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These notes have two purposes. The first is to illustrate Rhetorical Principles, by calling attention to Figures of Speech, to the laws of the Order of Words, of Sentence and Paragraph Structure, as well as to Expository Method generally. The second is to point out and emphasise Macaulay's characteristics in style and in thought. Throughout there is of course considerable repetition, but to the average pupil that, so far from being a drawback, is an advantage, if not a necessity.
Line 1. We are inclined. This, the opening paragraph, is purely
introductory, its purpose being to explain Macaulay's attitude towards the subject of his essay. As ruling the whole, it comes appropriately at the beginning; like a finger-post, it puts us on the rig
track at starting. The first sentence is a well-rounded period, and in accordance with paragraph law intimates the subject of the paragraph. The important point is “our own view,” which might come by a rearrangement with more force at the end of the sentencesif, instead of examining the character of Hastings as por
trayed in this book, we attempt to give a view of our own". Line 5. Our feeling. A favourite device of Macaulay. He selects
two extreme situations, places them side by side in contrast, and decides for a middle course. Mark the cor
correspondence in the placing of the contrasted dates, and also the concrete touch in “uncovered”. “ House of Commons” is a figure of
contiguity, metonymy, container for thing contained. Line 9. He had. The next two sentences should be thrown together
by a semicolon. It is our author's habit after a longish
Line 2. We believe that. Already Macaulay shows his liking
for repeating words. “ Sufficient” is repeated; so “House
be made more complete thus—“his fame bore many dark
spots”. Line 11. Paint me. One of Macaulay's apt illustrations, introduced
with his usual abruptness. Its effect is to excite interest and
give intelligibility. Line 15. The great Protector. A variation in language-smooth,
blooming cheeks, etc., concrete and pictorial.
strengthen the close of the paragraph. The arrangement is
We now see Macaulay's position, and it is characteristic.
Line 6. Hastings sprang. A short paragraph clearing up the
ancestry of Hastings, which is sufficiently indicated in the first sentence. The most notable feature is the number of figures of speech—sails, terror, coasts, line, branch, coronet, white rose; a peculiarity maintained in the next paragraphheads, stock, shoots, seat, etc. All these cases mark Macaulay at the very outset as a concrete and simple writer.
Line 3. The lords. Another paragraph, still on Hastings' family,
but this time nearer the subject in hand. It brings us to the
selling of the family seat. Line 19. Before this transfer. A good phrase of explicit reference,
marking a clear connexion with the last paragraph. The second son brings us to Hastings' grandfather, and before the paragraph ends we reach Hastings himself, so that little time is spent over preliminaries. Macaulay cannot bear to be tedious, and delays us only by a general introduction and three short paragraphs on our hero's pedigree. These might have been combined into one, but the number of facts that have to be given probably prompted our author to break it up as an aid
to simplicity, and the gain is apparent. Line 24. Deplorable. A strong word in an emphatic place at the
close of a sentence.
Line 5. Destined to strange, etc. A glimpse of the future, after
Macaulay's manner, to excite our interest and curiosity. Line 7. Warren was born, etc. The two first sentences are
subordinate as being repetitions of facts given in the previous paragraph. This is a habit of our author. The paragraph really begins at the child. Note the variations in language