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Since, according to the proposed should not be considered in the plan, there would be no naval same light as the non-commissioned cadets on board the ships of the officers of the Army, with whom fleet, and an officer would be only they rank, and who have come from three years in the rating of mid- the same class of society. These shipman, it follows that the num- men, in the Army, are frequently ber of junior officers would be sent in charge of detachments of much smaller than at present; and soldiers, to reside miles away it may be asked, therefore, Who is to from any of their officers. The do the various duties that are now ordinary duties of boat-service, performed by the youngsters? We therefore, such as landing officers will try, then, to give a satisfactory and answering signals, might be answer to this question. In the performed by the coxswains of the first place, it is considered by many boats, as is done in the French experienced officers that the num- navy; and it would only be requiber of warrant - officers might be site to send an officer upon special greatly increased, with advantage occasions, such as copying orders to the service, and that the duties of importance, and going on board of mates of decks could be advan- foreign men-of-war. No doubt, tageously performed by them. In just at first, some inconvenience the next place, every one who has would be experienced by the change been acquainted with the Navy for of system; but this necessarily atthe last five-and-twenty years, must tends any alteration of long-estabbe aware that a great change has lished custom whatever; and we taken place in the habits and nature confidently believe that in a very of the seamen. They are no longer short time this arrangement would that careless, childlike, thoughtless prove of great benefit to the serset they were, whom it was impos- vice, in raising the position of sible to trust out of sight; and the petty officers, and making it who never expected, or wished, to of greater value in the eyes of the be so trusted. The majority of
And it must not be forthe ships' companies now-or soon gotten that there are great disadwill— consist of men who have vantages in the present system of grown up from their boyhood in schoolboy officers, by which the the service, who have been care- discipline of the fleet suffers no fully trained and educated ; and slight injury, as we have before the numerous measures which have pointed out. been adopted of late years to im- Turn we now to another branch prove the condition of the sailor- of our subject. Whether such a showing him that the country takes project as either of the above be an interest in his welfare, and that adopted, or whether the Admiralty he is looked upon as a valuable may decide only to carry out at the public servant — have not been College a partial system, such as that without their fruits in a very mark- now in practice in the Britannia, ed and decided iinprovement in the and keep up the plan of naval inconduct and disposition of the men. structors to continue the education The consequence is, that officers in on board ship afterwards, it is cercommand find that they can now tain that provision must be made, place their men in positions of as at present, for a higher course of trust and responsibility, which a study, at an after period, for comfew years back they would not have missioned officers. As we have bedreamt of; and the very fact of fore stated, it is difficult to overfinding himself in such a position, estimate the benefit which has reand being confided in, develops a sulted to the naval service, from the man’s good qualities, and raises his studies pursued by officers of all tone of mind to a much higher level. ranks at the College in Portsmouth There can be no reason whatever Dockyard, during their intervals on why the petty officers in the Navy shore ; although the benefit might
have been even greater had the and not less than twenty-two years establishment been placed upon a
Now it is in the rank of different footing, as we shall see lieutenant that officers at the prepresently. Although it is advisable sent day remain longest, the comthat the Cadet College should not mander's commission being most be situated too near the seaport difficult of attainment. We would town, yet in every respect it is to propose, therefore, that after three be desired that the senior College yearssea-service in the rank of should be in the dockyard, and the lieutenant, officers should be perold building is quite well suited to mitted to join the College for a the purpose. It is not too much to course of study similar to that say that the advantages gained by which the mates formerly went officers studying there are multi- through ; and that a commander's plied tenfold by the circumstance commission should be given halfof their residing in the principal yearly to the individual passing the dockyard of the kingdom. Not a highest examination. By this plan day passes without there being all the benefits of the former syssomething novel and instructive to tem would be restored, and, as be seen in this immense establish- we think, with increased advanment; every class and description tage both to the service and to the of vessel may there be compared officers. together; the latest improvements The College should likewise be in steam machinery, the newest in- open, as at present, to half-pay ventions in artillery, the art of ship- officers who may wish to go there building, and every method of rig- to study scientific subjects; and ging—all may be seen and studied
every encouragement ought to be there during the daily stroll round given to induce men of ability so the yard, which is the constant to employ their intervals of forced practice of the student officers. We idleness. According to the present therefore trust, that wherever it may system, there is no regular course of be determined to fix the situation of study prescribed, but
each officer is, the junior College, the senior estab- as we have mentioned, allowed to lishment may remain where it is. follow the bent of his own inclina
We have seen how that the course tion, and to take up whatever subof study at the College for the lieu- ject he has a taste for. So far this tenant's commission has of late is a wise arrangement, for the naval years fallen to the ground. This profession embraces such a diversity is much to be regretted, for, as we of matters — standing as it does before showed, the system was an in close relationship with nearly excellent one for the service. It every department of science—that is, however, a question whether it it would be impossible for any peris altogether desirable that an officer son, except he were endowed with at the sub-lieutenant's age should an extraordinary intellect, to gain remain for such a long period on more than a slight acquaintance shore, for it is just at that time of with the higher branches of all the life that the most valuable experi- subjects bearing upon his calling. ence at sea is gained. We would He might, indeed, be “ Jack-of-allrather suggest a different plan, trades," but he certainly would be which we think would benefit the “ master of none. It is therefore profession still more.
more desirable that an officershould general opinion in the service that confine himself to one or two subofficers should remain for three years jects, and follow them up as far as on the sub- lieutenants' list, and he is able ; and since the various then be promoted as a matter of ramifications of science are intercourse, when they would have been, woven with, and to a great extent according to the scheme we have depend upon, each other, he could proposed, at least six years at sea, not fail, in gaining a thorough know
It is a very
ledge of one, to acquire a certain There is an observatory belonginsight into others.
ing to the College, which, if it were To this end there should be every kept for the use of the students, facility afforded to enable the offi- would be of the greatest value to cers to carry out their studies pro- those who might be disposed to perly; but, unfortunately, this is study astronomy; but this observanot the case at present; and no tory is used as a depôt for the one is more painfully aware of this Government chronometers and methan are the excellent Professor teorological instruments; and since and his colleagues, who have striven the rating of these chronometerscontinually, but without effect, to upon whose accuracy the safe nainduce the Admiralty to supply the vigation of our ships depends—is necessary means for that purpose, performed solely by means of the such as instruments, apparatus, and transit instrument in this observaother appliances. The only subject tory, it would never do to let it be which has been brought under a used as a hack instrument for the regular system is Steam, for which purpose of instruction. At present there is an established course to go it is quite impossible for any naval through, and an examination at the officer to become an astronomer, close of it with classed certificates unless he has access to some private of proficiency. And, fully alive to observatory, or unless he obtained the unsatisfactoriness of the state permission to study at Greenwich, of matters, the Professor, in fram- which might probably not be coning the steam course, did all in his sidered convenient or advisable to power to remedy it, by including—, grant. But if the College observaas well as practical instruction, tory were set apart exclusively, and such theoretical requirements as properly fitted up, for the use of rendered a certain amount of mathe- officers studying astronomy, this matical knowledge necessary; while very important science would be at the highest class of certificate re- once placed within the reach of all. quires, in addition, a considerable Every astronomer would testify to knowledge of mechanics and hydro- the great benefit which would accrue statics. But it is not compulsory to to science, were a certain number of go through even the steam course- intelligent naval officers, scattered although practically every one does over different parts of the world, so—and that finished, which is gene- in a position to take reliable obrally in six months at most, there servations of the various celestial is no longer any regular system to phenomena, and to furnish intellifollow, nor any further certificate gible and trustworthy records of of study to be obtained. There- them. fore those officers who may have Another subject which is of the studied for three or four years at greatest value to a naval officer, the College, and acquired a high and for acquiring a knowledge amount of scientific knowledge, of which there are at present no have nothing to distinguish them facilities, is marine surveying. from such as may have merely There is not one officer in fifty, we passed through the steam course will venture to say, who has any with a third-class certificate. They practical acquaintance with this have neither experienced any en- duty—except those who have served couragement to persevere in their in surveying-ships-although there studies, nor have they any other is not a station in the world where reward to look to for the labour such a knowledge would not be they have bestowed upon them, useful ; for we are constantly openexcept that which is contained in ing up fresh regions to commerce, every well-regulated mind-a con- and our surveying expeditions cansciousness of having employed one's not keep pace with the demands time in a profitable manner. upon their services. It will be in
the minds of most naval readers of name in the Navy List who had these pages, how many localities obtained first-class certificates in they have visited which have never any of these branches of science; been more than roughly surveyed, and if the Admiralty wished to put how many inaccuracies are found their hand upon an officer for any in charts, and how often it would special service, they would at once have been in their power to furnish be able to select one who, by the correct plans of different harbours nature of his studies, had qualified they have visited, or to fill in an himself for that particular duty. imperfectly known coast-line, had We have thus endeavoured to they only known how to set about show what are the requirements of it. The very limited knowledge of the naval service with respect to our naval officers of the two sub- the education and training of its jects we have just mentioned, is a officers, and how these requirements standing reproach to the service; may be provided for. We have yet the blame does not rest with entered fully into the subject, for them, as we have endeavoured to two reasons; first, because it is one show.
of the very greatest national imThe system of study, therefore, portance, and also because-since for the senior officers, requires a it has been resolved to abolish the careful revision. There should be present system, and to establish different courses of study estab- a College for the naval cadetslished, besides that of steam, for this is the especial time to take other branches of science-viz., the these matters into careful considehigher mathematics, mechanics and ration. We earnestly hope that the hydrostatics, nautical astronomy, Admiralty will look upon this quesmarine surveying, naval architec- tion in a broad and liberal light, ture, practical astronomy, field for- and permit no paltry motives of tification, and optics. An elemen- economy, or no narrow-minded pretary knowledge of mathematics judices, to stand in the way of the would of course be necessary before development of some scheme which any of these could be entered upon; may be worthy of this great counbut according to even the present try, and the first Navy of the world. system of educating cadets, they And we trust that naval officers acquire this; and were such a plan themselves, fully sensible of the adopted as those we have sketched neglect under which their education out, officers, when they came to has suffered, will one and all, whenstudy at the senior College, would ever opportunity shall offer, raise have previously been thoroughly their voices in favour of some such well grounded in many of these system for the future as shall in subjects also during their three every respect atone for the shortyears' instruction as cadets. The comings of the past. To them we officers joining the senior College, would recall the words of the late according to this arrangement, Sir James Graham : “I cannot should be at liberty to select any express in adequate terms my adof the above subjects, for each of miration of the naval character; I which there should be an think it decidedly the very flower amination to go through at the of British society. I think that a termination of the course, and cer- naval officer, trained from his youth tificates of proficiency given, a in his profession, and master of his certain time being allowed for each profession, is one of the noblest and subject. Some distinguishing mark finest characters that the history of might be put against an officer's this country can produce.”
* Evidence before Select Committee of the House of Commons on Admiralty Administration, 1861.
LETTERS FROM THE PRINCIPALITIES.
NO. II.-SOCIETY AND POLITICS IN MOLDAVIA.
The British public have very
lit- Hitherto I had only visited the tle notion of the complicated ques- monasteries and convents belonging tions which are preparing for them to the Cenobitic class—Nyamptz, in the East, and more especially in Seku, Agapia, and Veratica. Everythose Principalities of the Danube, where I found the same sentiment which may be considered the centre prevailing. There was a great deal of the Gordian knot. Carefully of dissatisfaction expressed as to eschewing the study of any ques- the mode in which the measure tion which is in the least difficult had been carried out, but the printo master, they never hesitate to ciple of the thing was not objected pronounce a very decided opinion to, and beneficial results were anupon its merits when the moment ticipated by those who were most for doing so arrives. Popular con- directly affected. It remained yet victions are none the less strongly to see a good specimen of a Dediheld because based upon absolute cated monastery, and we decided ignorance, and we have a notable to proceed from Veratica to Piatra, instance, in the Schleswig-Holstein a town situated in the valley of question, of the whole British na- Bistritza, and from thence to visit tion regaling itself upon humble a monastery of the same name in pie, to the great amusement of the neighbourhood.
Our parting Europe generally: If we would scene, when we bade adieu to the only take the trouble beforehand to nuns of Veratica, was not so touchlook into the most important points ing as when we reluctantly tore of foreign policy which are likely. ourselves away from the Mikas of to arise, we should be saved this Agapia ; but still we turned our humiliation. Instead of this, any backs with real regret on our hoswell-informed member of Parlia- pitable entertainers, and, furnished, ment would think he was insulted as before, with convent horses and if he was asked whether he under- gypsy postilions, sped down the stood the question of the secularisa- valley towards destination. tion of the Dedicated monasteries by After a five hours' drive through Prince Couza. Some of the worst scenery which, without being grand, jokes that ever were made, because was full of charm and variety, we they were in such bad taste, were descended at dusk upon the picturthose made upon the impossibility esquely situated town of Piatra. of understanding the Schleswig- Far away from any great route, Holstein question by persons whose few travellers have ever visited this business it was to understand it. remote spot_but it would be the Very much more of the same de- starting-point for a most interestscription of facetiousness on the ing mountain-trip. The turbulent part of our public men will impair Bistritza, after a headlong course the national dignity to such an ex- through the lovely scenery of the tent that, in the end, we shall be Carpathians, here issues from a forced into a war for no other pur- gorge in the mountains, and hencepose than the recovery of prestige. forth glides tranquilly across fertile If the Convent question is too dull plains till it falls into the Sereth. to be studied in this country, let Just before our arrival, half the people go, as I did, and learn it town of Piatra had been swept from the nuns themselves; but in away by the overwhelming force some way or other do let them of its torrent, and we walked over know something about it before acres of debris and desolation. Conthey give their votes.
taining about fifteen thousand in