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feared that the failure of the ill-fated show that the flyer is out of the quesAndre has cast too dark a cloud upon tion. The airship proper, or enlarged his enterprise. It is not unlikely that balloon, is the only agency to be feared. Count Zeppelin's balloon, when im- Her vulnerability is obvious. Her size proved, will be the first vehicle actually is so great as to make her an easy tarto carry a human being to the North get; her sides so thin that she can be Pole. If nothing more interesting than pierced through and through by any fields of ice is found there, the result bullet, even that of a revolver; and her will still be of value by putting an end interior composed of gas so inflammato a useless expenditure of energy ble that an explosive bullet would rewhich has been going on for genera- duce her to a mass of flame. A single tions. Let us, then, permit the airship yeoman armed with a repeating rifle to gain all the prestige it can by being could disable a whole fleet of airships the first agency to make the Pole ac- approaching the ground within range cessible.
of his station before the crews could
even see where he was or what he was IV.
doing. How many such vehicles would The possibility of using the airship in be required to carry and land, with all warfare has already presented itself its accoutrements, an armed force sufso strongly to the minds of men, es- ficiently large to be a menace need pecially in England, that it may well hardly be computed. To carry out the be included in our inquiry. The power enterprise the fleet must either operate of flying through the air was always at night or choose an hour when the possessed by the superhuman beings, country is enveloped in fog. Saying animated by malevolence, who held so nothing of the difficulties inherent in prominent a place in the imagination navigating the air and of choosing a of our ancestors. It is, therefore, only point of landing when the ground is innatural that, when an airship is con- visible, it would be easy by a system ceived as flying at pleasure over land of searchlights to make a landing as and sea, she is pictured in our minds difficult at night as during the day. as an engine for scattering death and Should advantage be taken of a smoky destruction by the explosion of bombs, and foggy day, with a view of landing unless her course is stopped by an en- without being seen, the difficulties emy possessing sufficient power to en- would be as great on the side of the gage in conflict with her.
aerial vehicle as on that of the defence then, inquire to what result an appeal against it. The navigator of an airship to reason and fact will lead us in es- must at all times be at the disadvantimating the efficiency of an airship in tages already mentioned, one of which carrying on military operations.
is that of being always carried with Her possible usefulness in reconnais- the wind, and of knowing nothing of sance, though easily exaggerated, is too his motion at the moment except what obvious to need discussion. The really he can learn by observing the ground. vital question is that of her efficiency He would therefore be unable to find in conquering a country, especially an his way in a fog. Above the region of island like England. The ways in fog and cloud he might in an uncertain which the airship might be used in war way be guided by observations on the are numerous. I will, therefore, first sun or stars, but this would be much summarily examine some points which more uncertain than in the navigation will limit our inquiry.
of a ship, owing to the want of a clear Enough has already been said to horizon. The more closely one analyzes the conditions and the require- air. We must remember, at the outset, ments of an invading force, the more that the air is rarer by about oneclearly it will be seen that the idea of fourth at this height than at the earth's invading England with a formidable surface. This reduces in a yet greater army borne in airships is quite chimeri. proportion the possible weight of procal. Compared with what would be jectiles which an enemy could carry. the outcome of such an enterprise If we reflect that, making allowance should it ever be undertaken, the Span- for the necessary weight of a balloon, ish Armada was a miracle of success. its gas and its accoutrements, every
It is, therefore, by operations con- ton carried at a height of two miles ducted so high above the ground as to would require more than 5000 cubic be outside the range of bullets that the yards of gas in the balloon, we shall airship must be used in military opera- see that the task of seriously injuring tions, if at all. The serious question a modern fortification by dropping exis, In what way could a fleet of air- plosives into it will be at least an exships be used in conducting military pensive one. operations or aiding an invading army But how is it in a case of a ship-ofby operating at this height?
war? Among the conditions of the scarcely conceive of her as a fighting problem would be these. The time re. engine at any height. It is barely quired for a bomb to fall from a height possible that, if made of sufficient size, of two miles is between twenty-five the lightest field artillery might be fired and thirty seconds, depending upon the from her. But her offensive power resistance which it experiences from would be so insignificant that we the air, as compared with its size and should waste time in attempting to es- weight. During this time the ship, if timate it. Of course she could do in motion, would have moved away some damage to a place like London by her entire length, and would thereby dropping the smallest bombs into it; fore escape the missile, unless due albut this would be a wanton proceeding, lowance had been made by the attackof no avail in conquering a country, ing power for her motion. This might and therefore not permissible by the be possible; but, even if it were, a still rules of modern warfare.
greater difficulty would be found in the The only rational fear to be enter- fact that the balloon is itself in motained is that a fleet of airships might tion, because it floats in the moving air. drop explosive bombs into fortifications True, the motion of the wind would be and upon the decks of ships of war. neutralized if the balloon steered The projectiles could not be fired- against it with the proper speed. But that would not only be enormously ex- the navigator of the balloon cannot depensive, but useless, because dropping termine the direction of the wind,'as them would be as effective as firing can the sailor. The only way by which them. On the defensive side, the con- he can know how a wind is carrying struction of a machine gun which, him is by observations on the ground pointed vertically, could fire a shot to below, presumably on the ship he de. a height of two miles is so simple a sires to attack. matter that I assume this to be the Now let us estimate the degree of height at which the aerial ship will precision required in the operations. have to operate. Let us, then, inquire Let the reader imagine himself looking what England may have to fear from down vertically from a scaffold swayexplosives dropped upon her forts and ing in the wind at the pavement, fifty ships from a height of two miles in the feet below. On that pavement imagine an object, two or three feet in length of an attempt to engage in a conflict. and from four to six inches in breadth, Each side could continue firing a few swaying about in such a way that he moments after being riddled, no matcan scarcely judge when, if ever, it is ter how great the damage sustained, below his station. Then let the prob- but the work of those moments would lem be, with the wind blowing, to drop suffice to send both combatants on their a bullet in such a way that it shall way to earth or ocean. If explosive strike the object in its fall. By the bullets were used the result would be most skilful arrangements he might yet more tragic. perhaps hit it once in forty or fifty I assume that, should England ever trials. The problem of the balloon be threatened with attack by an aerial would be of this same kind, except navy, she would not follow the examthat nearly half a minute is required ple of the perhaps mythical and cerfor the missile to reach the object. We tainly chivalrous French battalion, may admit that a dirigible balloon, which extended to the enemy the invicarrying a hundred bombs of a ton tation: "Gentlemen, please fire first." each, and taking her position two miles The possible availability of the perabove a battleship, would probably t'ected airship, if she ever becomes a succeed in dropping one, two or three reality, in rendering possible an excurupon her deck. Would this disable sion into the atmosphere above an enher or seriously impair her fighting emy's country cannot be denied. But power? A torpedo discharged under when this is done, the task of firing a water against the side of a ship sinks single explosive bullet into each balher, partly from being under water, loon of an entire navy is so much simand partly because the water reacts in pler than that of dropping explosives the explosion. But the torpedo explod- heavy enough seriously to damage a ing on the deck has nothing but the modern fortification or battleship, that air to react against it, and the limit common-sense will choose this policy in of damage would probably be a hole or preference to any other. If a single fracture in the deck. We need not airship or, to guard against accident, be experts to know how small is the two or three, can, by watching a favorarea of damage in an explosion of dy- able opportunity, destroy aerial namite.
navy in its own country in any stage of Bearing in mind all these considera- its construction, may we not assume tions, it would appear that England that no Power is going on to make any has little to fear from the use of air- great effort to develop such a navy ships by an enemy seeking to invade after the possibilities are fully appreher territory, even if she tamely al- ciated? lowed him to do his worst, which she In presenting the views set forth in need not. The key to her defence is the present article the writer is conthe necessary vulnerability of a bal- scious that they diverge from the genloon. In this respect the latter is so eral trend, not only of public opinion, completely the opposite of every other but of the ideas of some able and disengine of war that it requires a little tinguished authorities in technical reflection to appreciate the case. A science, who have given encouragement conflict between two aerial navies com- to the idea of aerial navigation. Were posed of balloons belongs to the realm it a simple question of weight of opinof poetry. Most extraordinary would ion he would frankly admit the unwisbe the disparity of force if mutual an- dom of engaging in so unequal a connihilation were not the speedy result test. But questions of what can be
done through the application of me- has ever weighed the considerations chanical power to bodies in motion have here adduced, which seem to him to no relation to opinion. They can be bring out the insuperable difficulties of determined only by calculations made the system he has been discussing, and by experts and based upon the data and the small utility to be expected from it principles of mechanics. If any cal- even if the difficulties were culations of the kind exist, the writer mounted. If he is wrong in any point has never met with them, nor has he —and he makes no claim to infallibility ever seen them either quoted or used -it must be easy to point out in what by any author engaged in discussing his error consists. He therefore conthe subject. So far as his observa- cludes with the hope that if his contion has extended, the problem has clusions are ill-founded their fallacy been everywhere looked upon as merely will be shown, and that if well-founded one of experiments ingeniously con- they may not be entirely useless in afducted with all the aid afforded by fording food for thought those inmodern apparatus. He has seen no terested in the subject. evidence that any writer or projector
Simon Newcomb. The Nineteenth Century and After.
THE KING AND THE CONSTITUTION.
Seven years have passed since King all, whether Russians or English, who Edward VII, ascended the throne. The were privileged to be present. At Re. retrospect is not unpleasing. Each of val the King was at his best, and the the seven years from 1901 to 1908 has occasion supplies a suitable opportuseen a steady increase in the general nity for a brief survey of his activity appreciation of the sterling qualities abroad during the first seven years of which, before his accession, were the reign. If in the record there may known only to a few. The visit which appear something to regret, it is but as His Majesty paid last June to the Em- the shadow which brings into clear reperor of Russia may fully be regarded lief the light-points in the story. And as the culminating point-up to the whatever there may be to regret is not present-of his reign. Never before so much on account of anything His were the supreme qualities of the King Majesty has done or left undone, as be-his tact, his bonhomie, his quickness cause of the way in which some injudiin seizing the exact moment for saying cious courtiers by flattery and foreign and doing the right thing, more con- enemies animated by envy and dread spicuously illustrated. The happy have combined to create around his thought that led to the appointment of beneficent activity a distorting nimbus the Russian Emperor as an Admiral of of false glory, which, while apparently the British Navy was an admirable ex- magnifying the importance of the ample of the right thing done at the Crown, is directly calculated to bring right time, upon which the King de- His Majesty into discredit and to serves the congratulations of every weaken the foundations of the throne.
The Reval visit, as an interna- The English folk have ever had a tional and family picnic, was a bril- loyal passion for their temperate kings. liant success, a success which was not But, being as utilitarian as they are marred by a single false note, and sentimental, they have specially prided which is remembered with pleasure by themselves upon their success in ex
ploiting the monarchy in the interests with the idea that the King is the serv. of the nation and the Empire. Mr. ing-man of the State over which he Gladstone, in familiar passage, reigns. claimed “the great political discovery It would be wrong to suggest that of the Constitutional kingship" for the even for a moment King Edward has English race, and predicted that “n- forgotten the conditions of that servother fifty years may see all Europe ad- ice which he has never ceased to renhering to the theory and practice of der to the Empire. His honored father, this beneficent institution, and peace- who was not trained in the English ably sailing in the wake of England." school, told him shortly before his The prophecy bids fair to be fulfilled-. death that “to dominate statesmen and with the exception of France. Nor- to guide affairs were the object and way, the most advanced of European boast of your mother's predecessors," democracies, has deliberately founded and in no unequivocal language the a new throne for King Edward's son- Prince Consort held it as the natural in-law rather than create the Republic goal of the Royal ambition to make the to which its foremost citizens were
throne “the seat of loyalty and power." publicly committed. In Russia, the Fortunately neither by temperament most autocratic of Empires, the evolu- nor by conviction was Queen Victoria's tion of the Constitutional monarchy son tempted for a moment to stray goes on apace. In Portugal even a along that perilous road, even though double assassination of King and the beckoning hand was that of his Crown Prince merely abolished a dicta- sire. He realized with a sure instinct torship and restored the Constitution. that to attempt “to dominate statesmen Not even the disasters of the American and to guide affairs" could never be his war shook the throne of Spain, al- object, and that even if attained it was though its occupant was a boy in his more likely to be his bane than his teens. In Italy, Republicanism, once a boast. He has completed the evolution religious enthusiasm, nas become of Constitutional kingship by abjuring merely the rallying cry of an important all attempts to combine in the throne party. There has been everywhere in both “loyalty and power." Loyalty on Europe a recrudescence of the mon- the part of the people is incompatible archical idea, and no one can deny to with the exercise of power on the part Edward VII, a large share in raising of the sovereign. Royal authority, the prestige of Royalty, until it stands nominally intact, has in reality given higher to-day in the midst of this dem- place to a moral, not a coercive, influocratic age than it did at any time in ence, which, however, "leaves abunthe nineteenth century. But it is not dant scope for mental activity to be at the monarch as despot, but the mon- work under "the gorgeous robes of arch as servant that has survived. The Royalty.” modern king may with justice claim By an unhesitating recognition of the with proud humility the title of the Ro- limitations which, while appearing to man Pontiff, Servus servorum Dei, sub- weaken, are the real secret of the surstituting Populi for Dei. It is the pe. vival of the Constitutional kingship, culiar good fortune of our Sovereign to our present Sovereign has rendered an have been dominated from youth up by inestimable service to the stability of the motto in the crest of every Prince the political system and of the mon. of Wales, Ich Dien. Edward VII. has archical régime. Not even the lying given a new lease of popularity to the tongue of lawless rumor has ever whisCrown by familiarizing the democracy pered the calumny that King Edward