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as to have no national force. These were contentions of nations, and a capacity for the immediate neighbours of France, and self-government, are essential qualities in a she could lord it over them loftily. Whether community of men who would emancipate this supremacy was of any practical use to themselves from foreign rulers; and there France or not, is a matter of no consequence. are races who possess neither qualification. France loves pre-eminence, and she can ill If Ireland, for instance, did possess the bear to part with it. Yet the successful distinctive features of nationality that mark completion of Count Bismarck's plan will out separate peoples, self-government would undoubtedly destroy that supremacy. It in her case still be impossible, for the simwill create on the frontiers of France a na-ple reason that Ireland is not strong enough tion as great, if not greater, than herself. to take a place among the nations of Europe. It is probable, then, that even after the principle of nationalities shall have knit together in political communion the principal branches of the human race, numerous fragments, too small of themselves to form nations, will join together for mutual protection. Judging from present appearances, Hungary promises to be the centre of such a group. The Austrian empire is now composed of many races, speaking many tongues, and there is every probability that future changes will yet compensate it for the loss of the Italian and German elements. The steadily approaching dissolution of the Ottoman empire may give to the whilom empire of Austria new provinces and new millions ready to follow the leadership of the Magyars, while it may give to Greece the means of supporting herself as a distinct and self-sustaining nation.
The rest of Europe may view the creation of a great State in central Europe with the utmost satisfaction, for the supremacy of France in Continental affairs is far from being an unmixed advantage to Europe. In truth, the appearance of a power strong enough to restrain the ambition of that power promises to be beneficial to the cause of peace. But principally as a check to the progress of the great Colossus of the North should western Europe be inclined to approve of the appearance of a united Germany. Forty million Germans, united under one government, would form no bad protection to the western countries against the advance of Muscovite hordes.
The appearance of France in the field as the armed opponent of national unity throws a veil of uncertainty around the immediate future of Europe. The leaders of national unity are in Italy weak, and in Germany politic; so that the resistance of a great military power, like France, may arrest the movement for a time. But if the movement in favour of allowing the people of one race to gather together and form a self-governing community be indeed one of those strong and steady currents of opinion that pass over the earth from time to time, it would be vain to suppose that any artificial barrier could long restrain it. As well might we seek to stop up a river, as to resist such a volume of human sympathy as we believe this great political movement to represent. Its accomplishment may, then, be delayed for a time, but only for a time.
Whether this tendency of men to aggregate in great masses representing complete nationalities is to spread until it shall have obliterated every kind of artificial division, or whether it is to stop short of that complete application of the nationalities principle, is a matter upon which one would not wish to hazard too positive an opinion. It is hardly possible that the principle can be so rigidly applied, since there are in the world races of men possessing all the distinctive features of separate nationality, who yet do not possess the qualities that are equally necessary to national existence. Sufficient strength to hold their own in the
The union of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, in such a manner as to reunite all the great branches of the Scandinavian family, is far from being a remote possibility. It is .a thing actually contemplated, and perhaps nearer accomplishment than we know of. The miserable conduct of the Spanish government is tending to make the establishment of a united Iberia possible. Sickened, degraded, impoverished, by the frightful misgovernment of their own queen and their own political leaders, the Spanish people are turning their eyes upon that small section of the Peninsula whereon a kindred people manage to conduct their affairs in peace, and in moderate prosperity. The obstacles to the union of Spain and Portugal seem at present insuperable, but so at one time seemed those that hindered the union of Piedmont with Southern Italy.
As the nationalities movement progresses, the position of such states as Holland, Belgium, and Switzerland will become more and more anomalous. The Dutch are too closely allied to the great German family, and too closely united, geographically, to the great German land, to escape the attraction that a great nation must exercise upon political fragments on its borders; but the Belgians and the Swiss stand in a different position. Their lands stand be
twixt two great rival nations, and their border states to new influences which their affinities of race and language incline them surrounding circumstances may, or may as much to the one as to the other. Bel- not, enable them to resist. gium and Switzerland are, roughly speak- The progress of this mighty movement ing, as much French as German, and as will probably subject the peace of Europe much German as French. Will this pe- to some sharp convulsions. It has already culiar character preserve the neutrality of cost us and if it be powerfully and perthose lands while the nationalities doctrine sistently resisted, it will certainly cost us is reconstructing states all around them? more great wars. But beyond these temProbably it may, for a time at all events. porary convulsions, Europe has everyNeither France nor Germany will be strong thing to hope, and nothing to fear, from enough to take the whole of either country the movement. If wars occur, they will in the face of the opposition of the other, be as the conflict of the elements in the and a peaceful division pre-supposes a una-wars of the atmosphere; and the thundernimity that is little likely to arise. The storm once over, we shall have better prosexceptional happiness which those little pects of settled peace than the present arstates have enjoyed in their present condi- tificial parcelment of the human race, with tion, under the protection of their neutral- its subjection of national interests to perity, will offer unusual obstacles to the pen- sonal passion and ambition, has ever peretration of the nationalities doctrine within mitted. Nations formed on the basis of natheir frontiers. To imagine the Belgians tionality will have few temptations to agor the Swiss anxious to exchange their gression. They will have no interest in present liberty and security to become seeking to filch provinces peopled by forheavily-taxed citizens of France or Ger- eigners from their neighbours; and a thoumany, is to pre-suppose a state of matters sand causes of quarrel that turn nation too different from any that now appears against nation in their present artificial arprobable, to permit of speculation founded rangement will cease to exist. on it. We can only see that the spread of JAMES SUTHERLAND. the nationalities doctrine will subject these
He loves not well whose love is bold:
I would not have thee come too nigh:
To take him thence, and chain him near,
He keeps his state; do thou keep thine,-
So shall I bask in light divine
That falls from love's own guiding star.
My love, my hope, my all, shall be
But thou thyself shall come not down
HIDE AND SEEK.
Her shining curls;
Bopeep! what's this?
are absolutely mischievous, and must of course be pulled down with all possible despatch. What might not the country save if there were but a grain of intelligence and insight in those who are allowed to control its expenditure!
CAPTAIN MONCRIEFF's invention, which has just come to light, is in many respects the most wonderful that has been announced for many years. It is wonderful for the It is a pleasanter task to contemplate immediate and complete success which has the triumph of Captain Moncrieff's genius attended the first experimental trial -athan to dwell further on the dulness of those trial made as severe as the ingenuity of ex- who have so long thwarted it; so we will perienced officers could make it. It is won-pass at once to the consideration of what it derfully important too for the enormous is that the inventor proposed to himself, and saving which it will effect — a saving meas- what he has actually accomplished. The ured by millions in the protection of our sole object of all fortifications is to enable coasts. It is not less wonderful for having great guns to be used for the destruction of at one stroke reversed the conditions of war, an enemy, while the guns themselves, and and given the advantage unequivocally to those who serve them, are protected from the defence a benefit of immeasurable attack. Two methods have long been in value to a country like this, which arms use one the barbette system; the other, only for the sake of peace and security. the embrasure system. On the former the It is very wonderful, again, for its extreme gun was mounted so as just to peer over simplicity-a simplicity so beautiful that the top of an impenetrable parapet; but every one who hears of it, and who has a the defect of it was, that there the gun grain of comprehension for the subject, can stood permanently exposed to the fire of only exclaim, as one is always tempted to the enemy, and that the gunners were do with every great and genuine invention, equally exposed during the whole process "Why was not this thought of long ago?" of loading and laying the piece. The accuBut the crowning wonder of all is that the racy attained with modern arms had become invention was actually made during the Cri- so great that enfilading and ricochet fire for mean war some ten years ago, and that a comparatively short time was enough to nearly the whole intervening time has been disable almost any barbette battery. To spent in efforts, till lately unavailing, to get make the guns and men a little safer the the professional and official mind to see that embrasure method was adopted. On this there was any invention at all. For all these plan it is true that the gun and gunners ten years the high officials who have to de- were kept below the level of the parapet, cide on matters connected with the arma- but to enable the gun to be fired it was nement of our troops and our forts have stead-cessary to pierce the parapet in front of it; ily refused to perceive that Captain Mon- and if any lateral range had to be attained, crieff's system was worthy of a trial; and, the opening jaws of the embrasure were during this same interval, these wise engi- necessarily very wide, and formed a conneering and artillery authorities have actu- venient funnel into which a hostile force ally been spending about 5,000,0007. in the might pour round-shot, shell, grape, and construction of forts which Captain Mon-rifle-balls at discretion. Even two or three crieff's discovery had already rendered use- good riflemen in a hole opposite so excelless, and worse than useless. Five millions lent a target were often found sufficient to gone from official obtuseness and neglect keep down the fire of a huge piece of ordsince the invention was made this is the nance, and to inflict heavy loss on those measure of the money value which the in- who attempted to work it; and though vention would have had in ten years only. something was done, by movable mantelets, Unfortunately this has been lost through to screen the men from rifle-bullets, there that system of soldier-economy which has was no way of protecting either them or been so much in favour of late with the ad- their gun from the incessant pounding of armirers of Storks-Balfour finance. What | tillery. The upshot was that any fortress the ultimate saving due to the invention in the world was bound to succumb after a will be is something which baffles calculation. sufficiently persistent attack. Not only does it render unnecessary all the costly apparatus of built-up forts with shields at 1,000l. per gun, but it makes us absolutely safer without them; and the structures which have been absorbing so much money on Portsdown Hill and a score of other places are not only not required, but
Captain Moncrieff proposed to change all these conditions, and he has done it. If he could only do away with embrasures, and keep the gunners always safe behind the parapet, and the gun itself equally safe except for a second or so while it was delivering its fire, the great end would be
From The Saturday Review, 17 Oct.
achieved. All that was wanted was some elevator, as it is called - weighs some six contrivance for lifting the gun above the tons, and the weight is so distributed that parapet at the moment of firing, and bring- in the position of equilibrium the gun is at ing it down again just as a rifleman under the highest point. The bottom of the elecover might lift up his rifle, fire over a wall, vator is rounded like the rollers of the and then drop down into a position of per- rocking-chair, and the instant the gun is fect safety. But a rifle weighs 10 pounds, fired the recoil sets the machine rolling, and and a great gun may weigh 10 or 20 tons or brings down the gun some feet below the even more, and the apparently hopeless parapet. There it is stopped by a common problem was to handle this huge mass of catch or pawle working on a toothed wheel, metal with the same speed and facility as a like that which every one has seen on a common musket. The desirableness of windlass or crane. When the gun is loaded some such contrivance was of course obvi- the pawle is removed by a handle, the gun ous to every artillery officer, and indeed to springs up, the shot is fired, and down all persons who had devoted a moment's comes the piece again to the loading posithought to the subject. Some speculated tion. A simple contrivance, called the caron the possibility of obtaining the required riage. which is nothing but a bar pivoted mobility by means of hydraulic force, but to the gun at one end, and riding along an this idea was soon abandoned, and the inclined plane at the other keeps the piece problem given up in despair. And yet, horizontal throughout the movement, and though they could not see it, the requisite by means of a looking-glass the gun is aimed, force was there, inseparable from the gun, while in the loading position, without renot only running to waste, but doing all the quiring even the man who lays it to expose mischief it could by shaking and tearing himself for a moment. As we have said, platforms to pieces, and worrying the souls when this great invention - great because of the engineers in their endeavours to of its simplicity. was presented to the auneutralize it. If they could only get rid of thorities years ago, they could not see that recoil, they could easily build platforms on there was anything in it, and, what was any ground, strong enough to stand for worse, they would not allow Captain Monever. Recoil was considered in the service crieff to show them. At last, after ten years, as the bane of all constructive engineering, the permission is given, and instantly the and yet all the while was the best friend of machine works as it could not but work the fortification-maker- the one thing with absolute success. needed to make his work perfect. It never seems to have occurred to any one before Captain Moncrieff (or, if it did, the idea never fructified) that the recoil might be made a servant, and not a master; and that instead of letting it expend its strength on the destruction of carriages and platforms, it might be used to do the one thing that was wanted - to lift the gun above the parapet at the moment of firing, and deposit it gently below in a place of safety the instant after the shot was delivered. This was the simple idea of Captain Moncrieff's invention, and the mode of applying it is as simple as the idea itself. Imagine a fowlingpiece fixed to the top of a rocking-chair, and fired. The chair rolls back with the recoil, smoothly and evenly, without the slightest jar; and, if caught and stopped at the lowest position, the gun may be loaded, and the chair let go, when it must instantly roll back to recover its balance, and bring the gun once more to the top. Fire the gun again, and the process repeats itself; and so we have our gun always fired from a high position, and instantly brought to a lower level, to be again prepared for action. This is the whole essence of Captain Moncrieff's device. The rocking-chair-the
The gun with which the new apparatus was tested was a 7-inch gun weighing about seven tons - a sufficiently formidable mass to deal with on a first experiment. The first few shots were intended simply to try whether the machine would work, but, before two short days of practice were over, the artillerymen employed in this unaccustomed duty found that they could equal in accuracy, and surpass in speed, anything which they had ever been able to do when firing through an open embrasure. As the trials went on, the severity of the tests was increased; and on the second day nearly all the practice was at a target moving in an oblique line, so as at each moment to alter both its distance and its angular position. Excellent practice was made at this, and at other times the men behind the parapet got their orders, while loading, to fire first at one, then at another of the targets, which were fixed in different positions and at different ranges. Each time the shot flew as truly as if the protected artillerymen had been standing in the opening, with a full view of the object aimed at; and before the close of the second day, ten 7-inch projectiles had been sent, according to orders, to the various targets in less than 19 minutes -3
speed which it is expected will yet be sur-land batteries are concerned, a hole in the passed when the men have become more ground must henceforth supersede every used to their work. But a much more re- other contrivance. A rifle-pit has long markable feat followed. The usual gun-de- been the most effective station for a sharptachment of ten men will hardly be thought shooter, and now that great guns can be too strong a force to handle a weapon weigh- handled, or rather made to handle theming, without its adjuncts, as much as seven selves, as quickly as a soldier can present a tons, and with them between twenty and musket, the same method is equally applithirty; but so perfect is the balance with cable to them. Nor have we even yet come the Moncrieff-mounting, that three men to the end of the capabilities of Captain loaded, worked, laid, and fired the gun with Moncrieff's happy discovery. The recoil comparative ease. After two or three supplies power enough not only to move rounds the three artillerymen managed to the gun as required, but to do any other reduce the interval between successive shots kind of work that may be asked from it; to less than 24 minutes; and as the gunners and when, as is the case with the larger would be almost as safe from casualties with ordnance, the shot used is unmanageably an enemy before them as at Shoeburyness, heavy, it is intended to employ the storedit would be possible at a pinch, with scarcely up force of the recoil to raise it to the canany loss of efficiency, to keep up the fire of non's mouth. Other new developments a battery with less than one-third of its will be wanted, and doubtless will be found, proper complement. If these experiments to meet the various special conditions under proved how smoothly and easily the ma- which guns may be used by land or sea, chine could be handled, another satisfac- and already we hear suggestions that the torily showed how hard it would be to put Moncrieff elevator may surpass the turret on it out of order. During an interval in the board ship as completely as the turret eclipfiring the whole apparatus was clogged with ses the broadside armament. More experiheaps of sands and gravel ingeniously shov-ments will be needed before any such results elled wherever they were likely to prove can be attained, but the invention contains most obstructive, and a few seconds' broom- so vast an element of power that it would be work put everything to rights again. The ingenuity of the Committee was at length exhausted, and the experiments concluded without having exhibited a single weak point in the invention. No serious difficulty need be anticipated in constructing elevators for guns of any weight, and so far as
difficult at present to say where it will stop. It has already done two great things. It has abolished forts, and it has, after a long struggle, conquered an amount of stolid official resistance which would have done credit even to the Board of Admiralty.
From The Athenæum.
25, Argyll Road, Kensington, Oct. 12, 1868. A LONG and careful examination, first, of all the works on English pronunciation from Sheridan, 1780, up to Palsgrave, 1530, and, secondly, of the rhymes in all Chaucer's poems and Gower's Confessio Amantis,' has led me to the conclusion that Chaucer's long a, long e, long i, long u, and his diphthongs ai ay, ei ey, au aw, eu ew, ou ow, were pronounced very nearly as the French letters â, ê, î, ù, ai, ai, aou, éou, ou respectively, that is, very differently indeed from the modern English sounds. My work on Early English Pronunciation,' containing the full evidence on which I rely, is now in the press, and the copy for the chapter on Chaucer will be sent to the printer within a fortnight after the publication of this letter. I am informed that many gentlemen thoroughly disagree with my results, although they are unacquainted with the evidence. I have not found a single fact or
heard a single argument which would lead me to any other conclusion. I therefore write this letter to request any gentleman who takes an interest in the subject, and who disagrees with any of the above conclusions, to send me, at least, some sketch of the reasons which induce him to entertain this contrary opinion, in order that I may be able to take notice of such reasons in the foot-notes to my work, or in a special section. I shall esteem it a great favour if any gentleman will take this trouble, without which I run a risk of overlooking important considerations, which is undesirable in a work that is being printed for the Philological, the Early English Text, and the Chaucer Societies. At the same time, I beg to thank publicly those numerous correspondents from whom, in consequence of a notice inserted in the "Weekly Gossip" of the Athenæum a few weeks ago, I have received so much polite and useful assistance respecting the English dialectic pronunciation of long i and ou.
Alexander J. Ellis.