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sengers of Heaven's goodness to man; and which were then poured down in fertilizing streams upon the wide-spread plains below; it was a scene to make one deeply feel the great benevolence of God in causing what were else sterile and useless, so richly to contribute to the comfort and the happiness of the varied orders of beings which exist upon the earth. Were I, in speaking of a subject which has in it so much both of truth and of poetry, permitted to indulge in rhyme, my meaning might be given thus :
Who feeds the fountains of the mountain rills,
Spreads life and verdure where life else would fail. On our way from La Carolina to Andujar, we passed the celebrated battle ground of Baylen. In the year 1808, after Dupont, one of Bonaparte's generals, had taken Cordova, retreating from the city with immense spoil, he was met at Baylen by Castanos, an old Spanish officer, with an army of raw levies of double the number of the French. After four days' fighting, Dupont, with near 20,000 troops, surrendered to the Spaniards on condition of being sent safely to France. These conditions were broken, however, through the vindictive rage of the peasantry, who could not be restrained by the officers. Many of the French were put to death, and. the rest were confined in prison-hulks, in the bay of Cadiz, where most of them perished. This defeat, which occurred the very day on which Joseph Bonaparte entered Madrid, after his victory at Rio Seco, did much to encourage the Spaniards and raise up for them friends in foreign lands, while at the same time it showed that the French veterans were not
invincible, and led Joseph to retreat from Madrid only ten days after his triumphal entry into the city. The contending armies at Baylen occupied two ranges of gentle hills on opposite sides of the road, the distance between which is less than a mile, and the battle took place on the intervening plain.
In passing along the plains of Andalusia, we saw many herds of horses under the care of their keepers, but the weather was such that they did not seem disposed to be lively and frolicsome. The horses which I saw in Spain had commonly much of the graceful symmetry of the Arab stock, while at the same time they were deficient in that superb stateliness of size, movement, and appearance, which are the noblest qualities of the race, and which have so often led both sacred and profane poets to speak of the bold and fearless warhorse as a striking emblem of majesty and strength. It is of such an animal, the noblest of the brute creation, that the Most High says to Job, - “Hast thou given the horse strength ? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder ? — Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength; he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, - the thunder of the captains and the shouting.” If I mistake not, the horses in the kingdom of Naples are much larger and finer than those in Spain, and certainly, the royal body-guard of cavalry are far better mounted in the former country than in the latter. As mules are used almost exclusively for draught and labor in Spain, the breed of horses has been neglected, and has much degenerated both in numbers and quality.
It was near noon when we entered Cordova, and for some time previous we had been amusing ourselves with talking of the various objects of interest by the way. Among these, the most prominent was the range of mountains which bounded the fertile plains on our right, and which had been famed in those days when fierce and deadly warfare raged between the Moors and Christians. The brave and noble Pelistes, who, with a sinall party of followers had escaped from the battle of Xerez, threw himself into Cordova, and when that city by means of treachery had fallen into the hands of the Moors, for three months, with the aid of his adherents, he defended himself in the convent of St. George. At the end of that time he left the city by night with a view of obtaining aid from Toledo, or, if he failed in this, to return again to his companions and there die with them. He was pursu. ed, however, in his flight by Magued, once a Christian knight, who had since gone over to the Moors, and the horse of Pelistes, while fleeing among the mountains, fell and rolled with his rider from the path to the rocky bed of a torrent below, thus severely bruising him and making further flight impossible. When overtaken, a long and bloody contest ensued, which resulted in the defeat and capture of Pelistes; and when his followers saw his almost lifeless body brought into the city, they rushed out from their stronghold to rescue it, when, overpowered by numbers, most of them fell victims to their wild and reckless valor. Without recounting other deeds of chivalry, which have cast an air of romantic interest over all that fertile vale of the Guadalquivir in the midst of which Cordova has so long stood, presenting in her eventful history, so instructive and impressive an example of the rise and fall of empire, and the frail and transient nature of all human greatness, suffice it to say, that the mountains to which we have referred have here and there a convent resting on their sides or perched among their rugged cliffs, while on one of the highest points and overhanging a lofty precipice, might be seen near twenty little whitewashed cottages belong : ing to a hermitage. Perched in these airy nests, there lives a community of monks, under the rule of a Superior, cultivating garden herbs, and plants and flowers, and vainly pretending to serve God, while they neglect those social and religious duties to their fellow-men, which He commands them to perform.
Cordova was long the capital of the Moorish power in Spain, and the head of the Arabian empire in the West was called, from his royal city, the Caliph of Cordova, just as those of the East were known as the Caliphs of Bagdad and Damascus. Cordova was also the seat of literature, science, and the arts, where were splendid libraries and royal academies of learned men, the latter of which had numerous branches in the other towns of Spain. Artists were invited from Greece and Asia, who were employed in adorning the public structures. Agriculture, commerce, and manu
factures were patronized. Costly aqueducts and other public works were completed, and all the region of Cordova, which then had 400,000 inhabitants, was covered with the gardens and villas of the wealthy; who, in accordance with the primitive tastes of the East, sought both health and pleasure by laboring a portion of the time with their own hands.
The Mahometan religion is far more tolerant than the Catholic, for while the founder of the former was content with enforcing a uniformity of faith in Arabia alone, the sacred land of the Prophet's nativity, the adherents of the latter sought, by fire and sword, to force all mankind to receive en masse its gross and conceited dogmas, its burdensome rites, and its childish and ridiculous fables. Still, it is singular, that a religion under whose influence the noblest libraries in the world had been burned, on the ground that if the books destroyed contained what was in the Koran they were useless, and if any thing different from it were in them, they were false and pernicious, – it is singular, I say, that such a religion should have suddenly become not only tolerant to those of a different faith, but also the liberal patroness of science and the arts. Abderrahman the Third founded schools, far surpassing in reputation any others in Europe, and we learn from history that Prince Sancho of Leon, found at Cordova the cure of a disease which had wholly baffled the skill of the Christian physicians. Thus commenced that intercourse between the Christian and Mahometan rulers of Spain which was extensively imitated by their subjects, and which, in after times, gave rise to numerous gallant and heroic deeds; presenting a striking example of the triumph of a spirit of chivalrous courtesy, in those who had been taught upon the field of battle to respect each other's bravery, over the deep and hostile bigotry of opposing systems of religious faith.
Every great town in Mahometan Spain had its schools and its literary and scientific academies, and we are told, that the spirit of the age penetrated even into the seclusion of the harem, and the names of several Mahometan ladies, who distinguished themselves as votaries of the Muses, are still preserved.
The Jews, many of whom had been driven from Spain, by the savage decrees of the early councils of Toledo, were invited by the Saracens to return. They busily engaged in commerce and the arts, and not a few of them were royal physicians, ministers of finance, or occupied other important posts of trust and honor. In the year 723, an imposter named Zonaria arose in Syria, who claimed to be the Messiah, when most of the Jews in Spain flocked to the East. The Mahometan sovereign did nothing to prevent this movement; but when they were gone, he confiscated their property. After this, however, was their golden age of wealth and learning. They had their distinguished schools, and a long succession of learned Rabbins, and doctors of the law, extending from the eighth to the thirteenth century. History informs us, that such was the popularity of Nathan, one of the Judg. es of the Jews during the tenth century, and such was the wealth of his brethren, that whenever he went forth to enjoy the delicious refreshment of the groves and gardens near Cordova, he was attended by immense numbers of his admiring disciples, clad in sumptuous apparel, and that 700 chariots followed in his train. Near the end of the twelfth century arose Maimonides, who, by the able and fearless manner in which he analyzed the Law of Moses, and caused those traits which prove its divine origin to stand out from the mass of errors with which time and tradition had enveloped it, brought upon himself the enmity of the bigoted and superstitious of his nation, when he retired to the court of the Sultan of Egypt, where, as royal physician, he was highly honored and esteemed.
Cordova was the birthplace of Seneca and Lucian, names familiar to all the lovers of classic antiquity; and in the wars of Cæsar and Pompey, and other interesting epochs, she occupies a prominent place in the history of the Roman empire. In the time of the Saracens, according to the Arabian historians, Cordova contained 1,000,000 of inhabitants, and had 600 mosques; 50 hospitals, and 80 public schools, while the streets were all paved, and pure water was brought from the mountains in pipes of lead to supply 900 public baths, and the numerous fountains, which stood at the corner of erery street. The splendor of the court of the Caliphs may be estimated from the fact, that the body-guard of Abderrahman the First, consisted of 12,000 men.
During the ninth century, Cordova was the scene of one of those singular exhibitions of wild and raging fanaticism, which more than once have inflicted a deep and lasting disgrace upon Christianity, -I mean a rash and impious zeal for the honor of martyrdom, The Saracens had allowed to