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its place. I do likewise conjecture, that the bundle of branches of a plant, which, Horus Apollo fays, the ancient Egyptians produced as the iood on which they lived before the discovery of wheat, was not the Papyrus, as he imagines, but this plant, the Ensete, which reiired to its native Ethiopia, upon a substitute being found better adapted to the climate of Egypt.”
Had the ancient Egyptian's been poffeffed of the Nymphæa aquatica, they could never have experienced a famme from a luperabundance of water. When too much for wheat, the Ensete would thrive; when too deep for the Ensete the. Nymphæa would have profa
upon a ti
is Had the adapted to the
Historical Notices concerning the Moors in Spain. At a time when Europe was Buried in barbarism and ignorance, the natives of Africa were a great people, highly civilized, and far advanced in arts, in industry, and science. It was during that epoch, that the Moors, invited by the profligacy of the prince, and the barbarity of the people of Spain, invaded that fertile peninfula ; and during the course of two campaigns, made a total conquest of that country, a few mountainous provinces on the northern borders of it alone excepted. The fertility of the soil, the mildness of the climate, and the industry of the Moors, who now occupied these regions, all contributed alike to render it in a short time one of the most delightful regions in the universe. Along the coast of the Mediterranean, where nature has proved fingularly bountiful, the Moors chiefly delighted to fettle ;-and accustomed at home to a feudal dependance on a superior, the kingdom was divided into feudal feigneuries, depending upon their common chief, the great, Miramolin, who then reigned with unrivalled fplendor in Africa. But upon the disasters that befed the defcen.
dants of that great prince, the subordinate Moorish chiefs in Spain gradually assumed an independent authority, and erected each for himself a small kingdom, his right to which none of the neighbouring princes had any authority to controvert. Thus was laid the foundation of the kingdoms of Valencia, Murcia, Gran nada, and many others, which, under the dominion of a set of wise and civilized princes, abounded in men, in money, and in industry, so as to become a kind of ani, versal garden, a terrestrial paradise, in which all those arts that can minister to the delight of a wealthy and luxurious people, were carried toa very high degree of perfection. *. Among those independent states, the kingdom of Granada became in time the most conspicuous. Her princes were distinguished by their wealth, liberality, courtesy, refinement of manners, and military prowess. Her people, in possession of every enjoyment that ins dustry, when allied with freedom, and softened by a taste for literature and the fine arts, could inspire, enjoy: ed for many ages a degree of happiness, that few nations ever could boast of, and knew alike how to enjoy the blessings of peace, and to defend their rights in the struggles of war. They adored their princes, and were beloved in their turn. They strengthened bis chrone, and be protected them from insult. ..kr .
If love can find an entrance into the hearts of the most savage people, and can tend to sweeten the lot of those who groan under the rod of oppreslion, it must have had an infinitely more powerful, though more gentle influence on the minds of this people, who lived fo much at their ease. And whenever love assumes a fovereign power, there the finer arts, and all the gentle contrivances that tend to soothe the heart, and cherish the beneficent affections, will be adopted. In these cir. cumstances, the court of the prince became the seat of pleasure. The fplendor of his throne dazzled the eyes of all beholders; and among a people of lively fancy
the impression it made upon the mind, was little short of adoration. :.is."; - It was during the happieft years of this happy pe. riod, that the palace of Granada, called in the language of the country, Alhambra, was built; a magnificent paJace, accommodated with fpacious halls, adorned in the moft fumptuous ftile of Moorish architecture, furnished with copious fountains oflimpid water, tending to moderate the heat of the climate, and to give a pleasing coolness highly gratifying to the soul. To this palace was annexed spacious gardens, watered with innumeFable rills of pure water, which gave a luxuriance to the magnificent trees that there abounded, and a perpetual verdure to innumerable plants that sprung up around, to adorn this feat of voluptuousness, and to fcent: the air with fragrant odours. This palace, situated on the fummit of a lofty eminence, coinmanding, on the one hand, a distant prospect of towering mountains called. the Sierra Nevada orfnowy mountains, as being covered with perpetual snow; which melting in summer, filled the streams that washed its walls with an inexhaustible abundance of water, highly refreshing in such a sultry climate : On the other hand, it looked down upon a fentile plain, thick strewed with hamlets, gardens, and fields, abounding in corn, in wine, in oil, and other rich
pr ducts of the mildest of temperate climates. . · Among these people, whom we have been accustomed to view as rude barbarians, a strong sense of religie ous veneration for the supreme Being prevailed ; and'à refpectful attachment to that form of worship they had been taught to cultivate, formed a very striking charateristic feal ure. This we learn from the most undisputa able authority, that of their public inscriptions, which are still preserved ; which, on account of the sublime fimplicity of expression, the purity of the morals they inculcate, and the respect for fovereign power, ur. debased by the meanness of adulation, that, under the garb of praile, for the most part conveys the founda. eft advice,---form upon the whole a fpecies of compofition, fo uncommon, and at the fame time fo plealing that I hope my readers will be well pleased with the following morfels, which have been felected for their in. tertainment. At the fame time that thefe inscriptions may be prized as'objects of taste, 'they deferve to be held in high eftimation, as historical records, that tend to give a diftin& idea of the state of the country, at the time they were written, and of the modes of thinking of its people. . ! !!
The following infcription was copied from the front of a building, erected as an hospital in the year 1376, which answers to the 778th year of the Hegira. It runs thus : : a. .. " donciju ; - “ Praise be to God. This hofpital, an asylum of mercy, $6 was built for the benefit of poor and fick Moors; a work "" the piety, and utility of which no tongue can fufficient“ ly praise. It ftands a monument of the faith and cha* rity of the founder, and will be his recompence,when “God shall inherit the earth, ard all that it contains. # The founder is the great, the renowned, and the vir* tuous, Abi Abdallah Mahomad: May he prosper in * God! the zealous king, the friend and benefactor of 66 his people ; who employs his minister for the glory
of his religion, and of God; the courageous prirce, * the propagator of pious works; the prince protected " by angels; the pure faint.; the protector of the laws ve and of morality ; the worthy emperor of the Moors; * may he prosper in God! He is the fon of our Lord,
the juft king, the higb and powerful, the conqueror, 5. the fortunate, the pious governor of the Moors, Abi56 alhageg, who bears witness to the laws, son of the rey nowned, of the sublime. Abi Algnalid, the deftroyer $6 of thofe by whom companions are given to God; fon 46 of Nazar the privileged, happy in his works, and in "every thing which is refolved in the decrees of God, 66 for his fervice and with lim : Fie projected this edi
fice, from the moment the Moorish nation became fov.ee “ reign of this city, and thus made a provision of me- rit. He filled her ark with charity and good works ;
and his whole intention was directed in the presences of God. God is he who inspires good thoughts, and who communicated to him his light, that it might be communicated to those who should come after himn;
and for the day when riches and ancestors will avail. "6 us nothing, and when nought shall remain to us, but
that which God in his mercy shall have given us.
“ The plan of this hospital was drawn in the ten “ days in the middle of the month Moharram, in the *** year 777, and finished in the ten days in the middle
6 of the month Zaguet, in the year 778. May God (66 preserve the pious work of the founders, and never 16 leave, without recompente, the meritorious labours 36 of these illustrious princes. God be with Mahomet ** and his adherents for ever!” · Europe owes great obligations to the magistrates of Granada, who some years ago caused all these infcrip" tions to be carefully copied, and lodged in the archives of that city, together with accurate translations of the whole, there to be preserved, after the works themfelves on which they were inscribed shall be crumbled in the dust. - The following infeription, yet more fimple, and in a still better taste, was placed over the principal gate of the palace, which was employed, as was usual in eastern nations, as a tribunal of justice. .“ This gate, called the gate of judgement, or tri« bunal, (may God cause it to promote the happiness “ of the Moorish people, and perpetuate it to the end of s nations), was built by our lord, the Emperor and " King of the Moors, Joseph Abulnaggeg, fon of the ** just and warlike Abigualid, son of Nazar ; God give " a happy end to his works for the good of the Muf* ful.nan nation, and prosper the edibce built for its de os fence. It was finished in the month of Maulen Alm. + nadam, in the year feven Hundged and forty-nine,