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as have not served six months afloat. The total of the Reserve is raised this year to 27,000 all told; 1200 are to be embarked during 1897-98 for six months' training. This sounds well enough on paper, and it may be freely allowed that if the plan works out at all successfully it implies an improvement on the present efficiency, or inefficiency, of the Reserve. But it is impossible to depend at all upon such a force until we can be satisfied on one or two points, which at present are something more than hypothetical. What proportion of the Reserves can be depended upon to serve the necessary six months preparatory to becoming qualified seamen? The Admiralty is not prepared with an answer. The nearest approach to such an answer is the statement that 1200 men are to be trained during the coming financial year. At that rate it will take twentyone years to train the whole 25,000 seamen and firemen (leaving aside officers and boys), by which time the earliest trained, even with an extra six months added, will have long been quite useless. It would take about nine years to train even the 11,000 required to man our ships in the first instance. And even so the manning of our fleet would leave us without any Reserve, properly speaking, at all.

For it must be borne in mind that the seamen class-the second class of the reorganised Reserve -would be absolutely useless. Modern seamanship, even in its simplest terms of naval gunnery and stoking, is a complicated art. If an untrained man is not only useless but even an encumbrance to its peace - manœuvres, what would he be in war? In this connection we need refer 'Maga's' readers no further back than to

November last. In the article entitled "Manning the Navy" we showed that all reliance in wartime on any but thoroughly trained men must be at the best dubious, at the worst disastrous. The seaman class is useless in any case. The qualified class will hardly be much better at the best, and will grow less and less useful as the period of their training recedes into the past. Indeed it would probably be unjustifiable to count on anybody but the men actually training during the half-year in which war might break out. They might still be unhandy; but at any rate they would have some knowledge of their officers, their comrades, and their ships. But that amounts, on the present proposal, to no more than 600 men.

We are left, then, two years hence, with 104,163 men to man ships which require 114,632 — a deficiency of 10,469. The Reserve remaining will be incompetent and untrustworthy. But we are not blaming Mr Goschen for this. If his scheme succeeds, they will at least be less so than they have been hitherto. Even so, they will, as a whole, be less capable than many of the French inscript reserves, though some of our best may be as good as their worst. Even the redoubtable inscript must be a very doubtful quantity in the days of scientific warfare. We quite agree with Mr Goschen on that point. But there remains the fact that the French navy can man all its ships with active service men, while ours cannot. Man for man our seamen, being long-service men, may be presumed decidedly superior to theirs. Yet the fact remains that France-or for that matter any Continental Power-can man every ship with crews capable of working her, while we cannot.

But, cries Mr Goschen, are we not to have a reserve of ships? We are not going to send all our ships to sea on the first day of war. Ships will break down in machinery; ships will be disabled in action: we must have ships whereto we may turn over their crews. No doubt. We said as much in the article already referred to; possibly we even gave Mr Goschen the idea. But Mr Goschen takes it up with an eager enthusiasm which you would hardly have expected. From the cordiality with which he anticipates breakdowns and disablements you would think that such were a source of legitimate pride to a naval administrator-that no wellregulated navy was without them. Undoubtedly such accidents may occur, but they are not to be welcomed-since they would often mean replacing a newer and superior ship by an older and inferior. Moreover, satisfaction that the material branch of the service has temporarily outstripped the personal does not mean that the personal should therefore be permanently kept back to give the material a lead. Else we get into a vicious circle within which pliant First Lords will be only too glad to revolve. Ships must not be built without men; men must not be enlisted without ships. The simplest way to balance this question would be to have neither ships nor men, for then there could be a superfluity of neither.

So far as we can see through the figures, there are not enough ships for the needs of very conceivable wars, and there are not enough men for the ships there are. But we do not so much wish to insist

on that we are willing to leave that to the judgment of the more expert. We return to the trustees of national prosperity, to the directors of the British empire. What would be thought of the chairman of directors who based his balance sheet on such a palpable confusion as the lumping of men available for sea-service and non effectives into one total? Who put the existing coastguard on one side of the account and omitted to place on the other the necessary men to replace the coastguard? Who included as an important asset a Reserve, the very existence of which was wholly contingent and probably mythical? Who estimated the capital of his company in one year's balancesheet at so much at such and such a date, and then in the next postponed the realisation of the capital for several months? Who fixed the necessary standard of resources against a rival company at so much, and next year allowed himself to fall below it? Who confessed that after two years' interval he had been unable to secure the necessary plant, because somebody else was giving out orders at the same time? A chairman, in a word, who let the business go to the deuce for want of clear-headedness and firmness, trusting to the obtuseness and apathy of the shareholders either not to find him out or else not to care what happened to their interests?

The shareholder is reputed to be a patient beast, but in a private concern even the shareholder would revolt at this. But we are only shareholders who have invested our all in the British empire. Let it go.

RECOLLECTIONS OF AN IRISH HOME.

It is now many years since I lived in Ireland, and I am told that "old times are changed, old manners gone," in the green island, where I spent a happy youth among relations and friends, most of whom have passed to the unseen world. Many of the experiences and impressions of Irish country - house life more than thirty years ago come back to me very vividly. The experiences were not sensational, the impressions may not have been always correct; but, to me at least, there is pleasure in recalling the dim shadows of the past, and thinking of the old home and its immediate surroundings as I once knew them.

Even in my youth Ireland was the happy hunting-ground of unscrupulous agitators. There was even then in many places much bitter feeling between landlords and their people; conspiracy and sedition existed on a formidable scale, and there were many reasonably justifiable railings against the Government. But the confidence and friendship between different social classes had then been systematically and irreparably destroyed, and were often shown in kindly deeds and expressed in kindly words. Now I fear that much that was good in the past has ceased to be, much that was evil remains and has flourished.

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Our home was a long, low, rambling house on a little knoll rising from the bank of a river. It had its home farm attached to it, and the farmyard and haggard were within two hundred yards, concealed from view by a clump of noble trees. There was the most

prolific garden I have ever seen, and indeed it needed to be so to supply the wants of a large family. The farmyard was full of animal life. My father was justifiably proud of his shorthorn herd, and there was every variety of poultry, my particular care. We had all the simple pleasures of the country. Cycling of course was not, and lawn-tennis even was in its early infancy; but we rather fancied ourselves at croquet and archery: my brothers hunted, shot, and played cricket, and the river was a constant friend. This river used in the early decades of the century to be rather a riotous stream, broken with sharps and rapids; but in the days of the great famine, when, with the laudable object of making work for the people, many unadvisable and useless things were done, it was ruthlessly taken in hand by the Board of Works, confined into a canal-like channel, and shorn of its wild beauty. But what it lost in one way it gained in another, for it became more available for boating; it was the scene of much amusement, where we all learned to handle canoes of every description, from an African dug-out (brought home by a sailor brother) to an English outrigger, and it was our favourite highway to the village, a mile distant. Large quantities of salmon used to run up with the tide, whose influence was felt at the end of our nearest paddock, and my father, brothers, and the old fisherman used to draw the nets twice a day during the season. A noble sight it was to see twenty or thirty lordly fish in all their silvery beauty laid out on the turf beneath the drawing

room windows. But though we had the fishing rights within the boundaries of the little property, we were never allowed to have undisturbed enjoyment of them. Such rights have always been contested by the Irish lower classes, and can never be guarded except by such a force as we were not prepared to employ. Many poachers infested our river, and at all times it was nearly impossible to bring them to justice or to procure a conviction against them. They were very wary, and could hardly ever be surprised en flagrant délit. Their nets were heavily leaded in every part, and on the slightest alarm were allowed to sink to the bottom of the river, which in most places was nearly twelve feet deep, the poachers then scattering and concealing themselves in the thickly wooded banks. Even if the culprits were seized, it was but seldom therefore that their nets could be brought in evidence, and it gave them little trouble, when the coast was clear, to find their gear, as they of course knew to an inch where it had been sunk. These river marauders are very deeply impressed on my memory, for one of my latest recollections is that of a sad night in our household when its dearest member was sick unto death and I was watching in the dim light of early morning. I looked out of the window and saw the poaching gang stealthily drawing a net just below the house. They well knew that no one would then have the heart to say them nay, and that all the salmon that ever swam would not have induced one of the family to leave the sorrowful house at such a time.

Such as our old home was, we were very happy in it, and never cared to leave it. So stay-at-home were we that I remember an Eng

lish public schoolboy, who paid a visit to a neighbour's house where I met him, wrote to his sister saying, "There's a girl here who says she has not been in a railwaycarriage for two years. You can imagine what sort of girl she must be." Such contentedness seemed to him quite incomprehensible, though when he came to know more of our family life, I daresay he understood it better.

My father had served in the army, but when he married he took orders, and, with an interlude of a few years in an English rectory, spent the rest of his life in Ireland without the direct charge of a parish, but acting as a curate to an invalid friend, and doing regular Sunday duty in a neighbouring church. When the Irish Church was so iniquitously disestablished, my father found that under the Disestablishment Act he was legally entitled, by thus having acted for many years, to a sum of several hundred pounds as compensation for disturbance, and he made a point of pressing for the money, which he at once paid into the Sustentation Fund of the new Irish Church.

Although, as I have said, my father was an English clergyman, and had only married and settled in Ireland, he had by his perfectly honest and straightforward character acquired the complete confidence of everybody in our neighbourhood, and this was shown by the manner in which his advice was constantly asked and the trust that was reposed in his judgment, integrity, and kindness of heart. If any one thought of getting married, he was always consulted; if any one was in difficulties, it was to him that application was made for intervention or assistance. And the curious part of the matter was

that the people who tried to make him a confidential adviser were all Roman Catholics, and went to him rather than to their own priest. So far was this feeling towards my father carried that he was often asked to make the wills of his humble friends, or even to take charge of their savings with only verbal instructions how to dispose of the money when they were dead. I distinctly remember two particular cases in which he thus acted. One was in the last illness of Andy M'Gwire, the village tailor. Andy was what was called a "warm" man, and besides his business and personal property, he had saved upwards of £500. This he handed over to my father in trust for his widow and family, quite satisfied that, though no legal documents whatever were employed, the trust would be strictly observed and the testator's wishes carefully carried out. The other case was that of Patsy Farnan, a small coal-merchant with whom we dealt. One night Patsy thought his last hour had come, and he sent to ask my father to visit him immediately and make his will. My father started at once, and as there was nobody else available, he took me with him to act as a witness. We had a wild walk, for Patsy's house was on the little estuary at the mouth of the river where the colliers used to unload, and was nearly surrounded by water at high tide. The will was made, and though Patsy lived a few days longer, he made no alteration in it.

The country-people never, if they could help it, informed their priests about their affairs or the money which they possessed. The priests used to press them most unmercifully for the good of their Church. Nobody could be christened, married, or receive the last consola

tions without paying an inordinate price, and it was from funds so raised that the many handsome Roman Catholic churches have been built in Ireland, at any rate in that part of the country which I used to know. The people feared the priests, but certainly did not love them or show their trust in them in any practical form.

Talking of priests reminds me of the Protestant clergyman of the next parish to ours. He was one of the most simple-minded of men, and though we could not help admiring his character, his sayings and doings were a source of constant amusement. A friend of ours, belonging to an old Roman Catholic family, had on her marriage with a Protestant changed her form of faith to that of her husband. When Mr Bateson heard of this he exclaimed, "Here have I been labouring for years unsuccessfully to make one convert by the sword of the Spirit, and Captain Jones has gained one without difficulty by the arm of the flesh." Again, Mr Bateson wished to sell his cow, and asked his herd how much he thought the cow was worth. The herd told him she was worth about £15, and received orders to take her to the fair. The animal was sold, and the herd came back to his master with £20, in great glee at having made such a good bargain and expecting to be much praised for his cleverness. was much astonished when his master said, "How could you be so dishonest as to sell the cow for £20, when you yourself told me she was only worth £15?" and at once ordered him to send £5 back to the purchaser.

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