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ASIATIC SOCIETY.

From the Literary Gazette.

caves.
caves.

These two classes comprise the Buddhist The third class are the Brahmanical These are copies of Buddhist viharas, Prof. H. H. Wilson in the chair. The paper and, until closely examined, appear as though "On the cave-temples of India," by Mr. J. Fer- they were Buddhist caves appropriated to Brahgusson, was concluded. This gentleman, who manical use. A nearer acquaintance, however, traversed a great part of India as an artist and shows much difference in detail. They are, antiquarian, has had advantages which have moreover, never surrounded by cells, the monfallen to the lot of few in examining these myste-astic state not being adopted by the Brahmans: rious relics of antiquity; and though he mod- and the walls are sculptured, and never painted, estly disclaims all pretensions to the knowledge as in the vihara caves. The finest specimens of Indian learning and literature, which some of are at Ellora and Elephanta. those have enjoyed who have visited these temThe fourth class are not properly caves; they ples, he is the only person who has investigated are imitations of built temples; and as the rock them with the sole purpose of ascertaining their they are cut from is usually higher than the age and object, and who has been able to give temple itself, they look as though they were them his undivided attention; whereas other built in pits. Thus they can never be properly describers have visited them incidentally, while seen, and have an insignificant appearance. travelling on their usual avocations. He may They are in worse taste than either of the also boast of seeing a larger number of them classes mentioned, although of considerable inthan any other traveller, very few having escap-terest to the antiquarian. The far-famed Kyed his research. las at Ellora is of this class.

The fifth class are the jaina caves, which, unless it comprehends the Indra Subha group at Ellora-a matter of some uncertainty,-contains but few specimens, and these of small importance. They consist of a number of colossal figures cut in the rock, and sometimes, but not always, with a screen left standing before, thus constituting a chamber. The sculpture is rude, and in bad taste.

If it were possible to render intelligible the descriptions detailed in this very interesting paper without the architectural plans laid on the Society's table, our limits would preclude our doing so; but this is the less to be lamented, as several of these extraordinary excavations have been already described by others. It will be more interesting to give the classification which Mr. Fergusson's extensive observations have enabled him to make of these caverns, and his In connexion with the subject, Mr. Fergusson conclusions on their chronological succession made some remarks on the religions of India. and antiquity, which he brings down very low, He is of opinion that previous to the appearance compared with the extravagant assumptions of of Sakya Muni, in the sixth century before those who have placed them, in this respect, above Christ, there existed in India a Brahmanical rethe oldest temples of Egypt. Mr. Fergusson di-ligion, a sort of fire-worship, very different from vides all the cave-temples of India into five classThe first or most ancient of these he terms the vihara, or monastic caverns. These, though one in object and arrangement, are very various in execution. In the simplest instances they are natural caverns somewhat enlarged and improved by art; in more elaborate examples they are extended to a square cell, with a porch; and lastly, to an extensive hall, supported by massy columns, surrounded by cells for the abode of the priest, and having opposite the entrance a deep recess or sanctuary, in which are usually placed statues of Buddha and his attendants. By far the majority of Buddhist excavations are of this class; and the most splendid of these are at Ajanta: there are also fine specimens at Ellora and Salsette.

es.

The second class is that of the chaitya caves. These are the temples of the Buddhists; and one, at least, is attached to every set of caves in India. The plan and arrangement of all these is exactly alike; and, unlike the viharas, the oldest differ in nothing from the most modern, except in size. They have all an external porch, an internal gallery over the entrance, and a nave or centre aisle, at least twice as long as broad, covered by a vault, with a semi-dome over a chaitya, or daghope. The whole interior is surrounded by a narrow aisle, separated from the nave by massy columns, and roofed. The most perfect chaitya cave in India, and in Mr. Fergusson's opinion the most ancient, is that at Carlee.

modern Brahmanism; and that, contemporary with it, there was a Buddhistical religion, differing but little from it. Kings and people went from one to the other without difficulty or excitement; and in the descriptions left by the Greeks, and in native records, we find it difficult to distinguish between them. He is also of opinion that, from the period of Asoka, B. c. 250, to the fifth century of our era, Buddhism was the prevailing faith of Northern India, while Brahmanism ruled in the south; and that during this participation of territory that polytheistic Brahmanism was elaborated which now prevails throughout India. He concludes that the earliest cave-diggers of India were Buddhists; who were afterwards imitated by the Brahmans: and as to their antiquity, that none are so old as the date of Asoka. Mr. Fergusson finished by deploring the continued destruction of these remains, and more particularly of the paintings, from the injuries of the climate, from their incrustation by the soot, from the native cookingfires, and by the more destructive propensities of European curiosity-fanciers, who seldom visit a temple without carrying off a head or two, picked out of the wall, which is usually crushed to powder before reaching its destination.

These observations elicited from the meeting a resolution to use all possible means to get copies made of some of these paintings, and especially those of Ajanta, which were more particularly alluded to by Mr. Fergusson.

MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM TAYLOR OF
NORWICH.

From the Quarterly Review.

A Memoir of the Life and Writings of the late William Taylor, of Norwich, containing the Correspondence of many years with the late Robert Southey, Esq., &c. By J. W. Robberds, F. G. S., of Norwich.

2 vols. 8vo. London. 1843.

Miss Aikin) took a large share in the tuition. of the house, and soon distinguished Taylor as one of two pupils especially deserving her own and her husband's most assiduous care

the other being Frank Sayers, whose life was in the sequel written and his remains collected by his early companion. Mr. Robberds considers it as an extraordinary circumstance that the two cleverest boys of the

school formed an enthusiastic attachment for each other-we should have thought it stranger if they had not; but, he adds, 'a friendship unbroken during the term of fortythree years, amidst severer trials than the struggles of academic vanity or the freaks of juvenile ambition.' That is to say, it survived a total disseverance of opinions on subjects of the highest importance; but this, however rare, is not the only example of the kind, nor the most illustrious one, that Mr. Taylor's biographer records.

MR. Sydney Smith complimented the Norfolk Taylors, so many of whom have made themselves known to the world in our time, by reversing the obsolete adage into 'it takes nine men to make a Taylor.' We believe the distinguished persons of that name from Norwich and the neighboring country do not all consider themselves to be of the same kindred; but, however this may be, they will all, we suppose, allow that for gifts and acquirements the foremost among them was the subject of these Memoirs. Yet, as he In his life of Sayers (1823), Mr. Taylor put forth little with his name, and did not in dwelt with grateful recollection on the pains his anonymous writings thoroughly identify taken by Mrs. Barbauld (whom he used to himself with the theories or interests of any call' the mother of his mind') with the Enggreat party among us, we should not be sur-lish composition' of her young disciples; prised to find that, after a silence of thirteen years, preceded by about as long a period of comparative inactivity, he had nearly ceased to be remembered beyond his province and the professed students of literature. If such obscurity has gathered over him, however, these volumes will dispel it. The narrative is that of an able man-sometimes too ambitious indeed, but nowhere diffuse, every where clear; and the correspondence interwoven is as interesting as any we are likely to see revealed for many years to come.

It is our duty to review such a book as this; but the task is not undertaken without reluctance. Mr. Taylor was the deliberate teacher of pernicious opinions: his conversation and his pen were influential in forwarding some of the most fatal heresies of this age and the many amiable traits in his character render it most painful to dwell on the obstinacy of his unhappy delusions.

He was born at Norwich in 1765, the only child of wealthy parents. His father had inherited the chief place in an old mercantile house, engaged mostly in the export trade; and William was destined from the cradle to succeed in this respectable position. The family were of the Unitarian sect, and so all their immediate connections appear to have been. The boy was sent to school first under a Swiss refugee, whose favorite study is said to have been etymology, and afterwards with Mr. Rochemont Barbauld, Unitarian minister at Palgrave, whose 'talented and tasteful consort' (early celebrated as MAY, 1844. 2

and, in reviewing that Life, Mr. Southey, a warm friend and admirer of both Sayers and Taylor, made this passage the subject of a brief comment:

'It may be doubted whether such a habit of early criticism would have the effect of producing a natural and easy style; whether it would not tend to banish colloquial and idiomatic English from composition; and whether pupils so trained would not, as they grew up, be likely to think less of what they had to say than of how they should say it. The moral faculties cannot be accustomed to discipline too early, that they may receive their bent in time; but there is danger of weakening or distorting the intellectual powers, if you interfere too soon with their free growth. To make boys critical is to make little men of them, which is the surest way to prevent them from ever becoming great ones.' -Quart. Rev., vol. xxxv. p. 177.

Such remarks might naturally have occurred in reference to any Life of Sayers: but there can be no doubt that Mr. Southey was thinking less of the Doctor than of his historian.

Having acquired as much Greek and Latin as Mr. Barbauld could teach, or as his parents thought desirable, and made very extraordinary progress in various branches of education more likely to be serviceable in a mercantile career, William Taylor was removed from Palgrave to the Norwich counting-house at the age of fourteen. He could already read French and Italian with ease, and the foreign connections of the firm rendering it expedient that he should complete

It was not until after the French Revolution that this easy state of things was disturbed. At that era the Unitarians were almost universally active as 'friends of the people.' Young Taylor became Secretary of a Democratic Club; and from that time his social connections appear to have been almost exclusively among the dissenters and Whigs in and about his native town.

his mastery of those languages, he was soon doctrinal differences, however great and afterwards sent to make a tour on the conti- serious, do not seem to have kept churchnent, under the care of one of the partners. men and sectaries from free intercommuSome specimens of his letters to his parents nion in private life, any more than from from various places abroad are now printed, cordial co-operation in the promotion of and they are such as cannot be considered with- local institutions, either of a literary, or sciout wonder. He must, indeed, have been a entific, or a benevolent and charitable demost precocious youth-at fifteen he writes scription. both as to matter and language, whether in English, in French, or in Italian, as few, very few, of his sex at such standing could ever do. It is not surprising that he excited a most lively interest among the friends and correspondents of his family. After some months he returned a man in mind and in manners, and almost in appearance. The experiment was too successful not to be repeated. After being admired as a prodigy Besides political clubs Norwich had several for two years more at Norwich, he was again Societies which held evening meetings once sent abroad for a longer time; and, with a a week to hear and criticise essays, and view to some flattering openings in his debate the questions that these happened to father's traffic, took up his residence during stir; and William Taylor, while yet a stripa whole twelvemonth under the roof of a ling, had won distinction among them both clergyman at Paderborn, there to add to his as a writer and a speaker. From these other attainments a familiar acquaintance meetings younger members often adjourned with the German. This residence decided to a tavern, prolonging the discussion over his destiny. His singular facility soon over- the bottle or the bowl; and here also Wilcame all the difficulties of a new vocabulary. He could, before the twelve months were over, use the language like a native. But his host and preceptor was an enthusiastic admirer, not only of the rising belles-lettres, but of the new philosophy of his country, and Taylor left him with his tastes and opinions for ever Germanized. He returned to Norwich at eighteen, full of Goethe, and Bürger, and Voss; but not without having pervasively studied' the rationalistic divines as well as the pantheistic poets.

Without formally withdrawing from the paternal desk, he very soon convinced all about him that his father was to be the last real merchant of the lineage. The elder Mr. Taylor cared nothing about either poetry or metaphysics, but he was proud, as well he might be, of his only son, and fancying himself richer than he was, by degrees acquiesced in the views which month after month developed themselves more and more clearly. His boy's translations from the German were handed about the brilliant novelties were rapturously praised. The Unitarians, at this time prominent in the place, hailed the opening of talents that promised to shed new light upon their body, promote its local ascendancy, and extend its reputation in the world beyond. But the community at large welcomed the juvenile aspirant. There was, as there had long been, a general spirit of intellectual activity in Norwich, but in those days not much of political excitement; and

liam was qualified to bear his part, for his temper was naturally open, and from an early age he had been accustomed to very convivial habits in his father's house. The old man was a most bountiful Amphitryon, and the lad's manly aspect and manners had seemed to entitle him to sit on equal terms with the seniors, whom his variety of information and liveliness of language entertained and amused.

Such was William Taylor's position when he first began to make himself known as a contributor to our periodical publications. Surrounded with ease and comfort at home, the idol of his amiable parents, courted and caressed as the agreeable heir to a handsome fortune, which might abundantly excuse his unconcealed inattention to mercantile concerns the centre of a cheerful gay circle of his own class-sedulously cultivated and extolled by the authorities of a locally powerful sect―and in a word, habitually looked up as in every way the most promising among the rising citizens of Norwich; if a young man endowed with remarkable brilliancy, and above all with most remarkable facility of parts, thus early accustomed to a sense of acknowledged predominance, naturally fond of society, and thus, without an effort as it were, placed at the head of the society to which he belonged-if such a youth should have elevated his ambition altogether beyond the sphere of immediate and easy triumphs, and, secure of worldly competence, resolved

ly devoted himself to the most laborious of cæteris paribus—or rather, cæteris non valde all lives, that of the man who does great imparibus-be effective in proportion to the things in literature or in science-he might nearness of its date. Besides, whenever there not indeed have been a solitary, but he must is an alteration there will be some ugly trace have been a most rare exception to all rules. It of the rent. Many circumstances in the was very natural that the essays and speeches Lenore,' when introduced into a story of of his debating clubs should encourage him the twelfth or thirteenth century, whether to enter into correspondence with a news- in England or in Germany, are at once perpaper or a magazine; but, if fugitive verses ceived to belong to a much more modern and articles so published should happen to era, and these therefore give an air of patchbring him a considerable addition of no-work and falsification to both Taylor's vertoriety-if he should find himself able, by sion and Scott's, from which the ballad itself brief snatches of exertion, to fix on himself is free. According to our view, Taylor's atsuch a measure of general literary reputation tempt at archaic diction and his Rowleian as no man else in or near Norwich had then spelling only make things worse. In fact the achieved it became doubly improbable that whole sentiment of the piece is, like Bürger's he should trample on hourly strengthening own language and rhythm, modern; and estemptations, and determine to be great in pecially the picturesque minuteness of the place of sitting down content with being al-description throughout is proper in reference ready thought so. to a superstition that lingers on and influences

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This piece was rapidly followed by other translations from the same poet, and by and bye much more extensive specimens from the German in a variety of measures. In the three bulky volumes, entitled Survey of German Poetry,' which Mr. Taylor published in 1830, he collected many of these early performances in verse, with a sort of connecting commentary made up chiefly from his magazine prose of the same period. We should regret with the biographer that he did not re-write the whole of the prose, had he shown in his patches of addition any disposition to recant his juvenile heresies-but, on the contrary, his aim was to lend these new force and attraction.

The first thing that attracted notice be- the heart and imagination, but is already disyond the Norwich sphere, was his translation paraged and condemned, and stands in need of 'Lenore.' Bürger is, if not the greatest, of support. A story like that of Lenore at least among the very greatest, of modern would have been told by a mediæval bard ballad poets, and this remains his master- with a Job-like darkness of hints or a Gospelpiece. Taylor's version was the earliest, and like simplicity and brevity. his biographer considers it as the best in our language: a casual recitation of it suggested, as is well known, the apprentice effort of Sir Walter Scott, which is certainly, in general accuracy and finish, inferior to Taylor's, but in which we cannot but think there is more of the spirit of poetry. In truth we have no thoroughly satisfactory English Lenore.' William Spencer's is wordy and pompous, and gives no idea whatever of Bürger's nervous and fiery style. On the other hand, Taylor, and after him Scott, shrunk from strict imitation of the stanza-whereby, as both Coleridge and Wordsworth have observed, a pervading and pathetic beauty of effect is sacrificed. Scott and several others have followed Taylor in some variations of the story Mr. Taylor in his translations, and also in itself, which Mr. Robberds thinks judicious: his original poetry (so called), was a great but here again we have the fortune to dis-experimentalist in metres. Mr. Southey has agree with him. Bürger, for instance, lays secured remembrance for his English hexhis scene at the end of the Seven Years' war ameters by a rather solemn paragraph of the -Taylor and Scott carry us back to the preface to the 'Vision of Judgment.' It may Crusades. In our opinion the date of the be proper therefore that we should give a original was well fixed. The ghost super-small specimen of his workmanship; and we stition, say what we will, has survived to take it from his 'Survey' of the Luise' of this day every where; at all events there can Voss, a poem of classical reputation, which be no doubt that it was far from being extinct continues to be hardly less a favorite with the in Germany when Bürger was writing, and Germans than the most skilfully constructed Coleridge and Taylor were electrified during narrative poem of recent times, the 'Herman their youthful wanderings by his fresh pro-and Dorothea' of Goethe. We are not of ductions: and we believe that when a super-opinion that the hexameter will ever be nastition is really alive in the popular mind, turalized in England. By far the happiest and therefore (which is infallibly the case) not without some shadow of living power in all minds, a story connected with it will,

of the attempts is Southey's in the opening of his Vision; but even with his consummate skill the effect of that performance as

a whole is very disappointing. With inferior practitioners, however able men, the result has in all cases been ludicrous. Tay lor had little delicacy of ear, or strung together his dactyles and spondees, as a living experimenter of high talents and acquirements is said to have done, while he was shaving.' We transcribe part of the celebrated breakfast-scene by the lake :—

Wallenstein. Mr. Taylor was an excellent German scholar (probably the very best we have had), and he was not without a talent for versification, but we cannot think Nature had meant him for a poet. He largely excited and gratified curiosity-and the influence of what he did has had lasting effects: but no metrical translation, however faithful, however clever, unless it is vivified throughout with the the class of which we have a few examples in fervor of a true poetical pulse, can ever reach our own literature, and of which there are more in the German than in any other literato-ture of the world. But besides a deficiency of native fire, he was far from having such a command of the poetical language of his own country as has been attained by some of his followers in this walk, perhaps as little entitled to be classed with the poets of Nature's fram

Just where the wind blew into the fire was station'd

the trivet,

On it the well-clos'd kettle, replenished with crys

talline water.

Meanwhile carried Louisa his pipe to papa, and

bacco

Wrapt in the velvety hide of the seal, and a paper for pipe-light:

Calmly the old man sat, and he whiff'd, and he smil'd, and again whiff 'd.

Soon as the flame had surrounded the kettle, and steam from the lid burst,

Out of a paper-envelope the good old lady her coffeeing as himself. In truth, his knowledge of EngInto the brown jug shower'd, and added some shav-lish literature seems in no department what

ings of hartshorn, Then with the boiling water she fill'd up the pot to Kneeling she waver'd it over the fire, and watch'd

the summit.

for its clearing:

Hasten, my daughter, she said, to arrange all the cups in their places,

Coffee is soonly enough, and our friends will excuse

it unfilter'd.

Quickly Louisa uplifted the lid of the basket, and

took out

Cups of an earthen ware, and a pewter basin of

sugar;

But when all had been emptied, the butter, the rolls, and the cold ham,

Strawberries, radishes, milk, and the cowslip-wine

for the pastor,

Archly Louisa observ'd: Mamma has forgotten the tea-spoons!

They laugh'd; also the father; the good old lady

she laugh'd too

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ever to have been first-rate. His reading at the age of vivid impressions was almost exclusively foreign-chiefly German—and his taste, to use a phrase of his own, soon 'got into a rut,' from which it never diverged. He is not the only instance of this irretrievable 'Teutonization,' as he calls it; but such, we believe, has never occurred unless where, as with him, the German studies were taken up without the previous devotion of years to the great models of classical antiquity.

Of

It is fair to observe, too, that Taylor's taste in German literature itself was very often what the best German critics would have pronounced heretical. He even in his old age talks of to Shakspeare-and we might mention not Kotzebue as the greatest of all dramatists next a few equally preposterous decisions. Goethe he speaks better and worse than we ever could think-better of him as a moralist, worse as an artist: but Mr. Robberds is candid enough to drop a hint that his early enthusiasm about the demigod of Weimar, cooled obviously after what he regarded as a perOur English reader will please to under-sonal slight. It seems Goethe never stand that we have offered this as a speci- knowledged the receipt of the English Iphimen of Taylor's hexameters, not at all as a genia. We have no doubt the omission was fair representation either of Voss's narrative accidental; for Goethe was not only a polite style or of Voss's versification. We need gentleman, but most assiduous in flattering hardly point out the original of a justly admir- the minor literati, at home and abroad, so ed passage in Wordsworth's lines' To Joan- they would but perform the Kotow.

na.'

skewers for stirrers.'

Survey, vol. ii. p. 70.

Mr. Taylor must be acknowledged to have been the first who effectually introduced the Modern Poetry and Drama of Germany to the English reader, and his versions of the Nathan of Lessing, the Iphigenia of Goethe, and Schiller's Bride of Messina, are not likely to be supplanted, though none of them are productions of the same order with Coleridge's

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