Mechanicians Musicians Metaphysicians

“The Yankees, the first mechanicians in the world, are engineers – just as the Italians are musicians and the Germans metaphysicians – by right of birth. Nothing is more natural, therefore, than to perceive them applying their audacious ingenuity to the science of gunnery.” Jules Verne

Does Verne mean with „gunnery“ the making of weapons? And does he mean with „them“ the Yankees (Americans) or the Germans?

Verne (1828–1905) was a French novelist, poet, and playwrite best known for is adventure novels and his great influence on the literary genre of science fiction.