dence with the crowd, Iris countenance brightened
as their hopes fell, and sank as they again emerged
Not far from him was an old Genoese woman,
wearing the quaint red cloak, trimmed with black
velvet, that old Genoese women usually wear in
Gibraltar. She hovered round the skirts of the
crowd, occasionally peering beneath an uplifted
arm, or thrusting it between two obstructing figures
LAZARO'S LEGACY. 2?
to catch a glimpse, though it was evident that her
dim eyes would fail to discern the fleet when it
should come in view. Her thin shrivelled features,
relieved against her black hood, were positively
wolfish from starvation. She frequently drew one
hand from beneath her cloak, and gazed at some-
thing she held in it â then, muttering, she would
again conceal it. My grandfather's curiosity was
roused. He drew near and watched for the reap-
pearance of the object that so engrossed her. It
was a blue mouldy crust of bread.
The wished-for spectacle was at length revealed.
" As the sun became more powerful," says Drink-
water, rising into positive poetry with the occasion,
" the fog gradually rose, like the curtain of a vast
theatre, discovering to the anxious garrison one of
the most beautiful and pleasing scenes it is possible
to conceive. The convoy, consisting of near a
hundred vessels, were in a compact body, led by
several men-of-war â their sails just filled enough
for steerage, while the majority of the line-of-battle
ships lay to under the Barbary shore, having orders
not to enter the bay, lest the enemy should molest
them with their fireships."
Then rose a great shout â at once the casting-off
of long-pressing anxiety and the utterance of de-
light. Happy tears streamed down haggard faces
overgrown with hair, and presently men turned to
one another, smiling in the face of a stranger neigh-
28 TALES FROM "BLACKWOOD."
bour as in that of an old friend, while a joyful
murmur, distilled from many languages, rose up-
ward. Assuredly, if blessings are of any avail,
the soul of Admiral Darby, who commanded the
relieving fleet, is at this moment in Paradise.
Friends and relations now began to search for
one another in the crowd, which broke quickly
into knots, each contriving how to enjoy together
the plenty that was to descend upon them. My
grandfather's eye at this juncture was again at-
tracted by the old Genoese woman. When the
crowd shouted, she screened her eyes with her
withered hand, and, with her nostril spread, her
chin fallen, in her eagerness gazed towards the sea
â but presently shook her head, discerning nothing.
Then she plucked by the arm a joyful Spaniard.
" Es verdadt Por Dios, es verdadf " she cried ;
" jura ! jura ! "â(Is it true ? Swear by Heaven it
11 Si, si," said the Spaniard, pointing; " es ver-
dad " ('tis true). " You may see them yourself.
Instantly the old woman, for the last time, drew
forth her treasured crust, and began to devour it,
muttering, as she tore away each mouthful, " Mas
manana! mas manana ! " (I shall have more to-
morrow â more to-morrow !)
After the crowd had partially dispersed, Owen
was returning to his quarters to breakfast, when, as
he paused to open the door, he heard a voice he
LAZARO'S LEGACY. 29
thought he knew crying out in affright in the
rooms opposite, where Von Dessel resided. Pre-
sently the door of the quarters was opened, and
the flushed and frightened face of Esther Lazaro
appeared, as she struggled to escape from Von
Dessel, who held her arm.
" SeSor, seiior, speak to the gentleman ! " she
cried to Owen.
" Leetle foolish girl," said Von Dessel, grinning
a smile on seeing him ; " she frightens at nothing.
Come in, child" â trying to shut the door.
" Why don't you let her alone ? " said Owen ;
" don't you see she doesn't like you ? "
11 Pouf ! " said the captain. " We all have trouble
with them sometimes â yon must know that well."
" No, by Jupiter ! " cried Frank Owen. " If I
couldn't gain them willingly, they might go to the
devil for me. But you hurt herâ pray let her go â
you must indeed."
" Do you mind your own affair," said the captain,
" and don't meddle ; " and, exerting his strength,
he drew Esther in, and partially succeeded in
shutting the door â she calling the while again
on Owen to help her. Frank stepped forward,
and, putting his foot against the door, sent it into
the room, causing Captain Von Dessel, who was
behind it, to stagger back with some violence, and
to quit his hold of Esther, who ran down stairs.
" Very good, sir," said the captain, stalking
<t t>t A nT7"\\rr\r\T\ "
30 TALES FROM "BLACKWOOD
grimly out of his room, pale with rage. " You
have thought right to interfere with me, and to
insult me. By Gott! I will teach you better,
young man. Shall we say in one hour, sir, in the
Owen nodded. " At your pleasure," said he, and,
entering his own quarters, shut the door.
Meanwhile my grandfather walked about with
the telescope he had brought with him to look
after the fleet under his arm, enjoying the unusual
sight of happy faces around him. And he has
remarked it as a singular feature of humanity, that
this prospect of relief from physical want inspired
a far more deep and universal joy than he had
witnessed in any public rejoicings arising from
such causes as loyalty or patriotism evinced at a
coronation or the news of a great victory, or the
election of a popular candidate ; and hence my
grandfather takes occasion to express a fear that
human nature is, except among the rarer class of
souls, more powerfully and generally influenced
by its animal propensities than by more refined
He was so engrossed with the philanthropic
pursuit of enjoying the joy of the multitude, and
the philosophic one of extracting moral reflections
therefrom, that he quite forgot he had not break-
fasted. He was just beginning to be reminded of
the circumstance by a feeling of hollowness in the
LAZAEO'S LEGACY. 31
region of the stomach, and to turn his steps home-
ward, when a light hand was laid on Ins arm. My
grandfather turned, and beheld the face of the
young Jewess looking wistfully in his.
She began at first to address him in Spanish â
the language she spoke most naturally ; but, quickly
perceiving her mistake on hearing the extraordinary
jargon in which he replied (for it is a singular fact
that nobody but Carlota, who taught him, could
understand my grandfather's Spanish), she ex-
changed it for his own tongue. She told him in
a few hurried words of the quarrel Owen had in-
curred on her account with Von Dessel, and of the
challenge she had overheard given by the latter,
beseeching the Major to hasten to prevent the result.
"In the Fives' Court! in an hour!" said my
grandfather. " When did this happen ? "
Esther thought nearly an hour ago â she had been
almost so long seeking my grandfather.
" I'll go, child â I'll go at once," said the Major.
" With Von Dessel, too, as if he could find nobody
else to quarrel with but the best swordsman in the
garrison. ' Souls and bodies,' quoted my grand-
father, ' hath he divorced three.' "
With every stride he took, the Major's uneasiness
was augmented. At any time his anxiety would have
been extreme while peril threatened Frank ; but
now, when he was calculating on him as a com-
panion at many a well-spread table, when they
32 TALES FROM "BLACKWOOD."
might forget their past miseries, it peculiarly
" To think," muttered my grandfather, " that
these two madmen should choose a time when
everybody is going to be made so happy, by getting
plenty to eat, to show their gratitude to Providence
by cutting one another's throats ! "
The danger to Owen was really formidable ; for,
though a respectable swordsman, he was no unusual
proficient in the graceful art, while his opponent
was not only, as my grandfather had said, the best
swordsman in the garrison, but perhaps the best at
that time in the army. As a student in Germany
he had distinguished himself in some sanguinary
duels ; and since his arrival in Gibraltar, a Spanish
gentleman, a very able fencer, had fallen beneath
" God grant," said my grandfather to himself, as
he neared the Fives' Court, " that we may settle
this without the perdition of souls. Frank, my dear
boy, we could better spare a better man ! "
On attempting to enter the Fives' Court he was
stopped by the marker, posted at the door. " It
was engaged," he said, " for a private match."
" Ay, ay," said my grandfather, pushing past
him ; "a pretty match, indeed ! Ay, ay â pray God
we can stop it ! "
Finding the inner door locked, the Major, who
was well acquainted with the locality â for, when
LAZARO S LEGACY. 33
he had nothing else particular to do, he would some-
times mark for the players for a rubber or two â
ascended the stairs to the gallery.
About the centre of the court stood the combat-
ants. All preliminaries had been gone through
â for they were stripped to their shirts â and the
seconds (one a German, the adjutant of Harden-
berg's regiment â the other, one Lieutenant Eushton,
an old hand at these affairs, and himself a fire-eater)
stood by, each with a spare sword in his hand. In
a corner was the German regimental surgeon, his
apparatus displayed on the floor, ready for an emer-
gency. Eushton fully expected Owen to fall, and
only hoped he might escape without a mortal wound.
Von Dessel himself seemed of the same opinion,
standing square and firm as a tower, scarcely trou-
bling himself to assume an attitude, but easy and
masterly withal. Both contempt and malice were
expressed for his antagonist in his half-shut eyes
and the sardonic twist of the corners of his mouth.
" Owen, Owen, my boy ! " shouted my grandfather,
rushing to the front of the gallery, and leaning
over, as the swords crossed â " stop, for God's sake.
You mustn't fight that swash-buckler ! They say
he hath been fencer to the Sophy," roared the Major,
in the words of Sir Toby Belch.
The combatants just turned their heads for a mo-
ment, to look at the interrupter, and again crossed
34 TALES FROM "BLACKWOOD."
Immediately on finding his remonstrance disre-
garded, the Major descended personally into the
arena â not by the ordinary route of the stairs, but
the shorter one of a perpendicular drop from the
gallery, not effected with the lightness of a feathered
Mercury. But the clatter of his descent was lost
in the concussion of a discharge of artillery that
shook the walls. Instantly the air was alive with
shot and hissing shells ; and before the echoes of
the first discharge had ceased, the successive ex-
plosion of the shells in the air, and the crashing of
chimneys, shattered doors, and falling masonry,
increased the uproar. One shell burst in the court,
filling it with smoke. My grandfather felt, for a
minute, rather dizzy with the shock. When the
smoke cleared, by which time he had partially re-
covered himself, the first object that caught his eye
was Von Dessel lying on the pavement, and the doctor
stooping over him. The only other person hurt was
Eushton, a great piece of the skin of whose fore-
head, detached by a splinter, was hanging over his
right eye. Von Dessel had sustained a compound
fracture of the thigh, while the loss of two fingers
from his right hand had spoiled his thrust in tierce
" What can be the matter?" said my grandfather,
looking upward, as a second flight of missiles
" Matter enough," quoth Eushton, mopping the
LAZAKOS LEGACY. 35
blood from his eye with his handkerchief; " those
cursed devils of Spaniards are bombarding the
The Major went up to Owen, and squeezed his
hand. " We won't abuse the Spaniards for all that,"
said he â " they've saved your life, my boy."
Enraged at seeing their blockade evaded by the
arrival of Darby's fleet, the Spaniards revenged
themselves by directing such a fire upon Gibraltar,
from their batteries in the Neutral Ground, as in a
short time reduced the town to a mass of ruins.
This misfortune was rendered the more intolerable
to the besieged, as it came in the moment of exult'
ation and general thanksgiving. Wliile words of
congratulation were passing from mouth to mouth,
the blow descended, and " turned to groans their
The contrast between the elation of the inhabit-
ants when my grandfather entered the Fives' Court,
and their universal consternation and despair when
he quitted it, was terrible. The crowd that had a
few minutes before so smilingly and hopefully
entered their homes, now fled from them in terror.
Again the streets were thronged by the unhappy
people, who began to believe themselves the sport
36 TALES FROM "BLACKWOOD."
of some powerful and malevolent demon. Whole
families, parents, children, and servants, rushed
together into the streets, making their way to the
south to escape the missiles that pursued them.
Some bore pieces of furniture snatched up in haste,
and apparently seized because they came first to
hand ; some took the chairs they had been sitting
on ; one man my grandfather noticed bearing away
with difficulty the leaf of a mahogany table, leaving
behind the legs which should have supported it ;
and a woman had a crying child in one hand, and
in the other a gridiron, still reeking with the fat of
some meat she had been cooking. Eubbish from
the houses began to strew the streets ; and here
and there a ragged breach in a wall rent by the
cannon afforded a strange incongruous glimpse of
the room inside, with its mirrors, tables, and dra-
pery, just as the inhabitants left them. Armed
soldiers were hastening to their different points of
assembly, summoned by bugles that resounded
shrilly amid the din, and thrusting their way unce-
remoniously through the impeding masses of fugi-
The house of the Jew Lazaro was one of the first
that was seriously injured. The blank wall of the
great warehouse before mentioned, that faced the
street, had, either from age or bad masonry, long
before exhibited several cracks. A large segment,
bounded by two of these cracks, had been knocked
LAZARO'S LEGACY. 37
away by a shot, and the superincumbent mass fall-
ing in consequence, the great store, and all its
hoarded treasures, appeared through the chasm.
The Jew's instincts had, at first, led him to save
himself by flight. But, on returning timorously to
look after his property, the sight of the ruined wall,
and the unprotected hoards on which he had so
securely reckoned as the source of wealth, obliter-
ated in his mind, for the time, all sense of personal
danger. Seeing a party of soldiers issuing from a
wine -house near, he eagerly besought them to
assist him in removing his property to a place of
safety, promising to reward them largely for their
risk and trouble.
One of the soldiers thus appealed to was Mr
"Ho, hoi" said Mr Bags; "here's a chance â
here's a pleasure, comrades. We can help Mr
Lazaro, who is always so good to us â this here
Jewish gentleman, that gives such liberal prices
for our things. Certainly â we'll remove 'em all,
and not charge him nothing. Oh â oh â ah!" And,
to give point to his irony, Mr Bags distorted his
face hideously, and winked upon his Mends.
The idea of giving Lazaro any assistance was
considered a capital joke, and caused a great deal
of mirth as they walked towards the store, to which
the Jew eagerly led the way.
" If there's anything good to eat or drink in the
38 TALES FROM "BLACKWOOD."
store, we may remove some of it, though it won't
be on our backs â eh, boys?" said Bags, as he stept
in advance, over a heap of rubbish, into the store.
" These first â these, my friends," cried the Jew,
going up to a row of barrels, standing a little apart
from the crowded masses of articles.
" Oh, these first, eh?" said Bags; "they're the
best, be they ? Thank you, Mr Lazaro ; we'll see
what's in 'em ; " and, taking up a gimlet that lay
near, he proceeded to bore a hole in one of the bar-
rels, desiring a friend, whom he addressed as Tim,
to tap the next one:
"Thieves!" screamed the Jew, on witnessing
this proceeding, seizing Bags' arm; "leave my
store â go out â let my goods alone!" Bags lent
him a shove that sent him into a corner, and per-
ceiving liquor flowing from the hole he had drilled,
applied his mouth to the orifice.
" Brandy," said he, as he paused for breath ;
" real Cognac. Comrades, here's luck to that 'ere
shot that showed us the way in;" and he took
another diligent pull at the hole.
Meantime his comrades had not been idle ; other
barrels were opened, and their contents submitted
to a critical inspection.
The Jew tried various modes to induce them to
relinquish their booty ; first threats â then offers of
reward â then cajolery; and, at last, attempted to
interpose and thrust them from their spoil. He
LAZARO-'S LEGACY. 39
would probably have experienced rough treatment
in addition to the spoliation of his goods, but for
other interruption too potent to be disregarded A
shot from the enemy entering the store, enfiladed a
long line of barrels, scattering the staves and their
contents. The place was instantly flooded with
liquor â wine, molasses, spirits, and oil, ran in a
mingled stream, soaking the debris of biscuit and
salt provisions that strewed the floor. One soldier
was struck dead, and Mr Bags only escaped de-
struction by the lucky accident of having his head
at that moment apart from the barrel which had
engrossed his attention, and which was knocked to
The Jew, partly stunned by a wound in the fore-
head from the splinter of a barrel, and partly in
despair at the destruction of his property, came to
the entrance of the store, seating himself among the
rubbish. Other plunderers speedily followed the
example of the marauding soldiers, but he made no
attempt to stop them as they walked past him.
My grandfather, passing at the time on his way
home, was horrified at the sight of him. Flour
from a splintered barrel had been scattered over his
face, and blood from the wound in his forehead,
trickling down, had clotted it on his cheeks and
scanty beard, giving him an aspect at once appal-
ling and disgusting. His daughter had waited at
the door of the Fives' Court till she saw Owen
40 TALES FROM "BLACKWOOD."
come forth in safety, and had then availed herself
of the protection of the Major as far as her own
home. Shrieking at the dismal sight, she sprang
forward and threw herself before the Jew, casting
her arms around him. This seemed to rouse him.
He arose â looked back into the store ; and then, as
if goaded by the sight of the wreck into intolerable
anguish, he lifted his clenched hands above his
head, uttering a sentence of such fearful blasphemy,
that a devout Spaniard, who was emerging from the
store with some plunder, struck him on the mouth.
He never heeded the blow, but continued to rave,
till, suddenly overcome by loss of blood and impo-
tent rage, he dropt senseless on the ground.
My grandfather, calling some soldiers of his
regiment who were passing, desired them to convey
him to the hospital at the South Barracks, and,
again taking the terrified and weeping Esther under
his protection, followed to see the unfortunate Jew
At the various parades that day Mr Bags was
reported absent, being in fact engaged in pursuits
of a much more interesting nature than his military
duties. A vast field of enterprise was opened to
him and other adventurous spirits, of which they
did not fail to avail themselves, in the quantity of
property of all kinds abandoned by the owners, in
houses and shops where locks and bolts were no
longer a protection ; and although the firing, which
LAZARO S LEGACY. 41
ceased for an Hour or two in the middle of the day,
was renewed towards evening, and continued with
great fury, the ardonr of acquisition by no means
About midnight a sentry on the heights of Eosia
(the name given to a portion of the rugged cliffs
towards the south and near the hospital) observed,
in the gloom, a figure lurking about one of the bat-
teries, and challenged it. Eeceiving no answer,
he threatened to fire, when Bags came forward re-
luctantly, with a bundle in his hand.
" Hush, Bill," said Bags, on finding the sentry
was a personal friend â " don't make a row : it's
only me, Bags â Tongs, you know," he added, to
insure his recognition.
"What the devil are you doing there, you fool ?"
asked his friend in a surly tone â " don't you know
the picket's after you?"
" I've got some little things here that I want to
lay by, where nobody won't see 'em, in case I'm
catched," returned Bags. "Don't you take no
notice of me, Bill, and I'll be off directly."
" What have ye got ? " asked Bill, whose curio-
sity was awakened by the proceedings of his friend.
" Some bttle matters that I picked up in the
town," returned Bags. "Pity you should be on
guard to-day, Bill â there was some pretty pickings.
I'll save something for you, Bill," added Bags, in
an unaccountable access of generosity.
42 TALES FROM "BLACKWOOD."
The sentry, however, who was a person in every
way worthy of the friendship of Mr Bags, expressed
no gratitude for the considerate offer, but began
poking at the bundle with his bayonet.
" Hands off, Bill," said Bags ; "they won't abear
" Let's see 'em," said Bill.
"Not a bit on it," said Bags; "they ain't
aworth looking at."
" Suppose I was to call the sergeant of the
guard," said Bill.
" You wouldn't do such a action ? " said Bags, in
a tone strongly expressive of disgust at such base-
ness. " No, no, Bill, you ain't that sort of fellow,
"It's my dooty," said the sentry, placing the
butt of his musket on the ground, and leaning his
elbow on the muzzle. "You see that what you
said, Tongs, was very true, about its being hard
upon me to be carrying about this here damnable
weppin " (slapping the barrel of the musket) " all
day for fourpence ha'penny, while you are making
your fortin. It is, Tongs, d â d hard."
" Never mind ; there'll be plenty left to-morrow,"
said Bags in a consolatory tone.
"What shall we say, now, if I lets ye hide it?"
said Bill, pointing to the bundle. "Half-shares?"
" This ain't like a friend, Bill," returned Tongs,
highly disgusted with this ungenerous proposal.
LAZARO'S LEGACY. 43
" Nobody ever knowed me interfere with a comrade
when I was on sentry. How long ago is it since I
let ye stay in my box an hour, till ye was sober
enough to walk into barracks, when I was sentry at
the gate? Why, the whole bundle ain't worth
eighteenpence â and I've worked Laid for it."
"Half-shares?" reiterated Bill, not melted in the
least by the memory of ancient benefits.
"No, by G â !" said Bags in great wrath.
a g er g Â» began Bill in an elevated voice,
porting his arms at the same time.
"Stop!" said Bags; "don't call the sergeant.
Half is better nor nothing, if ye're going to behave
like that. We'll say half, then."
" Ah," said Bill, returning to his former position
â " I thought we should agree. And now let's see
Muttering still his disapprobation of this un-
worthy treatment, Bags put his bundle on the stone
embrasure of the battery, and began to unfold it.
Eighteenpence was certainly a low valuation.
Bags appeared to have visited a jeweller's shop.
Watches, rings, bracelets, gold chains, and brooches
glittered on the dingy surface of the handkerchief.
" My eye ! " said Bill, unable to repress a low
laugh of delight â " why, we'll turn bankers when
we've sold 'em. Tongs and Co. â eh?" said Bill
with considerable humour.
Bags, however, told him he was altogether mis-
44 TALES FROM "BLACKWOOD."
taken in his estimate â most of the things were
pinchbeck, he said, and the stones all glass ; and,
to save Bill any trouble, he offered to dispose of
them himself to the best possible advantage, and
bring his partner his share of the proceeds, which
would certainly be at least ninepence, and might per-
haps be half-a-dollar. This arrangement did not, how-
ever, meet the approbation of the astute William,
who insisted on dividing the spoils by lot. But
here, again, there was a slight misunderstanding,
for both fixed their affections on a gigantic watch,
which never could have been got into any modern
pocket, and whose face was ornamented with paint-
ings from the heathen mythology. Both of them