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ESSAYS OF MACAULAY
WILLIAM PITT, EARL OF CHATHAM; THE
TYPOGRAPHY BY J. S. Cushing & Co., Boston.
The publication, for students' use, of four of Macaulay's greatest historical essays certainly needs no apology or explanation. Of these essays, no less than of the literary ones, the subjects are important and the style profoundly interesting. Macaulay continues to be read in spite of acknowledged bias as a historian, and in spite of the assertion of now and then a rhetorician that the charm of his language depends on meretricious qualities. He will continue to be read by students of English quite as much as by students of history. Wherever style is studied, it will be necessary to inquire whence Macaulay derives his power to fascinate. His writings are rhetoric in the concrete. One may study clearness and force in the text-books to any extent, and yet be forced to investigate Macaulay to learn what these qualities of style really are and how great is their value.
Macaulay was a politician with intense convictions. With the century and a half of English politics preceding his own time he was probably better acquainted than any of his contemporaries. The Whig party of his day, to which he belonged, and the Tory party,
1 Select Essays of Macaulay (Milton, Bunyan, Johnson, Goldsmith, Madame D'Arblay), edited by Samuel Thurber. Allyn & Bacon.