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so contrary to martial enterprise, that now, if any youth talks of going to the wars, he becomes in a manner infamous.'
Another exception to the charge of tediousness which, not having the fear of Italian readers before our eyes, we have ventured to bring against good part of the stuffing' of the ten volumes before us, must be made in favour of the Storia Fiorentina,' which fills the third volume, and which may be considered as forming a sequel (though written earlier) to Machiavelli's Storie Fiorentine,' and an introduction to Guicciardini's great work, the famous (and tedious) • Istoria d'Italia. Of the style of this hitherto unpublished prelude to his larger history it may be enough to say that, like that of his *Ricordi,' it has none of the conventional dignity of history. In this respect Guicciardini here stands in contrast with his later self, as arrayed in the ample academical robes of the classic historian. In the political doctrine deducible from his Florentine history he so far contrasts with Machiavelli that, while Guicciardini, as Signor Canestrini remarks, confined his desires to a better-regulated government for Florence, and freedom for Italy, Machiavelli invoked the intervention of a Prince, an allpowerful Dictator, who, by whatever means-so they were efficacious—should succeed in the great enterprise of expelling the strangers who were tearing Italy in pieces. Guicciardini's historical style, in his first manner,' differs from Machiavelli's in that indescribable quality in which the prose of minds allprosaic differs from the prose of poets. Guicciardini was an acknowledged master of prose-Machiavelli may rank with poets—and it would be difficult to find in the highest-wrought tragic descriptions of the historian such vivid images of the misery of the times which saw the sack of Rome, as in the following six lines of Machiavelli's 'Capitolo dell'Ambizione.'
• Sempre son le lor facce orrende e scure,
E l'aria d'urli, singulti e sospiri.' We have given credit for painstaking as well as for patriotism to the experienced editor of these volumes. But there is one particular in which he fails to satisfy the fair and reasonable requirements of modern readers. He has neither favoured them with full tables of contents to each volume, nor with a general index to all the ten volumes. These are omissions too familiar in Italian as in German publications of bulk and weight. Signor
Canestrini sends his readers voyaging through whole volumes without rudder or compass to find the passages he has thought worth noting in his Preface. We have been tempted, in executing our critical function on this occasion, to wish that editorial delinquencies of this description could be visited with some of those severities of mediæval political justice so frequent in Florentine history. Qualche tratto di fune would be no more than condign punishment for the neglect of editors to provide readers with those mere mechanical facilities for finding what they want in voluminous works like these, which no French and no judicious English editor ever fails to furnish.
Art. V.-Hansard's Parliamentary Debates. 1871. TT is with some regret that we again find ourselves compelled 1 to call attention to the present condition of the Navy. This great service, so justly popular with our countrymen, is too noble to be discussed in any manner that can at all affect its just reputation ; but we feel sure that it is not the fault of the Navy itself, but of its administration, which has done so much in the last two years to destroy its efficiency and to make England alarmed for its ancient renown.
If, however, we approach this subject with some regret, we confess that the feeling of dismay is still more overpowering as we examine the violent administrative changes which have been made, and their result upon the general condition of the fleet, since Mr. Gladstone has been Prime Minister. Last year * we pointed out in some detail many of the changes which we considered unwise. In January a contemporary, in an article which had a strong savour of an official origin, admitted the general truth of our facts, but endeavoured to diminish their force by some admixture of fables. He further premised that if we only waited to see the results of Mr. Childers's policy, the development would produce for us the cheapest and most efficient navy in the world. We have waited, and we now propose to examine the result of this year's administration and its effect upon our maritime supremacy.
If it had been possible, we should have preferred to adhere. to the arrangement suggested by Mr. Childers, and to have examined first the results of the changes and reductions made in the Board of Admiralty and the subordinate naval establishments, then the policy as to fleets and men, and lastly the policy
as to dockyards and shipbuilding ; but the whole administration of the Navy is in such a state of confusion, that it will be safer to chronicle the principal naval events of the last twelve months as nearly as may be in the order of time, and leave the result to the judgment of the public.
Little more than a year ago the loss of the “Captain' occurred. Mr. Childers, who up to that moment had assumed the trident of Neptune and the port of Mars, at once found it necessary to throw the blame of this deplorable event on his colleagues. Lord Henry Lennox pointed out, in his clear and convincing statement, that it was generally hoped that when the CourtMartial had reported, Mr. Childers would have come down and confessed that, like many professional persons, he had been deceived ; that upon him rested the sole responsibility for the frightful catastrophe; and that the country had the best security that at most it was an error in judgment, in the sad and melancholy fact that he trusted his own son on board the “Captain.”' We concur in this feeling ; but, instead of taking this course, Mr. Childers attempted to throw the blame upon others and to stifle inquiry. A Court-Martial of the highest character having investigated the cause of the loss of the ship, and having in their sentence recorded their opinion that the Controller and his department had generally disapproved of the construction of the • Captain,' as well as having expressed their regret that the * Captain' was allowed to be employed in the ordinary service of the fleet before her qualities had been sufficiently ascertained by calculation and experiment, were rebuked by a Board Minute, unsigned, but which it is not denied emanated from Mr. Childers.
In defence of his conduct he further published, without consulting or informing his colleagues, another Minute reflecting most injuriously on one member at least of his Board, and by the 359 pages so published he hoped to exculpate himself and to inculpate his colleagues; but this most unfair conduct is best described in the draft Report of the Duke of Somerset, as Chairman of the Committee of the House of Lords on the Board of Admiralty. His Grace, a strong Whig and a First Lord himself of great experience, says:
On the 30th November, 1870, Mr. Childers wrote a Minute relating to the loss of the Captain. This Minute seriously affected the official reputation of Sir Spencer Robinson, a Lord of the Admiralty and Controller of the Navy. This Minute was published without having been seen by Sir S. Dacres or Sir Spencer Robinson. Such a proceeding on the part of the First Lord of the Admiralty was, so far as the Committee are aware, entirely unprecedented. ... Mr.Childers, being himself nominally responsible for sending this vessel to sea, constituted himself a judge of the case, and, exempting himself from all blame, distributed censure among a number of persons, while he placed the chief weight on the Controller, who had been by a former board specially released from this responsibility.'
Eleven months after the event—until which time, from various causes, the discussion of this question was adjourned-Mr. Goschen could only say that he was unable to undertake the defence of his predecessor and late colleague, and asked to defer that duty until Mr. Childers was able to return to his Parliamentary duty. What more Mr. Childers may be able to state than is contained in those 359 pages of defence, of course it is impossible to foretell; but, so far as we are at present able to judge, a ship worth half-a-million, and, rightly used, a powerful engine of war, and—what was of far more value—500 British seamen, were lost through the proceedings of the First Lord of the Admiralty.
To explain this it requires us to show how the Captain' was lost. Captain Coles, the ingenious inventor of the cupola and turntable for working heavy guns, had, until 1865, recommended the adoption of two classes of ships for carrying his armament: the one a low-freeboard, unmasted monitor, for coast and barbour defence; the other a high-freeboard, masted, seagoing cruiser. It may be as well here to explain what is the line which shipbuilders draw between high and low freeboard. The Turret-Ship Committee, presided over, in 1865, by Lord Lauderdale, report, on the highest authority, that the height of the deck from the water-line is not to be less than 5 feet in a vessel 120 feet long, and that 1 foot is to be added for every additional 30 feet in length.
Captain Coles then proposed to build a seagoing cupola-sbip to compete with the Pallas.' Her length was to be 228 feet, and her height 10 feet from water-line to deck. This was, therefore, a high-freeboard ship, being 1 foot 5 inches in excess of the height above specified. This ship, as having only one turret, was not accepted by the Duke of Somerset's Admiralty, and they determined to build the · Monarch' to carry Captain Coles's armament.
The · Monarch' did not seem to Captain Coles to carry out his intention; and the Duke of Somerset wisely, as we think, authorised him, in concert with Messrs. Laird, to design a ship which should entirely illustrate his own conception. On the 14th of July, 1866, Messrs. Laird's design for the Captain' was referred to the Controller's department by the Duke of Somerset. Two days after (on the 16th) Sir John Pakington took his seat as
This was a feet freebeardess, the esperit
termined ship. Neverthard to make he was to be 320 for
First Lord, and on the 20th the Controller reported in general terms that Messrs. Laird's design might be accepted; "but,' added Sir Spencer Robinson, 'I am doubtful whether the proposed height of the upper deck out of the water, viz., 8 feet, combined with the length and draught of water of this design, will be satisfactory for a seagoing cruising ship.
This was obvious; for the Captain 'was to be 320 feet long, requiring 12 feet freeboard to make her safe as a sail-carrying cruising ship. Nevertheless, the experiment was properly determined upon, knowing well that great caution must be used when under sail, and with the confident expectation that, if it were found impossible to use the “Captain ' as a sailing ship, a most powerful monitor would be added to the Navy. From this day forward to her launch, Sir Spencer Robinson and Mr. Reed continually warned the Admiralty and the public of the hazardous character of such a ship and of the extreme caution necessary in handling her.
On the 2nd of August, 1866, Mr. Reed remarked that, on further investigation, he found the stability of the “Captain' was not so undoubted as he had at first supposed. On September 9th, 1867, Sir Spencer Robinson stated that ships with low freeboards would upset under canvas in a breeze of wind, after receiving a moderate inclination. Then, pointing out that, under certain circumstances of sea and position, 'at 11° heel, the pressure of the wind on her sails would carry her over,' this element of danger, says Sir Spencer Robinson, 'requires to be carefully borne in mind in all turret-ships carrying sail.'
On the 4th April, 1868, Mr. Reed stated with regard to lowfreeboard ships :
Should she roll beyond her position of maximum stability, she would have her time of roll increased, and the following circumstances would then occur. When reaching the hollow she would not have finished her oscillation, and might be still rolling towards the approaching wave; the alteration of the direction of the water surface caused by the front of the approaching wave, instead of developing in the ship a greater amount of stability tending to right her, as is the case with all ships that have a high freeboard—would diminish what stability there was remaining, and the danger of her being blown over if she carried sail would be very great.
On the 3rd March, 1869, Mr. Childers having then been in office for some months, Mr. Reed reported to him that the “Captain' would have a freeboard of only 6 feet, "utterly unsafe and out of the question in so large a ship without a breastwork ;' and on the 15th March, 1870, Sir S. Robinson observed that the Captain' was immersed 22 inches deeper