« ElőzőTovább »
Mr. Ramsay is the avowed panegyrist of Mr. Pitt, and of every other person who had the good fortune to obtain popular fame during the war. Observe in what manner he apologizes for Mr. Piti's adopting continental measures after he assumed the reins of administration :
"The unpopular party, however, was not entirely excluded from a share in the administration. Their influence in the Privy Council, and credit in the House of Commons, were Atill great, and sufficient to thwart every measure in which they did not partake. A coalition of parties therefore took place from neceffity,
It was now proposed to gratify our King, with aslisting our allies on the continent, in the manner most agreeable to our infular situation, which is by making diversions with our fleets; and it was also agreed that we fould aid them with such land force and money as our Arength and finances would admit.'
Mr. Ramsay here thinks it necessary to make an apology for his hero, that he did not judge necessary for himself, as he after. wards claimed the fole honour of having conquered America in Germany.
This compendium would have been more useful, if the Au. thor had taken care to insert, in the margin, the precise dates of the several occurrences that are mentioned in the text; for want of which the Reader is often at a loss, in regard to the order of time and the succession of events.
With respect to the copper-plates mentioned in the tille-page, for elegant,' read execrable.
Buricola ART. V. A Discourse on the Theory of Gunnery. Delivered at the
Anniversary Meeting of the Royal Society, Nov. 30th, 1778.
from its truly ingenious and learned Author, was deliyered on presenting Sir Godfrey Capley's gold medal to Mr. Cha. Hutton of the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, for his paper, entitled, “ The Force of fired Gunpowder, and the initial Velocities of Cannon-Balls, determined from Experie ments.”
After premising a short account of some of the principal mis litary engines, used by the ancients before the discovery of gunpowder, and the invention of guns, the President proceeds to give a concise account of the principal improvements which have been made, from time to time, in the theory and practice of gungery. From which it appears that Nicholas Tartaglia, who lived about the beginning of the sixteenth century, was the furft who maintained that no part of the path of a cannon
ball is a straight line. It does not, however, appear that Toro taglia made any attempts towards determining what the true path was. There is indeed, reason to suppose that he had de. viated sufficiently from the opinions of his contemporaries in denying that it was a straight line, obvious as it may appear at this day, and which is more to be wondered at, as every opera. cion in nature, where projectile motion is concerned, muft have tended to convince them of it. But, as Sir John observes, one would imagine, from numerous instances, that men of science were so far from making experiments themselves in those days, that they even shut their eyes against what chance would other. wise have presented to their fight.
To investigate the path which a projectile actually describes in a non-resisting medium was reserved for Galileo, the inventor of the telescope, and the morning-star of the seventeenth century; which afterwards produced those glorious luminaries of fcience Hook, Huygens, Halley, and Newton. After the demonAtrations of Galileo, every one seems to have relted fatisfied that the theory of gunnery was complete, and that nothing remained to be done for it but to reduce the theory to practice, until Newton, in 1687, published his Principia, wherein he demon. ftrates that the resistance of the air is great enough to make the difference between the curve of projection of heavy bodies, and that of a parabola, very sensible, and therefore too considerable to be neglected. Soon after, namely, in 1690, M. Huygens demonstrated the same thing. No notice, however, appears to have been taken of the demonstrations of these great men; nor yet of M. de Ressons, a French officer of artillery, of high military rank, and great professional abilities; and, moreover, distinguished by the number of sieges which he had served at; who, in the year 1916, represented to the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris, that, “ although it was agreed that theory joined to practice constituted the perfection of every art, yet experience had taught him that theory was of very little service in the use of mortars. That although, in the work of M. Blondel *, the several parabolic lines are justly enough described, according to the different degrees of the elevation of the piece, yet that practice had convinced him there was no theory in the effects of gunpowder : for that having endeavoured, with the greatest precision, to point a mortar agreeably to these calculations, he had never been able to establish any folid foundation upon them t." For we find no attempts toward improving this art before our countryman, Mr. Benjamin Robins, undercook it, about the year 1740, and made the experiments which are
• L'Art de jetter les Bombes.
related in his “ New Principles of Gunnery,” published in 1742. From these experiments it incontestably appeared that the refistance made by the air to projectiles, which have a rapid motion, is much greater than had been supposed even by Newton and Huygens themselves ; and that it is indeed so great that the path described by any shot whatever is very different from the curve of a parabola; and, consequently, that all applications of that conic section to gunnery are false, and totally useless.
But Mr. Robins's experiments being made with shot of an ounce weight only, it was much to be wished that such perfons as had opportunity, might repeat the same experiments with balls of a larger fize, and also with balls of different sizes. This was undertaken by Mr. Hutton : and in the course of his experiments he used balls from 20 to 50 ounces weight; the result of which confirmed Mr. Robins's principles in the most ample manner, as may be seen at large in his paper; some account of which was given in vol, lx. p. 417 of our Review. ,
Some persons having objected to the subject of Mr. Hurron's paper, as being not lo immediately an object of the Society's institution as others of a different nature; we shall trans scribe the concluding paragraph of this sensible and well-written discourse, to thew that the question did not escape the confideration of this learned body, before they conferred the greatest mark of honour which they have to bestow, on the Author of it.
• Some,' says this humane and benevolent man, may think, that the object of this Society are the arts of peace alone, not those of war, and that considering how numerous and how keen the instruments of death already are, it would better become us to discourage than to countenance their farther improvement. These naturally will be the first thoughts of the best disposed minds. But when upon a closer examination we find, that since the invention of arms of the quickest execution, neither battles nor sieges have been more frequent nor more destructive, indeed apparently otherwise ; may we not thence infer, that such means as have been employed to sharpen the sword, have tended more to diminish than to increase the number of its victims, by shortening contests, and making them more decisive. I shall not however infilt on maintaining so great a paradox; but only furmile that whatever state woud adopt the Utopian maxims, and proscribe the study of arms, would soon, I fear, become a prey to those who best knew how to use them. For yet, alas ! far seem we to be removed from those promised times, when nation mall not lift up sword againjt nation, neither shall they learn war any more.'
ART. ART. VI. An Enquiry into the Policy of making Conquests for the Ma.
hometans in India by the British Arms; in Answer to a Pamphlet entitled, Confiderations on the Conquest of Tanjore *. 400. 35. Dodsley. 1779. VI E have here an ingenious and spirited apology for the
V conduct of the Directors of the East India Company, in taking the kingdom of Tanjore from the Nabob of Arcot, and restoring it to its former sovereign. In justice to the Author, and for the satisfaction of our Readers, we shall give a summary of the principal arguments which are here adduced in justifica. tion of this measure.
Our Author considers the conquest of Tanjore, first on the ground of authority, and then on that of reason and justice. On the former ground, he observes—that there is no evidence of the truth of any material charge against the Rajah, which could lay the Company under an obligation to make this conquest for the Nabob of Arcot. The authorities produced as re. cords in fupport of the Nabob's right are, for the most part, nothing more than the mere representations of those servants of the Company who have aslisted the Nabob in his usurpation. Of this nature is the correspondence of the Select Committee of Madras. And even these authorities do not come up to the purpose for which they are produced; for the Select Committee never either informed the Directors that they had the conquest of Tanjore in view, or recommended that measure; and, befides, they confess explicitly, that they acted in this affair against their own judgment. The orders of the Company do not amount to an authority to make this conquest; they only express the Company's disapprobation of the Rajah's conduct, in some instances, and their wish, that when convenient he may be chastised, and the Nabob's pretensions against him rendered effectual. These pretensions, communicated to the Directors, were only that the Nabob might receive the arrears of his pishcuth or tribute money, and a reasonable sum towards the charges of the war with Hyder Ali. The Presidency themselves expressly acknowledge, that they had no cause to infer from any orders of the Company, that it was their with the country of Tanjore should be conquered for the Nabob; and they exa pressly informed the Nabob, that any measures taken for this purpose could only be temporary, till the Company's pleasure be known; and declare it to be the Company's with, not to fubvert the established government of any power, with which they have connection. Whatever errors the Company may have fallen into in this affair, have been owing to their giving too * See Review for April, 1779, p296.
Author one and juics of 1
easy credit to their servants abroad, who scrupled not to mirlead them by the most unjustifiable misrepresentations, of which the Directors have frequently complained.
Our Author next considers the conquest of Tanjore on the ground of reason and justice.- When the Company first began to interfere in the politics of India, they found the then king of Tanjore an hereditary sovereign, formed their first regular alliance with him, and, by his affiftance, gave the first turn to the war with France. The exertions of the king of Tanjore were immediately in support of the Nabob against his rival Chunda Saheb, and put him in peaceable poffeffion of his go. vernment. But the wealth and splendour in which the king then lived, excited the envy of the Nabob, and led him to form the design of extirpating him. This the Presidency acknowledged. When he was compelled by neceflity to relinquish this design, he formed a plan for the extirpation of Hyder Ali, the Nabob of Mysore, and engaged the arms of the Company in this wicked scheme. Still, however, he kept in view the conquest of Tanjore, and omitted no means to bring on a rupture with that kingdom. At length, having failed in his attempt against Hyder Ali, that he might balance the losses that he had sustained, and accomplish his favourite object, he engaged in the war of 1771 against Tanjore, supported by the Presidency.
After this account of the real motives of the war, our Author proceeds to examine the pretexts on which it was undertaken. The first pretext was, that in the war with Hyder Ali, the Rajah had not sent allistance to the Nabob.—To this it is replied, that the King of Tanjore was not bound by any treaty whatever to take part in this war, as even his enemies confeís. The war was undertaken, without consulting the Rajah, and in direct opposition to his interests : had it been successful, it would have left Tanjore entirely at the mercy of the Nabob. Yet, notwithstanding this, from a desire of being on good terms with the English, the Rajah sent 3000 men, under Colonel Wood, to the assistance of the Nabob. Beside, if he had incurred any blame in this transaction, it was wiped off by the treaty of peace with Hyder Ali, in which the Rajah was included.
The second pretext was, the non-payment of the pishcuth to the Mogul, through the hands of the Nabob, according to the treaty of 1762. Here no proof of the refusal of payment is brought. The payment was only delayed for three months, on account of the expence the Rajah had sustained from the war with Hyder Ali. The Company had been themselves in the same situation with respect to the Rajah, having neglected for five years to pay a pilhcush for the town of Devicota.