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the right and nearer the town. The siege of Copenhagen was now fairly begun, constant firing being kept up between the advanced posts of the two armies. On the morning of the 2416 the troops stood to their arms at two o'clock, and driving in the enemy's outposts advanced the works.
On the evening of the 25111 the second battalion Rifles relieved the German Legion at the outposts, and on the 26th formed part of the corps under Sir Arthur Wellesley, which attacked and defeated the Danes at Kioge. The 52 1d, 92nd, and Ist battalion Rifles were under the personal command of Sir Arthur, while the 43rd, the 6th German Legion, and five companies of the second battalion Rifles were under Baron Linsingen." Sir Arthur having attacked the Danes in the town of Kioge, easily defeated them ; scattering theinselves through the neighbouring woods, they were driven forward in a helpless state. A considerable body being driven into the village of Herfolge, they inade a stand in the church, but were captured by a company of the second battalion Rifles and soine cavalry of the German Legion. In the evening the second battalion halted in the village of Herfolge.
Between the 28th August, the day of the skirmish at Kioge, and the 7th September, the day upon which Copenhagen fell, the two battalions of Rifles were constantly employed in scouring the woods and driving from their hiding places the last relics of the Danish military force. “Whilst here we led a tolerably active life, being continually on the alert-ordered hither to-day, and thither to-inorrow. Occasionally, too, when wanted in a hurry we were placed in carts and rattled over the face of the country in company with the dragoons of the Gerinan Legion ; so that if we had not as much figliting as afterwards in the Peninsula, we bad plenty of work to keep us from idleness.” After the capitulation, ihe first battalion occupied Kallundburg, Slagelse, Korsver, and Skielskiore ; the second beiny posted in Mestyed, Lundbye, Wordingburg and Prestoe; then forming a complete chain of posts around the west and south coasts of the island. The Rifles remained so posted until the 15th October when they began to retire on Copenhagen, which they reached on the 17th, and immediately embarked for England. They sailed on the 24th, and after a boisterous and dangerous passage landed at Deal on the 16th November, marching from thence to Hythe barracks.
(To be continued.)
THE ITALIAN MERCHANT NAVY.
The Revista Europea for December last contains an interesting paper, entitled, La Marina Mercantile d'Italia, by M, Giovanni Sances, the first of a series promised upon the Italian Marine and divers topics relating directly and indirectly thereto.
Admitting the undisputed importance of the subject in a national point of view, the writer notices the great natural capabilities of the Peninsula : “ It is impossible,” he says, “ to look at the geographical position and configuration of Italy without acknowledging how bounteously Providence has endowed her in all that relates to the sea.
“ With the exceptions of Sweden and Norway, and of Russia, whose coast line exceeds that of any other European nation, but being in different latitudes, and without continuity, cannot be fairly contrasted therewith, our length of sea-board is surpassed by that of the British Isles alone, and if we keep in view the broken and difficult character of the latter, the shoals of bar. ren rocky islets which engirdle certain portions of it, as the Orkneys and Shetlands upon the Northern coasts, the Western Isles on the N.W., and the Scillies on the S.W., the difference in length appears of less account. Unlike that of the British Isles, our coast runs without a break, the Adriatic excepted, in an almost continuous line.”
These natural advantages conceded, the question arises : Is the actual state of the Italian Merchant Marine such as we should be justified in expecting as a sequence of the late political changes ? The answer necessarily involves many and varied considerations, of which a portion only are discussed in the Paper before us. And first as to its present condition compared with that of bye-gone times.
“ If,” writes M. Sances, “ our dearly cherished literature has been the saving health of Italy in the days of her political decadence, with still greater truth may a like assertion be made of her Marine. Maritime trade, although oppressed for ages by the unhappy state of political affairs, has been the Palladium of our nationality. Had Italy been an inland country destitute of maritime communications, her individuality would have vanished like smoke in a thousand ways. Without an outlet on blue water, beneath the yoke of the oppressor, the destruction of her nationality would have been easy indeed.
“ Our sea-trade in general, and our indirect navigation in particular have contributed to the maintenance of that spirit of independance which has lately culminated in the achievement of our highest aspirations, the Unity of Italy.
“ Again, the preponderance of imports over our exports, which
forms a sort of floating International Debt, has, in a measure, been reduced by the profits of the carrying trade of which our indirect navigation has always succeeded in securing a share. Our thanks are due to the Merchant Marine for this alone.
“ Like the English, it behoves us to bless and cherish the great free camp of the Ocean-treacherous though it may sometimes seem, it has ever been the staunch friend of Italy, economically and politically. Without inclining to optimism, we venture to say that amidst the hidden destinies which await the dominant races of Europe, the Latins may, at least, entertain a well-grounded hope that Italy will be amongst the last to succumb. We may be in error, but it is our confirmed belief.
“In times past, when, thanks to the industrial and commercial enterprise of our forefathers they were the monopolists of the Levant trade, the Italian merchant navy occupied the same position amongst nations as the English now holds amongst the navies of the world. And although internal discords have cruelly weighted us, and transferred this supremacy to other hands, still the Italian marine has retained something of its ancient importance which will enable it gradually to regain, if not its former, at least an influential, position. The wretched subdivision of Italy into so many petty States kept her impoverished and somnolent. Once reunited, her navy, by slow degrees it is true, has begun to recover itself. The glorious resuscitation of the nation has imparted to it a breath of new life.
“ To enable the reader to appreciate the changes which have taken place since 1860, we append a succinct comparison of its state during the period immediately preceding the establishment of the kingdom of Italy and at present. For the sake of brevity all notice of the intervening years is omitted.
« Previous to 1860, we had about 15,000 vessels (including some thirty steamers) with an aggregate of 600,000 tons. This was reckoning Venice which possessed about 1500 vessels.
“ In 1868, there were 17,946 vessels with an aggregate of 882,829 tons, including one hundred and one steamers, exclusive of those on the Lakes, and on the Po and Tiber. Here we see an increase of 2946 vessels and 382,280 tons. For convenience, Venice has been included in the above comparison, but for the larger portion of the period referred to, indeed for the whole seven years anterior to 1866, her Marine had been steadily on the decline. Since her re-entry into the great Italian family, her navy has been reanimated by a new vitality, and already shows signs of increase.
“ The vessels employed in harbour service, that is to say, tugsteamers, salvage and pilot boats, those employed in the embarkation and disembarkation for passengers, lighters, floating-stores and water-boats, numbered about 8000 during the former period, 3000 being Venetian. In 1868, the number amounted to 10,648
Here we have an increase of 2648, upon which comment is needless.
“ Shipbuilding has also experienced an important derelopment. At first the ship-yards in work were under fifty in number, turn. ing out about two hundred vessels annually with an aggregate tonnage of 34,000, representing the money value of, say ten · million lire. In 1865, the number of yards had increased to ninety-four; nine hundred and seven vessels of 58,110 tons, valued at twenty millions were turned out. In 1868, there were eighty-three yards open, and seven hundred and three vessels with a tonnage of 85,703, and a value of twenty-seven millions were built. There was thus an actual increase over 1865, in spite of the diminution in the number of yards, and in the vessels built.
“ Between 1860 and 1868 there were launched in all 4122 vessels.”
Italian vessels, M. Sances tells us, enjoy a world wide repu. tation for their fine build, their strength, the excellence of their timber, their extraordinary durability, and their cheapness. After England, Italy, he says, turns out the largest number of vessels. He continues :
“ The personnel of the Italian merchant navy, according to the most trustworthy data procurable, in 1860, numbered about 130,000 men. In 1868, there were 176,491 connected therewith, i.e., 137,834 seamen, and 38,657 shipwrights and mechanics. This increase of 46,000 men is specially noteworthy, inasmuch as the personnel is a very essential element in maritime affairs.
“ Let us now pass on to another side of the question. In 1860, the International and Coasting trade represented by the total number of vessels entered in wards and cleared outwards was (Venice included) 148,630 vessels with an aggregate of 6,409,577 tons.
In 1868, these figures had increased to 233,763 vessels of over seventeen millions tons, exclusive of 27,361 steamers with an aggregate tonnage of two and a half millions. During the for. mer period it must be observed the trade between the various Italian States came under the head of international or foreign. Since this period it has been counted as home trade. Here we find a difference of three-fifths in the number of vessels, and a doubling of the tonnage, proving pretty clearly the improvement which has taken place in our sea trade.
“Of steam navigation we shall speak hereafter in another
M Sances thinks that this short summary will prove to his readers the gigantic strides made by the Italian Marine within the last few years, and the reasonableness of the hope that this progressive movement may continue to a point as yet scarcely even anticipated.
He acknowledges the importance of lines of railways and of telegraphic communication to the commercial world, but, he adds, the fact that the water surface of our planet is three times as great as the land, is, in itself, proof sufficient of the importance which must ever attach to maritime communication.
He then proceeds to discuss the chief essentials of maritime prosperity. Ample tonnage-abundant capital-liberal legislative measures, good harbours and a spirit of national enterprise.
In regard of the first, he recapitulates the advantages of vessels of large tonnage-their greater durability when properly built, their greater security due to their superior weatherly qualities, fitting them more especially for long voyages — the smaller number of hands they carry in proportion to their freight, and the smaller outlay they involve in relation to the returns they bring, &c.: he then proceeds to estimate the average tonnage of the Italian Merchant Navy at the present day. This he places at 50 tons. On the other hand, England in 1868 (including her colonies), had an average burthen of 180 tons per vessel, France 67, Norway 130, Sweden 61, Greece 62, Holland 253, Turkey 85, Portugal 62, Russia 85, Hamburg 511, Prussia 260, Hanover 139, Oldenburg 97, Bremen 760. The countries are placed in succession according to the number of vessels owned by each. Belgium, which has only 112 vessels, has an average tonnage of 355.
Ainongst those of inferior note are Spain, with an average of 38, Austria 46, and Denmark 46.
The inferior tonnage of the Italian Merchant Navy is thus apparent. It must, however, be noted that two of her nearest neighbours, Austria and Spain, are lower still, and France does not show the superiority that might be expected. It is, M. Sances remarks, always a consolation not to be last. Still this low average, or in other words the absence of a due proportion of vessels of large size thus indicated, is a point requiring attention, which moreover bas a political as well as a commercial significance.
In respect of the second essential-capital—the supply is not as plentiful as might be desired. But the capital thus invested is native, not foreign, and the amount has been steadily increasing. It is difficult to furnish trustworthy data on a subject of this kind, but M. Sances is disposed to think that the annexed figures afford a tolerably fair approximation: Invested in sailing vessels three hundred millions. In steam vessels forty millions, in the fisheries four millions, in harbour and coast service four millions, in harbonr and other works four millions — total 352,000,000. Add thereto the capital employed in building yards and in the construction of vessels say forty millions.
In the past year there were seventy-five Marine Insurance Societies, seventy-two of which were Italian. These we may take as representing an aggregate capital of thirty millions.