Page 3532

3532 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD. '

vital to the welfare of her people, destruction of which means gigantic misery

and ruin-has fallen like a great house

to the ground. The few German warships

which existed outside Germany when war

began have been hunted down, and lie,

for the most part, deeper than ever plummet's sounding in the abysses of alien

oceans. The great German ports, once

the scenes of busy life, repose like cities

of the dead. The great German mercantile sea lords proclaim their bankruptcy.

A few merchants and commis voyageurs,

stranded at Montevideo or Yokohama,

wait vainly for the ship that will never

come, and the order that will never be

executed. The British Navy is the one

instrument, on either side of the conflict,

which has performed its work with complete and unchangeable success. It has

broken, as by a sudden hammer-blow,

the whole of Germany that lived upon and

trafficked in deep waters. It has rendered

the German High Sea Fleet as innocuous

in its hiding-place as if it had never

existed-as if the three hundred million

pounds spent in its construction had been

thrown carelessly into the German Ocean.

And slowly but surely, without ostentation

or boasting, like the slaying of a man in

the darkness by an unseen hand, it has

laid its grip on the throat of Germany,

never henceforth to be relaxed until the

end comes. The victim may struggle,

lash out with hands and feet, writhe in

agony, and in its struggles damage all

surrounding things; but despite the struggles the grip will remain secure, the pressure continued and intensified. And it

is all dependent on some tiny aggregate

of ships and men 'somewhere in the British

Isles.' "

Would the final outcome of the Great

War justify this view?. Was Sir Walter

Raleigh right when more than three centuries before he declared: "Whosoever

commands the sea commands the trade;

whosoever commands the trade of the

world commands the riches of the world,

and, consequently, the world itself?" These

were some of the vital questions which

only time could answer.