the will of others to regard him.
ON THE ABERRATION OF HURRICANES, &c. It is to be hoped, Mr. Editor, that as your readers are generally professional, they will not tire on the repetition of remarks on hurricanes. That it is extremely desirable to gain a correct knowledge of those wonderful meteors, all will doubtless agree, and that to accomplish this to the fullest extent possible, will require study and research. This admission granted, it necessarily follows that, to make the results available to the profession, they should be promulgated.
Our former opinion that, hurricanes are attended with a vibratory, or oscillatory motion, from the irregularity noted in some of those storms, has been strengthened by the perusal of an account of the hurricane (identical with the Theseus's,) of September, 1804, as experienced at the Island of Antigua.
The account* states, that this extensive storm commenced with the wind at N., which veered to N.N.W., and shifted suddenly to W., ending with it at S.
The tempest lasted 48 hours, (4th and 5th of September,) and if we allow only 15 miles an hour for its progress, the diameter would be 720 miles, or 12 degrees of latitude, and the circumference 2263 miles; so, that when it struck Antigua, the centre must have been abreast of it, and the southern verge just brushing the parallel of the Island of Tobago; and thus including within the anterior sweep, Barbuda, Guadaloupe, Deseada, Mariegalante, Dominica, Martinico, St. Lucia, the N.E. part of St. Vincent, and Barbados. Truly, Sir, a whirlwind upon such a scale must be regarded as one of the greatest wonders of the creation; need we then, even if there were no other importance attached to the investigation, offer any apology for pursuing the inquiry?
It is probable that this great meteor covered a much larger space than we have assigned to it, as we find from the mean of means of eight hurricanes, traced by Mr. Redfield, that, their rate was 184 miles an hour. Before the storm had ceased at Antigua, it commenced at the Bahamas.
If the vibratory motion be not allowed in this instance, the course of the hurricane to produce the changes of wind, as noted by the observer, must have been nearly W. f N.; for, had it proceeded direct to the N.W., without lateral motion, at no time could the wind have been felt at Antigua, farther to the southward, than W.b.S., or at most W. S.W.
The crisis must have taken place when the wind shifted suddenly from N.N.W. to W., at which time the centre of the commotion was at its nearest approach to the island.
• See Naval Chronicle, 12th vol.
Mr. Redfield has traced this hurricane, and he gives its general intertropical route at N.W.; hence we are led to consider that the vicinity of land causes an aberration, and that either a vibration, or a divergency in the regular course of the progression takes place.
In addition to the instances we have given in this and former papers, of the irregularity we are speaking of, it is essential that we notice what Dr. Campbell, in his Naval History, states, respecting the course of the wind in these storms, as he appears to have been at some pains in obtaining information; and it bears out our opinion.
In his 4th vol. at p. 195, he says, that, “ hurricanes commence with the wind at N., (at Jamaica,) continuing to shift to the westward, and so end at S.E.” With the N.W. progression a hurricare commencing at N., (as in the former case above given) would end at W.b.S., or W.S. W.; 80, that to reconcile the statement, admitting the changes to be given correctly, the progression must be first, nearly W., until the wind came round to that point, when it must have altered to a S.W. course, to bring the wind to S.E.; unless we admit a vibration to the southward, after the wind had got to W.; and preceding that, allowing the N.W. progression, which would account for the changes from N. to W. All these coincidences as to an irregularity in the progression of hurricanes on approach to land, are too remarkable to be disregarded, and demand investigation, on any future occasions.
We submit the following additional questions, for future investigation.
1. Has the hurricane whilst pursuing one particular course, a vibratory motion; and if so, does it take place in the vicinity of land only; or alike in the open ocean?
2. Are all hurricanes subject to lateral motions, or are some exempt, whilst others partake of them?
We know from experience that they do not always happen, but we give the question to confirm former observation.
3. Is the hurricane (inter-tropical) whilst pursuing a general course to the N.W., subject to turn aside, and follow another route for a short time, and then fall into the general course again?
4. The probable causes of such motions?
Every intelligent seaman will at once perceive the force and bearing of these queries, and how necessary it is that they should be settled, in order that we may arrive at a right understanding of the whole economy of the wonderful phenomenon. The hurricane of August, 1809, moved on a W.N.W. course, as also those of June, 1831, and August, 1835. The diameter of the former was about 300 miles, and the circumference 943.
We have a few words more to add respecting the mode of operation of these storms, which we hope may be the means of drawing the attention of the scientific to the subject.
We must look to some law of nature governing aërial vortices, for the interesting fact of these tempests always preserving a rotary motion; and (as far as yet ascertained) of the still more remarkable action of gyrating from right to left.