EXTRACTS. THE LATE DR. COOKE TAYLOR. [From the "Dublin University Magazine."]
We little thought, when we commented the pre eonl number, the obituary would, before its completion have recorded the death of one of our most remaikable Contibutors. Alas! bow large n circle of friends and oCTinintanct'S, both in tliin and the sibfer coun'ry, will sigh when they read that poor Cooke Taylor is no more! With his mul iphed acquirements, the H'erary world is well acqUain'ed. As a contributor to lading peuodicaU, m the department of miscelldiieoub literature, he wm, for constancy of application, fertility of (hiuigln, and variety of subject, quite un ivtlled. He did not affvCt to <It nb the heights of Mik'tice. or penettate the depths of a profound philosophy. Neither his habils nor h s inclinations would have led him to any seclud'd or exclusive api>l.c.it\on of his powers, even if the exigencies of Im position did not require of him a compliance with the demands of the publisher, in the line, whatever it was, most likely to interest " the reading public." He wa* literally a writer for his daily bread ; and the calls upon him, multplted and various as they were, never found him unprepared; and he ntver failed lo give entiie satisfaction to those by whom the market-value of literary labour is best appiaised. His was, indeed, '' the pen of a ready writer." He took in such knowledge as his poweis could master with a rapidity quite amazing ; and it seemed to arrange itself, instinctively, in a yettled order in his mind, where it remained, as it were, labelled and ticketed, until it was wanted for vee ; 'md was then produced with the reudmesi and alacrity witli which a shopman produces his goods when a customer rcqu res them. Those «h'> have seen him in his literary laborat ry will olten call to mind what may not inaptly be designated the quiet rapidity of his composition ; the unremitting diligence mth which he plied his task, and the ease with which it was performed. Line after line, and page after page, in a clear and beautiful hand, flowed with his uniirin^ pen, without a p«use, and without a coirection. Nor was his composition marked by any turgid verbosity, such as it has been v?ry groundlessly charged iv a periodical to which he was a large contributor His style wts equable and unpielending; always clearly expressive of the thought which it conveyed j and, if it never rose into any commanding eloquence, it never sank into any prosy insipidity. It was the happy medium of such thoughts and feelings at it was his object to Gomnannicate ; and if it did not often warn or elevate, it seldom failed lo interest his readers. On proper occasion; he could be touching and pathetic in a very high degree. Of this let his " Letters from the F-tc-toticb" bear witness. And in his last important work, the " History of the Orleans Family," there is not only an extent of research which marks his unwearied industry, but a clearness in the narrative portion, and a bappy grouping, and picturing of events and characters, i» themselves often insignificant, if not contemptible, such as prove that, had he devoted himself to histoiic studies, he would have been no mean historian. Dr. Taylor was a native of Youghal, in the southwest of Ireland. The late Dr. Bell was his instructor, in whose school he for some lime acted as au assistant. He entered our University under Dr. Martin, the present rector of Killyshandra, upon whose acceptance of which preferment, he wa» transferred to the care of the present vice-provost, Dr. Wall. Often have we heard him express the gratitude which he felt to that good man, notoulyfor ihe instruction which he received from him in college, but the assistance freely admtniitered to him after he hadenteied the world of letters in London as a stranger, and had yet to make his merits known. But these were not long undiscovered, aud his gains from his pen were soon sufficient to place him in a condition of easy independence. During the corn-law agitation he took an active part amongitthe partisans of that movement, and won, by his zeal and ability, the esteem of Mr. Vilhers, the member for Wolverhainpton, a brother of his Excel.ency the Lord Lieutenant, who continued, to the peril dof his t'eath, to manifest towards him the sincerest sentiments of respect and utiectiont With the
Archbishop of Dublin he was also in close connexion. It was, we believe, at his grace's instance, that he wrote a book m favour of the national bojrd, of much ability, although not mch as to compel the assent of any who are well piincipled amongst dissentients, and have hitherto withheld fiora it their approbution. It was one of the very few occasions upon whidi Dr. Taylor ventured out of his line, if not put of his depth > and we ate not quite suie that he was himself well pleased with his adventure in polemics, which placed him in antagonism with some of his oldest and most valued friends. It is, indeed, but justice to lm memory to say, that he earnestly, and almost with his latest breath, disclaimed the authorship of a ve'y offensive paper in the Athenaum, in which the. Irish clergy were threatened with the destrurtion of their church, if they did not forthwith consent to forego their objection to the present system of Irish national education. In politics he was a Whig, but without bitterness or asperity. He was a Whig, when to be one was not a recommendation to place or ptolit. lie continued so when the star of his party hjd become ascendant ; aud was left by them, as they found him, to leel that the virtue of consistency in his attachment to them was its own reward. Of his voluminious writings we have not, at this moment, before us a catalogue ; but they are sfficienily uumerous to constitute a library in themselves. Had he lived they would no doubt have been subjected to a revision by which their value might be much enchanced ; but, as they stand, we are only astonished at the research, information, and ability which they exhibit, knowing the pressure of circumstances under winch they were written, and the little opportunity afforded him for even verbal amendments. For the last two years his residence whs in Ireland. Lord Clarendon brought him over to supei intend a school of design which was then in contemplation, and tor which he Wits well fitted, both by the knowledge which he had acquired in that depaitmeut, and natural inclination. But cau e es, of which we know nothing, pn vented it* establishment just then ; aid he became enrolled in the vice- regal household, under the title of statistician, in which position his services were of infinite value, e»])ecmlly in facilitating relerences to the best sources of information upon the various subjects with with the Government had to deal. He had also a considerable portion of work in the Evening Post, the Irish Government paper, with his share in the management of winch we h-tve no doubt its able and veteran proprietor was well pleased. Had he been spared to reach the natural term of human life, he would have seen his family well provided for ; now by the sadden beresvmem, they are left without a st»y. We do sincerely hope that a case like theirs will meet Lord Clarendon's gracious cous'deration. Indeed, we cannot doubt it. The widow and the children will buieiy attract the benovelent notice of him in whose seivic j the father died. Nor would the most uru'lgint; economist censure the act by which a bountiful piovuion might be made fur such suffereis ; while all who are unenlightened enough to be gent- r us, and illiberal enough to be humane, would applaud it.
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EXTRACTS. THE LATE DR. COOKE TAYLOR. [From the "Dublin University Magazine."], New Zealander, Volume 5, Issue 421, 27 April 1850
EXTRACTS. THE LATE DR. COOKE TAYLOR. [From the "Dublin University Magazine."] New Zealander, Volume 5, Issue 421, 27 April 1850
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