Genoese Mariners--St. Michael's Cave--Midnight Abyss--Young American --A Slave Proprietor--The Fairy Man--Infidelity.
THROUGHOUT the whole of that night it blew very hard, but as the wind was in the Levant quarter, I had no apprehension of being detained longer at Gibraltar on that account. I went on board the vessel at an early hour, when I found the crew engaged in hauling the anchor close, and making other preparations for sailing. They informed me that we should probably start in an hour. That time, however, passed, and we still remained where we were, and the captain continued on shore. We formed one of a small flotilla of Genoese barks, the crews of which seemed in their leisure moments to have no better means of amusing themselves than the exchange of abusive language: a furious fusillade of this kind presently commenced, in which the mate of our vessel particularly distinguished himself; he was a grey- haired Genoese of sixty. Though not able to speak their patois, I understood much of what was said; it was truly shocking, and as they shouted it forth, judging from their violent gestures and distorted features, you would have concluded them to be bitter enemies; they were, however, nothing of the kind, but excellent friends all the time, and indeed very good-humoured fellows at bottom. Oh, the infirmities of human nature! When will man learn to become truly Christian?
I am upon the whole very fond of the Genoese; they have, it is true, much ribaldry and many vices, but they are a brave and chivalrous people, and have ever been so, and from them I have never experienced aught but kindness and hospitality.
After the lapse of another two hours, the Jew secretary arrived and said something to the old mate, who grumbled much; then coming up to me, he took off his hat and informed me that we were not to start that day, saying at the same time that it was a shame to lose such a noble wind, which would carry us to Tangier in three hours. "Patience," said I, and went on shore.
I now strolled towards St. Michael's cave, in company with the Jewish lad whom I have before mentioned.
The way thither does not lie in the same direction as that which leads to the excavations; these confront Spain, whilst the cave yawns in the face of Africa. It lies nearly at the top of the mountain, several hundred yards above the sea. We passed by the public walks, where there are noble trees, and also by many small houses, situated delightfully in gardens, and occupied by the officers of the garrison. It is wrong to suppose Gibraltar a mere naked barren rock; it is not without its beautiful spots--spots such as these, looking cool and refreshing, with bright green foliage. The path soon became very steep, and we left behind us the dwellings of man. The gale of the preceding night had entirely ceased, and not a breath of air was stirring; the midday sun shone in all its fierce glory, and the crags up which we clambered