Boekgegevens
Titel: First English reading book: Engelsch leesboek voor instituten, gymnasiën en hoogere burgerscholen: met Nederlandsche woordenlijst
Auteur: Herrig, Ludwig
Uitgave: Arnhem: J. Voltelen, 1869 *
Auteursrechten: Zie auteursrechten
Citeerinstructie: Bijzondere Collecties van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, UBM: IWO 513 H 21
URL: https://schoolmuseum.uba.uva.nl/bookid/LCSM_204683
Onderwerp: Taal- en letterkunde naar afzonderlijke talen: Engelse taalkunde
Trefwoord: Leesvaardigheid, Engels, Leermiddelen (vorm)
* jaar van uitgave niet op de gebruikelijke wijze verkregen, mogelijk betreft het een schatting
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Castile, it M-as recovei*ed, however, in
1333, by Ahomelek, tlie son of the emperor
of Fez, and the Moors were not finally dis-
possessed of it till the middle of the follow-
ing century. After that it remained a part
of the kingdom of Spain, down nearly to
our own times.
The promontory of Gibraltar forms the
south-western extremity of the province of
Andalusia, running out into the sea in nearly
a due south direction for about three miles.
The greater part of this tongue consists of
a very lofty rock. It rises abruptly from
the land to the height of fully 1300 feet,
presenting a face almost perfectly perpen-
dicular, and being consequently from that,
its northern extremity, completely inacces-
sible. The wést side, however, and the
southern extremity, consist each of a series
of precipices or declivities which admit of
being ascended. The town, now contain-
ing a i>opulation of about 30,000 persons,
is built on the west side. Along the sum-
mit of the mountain, from north to south,
runs a bristhng ridge of rocks, forming a
ragged and undulating line against the sky
when viewed from the east or west. The
whole of tlie western breast of the promon-
tory is nearly covered with fortifications.
Anciently, it is said, it used to be well
wooded in many places; but there are now
very few trees to be seen, although a good
many gardens are scattered up and down
both in the town and among the fortifica-
tions. A great part of the rock is hollow-
ed out into caverns, some of which are of
magnificent dimensions, especially one call-
ed St. George's Cave, at the southern
point, which although having only an open-
ing of five feet, expands into an apartment
of two hundred feet in length by ninety
in breadth, from the lofty roof of which
descend numerous stalactitical pillars, giv-
ing it the appearance of a gothic cathedral.
These caves seem to have been the chief
thing for which Gibraltar was remarkable
among the ancients. They are mentioned
by the Roman geographer, Pomponius
Mela, who wrote about the middle of the
first century of our era. The southern ter-
mination of the rock of Gibraltar is called
Europa Point, and has been sometimes
spoken of as the termination in that direc-
tion of the European contuient; but Tarifa
Point, to the west of Gibraltar, is fully
five miles farther south.
It is impossible for us here to attempt
any description of the fortifications which
now cover so great a part of this celebrated
promontory. Gibraltar was first fortified
in the modern style by the German engi-
neer, Daniel Speckel, at the command of
the emperor Charles V. towards the close
of the sixteenth century. But little of
what was then erected probably now re-
mains. Since the place fell into the pos-
session of the English, no expense has
been spared to turn its natural advantages
to the best account, and additions have
repeatedly been made to the old fortifica-
tions on the most extensive scale. It is,
now, without doubt, the most complete for-
tress in the world.
More than half a century ago Gibraltar
was accounted by military men almost im-
pregnable. *No power whatever,' says Co-
lonel James in his History of the Hercu-
lanean Straits, published in 1771, 'can take
that place, unless a plague, pestilence, fa-
mine, or the want of ordnance, musketry,
and ammunition, or some unforeseen stroke
of Providence, should happen.' It is cer-
tainly now much stronger than it was then.
One improvement which has especially
added to its security is the formation of
numerous covered galleries excavated in the
rock, with embrasures for firing down upon
both the isthmus and the bay.
Gibraltar was taken by an English fleet,
under the command of Sir George Rooke
and the Prince of Hesse Darmstadt, in
July, 1704. The project of the attack was
very suddenly formed at a council of war
held on board the admiral's ship, while the
fleet was cruising in the Mediterranean,
and it was apprehended that it would be
obliged to return to England without hav-
ing performed any exploit commensurate
to the expectations with which it had been
fitted out. The affair pioved a very easy
one; the garrison, which consisted of one
hundred and fifty men, having surrendered
after a bombardment of only a few hours.
The assailants lost only sixty liyes, the g
greater part by a mine which was sprung
after they had effected a landing. In the
latter part of the same year a most reso-
lute effort was made to recover the place
by the combined forces of France and
Spain, which failed after it had been per-
severed in for several months, and had
cost the besiegers not less than 10,00ft
men. The loss of the garrison was about
400.
At the Peace of Utrecht, m 1713, the
possession of Gibraltar was confirmed to
England. In 1727, however, another attempt,
on a formidable scale, was made by Spain
to dislodge the foreigners. An army of
20,000 men having encamped in the neigh-
bourhood, the attack was commenced in
February and continued till the 12th of