The Jolly Ostler--Aspirants for Glory--A Portrait--Hamalos-- Solomons--An Expedition--The Yeoman Soldier--The Excavations--The Pull by the Skirt--Judah and his Father--Judah's Pilgrimage--The Bushy Beard--The False Moors--Judah and the King's Son--Premature Old Age.
PERHAPS it would have been impossible to have chosen a situation more adapted for studying at my ease Gibraltar and its inhabitants, than that which I found myself occupying about ten o'clock on the following morning. Seated on a small bench just opposite the bar, close by the door, in the passage of the hostelry at which I had taken up my temporary abode, I enjoyed a view of the square of the exchange and all that was going on there, and by merely raising my eyes, could gaze at my leisure on the stupendous hill which towers above the town to an altitude of some thousand feet. I could likewise observe every person who entered or left the house, which is one of great resort, being situated in the most frequented place of the principal thoroughfare of the town. My eyes were busy and so were my ears. Close beside me stood my excellent friend Griffiths, the jolly ostler, of whom I take the present opportunity of saying a few words, though I daresay he has been frequently described before, and by far better pens. Let those who know him not figure to themselves a man of about fifty, at least six feet in height, and weighing some eighteen stone, an exceedingly florid countenance and good features, eyes full of quickness and shrewdness, but at the same time beaming with good nature. He wears white pantaloons, white frock, and white hat, and is, indeed, all white, with the exception of his polished Wellingtons and rubicund face. He carries a whip beneath his arm, which adds wonderfully to the knowingness of his appearance, which is rather more that of a gentleman who keeps an inn on the Newmarket road, "purely for the love of travellers, and the money which they carry about them," than of a native of the rock. Nevertheless, he will tell you himself that he is a rock lizard; and you will scarcely doubt it when, besides his English, which is broad and vernacular, you hear him speak Spanish, ay, and Genoese too, when necessary, and it is no child's play to speak the latter, which I myself could never master. He is a good judge of horse-flesh, and occasionally sells a "bit of a blood," or a Barbary steed, to a young hand, though he has no objection to do business with an old one; for there is not a thin, crouching, livid-faced, lynx-eyed Jew of Fez capable of outwitting him in a bargain, or cheating him out of one single pound of the fifty thousand sterling which he possesses; and yet ever bear in mind that he is a good-natured fellow to those who are disposed to behave honourably to him, and know likewise that he will lend you money if you are a gentleman, and are in need of it; but depend upon it, if he refuse you, there is something not altogether right about you, for Griffiths knows his world, and is not to be made a fool of.