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Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 3/Great guns and armoured war-ships




The work-people of our “faithful ally” across the Channel have just launched for him an armoured frigate christened La Gloire. We know nothing about it save what the scribes of the ruler have set down by his permission, and if all be gold that glitters, wonders have been achieved, for the craft is wholly impregnable to shot—at what distance we are not told—and may defy and vanquish the whole British fleet. In fact, the Gallic Emperor is now the ruler of the seas, and the “meteor flag” of England is no better than a shooting star gone out, while a decree has gone forth that henceforth the Gallic cock is to be a web-footed bird. And Captain Halsted, writing to the “Times,” seems to think that there is something in it—that the Gauls have stolen a sea march over the descendants of the Norse coursers, and that the indigenous gnomes of the iron mines are to be conjured beyond seas, the Red Sea inclusive.

Well, before we sit down under this last Imperial dispensation, let us at least look into it. In the first place, “whatever man has done man may do,” was a maxim written over my schoolroom-door; but climbing, as the world still is, over the Page:ONCE A WEEK JUL TO DEC 1860.pdf/405 Page:ONCE A WEEK JUL TO DEC 1860.pdf/406 Page:ONCE A WEEK JUL TO DEC 1860.pdf/407 Page:ONCE A WEEK JUL TO DEC 1860.pdf/408