Page images


[ocr errors]


These two classes comprise the Buddhist

The third class are the Brahmanical From the Literary Gazetto.

These are copies of Buddhist viharas, Prof. H. H. Wilson in the chair. The paper and, until closely examined, appear as though il 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 tem- The 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. If it were possible to render intelligible the The fifth class are the jaina caves, which, undescriptions detailed in this very interesting pa- less it comprehends the Indra Subha group at per without the architectural plans laid on the Ellora-a matter of some uncertainty,--contains Society's table, our limits would preclude our but few specimens, and these of small importance. doing so; but this is the less to be lamented, as They consist of a number of colossal figures cut several of these extraordinary excavations have in the rock, and sometimes, but not always, with been already described by others. It will be a screen left standing before, thus constituting more interesting to give the classification which a chamber. The sculpture is rude, and in bad Mr. Fergusson's extensive observations have en- taste. abled 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 Brahmánical 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 class- modern Brahmanism; and that, contemporary

The first or most ancient of these he terms with it, there was a Buddhistical religion, differthe vihara, or monastic caverns. These, though ing but little from it. Kings and people went one in object and arrangement, are very various from one to the other without difficulty or exin execution. In the simplest instances they are citement; and in the descriptions left by the natural caverns somewhat enlarged and improv- Greeks, and in native records, we find it difficult ed by art; in more elaborate examples 'they to distinguish between them. He is also of

extended to a square cell, with a porch'; opinion that, from the period of Asoka, B. c. 250, and lastly, to an extensive hall, supported by to the filth century of our era, Buddhism was massy columns, surrounded by cells for ihe abode the prevailing faith of Northern India, while of the priest, and having opposite the entrance a Brahmanism ruled in the south; and that durdeep recess or sanctuary, in which are usually ing this participation of territory that polytheis placed statues of Buddha and his attendants. tic Brahmanism was elaborated which now preBy far the majority of Buddhist excavations are of vails throughout India. He concludes that the this class; and the most splendid of these are ; earliest cave-diggers of India were Buddhists; at Ajanta: there are also fine specimens at Ello- who were afterwards imitated by the Brahmans: ra and Salsette.

and as to their antiquity, that none are so old as The second class is that of the chaitya caves. the date of Asoka. Mr. Fergueson finished by These are the temples of the Buddhists; and deploring the continued destruction of these reone, at least, is attached to every set of caves in mains, and more particularly of the paintings, India. The plan and arrangement of all these from the injuries of the climate, from their inis exactly alike; and, unlike the viharas, the crustation by the soot, from the native cookingoldest differ in nothing from the most modern, fires, and by the more destructive propensities of except in size. They have all an external European curiosity-fanciers, who seldom visit a porch, an internal gallery over the entrance, temple without carrying off a head or two, and a nave or centre aisle, at least twice as long picked out of the wall, which is usually crushed as broad, covered by a vault

, with a semi-dome to powder before reaching its destination. over a chaitya, or daghope. The whole interi- These observations elicited from the meeting or is surrounded by a narrow aisle, separated a resolution to use all possible means to get from the nave by massy columns, and roofed. copies made of some of these paintings, and espeThe most perfect chaitya cave in India, and in cially those of Ajanta, which were more particMr. Fergusson's opinion the most ancient, is ularly alluded to by Mr. Fergusson. that at Carlee.



MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM TAYLOR OF Miss Aikin) took a large share in the tuition NORWICH.

of the house, and soon distinguished Taylor

as one of two pupils especially deserving her From the Quarterly Review.

own and her husband's most assiduous care A Memoir of the Life and Writings of the the other being Frank Sayers, whose life late William Taylor, of Norwich, con

was in the sequel written and his remains taining the Correspondence of many years collected by his early companion. Mr. Robwith the late Robert_Southey, Esq., foc. berds considers it as an extraordinary cirBy J. W. Robberds, F. G. S., of Norwich. cumstance that the two cleverest boys of the 2 vols. 8vo. London. 1843.

school formed an enthusiastic attachment for Mr. Sydney Smith complimented the Nor- each other-we should have thought it folk Taylors, so many of whom have made stranger if they had not; but, he adds, 'a themselves known to the world in our time, friendship unbroken during the term of fortyby reversing the obsolete adage into 'it takes three years, amidst severer trials than the nine men to make a Taylor. We believe struggles of academic vanity or the freaks the distinguished persons of that name from of juvenile ambition. That is to say, it Norwich and the neighboring country do not survived a total disseverance of opinions on all consider themselves to be of the same subjects of the highest importance; but this, kindred; but, however this may be, they will however rare, is not the only example of the all, we suppose, allow that for gifts and ac- kind, nor the most illustrious one, that Mr. quirements the foremost among them was Taylor's biographer records. 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 callʻthe 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 and, in reviewing that Life, Mr. Southey, a years, preceded by about as long a period of warm friend and admirer of both Sayers and comparative inactivity, he had nearly ceased Taylor, made this passage the subject of a to be remembered beyond his province and brief comment :the professed students of literature. Ifsuch ob


be doubted whether such a habit of scurity has gathered over him, however, these early criúcism would have the effect of producvolumes will dispel it. The narrative is that ing a natural and easy style ; whether it would of an able man-sometimes too ambitious not tend to banish colloquial and idiomatic indeed, but nowhere diffuse, every where English from composition; and whether pupils clear; and the correspondence interwoven is so trained would not, as they grew up, be likely as interesting as any we are likely to see

to think less of what they had to say than of how

they should say it. The moral faculties cannot revealed for many years to come.

be accustomed to discipline too early, that they It is our duty to review such a book as may receive their bent in time; but there is this; but the task is not undertaken without danger of weakening or distorting the intelreluctance.. Mr. Taylor was the deliberate lectual powers, if you interfere too soon with teacher of pernicious opinions: his conver-their free growth. To make boys critical is to sation and bis pen were influential in for- make little men of them, which is the surest way warding some of the most fatal heresies of to prevent them from ever becoming great ones.'

- Quart. Rev., vol. xxxv. p. 177. this age: and the many amiable traits in his character render it most painful to dwell on Such remarks might naturally have occur. the obstinacy of his unhappy delusions. red in reference to any Life of Sayers : but

He was born at Norwich in 1765, the only there can be no doubt that Mr. Southey was child of wealthy parents. His father had thinking less of the Doctor than of his histoinberited the chief place in an old mercantile rian. house, engaged mostly in the export trade; Having acquired as much Greek and Latin and William was destined from the cradle to as Mr. Barbauld could teach, or as his pasucceed in this respectable position. The rents thought desirable, and made very extrafamily were of the Unitarian sect, and so all ordinary progress in various branches of edutheir immediate connections appear to have cation more likely to be serviceable in a been. The boy was sent to school first mercantile career, William Taylor was reunder a Swiss refugee, whose favorite study moved from Palgrave to the Norwich countis said to have been etymology, and after- ing-house at the age of fourteen. He could wards with Mr. Rochemont Barbauld, Unita- already read French and Italian with ease, rian minister at Palgrave, whose “talented and the foreign connections of the firm renand tasteful consort' (early celebrated as dering it expedient that he should complete

May, 1844.

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 It was not until after the French RevoluEnglish, in French, or in Italian, as few, tion that this easy state of things was disvery few, of his sex at such standing could turbed. At that era the Unitarians were ever do. It is not surprising that he excited almost universally active as “friends of the a most lively interest among the friends and people. Young Taylor became Secretary correspondents of his family. After some of a Democratic Club; and from that time months he returned a man in mind and in his social connections appear to have been manners, and alınost in appearance. The almost exclusively among the dissenters and experiment was too successful not to be re- Whigs in and about his native town. peated. 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. liam was qualified to bear his part, for his He could, before the twelve months were temper was naturally open, and from an early over, use the language like a native. But age he had been accustomed to very conhis host and preceptor was an enthusiastic vivial habits in his father's house. The old admirer, not only of the rising belles-lettres, man was a most bountiful Amphitryon, and but of the new philosophy of his country, and the lad's manly aspect and manners had Taylor left him with his tastes and opinions seemed to entitle him to sit on equal terms for ever Germanized. He returned to Nor- with the seniors, whom his variety of inforwich at eighteen, full of Goethe, and Bürger, mation and liveliness of language enterand Voss; but not without having 'perva- tained and amused. sively studied' the rationalistic divines as Such was William Taylor's position when well as the pantheistic poets.

he first beg:

to make himself known as a Without formally withdrawing from the contributor to our periodical publications. paternal desk, he very soon convinced all Surrounded with ease and comfort at home, about him that his father was to be the last the idol of his amiable parents, courted and real merchant of the lineage. The elder caressed as the agreeable heir to a handsome Mr. Taylor cared nothing about either poetry fortune, which might abundantly excuse his or metaphysics, but he was proud, as well he unconcealed inattention to mercantile conmight be, of his only son, and fancying him-cerns—the centre of a cheerful gay circle of self richer than he was, by degrees acqui- his own class—sedulously cultivated and exesced in the views which month after month tolled by the authorities of a locally powdeveloped themselves more and more clearly. erful sect-and in a word, habitually looked His boy's translations from the German were up as in every way the most promising among handed about—the brilliant novelties were the rising citizens of Norwich; if a young rapturously praised. The Unitarians, at this man endowed with remarkable brilliancy, time prominent in the place, hailed the and above all with most remarkable facility opening of talents that promised to shed new of parts, thus early accustomed to a sense of light upon their body, promote its local as- acknowledged predominance, naturally fond cendancy, and extend its reputation in the of society, and thus, without an effort as it world beyond. But the community at large were, placed at the head of the society to welcomed the juvenile aspirant. There was, which he belonged—if such a youth should as there had long been, a general spirit of have elevated his ambition altogether beyond intellectual activity in Norwich, but in those the sphere of immediate and easy triumphs, days not much of political excitement; and and, secure of worldly competence, resolvedly 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 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 This piece was rapidly followed by other language: a casual recitation of it suggested, translations from the same poet, and by and as is well known, the apprentice effort of Sir bye much more extensive specimens from the Walter Scott, which is certainly, in general German in a variety of measures. In the accuracy and finish, inferior to Taylor's, but three bulky volumes, entitled 'Survey of in which we cannot but think there is more German Poetry,' which Mr. Taylor published of the spirit of poetry. In truth we have no in 1830, he collected many of these early thoroughly satisfactory English ‘Lenore.' performances in verse, with a sort of conWilliam Spencer's is wordy and pompous, necting commentary made up chiefly from and gives no idea whatever of Bürger's nerv- his magazine prose of the same period. We ous and fiery style. On the other hand, Tay- should regret with the biographer that he did lor, and after him Scott, shrunk from strict not re-write the whole of the prose, had he imitation of the stanza—whereby, as both shown in his patches of addition any dispoColeridge and Wordsworth have observed, a sition to recant his juvenile heresies—but, on pervading and pathetic beauty of effect is sa- the contrary, his aim was to lend these new crificed. Scott and several others have fol- force and attraction. lowed 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' warameters 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) of the attempts is Southey's in the opening not without some shadow of living power in of his Vision; but even with his consumall minds, a story connected with it will, mate skill the effect of that performance as

[ocr errors]


a whole is very disappointing. With in-| Wallenstein. Mr. Taylor was an excellent ferior practitioners, however able men, the German scholar (probably the very best we result has in all cases been ludicrous. Tay have had), and he was not without a talent for lor had little delicacy of ear, or strung to- versification, but we cannot think Nature had gether his dactyles and spondees, as a liv- meant him for a poet. He largely excited ing experimenter of high talents and acquire- and gratified curiosity-and the influence of ments is said to have done, 'while he was what he did has had lasting effects : but no shaving.' We transcribe part of the cele- metrical translation, however faithful, however brated breakfast-scene by the lake :- clever, unless it is vivified throughout with the * Just where the wind blew into the fire was station'd the class of which we have a few examples in

fervor of a true poetical pulse, can ever reach the trivet, On it the well-clos'd kettle, replenished with crys- our own literature, and of which there are talline water.

more in the German than in any other literaMeanwbile carried Louisa his pipe to papa, and to-ture of the world. But besides a deficiency

bacco Wrapt in the velvety hide of the seal, and a paper command of the poetical language of his own

of native fire, he was far from having such a for pipe-light: Calmly the old man sat, and he whiff 'd, and he country as has been attained by some of his smil'd, and again whiff 'd.

followers in this walk, perhaps as little entitled Soon as the flame had surrounded the kettle, and to be classed with the poets of Nature's fram

steam from the lid burst, Out of a paper-envelope the good old lady her coffee ing as himself. In truth,his knowledge of EngInto the brown jug shower'd, and added some shav- lish literature seems in no department whatings of hartshorn,

ever to have been first-rate. His reading at the Then with the boiling water she fill'd up the pot to age of vivid impressions was almost exclusive

the summit. Kneeling she waver'd it over the fire, and watch'd ly foreign-chiefly German—and his taste, to for its clearing :

use a phrase of his own, soon got into a Hasten, my daughter, she said, to arrange all the rut,' from which it never diverged. He is not cups in their places,

the only instance of this irretrievable 'TeuCoffee is soonly enough, and our friends will excuse tonization, as he calls it; but such, we be

it unfilter'd. Quickly Louisa uplifted the lid of the basket, and lieve, has never occurred unless where, as took out

with him, the German studies were taken up Cups of an earthen ware, and a pewter basin of without the previous devotion of years to the sugar;

great models of classical antiquity. But when all had been emptied, the butter, the rolls,

It is fair to observe, too, that Taylor's taste and the cold ham, Strawberries, radishes, milk, and the cowslip-wine in German literature itself was very often what for the pastor,

the best German critics would have pronouncArchly Louisa observ'd: Mamma has forgotten the ed heretical. He even in his old age talks of

tea-spoons ! They laugh'd; also the father ; the good old lady to Shakspeare—and we might mention not

Kotzebue as the greatest of all dramatists next she laugh'd tooEcho laugh'd; and the mountains repeated the wan- a few equally preposterous decisions. Of dering laughter.

Goethe he speaks better and worse than we Walter presently ran to the birch-tree beside them, ever could think-better of him as a moral

and cut off Short smooth sticks with his clasp-knife, offering ist, worse as an artist : but Mr. Robberds is skewers for stirrers.'

candid enough to drop a hint that his early enSurvey, vol. ii. p. 20. thusiasm about the demigod of Weimar, cool

ed 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.

Mr. Taylor was first in the field, and he Mr. Taylor must be acknowledged to have kept it long—or at least the main share of been the first who effectually introduced the it. The mere possession of the German lanModern Poetry and Drama of Germany to the guage was in those days a great rarity-of English reader, and his versions of the Nathan the few who had made that acquisition, alof Lessing, the Iphigenia of Goethe, and most all had made it, like himself, with a Schiller's Bride of Messina, are not likely to view originally to mercantile correspondence, be supplanted, though none of them are pro- and were not likely to have either wish or caductions of the same order with Coleridge's pacity for availing themselves of it in the ser


[ocr errors]


« PreviousContinue »