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"my opinion is, that no monitor of the
American type, that is, no monitor with
her turrets standing upon the low deck,
unprotected by a breastwork, with all her
hatchways, &c., opening through the lower
deck, can be considered a satisfactory sea-
going vessel; such a vessel, depending as it
does upon the water tightness of the junction
between the turret and the deck, and
obtaining that tightness by means of the
weight of the turret closing the junction,
is unable to revolve her turret and fight
her guns in a sea-waya circumstance
which alone renders her unfit for fighting
actions at sea; and nothing can possibly
prevent a pure monitor vessel from being
deluged by the sea in rough weather to an
extent which is incompatible with proper
ventilation and comfort, as it is with fighting

Mr. Reed then proves his case to our
mind only too clearly (remember we are
only condemning turret ships as they at
present exist, for no doubt they will be the
great fact of the future), by quoting the
American official report of the behaviour of
the monitors off Fort Sumter in rough
weather. But for the weather clothes, the
report says, the sea would have filled the
turrets, some of the turrets would not lower,
and the water got in round the base of
the turret, and put out many of the
engine fires. Even in a slight sea, the
hatches had to be battened down; in hot
weather the ships would not have been
habitable. The ports had to be closed
and caulked. The original monitor went
down bodily on her way from Hampton
Roads, in spite of pumps capable of throwing
two thousand gallons a minute. The
Weehauken, another monitor, went down
at her moorings in Charleston harbour in
three minutes, from a wave passing over
her deck when the fore-hatch was open for
ventilation. The Tecumseh sank, with all
hands, four minutes after she had been
struck by a torpedo; and the Patapsco
foundered in one minute, with sixty- two men,
from the same cause. Another great fault
of the turret ships is the liability of the
turrets to be jammed, and of their machinery
to be fixed by blows from heavy shots. In
the night attack of the Charleston batteries,
the monitors' decks were in many cases
penetrated, and their turrets rendered
immovable. Mr. Reed also contends that
by the adoption of high forecastles, like
the Captain, to keep the vessel dry when
steaming against a head sea, and also to
enable the head sails to be worked, turret
vessels are deprived of their primary and
supreme advantage, that of providing a
defended pivot for an all-round fire, and
more especially for that very useful thing,
a head fire. Mr. Reed is also of opinion
that the tremendous simultaneous shock
of two six hundred pound shots is not
always to be preferred to the ten less
powerful blows that such a vessel as the
Hercules could deal the enemy's ship
simultaneously in ten different directions.

Such are a few of the arguments pro and
con in the matter of turret ships. At present
the great idea struck out by Captain
Coles still needs much to render it
practicable. The terrible loss of the Captain
has proved Mr. Reed to be only too true a
prophet. Had the Admiralty tested the
new system earlier, quicker, and more fully,
we should, no doubt, a year or two ago,
have saved thousands of pounds, have
already had safe sea-going turret ships, well
tested and fit to use, and should not now
have to lament the loss of poor Captain
Coles and more than five hundred of his
daring brother experimenters.



"Oh, I'd so much rather not!" was
spoken with a startled face, and with an
ashamed consciousness of the absurdity of
the words, which, nevertheless, were at
the moment the only words she could find
to say.

Daisy was sitting by the fire, in the
between-lights hour, in a small but very
pretty drawing-room; sitting in a low
chair, her little feet warming themselves
cosily. She was again dressed in black,
but the black was now worn for one whom
she had loved and served, and the mourning
for whom had softened her face to a
tender seriousness rather than sorrow.

From the time, now eighteen months
ago, when she first saw the frail invalid,
whose dying days she had solaced, she had
led that unselfed life which, more than any
other, deadens and keeps under personal
perplexities and troubles. Each morning
she had wakened to give all the day to her
dying friend; each night she had lain on
the watch for her, only sleeping when she
slept. No more wholesome life could have
been found for Daisy.

But now Daisy's friend was some weeks
dead. Daisy's occupation was gone.

"So much rather not!" she repeated.