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Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives,
The Death of Napoleon at St. Helena,
The Lighthouse, ... ... ...
NOTE. — The points prefixed to certain words in the Lessons indicate the
The figures refer to the Notes at the end of each Lesson.
THE GREAT SIEGE OF GIBRALTAR.
1779–1782. GIBRALTARI fell into the hands of the English in 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession2-the war in which Marlborough gained so much glory for the English arms. Admiral Sir George Rooke had been sent to the Mediterranean, to watch the French and Spanish fleets. For a long time he was unable to 'accomplish anything of 'importance; but, learning that Gibraltar was very poorly garrisoned, he suddenly attacked and captured it, and hoisted the English flag on its Signal Station.
That flag is the only one that has ever floated there since the 23rd of July 1704. Time after time have the Spaniards tried to recover this “key of the Mediterranean;" but every effort has been 'repulsed most gallantly, and often with 'tremendous loss to the enemy.
The last attempt they made was the most .gigantic and determined of all; and its successful .resistance by the English garrison forms one of the most heroic incidents in the annals of modern warfare. It occurred during the struggle which severed from England her North American colonies.3 France *recognized the United States as an independent power in 1778, and a war with Englaud was the consequence. In the following year Spain joined France, and Gibraltar was immediately ·blockaded.
The siege which followed lasted three years. Every 'appliance which experience could suggest, or skill could devise, was brought into 'requisition. Never before had such tremendous 'armaments, by sea and by land, been brought against any fortress. Yet the garrison held out bravely; and twice their friends outside-once by Admiral Darby, and once by Rodney — succeeded in sending them :reïnforcements and supplies.
Early in 1781, there was a terrific bombardment of the place; but so effectua) was the shelter afforded by the casemates, 4 or bomb-proof vaults, that the garrison lost only seventy men. In November of the same year, General Elliot, who conducted the defence, headed a midnight •sortie, which 'annihilated the entire line of the enemy's works. Their floating batteries were at the same time destroyed with red-hot balls. That one night cost the Spaniards two millions sterling!
But the final effort was made in 1782, when the Duke de Crillon, flushed with his success in capturing Minorca, took the command of the besiegers. He had under him upwards of 30,000 of the best troops of France and Spain, and his heavy guns amounted to the then 'unprecedented number of one hundred and seventy. The combined fleets numbered forty-seven sail of the line, with ten great floating batteries—the contrivance of a French engineer, and deemed 'invincible,—and frigates, gun-boats, mortar-boats and small craft without number. The besieged numbered only 7000 men with eighty guns.
The siege attracted the interest of the whole civilized world. Two French princes joined the besiegers' camp, to witness the fall of the place. “Is it taken?” was the first question asked each morning by the King of Spain. “Not yet; but it will be soon,” said his courtiers : and still Elliot's guns thundered .defiance from the Rock.
At length, on the morning of the 13th of September, the grand and decisive attack commenced. The ten battering-ships bore down in admirable order to their several stations. The Admiral, in a two-decker, moored about nine hundred yards off the King's Bastion. The other vessels took their places in a masterly manner, the most distant being eleven hundred or twelve hundred yards from the garrison. Under shelter of the walls, furnaces for heating shot had been lighted ; and, from the instant the ships dropped into position, a continuous fire of redhot balls was directed upon them by the garrison
In little more than ten minutes, continues Drinkwater, the enemy were completely moored, and their 'cannonade then became tremendous. The showers of shot and shell which were