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A COMPLETE COURSE IN THE STUDY OF ENGLISH.
Spelling, Language, Grammar, Composition, Literature.
REED'S WORD LESSONS-A COMPLETE SPELLER.
KELLOGG'S TEXT-BOOK ON ENGLISH LITERATURE,
In the preparation of this series the authors have had one object clearly in view-to so develop the study of the English language as to present a complete, progressive course, from the Spelling.Book to the study of English Literature. The troublesome contradictions which arise in using books arranged by different authors on these subjects, and which require much time for explanation in the school: room, will be avoided by the use of the above “Complete Course." Teachers are earnestly invited to examine these books. EFFINGHAM MAYNARD & Co., PUBLISHERS,
771 Broadway, New York.
LIFE OF MACAULAY.
THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY, the great historian of England, was born at Rothley, near Leicester, in 1800, and was named Thomas Babington after his uncle. Macaulay's grandfather was a Scotch minister, and his father, Zachary, after having spent some time in Jamaica, returned to England, and joined Wilberforce and Clarkson in their efforts to abolish slavery in the British possessions. Macaulay was educated at Bristol and at Cambridge, where hegained great distinction, and twice won medals for his poems. He was also a member of the Union Debating Society, a famous club where young politicians tried their skill in the discussion of the affairs of State. He took his degree of M.A. in 1825, was called to the bar in 1826, and contributed extensively to Knight's Quarterly Magazine, in which his first literary efforts appeared, including among others the ballads of “The Spanish Armada” and “ The Battle of Ivry." In 1825 he contributed to the Edinburgh Review his celebrated article on Milton, and this was succeeded by numerous others on various themes, historical, political, and literary, which were afterward collected and published separately.
Macaulay was a member of Parliament first for Colne, then for Leeds, and took part in the great discussions connected with the Reform Bill of 1832. In return for his services to his party, he was sent to India in 1834 as a member of the Council, and while there wrote his fanious essays on Lord Clive and Warren Hastings. In 1839 Macaulay returned to England, was elected member for Edinburgh, and, during the eight years of his connection with that city, held successively the offices of Secretary at War and Paymaster-General of the Forces. In 1842 he gave to the world his spirited" Lays of Ancient Rome.” In 1847 he displeased his Edinburgh supporters, and in a pet they rejected him; but in 1852 they re-elected him of their own accord, and in this way endeavored to atone for the past. He devoted the interval between these two dates to his History of England, the first two volumes of which were published in 1848, two others making their appearance in 1855. They form a magpificent fragment of historical writing, embracing a period of little more than twelve years, from the accession of James II. to the Peace of Ryswick, in 1697. A fifth volume, compiled from the papers which he left
behind, and bringing the work down to the death of William III., vas szublished posthumously in? 4859. He retired from Parliament in 1890, dwing: 18 fafling healthia and in the following year he was created a baron in consideration of his great literary merit. In 1859 he died suddenly of disease of the heart, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Lord Macaulay excelled as a poet and essayist., but he is chiefly illustrious as a historian. In the opening chapter of his History of England the author announces his intention to write a liistory from the accession of James II. down to a time within the memory of men still living. Its success was very great. History was no longer dry and uninviting, for Macaulay had become a painter as well as a chronicler. The events of the past are depicted in such fresh and striking coloring that they have all the interest of absolute novelty. We have life-like portraits of the great men of the age, landscapes and street scenes, spirit-stirring descriptions of insurrections and trials and sieges, and graphic pictures of manners and customs. Macaulay had a very wonderful memory, of which he was proud, and he was able to collect and retain stores of information from all manner of old books, papers, and parchments, and to make use of them in the production of his history. He is not always impartial, but sufficiently so to be considered the best authority ou that portion of history with which he deals.
Macaulay's personal appearance was never better described than in two sentences of Praed's Introduction to Knight's Quarterly Magazine: “There comes up a short manly figure, marvelously upright, wiih a bad neckcloth, and one hand in his waistcoat pocket. Of regular beauty he had little to boast; but in faces where there is an expression of great power, or great good humor, or both, you do not regret its absence.” This picture, in which every touch is correct, tells us all that there is to be told. Ile had a massive head, and features of a powerful and rugged cast; but so constantly lighten up by every joyful and ennobling emotion, that it mattered little if, when absolutely quiescent, his face was rather homely than handsome. While conversing at table, no one thought him otherwise than good-looking; but when he rose he was seen to be short and stout in figure. He at all times sat and stood straight, full, and square. He dressed badly, but not cheaply. His clothes, though ill put on, were good, and his wardrobe was always enormously over-stocked. Macaulay was bored in the best of society, but took unceasing delight in children. He was the best of playfellows unrivaled in the invention of games, and never weary of repeating them,
That what is called the history of the Kings and early Consuls of Rome is to a great extent fabulous, few scholars have, since the time of Beaufort, ventured to deny. It is certain that, more than three hundred and sixty years after the date ordinarily assigned for the foundation of the city, the public records were, with scarcely an exception, destroyed by the Gauls. It is certain that the oldest annals of the commonwealth were compiled more than a century and a half after this destruction of the records. It is certain, therefore, that the great Latin writers of the Augustan age did not possess those materials, without which a trustworthy account of the infancy of the republic could not possibly be framed. Those writers own, indeed, that the chronicles to which they had access were filled with battles that were never fought, and Consuls that were never inaugurated ; and we have abundant proof that, in these chronicles, events of the greatest importance, such as the issue of the war with Porsena, and the issue of the war with Brennus, were grossly misrepresented. Under these circumstances a wise man will look with great suspicion on the legend which has come down to us. He will perhaps be inclined to regard the princes who are said to have founded the civil and religious institutions of Rome, the son of Mars, and the husband of Egeria, as mere mythological personages, of the same class with Perseus and Ixion. As he draws nearer and nearer to the confines of authentic history, he will become less and less hard of belief. He will admit that the most important parts of the narrative have some foundation in truth. But he will distrust almost all the details, not only because they seldom rest on any solid evidence, but also because he will constantly detect in them, even when they are within the limits of physical possibility, that peculiar character more easily understood than defined, which distinguishes the creations of the imagination from the realities of the world in which we live. The early history of Rome is indeed far more poetical than