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William Falconer's Dictionary of the MarineReference Works
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EXERCISE to EYES of a ship


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EXERCISE (continued)

" The man who takes care of the powder is to place himself on the opposite side of the deck from that where we engage, except when fighting both sides at once, when he is to be amid-ships. He is not to suffer any other man to take a cartridge from him, but he who is appointed to serve the gun with that article, either in time of a real engagement, or at exercise.

" Lanthorns are not to be brought to quarters in the night, until the midshipman gives his orders for so doing to the person he charges with that article. Every thing being in it's place, and not the least lumber in the way of the guns, the exercise hegins with,

1st. Silence.

At this word every one is to observe a silent attention to the officers.

2d. Cast loose your guns.

" The muzzle lashing is to be taken off from the guns, and (being coiled up in a small compass) is to be made fast to the eye-bolt above the port. The lashing-tackles at the same time to be cast loose, and the middle of the breeching seized to the thimble of the pomillion. The spunge to be taken down, and, with the crow, handspec, &c. laid upon the deck by the gun.

"N.B. When prepared for engaging an enemy, the seizing within the clinch of the breeching is to be cut, that the gun may come sufficiently within-board for loading, and that the force of the recoil may be more spent before it acts upon the breeching.

3d. Level your guns.

" The breech of your metal is to be raised so as to admit the foot of the bed's being placed upon the axle-tree of the carriage, with the quoin upon the bed, both their ends being even one with the other.

" N. B. When levelled for firing, the bed is to be lashed to the bolt which supports the inner end of it, that it may not be thrown out of it's place by the violence of the gun's motion, when hot with frequent discharges. See fig. 17, plate VII.

Plate 7

Plate VII

4th. Take out your tompions.

"The tompion is to be taken out of the gun's mouth, and left hanging by it's laniard.

5th. Run out your guns.

" With the tackles hooked to the upper-bolts of the carriage, the gun is to be bowsed out as close as possible, without the assistance of crows or handspecs; taking care at the same time to keep the breeching clear of the trucks, by hawling it through the rings; it is then to be bent so as to run clear when the gun is fired. When the gun is out, the tackle-falls are to be laid along-side the carriages in neat fakes, that when the gun, by recoiling, overhauls them, they may not be subject to get foul, as they would if in a common coil.

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© Derived from Thomas Cadell's new corrected edition, London: 1780, page 117, 2004
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