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A PROPHETIC ACCOUNT OF A GRAND NATIONAL EPIC
THE SECOND VOLUME.
MR. ROBERT MONTGOMERY'S POEMS. (Edinburgh Re-
THE materials for the biography of Lord Macaulay are scanty, and the writer of the present sketch has been able to glean few facts regarding his career which are not generally known. His life was comparatively barren in events, and though he rose to conspicuous social, literary, and political station, he had neither to struggle nor scramble for advancement. Almost as soon as his talents were displayed they were recognized and rewarded, and he attained fortune and power without using any means which required the least sacrifice, either of the integrity or the pride of his character.
THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY was born at Rothley Temple, Leicestershire, on the twenty-fifth of October, 1800. His father, Zachary Macaulay, the Bon of a Scotch Presbyterian clergyman, was one of the worthiest and ablest antislavery philanthropists and politicians of his time, distinguished, even among such men as Wilberforce, Clarkson, and Stephen, for courage, sagacity, integrity, and religious principle. His mother was the daughter of Thomas Mills, a bookseller in Bristol, and belonged to the Society of Friends. Under her loving care he received his early
education, and was not sent from home until his thir teenth year, when he was placed in a private acade my. As a boy, he astonished all who knew him, by the brightness and eagerness of his mind, and the extent and variety of his acquisitions. Two lately published letters, written by Hannah More to his father, afford a pleasing glimpse of him, as he appeared to a shrewd and affectionate observer of his early years. She speaks of his "great superiority of intellect and quickness of passion," at the age of eleven. He ought, she thinks, to have competitors, for "he is like the prince who refused to play with anything but kings." "I never," she says, "saw any one bad propensity in him; nothing except natural frailty and ambition, inseparable perhaps from such talents and so lively an imagination; he appears sincere, veracious, tender-hearted, and affectionate." He was a fertile versifier, even at that tender age, but she" observed with pleasure that though he was quite wild till the ebullitions of his muse were discharged, he thought no more of them afterwards than the ostrich is said to do of her eggs after she has laid them." In another letter, written about two years afterwards, when the bright lad was nearly fourteen, she says, "the quantity of reading Tom has poured in, and the quantity of writing he has poured out, is astonishing.' Poetry continued to be his passion, but his venerable friend still testifies to his promising habit of throwing his verses away as soon as he had read them to her. "We have poetry," she writes, "for breakfast, dinner, and supper. He recited all Palestine, while we breakfasted, to our pious friend, Mr. Whalley, at my desire, and did it incomparably." She refers to his loquacity, but that quality seems not, in her presence, to have been connected with dogmatism, for she calls him very