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B. Applied mathematics :
C. Physics, including heat, light, electricity, and magnetism:
It will be noticed that the aggregate is the same as in the course for gunnery lieutenants, though the course is somewhat different, and the separate marks are differently distributed. The relative proportion of marks for first and second class certificates is also the same as for gunnery lieutenants, 2,500 for a first class, and the very low limit of 1,200 for a second.
I. Electricity as applied to naval purposes
V. Whitehead torpedo
200 100 100 100 200
For a certificate in the practical course 650 numbers must be obtained. This is an absolute requirement for all officers to pass as torpedo-lieutenants. Their further classification into 1st class and 2d class, for which they receive different rates of extra pay,* depends wholly on their certificate in the theoretical course at Greenwich.
Provision is made for a short course of instruction in torpedoes on board the Vernon, similar to the short course in the Excellent; and torpedo lieutenants, after a three years' absence, are allowed to return to the school for a five months' course of instruction.
* See appendix, Note A.
GENERAL CHARACTER OF THE ENGLISH SYSTEM.
Made up as the English system is of diverse elements, it has a certain unity throughout, which is due solely to the fact that the whole is practically under one head. Except for the gunnery training, for which the Excellent is responsible, and the seamanship, which is instilled by some process on board ship, the whole training of officers is under the direc. tion of the Director of Studies at Greenwich. His control does not go so far as the devising of a general plan; that is a matter for the Admiralty. But the specific application of the plan in all its details rests with him; and it is safe to say that whatever may be the faults of the English system, they do not lie in the application of it. From the time the young lad of twelve or thirteen passes his examination for a cadetship down to his last voluntary course as a captain, through the Britannia, the course afloat, the sub-lieutenants' collegiate course, and the subsequent voluntary studies, his education is in the hands of Dr. Hirst, under the Admiralty rules, and it is managed with all the wisdom and judgment that the rules will permit. The importance of this single head for the whole Astem cannot be overestimated.
In the English service there seems to be a theory that a naval officer is a creature of a delicate and sensitive organization, whose regard for his profession and whose zeal for a high standard of professional attainment must be stimulated by surrounding him eternally with all its minor details, to an extent unknown in any other walk of life. To make a sailor, he must begin at twelve or thirteen, even though he does not go to sea tur two years, to accustom him early to his duties. During these two Tears he must live on board a ship, and be able to climb the rigging, to familiarize himself with details; though the ship lies at anchor in a river, a few yards from the shore, and carries no spars but her foremast and head booms. He must sleep in a hammock to inure himself to hardship. In the pinion of the majority of officers, he must have his college for higher instruction in a naval port, or he will forget his duties; and he must pursue his scientific researches in a dockyard, because he will be surtuanded by officers engaged in the work of the profession, with whom be can discuss articles in the professional magazines.
If the naval profession has become what many enlightened officers of *Že present day would have us believe, an occupation involving accurate scientific knowledge, the system of training in England has a tendency to grasp the shadow while losing the substance. The expedients adopted with reference to the higher education of voluntary students, ol the admirable courses of instruction for officers who have taken up
one branch of the service, notably in the Excellent and Vernon, do much to remedy the inherent defects of the system; and the promotion in two grades by selection excludes the most incompetent officers from positions of great responsibility. But it seems impossible that the injurious effects of the method of training pursued with young officers, during the first eight years of their professional life, should not be felt by the vast majority throughout their whole career. The peculiar features of this training have been already pointed out: the discouraging efforts in the Britannia to attain a point hopelessly beyond the young student's reach; the five years of desultory training on board the great cruising ships, passed in a struggle to retain and comprehend a mass of undigested facts and principles, crammed for the immediate purpose of passing an examination; and, finally, the review course, where the student first finds himself fairly on his feet, in his relations with his instructors. The fatal defect of the system has been aptly set forth in a remark of one of the Greenwich professors, in his evidence before the commission, where he says that the standard for sub-lieutenants is the same as that for cadets in the Britannia; but the essential difference lies in the fact that at Greenwich the students actually reach the standard, while at Dartmouth they do not.* No one who has had much experience in educational methods will deny that such a system must be productive of harmful results when applied rigorously to the training of a body of young men; and one is therefore led to the conclusion that the high scientific and professional attainments of many English naval officers are not in consequence, but in spite, of their early education.
* Question 626.