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Know that there are crowds of angry men
sleeping under yonder quarantine flag off the
harbour, merely because there is cholera at
Hamburgh, plague at Tripoli, and yellow
fever at Vigo; yet the angry men submit,
because England chooses to truckle to
ridiculous timid Spanish quarantine laws. So
Mr. Smith, it is no use your bribing the
boatswain to pipe the men to haul up your
pompous-looking trunks out of the hold; it
is no use to snub the first mate.

But Gib has other features than this one
word of threat. We pass along the shore line
of defences, the old Bateria of the Spaniard,
pass some gangs of convicts lazily working,
guarded by an officer with sword and
revolver,—and get to the transport harbour
half way to Europa Point just in time to
see the huge wall of a transport from Cork
disembogue its armed men like a second
wooden horse of Troy. There is not much
done yet; but broad planks are thrown from
the tall ship's sides to the great stone quays,
under whose sheds are heaped mountains of
black coal ready to feed government steamers.
The quays are laden and piled with great
sarcophagi boxes of officers' baggage, and
wine crates and other stores. The Doctor, in
his feathered cocked hat, is very particular
about the regimental medicine chest. The
Major is anxious about the plate-chest. Till
these impedimenta are removed by the dirty
shirt sleeved soldiers the restless men must
not land. But they continue on various
pretexts to tramp in and out, eager and troublesome
as boys in spite of the sentinels on the
gangway. Now the women come down.
Such women! Dirty with the rough sea
weather and the wretched covered cabins;
brazen, pale, neglected, with dirty hair, and
dirty children crying perpetually. They
descend in ghastly file under the coal sheds;
a small drizzling rain now setting in, they
look so homeless, wretched, and unhappy,
that my heart bleeds for them. Now the
men, in grimy shirts, their hands and arms
unwashed, descend; buttoning their tight
shining stocks; their heavy muskets in their
hands, their knapsacks on their arms. In the
midst of them, waving a tin can, which drips
with brandy, comes that Private Patrick Riley,
raving for drink. He runs recklessly down
the plankstumbles. What a piercing shriek
from the women! He is in down between
the vessel's side and the stone rampart of the
quay. Are the good for nothing villain's
brains beaten out of him? No; there is a
Providence for the mad and the drunk, the
Spanish proverb says. He shouts and swears,
as if somebody had pushed him in. Dozens
of men fling themselves down after him.
The chains are dark with men. They will
drown him by encumbering him with help.
He emerges, wet, screeching, violent; and is
carried up into the ship. A moment after he
appears, fighting with a swarm of men, on
the fo'castle. They overpower him by
numbers; a dozen to each leg, as he kicks and
plunges like a mad horse, or a demon in

"Put Riley in irons," says the officer in
command, who has been quietly walking with
some ladies on the quarter-deck.

"The officers seem a pack of muffs," says
Spanker privately to me; "I see we shall
have a pretty trouble in Gib with these

"We've half a dozen fellars in the ship,
surr," says a sergeant, coming up and touching
his hat, "as bad as I think you'll find
anywhere. They might as well be hung at
once for all the good they'll ever do."

"Had a good passage, sergeant-major?"

"Pretty well, sir" (with great sternness).
"Eight days from Dublin. Had a tidy little
tossing in the Bay of Biscay."

The men, dressed and stocked, with
bayonets fixed in a bright shining row, form
on the quay; the band a little way before,
with drums and fifes, clean and smart. The
officers meet and chat. The ladies, smiling
and gay, are handed down and
congratulated. The loungers above, their white
smocks showing through the embrasures,
discuss the new comers not over favourably.
Riley, handcuffed, is placed between two
guardians, and seems to believe he has been
promoted to extensive and onerous command.
Mysterious words of command run along the
scarlet line, there is a shuffling sideways,
a veering, a clanging, and the regiment
moves along with a measured, one, two tramp
as of one man. They pass up the quay steps,
and march along to the Windmill Barracks,
"unhealthiest on the Rock," to the clang
opened by the full band of a noble regiment
sent to welcome them. The new Gib omnibus
bears us back, amid a cloud of coaches
and mounted officers in white canvas shoes;
who carry horse-tail whips to keep off the
importunate flies.

This was the landingbut I also saw an
embarcation for India, a much pleasanter and
more cheerful sight, though perhaps more
fallacious in hope than the other was in
disappointment. I was walking one day near
the same place, watching the King's batteries
saluting a Turkish frigate. First a puff of
smoke; then, through it, a sharp sudden
string of fire thrust out and withdrawn like
a serpent's tongue; then, before the clotted
smoke had ceased to hang about the guns, a
loud bang! A mounted officer meets us and
asks us if we have heard that the Fiftieth were
just embarking for India. We shall be too late
if we do not hurry. We hasten. We meet
an artilleryman, and ask him if the transport
is under weigh. He says he does not know;
but the blue Peter is flying at the fore. Just
as we get down, the commanding officer, for
whom they have been waiting, is putting off
in his boat. A hot quick ride he has had
from the governor's house, along the dusty
Alameda, with its aloes and cacti. The shore