Abbildungen der Seite

Topographical Aecounts of Garrisons, &c.—Malta. King Charles, however, kept up 5000 regular troops for guards and garrisons, by his own authority, which his successor James II. by degrees increased to 30,000,; and more numerous armies were occasionally raised by authority of Parliament, during Charles's wars with France and Holland; yet we find no Act of Parliament in the statute books for the government of these troops. .

IV. It was not, therefore, till after the Revolution, that Martial Law in its present shape, i. c. a Mutiny Act, was established by the legis. lature.

This act was occasioned by a mutiny in a body of English and Scots upon their being ordered to Holland. King William immediately communicated this event to both Houses of Parliament, and on the 3d of April, 1689, an act was passed for punishing mutiny and de sertion, &c. This was to continue in force only till November following, and no longer. It was however renewed again the next January, and, with the interruption of about three years only, in the peaceable part of King William's reign, viz. from 10th of April 1698, to 20th of February 1701, been annually renewed ever since.


MALTA, OCT. 2, 1810. MY DEAR FRIEND, As to your notions of this garrison, and the way in which we live, you are perfectly in error. It bears no resemblance whatever to Gibraltar, and it is our own faults if we do not daily and hourly enjoy ourselves. It has amusentents of every kind; every thing is cheap; the climate delightful; the women pretty, if not elegant; and the people, not social perhaps, but obedient, submissive, and respectful.-But as you are a married man, and I understand your lady is to ac, company you, I have resolved to write you a “full and particular account.”-Why should W--- alone, of our regiment, have the credit of being able to write a longer letter?

With rospect to the climate of the country, it is delightful beyond

Topographical Accounts of Garrisons, fc.-Malta. imagination. When you first arrive, you will think the heat much greater than it is, and than you will find it after a few weeks' resi, dence. The doctors tell you, that this is owing to the small difference of temperature between day and night, to which you are accustomed in England. There is very seldom any rain either in the summer op in the winter. When it does come, it comes with a vengeance; but continues for a very little while. It reminds you of the tears of a handsome widow: they never obscure her beauty while they last, and soon clear up and leave every thing brighter than it was before. A perpetual blue ætherial sky enlivens the heart and spirits. With the exception of the meridian sun, it is never too hot to walk.

There is certainly not the same woods, groves, and meadows, as you find at home. But the scenery is by no means uninteresting; it is gay, enlivening, and picturesque. There are hills and valleys, though in no ways resembling those of England. The late Governor endeavoured to introduce into the island a taste for English gardening and planting, aud shrubs grow so quickly, and so luxuriantly here; that a man may have a garden in a single year. About three miles from Valetta is a remarkable garden aud field belonging to an inbabitant named Scerri. He took a lease from the Government for ninety years, at a nominal rent, of a barren rock, which by his industrious cultivation he has now rendered a beautiful and profitable garden. He supplies our tables with vegetables, winter and summer. In one word, he has proved, by experience, that the barren rock of Malta, as it is called, may be brought into cultivation, and that nothing is necessary, but industry, to render it productive of corn, fruit, and vegetables. This garden is but three years old.

Sir A. Ball made one of these gardens to almost every village in the island. He inclosed them all with high walls, and planted them with trees, sbrubs, and flowers. He gave the use and income of them to the magistrate of the village, (every village having one of them), upon the condition that he would give seeds of all his trees, shrubs, plants, and flowers, to any one who should require them.

You particularly inquire as to provisions. They are in great plenty, and generally very cheap. Money is scarce, and therefore very highly rated by those who sell. A little money goes a great way; and

[ocr errors]

Topographical Accounts of Garrisons, 80.- Malta.

for an inconsiderable sum, compared with wbat it would cost in Enge land, you may have your table inost bountifully supplied. .

There is a market in a large square, in the middle of the town, perfectly well provided with all kinds of animal and vegetable food, fish, fruits, eggs, &c. all of which, for the conveuience of the buyers, are sold at the same place. There is, however, another large separate fish-market, near the sea; and vegetables and fruits are sold in different shops throughout the whole town, and also offered in the streets for sale. - Butcher's meat is good, and cheaper than in Great Britain; the animals are brought mostly from Sicily, and the oxen improve after their arrival, by being fed with cotton-seed, which fattens them much; they can obtain it in great abundance, as the cotton plant is the most common production of the island. Some oxen and other animals are also imported from Africa; and these poor beings are first put into quarantine, before they are slaughtered, and their meat sent into the market, though there exists no instance that animals have got the plague, much less that they have propagated it. Prejudice consequently renders the oxen dearer, by feeding them so long, without any use, in the lazaretto. Malta having no pasture-ground, oxen can con sequently not be bred there, and the sheep are far from being sufficient for the consumption of the inhabitants. Mutton and veal are rather scarce in the market, and the first is inferior to that of this country. The sheep' are much smaller than here, probably on account of the scanty, and frequently parched, pasture they are confined to.

Pork is to be had good and in plenty, it being the common nourishment of the inhabitants; they eat it mostly salted the whole year round. The pigs ran formerly in the streets of Valetta, which practice is, however, now prohibited. The inbabitants breed a sufficient number for the whole consumption of the island. Smoked hams, tongues of oxen, smoked salted, and dried fish, come in sufficient quantities from England and Italy; "smoked sausages from Calabria; and cannels' tongues (a great delicacy) from Egypt.

Kids and rabbits afford a frequent nourishment to the inhabitants, and are not valy sold in the market, but each Maltese, family sears. Topographical Account of Garrisons, fc.-Malta. them for their own use. They are fond of another domestic animal, tbe guinea pig, wbich is extremely prolific, lives on all kinds of offal, and tastes nearly like a fowl. Fowls are, in general, excellent; and cheaper than in England. Turkeys, ducks; hens, capons, chickens, guinea hens, atid pigeons, are remarkably good; and the latter, especially, are larger and more savoury than in this country; geese, on the contrary, art inferior and scarcer. There is no game, except birds of passage, in their season, (spring and autumn); the most general of which are quails, snipes, several kinds of wild ducks, some paperæ beccafigues, &c. Quadruped game is now and then brought from Sieily, viz. bares, porcupines, &c.

Milk is supplied by goats, which are driven in flocks through the city, and milked before the houses, in order to obtain it unmixed with water. Ass's milk is to be got in the same way, from healthy animals, consequently in the bighest perfection, and salutary for reconvalescents. The Maltese make an inferior kind of butter and cheese from the milk of goats and sheep, which is, liowever, far from being sufficient for the consumption of the inhabitants; their want of butter for culinary purposes is supplied with olive oil, which comes in plenty both from Sicily and Africa; and salt butter is sent from Ireland, for the use of the English inhabitants. Cheese, for the use of common people, comes from Sicily; English cheese is sold in plenty; Parmesan, Swiss, and Dutch, though less used, are, however, to bé got. Coffee, tea, sugar, ale, porter, pickles, spices, cocoa, potatoes, and a number of articles of English manufactáre, such as leather, cloth, paper, buttons, hats, muslins, gloves, optical instruments, &c. are sufficiently provided by English and Maltese shop-keepers. Fish is excellent, and in abundance; a few are inferior to the same kind, in this country, viz. oysters, lobsters, and crabs. Fresh water fish are not known, because there is no river or lake in the island. Tunny comes when in season, (in the month of May) in great quantities from Sicily, and is the cheapest of all. The turtles of the Mediterranean sea are less delicious than those from the West Indies. The Maltese delight in eating polypi, especially the cuttle fisb (sepia), being cheap and nourishing,

The bread is made from wheaten flour, well baked, and tastes saVol. 1. No. 1.

Topographical Account of Garrisons, &c.-Malta. voury. They have the custom of spreading the seed of sesamum orientale upon its crust, to give more flavour to it. They also use the same seed a great deal in their kitchen, especially in made dishes and soups, for which reason the plant is much cultivated. Wine of every quality, from two-pence, and less a bottle, to sonie Spanish dollars, can be purchased. The common wines of Sicily, Greece, Spain, and France, serve as beverage for the lower people. Very good genuine claret does not cost quite five shillings a bottle; port wine comes to hardly two shillings; lo some persons only one, if bought in any quantity. Mafsalla is a common, excellent, and wholesome wine, and not dear; the bottle does not exceed one shilling, if bought in any quantity. It is known in England under the name of Sicilian Madeira. Sherry costs nearly the same price. Ruin and brandy are in high perfection, and eberper than they are sold in this country. Porter and ale are also excellent; the bottle dors not cost one shilling, if bought in any quantity. · Vegetables are in abundance, and cheap; some, however, of less favour than in England. . To these belong turnips, carrots, aud potatoes; others, on the contrary, are better Havoured, such as caulitower, brócoli, and artichokes. Some, cultivated in this country, are wanting, viz. asparagus. Others grow, there, which are not known here, viz. a sort of oblong pumpkins, which is a coinmon food. The inbabitants eat them either by themselves, or filled with minced meat, or in soups; the fruit of solanum meloquens, love apples (solavium lycopersicum), are in touch greater use than in England; they use them likewise 'in soups, sauces, borled by themselves, ori with meat, likewise filled with minced meat, nearly tka whole year round. Some vegetables taste equally savoury, as they do here; such as green pease, French beans, several sallads, celuy, &c. Potatoes have not been so long known, and are consequently not so much used, as they are in - England, though they are now cultivated in the island. Fle inhabitants in general, as is commonly the case, in Vie beginning of ebe cultivation of this vegetable; do not like them. The Maltese consume a great deal of vegetables; they eat artichokes, celery, onions, hogbeans, lupins, cicer, pickled olives, green figs, prickly pears, raw, with bread, or cliesnuts alone. This, together with some

« ZurückWeiter »