Itittr 'to Ibt thin.
September 18, 1860:' Sin-I learn through4a -contemporary of yours, that the Armstrong breech-loading ordnance is. alailure ; !mixt .unlikely. thing, as .many±men of, practical. experience foresaw. Wby,is it that -the Armstrong and Whit- worth guns claim all the attention of ,the officials ? Are there no other in- ventors in the country Are really Useful inventions inthe art of war kept on the shelf, because the inventor is too poor to advertise himself by a con- tinual combat with the'Governsnent, or because be declines to-sell his in- vention to someofficial, who orillpnif it offinchisown invention ? There are other inventors of ordnance inthis,kingdoni, whose inventions deserve a trial, as much as those favoured ones. A .poor man invents apiece of ordnance, he invites a trial by the Government, and the answer is that, if the hi- venter will produce a gun, the Government will find• him a place to try it, and powder and shot-at prime cost. A Such at once ; the gun is put a oneside, and there is an end of it. Such appears to be the case with.lfr. Hobbs's gun mentioned by, you, in your impressions of September the 10th, and November 12th, 1859, and January 21st 1860. Why is this, gun al- lowed to remain on the shelf? According to your published statement, LI have seen the gun, and can bear testimony to its accuracy) this gun has pecu- liar claims upon the officials, to give it a fair trial. Mr. Hobbs is a small tradesman whose means 'have been swallowed up in bringing his gun.o what he considers perfection. .Be cannot, therefore, comply with the Government request teprovide a cannon. I do not au that Mr. Hobbs's
gun will do all he says it will ; but it cannot be very hard upon a Govern- ment to spend a hundred pounds in trying some of the engine's capabilities, when that mane Government has spent thousands in propping up what has at last turned out to .be a gigantic .failure. Sir Charles Napier has given his opinion that Hobbs's gun will prove eminently successful, if properly tried.