THE PRIME MINISTER.
ABD-ER-RAHMĀN III. was the last great Sultan of Cordova, of the family of the Omeyyads. His son, Hakam II., was a bookworm, and although bookworms are very useful in their proper place, they seldom make great rulers. A king cannot be too highly educated; he may know everything under the sun, and, like several of the Cordovan Sultans, he may employ his leisure in music and poetry; but he must not bury himself in his library, or care more for manuscripts than for campaigns, or prefer choice bookbinding to binding up the sore places of his subjects. Yet this was what Hakam did. He was not a weak man, or at all regardless of his great responsibilities; but he was too much absorbed in his studies to care about the glories of war; and his other delight, which consisted in building, was so far akin to his studious nature that it involved artistic tastes, which are often allied to those of literature. Hakam's peaceful, studious temperament did no great harm to the State. He was son enough of the Great Khalif to lead his armies against the Christians of Leon when they did not carry out their treaties; and so overwhelming was the awe that his father had inspired, so universal the