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cred along with their commander, and in twenty-four hours | famine and disease. It is said that during the blockade, every village was in arms, and the whole population of Malta which lasted two years, 20,000 persons died without the and Gozo burst into one general revolt against the French. walls, for want of due relief. The town of Burmola was entered, and the standard of the At the end of four months the treasurer of Valetta writes republic of France, together with eighty barrels of gun that the countenances of many “bore marks of the cruel powder, carried off into the country.
privations to which they had been subjected." But month The whole of the open country remained in possession of after month passed heavily away, and the cities had been the Maltese, while the French were blockaded in the city so closely invested, that, during the first twelve months, only of Valetta, and in the towns of Burmola, La Sangle, and Le fifteen small vessels, and the frigate Boudeuse, had been Bourg, which lie upon the other side of the large harbour. able to throw in fresh supplies. In August, 1599, the citizens General Vaubois offered a free pardon to all who would lay were totally beggared, and the public treasury of the down their arms, but his messengers of peace were not suf French was nearly empty; the soldiers were put upon half fered to return. The character of the Maltese now for the pay, and many civilians obtained leave of General Vaubois first time in recorded history is seen to develop itself under to fly from the double prospect of a famine and a siege. oppression that would have crushed a weaker nation. The | The population, which had numbered about 40,000 at the minds of all classes were bent to one purpose ; arms were commencement of the blockade, had now dwindled down to collected ; levies were made; and the men were divided into little more than 7,000, and consequently more corn remained battalions, and distributed to the different posts throughout for those that still clung to the hopes of succour being sent the island, with as much regularity as if they had been to them from France. In December, 1799, the pay of the officered by experienced men, and commanded by one mas troops was entirely stopped, together with their allowance ter-mind.
of wine and brandy.
The Guillaume Tell, the last remnant of that proud fleet 12. ARRIVAL Or THE ENGLISH AT MALTA.
that had sailed so exultingly but two years since for ABOUKIR, a small town in Egypt, near Alexandria, was Egypt, baving now succeeded in escaping out of the harbour taken by the French after they sailed away from Malta, of Valetta, was chased and captured by the English after under General Buonaparte, in 1793. Shortly after it was a gallant resistance. This added to the fears of the garrirendered famous by the naval battle between the French son; scarcely a hope was left that succours could be sent, and English tleets, in which the British admiral, Nelson, and famine was in their streets. Two French frigates, obtained a complete victory, and for which he received his which still remained in port, were despatched as a forlorn peerage. Five days after the revolt of the Maltese the news hope. These gained the open sea, and the hopes of the of the battle of Aboukir was brought to General Vaubois besieged revived, but two days afterwards, one of these was by the Guillaume Tell, French man-of-war, and two frigates, seen, with the French flag struck, riding in the midst of the and incorporating the soldiers and crews of these vessels English squadron. Fresh pork now sold for seven shillings with his own troops, the French general now found himself and two-pence a pound : rats, ospecially those found in at the head of 6000 well-disciplined troops. Nelson, sailing bakehouses, which were of course well fed, sold at an exwestward, after his victory, fell in with one of his own tleet, orbitant price; a bottle of oil was worth a guinea, and the which told him that the Maltese had sent out boats in all flesh of dogs, cats, horses, asses and mules, had been so directions to seek assistance from him, but his own ships generally eaten, that the races of all these animals had were so disabled that he could only des pateh a Portuguese become extinct. squadron, consisting of four ships-of-the-line and two Although the land forces of the Maltese had been too incon. frigates, which arrived off the island on the 18th of Septem. Jsiderable to bombard the immense lines of fortification which ber, 1798, with the promise, however, that he himself defend Valetta, yet the city had been so closely invested would soon follow.
both by land and water, that famine compelled General General Vaubnis having refused to surrender Valetta to Vaubois to surrender to the British. By the capitulation, the Portuguese admiral, the latter threatened to bombard which was signed on September 5th, 1800, (two years and the city, and, in consequence, many of the inhabitants were two days after they had taken Malta from the knights.) permitied to leave it at their own request. The blockade it was agreed that the French troops should march out with now commenced, the Maltese were supplied with arms and the honours of war as far as the sea shore, where they artillery, and on the 25th of October, Lord Nelson himself should ground their arms, and then be embarked for arrived with fourteen ships of war, and again summoned Marseilles as prisoners of war, until exchanged. On the the place to surrender, liberally offering to transport all the afternoon of the following day, the 30th, 35th, 48th, and French garrison in safety, as free men, and not as prisoners 89th, British regiments, supported by detachments of of war, to their own country. The offer was refused, and artillery and engineers, and iwo battalions of Neapolitan the city was invested, and the siege left to the charge of a infantry, took possession of the forts Tigné and Ricasoli and squadron under Captain Alexander John Ball, as Nelson Floriana, and two English frigates and some small craft was compelled to depart, in order to refit his ships, which entered the port. The whole English squadron ran into the were unfit for sea.
harbour on the following morning: the English ensign was The king of Sicily had already supplied the Maltese hoisted at St. Elmo, and two days afterwards, the French with ammunition, and now he permitted ihem to draw corn troops set sail in English transports. from his granaries upon credit. In the mean time, a few guns only were allowed to play upon Valetta, the bombard
13. THE PBACE OF AMIENS. ment being delayed in the hopes of a speedy capitulation, Amiens is a city of France and capital of the department for it was known that the French garrison were already of the river Somme, which runs out into the English straitened for provisions. At the commencement of the Channel nearly opposite to Brighton. In this city a treaty siege there were 36,000 quarters of corn in their possession, of peace between Great Britain and the French republic and at the end of twelve months, they calculated that they was concluded on the 27th of March, 1802, which stipulated, had yet sufficient to enable them to hold out another year, amongst other things, that the islands of Malta, Gozo, and although, at this period, a pound of fresh pork sold for six Cumino, should be restored to the order of St. John, but shillings; salt meat cost two shillings and sixpence per under thirteen conditions, most of which went to ensure a pound; fish of the coarsest kind two shillings and twopence; greater degree of consideration towards the native Maltese, a fowl fifty shillings; an egg eightpence; a pound of sugar than they had hitherto met with. The Maltese, however, eighteen shillings and fourpence; a rat one shilling and remonstrated in strong terms against the portions of the sevenpence. The flesh of mules and asses was bought up, treaty of Amiens which concerned themselves. They debut of water happily there was no want.
manded that the island should be restored to them; or that Captain Ball, the commander of the English squadron, they should be indemnified for the losses occasioned by war is represented as a man of dignified deportment, and of and by the plunder of the French: but expressed a full mild and affable manners, and his kindness won so much reliance upon the sincerity and in the faith of the British upon the favour of the Maltese, that in the beginning of nation, being more desirous of becoming free subjects of 1799 they placed him at the head of all civil, as well as the king of England, than of asserting their own indepenmilitary affairs. A congress was forined, of which Captain dence, of which, indeed, they were incapable. Ball was elected the president; the revenue was strength. England also promised by the same treaty, that Malta ened by a public loan; customs were regulated, and favour- should be evacuated by the British troops, three months able communications were kept up with Lord Nelson, and after its ratification; but, not only would the Maltese have with the king of the Two Sicilies. During these energetic thus been sacrificed, either to the knights, or to the French, and cheering measures, they had to contend, however, with perhaps to both; but the security of British India would
have been endangered. England, therefore, was com- powder-magazine, and there defied the courage of the pelled to break the treaty. The conditions of the treaty assailants, by protesting that they would blow it up in case were, in the first place, agreed to with the hope of ensuring they persevered in their endeavour to seize them; and, peace, and when this hope was frustrated, the same con confident of making advantageous terms with the governor, ditions were set aside to save countless thousands from the they persisted in their obstinate resistance, and made no inevitable miseries of war. The treaty was broken, but the advance towards a surrender. From time to time some one principles of humanity were preserved. Had the stipula- presented himself in order to negotiate with the besiegers, tions been agreed to, Buonaparte, almost to a moral but to no avail; nothing but an unconditional surrender certainty, would at once have occupied Malta; but, even if would be listened to by the commandant. he had not done so, the majority of the knights of St. John Five days passed away in this manner, during which time had always been of the French nation, and consequently all their urgent entreaties for provision were obstinately reunder the intluence of France, and we have already seen fused, and the unfortunate wretches were reduced to a most the kind of treatment which the Maltese received at their pitiable condition. On the sixth these entreaties were hands. From that let the reader turn to a succeeding pressed with additional importunities, and seconded with section in this paper, headed, “What have the English done the threat, that in case of refusal or the non-assurance of for Malta ?" and judge for himself whether the end has pardon, they would blow up the fort as soon as the vespernot justified the means. The question whether it was wise bell tolled from St. John's cathedral. No notice was taken to make a hollow truce, the conditions of which could not of this desperate menace, nor any thought entertained that long be kept, is quite another matter.
these six men valued life so little, as to join together in so England, therefore, retained the Maltese islands in her horrible a design for their own destruction. All was still own possession, firstly, because the Maltese themselves, until the appointed hour, when the fatal crash was heard, far too weak to stand alone, would otherwise have fallen a the stones of the magazine were seen rising in the air, and prey to masters "from whose tyranny, extortion, and the whole building, with a part of the fortification, was resacrilege," to use their own words, they begged to be duced to ruins. delivered; and, secondly, because Malta would have been Some time had already elapsed, and the affair of the but a stepping-stone for Buonaparte on his passage to the rebels had ceased to be talked of, when a priest returning East. Buonaparte indeed declared that he would almost home on a donkey from a rather solitary quarter in the as soon agree to Britain possessing a suburb of his own direction of the fort, was assailed by a man dressed in the capital, as that she should retain this position, for be was Froberg uniform, who pointed his musket at him over dreaming of conquest from the Nile to the Indus, and from a wall. The affrighted' father, however, made good his the Indus to the Ganges, and could brook no barrier to his escape, and upon his arrival at home reported the cir. insatiable ambition; but England, by her hold upon Malta, cumstance to the police. An armed body was forthwith sent had the entire command of the Mediterranean, and became in pursuit of the bandit, wbichi succeeded in discovering the the successful barrier against a desolating Asiatic war. retreat of the six poor wretches, who, it was imagined, had
been blown up with the magazine. Emaciated and worn 14. FROBERG'S REGIMENT.
out, they were secured with ease. From their own account
of their escape, it appears that during the siege they had Before the period had arrived for the British troops to carried out one of the mines to the precincts of the fortifica: evacuate Malta, war was again declared between England tions, leaving but a slender wall to obstruct their retreat, and Napoleon Buona parte. Large military supplies were which they might throw down in an instant during the consequently required, and the resources of our own country night, without any noise, when they wished to escape. Unfailing, contracts were entered into with various foreign til this work was completed, they continued to make every speculators, who engaged for a certain remuneration to levy appearance of holding out, but when all was ready, a train troops according to the emergency, from the peasantry of of powder was laid at a sufficient distance to secure them different countries, to be ready for foreign service. Amongst from the effects of the explosion, and which they kindled at other persons, a French noble proposed to raise a regiment the precise time of their threat. It seems to have been the composed entirely of Greeks. The bargains being struck, hope of the rebels, that in getting free from the fort, says Mr. Badger, the historian of this portion of our subject, they might fall in with some vessel on the coast, and thus the contractor proceeded to gather together from the Levant,
make their escape from the island. a horde of various men, Greeks, Albanians, Sclavonians, and what not, who were to be enrolled under the English ban.
15. WHAT HAVE THE ENGLISH DONE FOR MALTA? ners, with the title of “Froberg's Regiment." In a short time they were equipped, transported to Malta, and appointed The European war, which lasted until the year 1815, was to occupy Fort Ricasoli, which lies upon the left hand interrupted during the preceding year by a treaty of peace of the traveller as he enters the large harbour of Valetta. concluded at Paris, between France and the allied powers, The severity exercised over the Frobergs by their comman by which the island of Malta and its dependencies were ders was increasingly aggravated, when they found that all finally secured to the English crown. Destructive to most the specious promises of professional rank with which they of the European states, the war had been, from the time of had been lured into the service were vain and delusive. Å the expulsion of the French, a source of commercial prosfrequent use of bodily punishment ripened these soldiers for perity to the Maltese; their impregnable walls had been the revolt, and the occasion of an officer striking a drummer on head-quarters of the English army in the Mediterranean, the face with a cane, was the signal for open rebellion; their harbour the rendezvous of the British tleet, and when during a skirmish, several officers were killed, the gates of Napoleon shut up all the continental ports against our the fort were closed against the garrison of Valetta, and the manufactures, Malia became the depôt for a contraband Frobergs declared themselves independent.
trade, which extended throughout Europe and the Levant, In their stronghold these rebels bade defiance to the nume. and vitiated the selfish policy that dictated the decrees of rous troops that were at that time stationed in the garrison, Berlin and Milan. and the dubious measures of the military governor Villetes, The plague in 1813, and the peace in 1814, which was then second in command, so far assisted them as to leave sealed by the victory at Waterloo in the following year, put nothing to be dreaded from a blockade, which was established an end to all this artificial prosperity, and a long period of forthwith. An English artillery officer and several of his depression followed, not, perhaps, without its proper purpose. men who were still imprisoned within the fort, were com Certain it is, that since that time the intellectual and moral pelled to assist in pointing the guns, and firing shot into energies of the people have been more vigorously exerted the city. The scarcity of provisions, and the absence of than at any other previous period of their history. Insigall subordination, among the rebels, soon produced intestine nificant in size, and not only without natural out works like quarrels, which, as might be expected in such a company, that impregnable rock Gibraltar, Malta, on the contrary, soon terminated in bloodshed. This state of things did not had ever offered shelter to the largest fleets of the enemy. continue long; a large section burst open the gates, threw The consequence has been, that from the earliest ages the themselves into the midst of the English troops, leaving inhabitants had fallen a prey to conqueror after conqueror, behind about one hundred and fifty of their companions, and it may safely be asserted, that until they sought and who still kept possession of the fort.
found protection under the British tlag, they had never been Captain Collins, however, an English naval officer, offered in a position to develop the mental and moral faculties which to take upon himself the capture of the fort, and accordingly they possessed. That the marked improvement which they succeeded in storming it by night, and in securing all the now evince is entirely owing to the fostering care of our own men, with the exception of six, who tooks possession of the government, is not for us to say; there were many auses,
doubtless, working together for this end, the most essential | mary schools having been established throughout the rural of which were the fitness and capabilities of the Maltese districts. The University and Lyceum have been remodelled, themselves for their present advancing civilization, and numerous periodicals, devoted to political and literary
The protection which the Maltese enjoyed in time of peril subjects, have sprung up since the opening of the press. was permanently secured to them, by enrolling themselves Compared with what the French did for Malta, there is as subjects of the crown of England, and during the period much subject for praise in the conduct of the British govern. of forty years that they have virtually been a British colony ment, under similar circumstances; and therefore it is, we no misunderstandings of any unpleasant nature have arisen; repeat, that by breaking the treaty of Amiens, the principles -a fact as creditable to themselves as to their parent go- of humanity were preserved. But, compared with what verument.
man ought to do for his fellow.man, as well as for selfIn the time of the knights no inhabitant could trust him- respect, very much remains to be done in order to encou, self to sleep on the coast outside a fortified wall, but now rage the industry of our attached fellow-subjects the every part of the island became equally secure; in the time Maltese. of the French, the laws of property and religion were violated, but the free exercise of their religion was at once secured to 16. DESCRIPTION OF MALTA, Gozo, AND CUMINO. them by the English. Charitable institutions were revived; the naval arsenal and other public establishments were MALTA was formerly considered to belong to Africa, but enlarged, and gave employment to a large body of artificers; by an act passed by the British parliament it was declared the fortifications have been put into thorough repair; a part of Europe. It indeed belongs to both, for the general board of health has been established; and the streets of aspect of the country; the temperature, language, and Valetta are now swept every morning soon after sunrise, so habits of the natives; the climate in all the glowing intenthat no unwholesome garbage is left to infect the air. The sity of a tropical sun without its sickliness-are African; lazzaretto has become, for extent, and cleanliness, and com- while its religion, its political security, its intellectual and fort, the pattern and the best existing model for similar social resources, as well as its every-day and household institutions; a vote in parliament, in 1830, afforded the comforts, are altogether European, and even English. means of erecting a naval hospital upon a healthy and com We have already given a general account of Malta. We manding eminence, which Buonaparte is said to have have now to add that this and the adjoining islands lie chosen as a site for a palace for himself; the roads leading between 35° 49' and 36° north latitude, and 14° 10' and from Valetta into the interior have latterly received great 14° 36' east longitude from Greenwich. The surface of attention; the magnificent Church of St. John has been Malta and Gozo, is said to comprise about 114 square miles, partially restored out of the public funds, and other mea
or 72,960 acres. Malta contains two cities, and iwenty-two sures of good intention have been carried out.
casals, or villages. A ridge of land divides this island into The consequences of all this have been that outrages upon two unequal parts; the eastern and larger division contains property, especially upon the property of the English resi the old and new capitals, as well as the twenty-two casals, dents, are very unfrequent, while, as we can personally while the western sertion is destitute both of towns and testily, the person is secure at all hours, and in every part villages, and almost of inhabitants. This unequal distriof the Maltese islands. The population, too, which inbution of the population was originally caused by the inse1803 was 94,000, in the year 1838 numbered 120,989 souls. curity of the western coast; the natives consequently
While the physical wants of the Maltese were thus retired heyond the ridge of land which formed a natural enlarged by this increasing population, their moral and fortification; the churches were built where their altars were intellectual appetites had been also sharpened : constant least likely to be violated, and now the convenience of intercourse with the English had made them more free, more attending these, together with the force of habit, have thoughtful, and consequently desirous of doing something concentrated the population towards the eastern shores of for themselves. They had been as it were a little nation in the island. a nursery: for centuries their energies had been cramped: The grand harbour is about one mile and three quarters as a people they had been in a perpetual infancy. When, in lenyih. Near to the entrance, which is only 450 yards therefore, their social and political wants became recognised, broad, the water is from sixty to eighty fathoms in depth. a fev: years must necessarily have elapsed to let them feel Ships are enabled by the boldness of the shores, and comtheir way: inexperienced in the direction of public business, pelled by the narrowness of the entrance of the harbour, older hands were required to guide them in all matters of to pass close to fortifications sufficient to annihilate the legislation, but now they felt themselves able to assist in most powerful force that could be brought against them; managing their little bark. They were still devoted to the but in times of peace it is a safe and commodious port. English Hag: they wanted an English captain to remain at Water for shipping may be had in any. quantity, and the the helm, but, tired of the service of the forecastle, they basin is large enough to contain the whole British Navy. begged for some subordinate rank on the quarter-deck. This Five and twenty sail of the line, besides three or four hun. conscious developement of civilisation is the fit reward of dred merchant-men, were known to lie in this port during those rulers who remove the barriers that arrest the ameli- the last war. orating progress of mankind.
On the right hand, upon entering the port, is a low quay The Maltese therefore petitioned William the Fourth, in on which are a series of wharfs, ranges of store houses, the 1832, and the British parliament, in 1836, for the removal custom-house, fish-market, &c. The merchant and trading of certain alleged restrictions. They wanted a trade less vessels lie close into shore, while above these and the shackled : they desired to be more identified with the local adjoining warehouses rise the bastions and domestic palaces government; and they asked for a free press, “that great of Valetta, interspersed with the towers of numerous mover and interpreter of human thoughts and actions." It churches. All these edifices are built of cream-coloured is a proof of the sympathy of the home with the local stone, appearing as fresh as if they were but just erected, government, that before this petition had arrived in England and the whole brilliant in a cloudless atmosphere, unsullied a vessel was on its way out to Malta, the order for the by a particle of smoke, and reflected in the clear blue waters immediate establishment of a free press, under the usual of the port beneath. wholesome regulations. An office was now opened by the The coast upon the left is deeply indented hy three inlets; government at Valetta, during certain hours of the week, the first, immediately on passing the entrance of the har. where any person might state his individual knowledge of bour, is called Bighi Bay, where stands the naval bospital; any real cause of complaint against the local government, the second, a narrow creek, called the Galley-Port in the unler the guarantee that such statement should be trans time of the knights, is now principally appropriated to the mitted for consideration in England, and that in case any establishments connected with the naval arsenal, storeperson holding a public office might feel it his duty to re houses, and residences of the officers belonging to these cord his own convictions, that his situation should by no different departments; lastly, Porto della Sanglea, which is means be forfeited by so doing. Finally, Commissioners of chietly occupied by private yards for building and repairing Inquiry were sent out to Malta in 1838.
merchant-vessels. These last two creeks are perfectly the healthy result of these liberal and truth-seeking land-locked. A reference to the bird's eye view of the city measures, many improvements have already taken place, and port of Malta, which we gave in a previous Supplemeni, and many others are in anticipation. The patronage of will make this description perfectly intelligible. The places has been more fairly allotted to the native Maltese ; smaller inlets are protected from every wind, but the central the ports have been entirely thrown open to all foreign mer basin of the grand harbour is open to the north-east, or chandise, the duties remaining only ou articles of consump- gregali, which sometimes renders it dangerous for the tion. Education has been more generally attended to, pri- smaller boats to ply from Valetta to the old lowns, but acci
dents rarely happen to the larger vessels, as the bottom penny; the annual expense of drugs had been successively affords them good anchorage.
reduced from 1401.-io 1001.,—to 221.-161.-11l., during Military men consider the capital of Malta as impregna which time the number of sick people admitted had been ble to every enemy from without, and that famine within is more than doubled. The funds, in fact, had previously been the only reason that can justify the surrender of the place. all spent, and only between twenty and thirty patients adWe have said that when Napoleon entered Valetta, it mitted at a time; now there were generally from sixty to was remarked to him, that if the city had been quite eighty in-patients, and surplus funds remained overand above empty, and there had been no one within to open the gates the experiditure. for them, an entrance would have been effected with some We give this instance in detail, because we are thoroughly difficulty; and when General Vaubois, the officer whom persuaded that the English have brought much common Napoleon left in command when he sailed' for Egypt, sense and honesty of purpose to bear upon the affairs of asked for directions relative to the defence of the garrison, chese islands. Buonaparte told him to lock the gates and put the keys in his pocket. The fortifications are indeed most stupendous,
17. THE CITIES OF MALTA. says Brydone; all the boasted catacombs of Rome and Naples are a trifle to the immense excavations that have Valetta is built on a tongue of land a mile and a half in been made in this little island.
length, and was first made the seat of government in 1571. Towers are built along the coast, which are now only used It is the citadel of the island and the residence of the to prevent smuggling, and to preserve quarantine. The principal merchants and private families. The three old capital is walled and fortified, and the lines of Nasciar cities on the opposite side of the grand harbour, Vittariosa, to the westward were sufficient, in the earlier periods of the Isola, and Burmola, are inhabited by an industrious class knights, to arrest the progress of an enemy towards the of mariners, petty traders, and those attached to the naval more populous districts of the island; but it is to the fortifi-arsenal and other government works. These are ineluded cations that surround the two harbours that any garrison with Valetta, as the one capital of the island, and altogether must now look for security.
contain about fifty thousand souls. Sliema and St. Julian's To the landward of Valetta five successive lines of works are two pleasant villages to the west of Valetta, whore stretch from one port to the other, and dry ditches are ex
many of the inhabitants have built their country houses. eavated in the rock, to a depth varying from 90 to 140 feet.
Valetta has three gates; the streets are built at right Between the first and second lines of fortification stands the angles, are generally well paved and drained, and purposely town of Florian, which contains a church, a considerable
parrow to economize the shade, as the glare caused by the number of houses, a public garden, parade, and barracks.
reflection of the sun from the white sandstone is distressing Fort Tigné, a small but strong fort, commands the entrance
to the eyes. It is indeed considered so injurious that the of the quarantine harbour, while the castle of St. Angelo Maliese say that none but dogs and Englishmen go out at rakes the entrance of the grand harbour with four tiers of mid-day. Passing overland through Valetta, from one guns on one side, and fort Ricasoli on the other.
harbour to the other, the ascent is considerable, and the More than 800 pieces of ordnance were mounted on the streets are, in consequence, constructed with steps cut in walls when the French capitulated to the English in a.d.
the solid rock. The domestic architecture of this city is 1800. At present there are 947 embrasures in the walls of superior to that of any town on the continent of Europe. Valetta and the three old cities, to fill which, together with
It is safe to say that the domestic palaces of Valetta are not cavaliers and parapets, 1150 guns would be required. orly relatively, but absolutely, cheaper than a dirty thirdMortars, the mouths of some of which are six feet wide, are
rate London lodging. cut out of the rocks near the different creeks where a de of the public buildings the churches form the most barkation might be expected.
considerable number, but of these that of St. John's is In the previous history of Malta, we were careful to alone visited by the passing stranger. Thiş was erected in note the successive additions that each grand-master of the 1580 by the grand-master John de Cassierè, and dedicated knights made to the public works. The Cotonera, Florian,
to St. John the Baptist. The exterior presents but little and other works were there mentioned. For the last few
to admire, but, within, it is rich in marble, and carving and years, English engineers have been engaged in repairing gilding and mosaic work. The roof is supported by noble and perfecting these defences, at a very considerable ex marble pillars, and the ceiling represents various scenes pense. An old officer of the island assured us that very
from the life of St. John, painted by Chevalier Matthías. few, even of the residents, were aware of the extent of the
The interior 240 feet long, and 60 wide. The rich and mines and countermines that threaded the city, three deep,
beautiful mosaic pavement is unrivalled; it is composed of in various directions, which our government had excavated
rare marbles and valuable stones, arranged with great skill in the soft porous rock so well fitted for these works. The
in various devices, each tablet forming an exquisite picture, same officer told us that for every post to be filled, 30,000
finely polished, representing the arms of some knight of soldiers would be required to man the present walls.
Malta. We have said that famine alone can reduce Valetta. To
When the French plundered the public establishments, anticipate even this contingency, large subterranean grana
they are said to have taken from this church alone, ries, hewn out of the solid rock, are stored with corn, enough,
seven cart-loads of precious metal. A fine pair of silver it is said, for three years' consumption.
gates leading to the altar escaped their rapacity by being The little island of Gozo, close to Malta, is defended by served as an altar-piece in the Admiral's galley in the
. In the vestry is a painting on panel, which fort Chambray on its S.E. coast. The strait between the two islands is commanded by fort Rosso, which stands on time of the knights when they put to sea.
In ihe centhe islet of Cumino. Of Cumino we have nothing to add,
tre of this picture is a representation of the descent but that it partakes more of the character of Guzo than
from the cross. There are twenty-four choral books, of the of Malta, being more fruitful, less rocky, and was rented, largest size in folio, written on vellum and illuminated; when we visited it, by an Englishman, as a dairy-farm, for
the notes are about as big as diamonds on playing cards. 501. per annum. Gozo contains six casals, and a populous These books, as well as the above-mentioned picture, were town in the interior, called Rabbato, which lies at the foot of brought by the order from Rhodes in 1530. The tapestry an old ruinous castle, and was supposed to have been and other objects are highly interesting, especially the founded by the Tyrians. The castle stands on a solitary | but it is impossible to mention these in detail.
monuments of the knights and grand-masters of the order; rock not more than three hundred yards in diameter. Gozo contains no chapel for the English residents, who
The palace of the grand-masters is now used as a
It is an immense rarely, however, number more than twenty, and frequently residence for the English governor. less; but the president sometimes reads the service of our
quadrangular building with a court-yard in the centre; it church at his own house. There is an hospital at Rabbato
forms one side of the Piazza San Georgio, the principal which was founded by our government, and it is a pleasure
square in Valetta ; externally, the palace is plain and
The to see how well everything is conducted here under the unornamented, but imposing from its vast size. watchful eye of a faithful officer. When we inspected it, apartments are large, numerous, and convenient, and the the number of patients was seventy-five; the cost of each
furniture splendid. St. George's Hall is scarcely equalled per day for food, medicine, clothing, &c., was tenpence half
by any room in Europe. Besides numerous paintings by * Cavalier. A term in fortification used to denote a work gene
old, and chietly Maltese artists, the palace contains an rally raised within the walls, and from ten to twelve feet higher than
extremely interesting and well-arranged armoury. The the rest of the line. Their principal use is to command all the adja.
Piazza San Georgio is used as a military parade, and cent works and the country round.
enlivened in the evenings by one of the regimental bands.
The knights of Malta inhabited separate palaces accord-comforts, and by a native population attached to the persons ing to the nation from which they came. These palaces and respectful of the property, of the English, and speaking were called the Inns or Hotels of the different languages too our own language we think that they could not hesitate or nations, and are still in existence, with the exception of to purchase for as many shillings the health, the relaxation the English, which was abandoned at the Protestant of mind and body, for which they in vain seek elsewhere Reformation. They are used for officers' quarters, for with as many pounds sterling. private residences, in one or two instances, and one, having The parish churches of the casáls or villages are large the only large room in the island that is floored with planks, and magnificent, richly worked without, and decorated is set apart for public assemblies, fancy balls, &c. The within. It has been observed, that the cathedrals of many theatre is a handsome building, in which tolerable operas are towns in Italy are not more splendid than many of these given. The public hotels are excellent and very cheap. village churches. Their style of architecture is heavy; but
The light-house on Fort St. Elmo occupies a very com- their great mass and rich detail do in part compensate for manding situation. Beneath the watch-tower are deposited an absence of certain ideas of proportion which we consider the remains of Sir Ralph Abercrombie. In another part essential to a fine building. of the fort is the tomb of Guvernor Sir Alexander Ball, and The houses of the natives seldom exceed a second story. in the circuit of the ramparts are seen the names of Sir | The lower parts are generally, in the towns, let as shops, or Thomas Mai land, the Marquess of Hastings, Admi al to the poorer classes: a low intermediate, or mezzanino, Hotham, Sir R. Spencer, &c.' The English burial-grou a tloor contains the sleeping rooms and offices, the principal is a pretty spot, planted like an English tower-garden; but apartments being on the upper story, which usually has those belonging to the natives are mere depositories of the large glazed balconies projecting in the Spanish fashion, dead, and, very properly, further removed from the city. supported on finely carved stone work. The roofs are tlat,
Città Vecchia, or the old city, called Medina by the and covered with a red cement, called pozzolana, and form Saracens, and Cittá Notabile by Alphonso, king of Sicily, agreeable and much-frequented terraces. They also serve in 1428, is said to have been founded by the Tyrians before to collect the rain, which is conveyed from thence by pipes they built Carthage. Its houses were anciently magnifi- to subterranean cisterns, and nothing can exceed the sweetcent, as recorded by Diodorus Siculus, and its extent consi ness and freshness of this water at the hottest season of the derable. It is situated in a rising ground in the interior of year. It was to anticipate the possible failure of this supply the island, six miles from Valetta; and, riding towards it that Alof de Vignacourt built his magnificent aqueduct
. along that road with a friend who had just visited Jerusa-In Valetta, below a certain level, the water becomes bracklem, the writer was told that it bears a very marked resem ish, and this increases the value of the public fountains blance to the Holy City.
that Vignacourt fed by his aqueduct. It is the see of a bishop, and contains a cathedral, several Internally the houses possess much comfort and convechurches, and religious houses. In the choir of the cathe- nience; the stairs and floors, being mostly of stone, are dral is an exquisite specimen of Tarsiá, or inlaid wood. cool and pleasant in the very hot weather. The rents are The domestic buildings are still magnificent, as in the days remarkably low. When we say that a private palace may of old; but the inhabitants are impoverished. They live, be obtained for forty pounds a year, we are convinced that indeed, in richly-wrought palaces of stone, but without we exceed the price frequently given for the most luxurious money and without resources, except what they draw from habitations in which man need desire to dwell on earth. the soil they stand on. If the thousands of English families 'Let English families with small incomes, who will not live who hurry, year after year, from one miserable French at home, come here rather than to the very inferior and more provincial hotel to another, could but see the vast stone expensive establishments in the provincial towns of France mansions of Malta rising under a cloudless sky, surrounded or Belgium, or Germany, by every fruit and flower that could add to their creature
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