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each week should be exclusively appropriated to a cruise round the harbor.

During at least one entire month of every year, we would set the whole school free from study, and keep the lads constantly embarked, organized, and stationed for evolutions and for battle, like the crew of a regular cruiser. In this interval we would not merely have them reconnoitre the coast, and become pilots, but brave the ocean, visit various ports, and penetrate our noble rivers. We would not deny them the cordial attentions, which their proud and admiring countrymen would hasten to tender to them, wherever they appeared; and we can conceive no vacation so delightfully spent as would be this of our young aspirants after naval glory. Seamanship, taught in the way that we thus suggest, would be taught most thoroughly; nothing would be left to accident, or individual ambition and desire of excellence, but every youth would be forced to become a seaman and an officer. We can see no reason for withholding the institution, which justice, not less to the navy than to the nation, claims from our legislators, but the plea of economy. To remove this, we would suggest that the lads should be clothed and rationed upon a regular system, at the public expense; parents would be happy enough to procure their children such an education on any terms, and as for the boys, they are quite as well without money, We might find another source of economy in abolishing the expensive examinations, which now furnish a poor substitute for preparatory education.

It has been suggested that, in the event of our having a naval academy, an observatory, for which we already possess the necessary instruments, should be connected with it, and the professors be constituted a board of longitude. The suggestion is an admirable one, and we would improve it by the additional idea, that the institution should contain a hydrographical dépôt, for the collection and collation of charts, and for procuring, by correspondence with navigators, naval and mercantile, whatever information might conduce to perfect a knowledge of the coasts and waters of the navigable world. Science gains by concentration, and the neighborhood of such pursuits would greatly tend to raise the standard of scientific excellence among the students of the academy. The nation which holds the second rank for extent of commerce and navigation, should not depend entirely for the most necessary calculations upon one that

is already her rival, and may again become her enemy; nor be the only one to do nothing to improve nautical science, and diminish the dangers of the deep. Pride and policy alike forbid it.

When our navy shall be supplied with officers from an institution such as has been suggested, we may confidently look for some new accessions to the honorable reputation which it has already obtained for itself. One of the greatest benefits it would confer, would be found in the probation of mind and character which would take place at the academy, whereby those who are disqualified would be purged from the profession, and, instead of going on disgracing themselves as midshipmen, lieutenants, and superior officers, be arrested at the very threshold. The seeds of good being thus sown, and our young men thus prepared to run an honorable career, much might still be done after they entered upon the active exercise of the profession, by the care and solicitude of the commanders. We think there might be more sympathy between the commander and his officers. Especially do we think there should be, as we know there often is, something paternal in the government over the midshipmen. We think that every opportunity of improvement should be thrown in their way, by not only allowing them to visit the ports where their ship may be anchored, but encouraging them to make excursions into the interior, and bring away more definite ideas of national manners and customs than can be gathered in a visit of a few hours to the shore, the chief of which time is usually spent in the billiardroom. It is in the power of every commander to introduce his officers, everywhere, to the best society, and we can conceive no way so effectual of diverting them from destructive dissipation. The author of the Naval Sketches' speaks very sensibly on this subject, in describing the occupations of our officers during their yearly wintering at Minorca.

Before we take leave of that part of our naval system which applies to the officers, we will avail ourselves of the occasion to express a few opinions upon the subject of their uniform. In all military corps, one of the most efficacious means for the support of discipline and concerted action, is a uniformity of dress. Harmonious appearance and the mere gratification of the eye are not its only advantages. It furnishes the means of distinguishing a peculiar class of men from all others, and, by preventing them from withdrawing themselves from the observation of their superiors, greatly increases their sense of amena

bleness. It abets the authority of those who order, and rivets the subservience of those who obey. The great essentials of a uniform dress we take to be perfect and decided uniformity, in connexion with plainness, cheapness, neatness, and durability. These essentials are in no particular attained by the present system. Our officers have now a dress so expensive and gaudy, and in such bad taste, that they are ashamed to wear it; and an undress, that is no dress at all. Both being lawful to be worn, some choose the one, and some the other, according to individual. fancy; whilst others compromise matters by adopting a mean between both. Thus, a laced hat may sometimes be seen in connexion with a rolling-collared coat, nowise different from those worn by our citizens, except in a profusion of buttons. In fact, the undress naval uniform is a uniform exclusively of buttons; and nothing is more common than to see a coat, which has already done its owner good service in his peaceful character of citizen, during the interval of his cruises, by the aid of a few pounds of brass, transformed suddenly, upon the arrival of an order from Washington, into as pugnacious a campaigner as ever paraded a quarter-deck. The fashion of such an old servant, its velvet collar, or fan-tail skirt, can no more than its faithful service save it from conscription.

We think that there should be one only uniform; which, whilst it should be characteristic and decided, should be at once neat, plain, cheap, and durable, entirely free from all lace and tinsel, to glitter for a week, and then look dim and tarnished during the rest of the cruise. With this view, we suggest the substitution of a single-breasted coat of green or blue, to be worn buttoned in front, and free from cuffs, pocket-flaps, and other excrescences; a pantaloon of the same for winter, and of white for summer. The coat might be lined with buff or scarlet, and a rib of the same be carried down the outside seam of the pantaloon.* To these should be added half-boots, a plain cocked-hat, and a stout sword, for use as well as show, made

*The two colors being equal in other respects, we should prefer the green, because it is not worn by the navy of any other nation, and would, therefore, be more characteristic. We may perhaps owe our readers an apology for thus marring the dignity of the critic page with a dissertation upon buttons and broadcloth; but stateliness, grandiloquism, and generalization would be alike thrown away upon such a subject, and we had only to choose between not speaking at all, and speaking specifically.



on a uniform pattern at the government armories; it should be worn securely upon the hip, suspended from a concealed shoulder-strap. As for the trifling swords of every possible pattern, which now dangle at the heels of our officers, they are, in connexion with the general ignorance of their use, rather a danger than a protection. The only variation we would allow from this single uniform, should be that of round-jackets, of similar cloth and fashion to the coat, and cloth foraging-caps.

A large double-breasted fatigue surtout, of the same color, should relieve the whole family of plaid cloaks, upper benjamins, pea-jackets, and monkeys. This or some similar general system of uniform once established by order, we would compel all the officers, on all occasions, to dress in uniform or fatigues, in conformity to the temporary regulation of the commander. This authority is already exercised to produce uniformity in the appearance of the seamen, though no regulation of the service specifies their uniform; much more, then, may it be applied to the dress of the officers, whose dress is regulated, and with whom subordination should ever begin. We would have a uniform system running through the dress of the various ranks of officers, and reaching, to a certain extent, to the sailors, whose dress should also be regulated; the superior officers should be distinguished from their inferiors, less by superior glitter, than by the quality of their epaulettes, or some minute ornament, obvious rather to their own corps than to a stranger or an enemy. Nelson lost his life at Trafalgar by the conspicuousness of his uniform. We think this subject worthy of attention, not merely because it has much to do with the appearance and display of our navy; but because it might always affect its efficiency; and because a neat uniform would, among the younger officers, do much to cherish in them a love and pride of profession.

Let us now consider what room there may be for improvement in the organization of the most numerous class of our navy, the class of inferiors. In the first place, then, we consider the abolition of the marine-corps absolutely necessary to the efficiency and harmony of our ships. The marine-corps was adopted in our navy with the rest of the system which we copied from Britain, although the reason of its institution did not apply to us; it having been originally instituted in order that the officers might avail themselves of the aversion existing between the seamen and soldiers, to make themselves a bul

wark of bayonets in the event of mutiny, so likely to result from the vexatious irksomeness of a compelled and hopeless servitude. The voluntary enrolment and regular discharge of our seamen entirely remove this danger from among us; so that we do not derive from the marine-corps the advantages which led to its institution, whilst we are fully exposed to all its inconveniences. These are manifold. In the first place, soldiers, when embarked, whilst they are more in the way than an equal number of seamen, are either of no use for the ordinary duties of the ship, or else, in becoming useful, they lose entirely their distinctive character, and cease to be more of soldiers than the seamen among whom they become mingled. Between the marine and sea officers, too, there is a perpetual discord, arising from their unnatural association. The marines carry on a continual contest of conflicting privileges, as to the command of their guard, and sometimes even endeavor to set themselves free from that law of universal subjection to the commander, which is the sole bond that keeps a naval community together. We would say, then, to avoid the great injustice of disbanding the marine-corps, and depriving its members of their profession and support, either make it an exclusive appendage of our naval stations, or else incorporate it with the army.

The marine-corps abolished, or, at least, its unnatural connexion with our ships severed, it would be easy to introduce a more perfect and harmonious organization among the crew. Nothing would be easier, if necessary, than to have all the men trained to the use of the musket, and qualified to act on shore in defence of the coast, without the danger of dispersing. But the great object of rendering them effective at sea would be perfectly attained by enlisting them for a particular ship, with the right of transfer, and in all cases for the duration of the cruise. This arrangement would save our commanders the infinite embarrassment which often results from the expiration of the term for which their crews have entered. No men are greater sticklers for the letter of the law than seamen; and when thus illegally detained beyond their time, they often become discontented, and the commander must either yield a portion of his authority, or resort to a harshness of discipline, which the circumstances render as unpleasant as it is unjust. To obviate the dread of an unlimited term of service, which might deter seamen from entering for the cruise, care should

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