Excerpt from The Moors in Spain
Harvey were condemned as pernicious to the faith. Where once seventy public libraries had fed the minds of scholars, and half a million books had been gatheredtogether at Cordova for the benefit Of the world, such indifference to learning afterwards pre vailed, that the new capital, Madrid, possessed no public library in the eighteenth century, and even the manuscripts of the Escurial were denied in our own days to the first scholarly historian Of the Moors, though himself a Spaniard. The sixteen thousand looms Of Seville soon dwindled to a fifth of their ancient number; the arts and industries Of Toledo and Almeria faded into insignificance; the very baths - public buildings Of equal ornament and use were destroyed because cleanliness savoured too strongly Of rank infidelity. The land, deprived of the skilful irrigation Of the Moors, grew impoverished and neglected; the richest and most fertile valleys lan guished and were deserted; most Of the populous cities which had filled every district Of Andalusia fell into ruinous decay; and beggars, friars, and bandits took the place Of scholars, merchants, and knights. SO low fell Spain when she had driven away the Moors. Such is the melancholy contrast Offered by her history.
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