網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

'B'

was of a tawny hue; whereas all the natives whom and Marmon, feeling doubtful of their ultimate fate, they had yet seen were black. This caused them to effected their escape from the camp, as previously surmise that he might possibly be of European origin; stated; and the vessels sailing shortly after, nothing and as he stood before them, evidently labouring more was heard of them. under strong excitement, and apparently striving to What became of Pye and Marmon has never been speak, yet uttering no sound, one of them offered him satisfactorily ascertained. Buckley himself always bread, at the same time pronouncing its name. The evinced great dislike to being questioned about them, poor fellow mechanically seized the proffered food, and seemed to regard the inquirer with much susand endeavoured to repeat the word. After reiterated picion. It appears that the course taken by the efforts, and as many failures, a sudden thought seemed fugitives was around the head of the bay; and Mr to strike him. His eyes brightened, he cast away Wedge, in his report to the Geographical Society of his spear, and stretching out his arm, with eager Tasmania, dated: 1835, says that Buckley assured gestures, invited their attention to something marked him, that in their flight, Pye became exhausted, and thereon. On examination, this proved to be two was left behind at the Yarra River; and that Marmon letters, W. B.,' rudely pricked out and stained, quitted him at Indented Head, with the avowed sailor-fashion. These they sought to decipher. "W,' intention of returning to the camp. But there are said they for William. He smiled and nodded. many different versions of this affair. Sometimes for Burges. He shook his head. Brown, Bruce, Ball Buckley averred that they were killed by snakes, -every name commencing with the second letter of and at others that they had lost themselves in the the alphabet that they could think of, was tried, with bush, and were never seen by him after. But the the like result; till at length, as by a mighty effort, Australian wilds furnish no indigenous fruits capable their strange visitor burst into speech, and exclaimed, of affording sustenance to man; and it is generally with a genuine English accent: 'W. for William, believed that hunger, and the difficulty of procuring B. for Buckley.'

food, induced a repast at which humanity shudders. Then they knew that it was one of their own Be this as it may, no vestige of their remains has countrymen who stood in that wretched guise before ever been discovered. them.

After parting from his companions, Buckley appears On Batman's return to Port Phillip, he was to have remained alone some time. One day, howinformed of this discovery, and being a man of kindly ever, disgusted alike with his solitary life, and the disposition and feeling heart, he at once assumed the precariousness of his means of subsistence, he wanprotection of the white savage. His first care was to dered on the beach, anxiously endeavouring to descry shave and clean his protégé-a process which appears some vessel, which happily might rescue him from to have considerably lessened the duskiness of the his vast prison. His shoes had long since abandoned latter's complexion. The kangaroo skins were dis- his feet, which now therefore left their imprint on the pensed with, and a more civilised costume substi- soft sand. As he strolled listlessly along, he picked tuted;

but it was long ere he could walk in shoes up a fragment of a spear, and with this he waded without much discomfort. His first shirt-sewn by amongst the rocks in search of shell-fish, now his Miss Batman-was of Brobdignagian proportions, principal food. Whilst thus engaged, he was observed consisting of an incredible quantity of linen; and by three native women, who, creeping stealthily down when he was set on horseback to accompany his to the beach, imagined that they beheld in him their protector, it was discovered that the stores of the lost chief Murragark, whom Buckley appears to settlers could not furnish stirrups sufficiently large to have resembled in size and stature. The illusion was accommodate his huge feet.

increased by the circumstance of his carrying the By slow degrees, the reclaimed man recovered the broken spear of the deceased warrior; and the colour use of his native language, and was enabled to com- of his skin excited but little surprise, being readily municate his history and adventures. It must not ascribed to the potent influence of the grave.* be supposed, however, that his reminiscences assumed The Delilahs of the forest having, in a manner, the form of a connected narrative; on the contrary, captured this ungainly Samson, brought him, nothing they were extracted from him, not without difficulty, loath, to the men of their tribe, who, in fact, had at various times. To the last, he was sullen and seen his footprints on the sand, and were already in reserved, usually answering in monosyllables; and search of him. He was immediately surrounded by not unfrequently he manifested great anger on being a mob of yelling savages, and doubtlessly imagined questioned of his past life. He is also said to have that he was destined to be carved into collops for the varied considerably in his account of some particu- gratification of his epicurean captors; but again lars; but his habitual taciturnity, and imperfect his resemblance to the great chief befriended him. command of language, probably caused him to be They examined his feet and hands—they eagerly misunderstood by the retailers of his conversation. scrutinised the spear, of which he had fortunately

His history, divested of the romance wherewith it retained possession; and when they discovered on has sometimes been clothed, is as follows:

his side a scar, similar in appearance to one which William Buckley- for such was indeed his name had marked the body of Murragark, they deemed the was born at Macclesfield, in Cheshire, in 1780. In evidence of his identity complete. Buckley, meanearly life, he followed the occupation of a stone-mason; time, mistook their very animated gestures for so but his great height—which is stated at six feet six many tokens of their pleasure at his fleshly condition. inches-and stalwart proportions attracting the notice A long conversation ensued, during which the name of a recruiting sergeant, he was easily induced to of Murragark was incessantly repeated. It ended, exchange the trowel for the musket, and accordingly very much to his satisfaction, in their feeding, instead enlisted in the 4th regiment. He had served but a of eating him; and he was given to understand, by short time in his new capacity, when he robbed one signs, that thenceforth he was never to quit his of his comrades ; for which offence—such was then savage entertainers. the severity of our laws—he was sentenced to trans- Accordingly, although treated with great respecto portation for life. This occurred in 1803, in the twenty-third year of his age; and it thus happened * The superstition here alluded to is very prevalent amongst that he became an unwilling member of Colonel tho Australian aborigines, who imagine that the whole of the Collins's abortive expedition to Port Phillip. When white population are their deceased brethren. For a supposed the order for removal to Tasmania was issued, unpleasant, and not a little dangerous, to be mistaken for å he was scrupulously watched by day and night. He were for killing him ; but the elders of the tribe was never suffered to fatigue himself with the exer- always interfered to save his life. He appears to tions of the chase, nor to perform that infinitesimal have taken matters very coolly; and if he possessed, amount of labour to which the natives of Australia he certainly never attempted to exert the magic of unwillingly submit. His gunyah was reared for him, civilised intellect, nor sought, by the communication and his larder stocked with unwonted extravagance, of useful arts, to improve the condition of his savage by his savage friends. The daintiest morsels of the associates : on the contrary, contented apparently kangaroo, and the most juicy of opossums, the with the gratification of his animal appetites, he sweetest portions of the wombat, the whitest grubs willingly sunk to the dead and dreary level of Austraof the mimosa, and the largest of gum-balls, were lian barbarism. Like his untutored friends, he fed on his. His also the largest eggs and the finest fish- raw or semi-roasted flesh, clothed himself in the skins the richest berries and the most deficate roots. The of beasts, and acquiring the native dialect, ceased rarest pigments were devoted to his use, and the even to think in his mother-tongue, until, as we have warmest skins were added to his wardrobe.

restored friend, they testify great affection; but it is very Buckley, and two others, named respectively Pye departed enemy.

seen, he had totally forgotten its use. Once or twice, Thus, from a state of abject misery and utter he said, he saw ships enter the bay; but he does not loneliness, Buckley was suddenly elevated to a species appear to have made the slightest effort to attract the of savage royalty, and held in reverential awe as attention of their inmates, nor in any way to extri. the restored Murragark. For some time, the only cate himself from the degrading position into which perceptible fluctuation of public opinion was the he had fallen, until Batman firmly planted his foot occasional outburst of cannibal propensities, when upon the soil. his wild subjects seemed to survey his colossal form Such was the poor lost creature whom, after thirtywith much peculiar admiration.

two years of savage life, the early colonists of Port Buckley's domestic comfort was also duly con- Phillip restored to civilised society'; and, it is proper sidered, and a dusky, but buxom young widow was to add, that his own delight, when he was enabled to assigned to him, by the general consent of the tribe, comprehend the change, was unbounded. "Nothing,' as his lubra, or spouse. For a time the pair enjoyed says Mr Wedge, could exceed the joy he evinced at the utmost felicity of which two such strange turtle- once more feeling himself a free man, received again doves were capable. But this lasted not long; for, within the pale of civilised society.' according to Buckley, the honeymoon was scarcely However he may have been deficient in other over, when his hut was one night invaded by sundry qualities, ingratitude was clearly not one of Buckley's native gentlemen, who, claiming a prior right, forcibly faults. Both Batman and Wedge concur in stating carried off the bride. Much violence does not appear that he exerted himself greatly in maintaining amito have been offered, nor were the husband's feelings cable relations between the natives and the colonists. greatly lacerated by this stroke of fortune. He To the former gentleman--his constant friend and acknowledged, indeed, that his lubra went very will. patron-he was much attached; and when informed ingly, and that he did not make a fuss about the of his death, it is recorded that'he threw himself on loss.' But the natives seem to have taken a widely the bed and wept bitterly.' different view of the affair; for, irritated probably at Buckley's subsequent career is soon told. A free this practical disparagement of their own judgment, pardon was, at his own urgent desire, procured for at the lady's faithlessness, and the injury inflicted on him from Colonel Arthur, the governor of Tasmania; their white friend, they speared both the frail one and he was appointed native interpreter, with a and her lovers.

salary of L.50 per annum. In this capacity, his But if Buckley's first companion was insensible to services were in great request; and when Sir Richard his charms, there were other hearts more tender and Bourke came down from Sydney to survey the new more true. A gentle damsel, of the same tribe, of colony, Buckley was selected to accompany him her own accord visited his solitary home, and sought in his tour through the country. But his position to soothe and please the forsaken stranger. Nor were soon became uncomfortable. Serious disputes broke her efforts unsuccessful. Buckley, at various periods, out between the settlers and the native population. had many wives, but he always expressed himself The latter committed many robberies, and at length in more favourable terms of his second partner than speared two of their white neighbours, whose graves, of any other. On the sea-shore, near Point Lonsdale, on the Flagstaff Hill, near Melbourne, are still reliis a natural cavern, in the limestone rock, which is giously preserved. We have no record of offences on said to have been the abode of the wild white man the other side, but doubtlessly the whites were not and his mate during this portion of his eventful blameless. Buckley, who could not forget the kindness career.

of his old friends, refused to interpose between the It has been doubted whether Buckley had any contending parties, declaring that the hostility of the children. By those who knew and conversed with blacks was solely attributable to the misconduct of him, this point is diversely stated; some declaring the colonists. Fearing, therefore, that he might positively that he was childless, but others, and the relapse into barbarism, Batman resolved to send majority of evidence is on this side, speak of sons and him out of Port Phillip; and accordingly, in 1836, daughters. When reclaimed, in 1835, he had with he was induced to embark for Hobart-town, where him two lubras, and a boy and girl ; but he always he resided during the remainder of his life. His spoke of these as adopted children.

figure and strength obtained for him the post of Many other particulars were at sundry times constable, which he held many years. Subsequently, extracted from him, and have been worked up, by he was employed as assistant-storekeeper at the Mr Morgan of Hobart-town, into a long and interest- Immigrant's Home, and, later still, as gate-keeper ing narrative. In it are numerous details of native of the Female Nursery. feasts and fights, of huntings and corrobborees; but, In his sixtieth year, Buckley, again venturing on as might be expected, there is a great paucity of matrimony, contracted a union with the widow of actual events. Occasionally, he seems to have lost an immigrant. In 1850, the Tasmanian government a portion of the influence he ordinarily exerted bestowed on him the insignificant pension of L.12 per over his black friends. Whether their faith in his annum; and in the following year, Victoria having involuntary personation of Murragark sometimes been separated from New South Wales, and erected became weak, or was overpowered by hunger, we into an independent colony, its legislature voted an know not ; but he averred that for some years he additional annuity of L.40. constantly expected death. The young men, he said, Endowed by nature with an iron constitution,

cases

&

which his wild life no doubt materially assisted to rapidity than Colt's. The American pistol requires strengthen, Buckley enjoyed vigorous health almost to be cocked by the thumb, like any ordinary fire. to his latest hour. His death was occasioned by arm; when cocked, the line of aim is clear, and accident. In January 1856, he was thrown from discharge may be effected by as light a touch at the a vehicle, and received such severe injuries in the trigger as the shooter may desire. The English fall, that' in a few days he breathed his last sigh, revolver requiredwe speak of the past-no special at the advanced age of seventy-six.

cocking, the trigger-pull acting that part. Necessarily, a trigger-pull performing this function must

be somewhat dead and heavy; so that at very LONG BALL-PRACTICE.

close quarters the English pistol undoubtedly posTen years ago, large guns and small were the sessed advantages over its American competitor, yet simplest things imaginable. A tubular orifice driven Colt's revolver was better adapted to the taking of not quite through the length of a metallic bar; a steady aim. An officer, whose name at this instant very much smaller tube bored at right angles to we forget, was surrounded at the battle of Inkermann the aforesaid, near to its closed extremity, thus by six Russians ; possessing one of the self-cocking serving as a touch-hole-and, behold, a gun! The English revolvers, he shot four, and testified to the axial bore might be a little tube, it might be a manufacturers that had there been a necessity for big tube, without disturbing our ideas in the least cocking the pistol by thumb in the ordinary way, his degree as to what should constitute a gun. Except life would have been taken. Still the dead triggerin reference to that particular sort of gun known pull incidental to cocking was in some as 'the rifle,' the philosophy of firearms, as they disadvantage. It has been obviated. The British were in England some twenty years ago, is soon revolver may now be caused to discharge itself by exliausted. Since that period, extraordinary develop- mere trigger-pull as formerly, or it may be cocked by ments have arisen in the construction of firearms, thumb and exploded like any ordinary firearm. all of them very beautiful, and some of them very The revolver principle has succeeded well in the curious. A few special cases have been touched construction of pistols, as we have seen. Has it upon by us in these columns already. For example, answered in respect of cavalry carbines and infantry on the occasion of the Russian war, we presented muskets ? No, it has not; and we think there is but our readers with rudimentary knowledge of a de- little chance of its thus succeeding. By this we partment of conchology not much studied even in would wish to be understood as expressing our belief these days of sea-side ramblings and marine aquaria. that although tolerable weapons of the carbine and Martial conchology we would be understood to signify, musket classes admit of being made by adoption of explanatory of the difference between common and the revolver principle, still much better weapons of shrapnel shells, together with several other matters the same classes admit of construction by adopting of the sort. We also said our say anent that very other types. This for several reasons. Firstly, inascurious specimen of no-tailed war-rocket devised by much as a cavalry carbine has to be shouldered and Mr Hale. Colt's pistols and Minié bullets have also discharged with one hand, it should be light; and passed under our review; so now, keeping well au seeing that inasmuch as one barrel must be necescourant in the projectile art, we purpose acting as sarily lighter than five or six, though they be only master of the ceremonies to certain other candidates rudimentary barrels, as we find them in revolver for public approbation in the man-killing, wall-split- pistols, therefore, ceteris paribus, a one-barrelled ting, gunpowder-consuming line.

carbine must be best. But a functional objection Banishing for a moment all names and designa- exists to the adoption of the revolver principle by tions, let us look at the requirements of the projectile any kind of firearm larger than a pistol; and we beg art of war; and, firstly, of small-arms. The simplest the reader's attention to it, inasmuch as the remark classification of these is into pistols, cavalry carbines, applies with still greater force to artillery. By and muskets; by which latter term we will under- increasing the calibre of a gun, the strength of its parts stand all infantry firearms, whether rifled or non- relative to gunpowder, decreuses in a rapidly increasing rified. In each of these three, there have been great ratio. Wherefore it happens, that, though in pistole improvements during late years; to some of which we the breech-joints necessary to carry out the revolver sball advert.

principle may be made practically tight, there comes Firstly, in respect of pistols, the revolver principle a maximum bore at last, with which such tightness is has fairly beaten all others out of the field. As to the impossible. Developing still the size of our ideal antiquity of that principle, there may be now seen in gun, there comes finally a bore beyond the diameter the Tower of London a revolver firearm made for of which, though no joints are involved, the mere the special use of Henry VIII. If that bluff monarch, cohesive strength of material used forbids the manuwith tender conscience and delicate sensibilities, had facturer to go; for, curiously enough, it is a wellfired the weapon pretty often, it might have fared demonstrated fact, that after a given thickness of better with a few of his queens. Our meaning is, material, varying according to the cohesive strength that the arm would have inevitably gone off at the of material employed, no mere addition to thickness wrong end, so roughly is it constructed. Indeed, not adds to strength or power of resistance. Slightly all the latest improvements of flint-locks could enable anticipating another part of our subject, we may the manufacturer to turn out a perfectly reliable here indicate that the limit of strength for cast iron, revolver; to the successful construction of which fashioned into long pieces of ordnance, capable of the detonating or percussion principle is absolutely projecting with safety solid balls, corresponds with necessary.

about eight inches diameter. True, cast-iron longHaving all the useful phases of revolving firearms guns are now made of ten, and even eleven inches well under view, we do not hesitate to say that Colonel diameter, but they are only strong enough to be used Colt was the first person who succeeded in turning for projecting shel or hollow shot. out of hand a revolver perfectly efficient and reliable, Though the revolver principle seems barely comadapted for all the exigencies of war to which a pistol patible with the necessities of a cavalry carbine, yet can be applied. For many years this celebrated in no description of firearm is the want of some weapon maintained a distinguished precedence over efficient breech-loading contrivance more pressing. all others, notwithstanding that an English firm, Even with all the facilities of loading which the Deane and Adams-constructed revolving pistols conoidal expanding principle has given, as exemplified which admitted of being discharged with greater in the Minié and Enfield rifled muskets, still, the operation of charging a cavalry carbine by the alias small-bored, small-arm again. Thirdly, that all muzzle, and on horseback, at all, is most inconvenient. civilised rifle-balls are, and have been these few years Various attempts have been made to obviate this past, more or less like sugar-loaves in form. inconvenience; some answering well enough with low Before passing to fourthly, pause we a while to concharges, others with high charges, in careful hands; template our Hibernicism. To speak of a ball shaped but very, very few complying with all the requisitions like a sugar-loaf, is indeed startling ; but surely bullet of common cavalry practice. In the improvement of is no better. One may say projectile, but it is abomincarbines, no less than of pistols, our American cousins ably pedantic, and conoid is hardly to be recommended. have been foremost. The cavalry carbine of Colonel Cousin Jonathan's inventive genius is not only strong Greene is a breech-loader. It is charged with an in gun-making, but in the coining of new words out ordinary paper-cartridge, and has the remarkable of the old tongue. He calls the sugar-loaf shaped peculiarity of causing the explosive force of the balls to which we have been adverting, pickets. A charge to contribute to the tightness of the joint. very good word it is too. We shall adopt it, and We hardly know whether we shall succeed in render- commend it to the favourable notice of all dictionary ing intelligible the manner by which this is done. compilers. Fourthly, we take it for granted that Firstly, the piece, though one- barrelled, has two everybody knows how a rifle-picket spins through triggers; one being pulled, liberates the barrel, which the air, point foremost; whereas a ball proper, now admits of being pulled out of a catch, and turned fired from an ordinary non-rifled gun, simply rolls towards the operator's right, in such manner that a whilst flying through the air, as a marble might roll paper-cartridge holding powder and ball admits of upon the ground. Fifthly and lastly, as it seems, we being slid in; the use of a common cartridge indeed will assume every reader to be aware that whereas being a great point gained. The cartridge is neither the bullet of a common gun fits the bore loosely, a bitten nor broken; but the act of replacing the barrel rifle-picket, ball, or other projectile must--at least at in its catch forces a sort of pointed perforated steel the moment of discharge-fit its barrel with all postooth-something like a snake-fang, though straight sible accuracy and tightness; a rifle bore is, in point -into the very middle of the cartridge, which is of fact, a hollow screw, and the projectile within it is thus ready to be fired as soon as a percussive blast a solid one. rushes through the tubular orifice of the fang. This Two distinct principles of facilitating rifle-practice is accomplished by the very ingenious contrivance suggest themselves — that is, breech-loading, and known as the Maynard primer, and universally expanding pickets. Of these, the Prussians have employed now in all American non-revolving military adopted a variety of the first in their celebrated small-arms. If we turn aside from our main object needle-gun. Ourselves, the French, and Austrians, to describe such a collateral thing as the Maynard have adopted varieties of the second, one or the other primer, we shall never have done. The reader will of which is now perhaps in course of adoption by therefore be so good as to excuse our stating more every civilised nation. The self-expanding picket on that head than the general principle subserved. system consists in fashioning the picket in such a The Maynard primer is a little magazine of some fifty manner that dropping loosely into the gun at the or sixty percussion patches brought successively, by time of charging, it becomes expanded and tightly the act of cocking, quite over the nipple, so that the fitting by the force of gunpowder discharge, either niggling act of capping the piece is obviated. From directly applied, as in Lancaster's celebrated ovalthe Maynard primer let us now go back to the piece bore sporting rifle, or indirectly, as in the Minié rifle itself, and trace out the destiny of the cartridge. and the Enfield weapon now adopted by our own Though placed within the barrel, it does not touch service. Into the base of the Minié picket an iron the latter, but is surrounded by a sort of tightly thimble is inserted, which, receiving the blow of sliding, short internal chamber, larger anteriorly than explosive discharge, is driven far up into the middle posteriorly, and terminating on the latter aspect by a of the leaden picket, which it consequently expands ; sharpish edge. The interior of the sliding-chamber sometimes too completely indeed, for instances are is, in point of fact, a truncated cone; its exterior not unfrequent of the thimble shooting quite through being cylindrical, and tightly fitting the barrel, save the picket, which latter remains as a leaden tube, where the posterior face of the chamber is ground lining the gun-barrel. Liability to the accident here away to a bluntish edge, the latter bearing upon a adverted to is a weak point of the celebrated Minié flat plate of iron. Now, owing to this configuration, weapon, which has mainly led to the substitution of it follows that when the powder within the cartridge the Enfield rifle in our military service. In this latter explodes, a backward pressure will be exerted upon weapon, a hard wooden plug is substituted for the the sliort sliding truncated conoidal chamber, the iron thimble. posterior cutting edge of which will be thrust against The first requisition for a military rifle is, in the the flat iron bearing. We have been thus particular opinion of non-military people, extreme length of in describing the construction of Colonel Greene's range; but there are qualities in subservience of carbine, because of its approval in British military which length of range becomes a secondary consideracircles, and its partial adoption by the British tion, and must, if necessary, be abandoned. A good cavalry.

military small-arm must be able to shoot often withSharpe's is another American invention in the way out fouling. This is essential; otherwise the arm, of breech-loading carbines. In charging this firearm, however long its range, is a failure. Now, the condian ordinary paper-cartridge is also used, of which the tions for imparting a maximum rifle-range are perposterior aspect is ripped off in the act of closing the fectly well known; they are, maximum length of picket, breech-opening. The objectors to Sharpe's American involving minimum of calibre. In sporting rifles, these rifle affirm that it nips off an uncertain quantity. conditions are carried out to the extent of diminish

And now, before passing on to the consideration of ing the calibre to half an inch bore. In the construcmuskets, some few matters must be taken for granted tion of military rifles, so small a diameter is not as lying within the sphere of the reader's cognizance, thought expedient. To shew how little advantageous otherwise we shall never get to the end of our tale. an extremely long range of rifle-shooting is regarded Firstly, we will assume that every reader-except a by military judges, the Enfield rifle, which carries lady-reader perhaps—is aware of the fact that gun- more than 1000 yards with accuracy, is only sighted barrels are either rifled or non-rifled. Secondly, that up to 700 yards. There is something ad captandum except for fowling, no person one shade more civilised in the idea of an extremely long range, which may than a Dahomey grenadier will ever use a non-rifled, I beget wrong impressions. The public have heard a good deal about rifles which will shoot further than fragments have cleared away, and the observer looks the Enfield. True; but the Enfield rifle, for reasons upon the spot of impact, a veritable crater is seen, mentioned, was limited as to the dimensions of its black and yawning. For a depth of some eight feet, bore. The public, too, have been startled by the a huge ragged pit is seen to be delved out, extending vast penetration of a certain rifle-picket; but the from the lower part of which is a hole proportionate inventor omitted to state the all-important fact, that to the size of the shell. What this shell, charged, the projectile was made of hard metal, not lead, and would accomplish, may be left to the imagination. therefore could never have been successfully employed One can form a good notion of what 480 pounds of in military service.

powder would do if ignited some twenty feet or more The greatest popular misapprehension exists as to below the earth's surface. As regards the construcrifled ordnance. To adapt the rifle system to ordnance tion of Mr Mallet's mortar, it resembles that of at all is a problem of great difficulty ; but for the ancient stave-cannon, with the following difference: sake of argument, we choose to regard it done. Well, The staves of ancient cannon were all in one circular once impart the rifle-spinning motion to an artillery row, as also the hoops which surrounded them ; projectile, instead of the ordinary rolling motion, whereas the staves and hoops respectively of Mr and it is incapacitated for all purposes save one-to Mallet's compound mortar are in more rows than go straight at its object in one direct unbroken flight. one; and as for the hoops, each concentric layer is What more can be reasonably expected of cannon ? slipped hot over the one underneath, whereby, on the reader will possibly ask. Much, very much. If cooling, contractile force is exerted, and made to & cannon-shot had the invariable task assigned it of count for strength in the general structure of the going straight at the object, a rifled piece of ordnance gun. would always assuredly be best. But cannon are expected to be versatile things; and the versatility of their adaptations adds much to their deadliness. A PROCEEDINGS IN BREAKNECKSHIRE. non-rifled projectile admits of being gently bowled I am very much afraid that the Mudbury Coursing out of a gun, when it hops along very much like a Meeting has ruined that eminent metropolitan man cricket-ball. This is called ricochet practice, and is of business, our friend Mr Robert Jones. * He is dogvery destructive. Taken all in all, it is worth more bitten, and, what is worse, horse-bitten, and there is against men, and ships, and even fortifications, than no little apprehension entertained by his country direct firing. Once let a rifle projectile touch ground friends of his going turf-mad. Nothing I could or water, and its original line of flight is gone: urge could prevent him from driving his trusty whirling on one side, it is almost useless.

Again, quadruped Seaman over to Rasperton, fourteen miles the very deadliest applications of cannon to man- away, to see the steeple-chases in the neighbourhood killing are the projection of grape and canister shot, of that town. I could not accompany him myself, and shrapnell shells--all repugnant to the rifle having other agricultural business to attend to; but system,

he did me the favour to say, that he could get on If all gun-projectiles were round, made solid of very well without me, if I would only lend him my similar material, and filled with proportionate charges, horse and gig. the largest balls would range furthest. Therefore- I should like Sloggard, his junior partner in the oilexcluding the rifle principle—the range of ordnance, and colour line, to have seen Mr Jones as he left my ceteris paribus, would be directly proportionate to door on Friday last, equipped for this expedition. I their calibre. But ceteris are non paribus. In pro-am much surprised if he would not straightway have portion as the calibre of a gun increases, the largest scraped together all he could, and bought the head possible charge of gunpowder decreases, and also the of the firm out of the business while it was still weight of projectile; so that a cast-iron gun of more a flourishing one. A broad-brimmed but far from than 8-inch bore can hardly be used with safety for Quakerish-looking hat; a green cut-away, blossoming the projection of solid shot. Nevertheless, there is into a red scarf, with a silver horse's foot by way of a craving for larger cannon strong enough to project petal; a piece of a buff-waistcoat; a white pair of solid shot; and, strangely enough, the proposition what you could scarcely call continuations, they so by which this is sought to be accomplished is no immediately terminated in a couple of enormous less than the one of returning to the hoop-and-stave riding-boots -- the whole viewed through the dim system of ordnance manufacture, or, at any rate, a obscure of the smoke of a cigar—made up the sum modification of it, as employed in the earlier days of of what is known in the City as Jones and Company. cannon manufacture. In this direction the Americans, Perched upon three driving cushions, with his elbows under the guidance of Treadwell, are working ; so is squared, and a long whip flying by his side, he might Mallet in our own country. The latter gentleman have sat for a type of the gentlemen who figure most has come prominently before the public of late in brilliantly in the Insolvent Court. There was a smack connection with the built-up 36-inch iron mortar, of overtrading and reckless expenditure in the very which, although no very long range has yet been tones in which he observed, Let her go!' to the got out of it, has succeeded well enough to establish groom at Seaman's head, as though my favourite the soundness of the principle. We stood on the brown had been a female. He came back, indeed, 18th of December last not more than 100 yards from the scene of dissipation in a far differentdistant from the spot where one of the monster shells But I am anticipating; let him tell his steeple-chase of this mortar fell, and plunged so deeply into stiff experiences after his own fashion. clay-land that the longest shell-probes failed to reach it. The depth to which each of these shells probably I had no difficulty whatever - thanks to your sinks after a flight of 16,000 feet may be over accurate directions and Seaman's exemplary conduct twenty-five feet. Of course, on an experimental - in arriving at Rasperton; and I put him up, occasion like that adverted to, the shells were not according to your advice, at “The Weasel Asleep.' charged; but the effect of their mere dead weight I got there at twelve o'clock-only thirty minutes and impetus is something marvellous. Hissing before the first race was advertised to be run, so that through the air, they fall each with a dull loud I thought I would invest a shilling in a conveyance explosion almost louder than the discharge of the to take me to the course. The flyman, however, to mortar itself as heard by one standing close to it. whom I applied charging the modest sum of a Huge lumps of clay are now shot aloft, and stones fly about in all directions. Presently, when these

• See Journal, No. 216.

« 上一頁繼續 »