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the theatres of Toledo, Merida, and other places, gradually crumbled into decay and ruin.-To the Goths, they brought nothing but idolatrous recollections and associations, independently of which their enjoyments were the hardier and freer sports of the field.

However interesting might be the inquiry, it would be extremely difficult to trace the influence of the poetry of the north, on the character of the subdued peninsula. The records left are faint and few. The dominion of the Romans had lasted so long, that the Visigoths found it very desirable to adopt the language of the previous masters of Spain, and this with so universal an application, that, excepting a few inscriptions preserved by Morales in his Chronicles, every thing that has come down to us from the Gothic period, is in Latin. During that period, we find many Latin poets, natives of the peninsula. Avilus, Bishop of Braga, who flourished at the beginning of the sixth century, wrote a Latin heroic poem, in five books, on the early Mosaic history. Merobaudes, another poet, is celebrated by Sidonius. Draconcius wrote his Hexaëmeron, on the Creation of the World, in Latin heroic verse-a work which was patronized by the Visigothic King Chindasuinthus, who ordered all the manuscripts of it, which existed, to be compared, and a perfect copy made. The Goths had no national literatureliterature, in fact, they despised; of which a curious instance is given in the opposition they raised to the purpose of Amalasunta, who was eager to give the advantages of a liberal education to her son, Alaric." No! no!" said the assembled warriors, the idleness of study is unworthy of a Goth; high thoughts of glory are not fed by books, but by deeds of valor.He is to be a king, whom all should dread-shall he be compelled to dread his instructors? No."

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Nor can it be deemed that the Spanish historians have depreciated the literary character of the Goths. On the contrary, they have been most solicitous to honor them with every species of flattery. Though it appears, that Licinian applied to Gregory the Great, for permission to make bishops and priests of those, who (knowing nothing of the character of the Christian religion,) had only heard speak of Christ the crucified,—and who could neither read nor write-most of the Spanish authorities insist, that the Goths were, after the Greeks, the most polished of all the European nations,-and Saavedra angrily declares, that the Greeks held them to be barbarians, through pure arogancia, only because they did not pronounce their language with Athenian accent. The Spaniards will have it, that the similarity of national character led to the completest and most cordial union between the Goths, and the previous inhabitants of the peninsula; but in the history of the different conquerors of Spain, the conquered

seem wholly forgotten. Perhaps, like the ass between the two masters, they were little interested in the issue of the fray. The Romans resisted the Goths-the Goths, the Moors,-and it was not till the up-rising of the nation against the last and the longest usurpation, that we see any prominent activity among the Spanish people. Inferior, probably, in arts and in arms, they quietly submitted to the different invaders of their soil.

The Visigoths are thus characterized by Rodericus Toletanus. "Fuêre autem magnanimi et audaces et naturaliter ingenio faciles, et subtiles, in proposito providi et constantes." Excepting a few fine specimens of martial eloquence, and some funeral orations, nothing which is worthy of any note is preserved by the Gothic chroniclers. Their historians being almost without exception, ecclesiastics, have wholly occupied themselves in church affairs.-The proceedings of the Toledo councils may be easily traced in their records, and little else. The tone and temper of these intolerant priests may be judged of, by the titles they conferred on Recaredo, who (in the true spirit of a furious controversialist) burned the books he could not answer: "Rex fidelissimus, gloriosissimus, piissimus, sanctissimus, religiosissimus, felicissimus, serenissimus, catholicus, et orthodoxus."

With respect to the moral character of the Gothic dynasty, it is but a succession of violence, deposition, murder, and cruelty. The history of its monarchy, is a history of assassinations. Thurismond and Theuderic perished by the hand of brothers. Athaulf, Sigeric, Amaralic, Theudius, Theudiselus, Agila, and many others of the Visigothic Kings, met with violent deaths, accompanied often with circumstances of barbarity and horror.

There are some facts, however, scattered over the Visigothic period, which are grateful to the recollection. The liberal spirit, for instance, with which a variety of sects were invited to the ecclesiastical counsels; the protection given to learning by Sisebutthe long abode of the Abad Baclara at Constantinople, in order to acquire the Greek language, and his efforts to rouse his countrymen to intellectual dignity;-but, on the whole, the review of this epoch is very uninviting. The chronicles are meagre and barbarous-the Latin monumental inscriptions are rude and inelegant; and we are often left to determine the characters of the leading personages, in the absence of all satisfactory historical data, between the strange accusations and the unqualified eulogisms of different chroniclers. Thus, whether Alaric is entitled to all the praises showered on him by Sigonius, Roricon, and others, or deserves the vehement attacks of Isidore, J. Magnus, and Mariana;—whether Witiza was one of the very best, or one of the very worst, of men and of monarchs, may well

continue to be matter of obstinate discussion, in which each party will be sure to find authorities in abundance.

Ten languages were spoken in Spain, in the time of Augustus, according to Luitprandus: "Vetus Hispana, Cantabrica, Græca, Latina, Arabica, Chaldæa, Hebræa, Celteberica, Valentina, Cathalaunica; de quibus Strabo, in lib. iii. ubi docet plures fuisse litterarum formas et linguas in Hispaniis."-Most of these have blended more or less with the present Castilian_tongue; but the language brought by the Visigoths scarcely left a trace behind it. They perhaps soon discovered that the Latin, which many of them had probably learnt in their visits to Italy, would serve generally throughout Spain--and in it they promulgated their laws; as in the case of Alaric's code, which became the basis of the fuero juzgo. Independently of other circumstances, it will, we expect, be found, that when two languages are contending for the mastery, that of the two which is used by the more civilized party becomes predominant, and finally banishes the other.

The Goths were, however, keenly alive to the charms of music and of poetry, which were introduced on all interesting occasions. On the death of a monarch, choirs of youths and maidens celebrated his deeds and virtues in melancholy songs-they bewailed their dead at funerals in measured lamentations,-and their feasts and banquetings resounded with the musical compositions of their minstrels. They brought rime with them, which they introduced into the languages of the country where they fixed themselves,-for all the previous examples which may be found in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin poetry seem rather accidental than intended. They modified and diminished the difficulties of the Latin tongue. Nouns became indeclinable,-articles were introduced the variety of termination was lessened-they sought, in a word, rather to mould and simplify the language they found, than to establish their own. Massieu, who, by the way, has shown such marvellous ignorance of the history of Spanish poetry as to suppose that Mena was its founder, attributes the general introduction of rime into Europe, to the Spaniards, who had it, he supposes, from their Arabic masters-but there is little difficulty in giving it a higher origin.

Whatever impression was left by the Gothic possessors of Spain, that impression can be imperfectly traced at the distance from whence we now are compelled. to contemplate it. The Moorish conquerors left behind them stronger and deeper marks; their influence may be seen-their footsteps may be followed-relics of their glories may be discovered in almost every part of the Spanish peninsula-walls, and towers, and castles, and palaces, and aqueducts, and oratories, and mosques, and mesquitas, some crumbling under the attacks of ages, others standing as if proud to bid defiance to time, attest the

wealth, the influence, and the intelligence, of the Mahommedan possessors. Impelled by a spirit of victory which had been fanned by long and singular success, influenced by the proud conviction that heaven itself had declared in behalf of their triumphant prophet, they established an authority which lasted nearly eight centuries, in spite of religious prejudices and enthusiasm, nearly as strong and as active as their own; in spite of innumerable difficulties, resulting alike from the habits of their opponents, from the chivalric ardor soon exerted against them, and from the natural barriers which nature seemed to have erected on behalf of liberty. It would, however, be extremely unsafe to take upon trust the representations of the old Spanish chroniclers, as to the fervor and the feats of the defenders of the peninsula. The more inquiry is made, and the more information is obtained, in connection with the period of the Moorish invasion and early possession of Spain, the less glory will be left, we imagine, to those names which now shine so brightly in the history of Spanish romance. We believe Pelayo himself must be given up as a mere creature of imagination, and we are quite sure that the strange chain of events which are said to have prepared the way for the successes of Tarik, had their first origin in the dreamings of after time. Whether, as we have already hinted, the Goths had not managed to ingratiate themselves with the aboriginal and Latindescended inhabitants, and could not therefore induce them to take up arms in their behalf, certain it is, that, after Roderick's defeat, the Moors found comparatively little opposition to their rapid progress. Opposition, however, was soon afterwards excited, and fanned by the most ardent and glowing patriotism. Aspirations after national liberty led to a thousand deeds of heroism, and to the developement of those circumstances which became the subjects to be consecrated by those beautiful ballads and songs, in which truth wears the graceful drapery of romance, and romance appears the honest handmaid of truth. Till something like a plan of opposition to the intruders could be organized, considerable bodies of the original inhabitants retired to the northern provinces, where, to this day, they have preserved, amidst the Pyrenean mountains, the language of their forefathers; and, like the Cambrians in our island, boast, that the footsteps of a conqueror never stained their soil.

The Moors had to struggle with a people greatly their inferiors in intellectual attainments; a people who had more than once before recognized the hand of a master; a people too little acquainted at any time with the benefits of a good government to estimate correctly the value of liberty, or to exert themselves successfully in its defence. And the Moors bestowed substantial benefits on Spain. They brought with them and left behind

them a spirit of inquiry and a love of literature; they invited the most eminent scholars of the east to settle in their new possessions; they founded those illustrious Hebrew schools, to which Europe has never repaid her debt of grateful acknowledgement; they imposed on the country they had conquered the blessings of a mild and tolerating government; they taught a better and more profitable system of agriculture; they instructed the Spaniards in arts and sciences known, not at all, or very imperfectly, before; and they introduced a new order of metrical compositions, which have tinged all the national poetry of Spain, and given it that oriental coloring and glowing character which distinguish it from that of other countries, whose languages have the most striking affinity to most of the peninsular dialects. In the southern provinces, at least, the Latin tongue became so totally lost, that it was with the utmost difficulty any one individual could be found to write a Latin letter. Every body, we are told by Alvaro Cordubense, every body studied Arabic, and wrote it with the greatest possible purity. In the beginning of the eighth century of the Hegira, a list of the celebrated Caliphs, Warriors, Philosophers, and Poets of Spain, was written by Ebn Alchatib Mahommed Ben Abdallah; and this, to which a short account of every individual is added, consists of four thick volumes.

Before enlarging on the subject of the Arabic literature of Spain, we may be allowed, for a moment, to revert to the recent loss of an individual, (too little known in this country,) whose place it would seem impossible now to fill. D. José Antonio Conde, the successor of Casiri, died, a few months ago, at Madrid. We knew him, when in obscurity and poverty he was devoting his ardent and intelligent researches to the elucidation of that period of his country's history, to which we are now referring. His industry, his habits, and his learning, had eminently qualified him for the task, and we were astonished and delighted when he hastily ran over the curious facts he had dug out of the mines of Arabic treasures, and opened the long scroll of interesting names which he had resuscitated from their tombs of obscurity. Had he lived to complete his labors

or were these labors even in their unfinished state before us— we should be enabled to do some justice to this portion of our task. As it is, we can only think and speak of him with respect, gratitude, and admiration; we can only raise over him the humble monument of our affections, and throw one flowret of sympathy upon his grave.

The classical literature of Europe had declined-had nearly departed. The languages in which it had been enshrined were crumbling into barbarism; the antient seats of learning had sunk into dust. Then it was that a light broke from the east

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