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The invention of gun-powder is too important and beneficial a discovery to be fightly mentioned by the military historian. The date of the invention, and the person to whom mankind are indebted for it, are equally unknown. Captain Grose relates the common ftory of its accidental discovery by the German Monk, Bartholdus Schwartz, about 1320 * ; but by extracts from various writers, he confirms the opinion of several modern authors, who have placed the invention of gun-powder, and its application to artillery, in the remote ages of the world. The Captain thews that in the Gentoo laws t, supposed at least as ancient as the time of Moses, fire-arms, gun.powder, and cannon, are expressly mentioned; he renews the suspicion that Alexander the Great did absolutely meet with fire-arms in India, as a passage in Quintus Curtius seems to intimate. Ufano also is quoted, who places the invention in the year of Christ 85. Othet extracts are made for supporting the opinion; and then the Captain proceeds to thew when it was first employed in our army. He gives also the proportions of the ingredients used in different ages; some of which, especially the earliest, would indeed make very weak gun-powder : nor are any of them such as are found by experience to be the best, viz. 75 parts of puri. fied nitre, 15 of charcoal, and gl of sulphur.
At what time cannon were firit used in Europe, is not clearly ascertained. The earliest record bere quoted is one preserved in the Chamber of Accounts at Paris, which Mews that the French used cannon in 1338. Villani, an Italian author, says, that the English had cannon at the battle of Cressy, in 1346. And John Barbour, Archdeacon of Aberdeen, says, Edward III, had artillery in his first campaign against the Scots in 1327. After a long investigation, in order to fix the time when cannon were first used, the Captain goes on to describe their forms and construction at different periods, and gives several drawings of cannon, bombards, colouverine, bombs, &c.
Fortification is the next subject of our Author's enquiry. The ancients seem to have had but very imperfect ideas of this science, Their chief dependance was on the height and thickness of their walls; they found, however, that the enemy, when close under the wall, could not be molested but by arrows, darts, or stones thrown perpendicularly on their heads; hence they conftructed round towers, projeding out of the wall, and the portions of wall between the towers were built in a right line, so that from the tower they could shoot at the enemy attacking the wall. The
• For the litory at length, we refer to the Review, vol. xliii. p. 410. 1320 seems to be a typographical error for 1380.
+ Of Mr. Halhed's translation of the Code of Gentoo Laws, we gave some account in vol. Ivi. p. 363.
form of the fortification was consequently changed from a circle to a polygon with towers in the angles. This, in a great meafure, removed the inconvenience, but still there remained parts of, and near, the towers, which could not be seen, called dead angles : to remedy these, the towers were built 'square, and placed with one of their angles in the angle of the wall. Near as this contrivance vas to the true shape, it did not fully answer the purpose for which it was intended : at length necessity seems to have dictated the method of describing the salient faces of the towers by right lines drawn from the angles, made by the fides of the adjacent towers and the curtain. This construction was perfectly complete, leaving no spot of the outside unseen or undefended.
After the general history of the progress of fortification, of wbich we have given the above very short abridgment, Captain Grose accurately describes an ancient fortress with references to the explanatory delineations: he gives also an account of the manner in which a fiege was conducted, with general figures, not only of the operations, but particular ones of the different ma. chines and contrivances used both by the besiegers and the besieged.
The town having surrendered, Captain Grose recites the method of treating the prisoners of war, and of ransoming them. The rigid treatment shewn to them in ancient times, strongly marks the ferocity and uncultivated manners of our ancestors, even to ladies of high rank, notwithstanding the homage said to have been paid to the fair sex in the days of chivalry. Many inftances are given from Rymer, among which is one respecting the Countess of Baghun or Buchan, a Scottish prisoner, for whose confinement the Chamberlain of Scotland, or his lieutenant, were, by writ of privy seal, 34 Edward I. A. D. 1306, directed to fit up one of the turrets of the castle of Berwick, and therein to build a strong cage of lattice-work well strengthened with iron; in which the Countess was to be kept, without being suffered to go out on any account whatsoever. The fifter of Robert Bruce was prisoner at the same time, and treated in the same manner.
With the article of Prisoners, Captain Grose concludes bis work, having,' he says, “to the utmost of his abilities endeavoured to complete the plan proposed in the advertisement. For the faults and errors, particularly the typographical ones, he relies on the candour and indulgence of his readers, as he affures them, such errors were not caused by negligence or inattention.'
We have now gone through the contents of these elegant and cạrious volumes, containing a great mass of valuable informa. tion, which we most heartily with, for our own fakes as well as for that of other readers, had been somewhat more methodically
arranged. Had the work been divided into chapter's or fec. tions, or bad the different parts of it been diftinguilhed, only by a small blank space, it would, most probably, have pleased the modern reader more than we imagine it will, in its present continued and uninterrupted form; in which two large quarto vo. Jumes proceed regularly from the beginning to the end, without the requisite intimations where one subject terminates and another begins. This circumstance however may be considered, perhaps, as a mere point of tafte, in which our judgment may happen to differ from that of the very ingenious author; who has made choice of the method which best pleased himself, in compiling a work that must have coft him much time and great labour; and which will be read with pleasure by every lover of history, antiquities, and military affairs.
The accuracy of Captain Grose's drawings, and the elegance with which the plates are executed, will amply support the reputation which this intelligent antiquary bas juftly acquired by his former publications.
Art. VII. Archaeologia, or miscellaneous Tracts relating to Anti
quity: published by the Society of Antiquaries of London, Vol. VIII. concluded. See our last. AYMAN ROOKE Esq. baving examined the Druidi
cal Monuments in Derbyshire, with some success, in the twenty-first number of this volume, gives an Account of the Brimbam Rocks in Yorkshire. They are a wonderful affemblage, scattered about the moor, seven miles from Ripley, on the road to Pately-bridge; occupying, all together, a space of about forty acres. The extraordinary position of these rocks is supposed to have been owing to some violent convulsion of nature, but it is evident, we are told, that art has not been wanting to render their fituation yet more remarkable. Fragments of rocks ob tained great regard, and even veneration, from people of very remote antiquity: here they are found, placed one on another, some baving plainly the marks of the tool. This writer, though he does not venture to determine, conjectures that they are the work of the Druids. The Britons having had early communications with the Egyptians and Phenicians, it is probable, he thinks, that the latter imparted their arts and religious ceremonies to the Druids, who would politically conceal them from the people, that by means of auguries and divinations, the greater submission might be yielded to their decrees. To purposes of this kind Mr. Rooke imagines these rocks to have been destined. They are of various forms; fome are rock-idols; others are rocking-stones; several have been perforated, in one inftance at leaft, quite through. To these our author afligas the name
of the oracular flone, fuppofing that hence the crafty Druids might contrive to deliver predictions and commands which the credulous people would receive as proceeding from the rockdeity. It is well known, that many, who enjoyed far superior advantages for religious knowlege, have in later times employed such deceitful and scandalous methods to promote their ambitious and tyrannical views. Whether it was thus in the very remote and uncultivated periods to which Mr. Rooke alludes, muft remain in the uncertainty wherein time has in volved this with many other points of historical disquifition.
Doubts and Conjectures concerning the Reason commonly assigned for_inserting or omitting the words “ Ecclesia and Presbyter, in Domesday Book. By the Rev. Samuel Denne. The reason commonly assigned for the above omission is, that at the time of the survey, there was not a church in any of the districts to which the clauses refer. Mr. Denne expreffes a doubt whether this may not be an hypothesis rather taken for granted, than founded on an accurate enquiry into its validity.' He examines the subject with great attention. The result is, that Domesday Book, however exact it may be in other articles, cannot be decisively appealed to for the non-existence of parila churches in the age in which it was compiled, and consequently, that there were many more edifices of that kind exifting than can be ascertained from that ancient volume,
It has been long a subject of debate, whether the origin of printing was at Haarlem, Mentz, or Strasbourg. In No. 23. Ralph Willis Esq. ftates the reasons which determine him in favour of Mentz: it must be allowed that they carry with theni some degree of satisfaction; yet, after all the ingenious labours of the learned, affording some amusement and information, this topic remains in considerable obscurity. It was long supposed that TULLY's Offices, ed. 1465, was the first printed book; long after the same thing was afferted of Durand's Rationale, in 1459; fince that, two earlier books have been discovered, the Codex Psalmorum, in 1457, and some letters of indulgence from Pope Nicholas the fifth, printed at Mentz, and with a date, in 1454, by Fuft and Schoeffer. The Speculum Salutis, a book in the possession of Mr. Willet, is thought to have been printed about the year 1445 : from the cuts which appear in it, and from some other arguments, it is concluded that the Germans have also the claim of priority in the art of engraving.
We are presented, in the twenty-fourth number, with an additional account of the Caves of Cannara, Ambola, and Elephanta, in the Eaft Indies, in a letter from Hector Macneil Esq. then at Bombay, dated 1783. Though the article is very entertaining, we can do little more than briefly mention it; referring the
reader also to the Review for April 1786, p. 269, 70, 71. Mr: Macneil is very attentive in giving the relation, and warmly expresses his astonishment at this fingular scene, which filled him with new wonder at every step. He laments the injury which the works at Elephanta have received from bigotted zeal, particularly that of the Portuguese, and at the same time severely and with just indignation chastizes the folly, stupidity, and barbarism of Britons, who have defaced and mutilated these ftupendous monumenis, some of whom have left their names behind as testimonies to their own disgrace. The works of modern hands, fays this writer, compared with these, dwindle into the mere amusements of children, nog can we view fuch ftupendous caverns cut out of solid rocks, and moulded into such a variety of forms, without subscribing our opinion to a bold assertion that such laborious productions must have been the work of ages. He inclines to suppose that these caves have been wrought by Gentoos, and he offers some plausible reasons to support the hypothesis. Farther time and investigation may posibly throw more light on this extraordinary subject.
The following article owes its rise to a North American sermon, preached in 1783, at Hertford, before Yonathan Trumbull Esq. governor of Connecticut, by Ezra Stiles, D. D. The preacher supposes that some of the descendants of Canaan expelled by the Israelites, wandered till they settled in America. As a kind of foundation for this hypothesis, the Naraganfet rocks with inscriptions on them are introduced, Dr. Stiles imagining them to be in the old Punic or Phænician character and language. Dr. Lort, observing this, has laid before the society an account of this inscription on a rock in Taunton river, Naraganset bay. Copies have been taken of it at different times, and sent to this country: the last was made by Mr. Sewell, in 1768; an abridged draught of which was conveyed to Timothy Hollis Esq. and by him communicated to the Society. Dr. Stiles imparted a like draught to the late M. Gebelin; who rapturously pronounced it Phænician: others suppose it rather an hieroglyphic inscription than an alphabetic character, and that therefore it may be the work of the Chinese or Japanese ; while some may be inclined to conceive of it as nothing more than the rude scrawls of some of the Indian tribes * cominemorating their military achievements, hunting parties, &c. But we have farther observations on the subject, in the twenty-sixth number, by Colonel Charles Vallancey. This gentleman apprehends that the descendants of the old Scythians of Armenia extended themselves to Siberia, fome of whom may have crossed over to America from Kamtchatka, and that, therefore, in Siberia we may
• See Rev. for May 1784. P. 350.