Page images





[blocks in formation]

The required books of the C. L. S. C. are recommended by a Council
of six.

It must, however, be understood that recommendation does not
involve an approval by the Council, or by any member of it, of every
principle or doctrine contained in the book recommended.





In the following essay, we are brought face to face with two remarkable and illustrious men, the one as Subject, the other as Biographer, - men who have added to the power and renown of England, the one in the realm of finance and of colonial government, the other in the broader and more enduring realm of literature ; men of rarest ability, worthy of comparison with each other as to degree of natural endowment, and, in the comparison, each reflecting honor upon the other ; both singularly versatile, and yet differing widely in intellectual tendency, and more widely in moral tone.

WARREN HASTINGS, the first Governor-General of India, was born in 1732, and died in 1818. THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY, " the historian, the critic, the poet, the philosopher," whose powerful pen has in this essay produced and preserved


for the ages a graphic picture of the times, circumstances, and character of Hastings, was born in 1800, five years after the judicial acquittal, and eighteen years before the death, of the great Governor-General. In January, 1841, Macaulay wrote to Lord Napier, “I think Hastings, though far from faultless, one of the greatest men that England ever produced. He had pre-eminent talents for government, and great literary talents too; fine taste, a princely spirit, and heroic equanimity in the midst of adversity and danger.” While we read this tribute from Lord Macaulay to Warren Hastings, let us at the very beginning, that we may have a '. glimpse of the colossal proportions of the men before us, recall the tribute paid by the late and lamented American scholar and critic, E. P. Whipple, to the literary ability of Macaulay, and by Sidney Smith to his moral purity. 6. Behind the external show and glittering vesture of his thoughts," says Whipple, “ beneath all his pomp of diction, aptness of illustration, splendor of imagery, and epigrammatic point and glare, a careful eye can easily discern the movement of a powerful and cultivated intellect, as it successively appears in the well-trained logician, the discriminating critic, the comprehensive thinker, the practical, far-sighted statesman, and the student of universal knowledge. Perhaps

the extent of Macaulay's range over the field of literature and science, and the boldness of his generalizations, are the most striking qualities he displays. The amount of his knowledge surprises even bookworms, memory-mongers, and other literary cormorants. It comprises all literatures, and all departments of learning and literature." Sidney Smith says, “ I believe Macaulay to be incorruptible. You might lay ribbons, stars, garters, wealth, title, before him in vain. He has an honest, genuine love of his country; and the world could not bribe him to neglect her interests.”

THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY, the author of this essay, was born Oct. 25, 1800, at Rothley Temple, in Leicestershire. His grandfather, John Macaulay, was a Scotch Presbyterian minister at Cardross ; his father, Zachary Macaulay, first a slave-overseer in Jamaica, and later, in Sierra Leone, a brave opponent of slavery, and the governor of a company designed to develop free labor ; his mother, a Quakeress, from Bristol, Selena Mills, a pupil and friend of Hannah More, firm, wise, true, and tender.

Thomas B. was a precocious child, saying and writing wonderful things before he was five years of age. He entered Trinity Hall, Cambridge, when eighteen years of age ; attracted attention by his brilliancy; won medals, scholarships, and other

« PreviousContinue »