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town of Gibraltar, climbing some short distance up the ascent, and crowned by the old reddishlooking Moorish gateway and tower, now used as a civil prison. Beyond this a few consumptivelooking gardens are coaxed into bloom, and then the brown, blistered surface of the naked rock, crowned by O'Hara's folly, (an old tower,) and the signal and demand staffs.
Numbers of Spanish latteen boats crowded into the small harbour, having English papers and hoisting the British flag.
Steamers and vessels of every nation
occupy the deeper water outside. Near the landing, wherever the eye rests, a gun frowns upon it, peeping like so many chained bull-dogs from behind the grating of the embrasures, and the occasional red coat of the sentry attracts the view, as his bright arms glance in the
Having received immediate pratique, we were not long in availing ourselves of it, and stretching our limbs on shore.
Passing the outer gate, a scene of great variety and interest arrests the attention-namely, the market, which, for arrangement and supply, is not to be surpassed any where.
Meat of the very best description slaughtered for the garrison, fowls from Barbary, fruit and vegetables from Spain and Tangier, and fish from the Mediterranean, all separate, and placed under sheds and awnings ; while the dresses of the Moors and Spaniards
the squeeling of apes and monkeys—the harsh music of Brazilian parrots—the noise of sailorsthe authoritative tone of the messmen, and the clatter of soldiers' wives, with squalling children in their arms, are not a little astounding, upon
very first step you make upon land. Another draw-bridge is then to be passed, and you are within one of the strongest forts in the world.
The scene which now presents itself is of the most singular description, and such as I can liken only to a fancy-ball. The stiff, erect person of the English soldier, buttoned to the throat, and his neck stuck into a high regimental stock, meets you at every turn; and as officers on duty or on lounge parade every second street, the walk of the private is one continued salute from beginning to end. How ill our men contrast with the noble bearing, the stately gait, and fine athletic person of the swarthy Moor, clad in his snow-white flowing hyke, red slippers, and wide-spreading turban. Thousands of the children of Israel, dressed in their blue gowns and small black scull caps, crowd 'the streets, hastening, with downcast eyes and plodding faces, intent upon some new speculation, or planning some untried method of gain or interest. Spanish contrabandistas, in their highpeaked hats, spangled jackets, yellow leggings, and embroidered vests, swagger past you wherever you go; and merchants' clerks, in white jackets
and upturned cuffs, bustle into the counting-houses, while the fumes of tobacco, smoked in all shapes and forms, issue from every mouth. The shops are numerous, dear, and filled with French frippery and pinchbeck jewellery.
The trade of this small place is very great, and consists principally in the wares of Sheffield, Birmingham, and Manchester, to be sent into Barbary, or smuggled into Spain ; and the manufacture of tobacco. Almost every second house is a cigar shop, with from two to six persons at work, and they make the best looking cigars I ever saw, but in flavour they are lamentably deficient, as the leaf is generally Virginian. It is said that upwards of two thousand persons are engaged in making cigars ; some of the good workers will make six hundred a day, and earn three shillings. But we must hasten onwards to one of the greatest magnets here—the post-office. On our right is the town-hall, and behind it a small square, closed by the hotel, formerly the officer's club-house, and on the left, the Roman Catholic church, provided with a Tipperary chaplain by the government—a most intelligent and well-informed man. Then comes the governor's residence, with its squad of orderlies, aides-de-camp, and liveried grooms holding horses; and if you can poke your way through files of marching and countermarching, the tilbury of the old major, the prancing steed of the lordly ensign, and the drove of waggons, provision and wash carts, you get
to the gate at the other side of the town, where the deep valleys on both hands contain the ashes of the soldier, and the many classic tombs tell tales of the early death of many a gallant officer or tried veteran, who having braved the storm and the fight, fell beneath the hand of lingering disease, or sudden pestilence, upon this parching rock. But though distant from their fatherland, the marble or the elegy has not been forgotten by their sorrowing brothers.
A lane, walled by piles of guns and mortars, and mountains of ball and shell, leads to the only fertile or pretty spot on the rock—the Alamadama fine square esplanade rising above the batteries, open to the sea, and surrounded by well-grown trees; above this are terraces laid out with great taste, and filled with numbers of beautiful shrubs, among which the scarlet geranium holds a conspicuous place. Agaves of great size border the parterres, and serve as retainers to the soil; and crimson aloes, the finest I have seen, blossom in great luxuriance. The numerous seats and alcoves command a view of the sea, the different vessels passing the straits, and the distant rock of Ape's hill, and the heights of the African coast beyond. On one of the upper terraces, a bust of Wellington surmounts a low pillar, on which is hung a shield, telling of the deeds of the Peninsula, and before it a fine brass gun, taken from the Spaniards.
This is the promenade of Gibraltar, as well as
THE EVENING GUN.
the review-ground of the troops; and whether it be the contrast with the surrounding barrenness, or its real beauty, I cannot say, but to me it appeared particularly charming. Still farther on are hospitals, barracks, out-stations, and the Mediterranean stairs, where a view of great splendour opens on the first burst of this midland sea upon you, the shores of Europe and Africa deploying from the narrow straits on either side, and the blue water, studded with the many white sails that daily crowd this great naval thoroughfare.
As the gates shut at 5 o'clock, and none are allowed to remain in garrison without permission, we hastened on board, where, after dinner, we all came on deck to see the evening gun fired from the signal-house at the top of the Rock: it is a striking ceremony, especially when the night is dark or misty, as this one happened to be. The minute comes-the town clock strikes—the flash bursts forth, like a ray of most vivid lightning, and ere the boom that follows has ceased to echo, the bugles from the fort send forth their startling notes, the drum-roll follows, and then a single stir is no more heard.
No quarters that I have yet heard of are more heartily detested by our troops than Gibraltar, and in no place is the difficulty of “meeting the enemy,” more complained of. Verily ennui is written in the discontented phiz of every sub and captain cooped up within this great lobster-box.