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may expend itself, so as to allure them from the low and beastly revels of the brothel and the dram-shop.
As we passed on through the town, we met officers and soldiers at every turn, with all that neatness of dress, and precision of movement, for which the English military are so much noted.
The walls along the water side, and the whole surface of the mountain around, are bristling with cannon, while others, in long, dark rows, are looking out from galleries, which have been blasted from the solid rock, one thousand feet above the level of the sea. We passed through a gate in the massive wall, erected by the Emperor Charles the Fifth, parallel to which is another, of more modern construction, both extending from the water to the summit of the rock. There is much in the general appearance of Gibraltar to remind one of Quebec, though the fortifications and natural scenery are on a much more grand and imposing scale, than in the Canadian city
Among the crowded and indolent population of southern Europe, it is always easy to obtain guides to go with you wherever you please, and you are lucky indeed, if
, when you wish for one, you do not get half a dozen, all of whom expect a reward for their services. To secure employment, they will pretend to know people and places, though entirely ignorant of them, and hence will only mislead you.
Thus was it, at first, with us, but at length we reached the Consul's house. It is spacious, and in fine style, and Mr. Sprague and his intelligent and interesting family make all Americans who visit them, entirely at home. He was a native of Boston, and though he has spent most of his life in Europe, yet this seems only to have strengthened his attachment for the land of his birth, and he remarked, that visiting the old world had the same effect on all Americans whom he had met with abroad. By his kind and unaffected politeness, and his generous hospitality, he does much credit to his country, and well sustains, in these respects, the reputation of the good old city of the pilgrims, from which he came.
On sallying forth to inspect the town, every thing seemed new and strange to me indeed. How singular was it to hear even the little children in the street prattling in an unknown tongue. And, oh! what a jargon of confused sounds greeted my ears. A motley tribe of the builders of Babel, each anxious to display, to the utmost, his new-caught dialect, could hardly have equalled the lingo around me. But
his was nothing to the varieties of dress, costume, and manners, which everywhere met the eye.
In a strange city, the public market-place, and the street where most business is done, are commonly the first that I visit.
In these places, one meets with the greatest concourse of people, and the striking varieties of character are seen in boldest relief, in connexion with the sharp collision which takes place, where money is at stake.
Gibraltar, from the various wants of its inhabitants,-dependent as they are, even for their garden vegetables, on the neighbouring ports of Spain and Africa, - from its being a free port, and the extensive smuggling trade carried on from thence into Spain, and from being a point where so much commerce, from all parts of the world, passes, and where, owing to the narrowness of the straits, and the strong inward current, ships, in large numbers, are often windbound, - from these, and other causes, Gibraltar collects a greater variety of foreigners than almost any other port, aside from its own motley mass of inhabitants. Owing to the narrow limits of the place, too, those who meet there, are thrown so compactly together, as to present, at a single glance, a kind of living panorama of the world, not unlike (in the varieties of men to be met with) the grand and varied exhibition of the brute creation, in that floating menagerie, - Noah's Ark. There is the haughty English officer, living, with all his pomp and power, a floating, vagabondish kind of life. Then come those man-machines, the soldiers, stuffed, and padded into legal form and size, starched, and stiff as a maypole, slaves to martial rule, with no power of thought or action, which accords not with their commander's will. The sober Dutchman, with his pipe, - the reckless and jolly Irishman, rolling off his brogue, - the Frenchman, with limber neck, and tongue more limber still, — the shrewd and active Genoese, the Yankees of Italy, — the dark and wily Sicilian, cringing and deceitful, — the well-formed and athletic Greek, intent on gain, and yet, with his eastern costume, and his free and independent bearing, conspicuous among the rest, -Spaniards, with their dark faces, and still darker eyes; some, with their steeple-crowned sombreros decked with beads and tassels; others, with savage, haggard faces, with loose, leather leggins, and long, red caps hanging down their backs, giving them a kind of cut-throat look, - the haughty and indolent Moor, tall and gaunt, and with his bag-breeches, and fulltopped turban, stalking along, as if monarch of all he surveys, and laughing to scorn, the poor, deluded infidels around him,- and, last and lowest in the scale of degradation and oppression, the poor Jews, who seem to have exhausted, to the very dregs, the cup of cursing and bitterness given them, in answer to that awful invocation,
" His blood be on us, and on our children.” Some of them, indeed, are rich, and dress in the English mode, but most of them are, like the Gibeonites of old, “ hewers of wood, and drawers of water," or rather, are beasts of burden to the Gentiles around them. Like the Irish and Negroes in the United States, they are employed as porters, and for the most menial services. They are the descendants of those who were driven from Spain and Portugal, in the time of Ferdinand and Isabella, many thousa ands of whom then perished, as victims of Catholic cruelty. The lower classes of them more about the streets, abject, and with a filthy dress, bearing every kind of burden, or selling fruit, and other articles of small value. They wear large bag, breeches, open at the bottom, and reaching but little below the knee. The calf of the leg and ankle are bare, while, for an upper garment, they have a loose shirt, or frock, with a hood, which is the only covering of their heads. These garments are made of dark, coarse cloth, which is often striped, like bed-ticking. They have the common Jewish look, save that their faces are very lean and thin, and their eyes peculiarly large and ghastly. Truly, they are a living fulfilment of prophecy, -"a nation trodden down and peeled, yet beloved for their father's sake," and destined by God, to be again the objects of his favor, when, with sincere repentance, they shall look on him whom they pierced, and mourn.
With one of the Jewish priests, or Rabbis, I went to the principal synagogue, (besides which, they have three others.) It had massive silver lamps, and was dimly lighted by small windows. It was the morning of their Sabbath, but there was then no service going on. The Rabbi who was with me, called in three or four of his brethren, with whom I spent some time. They unlocked the cases where were their parchment scrolls, with silver mountings, and enclosed with tapestry. They also showed me their various books. Most of these were from Germany, and printed with the vowel points. They had also a copy of Levy's Hebrew Prayers, with an English translation,
in six large octavo volumes, apparently the same edition which is met with in the public libraries in the United States. In reading Hebrew
with them, the only difference of manner between us, arose from their giving the Spanish, instead of the English, sound to some of the vowels. They were kind and affable in their deportment, and my interview with them excited feelings of sad and peculiar interest.
During a pleasure excursion, some years previous to my visiting Europe, I chanced to pass down the St. Lawrence, from Montreal to Quebec, in a steamboat, with the officers of an English regiment, having on board their families, and a fine band of music, to add to the interest of the voyage. They were then on their way to Ireland, from whence they had been transferred to Gibraltar, a short time before our arrival. When first ascending the rock of Gibraltar, I fell in with one of the officers of this same regiment, with a party of English gentlemen and ladies of rank, mounted on the rough but sure-footed nags used for these mountain excursions. Led on by our Jewish guides, -all of us enjoying, with peculiar zest, the exciting scenes around, and rivalling each other in deeds of daring, to secure the fairest wild flowers which projected from the beetling cliffs, our excursion was one of most delightful interest. It was one of those bright and sunny hours of life, on which, gilded as they are with the mingled light of romance and of poetry, we ever delight to look back; and our only regret is, that we may not trace the after course of those bright, but fleeting meteors, which then passed before us. And yet should we hardly wish to know, that sorrow ever cast her deadly nightshade over hearts so glad and joyous.
In ascending the rock, we passed along paths, defended by high walls, and above the reach of cannon, while here and there were batteries, with their long guns pointing down upon the bay, and the narrow strip of land which connects Gibraltar with the continent. This last is a low sandy beach, and being undermined, can, when necessary, be blown into the air, and thus Gibraltar becomes nearly or quite an island. Soon, we entered the excavations at the northern end of the rock. These were made by the British, and are equalled by few labors of modern or of ancient times. A passage of half a mile in length, and eight or ten feet square, is blasted through the solid rock. It is about thirty feet from the outer surface, and at a short distance from each other are side cuts,
with chambers, where are from one to six guns, with large piles of cannon balls with them. The main passage communicates, by means of spiral stair-cases through the large halls, with other galleries, above and below. There are also vast magazines, filled with the munitions of war. It is computed that these excavations will contain fifteen thousand men. We passed out into the open air by means of a long flight of stairs, at the upper extremity of this hidden way, and found ourselves on a rude platform, high above the town and the bay, while a frowning precipice was hanging over our heads. We descended by a different route from that by which we went up, and passed along roads so rough and precipitous, that no horses but such as had been trained to it could have made their way there at all.
It is often said that Yankees may be found everywhere, and this is the name by which all Americans are known in foreign countries. During one of the days which I spent in strolling about alone over the rock of Gibraltar, I arrived almost exhausted with fatigue, and heat, and thirst, at the Signal House on the summit, when whom should I meet there but an old and intimate college friend, who was spending a year in Europe for his health.
With a company of our officers I visited St. Michael's cave, which is near the southern extremity of the rock, and more than half way up its western side. It is very extensive, with stalactites hanging from above, and in some places there are pillars four or five feet in diameter, extending from the floor to the roof, and almost as regular in form as if they had been wrought by art. There are two basins of water, and other curiosities, and with the aid of ropes one may penetrate hundreds of yards into the mountain. Each of us carried a wax candle, and as we looked far in and saw others of our party in the dim distance, moving about with their lights among the huge rocks and massive pillars of the cavern, and heard their voices coming to us with a thousand hollow reverberated echoes, it seemed as if we were in the den of some huge mountain giant, or where old Pluto held his noisy court. The beauty and brilliancy of this cave, as well as of the grotto of Antiparos and others which have been frequented much, have been greatly impaired by the smoke of the numerous torches of visiters, used to light them there.
The Signal House is at one of the lowest points of the ridge which forms the summit of the rock. It is occupied by