Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Topographical Account of Garrisons, &c.-Malta.

wine, frequently makes their whole now ishment for the day. Often they eat the whole day nahing but oil on their bread, with some salted anchovies, or herrings, or dried fish, especially on those days when their religion does not allow them to eat meat, which is the case, not only during the whole Lent, but every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, and on many more bolidays in the year. No people in the world live more frugally than the inhabitants of this island. It is for every body a pleasant, and for the natives a useful circumstance, in a pecuniary respect, that vegetables grow in the open ait during the whole winter, and that even many are in higher perfection in that season, than in summer, on account of the rain, which then moistens the land, and of the run not being too powerful. Fruits are excellent, and sold in great grantity, such as figs, oranges, sweet and sour lemons, musk and water melons, pears, nectarines, apricots, peaches, grapes, pomegranates, strawberries, mulberries, walnuts, filberts, apples, cherries, plums, dry figs, raisius, currants, dates, almonds, pistachios, &c. .

Nor need you be under any apprehension of wanting anzusements. There are two of the best public libraries in Europe. One of them consists of nearly fifty thousand volumes. It was instituted in the time of the knights, and there was a law of the order, that every knight should bequeath to it his private library. You may conceive, therefore, how rich and various the collection is. There are books in all languages, and to suit all tastes. Every one, by paying a subséription towards keeping up the collection, of about £l per annun, has access at all times, and may take a moderate number of books to his roum. The most expensive books are read in the library. There is likewise, for those who have a taste that way, (which I confess I have not) an immense collection of medals. The other public library is peculiarty for officers; it is called the garrison library, and has all the vagages, travels, memoirs, histories, plays, &c. of the day; and what you will think is much to their credit; has a very good collect tion of sermnus. Tell Mrs, M. she'need not despair of finding novels and romances.

There is likewise an Italian opera and a theatre, and it is a point of etiquette that the officers should very frequently go there for the encouragement of the company. The Governor has two or threć

Topographical Account of Garrisons, &c.-Malta.

boxes of his own, to which the ladies of the officers are at all times welcome. . . : :

There are public days three or four times in the week, upon which the Governor always expects the company of the married officers and families. The balls are very brilliant, and I need say nothing of the amusement, as we have always our choice either of our own bands or of Italians. .

The most delightful pleasures of the island are the dining parties to the different places of curiosity and beautiful scenery with which the island abounds. One of the most frequent of these parties is to a delightful spot called Boschetto, about seven miles from the fort.

The palace of this garden isoon an eminence. The garden, if not perfectly English, is still a most enchanting and romantic spot; it is uneven, and has a good shade. It is every where planted with orange, olive, and mulberry trees, and has a shelter and coolness, which in summer is peculiarly refreshing. Conceive how delightful must be a walk in an avenue of orange trees, flourishing in all the beauty of southern luxuriance; this, moreover, variagated and cooled by intersections of fresh-water streams in all directions. The country is billy, and therefore has many descending streams. The dinner is usually cold, and the whole party must remind you of the wood parties in England, where the company dine on the grass, seated on the roots of trees, or the banks of some murmuring rivulet. These parties are further enlivened by the most delightful music, and I need not inform you how much the Italians excel in, music suited for Sylvan Scenery. They are alternately gay, soft, melancholy, &c. as the scene seems to demand. The dinuer is followed by a dance, in which strangers and natives bear their share, and what is no slight rocommendation, every thing is as cheap as it is agreeable. Were it not for the heat of the noon-day sun, the whole population of the island would be eternally in this spot, but in spring and in the early part of the summer it is never without company.

On the Holidays and Saints' days, in particular, the number is greatest. Every one then rushes towards their rural spots, and if any enemy were to land, the island would certainly not be defended by the Militia. The groupe is rendered the more picturesque by its miscellaneous nature. No one is so poor but he is of the party; and

Military Correspondence. few are so pour, but that they have some decent clothes for holidays. It is expected that all the visitors shall mutually give and receive presents, a custom introduced and observed to keep up neighhourly good humour. The Maltese, in this respect, very much resemble the peasantry in the South of France. If nothing else is possessed, the gift must be a nosegay. This at least is not selfish. Ribbons, and the atmost variety of colours, add their brilliancy to the scene, and give it gaiety. The dress of the Italian peasantry is more particularly adapted to landscape effect, than that of any other people in the world. The variety of their colours adds much to the effect. The men wear mostly a red cap, no neckcloth, a high coloured silken jacket, with a double row of hanging silver buttons, a scarf, a pair of silken pantaloons, no stockings, but shoes with immense large silver buckles.

It is impossible to be present in such a scene without participating in the general joy, and it is expected that all shall be happy alike. The native men, however, have an ugly custom; they only dance with each other--the women do the same. All, however, dance well, and as the dance mixes them in despite of their prudery, the scene, perhaps, does not much suffer. The innocence of the scene is preserved by the earliness of the hour of departure, and more par. ticularly, perhaps, because the parents and children are intermixed - in the same scene of gaiety, The Italians, for such must the Maltese be considered, require such restraints,

s

!

MILITARY CORRESPONDENCE.

FROM AN OFFICER IN THE NORFOLK DISTRICT.
SIR,

TO THE EDITOR. Do me the favour to insert the inclosed letter ; aud' to put in ang manner you please the undergiven questious. .

' Has any period of the English History every occurred, in which the country is more indebted to the British Armya....

Is there not every appearance in the affairs of Europe, that they will be still more indebted to us . . . .!

From an Officer in the Norfolk Circuit.

-Should there not, therefore, be some general and decent return for obligations, which no one can deny: · Is it such a suitable return, that where Officers are quartered in a respectable towp and district, the resident gentry of the country, and particularly such of them as are peculiarly resident, should treat such Officers with at least a marked indifference, and in some cases (in mine lately) with something as nearly approaching to personal disrespect, as their courage will let them?

I am quartered, Sir, in a respectable town on the Norfolk coast. Though my family is in some degree known, and my Commission might of itself fully answer for iny respectability, I have experienced in a late instance, what I wilt venture to say some of my brother Officers have experienced' on many others.

Being naturally fond of society, and the town itself very dull, I natyrally expected some attention from the Gentlemen around. I expected it, bowever, in vain. In these circumstances, I was in- ' formed that there was an Assembly on the following evening in a neighbouring town. One of my brother Oficers and myself accordingly went over on the appointed time. We payed our admission, and entered the room. Every eye was immediately turned on us, but though almost every gentleman in the room perfectly knew us, had seen us in our station, and frequently conversed with us, they now took no notice whatever of us, except by stiff bows, as our eyes happened to catch, and immediately after turning away. The company was divided into parties at tea-tables. No one even offered us a seat or room. At length, feeling indignant, we went up to a table, where a Gentleman, a Colonel in the Militia, and a NOBLEMAN, was MAKING TEA for a party of Ladies. One chair being vacant, we seated ourselves. “ With your leave, Ladies, we will, &c." No answer, but a general stare, even from the COLONEL. Seeing this, we resolved to assert what we conceived to belong to the diguity of his Majesty's Army, and without further ceremony made a prize of the Tea pot and helped ourselves. The Ladies, having a more just feeling than the noble Colonel, now contrived to slip into what I must consider as a due civility, and the Colonel, with much awk. wardness, likewise made some kind of apology. By inserting this letter, you will much oblige, Sir, your obedient Servant, H.

Pensées Militaires, 8c.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE MILITARY CHRONICLE.

Sir, I HAVE been in the babit of keeping a Common-place-book of what I read and hear, and if you will admit a Head of Pensées Militaries, I vill occasionally, perhaps monthly, send you some extracts.

I am, Sir, your obedient Servant, J. L. II.

PENSÉES MILITAIRES.'." ALL the best Books on the Military Science are in the French Language; there are few, very few, in English. The reason of this seems to be that it was earlier the fashion in France to be an Author than in England. All the eminent French Military Characters have left most valuable Memoirs behind them. Some one has said, that the study of these furnished him with hints, of which in his own práctice be availed himself to much benefit. When so many ridicuJous Anas; so many gossiping narratives of Coxcombs and women who have been buried these hundred years, have been lately published, why does not some Military Men make a selection of these really valuable repositories, both of science and character.

HARTE'S GUSTAVUŞ.' One of the best Military Books that I know of is Harte's History of Gustavus Adolphus. It is the only book in the English language, in which battles are intelligibly described, and something of a real plan appears in the Campaigus. Gustavus was a truly great Genea ral. He shook the Austrian Empire to its basis, at a time when it was very strong. If it be considered, that Gustavus did this with only the resources of Sweden at his command, some idea may be formed of this great man. The Battle of Lipsic contains the Elements of Modern Tactics.

There does not exist in this kingdom any tolerable life, or even aca count of Bonaparte. The Revolutionary Plutarch, as it is called, is a tissue of falsehoods from beginving to end, and the Life of Talleyand is of the same character. (To be continued.)

« ZurückWeiter »