Prose Writings of Bayard Taylor ...

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G.P. Putnam, 1862

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Page 121 - On both sides the palm, the banyan, and the feathery bamboo mingle their foliage , the song of birds meets your ear, and the odour of roses and lemon-flowers sweetens the air. Down such a vista and over such a foreground rises the Taj.
Page 514 - There was a guard of a sargcant and six men up there on the hill, all the time he was down here a-drinkin' out of the spring with his silver mug. This was the way he walked.
Page 134 - A melancholy reflection on the vicissitudes of human greatness forced itself on his mind, and he repeated an elegant distich of Persian poetry: 'The spider has wove his web in the Imperial palace, and the owl hath sung her watch-song on the towers of Afrasiab.
Page 125 - It is not only a pure architectural type, but also a creation which satisfies the imagination, because its characteristic is Beauty. Did you ever build a Castle in the Air? Here is one, brought down to earth, and fixed for the wonder of ages; yet so light it seems, so airy, and, when seen from a distance, so like a fabric of mist and sunbeams, with its great dome soaring up, a silvery bubble, about to burst in the sun, that, even after you have touched it, and climbed to its summit, you almost doubt...
Page 338 - ... even be hinted. There are some dark shadows in human nature which we naturally shrink from penetrating, and I made no attempt to collect information of this kind ; but there was enough in the things which I could not avoid seeing and hearing, — which are brought almost daily to the notice of every foreign resident,- — to inspire me with a powerful aversion to the Chinese race. Their touch is pollution...
Page 125 - A single musical tone, uttered by the voice, floats and soars overhead, in a long, delicious undulation, fainting away so slowly that you hear it after it is silent, as you see, or seem to see, a lark you have been watching, after it is swallowed up in the Hue of heaven. I pictured to myself the effect of an Arabic or Persian lament for the lovely Noor Jehan, sung over her tomb.
Page 107 - They are precious caskets of marble, glittering all over with jasper, agate, cornelian, blood-stone and lapis-lazuli, and topped with golden domes. Balustrades of marble, wrought in open patterns of such rich design that they resemble fringes of lace when seen from below, extend along the edge of the battlements. The Jumna washes the walls, seventy feet below, and from the balconies attached to the zenana, or women's apartments, there are beautiful views of the gardenq and palm-groves on the opposite...
Page 122 - The material is of the purest white marble, little inferior to that of Carrara. It shines so dazzlingly in the sun, that you can scarcely look at it near at hand, except in the morning and evening. Every part — even the basement, the dome, and the upper galleries of the minarets — is inlaid with ornamental designs in marble of different colors, principally a pale brown, and a bluish violet variety. Great as are the dimensions of the Taj, it is as laboriously finished as one of those Chinese caskets...
Page 338 - It is my deliberate opinion that the Chinese are, morally, the most debased people on the face of the earth. Forms of vice which in other countries are barely named, are in China so common, that they excite no comment among the natives.
Page 121 - I must comply, although reluctantly, for I am aware of the difficulty of giving an intelligible picture of a building, which has no counterpart in Europe, or even in the East. The mosques and palaces of Constantinople, the domed tent of Omar at Jerusalem, and the structures of the Saracens and Memlooks at Cairo, have nothing in common with it. The remains of Moorish art in Spain approach nearest to its spirit, but are only the scattered limbs, the torso, of which the Taj is the perfect...

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