« PreviousContinue »
British training ships the boys are taught harbor, the Victory, which was Nelson's how to handle such muzzle-loaders—an flagship in the famous battle of Trafalgar accomplishment that would be of very lit a vessel built in 1765. tle use were they engaged in a battle in which their opponents were equipped as
The Naval Reserve are all modern war vessels, with breech In the United States the Naval Reloading, quick-firing ordnance. More serve might almost be said to be yet in over, the expenditures authorized by the its infancy; but in Great Britain the corBritish Government for powder and am responding organization constitutes one munition for target practice, are by no of the greatest sources of strength of means on the same scale as those in the the Navy. Many boys enter the Naval case of the American Navy; and the re Reserve young enough to be fascinated sult of this economy is seen in the com by their taste of the life, and enlist in paratively poor scores made by British the Navy—or at least in the Marines,
naval gunners when their marksmanship if they are too old to gain admittance to is subjected to tests.
the naval service. The greatest useful
ness of the Naval Reserve, however, is The Stimulus of Association
as an auxiliary to the regular naval If there be aught in association, the
force. In the strongholds of the meryoung tars of the British Navy should
chant marine, such as the ports of derive some benefit from the influence
Bristol, Swansea, Liverpool, Hull, and exerted by mementoes of Nelson, Drake, Glasgow; and in many of England's coland other famous sea warriors, for some onial possessions, such as Newfoundof the ships of these heroes of bygone land, there are hundreds of men who are, days are still in use as training vessels.
from long experience, first-class sailors, The St. Vincent, which serves as a train
and who need only instruction in guning ship at Portsmouth, was built in nery to transform them into first-class 1815; and the Dedalus, one of the Naval man-o'-war's men. This training and Reserve drill ships, first went into com
drill they receive during the annual mission in 1828. Other old training ships practice cruises of the various detachinclude the Black Prince, built in 1861;
ments of the Naval Reserve on board Boscawen, 1841; Britannia, 1860; Cam
British men-of-war. bridge, 1858; Lion, 1847; and President,
The Auxiliary Fleet 1830. Moreover, there is still in commission as the flagship at Portsmouth Indirectly at the disposal of the British
Navy, is another training domain for this supplementary training service, the British tars which would yield valuable Government encourages its naval officers material should war necessitate volunteer to retire early, or to take long leaves of additions to the regular personnel of the absence from the regular service, in Navy. Reference is made to what order to accept positions first amounts to a supplementary fleet of and second officers the largest school ships—namely, the large liners of the mercantile marine. Although engaged in regular passenger and freightcarrying traffic, many of these ocean "greyhounds” have been built in accordance with plans approved by the British naval officials; are regularly subsidized by the Government; and, in the event of war, could instantly be pressed into service as auxiliaries instead of it being necessary to make hasty purchases of vessels for an auxiliary navy, as was the case in the United States at the time of the Spanish-American War.
The facilities afforded by this auxiliary fleet in reserve, enable the British naval authorities to pursue the manifestly ad steamers of the merchant marine. Thus vantageous policy of never losing sight the apprentices who, failing to get into of a really promising candidate for the the regular Navy,find berths on the large Navy. If, as frequently happens, the merchant vessels, are usually under the ranks of the Royal Navy are so well instruction and direction of competent filled that no new recruits can be taken, naval officers. Indeed, many a powerful or if some minor disqualification prevents mail-carrying
mail-carrying steamer sailing from the acceptance of an otherwise satis British ports is so well officered and factory applicant, the officials endeavor manned, that, in the event of a sudden to find places for the young men thus declaration of war, she could be transturned aside, on the great liners of the ferred to the government service without auxiliary mercantile fleet. In order that the necessity of making a single change the Navy may have the full benefit of in the personnel.
LIGHT GUN DRILL.
Last Days of Naples
The Black Record of Vesuvius-Ominous Possibilities Suggested by the
Present Eruption of the Historic Volcano
By JOHN ELFRETH WATKINS
APLES, the most densely popu
is but nine miles due west of the eruptive lated of the world's great cities; cone. Its postern gate is scarce further that quondam resort of the down the lava slope than the ruins of
wealthiest nobles of ancient Pompeii ; but although the ashes of the Rome; that "City of the Siren," within great volcano have frequently darkened whose four square miles huddles together the city and thrown the Neapolitans into a population greater than that of Boston, terror, and hot lava has flowed almost to has shuddered again, for the seething its very gates, never has a soul within its hell pent up beneath her has again burst walls suffered from the Vesuvian wrath. the Vesuvian gate.
For five scores of times since Pompeii Will some Bulwer Lytton of the near was destroyed in the first century of the future have a chance to put to paper a Christian era, has the great black back“Last Days of Neapolis?" This ques- ground of Naples belched forth. Ask tion seismologists are asking with greater the orthodox Neapolitan the wherefore anxiety than they have betrayed for a of his immunity, and he will attribute it generation past. For it is a well-ac to the protection of the city's patron, San cepted theory now that Vesuvius is but Januarius. the vent of a vast fiery chasm undermin In ancient times some pagan divinity ing the Italian metropolis, whose thin may have closed its gates against the crust of earthy foundation may any time black lava flows squirming snake-like give way, precipitating more than half a down the mountain; for Naples is million souls into the roaring furnace be centuries older than the days of Glaucus low.
and the blind Nydia. The original city. Immunity Due to Patron Saint founded by a Greek colony, was named The center of the sea front of Naples Parthenope in honor of one of the sirens.
This was augmented by a second colony their homes ana camped in the open, furof the ancient Hellenes, who added the ther below. Time and again have the new city. In the fourth century before lands of their ancestors been engulfed Christ, it fell into the hands of the Ro- by the seething lava, yet has this daring mans, who gave the combined settlement humanity persisted in returning to the the name Neapolis, or "new town.” On danger zone. And why? Simply beits neighboring hill, Posellopo, Virgil cause each renewed eruption adds fercomposed his Georgics. Within the city tility to the soil, resulting from decomproper, Nero made his first appearance position of the volcanic products. on the stage.
A road twenty miles long, commencThe Vesuvian volcanic region, like ing at Naples, extends southeastwardly that of Aetna, is partly land and partly along the shore of the bay, and then, sea, including all the Bay of Naples— winding inland, completely encircles the sometimes called "The Crater"-lying at mountain. This is dotted with villages, the very foot of Vesuvius, with a circuit all within hearing of the volcanic rumof fifty-two miles, and having the me blings and bellowings. tropolis at the extreme northern corner. Four miles down the bay road from
Naples lies Portici, its 12,000 population Birds in the Cannon's Mouth dwelling peacefully upon lava thrown
down to the sea by the eruption of 1631. The whole base of the mountain is On this black bed stands the Royal Palskirted by a series of villages, where ace, built by Charles III., in 1738. abide 100,000 souls—birds nesting in the Resina, one mile further on, is the favorcannon's mouth. Between these settle
Between these settle- ite suburban seat of wealthy Neapoliments, and even above—within the jaws tans. Its 14.000 residents dwell partly of the fiery demon--the tourist sees scat upon the ruins of Herculaneum. Resina tered huts, tent-shaped, of straw inter is the town from which the ascent of woven. After the great eruption of Sep- Vesuvius is made, and is the chief abode tember, many of the villagers deserted of the Vesuvian guides.
Lytton, the most severe fell in 203, 472, 512, and 993 The first recorded discharge of lava since the last days of Pompeii occurred in 1036, or thirty years before the Normans conquered England.
Eighteen Thousand Killed The first great modern eruption was that of 1631, eleven years after the Pilgrim Fathers landed on Plymouth Rock. For a long time before this outburst, the peaceful crater had become so overgrown with vegetation that it offered a jungle for wild boars, while cattle grazed on the slopes a little below. But a sudden tidal wave of lava, utterly unexpected, engulfed 18,000 people, many of the coast towns being wholly and the remainder partially wiped out. Another outburst, in 1676, was remarkable for having thrown a perpendicular stream of lava high in the air.
From scattering eruptions in ancient, mediæval, and early modern times, the outbursts had increased to nine in the seventeenth century. The eighteenth was to increase this to 26.
Terror in Naples In 1707 the volcano sent forth a cloud of ashes so dense that at midday in the streets of Naples the blackness of the darkest night reigned supreme.
The shrieks of terror-stricken women pierced
Rebuilt Sixteen Times Sixteen times has the burning mountain overwhelmed Torre del Greco, two and a half miles further on; yet within four and a-half miles from its destroyer, the seventeenth town flourishes with 25,000 population. There is a saying among the Neapolitans, "Naples commits sins and Torre pays for them." Torre del Greco is the center of the Mediterranean coral fishery, and is surrounded by rich vineyards as well as fruit orchards. From its grapes some of the choicest wines of Italy are made, notably the Lachryma Christi.
Five miles further along is Torre del Annunziata, a large fishing town of 16,000 people. Turning a mile inland here, the traveler views the ruins of Pompeii.
Previous to the year 63 A. D., Vesuvius was not recognized by the Greeks and Romans as an active volcano. At that time the summit was a large crater, for centuries regarded as totally extinct. The first warning of renewed eruption within historic times was the earthquake of 63. Moderate earthquakes followed at intervals until the disturbance culminated in the great catastrophe of 79, destroying not only Pompeii and Herculaneum, but Stabiæ, Retina, and Oplontum.
Of the succession of ancient eruptions which followed that depicted by Bulwer