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reading the Greek classics ; and he has left a half printed work, the entire or nearly the entire manuscript of which, we believe, is finished, being a translation by himself of the New Testament from Griesbach's edition. He had, in an early period of his life, been engaged in an Eng. lish re-publication of Griesbach-an undertaking which required great editorial labour. He has, we believe, left several other, and some of them very considerable, manuscripts, but what are their subjects, and whether any of them will be hereafter given to the world, we are unable to state. We understand that among the rest, is a highly characteristic Diary commenced in his 21st year-carried on till within a short period of his death, and, in the course of its progress, receiving from his hand the valuable edition of recollections of his earliest years of all these we trust some account will be published, as we have reason to hope that a more extended biography than can be contained in a periodical journal will some day appear.
Mr. Taylor's style was remarkable for terseness, vigour, clearness, and originality of expression ; his mode of reasoning a subject quite inasterly. The pamphlet on Local Courts, to which we have already referred, is a model for a work of that kind-instead of being one of the de. coctions of the common-place of the day, it is full of original thought. There is not a sentence in the whole sixty-four pages which has not a good idea and point in it; scarcely a word that could be touched without injury. Did our limits allow, we would gladly have made some extracts, more especially as, though caused by a wild scheme now we hope set at rest, * it is upon a subject which, in some shape or other, will last as long as the science of jurisprudence itself. Nothing can be better than the full, fair, and spirited statement of the real point at issue, viz. the comparative advantages of the “central system, with its unity of principle and practice, and its extensive barand highly endowed bench, exercising mutual supervision, and the “ departmental" system, with its alleged saving in speed and cheapness. The difficulties which must always beset Local Courts, and the ill-will and litigation engendered by them, are next pointed out, in a manner rapid, but most lively and convincing. The remainder of the pamphlet is occupied in examining the details of the bill. This is done with a facility of handling and a freshness and vivacity of diction quite delightful. It is full of wit and sarcasm ; but every sally is weighted with some sound reason enclosed in it; and there is no personality, unless, indeed, we condemn as personality the laugh at the restless Chancellor's impatience to be talking about a favourite scheme, instanced in his inability to wait the printing of the evidence on which the bill was founded ; and seeing that this went to the whole and sole truth of the matter, it would have been difficult to have kept it in the back ground
To return to our subject :—We ought not to conclude our remarks on Mr. Taylor's style without alluding to it as exemplified in those less im. portant and more transitory productions of the pen, by which he was,
* The new practice of creating a great variety of Borough and other Courts, without uniformity of system or of jurisdiction--some exclusive, some not-is, in a measure, however, a new form of it.
after all, much better known to his friends and in his profession-we mean his business correspondence. He was by far the best writer of a business letter we ever knew. Rapid beyond conception, yet accurate and complete; clear and pithy to a marvel ; unless, indeed, where the interests of his client required him to conceal rather than fully set out his ideas. In his letters more than in anything else, he was the wonder of the numerous clerks and pupils with whom, after the first few years, his office was always filled. He was in all things a constant subject of their observation and admiration ; but well does the writer (who long studied under him) remember the surprise excited by his letters, evading, with consummate skill, the difficulties which could not be met, or meeting with the utmost boldness that which could not be evaded. And, while alluding to those who had the advantage of being in his office, and as a close to our enumeration of his intellectual qualities, the writer must add, as he is sure he well can, for all of them, that there never was one who did not, without hesitation, rate him as the first in all points of talent and business they had ever known.
Of Mr. Taylor's political and religious opinions it would not become us to say much here—all mention cannot be omitted. In both, he followed the steps of many generations of his ancestors; and though he differed widely in both from the bulk of his numerous personal friends in the profession, and from many of those out of the profession, we feel sure he was not the less esteemed by either the one class or the other, for quietly and consistently following those views, which all who knew him, knew him to entertain with entire seriousness and conviction. In his politics he was a whig : at least, what some time ago was so called ; in his religious opinions a Unitarian,-thinking always, however, much more of general liberty of conscience and dissent, than of sectarian differences.
He was, for many years, as we have stated, the solicitor of the Unitarian Association, and a very leading man in all matters affecting the civil position of dissenters. He conducted the various applications for leave to perform marriages made by the Unitarians between the years 1825 or thereabouts, and the passing of the late Marriage Bill; and in this and other public matters, became well acquainted with many of the leading public characters of the day. He was not only nominated one of the commissioners for collecting together and examining the old dissenting registers, but was, we believe, deputed by the government to select two of the other commissioners, one from among the Independents, and one from among the Baptists, on whom the reliance of their respective bodies could be placed. In the business of this commission he took great interest ; and, as of everything else he ever undertook, he made himself thoroughly acquainted with its details. He was attending to them almost to the day of his death.
Notwithstanding his political and religious opinions, he was sent for by Sir Robert Peel, on, we believe, the day after that statesman came into office in 1835, to give his opinion respecting a bill Sir Robert proposed to introduce respecting the marriages and births of dissenters; and on
his stating that he was surprised that, with his known political and religious opinions, he should be sent for, Sir Robert replied that it was on that account especially he had sent for him; and that having made up his mind to carry such a measure through, and to forego his own scruples, he immediately looked about for one who would command the confidence of the dissenters. We must mention another anecdote very honourable to Mr. Taylor, though exactly what all who knew him would have predicted. It is, that he refused an offer made, and afterwards pressed upon him, by a late Lord Chancellor, of an important and lucrative office or secretaryship connected with the patronage of the Established Church, merely because it was so connected.
One of the last matters of importance in which he was engaged, was the appeal to the House of Lords, lately argued and still waiting judgment in the Lady Hewley case. He was selected to manage this matter jointly with the former solicitors of the trustee by a large body of gentle. men in Lancashire; and was added to the business, not out of the slightest distrust or disrespect to the able gentlemen before engaged, but merely for the great reliance placed in his talents and abilities by the numerous body of Unitarians in the north of England. Though confined entirely to his room for the last eight or ten months, he devoted great attention to this matter; and partly to his exertions made in his sick room are to be attributed the able printed instructions and historical illustrations given to counsel on this important argument.
Though very decided in his political views, he meddled but little with many of the numerous legal contests so often springing out of political offences. In the year 1821 or 1822, however, under Lord Castlereagh's ministry, feeling strongly the danger to public liberty of a private society for instituting political prosecutions, he came forward to conduct the defence of several parties indicted by the constitutional association ; and in conjunction with a most acute and learned member of the bar, now filling a judicial situation, so baffled the prosecutors by objections to juries summoned by a sheriff who was a member of the association, and by other legal obstacles, as to prevent, we believe, the conviction of any of the individuals he defended.
The origin of the illness which brought this remarkable man to an early grave, at the age of forty-six, is not known. He considered himself, we believe, as having no serious complaint until the year 1832; and after a violent attack he had in that year, he so far recovered as to be, or at least to appear in the enjoyment, for a considerable time, of tolerable health. Though symptoms of weakness had shown themselves earlier, they were not thought of much consequence by medical men. The complaint, however, of which he died, had taken root in 1832, if not earlier ; and, with occasional intervals, he was from that time suffering until his death. The agonies he endured were most acute; and when the disease was not slumbering, of frequent recurrence—and certainly never was pain more stoically borne. The chief part of his writings above enumer. ated were composed during the last years of his life, and in his sick room. The Book of Rights” was one of these. He rarely spoke of his sufferings, but in the preface to that book he alludes to them, and to the diversion of thoughts derived from his occupation in the work. For two or three of his last years he was unable, from his complaint, to pass a whole night in sleep, and he made a constant practice of getting up at one or two in the morning for an hour or two, and of lighting his candle, and attending to his studies.
At the end of June he had a most serious and violent attack, which lasted some days. After this attack he felt clear that his life would not be much prolonged; and on recovering a little, he drew instructions for a fuller will, and set about making more complete arrangements than he had before made. He wrote to one of his partners to get the will completed without loss of time," as he was then more fit for such matters than he should be again : ” and he spent his time between intervals of pain, in going over, and tying up, and endorsing and setting down full particulars about all his papers and affairs, and in writing a variety of letters, to be opened after his death, to different persons, on matters he wished attended to, or explaining views he thought important to be understood. The coolness and composure with which all this was done was marvellous. He settled the draft of a long will as if it had been a client's—had parts re-copied and altered after it was engrossed; and, after it was signed, wrote two codicils with his own hand, to supply little matters he thought it best to leave expressed. His last codicil was a bequest of the printed copy and of the manuscript of his translation of the New Testament to his wife. When this was finished, he meddled no further with business, nor with those more laborious pursuits which to him were always as part of the business to be done. But, preparation having been the work of his whole previous life, he waited in quiet ex. pectation, for the most mysterious passage in the soul's history, spending his time in cheerful conversation with his family and near relations, all of whom he had requested thenceforward to stay about him. An operation was thought of and nearly determined upon; and though he had a strong secret conviction that it was impossible he should survive it, nothing could be more cheerful than his readiness to undergo it. When it was at last abandoned at Sir Astley Cooper's instance, he then first stated he was quite sure they had decided rightly.
For the last three weeks he was slowly sinking, and upon the morning of the 19th of August ceased to breatheso tranquilly that the precise moment of his death is not known, though it was watched for by his brother and attendants. He was buried at the New Cemetery, Highgate. Though he left no kind of direction, or expressed the slightest wish on the subject, the ceremony was arranged with as much of modesty and quietness as possible, in accordance with what most certainly would have been his desire ; for, if he had an unpopular point of character, it was his reserve, and this reserve arose from a disgust and loathing, almost morbid, of any thing approaching to show or ostentation. Wide as his acquaintance and even influence was, it is to this point in his character we attribute his not being much more publicly and extensively known.
His great generosity should be mentioned. Though careful in his habits, and fully aware of the value of money, yet in matters of charity which he approved, particularly those connected with education, he was most liberal. The writer has been himself a party to many applications to him for aid of this kind, and never remembers his not giving at least double what was asked ; and many requests for a guinea, he remembers met by gifts of five. Yet so unostentatious were these, that he is very sure Mr. Taylor's immediate family were never aware of them.
His family and numerous relations, many of them themselves distinguished for literature or science, were greatly attached to him, and proud of their connection with him ; and this attachment was if possible increased by important professional exertions (not necessary to be further alluded to) which he made for one of them during the last years of his
Mr. Taylor married in the year 1823, Ann, daughter of J. Christie, Esq., of Hackney. He has left a widow and an only daughter surviving. His father also is still living, though at a very advanced age. He had realised a handsome, though not excessive fortune. His executors are, one of his brothers, a pleader of eminence of the Inner Temple, (formerly a pupil of his own,) and two of his partners.
He, early in life, entered himself of the Inner Temple, and kept his terms. It was, we believe, a few years ago, his intention, had his health been tolerably good, but not altogether re-established, to have been called to the bar by way of retiring from practice ; but he continued till his death a member of that class of the profession which he had first entered, and for the honour, reputation, and interests of which he felt always the deepest regard.—(From the Legal Observer.)
THE LATE MRS. BARBAULD.-NEWINGTON-GREEN CHAPEL. Our readers will, no doubt, be pleased to hear, that a monument has been recently erected in this chapel, to the memory of this very talented authoress, and truly estimable woman. It is an elegant mural tablet, thus inscribed :
In memory of
Daughter of John Aikin, D.D.
Endowed by the Giver of All Good
she employed those high gifts
of civil and religious liberty,
of Christian Morality,