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faucon, fauconneau, and other species of ordnance) to contain this passage ; • Les autres pieces qui ne sont plus en usage etoient le dragon, le basilic (the power of which piece of ordnance explains that which is attributed in fable to the Basilisk's eye) la sirenne (and hence may be understood the fabulous power of the Syren's voice) et une infinité d'autres qu'on a fait refondre :' and on the base of Trajan's column are to be seen, accordingly, many reliefs of serpents, basilisks, and dragons. As to the first, it seems to have given the culverin its name, from couleuvre, a serpent; and as to the dragon in particular, in what sense (that is to say, common sense) is the famous chimæra of Homer to be understood, if it do not allude to the fiery mouth of the mortar, or cannon, breathing the chimic air of gun-powder (Xiu-aspa) from within it? 6 Il. 180,
" If the last book of Virgil be considered, and particularly the following lines
569 Æqua solo fumantia culmina ponam.
700 —- horrendumque intonat armis, and 739 - postquam arma Dei ad Vulcania ventum est;
I think it cannot be doubted, that nothing but fire-arms could possibly be productive of such effects, and that nothing but gunpowder could have been intended as causing the fumus amarus.” The following passage likewise made a part of the same treatise. “ In the fifth specimen of hieroglyphics, of Pl. 117, Denon, may be seen cannon themselves in specie, as marked not only by their shape, but by the ball within the butt and at the mouth of each of them, denoting that the same ball* in the firing of a cannon, is, as it were eodem
* As the round objects at the butts may be taken for the charge or cartridges, and those at the mouths for the balls. The Chinese are in the habit at this day of placing their small cannon in a vertical position, (as in the figure,) and so firing them upwards on occasions of rejoicing.
momento, in both these places.” Of these cannon a copy is now given in
corresponding exactly in shape with those which Mr. Bell mentions the having seen in a tower of the Chinese wall.
I am also of opinion, that in addition to the other hieroglyphics mentioned in that treatise as having a bearing upon this subject, the hieroglyphic groupe which is copied in
in Egypt, No. 6, was intended as a memorial of that species of fire-arms which we call a musket. The position of the instrument fixed against the shoulder of the right hand figure, and the attitude of that figure as if resisting the recoil of the piece, seem to denote the instrument to be a musket. The appendage at the further end of the piece, seems to imply that something issued from it which had previously been fitted into it. The sort of table or seat which comes next, and which, in its machinery, resembles an elastic exercising chair for invalids, may have been intended to de. note the elastic power of the air, which, on the application of fire, was to produce the effect expected ; as its being represented falling, might be, to denote the shock. The elasticity of the air may have been intended to be further denoted, perhaps, by the serpent within the cone, serpents being often introduced by ancient artists to denote water, or other fluids, and here, perhaps, an elastic fluid, the air. The cone may imply the great expansion of the air on its first issuing from the piece, and that it contracts its dimensions in proportion as it recedes from it, just as the air is denser when, like the point of the cone, it is near the ground, but rarer when higher up. Whether by the boy on the ground and the full-grown figure on the other side of the cone, the first alludes to the smallness of the charge of gunpowder, and the latter to the great comparative quantity of smoke, or great extent of the conflagration from a small begioning, when that charge is fixed (puer, a boy; True, fire); or whether by those two contrasted figures it is merely intendedonce more to point to the expansive force of the air as causing the effect produced, is left to the reader's determination.
If now, in addition to all that has been stated, it shall be made to appear that the fortress of Gibraltar was precisely in the same state in the earliest times as it is at the present day, the conclusion drawn above cannot but be held to be fully established. Indeed, on considering the lines descriptive of the conduct of Ulysses, upon being challenged by the Phæacians (the Chinese) to contend with them at quoits, 8 Od. 187,