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fault, if we except the inversions in the twelfth and thirteenth stanzas, which somewhat detract from the easy flow of the verse. Equally happy are the passages describing Rogero's rescue of Astolpho from his imprisonment in the myrtle, and the garden of Alcina, in the sixth canto; the episode of Olympia; the muster of the troops and blazon of their arms in the tenth, to which also we may add Rogero's battle with the ork; the combat, and the portrait of Olympia in the eleventh, and the grand assault of Paris by the Moors, in the third volume, a narrative often interrupted by the poet's caprice, but ever fraught with interest, as it is crowded with action and instinct with animation. To these various passages of the translator, which are so eminent for their beauty, we can only just allude: but it would be injustice not to present at least one specimen of Mr. Rose's power in the higher walk of his art: the following battle-scene is recommended to our praise by its spirit, strength, and freedom:

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Not so, well-keyed into the solid stone,

Groans upon Alpine height the castle good,
When by rude Boreas' rage on Eurus strown,
Uptorn are ash and fir in mountain-wood,
As groans Sir Rodomont, with pride o'erblown,

Inflamed with anger and with thirst of blood:
And, as the thunder and the lightning's fire
Fly coupled, such his vengeance and his ire.
The monarch rolls about his horrid eyes,

And sees that foes all outlets barricade;
But, at the cost of countless enemies,

A path shall quickly by his hand be made.
Where Fury calls him, lo! the felon hies,

And brandishes on high his trenchant blade,
To assail the newly-entered British band,
Which Edward and Sir Arimon command.

• He who hath seen the fence, in well-thronged square, (Against whose stakes the eddying crowd is born,) By wild bull broken that has had to bear,

Through the long day, dogs, blows, and ceaseless scorn;
Who hunts the scattered people here and there,

And this, or that, now hoists upon his horn;
Let him, as such, or fiercer yet, account,
When he breaks forth, the cruel Rodomont.
At one cross-blow fifteen or twenty foes

He hews, as many leaves without a head,
At cross or downright stroke; as if he rows
Trashes in vineyard or in willow-bed.
At last all smeared in blood the paynim goes,

Safe from the place, which he has heaped with dead;


And wheresoe'er he turns his steps, are left
Heads, arms, and other members, maimed and cleft.
He from the square retires in such a mode,

None can perceive that danger him appals;
But, during this, what were the safest road,

By which to sally he to thought recals.
He comes at last to where the river flowed

Below the isle, and past without the walls.
In daring men at arms and mob increase,
Who press him sore, nor let him part in peace.
'As the high-couraged beast, whom hunters start
In the wild Nomade and Massilian chace,
Who, even in flying, shows his noble heart,

And threatening seeks his lair with sluggish pace;
From that strange wood of sword, and spear, and dart,
Turns Rodomont, with action nothing base;
And still impeded by the galling foe,
Makes for the river with long step and slow.
He turned upon the rabble-rout who bayed

Behind him, thrice or more, by anger driven,
And stained anew his falchion, by whose blade

More than a hundred deadly wounds were given.' Canto xviii. stanzas 18-23. In so long and difficult a work, it must necessarily happen, that after all the care of a translator, a practised eye will detect some faults. We have already alluded to the inversions used by Mr. Rose. The confusion occasioned by this sort of style is sometimes such as to render a second or third perusal of the stanza necessary, in order to extricate the sense of this inelegance, let the following instances suffice:

So generous is Orlando's heart, he base

Esteems it were to smite a sleeping foe.' Canto ix. stanza 4.
Warrior to wend with me, I in my need,
When I shall be to Friesland given, have preyed.'

Id. stanza 54.

'he read

Letters upon the margin, written fair,
Which hero Orlando won the helmet said.'

Canto xii. stanza 60.

Another inelegance, yet more common, is the wide separation of the verb from its nominative; thus:

And ran to bind her with a chain, which he,
Girt round about him for such purpose, wore."

Mr. Rose, again, seems extremely fond of alliteration; not that we would blame the use of this figure too severely, well


knowing that it frequently gives nerve to a poet's numbers, and that when he is striving after vigor of expression, the alliterative words often unconsciously concur: but in verses like these he is too lavish of their use:

Not yet the weary warrior's wounds were cold
Still smarting from those strokes so fell and dread.'

We equally object to such undignified expressions as these he of him ill brooked injurious say.'

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Canto i. stanza 22.

'To Friesland's king that people hatred bore

With all his following.'

'Which Fortune's wheel beats down in changeful run.'

But that which we regard as by far the most serious and besetting sin of Mr. Rose, and the one to which a censor can be least indulgent, is his perpetual omission of the article, a custom introduced by Sir Walter Scott, but which no writer, however exalted, should be allowed to practise with impunity. Every one can judge how deeply the happiest passage may be marred by such emasculations; as fashioned in form of church,' fashioned like hound,' more huge than bull,' 'pierced with a golden wire in form of ring.'

Some with the head of cat and some of ape,

With hoof of goat some other stamped the sand.'

It wore no form of animal exprest,

Save in the head, with eyes and teeth of sow.'

Like boy who somewhere his ripe fruit bestows.'

'Although a feeble rein in mid career

Will oft suffice to stop courageous horse.'

The list might be enlarged to a considerable extent, but these citations will be sufficient to indicate the fault. We would lay the greater stress upon them, as we confess ourselves highly interested in the successful completion of a work which is likely to afford so much entertainment. His versification, if not altogether so melodious as we could wish, is in general remarkably correct: his versions of Italian idioms are almost uniformly admirable: the technical peculiarities of his author are transfused with felicity and ease; and justice is always done to the poet's humor, and also to his similes, which are in the highest degree original and apposite. We hope that the translator will shortly put it in our power to resume the subject, by the production of another volume.

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Histoire de la Domination des Arabes et des Maures en Espagne et en Portugal, depuis l'Invasion de ces Peuples jusqu'à leur Expulsion définitive; rédigée sur l'Histoire traduite de l'Arabe en Espagnol de M. Joseph Conde, Bibliothécaire de l'Escurial. Par M. DE MARLÈS. 3 Vols. 8vo. Paris, Alexis Eymery. 1825.

THI HIS is a work calculated to excite curiosity, and provoke disappointment. Since the publication of Casiri's catalogue of the Arabic MSS. of the Escurial (Bibliotheca Arabico-Hispana Escurialensis, 1760-70) extravagant hopes have been entertained of the illustrations, which the stores of that library were to shed upon the defective history of Spain during the middle ages. The Arabians had graced their splendid dominion over the fairest provinces of the Peninsula by the ardent cultivation of letters; and the supposition was obvious that they had not neglected to record the historical glories of their race. On the fall of Granada, and the final extinction of the Mussulman dynasties of Spain, the fanatical zeal of the conquerors had, indeed, condemned many thousand volumes of Arabian learning to the flames; and whatever works escaped their fury were transported by the vanquished Moors to the opposite shores of Africa. But, by a fortunate chance, in the reign of Philip III. a Moorish vessel, containing the library of Muley Zidan, King of Morocco, was captured; and these Arabic MSS. were deposited in the Escurial. That building shortly inclosed almost all the relics of Arabic-Spanish literature: for, in the barbarism which now overspread the remaining seats of the Moorish power in Africa, every trace of learning gradually perished. The Arabic treasures of the Escurial lay buried in neglect, until at length, in 1671, a fire consumed the greater part of them; and another century was suffered to elapse before the librarian Casiri examined the remainder, and revealed to the world their mutilated condition and general character. But his catalogue and partial extracts served only to raise a general wish for a more elaborate investigation into the real value of the collection.


Such is the history of the celebrated Arabic MSS. of the Escurial, and the foundation of the sanguine belief that they must throw considerable light upon the Mohammedan literature and history of Spain. This expectation has, within the last few years, been brought to the test of experience; and the result is to be gathered from the volumes before us. Don José Antonio Conde, a worthy successor of Casiri in the charge of the Escurial library, engaged, with learning and patience fully competent for the task, in the laborious comparison and


translation of all the historical Arabic MSS. which he could discover in Spain. His work appeared at Madrid in 1820 and 1821; but he unfortunately died before he could correct the faults of an injudicious arrangement, or put the finishing hand to his meritorious labors. He had produced only a version in Spanish of the Arabic historians, and had altogether neglected to compare their narratives with those of the Christian chroniclers.

To repair this error is the avowed design of the French translator before us; and M. DE MARLÈS has aspired to compose a history of Spain during the middle ages, by collating the Arabic labors of Conde, with the works of Roderic of Toledo, King Alfonso the Wise, Mariana, and the inferior crowd of Spanish chroniclers and annalists. But we are compelled to declare, that his work is a deplorable failure. He has been able to add neither interest nor value to the work of Conde; he has not succeeded in giving unity and harmony to the discordant versions of the Christian and the Moor; and his critical comparison of their annals has elicited little more information than that which we before possessed. The literary composition of his volumes claims neither praise nor respect. He has not relieved our attention, in the perplexing vicissitudes and the confused revolutions of Moorish history, by any lucid arrangement or appropriate division of his matter; and his general style, like his conduct of the narrative, is altogether dull, feeble, and spiritless.

It would not, however, be quite fair to throw the whole weight of our disappointment upon the failure of the author. The fact is clearly established, by the issue of Conde's researches, that the Arabic chronicles which survive do not possess that value in historical materials and interest, which it was so natural to expect from them. Or, rather, inquiry has proved that the annals of the Spanish Arabians,

the wars, revolutions, and internal politics of their states, - have not, in reality, on a cool and serious scrutiny, the high attraction which we delight to attribute to the subject. The error has been, that the world had predetermined the political history of that people to be interesting, because whatever relates to their literature and art is eminently so.

The visions of romance have aided this illusion. Spain was the peculiar battle-field of the Cross and the Crescent; and the fierce encounter of the Christian and the Moslem, which filled her plains with rude alarums for 800 years, is the favorite theme of romantic poetry. But it is, above all, in contemplating the fervid character of the Spanish Arabians, and the splendid remains of their architecture, that we


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