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CHARACTERISTICS AND PECULIARITIES OF TRADES.
THE TAILOR AND THE SHOEMAKER.
EACH trade may be said to have its own peculiar characteristic -something in physical and mental appearance, and constitution, by which its members or professors may be, speaking generally, at once known. Each trade has also its technical dialect-its peculiar phraseology-its free-masonry of words and signs, which stamp the individuals as belonging to a class. Some of these phrases find their way into the language of common life, and are used, as many things are used, without reference to their origin. Thus individuals, when they feel themselves not quite themselves, will say, that they are "all out of sorts:" but nobody but a compositor can enjoy the double meaning of the phrase; and if our readers are curious respecting this double meaning, they will, no doubt, get a full and ample explanation from any unfortunate compositor who has been doomed to turn for six months.
The trade which presents the most numerous salient points, on which everybody thinks himself or herself qualified to crack a joke, is, of course, that of the tailor. The tailor! "time out of mind" the but and target of every witling in the community -the ubiquitous, the mercurial, the speechifying, the all-accomplished tailor! In London we have, to use the style of a vendor of bruised oranges and rotten apples, tailors "of all sorts and all sizes, all kinds and all prices." What a stride is there between the tailor of the "east" and the "west" ends! How finely diversified and how nicely graduated are the classes-" small by degrees," but not "beautifully less," from the aristocrat who flourishes in full dress in St. James's Street, to the miserable stitcher for a slop-dealer in Poplar, who may be seen emerging from a dingy door, with his rags fluttering in the breeze, and so full of the milk of human kindness, so exclusively occupied in clothing the nakedness of others, that he has apparently got no time to tack his own duds together! We once saw such a rascal in Fleet-street in the middle of a fine sunshiny day; he was in company with one or two of his species, rather better clothed than himself; but none of them had the sagacity of the great body of their brethren, who carefully strap down their trousers, to hide the bulge at the knee; they therefore proclaimed themselves tailors by every motion of their knee-pans and calves. They evidently soon felt themselves uncomfortable in the public gaze; and slunk up a passage which led to a tap-room.
But the tailor we wish to describe is not the "west-end " dandy, or exquisite, who deems it requisite to display in his own proper person all the elegances of a perfect "fit," nor yet the ragged wretch whose money, spirit, health, and time, are squandered in the tap-room, and whose very pointless needle seems ashamed of the rents in its master's clothes. We wish to describe the average tailor, who stands between the extremes, and may be taken as the symbol of his race-the human personification of the spirit of stitch. First, then, as to his physical characteristics. Your genuine tailor is generally a thin, pale personage, with a nose which has an upward tendency. If he is diminutive, and dresses tolerably, then he is a smart, dapper man, who looks up in your face with a smirking smile, his knees apparently doing you homage. If he is tall, then, in spite of all his efforts to the contrary, he stands on uneasy legs, and swings about in such a way, that you dread he is about to drop down upon you. Whenever we see a robust member of the profession, we feel a difficulty in believing him to be a tailor, and cannot at all associate him with his calling. He is a moving exemplification of an incongruity, a practical solecism, a living lie. A stout man a tailor! A thumping piece of mortality devoting its energies to the tacking
of bits of cloth together! Muscular paws holding a needle! Poh! it is preposterous!
Everybody affects to know a tailor in the street. Not his speech, but his limbs "bewray" him. He hath a courtier-like propensity to bend the knee; and with a customer he can "hang a tongue." His knees are indeed miracles of felicitous facility. They can twine, and twine, and twine; on the street they seem to be ever longing to be on the stretch. They have a retiring propensity, for their general inclination is inwards-but like a bashful man turned bravo, they affect an air of indifference, and bend backwards or forwards, inwards or outwards. Oh, those miraculous knees!
Has the reader ever observed that the tailor's coat, we mean his dress coat-the coat that is, for the time, the pride of his heart-is always too well made? This may seem paradoxical, but, we think, there is truth in the remark. There is in the tailor's coat a jimminess, a mathematical precision of cut, an apparent over-anxiety about the fit, that imparts to it a detestable sort of accuracy. There is something offensive to good taste even in its perfection. It wholly wants the ease and grace of what we would call a well-made coat. But this is perhaps as much the fault of the man as the making-round shoulders would spoil the bestmade coat in the world.
The tailor is a lively, merry fellow, and not unfrequently a witty dog. He is much given to social meetings, and in these distinguishes himself by a great flow of animal spirits, an amusing versatility, and, we may add, volubility of tongue. He sings, spouts, speechifies, talks, and argues, with a spirit and vivacity wholly and peculiarly his own. He is, however, apt to get quarrelsome in his cups-the merry meetings of the profession very often ending in a general row, preceded by a stormy debate, which gives warning of the coming strife.
The tailor is much given to theatricals, and generally prefers heroic characters. There is, in truth, a dash of heroism and romance in his own composition, which quite belies the base insinuation that he is a near approach to a decimal fraction, the ninth part of a man. He is fond of the warlike, and delights in witnessing, or simulating in his own person, this particular development of the human constitution. The tailor, in short, seems always to have a hankering disposition to "follow to the field some warlike lord," although we are not sure that he is more guilty than his neighbours of actually perpetrating this folly.
Did the reader ever pay any particular attention to his shoemaker's accounts? We mean did he ever do so, considering them abstractly, and merely as specimens of caligraphy. If he did, he must have been struck, we think, with their extraordinary sameness as regards the hand-writing, or rather scrawling, and the perfect similarity in the particular of orthography, that marks every one of these interesting documents.
Let it be observed, however, that we do not speak of your flashy shoemaker-your fashionable boot and shoe warehouseman, whose windows and doors are radiant with plates and bars of polished brass. We do not speak of him, for all his business is done after a ship-shape fashion. His bills are as smart as copperplate and fine writing can make them. They are all right.
Our shoemaker is your respectable old tradesman, who was in business long before shoemakers dreamt of flashy establishments. His shop is a little dingy place, well filled though, and, in despite of its dinginess, exhibiting very marked signs of substantial wealth.
Our friend himself is a little, stout, thickset, elderly man, of— we must confess it—rather fierce aspect. Have a care of him, ye
dilatory payers; he is not a man to be trifled with, his round, full face, partaking much of the complexion of his own leather, to which it seems, in process of time, to have assimilated, having acquired a sort of light dry brown colour. A leathern apron, a scratch wig, brown also, and a pair of spectacles, raised high on his forehead, completes the picture of our shoemaker-our ancient, unpretending shoemaker.
But it is with his accounts, his yearly or half-yearly bills, as the case may be, that we have particularly to do on the present occasion. And we ask, did any man ever see the slightest difference, excepting perhaps in amount, between the account of one such shoemaker as we have described and another, during, if his experience goes so far back, the last half century; and, however different or distant the parties from whom they emanated might be, are they not all distinguished by precisely the same cramp hand, and all show a similar spirited independence of orthography, as the following ?—
To hailing and souling your Bots.
To sowling pare Shoos
&c. &c. &c.
£ s. d. 3 10
1 10 2 6
However ungainly or uncouth our worthy friend's bills may be in appearance, they are always sufficiently correct in the matter of calculation. In this, the main thing, the old boy makes few mistakes. His summations are correct to a farthing. Catch him erring there!
Wherefore should the baker be such a reckless, wild, and roving blade? Is it because he works in a hot-house? Or why should the butcher-the "bold butcher"-go bare-headed, and carry his meat in a wooden tray or trough on his shoulder? We once saw a collision between a "doctor's boy " and a butcher's boy: the one had a basket full of little phials, nicely labelled; the other a tray full of meat. After the shock, they both turned about and looked at each other, like a couple of grinning bull-dogs: but " meat beat "doctors' stuff" all to pieces, sundry bottles being smashed in the fray. On reviewing the field of battle, we picked up the neck of a phial, containing a cork, with a label attached, on which was written, " The mixture -two tea-spoonsful to be taken every four hours." Taking a hint from this, we will not present our readers with the whole of our "mixture" at once, but give it to them in moderate doses.
FLY-FISHING AT EISENHAMMER.
THE Rev. Mr. Gleig, in his Visit to Bohemia and Hungary, in 1937, enjoyed a day's fishing at Eisenhammer:-"A more unpropitious day for the angler can scarcely be imagined; for a cold east wind blew, and from time to time a thin, drizzling rain beat in our faces. Still we determined to make the attempt; and truly we had no cause to repent of our resolution. In the course of four hours, which we devoted to the sport, we caught upwards of ten pounds of trout; the number of fish killed being at the same time only eleven,-a clear proof that the Bohemian Iser deserves just as much praise as Sir Humphrey Davy, in his charming little book, has bestowed upon its namesake near Munich. But killing the trout constituted by no means the sole amusement which we that day enjoyed. An English fishing-rod and fishing tackle were objects quite as novel to the good folks of Eisenhammer as they had been to the citizens of Gabel; and the consequence was, that we had the entire population of the village and hamlets round in our train. When first I hooked a trout, there was a general rush to the river's side; the movement being produced, manifestly enough, by alarm lest the line should break; and, while the animal was floundering and springing about in twelve feet of water
at least, two or three young men could scarcely be restrained from jumping in. But when they saw the monster-and a very large bending the rod like a willow wand, gradually lose his strength, fellow he was,-after running away with some fathoms of line, and and sail reluctantly towards the shore, I really thought they would have gone crazy with delight. They jumped about, swore, and shouted like mad people, and made such a plunge into the shallows to bring him out, that we had well nigh lost him. The scene was altogether quite irresistible.
"There was no work performed that day in the iron foundry. Every soul belonging to it, from the superintendant down to the errand-boy, came forth to swell our train; and we walked up the Iser, attended as never Highland chief was, even in the good old times of heritable jurisdictions. Nor was this all. A religious procession-that is to say, a numerous body of peasants from some of the villages near, bound on a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James, in Starkenback,-happened to descend the hill just as quite as miraculous as could have been brought about by the saint I was playing a fish; and the effect produced upon them was himself. The sound of their psalmody ceased; the crucifix was lowered; and man and woman, boy and maiden, breaking loose from their ranks, flocked down to ascertain the cause of the phenomenon.'
PECULIARITIES IN NATIONAL FEELING. OTHELLO murders his wife; he gives orders for the murder of his lieutenant; he ends by murdering himself. Yet he never loses the esteem and affection of a Northern reader-his intrepid and ardent spirit redeeming everything. The unsuspecting confidence with which he listens to his adviser, the agony with which he shrinks from the thought of shame, the tempest of passions with which he commits his crimes, and the haughty fearlessness with which he avows them, give an extraordinary interest to his character. Iago, on the contrary, is the object of universal loathing. Many are inclined to suspect that Shakspeare had been reduced into an exaggeration unusual with him, and has drawn a monster which has no archetype in human nature. Now, we suspect that an Italian audience, in the fifteenth century, would have felt very and contempt. The folly with which he trusts to the friendly prodifferently. Othello would have inspired nothing but detestation fessions of a man whose promotion he had detracted-the credulity with which he takes unsupported assertions, and trivial circumstances for unanswerable proofs-the violence with which he silences the exculpation, till the exculpation can only aggravate his misery, would have excited the abhorrence and disgust of the spectators. The conduct of Iago they would assuredly have condemned; but they would have condemned it as we condemn that of his victim. Something of interest and respect would have mingled with their disapprobation. The readiness of his wit, the clearness of his judgment, the skill with which he penetrates the dispositions of others and conceals his own, would have ensured to him a certain portion of their esteem.-Edinburgh Review.
INDESTRUCTIBILITY OF MIND.
MAN, at the age of twenty, retains not a particle of the matter in which his mind was invested when he was born. Nevertheless, at the age of eighty years, he is conscious of being the same individual he was as far back as his memory can go-that is to say, to the period when he was four or five years old. Whatever it be, therefore, in which this consciousness of identity resides, it cannot consist of a material substance, since, if it had been material, it must have been repeatedly changed; and the source of identity must have been destroyed. It is, consequently, an ethereal spirit, and as it remains the same, throughout all the alterations that can take place in the body, it is not dependent on the body for its existence; and is thus calculated to survive the ever-changing frame by which it is encircled. That frame becomes stiff, cold, and motionless, when the circulation of the blood ceases; it is consigned to the earth, and is separated by insects into a thousand other forms of matter; but the mind undergoes no such transformation. It is unassailable by the worm. If matter, subject as it is to perpetual changes, do not, and cannot possibly, perish, how can the mind perish, which knows of no mutation? There is no machinery prepared, by which such an object could be accomplished; nor could machinery be prepared for such a purpose, without an entire subversion of the laws of nature. But as these laws have emanated from the wisdom of the Creator, they could not be altered, much less subverted, without involving an inconsistency, into which it is impossible for Divine wisdom to fall.-Dublin Review, No. I.
JOHN BULL ABROAD.
John Bull is certainly a strange specimen of humanity when contrasted with other nations. It is impossible for one moment to mistake him; he has an air and manner peculiar to himself; he enters the saloon of the hotel with a sturdy step and straightforward look, taking no notice of the salutation that foreigners usually make when a stranger enters. John says to himself, "I don't know the fellows, then why should they bow to me? or if they choose to do so, that is no reason why I should bow to them!" You can read his supreme contempt for foreigners and everything foreign on his brow. He has an unconquerable antipathy to taking off his hat, either in saluting in the street, or entering a public room. Hence, from a neglect of this easily adopted custom of the Continent, he gets the credit of being a mannerless cub. In England, a gentleman never thinks of taking off his hat, except it be to salute a lady; whereas all over the Continent, the custom prevails, from the highest to the lowest rank. How an English bar-maid would stare if my Lord This or That were to take off his hat, and make her a profound salutation in walking past her little realm! Yet so it is throughout the Continent; and the Englishman who, from ignorauce, or, most likely, from thinking it humbug, neglects this formality, is at once set down as entirely deficient in the breeding of a gentleman.-Dr. Cumming's Notes of a Wanderer.
THE REWARD OF TOIL.
What men most covet, wealth, distinction, power,
To rouse us up, as children in the schools
Is in the race we run, not in the prize;
And they the few, that have it ere they earn it,
These dangerous gifts placed in their idle hands,
INTERCHANGE OF KNOWLEDGE. There is, or ought to be, a commerce or interchange of counsel and knowledge as well as of other things; and where men have not these of their own growth, they should thankfully receive what may be imported from other quarters.- Wollaston's Religion of Nature.
AN IDLE MAN'S BOOK.
Montaigne's Essays have been called by a cardinal, "The Breviary of Idlers;" it is therefore the book for many men.
A PHILOSOPHER'S CONVERSATION.
A philosopher's ordinary language and admission in general conversations or writings ad populum, are his watch compared with his astronomical time-piece. He sets the former by the town-clock, not because he believes it right, but because his neighbours and his cook go by it.-Coleridge's
THE BORROWED PETTICOAT.
Mr. Laing, who was steward to General Sharp, of Houston, near Uphall, had a terrier dog, which gave many proofs of his sagacity. Upon one occasion, his wife lent a white petticoat to a neighbour, in which to attend a christening. The dog observed his mistress make the loan, and followed the woman home who borrowed the article; never quitted her, but accompanied her to the christening, leaped several times on her knee; nor did he lose sight of her till the piece of dress was at last restored to Mrs. Laing. During the time this person was at the christening, she was much afraid the dog would attempt to tear the petticoat off her, as she well knew the object of his attendance.-Anecdotes of Dogs.
During severe cold weather, swans assemble together, and form a sort of
It is the usual plea of poverty to blame misfortune, when the ill-finished cause of complaint is a work of their own forging. I will either make my fortunes good, or be content they are no worse. If they are not so good as I would they should have been, they are not so bad as I know they might have been. What though I am not so happy as I desire? 'tis well I am not so wretched as I deserve.-Warwick's Spare Minutes.
CHOICE OF A PURrsuit.
Every day, every hour of our existence raises some new topic which awakens a rational curiosity to discuss and master it; the difficulty lies in finding the ability to comprehend, illustrate, and embody it. He who pur sues unsubstantial ornament, like vapoury shadows will find himself mocked by perpetual delusions, till he sinks into languor, and at last into impotence. The struggle to outdo nature, or give a sickly substitute for it, which may seem more beautiful to a corrupt taste, ends not merely in disappointment, but in despair.-Sir E Brydges.
ETIQUETTE ON THE SCAFFOLD.
On the 9th of March, 1643, in pursuance of a sentence passed by Cromwell and the Commonwealth, the Royalist leaders, the Duke of Hamilton, the Earl of Holland, and the Lord Capel, were executed in front of Westminster Hall. They were brought to the block and beheaded one at a time, each of them addressing the people; and the Lord Capel being the last of the three, as soon as he ascended the scaffold, he looked very vigorously about, and asked whether the other lords had spoken to the people with their hats on? and being told that they were bare, he gave his hat to his servant, and then with a clear and strong voice he spoke.-Clarendon.
"Grey hairs," says the wise man, "are a crown of glory," if the owner of them is found in the way of righteousness."
"A hoary head, with sense combined,
The milk of the camel forms a prominent article of diet amongst the Arabs. They drink it either fresh or sour. They are fond of sour milk, and it seems that the milk of the camel turns sour sooner than that of most other animals. Butter and cheese are very seldom made of this milk. It is remarkable that some of the tribes refuse to sell milk to the towns-people, the epithet "milk-seller" being regarded as a term of great opprobrium. It is also observable, that the Arabs not only drink the camel's milk them selves, but give great quantities of it to their horses. Foals also are weaned from their dams in thirty days, and for the next hundred days are fed exclusively on camel's milk; and during the ensuing hundred, they receive a bucket of milk along with their barley.
TONGUE FOR TONGUE.
During the war between England and Spain, commissioners on both sides were appointed to treat of peace. The Spanish commissioners proposed that the negotiations should be carried on in the French tongue, observing sarcastically, that the gentlemen of England could not be ignorant of the language of their fellow-subjects, their queen being Queen of France as well as England. Nay, in faith, gentlemen," replied Dr. Dale, one of the English commissioners, "the French is too vulgar for a business of that importance; we will therefore, if you please, rather treat in Hebrew, the language of Jerusalem, of which your master calls himself king, and in which you must of course be as well skilled as we are in French."-Book of Table Talk.
A DEBT OF HONOUR.
A person, who had lent Mr. Fox a sum of money upon bond, under very pressing circumstances, having learned that Mr. Fox was in possession of cash, went and urged the payment of his debt. Mr. Fox told him he should be happy to do it, but that he was bound to pay some debts of honour. Upon this the creditor thrust his bond into the fire, and said, "Now, sir,
mine is a debt of honour!"
"By land or sea
Honour you'll find the universal plea:
Boileau, quoted by Bucke KOORDISH ESTIMATE OF THE VALUE OF LIFE. The mehmaunder told me a man of a certain tribe had the day before murdered his father. He will, of course, be put to death," I observed. "I do not think he will," said the mehmaunder; "he is himself heir, and there is no one to demand the blood." "Will not the prince of the country
take care that this parricide does not escape?"
commonwealth. When the frost threatens to usurp their domain, they replied, "cannot interfere in a case like this, unless appealed to; and after
congregate, and dash the water with all the extent of their wings, making a noise which is heard very far, and which, whether in the night or the day, is louder in proportion as it freezes more intensely. Their efforts are so effectual, that there are few instances of a flock of swans having quitted the water in the longest frosts; though a single swan, which has strayed. from the general body, has sometimes been arrested by the ice in the middle of the canals.-M. Grouvelle.
"The waly," he coolly all, if the affair be agitated, the murder will be compounded." Among Koords, who are always at war, the life of an active young man is much too valuable to be taken away on account of a dead old one.-Captain Mignan's
London: WILLIAM SMITH, 113, Fleet Street.
Edinburgh: FRASER & Co. Dublin: CURRY & Co.-Printed by Bradbury & Evans, Whitefriars.
PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM SMITH, 113, FLEET STREET.
THE BRITISH NAVY.
SATURDAY, MAY 4, 1839.
THE ARMAMENT OF A SEVENTY-FOUR GUN SHIP. "With roomy decks, and guns of mighty strength, Whose low-laid mouths each mounting billow laves, Deep in her draught, and warlike in her length, She seems a sea-wasp flying o'er the waves."-DRYDEN. BEFORE entering on a general description of the ship's armament, it will be proper to explain, once for all, the meaning of the popular terms used in gunnery, in order to enable the uninitiated reader to understand their application on this and other occasions, when the mention of them may occur in the course of these papers.
GUNS are the ordnance with which ships are armed; they are never called cannon or artillery, neither are the missiles projected therefrom called cannon-balls: such terms are not to be found in the seaman's vocabulary.
Guns vary very much in length, weight, and calibre, and somewhat in form, but in the latter respect they all approach to the shape of a cone, the largest and strongest part being the breech, near to which the gunpowder in exploding exerts the greatest force, and gradually tapering until the charge is ejected at the muzzle. It may be therefore laid down as a general rule, that a cone is the most perfect form for a piece of ordnance, and that raised rings, swell muzzles, or ornaments, add to the weight, and but little to the strength or utility of a gun; being only useful for affording facilities in lashing or securing it, and often adopted for no other purpose than to improve the symmetry of its appearance. All ships' cannon are therefore called indifferently guns, except CARRONADES *, another sort of ordnance, differing in many essential properties, being short pieces of large calibre, and comparatively light weight, calculated for the upper decks of ships, or the general armament of small vessels, which are not of sufficient stability to sustain heavy guns. The carronade was designed by the late Mr. Millar of Dalswinton, and introduced by his friend General Melville, about the year 1779. They take their name from the Carron iron-works in Stirlingshire, where they were originally cast, and where all the iron ordnance used by Government is now manufactured.
iron balls bound together, somewhat in the form of a bunch of grapes. Canister shot is a lot of still smaller iron balls inclosed in a tin case or canister, and the double-headed shot is a casting of two half spheroids connected by a strong iron bar, and used for firing at masts and rigging, for the purpose of dismantling an opponent. The size and weight of the materials composing each of these, we shall presently describe.
And first of the guns. The form of those in general use, as well as the carriages on which they are mounted, is pretty accurately represented by the small brass cannon exhibited in toy-shops. Before being turned out of the lathe, after boring, the piece is lined by the workmen into four equal divisions, and a notch cut at the breech and muzzle, to denote the quarterings; this is done to assist the marksman in taking aim. By casting the eye along the side notches, and bringing these to bear upon the object aimed at, the height or elevation is ascertained, but not the direction; for the piece being conical, such line is not parallel to the axis, but converging thereto; it therefore becomes necessary to take another view along the top of the gun *, and bring the notches to bear on the object for direction, so that in fact two operations are required to point the gun.
Now, to the artilleryman, who practises upon dry land, and whose platform is immovable, this is not very material; because, after he has once taken his elevation, he may dispense with any further trouble on that account as long as the object fired at is stationary, or not materially increasing or diminishing its distance; but to the sea gunner, whose platform, being the ship's deck, is constantly undulated by the motion of the waves, or inclined more or less according to the force of the wind, this double operation is When he has secured the elevation, perplexing in the extreme. and fixed his quoin (a species of wedge) under the breech of the gun, he finds that the ship's rapid motion, or an alteration of her line of progress, has made a considerable deviation in his line of direction; and when that is adjusted by training the piece, a look at the side notches will convince him that the elevation must be again amended: and thus considerable time is lost in the fruitless
endeavour to accomplish both matters, so that very often the gun is fired at random, and the shot thrown away.
It is remarkable that so obvious an impediment as this pre
The term SHOT is used indifferently for every species of missile, sented to gun-practice at sea, was never remedied until nearly the distinguished as round shot, grape shot, canister shot, double-close of last war, particularly as the means for doing so were headed shot, and chain shot, which latter has been discontinued in the British service for many years, but is still used by foreigners. Round shot is as nearly spherical as it can be produced by casting, as its name implies. Grape shot is composed of a number of
*When carronades were first cast, they were all of sixty-eight pounder calibre, and called smashers. One of the first ships armed with them was the Rainbow, and afterwards the Glatton, 50, Captain, now Admiral, Sir Henry Trollope, who, at his pressing request, was permitted to substitute Emashers for the eighteen-pounder long guns on the lower deck of those ships. he captured a French frigate, and in the Glatton beat off six French vessels he car superiority was established shortly afterwards, when in the first ship that had purposely come out of the Texel, anticipating the easy capture of the British ship. Carronades were adopted in the navy about the year 1792, after a tedious correspondence between the Boards of Admiralty and
palpably simple, and had been, in fact, promulgated by Robins in a paper entitled, "On pointing or directing of Cannon to strike distant Objects," published in his "Mathematic Tracts" in 1761. Indeed, so far back as 1731, the manner of obviating this impediment, produced by the conical form of a gun, is recommended in Gray's Treatise of Gunnery," in the following words :-"But when the object is so near that you can take aim (which always happens in firing point-blank, or in battering walls) you need only dispart your piece, by fixing notched sticks, or something of that kind, on its muzzle or trunnion rings, and of such lengths
*This view along the notches on the top of the gun is called the "The Line of Metal." When adopted it gives an elevation more or less according to the difference in diameter between the breech and the muzzle. T
Bradbury and Evans, Printers, Whitefriars.
(heights) as to equal the gun's thickness at the base ring." Again: "Some sort of rule might also be contrived for directing guns in sea engagements, such as viewing by sights raised, on ordnance, to a just height near the trunnion and muzzle rings. If a sea gunner would accustom himself to use them on all occasions, and had capacity enough to make reasonable allowances, he would find them of very great service in time of action." Notwithstanding all this, the generality of naval officers-we may say the whole, with the exception of the present Admiral Sir P. Vere Broke*, then captain of the Shannon frigate, and Sir John Pechell†, commanding the St. Domingo about the close of last war-were either ignorant, or entirely disregarded this essential point; which is the more remarkable, as many were educated in the Naval College at Portsmouth, an institution established expressly for the purpose of affording to cadets the instruction adapted for their profession, and where both the theory and practice of gunnery were taught.
The gun is fixed upon its carriage, or rather laid thereon, being suspended by two strong projecting pieces near the balance of its centre, denominated trunnions, and these are covered over with iron patches called cap-squares, secured by forelocks; the piece is thus at liberty to be oscillated with slight exertion, and to have its extremities raised or depressed at pleasure; this is performed at the breech by means of quoins or wedges sliding upon a bed of wood, which latter may be removed to lower the breech to the greatest extent, and elevate the muzzle as far as the port-hole will admit.
The carriage is formed of strong side-pieces of elm called brackets, which are bolted to oaken axle-trees, resting on wooden trucks, for the convenience of moving the whole back and fore. The gun is discharged by means of a lock screwed on to the side of a vent-patch near the touch-hole, and its recoil is limited by a stout piece of rope called a breechen, which is rove through a ring at the breech, the ends being secured to bolts on each side of the port-hole. The gun is moved (or run, as it is called,) in or out of the port by means of tackles, and more nicely adjusted by direction of the captain of the gun (the marksman) by handspikes: the process of loading, pointing, firing, spunging, &c., we shall describe under the head " Exercise."
Ships are rated according to their size and complement of men, but third-rates, such as we are describing, are denominated 70's, 72's, 74's, 76's, or 78's, (eighty-gun ships are second-rates,) according to the actual number of cannon mounted. The following is the regulation :
"The ships and vessels of her Majesty's fleet shall be established with such proportion, and nature of ordnance, as the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty may from time to time direct, in pursuance of such regulations as her Majesty may make in that behalf.
"Although her Majesty's ships and vessels are rated according to their complements, they shall be denominated as to their ordnance, according to the number of guns and carronades which they actually carry."-Naval Instructions, p. 2.
During the last war, it was the custom to distinguish ships, and to rate them in classes, as follows:-120's, 100's, 98's, 84's, 80's, 74's, 64's, 50's, 38's, 36's, 32's, and so on; and the ships always carried several (sometimes 15 or 20) more guns than were thus expressed; but such a practice afforded no clue to the real force of the ship. In foreign navies the plan is still continued, and some of the American rated 76's carry upwards of 100 guns. Since these papers were commenced, a new scale of armament has been promulgated by the Lords of the Admiralty, to be henceforth adopted in all her Majesty's ships. It is a very great improvement, assimilating as nearly as possible the calibre on all the decks, and giving to every vessel some guns capable of discharging shells horizontally. We shall hereafter refer particularly to this alteration, and the improvement it is calculated to effect; but for the present confine our description to the old armament, upon which the calculations we have already set forth, as to weights, &c., are founded.
Our vessel, as we have already stated in our Fifth Article, ("LONDON SATURDAY JOURNAL," No. XII.,) mounts exactly 74
The officer who captured the American frigate, Chesapeake, in such gallant style; an exploit to be attributed to the care with which he had trained his crew to the practice of gunnery. A single broadside threw the enemy into confusion, killed or wounded the principal officers, drove the men from their quarters, and enabled him to carry her, by boarding, in fifteen minutes.
+ This officer published a small tract in 1814, giving ample directions on this and some other important points of practical sea gunnery.
guns, and is therefore denominated a seventy-four gun ship. The principal battery is on the lower deck, and, as the whole twentyeight pieces of ordnance there arranged are precisely alike, a description of one will suffice.
The length of these pieces is nine feet and a half, their weight between fifty-five and fifty-six cwt.; they cannot be cast of exactly the same weight, and therefore, roundly speaking, they are estimated at the latter sum. The carriage weighs eight cwt. one qr. six lbs.; the rope, blocks, and other matters connected with it, weigh above one cwt. more, so that altogether the mounted gun may be taken at sixty-five cwt. The distance charge used for the longest range, with a single shot, is one-third the weight of the latter, or ten lbs. eleven oz. of coarse-grained powder, and this is inclosed in a flannel bag, called a cartridge *, tied at the end, and also in the middle, to preserve its oblong shape. For decreased distance and close quarters the charge is diminished to six lbs., and when double shotting with two round shot, or a round and grape shot (a favourite charge), to four lbs. This gun is capable of projecting two shot through the sides of a ship of equal force when within point blank distance. The various duties of the thirteen men and a boy, which compose the crew of this gun, we shall describe under "Exercise."
The length to which a long thirty-two pounder recoils upon a level platform has been ascertained to be eight feet, but as this is inconvenient, and moreover unnecessary, because no more recoil is required than just sufficient to bring the muzzle within the porthole, for the greater facility of loading, it is limited to the extent of between three and four feet by the breechen, a stout rope, eight inches in circumference, the strain upon which is very considerable when the gun gets warm, for it then recoils with greater violence †, and the force is increased when the platform becomes inclined by the heel of the ship, when fired from the weather side. The range of the thirty-two pounder, with a full charge, and point blank, single shotted, is about three hundred and fifty yards. By elevating the gun to the greatest extent that the port-hole will admit (about eleven degrees), it is increased to two thousand five hundred yards‡, and at one thousand yards very good practice, as it is called, may be made; that is, the shot directed by a skil ful marksman within the rim of a target, eight or ten feet square, with one degree or a little more of elevation.
The grape (never used but at close quarters, for they will not penetrate the sides of stout ships,) are formed of nine cast balls of three lbs., covered with painted canvas, and tied round a spike having an iron bottom of the calibre of the piece; the weight is thirty-four lbs. one oz.; the lashing is torn away by the explosion of the powder, and they spread as they leave the gun, proving highly destructive in cutting the masts, sails, and rigging, penetrating the sides of small vessels, or against boats.
Canister shot, for thirty-two pounders, consist of seventy iron balls of eight oz. inclosed in a tin case, and they are used against men or boats unsheltered, or against troops; and for this purpose bags of musket-balls, six hundred in a bag, are also used, which being fired from a broadside of guns, produce a shower of destruction fatal to all within its reach. The double-headed shot will range with tolerable accuracy up to six hundred or seven hundred yards, but not to penetrate a ship's side, and they are generally directed at the masts and rigging. So much for the lower battery: the next, upon the main deck, is composed of thirty long eighteenpounders, and these guns, although not much inferior in their range, are greatly so in their effect, on account of the reduced weight of the missile, it being a law in projectiles that, with proportionate charges, and the same elevation and windage the resistance of the air to bodies passing through it, is as the squares of their diameters, but the weight of the bodies, or power to overcome such resistance, increases with their density, being as the cubes of their diameters. Heavy missiles (their form being alike)
* Formerly strong paper cartridges were used with flannel Bottoms; the adoption of entire flannel is a great improvement, not being so liable to tear and to spill the powder, or to leave ignited fragments in the gun when discharged.
No satisfactory reason has ever been shown why a cannon or any other piece of ordnance should recoil with greater violence, and consequently project the shot with greater force, when it becomes heated. Some have attri buted this to the warmth of the metal acting upon the powder, and making it stronger; but guns are discharged so rapidly that such effect must be very small, and insufficient to produce the effect.
In situations where the gun can be elevated up to forty-five degrees, a much longer range might be obtained, probably little short of three miles, there are many cases on record where shot have been projected to that distance; but their force is then spent.