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length achieved such successes as awakened the Moors from the illusion that all resistance to their dominion in Spain was extinguished. The perpetual contests between the two nations from this period down to the overthrow of the Moorish dominion by the conquest of Granada, in the fifteenth century, are dignified by the Spanish historians with the name of a war of seven hundred years.

In the first period of this long struggle, the Arabs carried learning and the arts to a degree of cultivation far beyond any thing known in the Christian parts of Spain. Those wild enthusiasts learned, on the European soil, to estimate the value of civilized life, with a rapidity as astonishing as that which distinguished the social improvement of their brethren whom they had left behind in Asia, under the government of the Caliphs. Before the era of Mohammed, their language had been cultivated and adapted to poetry and eloquence, according to the laws of Oriental taste. In Spain, it soon acquired, even among the conquered Christians, a superiority over the barbarous dialect of the country, which was then governed by no rule. This rude language was soon forgotten in all parts under the Moorish dominion; and the Oriental speech and manners soon began to exercise a strong influence over the independent Christians. The intervals of repose, which formed short links in the chain of their sanguinary conflicts, afforded them some opportunities for the interchange of the arts of peace, and they were soon taught to feel for each other that involuntary respect which the brave can never withhold from brave adversaries.

The Arab, who, in his native deserts, had not been accustomed to impose on women half the despotic restraints to which the sex is subject in the harems of Mohammedan cities, was soon disposed to imitate the gallantry of the descendants of the Goths; and still more readily did the imagination of the Christian knight, in a climate which was far from being ungenial, even to African invaders, acquire an Oriental loftiness. Thus arose the spirit of Spanish knighthood, which was, in reality, only a particular form of the general chivalrous spirit then prevailing in most of the countries of Europe; but which, under that form, impressed, in an equal degree, on the old European Spaniard an Oriental, and on the Spanish Moor a European, character.

Literature, and the elegant and useful arts, were carried to a high degree of excellence by the Spanish Moors, while the rest of Europe remained sunk in barbarism. The munificence and taste of their sovereigns were most ostentatiously displayed in their public edifices, palaces, mosques, and hospitals, and in the construction of commodious quays, fountains, bridges, and aqueducts, which, penetrating the sides of the mountains, or sweeping on lofty arches across the valleys, rivalled in their proportions the works of an. cient Rome. The great mosque of Cordova, now a Christian cathedral, bears testimony, at the present day, to the architectural skill and magnificence of the infidels. This edifice covers more ground than any other church in Christendom. It was completed about the year 800. A thousand columns of the richest marble astonish the spectator, at the first step into this gorgeous pile. Twenty-four gates of bronze, richly embossed, formerly gave entrance to the Mussulman worshipper ; but these have disappeared, as well as the four thousand seven hundred lamps which illuminated it every night. The main entrance had its folding doors covered with plates of gold, and on the highest cupola were three golden balls sustaining a golden pomegranate and lily.

Three miles from Cordova stood another edifice, which offered a still more astonishing display of the magnificence and wealth of the Moorish sovereigns. The palace of Zehra, with its gardens and accompaniments, was constructed by one of the Ommiades for his favorite sultana. The labor of twenty-five years, and fifteen millions of dollars, were expended upon this spot. The artists of Constantinople, and the most skilful sculptors and architects of the age, were employed by his liberal taste in the design and execution of this splendid pile. Twelve hundred columns of beautiful marble adorned the palace. The hall of audience was encrusted with gold and pearls. In the centre of the principal saloon, which was adorned with golden arabesques, and the walls of which were studded with precious stones, was a magnificent alabaster vase, from which issued a fountain of quicksilver, glistening with the blaze of innumerable lamps of crystal.

The royal fortress or palace of the Alhambra, was the pride of Granada, - a city, which, in the days of its glory, could send fifty thousand warriors from its gates, and was surrounded by a wall with one thousand and thirty towers. The Alhambra was sufficiently large to contain forty thousand men; and its magnificent ruins


form the most interesting object in Spain for the contemplation of the traveller. Its graceful porticos and colonnades, its domes and ceilings, glowing with tints which have lost nothing of their original brilliancy in that pure atmosphere, its airy halls and cooling fountains, show the taste, opulence, and luxury of the builders. Granada, under the Moors, was the great commercial mart of Europe, and its sovereigns were distinguished for their liberality and taste. They freely dispensed their revenues in the protection of letters, the construction of sumptuous public works, and in the display of a courtly pomp unrivalled by any of the princes of that period. Fifty colleges and academies were scattered over the suburbs and populous plains of Granada. The Spanish Arabs emulated their Eastern countrymen in their devotion to science. Their travellers penetrated into the remotest regions of Africa and Asia, transmitting an exact account of their discoveries to the national academies. They contributed to astronomical knowledge by the number and accuracy of their observations, and by the improvement of instruments, and the erection of observatories, of which the noble tower of Seville is one of the earliest examples. The copious catalogues of writers, still extant in the Escurial, show how extensively the cultivation of science was pursued by them. They produced no less than thirteen hundred historical writers, and one of their scholars published one thousand and fifty treatises upon the various topics of ethics, history, law, medicine, &c. Granada, Cordova, Seville, and all the other great cities of the Peninsula, rivalled each other in the magnificence of their schools, colleges, and

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academies. Seventy public libraries were open to the Moorish students in Spain, at a time when all the rest of Europe was without science, literature, or cultivation of manners. The dormant energies of Christendom received a strong impulse from the Spanish Moors. Their writings were translated and diffused throughout Europe; the Christians, roused from their lethargy, caught something of the taste and civilization of the infidels, and a healthful action was thus communicated to the European intellect.

During eight centuries of the dominion of the Moors in Spain, they exhibited all the various phases of civilization, from its dawn to its decline. Their constant wars with the Spaniards at length terminated in the conquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella, at the close of the fifteenth century, and the Moorish dominion in Spain was at an end. They were driven from the stately palaces reared by their own hands, wandered as exiles over the lands which still blossomed with the fruits of their industry, and wasted away under persecution, till their very name as a nation was blotted out from the map of history. Under the appellation of Moriscos, they remained subjects of Spain till the reign of Philip the Third, when religious bigotry expelled them from the soil. A few, who preferred death to exile, fled to the mountains, and endeavoured to defend themselves; but they were hunted by their inhuman tyrants like wild beasts ; part perished by the sword, part by hunger; their chief was made prisoner, and, after suffering every insult that triumphant tyranny could devise, was publicly executed. By this act of wanton cruelty and injustice, Spain was robbed of four hundred thousand of her most industrious inhabitants.

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