TAILOR-BIRD, s. This bird is so called from the fact that it is in the habit of drawing together “one leaf or more, generally two leaves, on each side of the nest, and stitches them together with cotton, either woven by itself, or cotton thread picked up; and after putting the thread through the leaf, it makes a knot at the end to fix it” (Jerdon). It is Orthrotomos longicauda, Gmelin (sub-fam. Drymoicinae).

[1813.—“Equally curious in the structure of its nest, and far superior (to the baya) in the variety and elegance of its plumage, is the tailor-bird of Hindostan” (here follows a description of its nest).—Forbes, Or. Mem., 2nd ed. i. 33.]

1883.—“Clear and loud above all … sounds the to-whee, to-whee of the tailor- bird, a most plain-looking little greenish thing, but a skilful workman and a very Beaconsfield in the matter of keeping its own counsel. Aided by its industrious spouse, it will, when the monsoon comes on, spin cotton, or steal thread from the durzee, and sew together two broad leaves of the laurel in the pot on your very doorstep, and when it has warmly lined the bag. so formed it will bring up therein a large family of little tailors.”—Tribes on My Frontier, 145.

TAJ, s. Pers. taj, ‘a crown.’ The most famous and beautiful mausoleum in Asia; the Taj Mahal at Agra, erected by Shah Jahan over the burial-place of h is favourite wife Mumtaz-i-Mahal (‘Ornament of the Palace’) Banu Begam.

1663.—“I shall not stay to discourse of the Monument of Ekbar, because whatever beauty is there, is found in a far higher degree in that of Taj Mehale, which I am now going to describe to you … judge whether I had reason to say that the Mausoleum, or Tomb of Taj-Mehale, is something worthy to be admired. For my part I do not yet well know, whether I am somewhat infected still with Indianisme; but I must needs say, that I believe it ought to be reckoned amongst the Wonders of the World.…” —Bernier, E.T. 94–96; [ed. Constable, 293].

1665.—“Of all the Monuments that are to be seen at Agra, that of the Wife of Cha-Jehan is the most magnificent; she caus’d it to be set up on purpose near the Tasimacan, to which all strangers must come, that they should admire it. The Tasimacan [? Taj-i-mukam, ‘Place of the Taj’] is a great Bazar, or Market-place, comprised of six great courts, all encompass’d with Portico’s; under which there are Warehouses for Merchants.… The monument of this Begum or Sultaness, stands on the East side of the City.… I saw the beginning and compleating of this great work, that cost two and twenty years labour, and 20,000 men always at work.”—Tavernier, E.T. ii. 50; [ed. Ball, i. 109].


“But far beyond compare, the glorious Taj,
Seen from old Agra’s towering battlements,
And mirrored clear in Jumna’s silent
Sun-lighted, like a pearly diadem
Set royal on the melancholy brow
Of withered Hindostan; but, when the moon
Dims the white marble with a softer light,
Like some queened maiden, veiled in dainty lace,
And waiting for her bridegroom, stately, pale,
But yet transcendent in her loveliness.”

The Banyan Tree.

TALAING, n.p. The name by which the chief race inhabiting Pegu (or the Delta of the Irawadi) is known to the Burmese. The Talaings were long the rivals of the Burmese, alternately conquering and conquered, but the Burmese have, on the whole, so long predominated, even in the Delta, that the use of the Talaing language is now nearly extinct in Pegu proper, though it is still spoken in Martaban, and among the descendants of emigrants into Siamese territory. We have adopted the name from the Burmese to designate the race, but their own name for their people is Mon or Mun (see MONE).

Sir Arthur Phayre has regarded the name Talaing as almost undoubtedly a form of Telinga. The reasons given are plausible, and may be briefly stated in two extracts from his Essay On the History of Pegu (J. As. Soc. Beng., vol. xlii. Pt. i.): “The names given in the histories of Tha-htun and Pegu to the first Kings of those cities are Indian; but they cannot be accepted as historically true. The countries from which the Kings are said to have derived their origin … may be recognised as Karnáta, Kalinga, Venga and Vizianagaram … probably mistaken for the more famous Vijayanagar.… The word Talingána never occurs in the Peguan histories, but only the more ancient name Kalinga” (op. cit. pp. 32–33). “The early settlement of a colony or city for trade, on the coast of Rámanya by settlers from Talingána, satisfactorily accounts for the name Talaing, by which the people of Pegu are known to the Burmese and all peoples of the west. But the Peguans call themselves by a different name… Mun, Mwun, or Mon (ibid. p. 34).

Prof. Forchhammer, however,

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