include the thirty-sixth part of the great Arabian collection, which is not confined to books, but has been the traditional inheritance of a numerous class, who, like the minstrels of the West, gained their livelihood by reciting, what would interest the feelings of their hearers. This class of Eastern story-tellers was common throughout the whole extent of Mahomedan dominion in Turkey, Persia, and even to the extremity of India.
The sudden rise of the Saracen empire, and its rapid transition from barbarism to refinement, and from the deepest ignorance to the most extensive cultivation of literature and science, is an extraordinary phenomenon in the history of mankind. A century scarcely elapsed from the age of Amrou, the general of Caliph Omar, who is said to have burned the great Alexandrian library, to the period when the family of the Abbasides, who mounted the throne of the Caliphs A.D. 750, introduced a passionate love of art, science, and even poetry. The celebrated Haroun Al Raschid never took
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