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An Odd Grenadier

Anecdotes Home






During the famous siege of Gibraltar, in the absence of
the fleet, and when an attack was daily expected, one dark night, a
sentinel, whose post was near a tower facing the Spanish lines, was
standing at the end of his walk, looking towards them, his head filled
with nothing but fire and sword, miners, breaching, storming, and
bloodshed, while by the side of his box stood a deep narrow-necked earthen
jug, in which was the remainder of his supper, consisting of boiled pease.
A large monkey (of which there were plenty at the top of the rock),
encouraged by the man's absence, and allured by the smell of the pease,
ventured to the jug; and, in endeavouring to get at its contents, thrust
his neck so far into the jug, as to be unable to withdraw it. At this
instant, the soldier approaching, the monkey started up to escape, with the
jug on his head. This terrible monster no sooner saluted the eyes of the
sentry, than his frantic imagination converted poor pug into a
blood-thirsty Spanish grenadier, with a tremendous cap on his head. Full of
this dreadful idea, he instantly fired his piece, roaring out that the
enemy had scaled the walls. The guards took the alarm; the drums were beat;
signal-guns fired; and in less than ten minutes, the governor and his whole
garrison were under arms. The supposed grenadier, being very much
incommoded by his cap, and almost blinded by the pease, was soon overtaken
and seized; and by this capture, the tranquillity of the garrison was soon
restored, without that slaughter and bloodshed which every man had
prognosticated at the beginning of this dire alarm.





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