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General lib.

11-8-43

PREFACE

To Macaulay's “Life of Johnson " has been added, in this edition, for the sake of further information, all of Macaulay's interesting essay on Croker's edition of Boswell's “ Johnson” that is not controversial in character, and for this also the editor has prepared brief explanatory notes. It should be borne clearly in mind, however, that it is the “Life” and not the “Essay " that is prescribed among the books for study in the uniform requirements for 1897. For the Critical Note and the Examination Questions the general editor of the series is responsible.

It may be well here to suggest to teachers not familiar with the uniform requirements, that the preparatory course can not be satisfactorily completed in less than three years of study, at the rate of three recitations a week. Of that time, a full third of a school year should be devoted to the “ Life of Johnson " and the literature to which it is designed to serve as an introduction.

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INTRODUCTION

I. MACAULAY'S LIFE AND WORKS. 1

THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY, the most popular English essayist of the nineteenth century, and also a distinguished orator, statesman, and historian, was born in Leicestershire, England, October 25, 1800; the years of his life therefore coincide with those of the century. He was descended on his father's side from Scotch Presbyterians; on his mother's side, from a Quaker family; and to his earnest and accomplished parents he owed many admirable traits of character. His father, a silent, austere, pious man, was a leader in the Society for the Abolition of Slavery; edited the newspaper of the Abolitionist Society; and numbered among his intimate friends, who often met round his table and discussed in the presence of his children the right and wrong of great political ques

The Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay, by his nephew, G. Otto Trevelyan, is one of the best biographies ever written; and all who can should make their acquaintance with Macaulay's career from the pages of that fascinating work. Unlike some standard books, it is interesting and inspiring to young readers as well as to old, and it should be put within reach of all students of Macaulay's writings. The best short life of Macaulay is that by J. Cotter Morrison in the English Men of Letters Series. Mr. Morrison's book, which costs little, contains only six chapters, of which three are biographical and three critical; the biographical chapters can be read by themselves in two or three hours. Those who cannot read the charming Life and Letters should by all means read Mr. Morrison's little book. The sketch of Macaulay's life here given is only for those who cannot do even that.

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