THE CHRISTIAN MARTYRS.
THE Sultan Hakam died in 822, after a reign of twenty-six years. He left a comparatively tranquil inheritance to his son Abd-er-Rahmān II.; the renegades of Cordova had been subdued and exiled, the bigots had been given a lesson that they were not likely to forget, and there only remained the chronic disturbances on the Christian borders to be occasionally repressed. Abd-er-Rahmān II. inherited his father's talent for enjoyment, but not that strength of character by which self-indulgence was preserved from degenerating into weakness. The new Sultan converted Cordova into a second Baghdad, and imitated the prodigalities of the great Harūn-er-Rashād, who had recently left the scene of his fantastic amusements for, let us hope, a better world. Abd-er-Rahmān built palaces, laid out gardens, and beautified his capital with mosques, mansions, and bridges. Like all cultivated Moslem sovereigns, he was a lover of poetry, and claimed to be no mean poet himself, though his verses were sometimes written by other pens whom he paid to compose for him. His tastes were refined, and his nature was gentle and easily led. Four people ruled him throughout his career: one