THE GUNNER.

The following is an extract from "THREE BOOKS OF COLLOQUIES CONCERNING THE ART OF SHOOTING IN GREAT AND SMALL PIECES OF ARTILLERY," which was written in Italian, by Nicholas Tartaglia, and has been translated into English by Cyprian Lucar.

It concerns the properties, Office and Duty of a Gunner.


A Gunner ought to be sober, wakeful, lusty, hardy, patient, and a quick-spirited man; he ought also to have a good eyesight, a good judgement, and a perfect knowledge to select a convenient place in the day of service, to plant his ordinance where he may do most hurt unto the enemies, and be least annoyed by them.

Also a Gunner in time of service ought to forbid with meek and courteous speeches all manner of persons other than his appointed assistants to come near his pieces, to the end that none of his pieces may be choked, poisoned, or hurt; and he ought not for any prayers or reward to lend any piece of his gunmatch to another person, because it may be very hurtful to him in time of service to lack the same.

Also every Gunner ought to know that it is a wholesome thing for him to eat and drink a little meat before he doth discharge any piece of artillery, because the fume of saltpetre and brimstone will otherwise be hurtful to his brains, so it is very unwholesome to him to shoot in any piece of ordinance while his stomach is full.

Every Gunner which shall serve upon the sea in any ship ought before his going to sea to write with good advertisement in a paper book for the owner or captain of the vessel in which he shall serve the weight and price of so much gunpowder, and of so many fit pellets, as will be enough to charge all the pieces in his vessel forty times over, and also the price of ten barrels of more gunpowder, which he ought to have for the only making of fireworks.

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