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tions are relatively fewer than in England; they average throughout the whole country about three hundred annually to the million; whilst in England they are nearly seven hundred, and in Ireland eight hundred; and on a careful analysis of those convictions, we find more than half are of coloured people and foreign

We may therefore call drunkenness, gambling, and fighting, leading to occasional murders, our prevailing vices; and the traits of temper or irregular conduct that we manifest oftenest, are vanity, exaggeration, and a disposition to overreach one another.

The aristocracy and clergy of Europe have roundly asserted, that religion would fall, and its holy precepts be lost to man, unless it were supported by government. We have falsified their prognostics. We are emphatically a religious people. The different sects of Protestants, and the Catholic religion, embrace our whole population, and influence its moral action. Our religion is the free gift of heaven; it comes in its divine character, not leaning upon the arm of flesh. Its support is the bounty of its votaries,—the voluntary contributions of a free people. Our cities, are crowded with churches, and our country adorned with spires, without the extortions of tyranny or the tithings of misery. Our Sabbath is better observed; our Bible is better understood; and our moral duties are better deduced and practised, than in countries where religion is privileged. In New England there is a church to every one thousand souls; in New-York, to every two thousand; and in the south and west, to every three thousand, as nearly as can be calculated. But from the pamphlets lately published in England, it appears that they have a church to about twenty thousand only. In Catholic Europe, the number of churches to the population is greater. In Europe, the people associate religion with tyranny, and wage war upon it accordingly. In this country, we embrace it as a friend and comforter. In Europe, it is a stranger, quartered upon the people;-here, it is the invited guest, entering into our sympathies, partaking our bounty, and receiving our hearty welcome. When religion possesses the mass of the people in a republic, it is almost impossible to impair its influence, because it becomes the fashion, a sort of sine qua non. All who represent such a people, or become candidates for their favour, must profess and support it; and the opinions of such influential men, react upon the mass of the people, and more deeply confirm them in its dogmas. No one, therefore, raises a voice against it, lest the popular displeasure be incurred, and the mark of deist or atheist be set upon him. In a republic, where religion imposes no burthens, it is more practised, and for the reasons just given, will be more effectually perpetuated than in a government where it is established and privileged.

We are justly proud of our system of schools and education. It aims at diffusion rather than excellence, and seeks to embrace the mass of the people. In New-England and New-York the primary schools include every individual, and we may say that the rudiments of reading, writing, and calculation, are universal. The official returns of the schools of New-York show, that in 1828, with a population of 1,700,000 souls, she had 430,000 children under tuition. In New-England, the proportion is the same. The primary schools of the Middle and Southern states, are less perfectly organized; but the local authorities now have the subject under advisement. They possess the means; and a few years will show similar results- as to the free population; the slaves stand excluded from motives of policy. We have forty-one colleges and universities in the United States, that issue the degree of Bachelor of Arts; eleven medical colleges, that bestow the degree of Doctor of Medicine; and ten theological colleges, that teach the biblical literature preparatory to clerical orders. The matriculated in all these colleges, amount to ten thousand, and the graduates to three thousand, annually, out of a free population of eleven millions. This is a greater proportion than any European nation exhibits. Mr. Brougham tells us, that in England proper, one in thirty is taught the rudiments. What a contrast! here all are taught them. All the new states have a landed estate reserved for the purposes of education ; two townships of land six miles square for a college; and one mile square in every thirty-six for a primary school; this insures to them the means of placing a school at every man's door. A population thus provided and elevated in its moral and intellectual character, will truly be worthy of their independence, and capable of self-government. The people in this country have education in their own hands, and freely adopt all improvements; the Lancasterian, Pestalozian, or any other that facilitates and cheapens; they have no preoccupied grounds; no long established foundations to disturb; no dictatorial clergy to consult; nor prescribed modes to follow: education here is not the fixed thing of form; it partakes of the improvements of the day, and keeps pace with the march of the times.

We cannot go much further into the detail of our political condition: we might add, that all the arts are in progress; that our manufactures have doubled in the last ten years ; and in ten years more will meet all the wants of the people; that out of 360,000,000 dollars worth of woven goods which this population consumes annually, we make at home 338,000,000, and import 22,000,000 ; that our style of furniture and ornaments is always good; that the fortifications of the country, and the organization of its army and navy, are approaching rapidly to perfection, and

accompanied with an activity and a skill which awaken the attention of Europe; that our finances are ample with scarcely any taxation, and our currency sound; that our commerce is in a wholesome condition, and the home market and interior trade rapidly increasing; that our long lines of water communications already mentioned, are uncovering and stimulating all our resources;

that our elective franchise, now common to every adult resident, is exercised in perfect decorum and good order, and instead of producing riots and tumult, is raising the pride and character of the mass of the people; that this Union, called the Federal government, instead of dissolving away as the Europeans predicted, has gained strength with time; that it will be still stronger when our system of communication has had its effect, our interior trade is more fully developed, our home market better established, and through them, all local interests and feelings are more harmonized and blended. ---From all these facts, and a thousand others which could be adduced, we may fairly conclude that the action of a liberal and free government is more efficient than that of any other, in improving every condition of the social economy, in advancing the arts, and in enlightening and exalting the human family.

ART. IX. A Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada. By FRAY

ANTONIO AGAPIDA. Philadelphia:1829: Carey, Lea & Carey.

The conquest of the Moors of Spain was the catastrophe of a splendid tragedy. On the south, they were separated by a sea from the ferocious followers of the same faith, who strictly pursued the lessons of their prophet by fierce and continual wars, and against whose zeal the mountains of Atlas, and the sands of Zahara, were no barrier. On the north, they were hemmed in and encroached on, step after step, by the hardy Christians, who retained something of the spirit of their Gothic sires, and redeemed, by gradual and permanent conquest, the honour they had lost in the field of Xeres. The region where they settled embraced the fairest portion of Christendom; its fields luxuriant, fertile, and picturesque; its climate salubrious; its skies so bright, that gratitude or superstition had assigned them for the chosen abode of those beings of ethereal beauty, who were to welcome the pious Mussulman after his earthly pilgrimage. Thus cut off

in some degree from all other nations, either of their own or the Christian faith, and thus possessing in themselves all that was necessary for a nation's prosperity, the Moors of Spain present, in their whole course, a character singularly unconnected and independent. This very peculiarity of situation seems from the first to convey the idea of ultimate destruction,-uncertain indeed as to time and manner, but gradually approaching and irresistible. Like the hero of a drama, they are traced through every varying scene—through their rise, their splendour, and their decline-now triumphant in conquest, now bright in letters and in arts, now bearded by increasing enemies,-yet always with a feeling that their career will end in a downfal as brilliant and as sorrowful, and not less sure than that which awaits the creature of the poet's fancy.

The history of such a people may appear to many persons more in the light of a romantic tale, than as imparting those sober and important truths, which we seek to derive from the annals of nations. While author after author has dwelt with singular and praiseworthy minuteness on almost all the revolutions and incidents relating to the various kingdoms of Europe ; they have been passed over with comparative neglect or contempt. It has been left to travellers to record the yet existing fragments of their arts, and to poets to cull from their scattered annals, tales of wild and chivalrous gallantry. But a regular and philosophical investigation of the causes which placed a people, whose habits and religion are alike supposed to be adverse to the development and improvement of the moral and intellectual faculties, so far in advance of those guided by better lights; a clear, full and continuous narrative of the events of seven hundred years; an account of institutions which appear to have been eminently calculated for the happiness and even grandeur of the people; these, and other points as useful and interesting, have been totally neglected. Such a history would afford scope for a story, not less original and delightful than that of Herodotus; for scenes, not less brilliant than those which glitter in the pages of Froissart; and for curious observations on the character of man, both as an individual and a member of political societies, scarcely less profound than those we admire in the matchless sentences of Tacitus and Hume.

We regret that it is not at this time our pleasing duty to notice such a work. We should indeed have rejoiced to find the task had been reserved for one, who, born and educated under the free institutions of America, and acquainted with the different monarchies of the old world and their peculiarities only from reading and personal observation, would have come to the task unfettered by any prejudices and feelings either of association,

or national predilection-one, who living among the scenes where his story is placed, would be enabled to obtain information more minute and curious than a foreigner could meet with, and to convey that air of local correctness and truth, which no mere reading can impart--one whose mind has always dwelt with peculiar fondness on the delineation of characters, manners, and events, differing from those of our own country and ageand, above all, one who has lately shown in a work which will prove a lasting honour to our literature, that, however happy he may have been in the exercise of a beautiful fancy, and the delineation of fictitious scenes, he can be still more successful in the sober narrative of events, the grandeur and interest of which are unsurpassed in the history of our globe.

In selecting, however, as the subject of another work, the Moors of Spain, Mr. Irving has entirely avoided entering into their general history, and confined himself to those events which attended their ruin and extermination. He has compiled in truth and in name, simply a “Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada," and although we should feel sufficiently inclined to accompany our readers through the narrative of earlier times, it is certainly more within the limits of a review, and will probably be more amusing to them, to take up the tale where our author has chosen to commence it, to connect together by a necessary thread, some of the more brilliant and instructive passages with which it abounds, and thus enable them, in some respects, to assume our places, and perform for themselves the pleasure or the labour of criticism.

It will not however be out of place, nor in the least superfluous, to notice the situation of the Moors, at the time the chronicle of Fray Antonio Agapida commences; for, following the maxim of Horace, he has at once rushed into the middle of his subject, and involved us in the forays and skirmishes of Christian and Moslem knights, while we are yet ignorant of what had been won by the valour of the former, and lost by the inferior strength, or the imprudent dissensions of their impetuous and inconsiderate rivals.

Nearly three hundred years had passed away, during which, under a succession of Gothic kings, the Christian faith, corrupted indeed by the errors of Arius, had prevailed undisputed through the whole peninsula of Spain. Early, however, in the eighth century, the triumphant Mussulmans of Africa began to cast towards its shores a wistful eye, nor was it long before they took advantage of the quarrels of its chiefs, whether caused by private wrongs, arising from the lust of Roderick, by their own turbulent characters, or by the crafty intrigues and gold of their aspiring enemies. The rich plain of Xeres de la Frontera, and the

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