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off a portion of the heat that would have re- FIRE, Greek, a kind of factitious fire, called mained in the interior. Those, however, who by the Greeks, who were the inventors and prinwould proscribe them, as opposing the most im- cipal users of it, the maritime fire; and which portant object, which is the retaining of the heat burns with greater violence in water than out as long as possible, do not consider that they of it. It is said to have been composed of may be closed, and all communication with the naphtha, bitumen, pitch, sulphur, and gum, and external air cut off by a simple slide, and, there was only to be extinguished by vinegar mixed fore, it is easy to derive from them every possible with sand and urine. Leonard da Vinci deadvantage without any inconvenience. And we scribes the composition as formed by mixing may add that in small apartments, or such as over the fire, the charcoal of willow, nitre, are accurately closed, they are often indispensably brandy, resin, sulphur, pitch, and camphor. A requisite, if we would avoid being exposed to woollen cord is then plunged in the mixture, and currents of cold air. Dr. Franklin very justly made into balls, which, when set on fire, are quotes a Chinese proverb to this effect: "Shun thrown into the enemy's vessels. This fire was a current of air from a narrow passage as you employed principally in the wars of the Greeks would the point of an arrow.'

with their Saracen neighbours; and the Eastern The Swedish or Russian stoves, which have Romans retained the secret for above 400 years; chambers for the reception of the flame and and even at the end of the eleventh century, the smoke, are little known in this country: but Pisans, to whom every science and art were famithose which are in common use in the halls and liar, suffered the effects, without understanding vestibules of our great houses are French stoves. the composition of the Greek fire. It was at They differ from the others in having a very great length either discovered or stolen by the Mahomlength of small flues or winding passages, through medans, and in the holy wars of Syria and Egypt which the smoke passes, and communicates its they retorted the invention on the heads of the heat to the air, which circulates in similar pas- Christians. sages, until it becomes warmed, and makes its It might be used with equal effect by sea or exit through the mouths into the apartment. land, in battles or in sieges. It was either This method is not so simple as the small cham- poured from the ramparts in large boilers, or bers or apartments of the Russian stoves, nor launched in red hot balls of stone and iron, or is it so good in the long run; because the pas- darted in arrows and javelins, twisted round sages are very liable to become clogged with with flax which had deeply imbibed the inflamsoot; and, even before they are so clogged as to mable oil : sometimes it was deposited in fireintercept the passage of the smoke, the trans- ships, or most commonly blown through long mission of the heat is much impaired, because tubes of copper, planted on the prow of a galley. the interior surfaces of the flues, becoming coated The modern discoveries respecting combustion with soot, do not conduct the heat so rapidly, have disclosed the whole secret of compositions and, in consequence, a great part will still pass which burn without access to the atmosphere, out into the chimney. Also, these flues with by means of oxygen afforded from nitre. small passages require a stronger draught in the FIRE-Lock, in military affairs, the arms of chimney to make the air pass through the pas- a foot soldier, so called because it produces fire sages, than when chambers are used.

of itself by flint and steel, in contradistinction The Holland iron stove, which has a fue pro- from a match-lock, which requires a lighted ceeding from the top, the fire-place and ash-pit match. Firelocks were formerly three feet being closed by small iron doors opening into eight inches in the barrel, and weighed fourteen the room, comes next to be considered. It is pounds, at present the length of the barrel is frequently made of iron plate, and is most com- from three feet three inches to three feet six monly called a German stove. Its conveniences inches, and the weight of the piece only twelve are, that it makes a room warm all over, for the pounds. They carry a leaden bullet, of which chimney being wholly closed, except the flue of twenty-nine make two pounds, its diameter is the stove, very little air is required to supply •550 of an inch, and that of the barrel one-fifthat, and therefore not much rushes in at crevices, tieth part of the shot. See Musket. or at the door when it is opened. Little fuel FIRE-Pots, in the military art, small earthen serves, the heat being nearly all saved ; for it pots, into which is put a charged grenade, and radiates almost equally from the four sides, and over that powder enough to cover the grenade; the bottom and top, into the room, and presently the pot is then covered with a piece of parchwarms the air around it, which, being rarefied, ment, and two pieces of lighted match placed rises to the ceiling, and its place is supplied by across; this being thrown by a handle of matches the lower air of the room, which flows gradually where it is designed, it breaks and fires the powtowards the stove, and is there warmed and rises der, and burns all that is near it, and likewise in its turn, so that there is a continual circula- fires the powder in the grenade, which ought to tion, till all the air in the room is warmed. The have no fuse, that its operations may be the air, too, is gradually changed by the stove-doors quicker. being in the room, through which part of it is FIRE-REEDS, reeds used in fire-ships. They continually passing, and that makes these stoves are made up in small bundles of about a foot in more wholesome, or at least more pleasant, than circumference, cut even at both ends, and tied the German stoves. But they have the inconve- together in two places. They are distinguished nience that there is no sight of the fire, which into two kinds, viz. the long and short; the foris, in itself, a pleasant thing, nor can any other mer of which are four feet

, and the latter two use be conveniently made of the fire but that of feet five inches in length. One part of them warming the room

are singly dipped, i. e. at one end : the rest are dipped at both ends in a kettle of melted com- whence it extends obliquely to a sally port I, position. After being immersed about seven or cut through the ship's side. The decks and eight inches in this preparation, and then troughs are well covered with melted resin. drained, they are sprinkled over with pulverised At the time of the firing either of the leading sulphur upon a tanned hide.

troughs, the flame is immediately conveyed to FIRE-Suips are generally old vessels filled the opposite side of the ship, 'whereby both with combustibles, fitted with grappling ironssides burn together. The spaces N, O, behind to hook, and set fire to, the enemies ships in the fire-room, represent the cabins of the lieutebattle, &c. As there is nothing particular in nant and master, one of which is on the starthe construction of this ship, except the appa- board, and the other on the larboard side. The ratus by which the fire is instantly conveyed captain's cabin, which is separated from these from one part to another, and thence to the by a bulk-head, is exhibited also by P. Four of enemy, it is sufficient to describe the fire-room, the eight fire-barrels are placed under the four where these combustibles are enclosed, together fire-trunks; and the other four between them, with the instruments necessary to grapple the two on each side of the fire scuttles, where they ship intended to be destroyed. The fire-room are securely cleated to the deck. The lovgest is built between decks, and limited on the after- fire-reeds are put into the fore and aft troughs, part by a bulkhead, L, behind the main reast, and tied down: the shortest reeds are laid in the from which it extends quite forward, as repre- troughs athwart, and tied down also. The fire sented in the diagram at the foot of this article. bavins, dipped at one end, are tied fast to the The train enclosed in this apartment is contained troughs over the reeds, and the curtains are nailed in a variety of wooden troughs, D, G, which up to the beams, in equal quantities, on each intersect each other in different parts of the side of the fire-room. The remainder of the ship's length; being supported at proper dis- reeds are placed in a position nearly upright, at tances by cross pieces and stanchions. On each all the angles of every square in the fire-room, side of the ship are six or seven ports, H, about and there tied down. If any reeds are left, they eighteen inches broad and fifteen inches high; are to be put round the fire-barrels, and other and having their lids to open downward, con- vacant places, and there tied fast. trary to the usual method. Against every port The following instructions are given in the is placed an iron chamber, which, at the time regulations for a fire-ship of 150 tons burden : of firing the ship, blows out the port-lid, and The fire-barrels are to be two feet four inches opens a passage for the flame. The iron cham- high, and one foot six inches in diameter. Each bers are ten inches long and 3.5 in diameter. barrel must have four holes of about six inches They are breeched against a piece of wood fixed square, cut in its sides, with a square piece of across the ports, and let into another a little canvas nailed over each of them. They are higher. When loaded they are almost filled then filled with the carcass-composition, and with corn-powder, and have a wooden tompion four plugs, of about one inch diameter and well driven into their muzzles. They are primed three inches long, and well greased, are thrust with a small piece of quick-match thrust through into the top, and then left to dry. When dry, their vents into the powder, with a part of it these plugs are taken out, and the holes filled hanging out. When the ports are blown open with fuse-composition, and quick-match at the by means of the iron chambers, the port-lids top, which goes from one hole to the other; either fall downward, or are carried away by the after this, the top is smeared over with mealed explosion. Immediately under the main and powder, mixed up with spirits of wine. When fore shrouds is fixed a wooden funnel M; whose dry again, a sheet or two of brown paper is laid lower end communicates with a fire-barrel, by over the top, and then one of the canvas covers, which the flame passing through the funnel is which is made secure by the upper hoop of the conducted to the shrouds. Between the fun- barrel. nels, which are likewise called fire-trunks, are The composition for dipping reeds, bavins, two scuttles, or small holes in the upper deck, and curtains, is serving also to let out the flames. Both funnels

Ibs. must be stopped with plugs, and have sail-cloth Resin

120 or canvas nailed close over them, to prevent any Coarse sulphur

90 accident from above to the combustibles laid Swedish pitch

60 below. The ports, funnels, and scuttles, not Tallow

6 only communicate the flames to the outside and Mealed powder

12 upper works of the ship and her rigging; but likewise open a passage for the inward air, con- In order to produce an additional external fined in the fire-room, which is thereby expanded fire, forty-four boxes are filled with the carcassso as to force impetuously through those out- composition, and distributed on the three masts lets, and prevent the blowing up of the decks, in the following manner :-One suspended from which must of necessity happen from such a each of the cat-heads and davits, on each side sudden and violent rarefaction of the air as will of the bow; eight slung across the bowsprit; then be produced. On each side of the bulk four across each of the out-riggers abaft; two head behind is cut a hole L, of sufficient size to from the grapplings of each of the lower yardadmit a trough of the same dimensions as the arms; one from the dead-eyes on each side of others. A trough, L, I, whose foremost end the three round-tops; and one from the middle communicates with another trough within the of the inside of the main, fore, and mizen fire-room, is laid close to this opening, shrouds.

Besides the boxes, there are fire-barrels ar- fired, to the communication through the trough, ranged as follows :—Two half barrels on the laid with leaders of quick-match, that the fire forecastle; two abaft the main-deck, and four may be communicated on both sides at once. on the main-deck; two in each round-top, What quick-match is left must be placed so that placed against the masts; and four large fire- the fire may be communicated to all parts of the barrels

, under fire-trunks, to convey fire to the room at once, especially about the ports and curtains on the shrouds. All these fire-barrels fire-barrels. The port-fire used for firing the and boxes are to be fired by separate leaders of ship burns about twelve minutes; great care quick-match, or port-fire, in order that any part must be taken to have no powder on board when of the ship may be fired, to cover its approach the ship is fired. Sheer-hooks are fitted so as to hy the smoke; and the remaining part instanta- fasten on the yard-arms of the fire-ship, where neously upon quitting the ship. It has been they hook the enemy's rigging. The firefound, by experiment, that two men, with lighted grapplings are either fixed on the yard-arms, or port-fires, can set fire to the whole of the leaders thrown by hand, having a chain to confine the on the deck, bowsprit

, cat-heads, out-riggers, &c., ships together, or fasten those instruments wherein less than a minute; therefore, the risk of ever necessary. Whenever the commanding trusting to one main leader to the whole may be officer of a fleet displays the signal to prepare avoided. The leaders are laid in painted canvas for action, the fire-ships fix their sheer-hooks, hose, made for the purpose.

and dispose their grapplings in readiness. The The proportion of combustible stores for a battle being begun, they proceed immediately to fire-ship of 150 tons, is as follows:

prime, and prepare their fire-works. When 8 Fire-barrels, filled with composition,

they are ready for grappling, they inform the 12 Iron chambers, to blow open the ports. avoid being disabled by the enemy's cannon

admiral thereof by a particular signal. To 250 Bavins, single-dipped. 24 Port-fires.

during a general engagement, the fire-ships con3} Priming composition barrels.

tinue sufficiently distant from their line-of1 Quick-match ditto.

battle, either to windward or leeward. They 48 Dipped curtains.

cautiously shun the openings or intervals of the 150 Long reeds, single-dipped.

line, where they would be directly exposed to 75 Short reeds, single-dipped.

the enemy's fire, from which they are covere:) 75 Short reeds, double-dipped.

by lying on the opposite side of their own ships. 60 Hand grenades.

They are attentively to observe the signals of

the admiral or his seconds, in order to put their When ordered to priine, the captaia is to take designs immediately into execution. Although up all his reeds, cne after another, and strow a no ship of the line should be previously apTitle composition at the bottom of all the troughs pointed to protect any fire-ship, except a few of under the reeds, and then tie them gently down the smallest particularly destined to this service, again; next to strow composition upon the yet the ship before whom she passes in order to upper part of the reeds throughout the fire- approach the enemy, should escort her thither, room; and upon the composition to lay double and assist her with an armed boat, or whatever quick-match upon all the reeds, in all the succour may be necessary in her situation. troughs: the remainder of the composition to be Among the most formidable contrivances ever spread over all the fire-room. He is then to used, either as a fire-ship or explosion-vessel, is cast off all the covers of the fire-barrels, and that which was used to destroy the bridge of hang the quick-match loose over their sides, and boats at the siege of Antwerp, in the year 1585; place leaders of quick-match from the reeds into which an author of that period states to have the barrels, and thence into the vent of the been a ship strongly timbered, containing a chambers, in such a manner as to be certain of vaulted arch of stone or mortar, filled with 200 their blowing open the ports, and setting fire to barrels of gunpowder, over which were placed the barrels. The troughs of communication large stones of all forms, cannon-shot, iron chains, from each door of the fire-room to the sally- &c., sufficient to destroy a whole city, that were ports must be laid with a strong leader of quick- exploded by a secret fusee, contrived so as not match, four or five times double: also a cross- to set fire to the charge till the vessel came in piece to go from the sally-port, when the ship is contact with the bridges, which it blew to atoms.

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FIRE-WORKS. See PYROTECHNY. No person Oblique firing is either to the right and left, or whatsoever shall make or sell squibs, rockets, from the right and left to the centre, according serpents, &c., or cases or moulds for making to the situation of the object. The Prussians such squibs; and every such offence shall be have a particular contrivance for this purpose; adjudged a common nuisance, and persons if they are to level to the right, the rear ranks of making or selling squibs shall forfeit £5. every platoon make two quick but small paces

Persons throwing or firing squibs, &c., or to the left, and the body of each soldier turns suffering them to be thrown or fired from their one-eighth of a circle, and vice versa. Parapethouses, incur a penalty of 20s. Likewise per- firing depends on the nature of the parapet over sons throwing, casting, or firing, or aiding or which the men are to fire, and also upon that of assisting in the throwing, casting, or firing of any the attack made to possess it. This method of squibs, rockets, serpents, or other fire-works, in firing is sometimes performed by single ranks or into any public street, house, or shop, river, stepping on the banquette and firing; each man highway, road, or passage, incur the like per instantly handing his arms to the centre rank of nalty of 208.; and on non-payment may be the same file, and taking his back in the room of committed to the house of correction.

it; and the centre rank giving it to the rear to This statute does not take from any person load, and forwarding the

arms of the rear to the injured, by throwing of squibs, &c., the remedy front rank; by which means the front rank men at common law; for the party may maintain a can fire six or seven rounds in a minute with special action on the case or trespass, &c., for exactness. Parapet-firing may also be executed recovery of full damages.

two deep, when the banquette is three feet broad, Firing, in military affairs, is used to denote or in field works, where no banquettes are made. the discharge of all sorts of fire-arms against Square-firing is performed by a regiment or the enemy. The fire of the infantry is by a body of men drawn up in a hollow square, in regular discharge of their firelocks, by platoons, which case each front is generally divided into divisions, &c.; that of the cavalry, with their four divisions or firings, and the Aanks of the carbines and pistols; and that of a place be- square, being the weakest part, are covered by sieged, from their artillery.

four platoons of grenadiers. The first fire is Defensive fire belongs principally to infantry, from the right division of each face; the second when posted on heights which are to be defended from the left division of each face, &c., and the by musketry. As soldiers generally present too grenadiers make the last fire. Street-firing is high, and as fire is of the greatest consequence practised in two ways; either by making the dito troops that are on the defensive, the habitual vision or platoon that has fired to wheel by halfmode of firing should, therefore, be rather at a rank to the right and left outwards from the low level than a high one.

centre, and to march in that order by half diviOn these occasions the men are generally sions down the flanks on each side of the column, drawn up three deep; in which case, the front and to draw up in the rear, and go on with their rank kneeling, being the most efficacious, as priming and loading; or, to make the division being the most razing, should not be dispensed or platoon, after firing, to face to the right and with when it can be safely and usefully em- left outwards from the centre, and one half ployed. The present method of firing by pla- rank to follow the other; and, in that order, to toons is said to have been invented by Gustavus march in one centre file down on each side of Adolphus, and first used about 1618: the reason the columns into the rear, and there draw up as for this method is, that a constant fire may be before. always kept up. There are three different ways

FIRK, v. 0. Lat. ferio. To whip; to beat ; of platoon fring, viz. standing, advancing, and

to correct; to chastise. retreating. But, previous to every kind of firing, each regiment or battalion must be told off in

Besides, it is not only foppish,

But vile, idolatrous, and popish, grand divisions, subdivisions, and platoons, ex

For one man out of his own skin clusively of the grenadiers, which form two

To firk and whip another's sin. Hudibras. subdivisions or four platoons of themselves. In firing standing, either by divisions or platoons,

FI’RKIN, n. s. Sax. feoder, the fourth part the first fire is from the division or platoon on of a vessel, i. e. of a barrel: Minsheu says, with the right; the second fire from the left; the superabundant erudition, from Lat. ferendo, bearthird from the right again, and so on alternately, ing, because it is a little vessel, which easily may till the firing comes to the centre platoon, which be carried! A vessel containing nine gallons. is generally called the color platoon, and does You heard of that wonder of the lightning and not fire, remaining as a reserve for the colors.

thunder, Firing advancing is performed in the same Which made the lye so much the loader; manner, with this addition, that before either Now list to another, that miracle's brother, division or platoon fires, it advances three paces which was done with a firkin of powder. Denham. forward. Firing retreating varies from either of Strutt's servants get such a haunt about that shop, the former methods; for, before either division that it will cost us many a firkin of strong beer to

Arbuthnot. or platoon fires, if they are marching from the bring them back again. enemy, it njust go to the right about, and after FIRLOT, a dry measure used in Scotland. firing, to the left about again, and continue the The oat firlot contains 214th pints of that counretreat as slowly and orderly as possible. In try; the wheat firlot contains about 2211 cubical hedge-firing the men are drawn up two deep, inches; and the barley firlot, thirty-one standard and in that order both ranks are to fire standing. pints. Hence, it appears, that the Scotch wheat

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firlot exceeds the English bushel by thirty-three to the nature of things, that they perfectly correspond cubical inches.

with their real existence.

Locke. FIRM, adj., v. a., & n.s. Fr. ferme; Ital.

The man that's resolute and just, FIRM'ITY, n. s. firma; Lat. firmus,

Firm to his principles and trust, firm'ly, adv. *from Gr. ειρμος,


Nor hopes nur fears can blind. FIRM'NESS, n. 8.

linked, or bound,

The common people of Lucca are firmly persuaded, together. Compact; strong; hard; solid: that one Lucquese can beat five Florentines.

Addison on Italy. hence, figuratively, constant; fixed; steady; re

It would become by degrees of greater consistency solute': as a verb, to settle; conform; establish; and firmness, so as to resemble an habitable earth. fix: and, as a substantive, an establishment; or

Burnet. the fixed name of a mercantile house : firmity is

In persons already possessed with notions of relistrength; solidity; the opposite of infirmity.

gion, the understanding cannot be brought to change The fakes of his fesh are joined together : they are them, but by great examination of the truth and firmfirm in themselves, and they cannot be moved. ness of the one, and the flaws and weakness of the Job xli. 23. other.

South's Sermons. He on his card and compass firms his eye,

'Tis meet that noble minds keep ever with their The masters of his long experiment.


Faerie Queene. For who so firm that cannot be seduced ? Settle. Of the death of the emperor they advertised Soly. How very hard particles, which touch only in a man, firming those letters with all their hands and few points, can stick together so firmly, without someseals. Knolles. thing which causes them to be attracted towards one

Newton, God caused the wind to blow to dry up the abun. another, is difficult to conceive. dant slime and mud of the earth, and make the land That body, whose parts are most firm in themmore firm.

Raleigh. selves, and are by their peculiar shapes capable of the We hold firm to the works of God, and to the sense greatest contacts, is the most firm; and that which which is God's lamp. Bacon's Natural History. has parts very small, and capable of the least conBoth the easiness and firmness of union might be tact, will be most soft.

Woodward. conjectured, for that both people are of the same lan- This armed Job with firmness and fortitude. guage. Hayward.

Atterbury. The strength and firmity of my assent must rise and

O thou, who freest me from my doubtful state, fall together with the apparent credibility of the Long lost and wildered in the maze of fate ! object.

Chillingworth. Be present still : oh goddess, in our aid
Love's artillery then checks

Proceed, and firm those omens thou hast made!
The breastworks of the firmest sex.

Pope. Cleaveland. So from dark clouds the playful lightning springs, It on firm land

Rives the firm oak, or prints the Fairy-rings. Thaws not, but rather heap and ruin seems

Darwin. Of ancient pile : all else deep snow and ice.

l'oo firm to yield, and far too proud to stoop,

Milton. Doomed by his very virtues for a dupe,
He straight obeys;

He curst those virtues as the cause of ill,
And firm believes. id. Paradise Losl. And not the traitors who betrayed him still;
Thou shalt come of force,

Nor deemed that gifts bestowed on better men l'hough thou art firmlier fastened than a rock. Had left him joy, and means to give again. Milton.

Byron, That thou should'st my firmness doubt

FIRM'AMENT, n. s.? Fr. firmament ; Ital. To God, or thee, because we have a foe

FirmamENTAL, adj. Span. and Port. firmaMay tempt us, I expected not to hear. Id. The muddy and limous matter brought down by FIRM. The sky; the visible heavens; the ex

mento; Lat. firmamentum, from firmus. See the Nilus, settled by degrees into a firm land. Browne's Vulgar Errours.

panse over our heads. Sinking waters, the firm land to drain,

Also, be the erthe devysed in als manye parties, Filled the capacious deep, and formed the main.

as the firmament; and let every partye answere to a Roscommon.

degree of the firmament. Sir J. Mandeville Nor can the' Egyptian patriarch blame my muse,

Even to the heavens their shouting shrill Which for his firmness does his beat excuse. Id.

Doth reach, and all the firmament doth fill.

Spenser. The great encouragement is the assurance of a fu

I am constant as the northern star, ture reward, the firm persuasion whereof is enough

Of whose true, fixt, and resting quality, to raise us above any thing in this world. Tillotson.

There is no fellow in the firmament. There is nothing to be left void in a firm building;

Shakspeare. even the cavities ought to be filled with rubbish.

The Almighty, whose hieroglyphical characters

Dryden. are the unnumbered stars, sun and moon, written on The powers, said he,

these large volumes of the firmament. Raleigh. To you, and yours, and mine, propitious be,

The firmament expanse of liquid, pure,
And firm our purpose with their augury. Id.

Transparent, elemental air, diffused
"Tis ratified above by every God,

In circuit, to the uttermost convex · And Jove has firmed it with an awful nod. Id.

Of this great round. Milton's Paradise Lost. Himself to be the man the fates require ;

An hollow crystal pyramid he takes, I firmly judge, and what I judge desire.


In firmamental waters dipt above. Dryden. To this abuse, those men are most subject, who The steeds climb up the first ascent with pain ; most confine their thoughts to any one system, and And when the middle firmament they gain, give themselves up into a firm belief of the perfection If downward from the heavens my head I bow, of any received hypothesis ; whereby they coine to be And see the earth and ocean hang below, persuaded, that the terms of that sect are so suited Even I am seized with borror. Addison's Ovid.

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