Notes to Abstract No. 25.
a Whatever remarks may have suggested themselves upon the eligibility of this plan of reform in a national point of view, will be found in their proper place in the body of the work. Our present business is with the details of the system, particularly as they affect that arrangement or classification of the ships, which is the groundwork of these abstracts.
How to effect the change from one plan of rating to the other, without disorganizing the particular abstract, into which the new classification, from the date of its commencement, naturally fell, was long a subject of difficulty. At length, I decided to arrange the old and new classes in the manner adopted in the abstract before us, and to remove the ships to their new stations by the pair of converted columns ; a method that, if not quite so intelligible as could be wished, possesses the merit of not disturbing, in the slightest degree, the arithmetical connexion of the figures.
Class A is the same in each rating. B receives the San-Josef, and parts with the building ships, London and Princess-Charlotte. C takes the latter, along with the Ocean, and gives up the San-Josef. D merely parts with the building ship Trafalgar. Old E is extinct. Old F, or new E, takes the last named ship, and parts with the Ocean, and becomes exalted from the second to the first rate. Old G is extinct. Old H, or new F, receives, along with promotion, one ship, the Prince, from the last class but one (old a and new X) of the abstract. Old K divides into new G and H, comprising the whole of the second rate; and old L and M distribute themselves into the first five classes of the third rate, I, K, L, M, and N. Old O is new P ; and old P, by transferring its six individuals to the hospital and receiving ship class, becomes extinct. It should here be remarked, that the official register of the new rating, as did that of the old takes no note of the calibers of the guns, or of the size of the ships : hence, the seven new classes from I to P inclusive, form but three in the admiralty list.
The explanation, just given, of the process of removing the line classes may suffice, without investigating the remaining classes, further than to point out where, by the new arrangement, a class is raised above the heads of any other class or classes. Q, the first new under-line class, is all instance of this, having formerly rated three classes lower. The strict numerical gun-force is here, indeed, a little defective ; as the ships of the next, or R class, carrying heavier metal and being, as well as larger, a full third stronger in frame, ought to take precedence of the ships of Q.
The comparison made, in a former note, between the Isis in her intended. and the same ship in her actual state of construction, will best explain, why a flush ship, of any given number of guns, ought to be classed above, and not with, a quarter-decked ship of the same number of guns. Thus, R and S 58s, in the new rating, rank above T 58 ; that is, they do so in the abstract before us. But, in the official register, where no such distinction is acknowledged, the ships are all huddled together in one class ; even although the ships of T are established with a less complement, by 100 men, than those of R or S. It is also worthy of remark, that, as the quarter-decked ships, now that they have the whole of their guns enumerated, rank much higher than formerly ; so, except in the case (Q) cited in the last paragraph, and in any other (old and new R for instance) wherein a pair of bow-chasers may have been omitted, the flush ships, mounting no additional guns, undergo no change in their classification. Thus, M and N, from being close neighbours, separate, the one into Z, the other into D, with three classes intervening.
In the old rating there are 50, and in the new but 42, cruising classes. According to the official register, however, there should be but 96 of the latter ; the two classes distinguished by caliber (K and 111), the two by size (O and P), and the three by decks (S, T, and E), not finding places in it,
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