Page images


[ocr errors]


With a handful of men he remained behind, and at the end of February they drifted into Table Bay and were rescued as the Guardian' sank.

Captain Riou lived long enough to take the Amazon

• Amazon' into action at Copenhagen, and as he unwillingly withdrew in answer to the signal, fell, with the words on his lips, What will Nelson think of us ?'

Finally, let me quote the testimony of one of our late enemies, who in five words expressed his acknowledgment of the sea-spirit for the encouragement of his own men. When the Gneisenau' was nearing her end, her captain addressed a farewell message to his men, for, he said, he was not coming with them. Bidding them use every possible effort to keep themselves afloat, and, to that end to keep up their courage, he concluded, The English will save you.'

In all these stories, the underlying motive is always the same; namely, the extinction of any individual interest for the good of ship or shipmate. It follows that, in such cases there remains room for the entry of the grace by which the secondary means' may be made 'availeable and beneficiall.'

Nothing is more characteristic of the British seaman, with whom I am best acquainted, than his instinctive tendency to direct his labours solely to the good of his ship. Similarly the ship, as a whole, full of her own individuality as all good ships are, again looks ahead to the honour of her squadron ; while in front of the squadron always lies the good of the service.

The whole atmosphere in every happy ship,' as the great majority of our ships are, is simply that of fellowship in service, and so in truth becomes almost

; a religion. It is this characteristic, the peculiar brotherhood of the sea, which, unless it be deliberately impeded by those who are in complete ignorance of its influence as a living force, or for worse reasons, might, through the secondary means of the strange race apart, be used for the unlimited benefit of mankind as perhaps was intended.

The testimony of Lord Beatty, Lord Wemyss, Admiral Sims, and many more, as to the gradual and natural fusion of the Fleets of the United States and Great Britain in the late war, gains striking emphasis in the

[ocr errors]

recent reception accorded to Sir Lewis Bayley in America by the U.S. Navy. The nature of the sea compliments paid to him and the atmosphere created thereby, cannot be translated into the language of the land; but it would be well for statesmen to make some attempt to understand what forces were at work. This was no official ceremony for the representative of a friendly power; Admiral Bayley was travelling as a private citizen, and the greeting was unexpected. It was, in fact, deep calling to deep, the Spirit of the Sea calling clearly above the turmoil of press and politician. Not to a British Admiral, though his flag was flown with the Stars and Stripes, but to · Uncle Lewis.'

Few people probably will recollect an incident which occurred over thirty years ago when another message of good will went forth, under conditions sufficiently dramatic to need no emphasis. It is worth recalling, In 1889, before the post-Jutland-super-Dreadnought had cast her shadow across the gates of the New World, and the business of the Seven Seas none the less went forward with great efficiency, albeit largely under sail, Her Majesty's corvette Calliope,' 2770 tons, lay at Apia, Samoa, with three American and three German ships of much the same type, in company.

There they were visited by a hurricane of extraordinary violence. Six of the seven went on shore, four being reported as total losses the next morning. The Calliope' damaged by two of them as they dragged, slipped her cable and gathering way inch by inch, at long last successfully steamed into the safety of the open seas at a speed of one knot. And while yet her fate hung in the balance, there came a call which cannot but have eased the strain and strengthened the faith of those who were making the desperate attempt, as they realised whence and why it came. For the cheers which sped the Calliope' on her way were led by the American Admiral Kimberly and came from the doomed • Trenton,' flagship of the United States.

Mahan realised the influence of the saving grace. Great Britain, he says, in the beginning of this century when she was the solitary power of the seas, saved herself and powerfully modified for the better the course of history,

Vol. 235 -No, 46%



In another place, however, he has put a truth which, if it were taken to heart as fully as his explanations of Sea Power have been, would undoubtedly change the course of history still more for the better.

To Great Britain and the United States,' he wrote, 'if they rightly estimate the part they may play in the great drama of human progress, is entrusted a maritime interest in the broadest sense of the word.'

The Influence of the Sea Spirit on the use of Sea Power, is a work for another Mahan, and it will be even more worth study, if possible, than what he gave us. His countrymen may claim, with


some justice, to continue his work and place it on the pages of history, as a tribute to his memory. Perhaps Sir Lewis Bayley's reception is the first chapter.

May I conclude with another story, almost a parable ? I have already spoken of the manner in which Drake faced the crisis of his life. If there is any lesson for us in that, there is surely as much to be learned in the tragedy of his death; and if it should have a warning in it, I am quite certain he would not have had it otherwise. For it seems to me that, in those last weeks of his life, we are permitted to see a different man from Our General' of the Golden Hind.' Then, the inspiration was fellowship and faith, leading to the new world. At the last, there is no note of fellowship, and the faith seems dim ; and it is with positive relief, for it reveals a stranger, that I always read one of the saddest sentences in history: Our General carried neither mirth nor joy in his face.'

Force had bred the counterforces that baffled him as it always will, and we read of him, still admitting no defeat, lying under the lee of Escudo de Veragua in the 'Defiance,' held by the warning west wind as he struggled in vain to go westwards. And on his lips a cry that has been the undoing of mankind from time immemorial : • We must have gold.'

Then the deadly sickness gripped him, and crying at last that he would take the wind as God sent it, he bid his men weigh. And the west wind took him to within sight of the peak from which he had seen the New World, and there, 'He yielded up his spirit like a Christian quietly to his Creator.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

God worketh all things here amongst us mediatly by a secondary means, the which means of our defence and safety being shipping, and sea forces, are to be esteemed as his guifts and then only availeable and beneficiall, when he withall vouchsafeth his grace to use them aright.

Nations which seriously propose to compete with one another in the construction of ships of war, simply for the purpose of having the strongest fleet, can have no excuse for mistaking the nature of the disservice they will inevitably render to mankind in the process, including those smaller nations which must be involved either directly or indirectly, and are powerless to interfere. Extenuation may be pleaded for a variety of reasons; but, in neglecting Raleighs warning, the day will assuredly come when there will be nothing left for the originators to do, as they contemplate the universal ruins, except to speculate on the exact nature of the forces they heedlessly arrayed against themselves, as Germany, no doubt, is doing now.

What secondary means will be employed it is not possible to suggest, but the downfall will certainly come. The momentum gathered by material forces, though created for a legitimate object, is no doubt difficult to check. But unless it is checked, these forces, their original purpose forgotten, become, from their very nature and threat, the roots of that suspicion which will ultimately and certainly carry them beyond control.

When the free nations declared war for freedom they pledged themselves to any sacrifice in its cause, without reservation. Had they been asked whether the sacrifice would include certain doctrines of the old world, whether by land or sea, as the price of their deliverance, there would have been but one answer. The threat to civilisation to-day is not one that can be met by either battleship or submarine, but only by an international fellowship of service, in which each may strive legitimately to be first.

For the greatest enemy to mankind, and one which it will need the united energies of the maritime nations to defeat-for only in unity may they hope that grace will be vouchsafed to them-is the Mystery of Iniquity which is striving to hold them asunder.




1. National Life and Character. By C. H. Pearson.

Macmillan, 1893. 2. Europe and Asia. By M. Townsend. Constable, 1901. 3. The Passing of the Great Race. By Madison Grant.

Scribners, 1919. 4. The Rising Tide of Colour. By L. Stoddard. Chapman

& Hall, 1920. 5. Children of the Slaves. By Stephen Graham. Mac

millan, 1920. 6. Der Untergang des Abendlandes. By O. Spengler. Vol. 1.

Beck : Munich, 1920.

THE projecting peninsula of Asia which the ancients called Europe * covers, with its adjacent islands, less than two million square miles; an area about the same as that of India, and about half that of Canada. The homeland of the white man, if we exclude Russia, might be dropped into Australia or Brazil without anywhere coming near the coast. And yet it is no accident that Europe has taken the lead in civilisation. It is the only continent which has no deserts ; and its Mediterranean shores are perhaps the most favoured region of the whole planet. Its population consists, as we are now taught, of three distinct races, each with its own characteristics. The shores of the Mediterranean belong to a dark, longheaded race which probably had its original home in North Africa, formerly connected with Europe by more than one land bridge. This race not only occupied the northern coasts of the Mediterranean, but pushed up the warm Atlantic sea-board as far as Scotland. The Mediterranean man is intolerant of severe cold, and has not maintained his ascendancy in mountainous districts. The race is not peculiar to Europe, since much of the Indian population belongs to a kindred stock, as do the Berbers of North Africa and the Semitic peoples. The round-headed element in the population of Europe, which has been not very happily called Alpine, came from Asia, and drove a wedge across the centre of the continent, forming at the present day a large part of the population

* Russia is excluded, as being geographically part of the Asiatic mass.

« PreviousContinue »