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The Guerras Civiles; or, The Civil Wars of Gra. nada, and the History of the Factions of the Zegries and Abencerrages, two Noble Families of ibat city, to the final Conquest by Ferdinand and Isabella. Translated from the Arabic of Aben. bamin, a Native of Granada, by Gines Perez de Hita, of Murcia, and from the Spanish by Thomas Rodd. Vol. I. Vernor and Hood. The revolutions which took place in Europe dur
I ing the middle ages, are involved in great darkness and obscurity. The subsequent revival of leara. ing, indeed, rescued the events of some kingdoms from utter oblivion-Spain, in particular, has preserved a portion of her records, and the pleasing detail is presented in the volume now before us. There is, however, an air of romance running through the narrative, but perhaps it ariscs from the nature of the incidcnts which really took place, and which cannot fail of atiracıing our attention
The History is thus introduced by a paragraph in the Preface" A powerful kingdom arose in Granada, which had been peopled at the first invasion of Spain by 10,000 horsemen of Syria and Irak, the children of the most noole of the Arabian tribes, who at first inade ihe city of Almeria the seat of government, and residence of their kings, when, in 1236, Mahomet Alhamar ascended the throne, and transferred the governa .ment to the city of Granada, making it not only the capital of his kingdom, but of all the remaining Moorish territories in Spain. Shortly after this period Valencia, Murcia, Seville, and Andalusia were taken by King Ferdinand the III. and his successors, notwithstanding which, the city and kingdom of Granada continued to flourish for the space of 255 years, till at length weakened by intestine divisions, it could no longer withstand the attacks of the united kingdoms of Castile and Arragon, and fell a prey to the triumphant arms of Ferdinand and Isabella. This was the period of Spanish glory - thc Canary Islands were conqucred about the same timc, and the continent of America was also discovered by Columbus."!
This interesting period of history, therefore, is here detailed with spirit and brevity. But what renders the account more pleasant, is the sketch of rilts and tour. naments, for which this dark age was distinguished. With these diversions even our Queen Elizabeth used to entertain herself at Westminster. The feats of this kind performed in her presence, are said to have made her eyes sparkle with joy. The greatest splendour was exhibited on these occasions--whilst the spectators beheld the most surprising feats of activity.
Our readers will find an account of these diversions in the present number—and the extract will, at the same time, recommend itself by its peculiar novelty. It is oftentimes highly gratifying to turn our eye back on former ages, and to survey those customs and manners which, though once famous, are now consigned to forgetfulness. Such a retrospective glance will de. light the imagination and improve the heart.
Ancient Ballads, from the Civil Wars of Granada,
and the Twelve Peers of France. Dedicated by Permission to the Right Hon. Lady Georgina Că.
vendish. By Thomas Rodd. Vernor and Hood. THE title page of this publication shews its conn nection with the work just reviewed, and fur.. nishes us with many curious pieces of ancient poetry. The subjects are mostly of the plaintive kind, and are dictated by an cnthusiasm grateful to our sensibility
We have read them with pleasure, and recommend their perusal to the readers of our Miscellany.
A fair specimen of this poetry may be given by the transcription of the Lamentations of a Moor for the Loss of Granada, (page 89). They are principally of the same kind, relating in simple and easy verse, the exploits of the civil wars, and amourous adventures of certain knights famed in story. Dr. Percy has favoured the public with a few specimens, and here the man of taste canuot fail of receiving the amplest gratification.
Lyrical Tales. By Mrs. Mary Robinson. Long
man and Rees. THIS celebrated authoress has just paid the debt of
I nature, and this was the last production offered by her to the public, who had honoured her other pieces, both in prose and poetry, with a favourable reception. We, at present, say nothing of her history, but shall confine our attention to the Lyrical Ballads before us. They are characterised by a tenderness and simplicity which soothe and tranquillize the heart. The subjects are in general well chosen, and decorated by those flights of fancy for which the muse of Mrs. R. has been long and deservedly esteemed. The first, All Alone, is particularly pleasing, and will be found in our poetry for next month. Others of them, which appeared in a Morning Paper, were at the time thence transferred into our work, a 'circunstance which will be recollected by the attentive reader. Poetical pieces of merit, from whatever quarter they come, are sure of finding a place in our Miscellany.
Calvary; or, Death of Christ. A Poem, in Eight
Books. By Richard Cumberland. . A new Edition, in Two Volumes. Lackington, Allen, &c. THE serious nature of the subbject demands the
I full exertion of the human powers for its due celebration. In this department of poetry MILTON
reigns supreme, and is entitled to our esteem and admiration. Every thing of the kind, after the perusal of Paradise Lost, loses its relish, and possesses a comparative insipidity. Mr. Cumberland, however, has taken the incidents of the four gospels, and put them, into an easy kind of blank verse-on some of the to. pics he lets loosc his imagination, and his additional remarks are calculated to aid our moral improvement. We should have been better pleased with the Poem had it avoided all controversial divinity, and rose occasionally to an appropriate sublimity. The plates are very neat and expressive, happily selected and elegantly executed. Indeed, great praise is also due to every part connected with its typography.
The Pleasures of Hope, with other Poems. By Thomas Campbell. Fourth edition, corrected and en
larged. Longman and Rees. 6s. in boards. VUE noticed this elegant little work upon its first
VV appearance, and bestowed that honourable meed of praise to which it is, in our opinion, entitled. We are happy to find that the public have been pleased to consider it in the same point of view, haying honoured it by an extensive circulation.
Hope is the most elevated passion of the mind-accompanies us through all the stages of life--nor quits us even in the approach of dissolution. It is that imperious sentiment by which we are led to combat dif. ficulty-to surmount every obstacle and to aspire after the honours of immortality. This passion is sure to be cherished by the generous mind, and lays a foundation for those virtues which invest the character of mankind with an attractive glory. On the other hand, the want of hore deadens every effort, and blasts every opening prospect of felicity.
Mr. Campbell has, in this poem, with the hand of true genius, delineated the pleasures of Hope in their engaging variety. He has taken a wide sweep in his poetical excursion through nature and art-laying the most promising topics under contribution. We notice
with peculiar pleasurc his remarks on the elevated Hope of Immortality, contained in the sacred writings. In these times such a subject is highly acceptable-nor do we think that he has spoken of the pernicious tendency of scepticism in terms of too great severity.
The plates are beautiful in point of subject and exccution. Indeed, we hesitate not to declare, that the Pleasures of Hape are entitled to a large share of our approbation. The litile pieces at the end proceed from the same pen, and may be read with pleasure and improvement. The last of which, though not the least in our estimation, we have introduced into our poetical department in the preceding number.
Poems, Moral and Descriptive. By Thomae Der.
mody. Vernor and Hood. 35. in boards. THESE poeins present to us a pleasing variety, and
I discover a cultivated mind. The author deprecates the severity of criticism--but we feel no disposi. tion 10 treat his production with severity. The modest muse is en'iled to our candour and attention.
In the Retrospect (the principal poem in the volume),