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Claude S. Gill/Their construction, equipment, etc. Being an abridged edition of the Falconer's celebrated Marine Dictionary. 202 pages

Hardcover Elephant Folio

Their Construction, Equipment, etc., Being an Abridged Edition of
Falconer's Celebrated Marine Dictionary.
Edited and Arranged with an Introduction
by Claude S. Gill (Masteer Mariner)

Falconer of course, was not only a great poet of the sea but the compiler of one of the first practical compilation of informations on seafaring. From the Preface to the First Edition--The following work has engaged my utmost application for some years. Several performances on the same subject have already appeared; as Sir H. Manwaring’s "Seaman’s Dictionary"; Boteler’s "Sea Dialogues"; Guillet’s "Gentleman’s Dictionary", and Blanckley’s "Naval Expositor", etc. Far from exhibiting an enlarged and comprehensive view of naval affairs, these productions are extremely imperfect, according. to the very circumscribed plan which their authors have adopted. There are besides, the "Dictionaire de Marine" of M. Aubin, published in Holland; and that of M. Saverien, published in France. These are indeed voluminous, but very deficient in the most necessary articles. Besides a circumstantial detail of the local economy of different marine departments, they are swelled out with astronomy, navigation, hydrography, natural history, etc., all of which are abundantly better treated in other compositions. Of the machinery of a ship; the disposition of the rigging on her masts and yards; and the comparative force of her different mechanical powers, their accounts however are often vague, perplexed, and unintelligible. With regard to her internal government in action; to the general regulations of the line of battle; and to the principle movements in sailing, they are almost totally silent. Had any of these works been executed with tolerable success, it might have rendered mine unnecessary; or probably have introduced it in the form of a translation. This undertaking was first suggested to me by my worthy and ingenious friend George Lewis Scott, Esq.; who considered it as a work of extensive utility. indeed, in a country whose principal sources of strength are derived from the superiority of her marine, it is evidently wanted. I have the pleasure also to know that Sir Edward Hawke, and several officers of respectable abilities in our navy, are of the same opinion. To this may be added, what the celebrated M. Du Hamel lately observed, in a letter to me, “ Ce livre man quoit absolument; celul qui a imprimé en Hollande, et qui a eu un debit considerable, est très imparfait: celui de M. .Saverien est encore plus mauvais.” I mention this expressly, because some sea-officers have considered the work unnecessary. It is however submitted, with all possible deference, to superior judges; to men of science and letters, who know the difficulty of explaining the parts of a mechanical system, when the readers are unacquainted with the subject.--WILLIAM FALCONER

Claude S. Gill, 202 pages