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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Ill
May, when it was put an end to by the
general peace. In this siege the garrison
lost 300 in killed and wounded; but the
loss of the besiegers was not less than 3000,
The guns in the fortifications, it is worthy
of remark, proved so bad, that seventy
cannons and thirty mortars burst in the
course of the firing.
But the most memorable of all the sieges
of Gibraltar was the last, which commenced
in 1779, and did not terminate till it had
been continued for more than three years.
Of this remarkable siege an excellent and
interesting account has been given by Gap-
tain John Drinkwater, who was present in
the beleaguered fortress during the whole
time. England was engaged in sustaining
the contest with her revolted colonies in
America, when hostilities were also com-
menced against her, first by France and
some time after by Spain. There is no
doubt that, whatever were her professions,
the latter power took up arms merely with
the object of recovering Gibraltar. The
Spanish ambassador having announced the
intentions of his Court, in London, on the
16th of June 1779, on the 21st of the
same month all communication between
Gibraltar and the surrounding country was
closed, by command of the government of
Madrid. It was the middle of the follow-
ing month, however, before the Spaniards
began to block up the fort. Fortunately,
in the early part of this year. General
George Augustus Elliot, wo had been re-
cently appointed Governor, had arrived in
the fort, and brought to the crisis that was
approaching the aid of his great military
science and talents, as well as of some of
the highest moral qualities that ever adorn-
ed the soldier or the man. General Elliot,
who was the ninth and youngest son of
Sir Gilbert Elliot of Stobbs, in Roxburgh-
shire, was at this time about sixty years
of age, more than forty of which he had
spent in the service of his country. An-
other fortunate circumstance was that a
supply of provisions had arrived in the
preceding April. Had it not been for this,
the garrison might have suffered terribly
from the sudden stoppage of their ac-
customed intercourse both with Spain and
with Africa.
The first firing which took place was on
the 12th of September, when a cannonade
was opened from the fort which destroyed
the works that the besiegers had spent
many of the preceding weeks in erecting.
The blockade, notwithstanding, became
every day closer; and the occasional boats,
which had for some time stolen in from
the African coast and other places, at length
found it impossible to continue their at-
tempts. By the end of October provisions
had become extremely dear. About the
same time, too, the small-pox broke kOut
among the Jewish inhabitants of the town,
and every precaution had to be used to
prevent the spread of the disease. In No-
vember, the Governor, in order to try on
how little food life and strength could be
sustained, restricted himself for eight days
to four ounces of rice per day. Thistles,
dandehons, wild leeks, &c., began to be
eaten by the people of the town — and
meat sold from half-a-crown to four shil-
lings the pound.
The first firing from the besiegers took
place on the 12th of January, 1780; and
the first person wounded in the fort was a
woman. By the end of March the first
supply of provisions arrived, brought in by
the gallant Admiral Rociney, who had not
only cut his way to the assistance of his
distressed countryman through all the oppo-
sition of the enemy, but had captured six
of their men-of-war, including a sixty-four
gun-ship with the admiral on board,
together with seventeen merchant - men.
King William IV, then known as Prince
William Henry, was serving on board one
of Sir George Rodney's ships as a mid-
shipman, and often visited the garrison
while the Ileet remained in the bay. Gap-
tain Drinkwater relates that, on seeing a
prince of the blood thus serving as a war-
rant-officer, the captive Spanish Admiral
exclaimed that Great Britain well deserved
the empire of the seas, when even her
kings' sons were found thus holding the
humblest situations on board her ships.
For a good many months after this,
things continued in nearly the same state.
The garrison and townspeople were again
and again reduced to the greatest priva-
tions by scarcity of provisions before sup-
plies arrived. In the spring of 1781, the
besiegers at last opened their batteries,
and continued firing upon the^ town till
they had completely destroyed it. On the
27th of April, however, a most gallant ex-
ploit was performed by a party from the
garrison, who, making a sortie from their
fortifications, succeeded in setting fire to
and reducing to ashes, all the erections of
the enemy, although distant not less than
three-quarters of a mile. This, however,
brought only a temporary relief. The fir-
ing soon after recommenced, and, for more
than a year, continued almost incessantly.
In the course of 1782 it was, on the sug-
gestion of General Boyd, returned from