The common men, who know very little of fortification, confound the ravelin and the half-moon together, — tho’ they are very different things; — not in their figure or construction, for we make them exactly alike in all points; — for they always consist of two faces, making a salient angle, with the gorges not straight, but in form of a crescent: — “Where then lies the difference?” (quoth my father, a little testily.) — In their situations, answered my uncle Toby: — For when a ravelin, brother, stands before the curtin, it is a ravelin; and when a ravelin stands before a bastion, then the ravelin is not a ravelin; — it is a half-moon; — a half-moon likewise is a half-moon, and no more, so long as it stands before its bastion; — but was it to change place, and get before the curtin, — ‘twould be no longer a half-moon; a half-moon, in that case, is not a half-moon; — ’tis no more than a ravelin.


Laurence Sterne, from The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, Vol.2 Chapter 12 (1760)

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