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them, having much decreased, which is to be ; this dust entering the mouth was attributed in a great measure, if not en- one principal cause of the diseases to tirely, to this alteration. The different which the workmen were liable. By mode of drying the lead adopted is (if I means of your miscellany, I wish to give understand the matter right) that instead publicity to the above circumstance; and of laying it on chalk it is now poured into should any of your readers be able and earthen-ware pans, and left to dry in willing to give me any further particulars them. The lead does not undergo nearly respecting this manufacture, which may so much handling as before, and the fine be conducive to the health of those em. particles of it, which used to float in great ployed in it, they will much oblige abundance about the room, are not per
A CONSTANT READBR. ceived in such dense clouds as they used
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FOR SEPTEMBER, 1809.
FROM THE LITERARY PANORAMA.
Scloppetaria ; or Considerations on the Nature and Use of Rifle Barrel Guns; with
Reference to their forming the Basis of a permanent System of national Defence, agreeable to the Genius of the Country. By a Corporal of Riflemen. 8vo. pp. 251. Price 98. London, 1808.
WE understand that this book is proportion, with regular troops arm. written by Henry Beaufoy, Esq. son ed with our English muskets; and, of Mark Beaufoy, Esq. of Hackney above all, our English bayonet; a weaWick, F. Ř. S. and colonel of the 1st pon irresistible, when urged home royal regiment of Tower Hamlets' by the muscular arm of our gallant militia. The earl of Moira has been countrymen-witness Maida ;-witproperly selected as the patron of ness Vimeira ;-witness Corunna !this work, both as an eminent mili. Mr. Beaufoy says, it is not intended tary character, and as being consta- to urge the indiscriminate use of rifle. ble of the tower of London, and lord barrelled guns, “but to render troops lieutenant of that portion of the coun- armed with them, as a distinct and ty of Middlesex which comprehends cooperative force, more general and the Tower Hamlets.
important; where the musket ends The perusal of this volume has or begins, the rifle commencing or given us great pleasure. Its contents leaving off. For the fact is, that in are truly interesting. They are the any other view they become a nullity. result of science combined with prac. The moment a rifleman suffers himtice; and bear honourable testimony self to be closed, his weapon becomes to the ingenuity and perseverance of of less use than the common musket; Mr. Beaufoy ; to the judicious selec- since the delay in loading would now tion of experiments, and to the acute- be injurious, and the exactness unneness with which conclusions have cessary.” Again, in another place, he been drawn, and corollaries deduced. observes : T'he author by no means runs riot theless, it is not necessary, with the ordi
“ To conceive their excellence, neverwith his subject. He does not ascribe to the rifle barrelled gun, properties attribute to them more than their own
nary spirit of enthusiastick theorists, to which it does not possess; nor does certain qualities; to render the extensive he wish to substitute it for all other of- use of rifle corps, here recommended, fensive weapons. He certainly wishes effectual, it must be unfailingly kept in to make expert riflemen of all our
view, that they are to be regarded as a volunteers ; but then he would not
species of troops entirely distinct from
every other, though acting with, and per. rely upon riflemen cnly in a pitched haps mutually dependent on all of them. battle. He would mix them, in due He who shall expect from them the ordi.
nary duties of the battalion, or artillery, We shall give another quotation or even of light infantry, will be disap- from the introduction, on the compapointed, though in proper situations they rison between the musket and the will effect more than either. In close
rifle barrelled gun. combat, or where the bayonet is alone to be employed, they are useless; for the A musket will fire five shots to one meanest musket in numbers will be suf- from a rifle, as generally used. In an acficient. In storming parties, they will be tion of an hour, the musket then will also inefficient; since, as observed by the have fired perhaps 100 shots (the num. intelligent author already mentioned, in bers are indifferent, as they will always the agitation necessarily occasioned by be relative) and the rifle 20. Supposing the violence of such moments, they will 1 in 200 shots of the musket to tell be unequal to that cool and steady fire, (which many will not allow by half) it on which their whole purpose depends; must fire incessantly for more than two a circumstance, perhaps, proved by their hours before it can be certain of taking similar employment at Buenos Ayres and effect, and this too, reckoning the freMontevideo. For similar reasons the quent opportunity of firing at a whole line, confounding them with mere light infan- where deviation to the right or left would try, or attributing to them a character of be immaterial. Allowing to the rifle, with still greater celerity, as when they have less indulgence, a certainty of effect in been made to run by the side of the ca- but one shot of twenty, which none at all valry !* the real advantages of a rifle conversant with rifle shooting will admit corps will not be obtained. But nourish. to be sufficient, firing 20 shots in an ed and animated by an esprit du corps, hour, gives even then a balance in its faonly to be inspired by preserving them in vour of more than two to one in the their proper situation, they will never fail number of killed, wounded, or disabled, to furnish all that shall be required of against the objection of time lost in load. them. Let them then no longer receive ing: Thus, then, taking five to one against the censure of the battalions. Each man a rifle in the first instance, because we thus employed will feel, as the historian give to the musket five times the number says of Fabius-Non ignorabat se timidum, of shots, and adding the two to one in pro cauto; imbellem, pro perito belli, ha- its favour from the number of killed and beri: at maluit ut se hostis metuerit, quam wounded, on striking the balance, it will stulti cives laudarent. Let them no longer be found to leave to the rifle a decided be supposed as giving to war new hor- advantage of seven to one. In this comTours; but rather as tending to shorten its putation, the average distance at which calamities, and to determine the conflicts the rifle is to be fired is from 250 to 400 of nations, by an efficiency in arms wor. yards. thy of the highly civilized state of Eu. “The most superficial observer will na. rope, and of the world. Above all, let us turally see, at the same time, the compararemember, that whatever shall promise tive saving in ammunition, and be enato enable us to maintain the independence bled to form an idea of its importance, of our own country-to preserve sacred by calculating the value of a load used those accumulated rights which have for a rifle and a musket, as charged by been created by the wisdom, or purcha- government; by conceiving the value of sed by the blood of our ancestors, ought a cartridge on its arrival in the East or to be well considered, and if proved West Indies ; the different proportion of worthy of adoption, to be adopted with ammunition wagons; and the inconveni. vigour. Let us never forget, that we live ence to an army of a numerous train of not alone for ourselves, but that we hold carriages ; and be thus enabled to perceive also the rights of posterity, which are not how far the advantages arising out of these to be committed by our act.”
circumstances, will set off against the dif. This is the language of a genuine ference of expense between the weapons. patriot. Here the principles which
An officer of undoubted veracity assured have ever distinguished the Literary under his command in Egypt, fired away
the writer, that a party of light infantry Panorama identify with those of our
60,000 rounds in driving in that of an spirited young author.
enemy, of which he really believed, that
not above four or five were killed or wound. * This was the duty of the 95th rifle ed on the part of the enemy. regiment, at the camp formed in the “Of the utility of corps armed with risummer of, I think, 1806, on Shorncliffe fied barrelled guns, or of riflemen, as heights.
they are generally, though not very defi.
nitively called, the proofs are innumera- engaging the columns of the enemy, ble. As a light, erratick force concealing
as the brave patriots have done, they itself with facility, and forming an am
had carried on war upon the other buscade at will, its effects are incalculable.
principle, does it not seem probable “By combining the solid column, or the that the armies of Cuesta, Castanos, extended line, as now practised by the Blake and Romana, might yet have best tacticians, with considerable bodies remained nearly entire ; and that the of light troops, a mutual confidence is in- invading hordes, daily and hourly atspired; the former, aware that all the tacked in a hostile country, by invisiharassing duties of the petite guerre will be performed by the latter, and these in ble and destructive opponents, must turn knowing that they have troops ready have been reduced to insignificance? formed en masse, behind which they may We are bold to say, that if the Sparetire when closely pressed. The origin niards even yet adopt this mode of of this idea is of no trifling date, being to fighting, suited in a peculiar manner be found in the relations of the Sociï, the
to the Fabian system (for Buonaparte Velites, Sagittarii, and Funditores of the Romans, to the main body of their army,
is to Spain what Hannibal was to formed on a principle similar to that which Italy) they will finally triumph will ultimately be mentioned in this in. over their enemies. Burgoyne's artroduction; while its modern practice will my had never capitulated at Saratoga be recognised in the Hussars and Pan. if the Americans had been without dours of the Prussians and Austrians; the
riflemen. Croats of the Russians; the Albanians of the Turks, and the Arnauts serving with In the introduction to Scloppetaria, the Russians and British in Italy. Ever we have a very curious historical acskulking and roaming about the country, count of missile weapons in England. they compel the enemy to be constantly. The glories of this island, while its on the watch and alert, in apprehension of an attack. With such troops, the enemy
might stood upon archers,” are duly cannot despatch a detachment or reen- characterized ; and the acts of parlia. forcement, or effect any movement of con- ment, passed from time to time, to sequence, scarcely transmit a return, or
encourage archery, are pointed out. even send a messenger, without informa
We observe one small oversight in tion being conveyed by various means to the army employing them. They are dis
this detail, p. 12, where Fortescue's persed in every direction; their effects learned work “ De Laudibus Legum are felt at distant points at the same mo- Angliæ,"is represented as having been ment; and they tend to affect the mind of written after the 33d of Henry the an enemy by constantly presenting to him VIII. . Fortescue was made unexpected obstacles, a circumstance
chief justice of the king's bench in which will never be omitted in the consideration of a general.”
1442 Though he was certainly apThe passages already quoted may pointed chancellor to Henry VI. dusuffice to take off all objection to ring that prince's exile in Scotland, Scloppetaria, on the score of substi. it is not known that he ever exercised tuting the rifle for the musket. It is the functions of that high office in much to be wished, however, that
England. What led our author into our volunteers, at least, were to a
this anacronism, in all probability, man masters of the rifle.
was this circumstance, that FortesIn the event of an invasion with an cue's work was not published till overwhelming French army, we sup- the reign of Henry VIII. He died pose that our generals would decline
in 1465. rather than seek an opportunity of The theory of the rifle barrelled fighting a pitched battle. All authors gun is very happily explained by anaof talent who have written on this logical reasoning; for the application subject, have recommended the ha. of which, Quintilian is cited in a note rassing system of warfare, the petite analogiæ hoc vis est, ut id quod guerre. To this the rifle is peculiarly dubium est, ad aliquid simile de quo adapted; and if in Spain, instead of non quæritur, referat; ut incerta certis probet."-The angle of aberration composition from getting damp, by imbiin the case of bullets discharged from bing the moisture of the atmosphere ; for an ordinary musket is ever consider- it is not sufficient that the vessel in which
it is kept, be in a covered situation ; as a able; but the deflection from the ori.
room or cupboard for example, but it ginal line of flight, is an inconveni- should be kept so closely stopped down ence which arrows shot from a bow as to preclude the entrance of the air. If were not found so liable. The rea- a certain quantity be first of all well dried, son has been proved to be, that the and the weight then nicely ascertained, feather on the arrow gives a spinning uncovered plate, on being reweighed it
if it be left for a few hours exposed in an motion to the shaft as it flies through will be found to have increased considerthe air, and causes it to revolve round ably in weight. The reason assigned is, its longitudinal axis. Turning quick- the quantity of moisture it has attracted ly round, as much as the arrow de- from the atmosphere ; for if it be again viates to one side in its flight, the dried, the weight will be found reduced to
its former standard. aberration is corrected by the almost
“Some have thought that a certain deinstantaneous pressure of the air on the other; and thus its vertiginous disengage, on combustion, a greater quan
of moisture enabled the powder to motion leads it directly from the bow tity of gas than when dry; but this does to the mark. This theory is most in- not appear to be the fact. For surely, the geniously pursued, and, in our judg- more suddenly and rapidly the ignition
takes place, the more suddenly will the ment, demonstrated, by various experiments made on bodies passing entirely propelled by the suddenness of the
vapour be produced ; and as the ball is through resisting media ; and it most generation of the vapour, it should follow, satisfactorily appears, that the preci- that every particle of moisture contained sion with which a leaden ball shot in the grains must retard the ignition, from a rifle barrelled gun hits the
and consequently the effect of the powder. object at which it is discharged, arises
“The effects of the atmosphere on pow. from the indentations which it re
der are well known to all practitioners and ceives in passing along the grooves for rifle shots to increase their charges in
sportsmen, and therefore it is very usual spirally worked within the barrel. damp weather, and at all events never to This theory is discussed in the three leave their loading horn on the damp first chapters; to which, and to the ground. Hence, then, the side pocket plates accompanying them, we refer used by riflemen for receiving the powder our readers. This book is illustrated horn has a greater advantage than mere
convenience, inasmuch as it, from its by nive plates, exclusive of the fron. situation, enables the powder to derive tic-piece, and several engravings of considerable warmth from the body, and periorated targets, showing the com- thus keeps it drier. This is confirmed by parative effects of different pieces the greater effect produced by powder, fired at various distances. These are previously made quite hot, and then executed in a style of peculiar and lighted, than if ignited at the usual tem
perature. Again, we all know, that after expressive neatness; and the entire
a few rounds from a cannon, as the metal work is well worth the notice of eve- gets hotter, the cartridges used are filled ry man in the kingdom, capable of with smaller quantities of powder, not bearing arms. There is hardly a
only to avoid unnecessary recoil, but also single point, however minute, rela
a needless waste of powder, as the small
er quantities of it are found to produce tive to the rifle gun, which is not dis
the same effect when the gun is heated, cussed. On the subject of gunpow- as the larger, when the cannon was first der we shall give a passage, because fired and cold. It seems, then, not an it shows a safe and easy mode of dry- unfair conclusion, that the heat of the ing it, which, more generally known, der in the cartridge so much, as to put it,
metal raising the temperature of the powmay prevent dangerous accidents.
as it were, in a partial state of ignition, “ In preserving powder, the principal before the match is applied, the developdifficulty is to keep the saltpetre in its ment of gas is more instantaneous, and