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enforced by an escort of war-ships; a challenge which, unless they were met by a larger fleet, would force the cargoes through the perils of the Straits; (d) that neutral merchant ships are part of the neutral territory -which merely stated the flag contention in a more untrue manner; (e) that 'private property' was immune at sea-a larger and more specious doctrine, much insisted on by Bonaparte, which, if adopted, would have got rid of the necessity for defining contraband altogether. Thus, by every means which sophistry could devise, it was attempted to get timber and stores safely to the enemy dockyards. Here, then, is the first reason for keeping the old policy alive to-day; it emphasises the true intent of those doctrines which still appeal to the humanitarian, the commercialist, and the philosophicradical, almost as strongly as to the enemy and the neutral.
There was one other ingenious argument: that contraband, being munitions of war, meant articles just as they were used in war, and not the materials of which they were made. In one of the propaganda pamphlets issued by Frederick the Great's lawyers in 1753, under the pseudonym of a a 'Burgomaster of Middelburg,' this contention was tentatively put
'En général les traités ne mettent au rang des marchandises de contrebande que les munitions de guerre; c'est à dire, les choses faites ou fabriquées, et non les matières qui servent à les faire. Telle est la règle commune.'
True, the rule had sometimes been departed from, as in the Treaty between Denmark and Holland of 1701, which treated naval stores, ainsi que tout ce qui sert à l'équipement des vaisseaux,' as contraband. But what a prodigious reduction this involved in the commerce of Denmark! With France and Spain it would be ruined. Such agreements were 'bizarres, et contraires au droit naturel.' 'Voilà,' the author exclaims, 'où conduisent des dispositions contraires au
* 'Lettre d'un Bourguemaître de Middelbourg à un Bourguemaître d'Amsterdam, sur le differens entre les Rois d'Angleterre et de Prusse; traduit du Hollandais'; published at the Hague, June 1753.
droit commun!' Set against this contention the argument on which the 'policy of ships' timber' was based and it crumbles away. Plank and masts, hemp and stores of all kinds were the materials with which ships were built and kept afloat; they must therefore be affected by the contraband quality of the entire ship. What is true of the whole must be true of the part; for were it otherwise, then, as Sir James Marriott said in the case of the 'Vryheid':
'If one Dutch ship carries masts, another anchors, another sails, another a ship's frame (and such there is now taken, of size for a 70-gun ship), a whole fleet may go by detail from Holland for the King of France's service.'
Here, then, is the underlying principle: that materials or ingredients of contraband articles are themselves contraband, subject only to the general rule of enemy destination '; in this case more precisely defined to be— destined to the construction, or manufacture, of the article of contraband.
The opposite principle, however, in part persisted up to the time of the last discussion on maritime law. The Declaration of London, adopting the list of contraband agreed to at the Second Hague Conference, included the 'distinctive component parts' of certain things themselves declared to be contraband, as of arms and projectiles, but did not include the materials of which 'powder and explosives' are composed.* It is unnecessary now to examine the reasons which led the Conference to adopt this narrow view; suffice it to say that during the late war, after a few revisions of the list of contraband, this item was added on Dec. 23, 1914, Ingredients of explosives, viz. . . .,' altered on Oct. 14, 1915, to 'Materials used in the manufacture of explosives, including... How great a part this broad definition played in the ultimate victory need not be emphasised.
The disappearance of wooden ships probably enabled the British Government to rest content with the item
It is interesting to note that in the Memorandum of the United States it was suggested that munitions et explosifs de toutes sortes et les éléments dont ces corps se composent' should be included; and some other nations put forward similar suggestions.
'Warships, including boats and their distinctive component parts of such a nature that they can only be used on a vessel of war'; but, though the fundamental principle of the old policy may have been temporarily overshadowed by the desire of the Government of that day to bring about the total abolition of contraband, the necessities of war almost immediately compelled a recognition of the fact that ingredients are of as much assistance to the enemy as the manufactured article.
So great, as I have traced them, through all its story, were the difficulties which the spirit of the Navy has had to contend with, so great was the spirit which overcame them, the endurance with which it triumphed over all the perils which have encompassed it; of which the peril of the enemy was not the greatest, nor the peril of the neutral the most insidious. The greater perils came from the country itself-of pilfering by all and sundry, so that whole houses were built of chips'; of peculation by dishonest purveyors, so that all made fortunes; of party, which set the incompetent in the place of the competent, and of consequent maladministration; of the weevil in the biscuit, and of salted beef blue and white mouldy,' which led to the cat; of mutiny, which led to the yard-arm; of Commissions without number, and reports that always told the same story, lack of oaktimber and stores; of spasmodic plantings urged by the student's eloquence, which succumbed to consistent pillage; of individual profit always preferred to the safety of the State-and yet, through it all, the spirit has prevailed, by its native spring and toughness which, perchance, it has borrowed from the English oak -the spirit which has given to England the command of che sea. The command does not rest merely on numbers of big ships, and numbers of their crews, but on the spirit behind them. The Navy has in its charge the Peace and Safety of the Empire. Now it has accepted the larger doctrine, which has its origin in the times when it chased the pirates from the Narrow Seas, that the command carries with it an even greater obligation, Co stand for the Peace of the World.
F. T. PIGGOTT.
Art. 7.-THE ENGLISH' POEMS OF MAURICE HEWLETT.
1. The Song of the Plow. Being the English Chronicle. Heinemann, 1916.
2. The Village Wife's Lament. Secker, 1918.
3. Flowers in the Grass (Wiltshire Plainsong). Constable, 1920.
For many years narrative poetry in this country has been neglected for lyrical poetry, the best work of the present generation having taken quite naturally a lyric form for reasons which it would be interesting to ponder and very difficult to determine. One reason may be postulated, a reason founded in the movement and psychology of the time-that the burdens which oppress the minds of men have driven them into seeking means of escape; and hence there have been sudden aspirations and upleapings in which temporal bonds are broken or forgotten, and the imagination moves entranced in a world of its unique creation, knowing no music but that of its own voice and wings, and no constraint but that of loyalty to its own severe though uncodified law. The narrative tradition of English poetry died a lingering, certain death in the immense collection of Tennyson's verse, for Swinburne's narratives were but extravagant lyrics; and, when English poetry revived and spoke once more of obstinate questionings or questionings put by, the lyric form triumphed and narrative was reserved for the inferiorities of prose minds that hankered after verse. The sombre imaginations of Mr Thomas Hardy had for many many years found expression in prose narrative, but when the custom of prose gave place at length to the instinct of verse, it was not narrative but lyrical verse that became his best medium; for even the too-sardonic meditations and tart gibes-such as seem, in 'Satires of Circumstance,' to have little of the maturity and nothing of the serenity of art-do not fall into a patient discovery of incident and character, but are set forth nakedly as unrelated incidents. It is true that we have been asked to admire certain other brisk recitals of incident by other authors, but they are palpably inferior efforts and meant merely to please a
reader quickly tired by serious things. They hardly affect the suggestion now put forward which, in terms of scientific cacophony, may be stated as the neglect of the objective for the subjective, in the poetry of the present generation.
It is because the chief recent attempt at a narrative in verse has been overlooked that the reader is now asked to consider certain poems by Mr Maurice Hewlett; and it may seem strange to speak of any of Mr Hewlett's work as having been overlooked when it is remembered that he is one of the most widely welcomed of modern novelists, an essayist of a singular quality, and a poet whose verse on classical themes has commanded respect without winning a very prompt affection. But the very variety of interest is itself a possible hindrance to the appreciation of the rarest aspect of Mr Hewlett's genius. Other men have written admirable romances, others have achieved at least an equal intimacy in essays, and others again have recast ancient myths in modern shape; but it is Mr Hewlett's praise that he has done something better than his best in these forms. Nor is it a question of form alone, for the poems we are now to look at have another distinction; a distinction inherent in their subject and in the manner of presenting that subject to readers ready to welcome it, if only the true character and scope of the poems be recognised.
They are poems, then, of a completely English character, presenting their theme with the frankness and urgency of a gospel or a political tract, yet never wholly denying their imaginative origin. There is a great deal of poetry, from Chaucer's to Meredith's, in which the English landscape is rendered with imaginative fondness and fidelity; and no lover of the native country, or of native poetry, can fail to perceive in greater and lesser English poets alike-in Shakespeare and Pope, Keats and Marvell, Milton and Mr Bridges-not simply the affection but also the very features of the land itself, the special quality of hills and hedge-rows and streams and woods, which these poets have mysteriously evoked, renewed and re-inspired. How large a part the English landscape has taken in forming the English spirit, we who are naturally intimate with both cannot easily decide; but the long experience of the war, with its