The Bible in Spain, Or, the Journeys, Adventures, and Imprisonments of an Englishman: In an Attempt to Circulate the Scriptures in the Peninsula

By George Borrow | Go to book overview

CHAPTER LII.

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.

-356-

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The Bible in Spain, Or, the Journeys, Adventures, and Imprisonments of an Englishman: In an Attempt to Circulate the Scriptures in the Peninsula
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Minerva Library. ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction. v
  • Preface. xi
  • Contents xvii
  • Chapter I 1
  • Chapter II 9
  • Chapter III 16
  • Chapter IV 24
  • Chapter V 30
  • Chapter VI 36
  • Chapter VII 41
  • Chapter VIII 47
  • Chapter IX 53
  • Chapter X 62
  • Chapter XI 74
  • Chapter XII 82
  • Chapter XIII 90
  • Chapter XIV 98
  • Chapter XV 105
  • Chapter XVI 113
  • Chapter XVII 120
  • Chapter XVIII 126
  • Chapter XX 135
  • Chapter XXI *
  • Chapter XXII 152
  • Chapter XXIII 160
  • Chapter XXIV 163
  • Chapter XXV 171
  • Chapter XXVI 178
  • Chapter XXVII 187
  • Chapter XXVIII 194
  • Chapter XXIX 203
  • Chapter XXX 212
  • Chapter XXXI 223
  • Chapter XXXII 231
  • Chapter XXXIII 238
  • Chapter XXXIV 244
  • Chapter XXXV 251
  • Chapter XXXVI 252
  • Chapter XXXVII 258
  • Chapter XXXVIII 263
  • Chapter XXXIX 266
  • Chapter XL 273
  • Chapter XLI 282
  • Chapter XLII 288
  • Chapter XLIII 296
  • Chapter XLIV 304
  • Chapter XLV 310
  • Chapter XLVI 313
  • Chapter XLVIII 326
  • Chapter XLIX 332
  • Chapter L 338
  • Chapter LI 346
  • Chapter LII 356
  • Chapter LIII 366
  • Chapter LIV 370
  • Chapter LV 376
  • Chapter LVI 382
  • Chapter LVII 389
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