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upon the engraving which depiets it, it is described as
“A DEFENCE Defending King George your Country and
Invented by Mr. James Puckle
In a South Sea squib, published by Bowles of St. Paul's Churchyard, which is entitled The Bublers Mirrour: or England's Folley (Joy ?), and which professes to be A List of the Bubbles, with the prices they were Subscrib'd at and what each Sold at when highest Together wth Satyrical Eppigrams upon each by yo Author of ye S-Sea Ballad,—“ Puckle's Machine" is also made the subjeet of verse, though not so commendatory as the lines above quoted. The satirical epigrammatist indeed chara&terizes it as
There is a companion squib representing “Grief.”
“A rare invention to Destroy the Growd,
which shares are said to have been paid in at £4 and sold out at £8, a process surely lucrative to somebody. As the print giving these particulars is conje&turally dated 1720 in the British Museum Catalogue of Satirical Prints, and as the trial to which we have already referred took place in 1722, it is manifest that “ Puckle's Machine" went beyond that purely prospectus stage at which so many South Sea Schemes must have stopped. But we have failed to find any other account of it, or to trace its subsequent history, though we know that two years later its inventor departed this world.
Happily, however, we are here concerned more with James Puckle's “paper bullets of the brain” than with the proje&tiles, square or round, which he designed for the Christian and the Turk, since he is better known to-day as the author of The Club than as a rival of Maxim and Nordenfelt. That is to say, he is better known than he was a hundred years ago. For in 1817, beyond the fact that he was responsible for two pamphlets, England's Interest: or, A Brief Discourse of the Royal Fishery, 1696, and England's Way to Wealth and Honour, 1699, his Editor, after searching “every probable source of information,” could find no trustworthy Memoir or Account of him. Seventeen years later, in 1834, he was still the shadow of a name, although it had been clearly established by a critic in the Gentleman's Magazine for March, 1822, that his calling was that of a Notary Public, and his place of business, Pope's Head Alley, Cornhill. from an ambiguous passage in Noble's
continuation of Granger's Biographical History (vol. iii., p. 363), he seems to have incurred the odium which sometimes attaches to those who, having a definite calling, presume to supplement it by literature. Then, in 1872, Mr. G. Steinman Steinman of Croydon began to busy himself with James Puckle's fading personality, and in a privately-printed pamphlet of some twenty pages, entitled The Author of “ The Club ” Identified, collected the results of his inquiries. Besides accumulating much information about previous Puckles, he discovered James Puckle's connection with the quick-firing gun already described ; ascertained that he was twice married; was the father of several children, and died in July, 1724, when he was buried in the burial-ground of St. Stephen's, Coleman Street, one of the churches rebuilt by Wren after the Great Fire, and not far from the Artillery Ground, where, only two years previously, “ Puckle's Machine" bad been essayed.
Beyond an advertisement in the Spectator for June 25, 1712, enjoining the finders of a necklace of Oriental pearls which had been lost near Uxbridge, to report the same to “ Mr. James Puckle, a Notary Publick in Popes head Alley in Cornbill,” nothing further has been revealed to throw any additional light upon Puckle's career.
But the bibliography of his chief work has been fairly made out by Mr. Steinman. The first edition is a modest 12mo. of seventy-eight pages, of which the full title runs : The Club : Or, A Dialogue Between Father and Son. In Vino Veritas. London : Printed for the Author; and Sold by S. Crouch, at the Corner of Pope’s-head Ally in Cornhil. 1711. The “Author's " name, as will be observed, is not given; but on the third page is the ensuing Dedication : "To