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FF Oyster Bay on the 3d of fastest schooner afloat; and long, low, not
September more than rakish—they don't rake their masts nowaone-third of our naval force days, slant them forward rather—but propwas reviewed by the Presi- erly devilish and heavy-sparred she looked; dent. A most impressive and painted black she was aiso. But the
assembly of men-o-war it expensive yachts of note have become was, in tonnage and weight of metal the rather conventional appendages nowadays. greatest ever floated by the waters of the To vary the monotony, there were also here western hemisphere.
the inland water craft--the local dinghees of The last of the fleet had arrived on the the unpainted clay-marked sides and the night before. From the bluffs along the much-patched sail, wherewith the bareshore they might have been seen approach-footed boy ferries himself over the flats to the ing with a mysterious play of lights across good fishing pockets where lurk the hesithe shadowy waters. In the morning they tating cunners on sunny mornings. The were all there. Hardly a type was lacking boy himself was there with the two broken ---the last 16,000-ton double-turreted bat- oars and the necessary tin bailer, without tle-ship, the protected and heavy-armored which he would probably sink at his moorcruisers, monitors, despatch boats, gun- ings. Because it is a momentous occasion boats, destroyers, attendant transport and he is wearing shoes to-day; but on any supply ships. Fifty ships, 1,200 guns, 16,- other day you could have seen the rich, ooo men: all were there, even to the fasci- black, juicy mud squidging up between his nating little submarines with their round crusted toes. black backs just showing above the water. Also there came bowling down the line
It was that chromatic sort of a morning that fine archaic model, the good old wallwhen the canvas of the sailing-boats stands sided, round-bowed, and plumb-sterned out startlingly white against the drizzly sky creation, the safe and sane vehicle of the and the smoke from the stacks of the rotund corps which furnished so many steamers takes on an accented coal-black, commodores for our yacht clubs a generaand, drooping, trails low in a murky wake. tion ago. Descended to plebeian uses now Rather a dull setting at this early hour; is the able galliot, owned, doubtless, by but not sufficiently dull to check the viva- some shore-abiding party, one who has use city of the actors in the scene.
for her only on Sundays or feast days like The usual types of attendants at marine this, who probably gives clam-chowder functions were there: the palatial yacht parties in the cuddy and has to take his famof the notable millionaire-railroad, oil, or ily along. At least the family are on this whatever it was-large enough, some of one now, the boy looming up in the bow them, for even the chronic landsmen to like any commodore and the perspiring circumnavigate the globe in comfort, and full-dressed ladies, not yet quite at home fast enough to serve as scouts in the service on the vasty deep, clinging with grim finshould war break out. Famous sailing gers to the top of the house and not for an craft were there, too; notably the record- instant losing sight of the main boom. Of holder of the ocean passage, probably the one thing rest assured: in case that long
pole slats across the floor again they don't fighting power, most convincing. No man intend to be caught unawares and have might look on it and his sensibilities-adtheir bonnets swept into the ocean. miration, patriotism, respect, whatever they
The excursion craft of to-day are of a might be—remain unstirred. To witness it greater latitude in design and size than is to pass in mental review the great fleets of even a cup-race day could show. Whether other days and inevitably to draw concluit is that a voyage to Sandy Hook demands sions. Beside this armament the ili-desa certain measure of seaworthiness and tined Armada, Von Tromp's stubborn tonnage in the medium of conveyance, or squadrons, Nelson's walls of oak, or Farwhether it is that the navy in action ap- ragut's steam and sail would dissolve like peals to a larger democracy than anything the glucose squadrons that boys buy at yet engineered by the small group who for Christmas time. Even Dewey's workmanso long have had the cup-race in charge, or like batteries (this to mark the onward rush whether it is that these are the sheltered of naval science) would be rated obsolete waters of Long Island Sound, or whether beside the latest of these! it is something of all, certain it is that al It was first those impressive battle-ships; most anything that can be sculled a mile and bearing down on them one better saw off-shore and for a few hours thereafter what terrible war-engines they are. Of a nursed to stay afloat, finds this day a ready gleaming white below they are, and uncharter.
pleasing yellow-brown above but above At any rate, whatever their rig or rating and below every evidence of power. Big ---cat, sloop, yawl, schooner, and the nonde- guns pointing forward, big guns pointing script-they jibe and wear, shiver and fill, astern, long-reaching guns abeam, and little haul to and swing off, shoot and scoot with business-looking machine guns in the tops irrepressible zestover the debatable ground. --their mere appearance suggests their To every helm is a master mariner, caring ponderous might. A single broadside from little on whom he proves his seamanship. any of these, properly placed, and there They worry the souls of the men on picket would be an end to the most renowned flagduty, making as if to break into the sacred ships of wooden-fleet days. And that this reservation, but always sheering off pre- frightful power need never wait on wind or cipitately when the navy chaps, growing tide, nor be hindered in execution by any impatient, stand up on the thwarts and weather much short of a hurricane, is asreally order them off
. After all, there is real sured when we note that to-day, while the authority behind the men-o'-war's men. largest of the excursion steamers are heaving Get them really mad and there is no telling to the little whitecaps, these are lying as —they might pick a fellow up, take him immovable almost as sea-walls. aboard some cruiser and maybe throw him It is, first, the flag-ship Maine, which into the brig.
thunders out her greeting--one, two, three The President comes up the side of the twenty-one smoke-wreathed guns, while Mayflower and, arrived at the head of the her sailormen, arm to shoulder, mark in ungangway, stands rigid as any stanchion to wavering blue the lines of deck and superattention while his colors are shot to the truck structure. Meantime the officers on the and the scarlet-coated band plays the nation- bridge, admiral in the foreground, are al hymn. Then, ascending to the bridge, standing in salute; and in the intervals of he takes station by the starboard rail with gun-fire there are crashing out over the Secretary Bonaparte at his shoulder. The waters again the strains of the “Star clouds roll away, the sun comes out, and Spangled Banner.” And the Maine left all is as it should be while he prepares to astern, the guns of the next in line boom review the fleet, which thereafter responds out, and on her also the band plays and men aboundingly to every burst of his own in- and officers stand to attention; and so the exhaustible enthusiasm.
next, and next. And the battle-ships passed, And this feet, which is lying to anchor in come the armored cruisers, which some three lines of four miles or so each in length, think will be most useful of all. They ride with a respectful margin of clear water all the waters almost as ponderously as the batabout, is, viewed merely as a marine pag- tle-ships and are hardly less powerful, but eant, magnificent; as a display of potential much faster on the trail; and they may run
From a photograph, copyright 1900, by N. 11. Penfieldt.
The fascinating little submarines with their black backs just showing above the water. - Page 659.
or fight as they please—but a large force it ships; and, almost forgotten, the monitors, would need to be when they didn't please. riding undisturbedly, like squat little forts After examining them, long and swift-look- afloat, with freeboard so low that with a ing, with no more space between decks than slightly undulating sea a turtle could swim is needed for machinery, stores, armament, aboard. And after them the destroyers, and lung-play for live men, the inevitable which look their name. Most wicked inreflection recurs that the advance of me- ventions; no shining brasswork nor holychanical power must color our dreams of ro- stoned quarter, no decorative and convenmance in future. Surely the old ways are ient companionway down the side, no wide gone. Imagine one of the old three-deckers promenade deck for pleasant evenings-no
aiming to work to windward of one of these anything that doesn't make for results. Of in a gale, and if by any special dispensation a dark sea-green, ugly, wicked-looking, of Providence she was allowed to win the with hooded ports from under which peer weather berth, imagine her trying, while the muzzles of long-barrelled weapons that she rolled down to her middle deck, to dam- look as if they were designed for the single age one of these belted brutes, who mean- business of boring, and boring quickly, time would be leisurely picking out the par- holes in steel plate. ticular plank by which she intended to in- So the Mayflower steams down the four troduce into her enemy's vitals a weight of long lines in review; and always the batexplosive metal sufficient in all truth to blow teries and bands in action, the immortal her out of water.
hymn echoing out like rolling thunder beAfter the cruisers passed the craft of com- tween the flame-lit broadsides. From shore paratively small tonnage and power follow to shore the cannon detonate and our fight--the gun-boats, transports, and supplying blood is stirred. On the pleasure craft
The President on the bridge of the Mayflower.
skirting the line of pickets like vaguely outlined picture boats in the dim, perspective haze, the people seem also to be stirred. We dream of the glory of battle; but better than that, the hymn which has stirred men to some fine deeds in the past, and shall to just as brave in the future, mounts like a surging tide to our hearts:
Oh, say can you see? it is asking. And we can see—no need of the glass-ahead, astern, abeam, aloft, some thousands of them streaming in the fresh west wind, and within signal distance of their beautiful waving folds a multitude of men and women in whom the sense of patriotism must have become immeasurably deepened for being within call this day.
The vibration of brass and pipe, the music and the saluting, one ship and the next,
The President leaving the Mayflower. and never the welcome of one died out before the tumult of the next began. It was non, the blood tingle to the call of the nalike the ceaseless roar of the ever-rolling tion's hymn. One felt faith in ships and ocean, with never an instant when the ear- crews after it; and later, when in the cabin drum did not vibrate to the salute of can- of the Mayflower the admirals and captains
From a stereograph, copyright 1900, by H. C. II'hite Co.