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Aries (Romania) (search for this): article 4
till lately exploded in modern warfare. People are slow not only to learn, but even to reflect and to remember, and when it had taken twenty years to remind our naval builders that a ship of war could be moved with steam as well as with three or five banks of oars, it took a longer time for our Admiralty to perceive that the revival of the trireme gave us the opportunity of reviving the rostrum. But here, at last, were two rams capable of doing as much mischief on their own element as the Aries of ancient siege operations. No doubt they were meant for the Confederates, and were to be employed in the destruction of blockading squadrons. A splendid career — not so brilliant, indeed, as that of the Alabama, but not less useful — awaited them; but they had already a history. Consuls had watched their growth, and spies had found their way on deck; correspondence had grown into blue-books about them; the telegraphic wires had been kept continually at work upon them; finally, they
the innocent Rams, not against their owners, while, by the possession of the the new owners inherited themselves any possible claims in respect of the seizure. The purchase is comprehensive and conclusive. For £220,000, it appears, Government has become possessed of two tremendous engines which we most devoutly hope, and most certainly expect, it will never have the least occasion for. But, though this concludes everything as between Government and the Federal, the Confederates and Mr. Laird, it leaves Parliamentary speakers something to say still. Is not the precedent dangerous? Will not men now build all sorts of infernal devices on the speculation that if no belligerent will take them our own Government will? How that may be we know not, but England may congratulate itself on the possession of private ship building yards capable of turning out such monsters of the deep, even without an immediate demand, and with the purchaser still to present himself. The possession of