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just peering above the water, and offering no hopeful mark to an adversary. If one of his shot should strike it, it would strike a hull protected from end to end with ten and a half inches of wrought-iron armor, backed with three or four feet of oak, nay, with the entire deck itself. Those vital organs, the propeller and rudder, are as completely protected as the guns themselves. Such is the Dictator, and such the Dictator class of American monitors.
No possible doubt can exist as to the result of a tourney between the Dictator and the best broadside iron-clad yet constructed, — let us say the Bellerophon, the masterpiece of broadside iron-clads. Besides all the advantages already named, the
, former could take any desired position, and keep close under the stern or lap the sides of her antagonist for nearly seventy feet, over which whole distance the Bellerophon has no armor at all except at the water-line. The Bellerophon would not be able to bring a single gun to bear on her antagonist. Even if she could, it would require the utmost delicacy of accurate practice to hit the low line of the monitor; and if she were hit, it would be like blowing peas at an alligator. And all this,
en, supposes a calm sea, when the broadside vessel would not roll. Meanwhile, from her impregnable turret, the Dictator would hurl projectiles which would riddle the unarmored parts of the Bellerophon like a sieve, and against which even her armor would be of no avail.*
The 15-inch guns, weighing nearly twenty tons, have now frequently been handled in actual battle in the monitor turret, and one word will suffice to show how completely any broadside vessel is at our mercy. In the experiments with the 15inch smooth-bore, a solid shot, with sixty pounds of powder, hurled against the famous 6-inch solid French plate of Petin and Gaudet, completely perforated it. The verdict was, “ Target completely penetrated and badly smashed.” † But we do not stop here. The Puritan will be armed with a pair of 20
* As the displacement of the Bellerophon is upwards of 7,000 tons, and that of the Dictator but little over 4,000, a simple calculation shows that, if the displacement of the latter should equal that of the former, the Dictator's entire side-armor would then be fully thirteen inches thick, and the turret upwards of twenty-four inches.
† Holley on Ordnance and Armor, p. 190.
inch guns, weighing nearly fifty tons each. These unprecedented and almost appalling guns can be worked in the monitor turret more easily by steam-power than Nelson worked his 24-pounders. The service charge of the 20-inch gun will be at least one hundred and thirty pounds of powder, and the shot weighs one thousand pounds. The motion of the vessel is never such as to render the gun unmanageable, while its armor completely protects it. This is the system which the wise men of England and France have contemptuously treated as "a practical mistake”!
The following table is prepared for the purpose of showing what the monitor system has produced, or is producing, for the United States.
The monitor is the complete aud positive solution of the great naval problem of the age. Since no further concentration of armor is possible, it has reached the maximum of impregnability. Since guns of any weight can be carried, handled like toys, and shielded in an impregnable turret, the aggressive power has reached the maximum which gunsmithery has yet accomplished. Since the Monadnock has exchanged salutes with the Moro, touched at Buenos Ayres, passed through Magellan Straits, and anchored off Valparaiso, and the Miantonomoh visited Halifax on her way to England, to say nothing of coast voyages for four years, the cries against the "sea
“ going" qualities of the monitors may be considered over. Indeed, this monitor, being an invention radical in its nature and fortified by first principles, admits of no change.*
* Besides the entire width of deck.
† 20-inch guns may be mounted.
It may have been expected that, in our discussion of the mechanics of modern naval warfare, we should touch upon rams and torpedoes. Want of space must be our plea for failing to do so. However, it may in general be said, that the experience of our war has diminished the high hopes once entertained of the ram-power in warfare. Two conditions are indispensable to success. The first is an attack at high speed ; the second, a concussion at right angles. Now, so much time is usually required in producing these two conditions, that, meanwhile, an alert antagonist is prepared to neutralize them. As to torpedoes, we believe they are destined to play a momentous part in the warfare of the future. Their power has hardly begun to be developed. We pause, however, with this declaration of belief, and do not descend to the depths of possible submarine warfare.
* The qualities which seem to be indicated for a solution of the problem of a complete iron-clad are the maximum thickness of armor which can be had with the minimum displacement, together with the ability to handle guns of the most powerful description, to point them with facility directly ahead, or to any other point in the horizon, and, of course, to have them completely protected. In a word, the solution of the problem indicates concentration of both armor and battery, of offence and defence; and, other things being cqual, the vessel which carries this concentra. tion to the greatest extent will be relatively the most powerful. These indispensable conditions can only be satisfied by the Ericsson system; for, as Commodore Rodgers graphically expresses it, “ The monitor has the least possible surface to be plated, and therefore takes the least possible tonnage to float armor of a given thickness, or, with a given tonnage, allows the greatest possible thickness, and consequently the greatest possible impenetrability. The ability to carry armor is proportionate to the tonnage ; but the Monitor of 844 tons has actually thicker plating than the Ironsides of 3,480 tons, or than the Warrior of 6,000 tons; and yet the Ironsides and Warrior have only the middle portion of their hulls plated, their ends being without armor.”
The following calculation will show the enormous dynamic power of a 20-inch shot moving at the velocity of 1,213 feet per second, which is the velocity given by only 100 pounds of powder. This velocity is acquired by a free fall through the height of 22,990 feet; this multiplied by 1,000 pounds, the weight of shot, gives a dynamic force of 22,990,000 foot-pounds. “Let us suppose an armor plate, eight inches thick, composed of iron possessing a tensile strength of 50,000 pounds to the square inch, to be struck by a 20-inch spherical shot — weight 1,000 pounds — with a velocity of 1,213 feet per second. The greatest amount of force needed to destroy the supposed plate, under any possible circumstances, will be that corresponding with the tensile strength of an iron bar, the cross-section of which represents equal to that of a cylinder eight inches long, multiplied by the circumference of a cylinder twenty
ART. VIII. - The late English Poets. Edited by RICHARD
HENRY STODDARD. New York: Bruce and Huntington. 1865. 12mo.
The analogy between national and individual careers has been so often recognized, that readers of a late American publication lifted their eyes at the author's claim, by right of discovery, to a philosophy based upon this likeness. To our mind the resemblance is so obvious, that we refer to it in the briefest terms, before reaching a comparison suggested by our theme. Periods of youth, maturity, and decay, with intermediate transition-stages, form the cyclic movement of every nation's history. Let this process be kept in mind while we consider that most enduring type and measure of popular condition, namely, the literature of a given epoch, and especially that department of literature which is most sensitive to each degree of change in the upward or downward gradation. The temper of an age is faithfully represented by its poetry, as no critical student has failed to discover.
Now the country whose round of being is thus most sharply defined to us was, unquestionably, Ancient Greece. She touched life at all points, and her imaginative literature clearly mirrors the successive phases of her career. As revealed through the lenses of modern investigation, her rise and splendor and final decline still remain our fullest paradigm of national existence, and of its inevitable, recurring law.
If we observe the progress of Grecian poetry, from the date of the first Olympiad to the absorption of the Græco-Egyptian empire by the Roman power, — which event occurred about the commencement of the Christian era, and closed the annals of eight centuries, — we find, overlooking minor changes,
inches in diameter, which is 502.4 square inches. The ris tiva of 20-inch shot hav ing been shown to be equal to a force of 22,990,000 pounds acting through a space of twelve inches, it will be evident that to extinguish that force in a space of eight inches requires a constant resistance of 34,485,000 pounds, even on the supposition that the iron resists punching equally well through the whole eight inches, which, however, it will not do. But the tensile strength of a bar of 502.4 square inches' cross-section is only 50,000 pounds X 502.4 = 26,120,000 pounds; thus leaving a surplus force of 8,365,000 X 3 = 5,576,000 foot-pounds."
three grand divisions, separated by traceable though interblending lines. First in order is the Epic and Lyric Period, extending over three hundred years. It was due to the oral and traditionary forms of expression in that spring-time of Grecian song, that the majority of its productions were lost to succeeding generations, or exist only in fragments that tantalize us with a sense of music hushed forever. Nevertheless, this period, full of the warm blood of youth, was able to hand over to its inheritor the Greek language in mature health and purity, and such heroic and lyric compositions as no riper learning could equal. For the hexameters of Homer and Hesiod were saved, with melodious relics of Sappho, and stirring measures of Tyrtæan and Alcaic verse. The era culmi
. nated in the Odes of Anacreon and Pindar; and so came on the golden Attic Age, second of our divisional epochs, and one from whose vigorous beginning the advance of poetry was swift and assured. Its light burned high and luminous for little more than a century, but what a century it was! The drama, that richest product of objective art, united preceding forms in a new symmetry, and exhibited the Athenian genius in full strength and sweetness. It was the period of Æschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes; of the Old, Middle, and New Comedy; and poetry was then in every way indicative of the summer glow that mellowed the time. In little more than a hundred years such bounteous harvests exhausted even that fertile soil. Then arose the Alexandrine school, and occupied the interval ending with the birth of Christ. During this epoch the Hellenic spirit grew elaborately feeble: what was once so easily creative became impotent, and at last entirely died away.
Study in vain endeavored to supply the force of nature. But if men of genius were few, men of tact and scholarship abounded. They traced out a formidable circle of acquirements, which it was necessary to possess before one could aspire to the title of an author. Verbal criticism was introduced. The productions of earlier writers afforded exhaustless ground for explanations, commentaries, and scholia. Researches were made into the Greek tongue; antique and quaint words were employed ; philology now first arose, and criticism began to