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harbor, nor to the memorable victory of the American frigate Constitution, of forty-four guns, over two British ships carrying in the aggregate fifty-five guns. But the allusion, if not to these combats, is difficult to determine. In no other contests between British and American frigates was the disparity more than two or three guns on a broadside. There were fifteen battles in this war between vessels nearly equal in number of guns (the advantage in this respect being frequently with the British) and in these battles the British ships were twice, and the American thirteen times, victorious. Two defeats in so many battles could be easily ascribed to fortune. But to make excuses for thirteen—some of which were so easily accomplished that the victorious ship was scarcely injured while the defeated one went to the bottom-has severely taxed the ingenuity of British writers. And that glorious frigate, the Constitution, which, before the war of 1812, was derided by the British journals as “a bunch of pine boards under a bit of striped bunting," has, since that war, in the imagination of an English writer developed into a ship of the line. It can probably be said, without any risk of the charge of boastfulness outside of England, that the Americans have displayed as great an aptitude for the sea as even the English.
The proposition to increase our navy could not be regarded with the sentimental objections that are entertained in many minds towards a standing army. A large regular army—many fold larger, indeed, than we are ever likely to maintain in time of peace-might, under certain conditions, become a real danger to our institutions. Should our public morals degenerate, should the lower elements of society gain possession of the government and threaten the rights of property : should a conflict of authority ever occur, such as might have happened after the presidential election of 1876, a large regular army might support some illustrious general, and, under the names of law and order, set up a government by the sword. But experience shows that an established government, whether free or despotic, has little to fear from a navy. Had the army of England, two hundred years ago, contained as many men as her navy, her government would probably have become as absolute as were the governments of France and Austria. But her sailors, scattered over the whole ocean, and rarely coming in direct contact with their country, would naturally possess little of the influence of an army, which, from its position, might quickly be made the instrument of despotism or usurpation. But even if the political influence of a sailor were no less than that of a soldier, the conditions of naval warfare have so changed that no danger could be apprehended. A powerful navy in time of peace would not now require more than twelve thousand men, and from that number of men, whether scattered over the sea or not, we should not be in the slightest peril.
Since, then, a navy is so necessary to our commercial prosperity, so necessary even to the preservation of peace, and so necessary to our proper defence if we are to have war, we should, by all means, be secured, unless the probable expense would prove a serious objection. The cost of constructing a navy, however, so far from being an obstacle, would be practically nothing when compared with our resources and the high interests at stake. An appropriation of ten millions of dollars annually for three succese years for the purpose of building ships, would increase our navy to the proper strength. With that sum we could secure six fine mode iron-clads, as many rams of the greatest power, a suitable number, of gun and torpedo boats, and a splendid fleet of fifteen unarmored cruisers of the greatest speed, carrying heavy rifled guns of the longest range. The guns carried by these cruisers would be sufficient to crush any armor they would be likely to encounter; and if they should meet a too formidable adversary, their speed would enable them to escape. They could make themselves terribly destructive to an enemy's commerce which is, of course, the chief object that we could effect in a naval war. While such a navy, united with our present fleet re-modelled and with improved armaments, would not be numerically as strong as two or three European navies, it would be ample for any emergency likely to arise ; and, if suitable guns were mounted in our forts, it would render us safe against invasion. If any very formidable war should spring up, it would furnish us protection for the short time in which we could create as powerful a navy as there is upon the ocean. With such a fleet we could maintain an honorable and secure peace, for no nation would feel tempted to take up arms against us unless to resist a clear encroachment upon its rights. And let us hope that this republic may never commit such an act of injustice.
SAMUEL W. MCCALL.
THE OTHER S. P. C. A. THE Society for the Promotion of Cruelty to Animals held its T annual session on the 28th ultimo, in Constellation Hall in this city. This society seems to have been overlooked by the newspapers. We, therefore, think it not improper to lay some account of its proceedings before our readers.
In the absence of President Hayes, Mr. John Smith was called to the chair. He acknowledged the honor in a very brief speech, and, after reading letters of regret from various ornaments of Church and State, he called upon the secretary to read the annual report.
Mr. Towser, the secretary of the society, reported that the past year had been a very encouraging one as regards the objects of this society. The public mind has become more and more alive to the great social interests it aimed at promoting. It was true that there had been great drawbacks. But such might always be expected in the course of a great undertaking, and there was no reason
fear that any of these would present permanent obstacles to suc• cess.
The society's sinancial position was never better than at present. In the early part of the year, the treasury had been in need of replenishing, but a number of cock-fights, dog-fights, and other manly entertainments had been devised for its benefit, with the result of putting it on a most excellent footing.
The tone of public discussion had been rather more favorable than formerly. It is true that there had not been so large a hydrophobia harvest during the past summer, as in some previous instances, and public attention, therefore, had not been called as formerly to the immense danger associated with their care of that four-footed parasite ; but, on the other hand, it must be reckoned as a good sign that the most reckless of the dog-worshippers had ceased to deny the existence of that horrible disease. It must also be counted a good sign that newspaper reporters had ceased to fill their vacant places by crude inventions about animal sagacity. Even the London Spectator, usually the wildest paper of the party, had ceased to entertain its foolish, and disgust its wiser, readers by wild inventions of this kind.
On behalf of the directors, the report proposed a repeal of the by-law by which lady drivers had been constituted honorary mem
bers of the society. That by-law, while right enough in itself, had had the effect of cumbering the society with a great number of honorary members, who had no proper understanding of its aims, and no desire for active coöperation.
As to the society's more active operations, the report showed that it had prosecuted successfully forty-five persons during the past year for keeping vicious dogs, four for exposing others to vicious horses, and seven for keeping mad bulls in places where the public were open to their attack. Nearly all of the dogs were ascertained to belong to that specially dangerous class, which “never were known to bite any one in their lives.”
The society had circulated in four or five States petitions for laws forbidding the keeping of dogs in cities of over twenty thousand inhabitants. While our legislatures are so largely composed of persons hostile to the aims of the society,—of dog-fanciers, in factthere was but little hope of these petitioners obtaining that hearing to which they are entitled. But every signature they procured helped to create a public opinion in favor of their objects.
Besides this, the society had expended some four thousand dollars in the purchase of a very useful and ingenious machine, the invention of a resident of Cincinnati. It is constructed on the principle of the Maiden, formerly used in the Spanish Inquisition, but the works have a fineness of construction and a readiness of automatic action, which completely distance that famous invention. In its external appearance it is a large and well-furred tom-cat. What seems its head is furnished with a miniature fog-horn, which imitates the tom-cat's most defiant notes with great accuracy. At a very slight touch it flies open and discloses an arrangement of steel knives, nine in all, which clash together again with great energy. The whole is screwed tightly together to the roof of a house, and worked by a strong clock-work, placed just below the roof. It is believed that no midnight prowler within a mile's distance will be able to resist its note of feline defiance, and its rapidity of action gives us the assurance that before dawn the roof will be covered with fur and fiddle-strings. Of these excellent inventions the society has secured four, which will be placed at well selected positions in different parts of the city.
· The society has offered a large premium for some similar machine for the extermination of our canine population. The inventor of the above machine was already concentrating his attention upon this problem, and it was also occupying the attention of a young gentleman of remarkable mechanical genius, connected with one of our Universities.
The Board of Directors had had before them, since the last annual meeting, the question of a proper design for a coat of arms or banner for the society. They had concluded to adopt that employed by the other society, with the omission of the angel which now disfigures that otherwise excellent work of realistic art.
In conclusion, the report recommended the election of a number of gentlemen to fill vacancies in the Board of Directors, and that Mr. Sylvanus Jones Wilston be chosen president for the ensuing year.
These elections have been carried with great unanimity. Mr. Smith vacated the chair, which was taken by Mr. Wilston, who then pronounced his inaugural address. He remarked that it was the proudest moment of his life. He had always, from earliest childhood, cherished the great objects aimed at by this great and influential organization. But he had never hoped to be chosen by the representatives of this great cause to a position of such honor and respectability as that of president of the Society for the Pro. motion of Cruelty to Animals. He did not suppose it necessary to
explain to that audience the great principles which underlie this movement and are exposed in that title. Their presence on this occasion, the interest they had shown during the reading of the report of his excellent friend Mr. Towser, showed that there was no such necessity. But perhaps his words to-night would reach a larger audience than that here assembled, and might aid in awakening to serious thought those who had never given this great subject their attention. For this reason he would venture to trespass upon their time for some moments.
He might remark, at starting, that the great object of this society was to offer a united resistance to one of the worst and most degrading tendencies of the age-its abject worship of the brute creation, and its sacrifice of human interests to their comfort. It was meant to serve as a moral check and balance in the great machine of society. It was to recall men tó a true sense of the proper gradations in the great hierarchy of existence. In fine, it was to give man a chance, when he was jostled and thrust aside for the