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and an apostate. He had no alternative but to seek refuge among the Christains, his hereditary enemies. With a heavy heart, he turned his horse's head towards Cordova.
It was the date of this extraordinary scene that first attracted our notice, and we have looked into the point minutely. And we think our readers will be surprised when we tell them that the whole of the scene with the sultana, the Billingsgate abuse on both sides— El Zagal Abdallah being there at all-of his danger and flying—all, all, are pure fiction, if we may in any degree trust Señor Conde. The only passage which can by any possibility be thought to be in the remotest degree similar, is the following, which it will be seen impliedly negatives the presence of Abdallah and El Zagal in Almeria at all. “From that day (that of the relief of Loxa by El Zagal) the King Abdallah endeavoured to drive his uncle the King El Zagal out of Granada, and between the two parties there were many conflicts in the open places and the streets of the town, to the great scandal of all honourable and good Moors. In Almeria, by the activity of Prince Selim, and in Guadix by his son Yahye, some citizens arose against the King Abdallah, and, taking up the saying of the King Zagal, called him a renegade and a bad Moslem.” This applies to two different places, and, certainly, does not in any degree bear out Mr. Irving. M. de Marlès is wholly silent as to any such occurrences.
In Mariana, however, we find the skeleton which Mr. Irving has plumped out into so fair a form :-"At the same time, the citizens of Almeria took up arms against their King Abdallah, who was abhorrent to that people as a renegade, and they said that from his cowardice all the past evils had arisen. They attacked the palace and killed the brother of AbdalJah, and seized upon his mother, who was the principal cause and fomenter of that discord, so prejudicial, which had arisen between father and son.
This Moorish king was absent from that city at the time, and, as soon as he was informed of the disaster, he lost all hope of prevailing, and with a few in his company went to Cordova.”. This is the nearest thing to Mr. Irving's theatrical scene; and even this says nothing of the continuation of the reign of Abul Hassan, and absolutely negatives, in everything short of direct terms, El Zagal having anything to do with the matter at all.
It is possible that Mr. Irving may produce some Spanish chronicler in hich there may be a little more foundation for his picture ; but we doubt strongly there being any authority beyond the MSS. of Agapida. And even if there be, it is well known that those writers are proverbial for romancing upon Moorish subjects, to say nothing of their being so much more within the cognizance of the Arabic historians. And as regards them, Señor Conde is allowed to be the best authority extant, and we have seen what he says already.
We shall now give the brief condensation from that writer of which we spoke before we came to Almeria, and then we shall go at once to the scenes which concluded this awful series of human crime and misery. We take up the thread at the accession of El Zagal as previously given.
Abdallah would not agree to the arrangement which placed his uncle on the throne. They continued both reigning in a manner the most extraordinary; sometimes one being the stronger, sometimes the other, and each afraid to leave Granada to oppose the common enemy, lest his rival should take advantage of his absence. There were constant tumults between the parties, attended with much bloodshed. Abdallah always remained in constant communication with the Christians, which occasioned him the very greatest unpopularity among all the more intelligent people. He sometimes fought against them out of very shame, but then again flattered and cringed for their support. He even went so far as to congratulate Ferdinand on the capture of Malaga. It seems to us that he was one of the most fickle, feeble, and meanminded princes that ever disgraced a throne.
El Zagal, on the other hand, was a inan of energy and intelligence, besides being a most skilful captain. We doubt, indeed, whether, if he had reigned singly and fully, he might not have saved the Moorish 'empire even at the late period when he came to his divided throne. In the end, however, he succumbed. He made several very successful excursions against the Spaniards; at length he failed in one of them, and the gates of Granada were shut in his teeth on his return. He retired to Guadix, from whence he directed two of the most ably-conducted defences that took place throughout the war,--those, namely, of Malaga and Baza. We will just cite an example of contrast between the uncle and nephew. The force of Ferdinand was fast diminishing the number of towns remaining in El Zagal's possession, who, at the least was, as his nephew well knew, true to the core in the national cause. And does this reptile, at that extremity, feel one throb of sympathy at the awfully impending fate of his glorious nation ? No; he enters into a treaty with Ferdinand, stipulating, that as soon as the Castilian king should become master of the towns which El Zagal still held, he, Abdallah, would receive a Spanish garrison into Granada, in consideration of ample possessions which he should hold as feudatory and vassal of the King of Castile! This needs no comment.
After El Zagal, thus abandoned, had lost his last town, he felt the hopelessness of further resistance. He then himself treated with Ferdinand, and was given a considerable extent of territory on very handsome terms. But this man had a man's heart ;—he could not long endure a state of vassalage, and he passed over into Africa, where he continued till his death.
Abdallah remained sole sultan for the year or two which elapsed before the final downfall of Granada.
Such is the précis we have drawn up from Señor Conde: we shall now endeavour to give a closer idea than we have hitherto done of the mode of conducting the war towards its close, and then we shall be glad to lay down our pen, lest, after all this talk of every variety of killing, it should run blood instead of ink. : We will now present to our readers a picture of the siege of the very town which was beleaguered by Ferdinand at the time the treaty of which we have just spoken was made--and they will not only see how these Moors fought bravely when many would have sunk in despairthis is not rare-but they will behold the noble endurance of, not men only, but women and children also, under privations and sufferings, from the mere record of which Nature shrinks-lest their weakness
might be conducive to the awful annihilation of their nation and its name. This is rare.
The name of this town was Baza; and the garrison was commanded by the prince Cidi Yahye*, the nephew of El Zagal, who: remained at Guadix. In the courage and skill of this prince he had every confidence, and justly. Ten thousand of the bravest troops left unslain formed the garrison of Baza. The town was situated on the decline of a hill at the foot ran a river, and, on the other side, it was protected by declivities and slopès; and it was so abundantly supplied with provisions and soldiers, that the minds of the inhabitants were filled with confidence,
As soon as the Christians came up, the Prince Yahye sallied against them with picked men, and attacked them with the greatest courage. The battle was brave and bloody, and the Christians were broken and routed, and driven back to their camp with great slaughter. And not a day passed that the Moors did not sally forth and engage in skirmishes, of great heat and bloodshed, with the Spaniards. They took their revenge by laying waste to the corn-fields, and destroying all the vineyards and gardens. “ These,” says Señor Conde, aré but the ordinary ravages of war, but the owners and the cultivators could not behold them without grief and tears.'
The Christians, seeing the extreme resistance of the besieged, and the great damages they suffered in their constant sallies, encircled their camp, and also the approaches and entrances to the town, by a deep ditch and strong palisades. And, here and there, they built some towers, and thus gave a check to those fierce sallies which had caused so much injury throughout the siege.
This not only almost prevented the Moors from reaching them—but far worse, it cut off all supplies from the town. It was now that that noble and beautiful fortitude, of which we have spoken, began to be displayed. The inhabitants, for a period of six months, endured all the horrors which must ever accompany a protracted siegé. Lack of food, broken rest, the dread of expulsion from a loved home and the sufferings of age, and the death-aye of those dearest-all this did the inhabitants of Baza undergo, for six months, and that without complaint. Their complaints were reserved for an occasion equally singular and touching. What do our readers think this was ? the surrender !
The prince felt, after a time, that unless he had succour from without, he must yield: he wrote to El Zagal, stating how he was placed. The trust of this latter in his nephew was such, that though he felt that Baza was the last hope, yet he knew also that he could give no aid, and he sent back to bid him do that which seemed to him the best.
The surrender was announced in the town--and then both soldiers and citizens joined in grief amounting to despair. The women ran to the mosques—and prayed, and wept in bitterness. Their relief from their own sufferings they totally forgot, in the disgrace and ruin of their city. The very agonies under which they had been shrinking for months they now only desired should continue. This is a rare and noble picture.
* He was son of Abul Hassan, by the second sultana. That king had died in retirement a year or two before.
It will be gratifying to our readers to learn that this admirable people received mild terms of capitulation. They retained their liberty, their property, and the free exercise of their religion.
We shall not enter into the details of the siege of Granada itself. It is chiefly remarkable only for the importance of its effects—the primary result was certain from the first. The surrender took place on the 2nd of January, 1492 ; and the Empire of the Moors in Spain ceased for ever.
The sultan and his mother, it is said, paused, as they quitted the city on the way to the retreat they had chosen in Africa, as the last from which they could behold Granada. The deposed king casts his eyes upon the city, and wept. “Yes! weep”—said the sultana—“ weer like a woman for the loss of that kingdom which thou couldst not defend like a man!" -Such was the consolation which this fierce and unwomanly mother gave to her mean and effeminate son!
We must now recur to Mr. Irving. We are quite aware that it may be said that we have judged him too seriously and too deeply—that he merely meant to make an entertaining and attractive book, not a philosophical treatise, which, it may be sneeringly intimated, our doctrines would lead to. They would do no such thing :- they would produce a picture of the social state of a great nation, in all its varied details of statistics, of science, of literature, of art, and of daily life. Above all, they would inculcate the spirit of Peace and Fellowship. Mr. Irving, also, we hope, would feel ashamed of a defence which were to attribute to carelessness,--or, which is worse, to not caring,—the tone he has adopted in treating of the great subjects his present work includes. Mr. Irving is not a young man. He has seen enough of his fellowcreatures, and studied their nature sufficiently, not to hold matters lightly, such as those his new production embraces. These must be his real opinions; and, while we lament them, we cannot, in honesty, but condemn them also.
We feel pain to say, that we consider the tenor of what Mr. Irving has now written to be calculated to produce a love of War;-to palliate -nay to defend, if not to extenuate, the endless and awful calamities caused by the crimes which War invariably and necessarily creates;—to hold lightly the happiness of the mass of human beings in comparison with the indulgence of the passions of the few ;--but this last charge cannot but include nearly all we had to make. There is, however, one more. He has written to represent the coldest, the most cruel, the most bloody sentiments of Superstition, as the feelings of the purest, the noblest, the most humane of all religions.
Judging thus, we think we are passing a sentence almost unduly lenient, when we say that we regard this work to be written in a spirit narrow and evil.
We have been to see the statues of Tam O'Shanter and Souter Johnny, by Mr. Thom, and most extraordinary productions they are. The artist is, it is said, perfectly untaught, and yet he has produced two figures, we do not scruple to say it, more life-like than any we have ever seen in stone. The two great faults of sculpture are, we have always thought, the absence of colour, and the nullity of eye. That the latter fault is the more apparent is clear, from the much more natural effect a fine engraving of a human figure has, than one cut in stone.
а This may seem very heterodox to those who judge by authority and not by their own perception ; but we rank in the latter class.
These statues are in a brownish stone, which prevents the startling effect of white marble upon the eye—the dress is given with the utmost accuracy and vraisemblance, and, especially in Tam O'Shanter, the eye
is brought out in a manner which we did not think sculpture could produce. In the finer of the statues we see in Italy, the expression is nearly always totally thrown into the muscles of the countenance, and this also is done here. But the eyes are not like those of a boiled fish, which some of the very finest specimens of the art present. The attitudes are admirable. The life-like posture of all the limbs is perfect.
As to the expression, that is perfect also—but, we confess, it is one which we do not love to contemplate. It is that of an advanced stage of drunkenness—especially that of Tam O'Shanter—the Souter is less forward, but still is strongly touched. Now drunkenness being a vice the most utterly unredeeined from mere physical baseness, the only doubt is, when we see a person in a state so degrading, whether the prevailing feeling be disgust or scorn.
Our admiration, indeed, of the genius of this self-taught artist, cannot make us silent with regard to our regret at the subject he has chosen. There has, latterly, been made a very dictatorial, and, we think, absurd endeavour to place Burns in a rank, both moral and intellectual, to which he has no manner of claim. We allude, more especially, to an article in the ninety-sixth Number of the Edinburgh Review, written in a fantastic, maudlin, mystical, and affected tone, sadly different from what distinguished that work in its earlier days. Its conductors have lately enlisted one or two writers whose lucubrations are in striking contradiction, both in matter and manner, to the sound, frank, clear, straightforward spirit for which their criticisms were formerly remarkable. There cannot, indeed, be a more striking difference than what the work says in 1829, and what it said formerly, ou this very subject of Robert Burns.
Since we wrote this last sentence, we have reverted to the former article, which is dated in 1809,-and it is really nothing short of farcical to see the discrepancy between the two. Printing them in parallel columns would shew, in a manner quite finishing, the difference between, of the one, the strong sound sense--the irresistible logic—the pure, tender, generous, in a word, the virtuous feeling-all couched in clear and vigorous English, -and of the other, the false, feverish, corrupt, corrupting sentiments,-the wild, vague, inconsecutive arguing-reason