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considerable knowledge may be assumed to exist among all who pretend to any degree of culture.
If such, then, is the position which Goethe at present occupies in the estimation of his own nation, he might still have some meaning for us also. The day of Carlyle's Close thy Byron, open thy Goethe!' is, of course, long past : we cannot go back to it. But it was not without its advantages that we first learned to see Goethe through Carlyle's romantic spectacles. As a matter of fact, the Goethe who has influenced English thought, the Goethe whom we still know best in England, is less the whole, universal Goethe, the calm optimist, the old Heathen,' than Carlyle's romantic hero. To Carlyle Goethe was in all essentials a romantic writer, a thinker and poet inspired with the doctrines of Fichte, a moralist to whom * Everlasting Noes,' renunciations, higher duties, had been as vital matters as they were to Carlyle himself. But, as with all the romantic critics, Carlyle's reverential appreciation of Goethe brought him closer to the real man than the cooler estiinates of a more objective critic like Lewes. The true glimpses into Goethe's character and genius, which are to be found throughout Carlyle's essays on Goethe, more than make up for his sins of exaggeration and omission. To Carlyle, however, it is impossible to go back. We must turn to Goethe himself, and the key to his work is his life. Much of his poetry may in itself seem dull or old-fashioned to us nowadays, much may be without inherent charm; but few are able to escape the spell of that wonderful, many-coloured life, without question the most wonderful in the annals of literary men. ciate fully Goethe the poet, we must first study Goethe the man. As he himself once said to Eckermann, he is no poet for the mass; his works are written for individual men who have set up similar aims before them and are making their way along similar paths'; to study him may not make us better citizens or better patriots, but it will give us, to use an expression of his own, a certain inward freedom'; and, after all, inward freedom' is one of the most precious things that can be communicated by one mind to another.
ART. IV.–1. Ocean Steamships. By various writers. London:
John Murray, 1892. 2. The Atlantic Ferry. By A. J. Maginnis. London: Whit
taker and Co., 1892. 3. The Cunard Company's Jubilee, 1890. Liverpool: The
Cunard Company 4. Orient Line Guide. Edited by W. J. Loftie. Fifth edition.
London : Sampson Low, 1896. 5. The Guide to South Africa. Edited annually by A. S. Brown
and G. G. Brown for the Castle Mail Packet Company.
London : Sampson Low, 1899–1900. 6. The Shipping World’ Year Book. Edited by E. R. Jones.
London : 1899. 7. Our Naval Reserve. By J. Rhodes. Liverpool : Liverpool
Printing and Stationery Company, 1892. 8. The Launch of the Oceanic. Liverpool : White Star Com
And other works.
MONG the mechanical developments of this century, there
is none of which Great Britain has more reason to be proud than that of her great steamships. The superiority of this country to the rest of the world in steam-tonnage is even more remarkable than her commercial greatness; the importance of this superiority in time of war, and the comparative ease with which it enables us to move large bodies of troops to distant points, has been strikingly demonstrated within the last few months; and yet this enormous advance is of very recent origin. The commencement of the story—a story as interesting as that of railway development, though less generally known—dates from the early part of the nineteenth century; but the real growth began in the forties and fifties, and is therefore well within the memory of many elderly people living to-day.
The history of this growth is narrated, in piecemeal fashion, in various works, some of which we have mentioned at the head of this article. Two of these are well known. The Atlantic Ferry,' -a third edition of which is in the press—is written by a gentleman who is intimately associated with the practice of marine engineering. "Ocean Steamships' is an interesting collection of articles written by old salts and specialists. In the preparation of this article we are also glad to acknowledge the valuable aid which has been afforded by the courtesy of the numerous steamship companies at home and abroad. Our difficulty has been how to deal with the voluminous material
placed at our disposal. In so vast a subject, many interesting facts have had to be omitted, and a scanty treatment of others has been rendered unavoidable.
The number of steamships of 100 tons and upwards in the world to-day exceeds that of sailing craft of similar size. Taking the figures of 1898, we find that the steamers number 14,701, with an aggregate gross tonnage of 19,511,292. One half this aggregate is owned in the United Kingdom and the Colonies; the steamers owned in the United Kingdom number 6,783, with a tonnage of 10,547,355.
The discomforts which formerly surrounded those who went down to the sea in ships are almost wholly absent from the modern liner. The cuisine and the furniture of these vessels are equal to those of the very best hotels. Passengers are safer in a liner than in the streets of London. A big liner, worth perhaps nearly a million of money, will carry as many passengers as the population of many an English village. The new Oceanic has accommodation for over two thousand persons, divided into 350 saloon passengers, 275 second-class, 1,000 steerage, and a crew of 450. The liners cross the ocean with nearly the regularity of fast trains, travelling at speeds equal to about half the average of that of long-distance expresses. They are as safe as foretbought, scientific skill, and lavish expenditure can make them ; they are marvels of construction, navigation, and equipment, and are practically unsinkable. There are in truth few points in cominon between the steamships of the present and the sailing-craft of the past. The Campania and the Lucania, the Oceanic, the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, and their compeers mark the limit of the present stage of ocean passenger service. No very important advance has been made during the last halfdozen years. Larger liners may yet be built, but it is open to question whether any materially higher speeds will be economically obtained by the present methods of propulsion. Since, therefore, the last decade of the nineteenth century marks the limit of a great wave of progress in ocean navigation, the subject may be deemed one suitable for review.
The idea of ocean steain navigation, like many other modern developments of engineering enterprise, occupied the minds of men many years before it became commercially practicable. River steamers ploughed the Clyde, the Mississippi, and the St. Lawrence, and coasting steamers plied in the Old and the New World, long before any ventured to cross the Atlantic. The first steam vessel which achieved this memorable feat was the Savannah, which was dispatched in 1819 from Savannah to
Liverpool, and made the voyage in twenty-five days. In 1825 the Enterprise, a little steamship of only 122 feet in length, made the voyage from Calcutta to London in one hundred and thirteen days, ten of which were spent in stoppages. In 1833, fourteen years after the Savannah's voyage, a second vessel, the Royal William, crossed the Atlantic, this time from Quebec to London, in about forty days. Not until 1838 did the first passenger steamer make an outward trip from Liverpool to New York. She was followed in the same year by the Liverpool, which made several passages, averaging seventeen days out and fifteen home. As these vessels were owned in America, the honour of demonstrating the practicability of Atlantic steam navigation lies with the United States. The first English-owned steamer that crossed the Atlantic was the Sirius, of 703 tons, which left Queenstown on April 5th, 1838, for New York, arriving there eighteen and a half days later. The famous Great Western left Bristol on the 8th of the same month, and reached New York on April 23rd, a few hours after the Sirius, having occupied but thirteen and a half days in the passage.
The achievements of these vessels demonstrated beyond doubt the practicability of ocean steam navigation. Their performances elicited quite as much interest and wonder then as do the feats of the latest liners of to-day. Yet in the same year1838—in which these steamships were on the point of commencing their careers, Dr. Lardner was demonstrating at the Royal Institution at Liverpool that, as to the project which was announced in the newspapers of making the voyage directly from New York to Liverpool, it was, he had no hesitation in saying, perfectly chimerical, and they might as well talk of making a voyage from New York to the moon.'
Even after the practicability of ocean navigation had been demonstrated, its commercial success was not assured. The clipper ships were to the pioneer steamships what the stagecoaches had been to the early railways. The speed of these clippers was very great. One of them, the Great Republic, an American four-master of 3400 tons, once covered the distance between New York and the Scilly Islands in thirteen days. Some few of the sailing clippers actually raced the early steam vessels, leaving port with, and arriving before them. In 1846 a sailing clipper—the Tornado, of the Niagara line-arrived in New York before a Cunard steamer, which had started with her, arrived in Boston. The permanence of an excellent tradition in the art of ship-building may perhaps partly explain the victories of American yachts in the competition for the international cup. But though the fast sailing ships strove thus to hold
their own against their unpopular rivals, the contest was unequal; for while the clippers embodied the last and highest efforts of the shipwright, the steamships—their contemporaries—were but the crude first-fruits of the labours of the marine engineer.
The greatest public interest has always followed the development of the Atlantic liners. Competition on this crowded highway has been keener than on the less frequented routes, and the ships that travel over it have naturally led the van of progress. There are no steamships in the world so huge as those which cross the Atlantic ferry, no engines so powerful, no floating populations so vast. These vessels are the Tritons of the sea, and the history of their growth is typical of that of the great ocean liners all the world over. We propose therefore first to epitomise the story of the Atlantic service.
The commercial success of this service was mainly due to the late Mr. Samuel Cunard, who had long cherished a dream of making ocean travel as regular as that by rail. Mr. Cunard was a Quaker, residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and had indulged this idea for some years before the date when the voyages
of the Sirius and the Great Western, though commercially unsuccessful, had demonstrated the possibility of ocean steam navigation. When in 1839 the Admiralty, which at that period arranged for the carriage of mails, issued circulars inviting tenders for a steamship mail service, Mr. Cunard, who had already acquired considerable experience in working the mail service between Boston, Newfoundland, and Bermuda, determined to undertake the job. By the influence of Mr. Burns, a shipping merchant, and others in Glasgow and Liverpool, a capital of 270,0001. was subscribed, and a seven years' contract with the Admiralty secured, stipulating for a fortnightly mail service between Liverpool and Halifax and Boston, at a subsidy of 60,0001. per
From that year-1839—dates the beginning of the Atlantic steam mail service and of the Cunard line.
Four steamers were built by Mr. Cunard's company. The first of these, the Britannia, was launched on February 5th, 1840, and sailed for America on July 4th, a Friday, which, though regarded by sailors as an unlucky day, proved far otherwise in the case of this vessel and of the company of which she was the pioneer. The advent of these steamships was a remarkable event in the history of the Atlantic, and one of international interest. When Mr. Cunard arrived in Boston on the Britannia he received within twenty-four hours 1873 invitations to dinner. When, in the winter of 1844, the vessel was frozen up in Boston harbour, the citizens went to the enormous labour and expense of cutting her out, so that the mails should not be