British Nautical energy.
The late wonderful passage of the Cunard steamship China
, from Liverpool
, via Queenstown
, to Cape Race, Newfoundland
, crossing the ocean in five days and seventeen hours, is the shortest time on record, and a truly surprising achievement.
It is evident that, while North and South are absorbed in war, the rest of the world are by no means standing still.
The progress of British maritime enterprise has been even more remarkable of late years than at any former period of English history.
The application of steam to sea-going vessels, which it was thought would compel Great Britain
to divide with France
the sceptre of the deep, has only increased the maritime preponderance of Great Britain
It is true that, at first, her steam vessels were of the ‘"slow but sure"’ order, rather solid than showy, and not of the most graceful and attractive models.
, with their fast, finely furnished, magnificent steamships, caused honest Bull
to open his eyes wide with astonishment, and to confess candidly that he was a slow coach in comparison.
But he never opens his eyes from mere gaping curiosity, nor closes them till he has learned something more than he knew when he opened them.
With all his pride, he is not above learning from a rival and even an enemy.
He studied the American
improvements in shipbuilding, particularly as illustrated in the yacht America
, and combined the elements of Yankee speed with those of British strength.
The result is that he has beaten the Yankees
in that which they most prided themselves upon, without sacrificing that solidity and security which belong peculiarly to England
The fastest and the best steamships now in the world are emphatically those of Great Britain
She has fairly driven the Yankee steamships from the ocean.
Instead of that country being in her decline and decrepitude, she seems in every department of human energy and enter prise just in her vigorous prime.
A country governed by the counsels of wisdom and experience renews its youth even in its age; the youngest and strongest country that rejects such counsels be comes prematurely old.