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spent to a regular company. The step taken to frustrate these designs, it must be said, somewhat impairs the high character of the motives which directed their conduct, for we find them setting up a rival company, and actually proceeding to build two splendid gaming houses, which still stand, viz., the "Wauxhall" and the "Salle Levoz." The struggle now became embittered, and the inhabitants were in revolt against their Prince Bishop, who maintained the privilege he had granted to the company.

Spa still remains pastoral enough, but is sadly changed. The mania for keeping abreast with the times has seized hold upon the people, and a prodigal wastefulness has crippled the little town. Large sums of money have been borrowed: magnificent baths, pump-rooms &c., have been erected-which the citizens have to pay for. Everyone groans under a load of taxation. We missed particularly the quaint pump-room, the first thing that used to greet us as we clattered into the town. The old church, too, with its bulbous belfry and "wobbly" roof, is gone, supplanted by an enormous new structure, that in fifty years or so may look picturesque enough. The old-fashioned rural alleys are cut up and actually fenced off, with gates where payment is demanded for admission! We recall the single ponderous yellow omnibus which used to lumber and clatter over the stones, calling at the hotels and collecting the guests for the railway. Now there is a range of a score or so. Still, with all these improvements, it remains a charming and attractive place, which will repay the short journey necessary to reach it.




HE publication some years ago of the long-expected biography of Macaulay, with copious extracts from his letters and private papers, threw much additional light on the life and character of one of the most brilliant statesmen and writers of his time-one whose historical researches are not held in greater appreciation than they deserve. It is surprising, but may in part be accounted for by the natural reluctance of relatives and friends to allow private papers to be published, that although Macaulay's life was so active and eventful, and abundant material existed for the purpose, no really exhaustive biography appeared until the one by Sir George Trevelyan. It was high time for Macaulay's nephew to bestir himself, as it was generally felt that, well and carefully done, few biographies would be more interesting; Macaulay's life, unlike that of most literary men, having been passed in the most brilliant circles of his day, a faithful narrative would throw light on his career, and introduce readers to the leading men of his time and country, with most of whom he was on friendly terms, exercising over many of thein great influence. Macaulay does not often seem to have kept the letters he received from private correspondents, so that in one important respect his biography is less interesting than it might be ; it would have gained greatly had the correspondence been more complete. This biography fully came up to what was expected. Not long ago a charming bijou edition of his works and letters was published at a price so moderate as to place it within reach of all but the poorest, and a fifth volume gives the biography to which I have drawn attention.

His family was of Scotch origin, and through life, in everything he took in hand, he displayed the proverbial keenness and indomitable perseverance of his countrymen. He always spoke of the Scotch. with admiration, and claimed for them qualities of which they have no reason to be ashamed. Only one of his ancestors achieved marked distinction; this was his father, Zachary Macaulay, honourably remembered for his energetic and conscientious anti-slavery crusade. Zachary Macaulay married the sister of Thomas Babington, of

Rothley Temple, Leicestershire, a wealthy merchant and member of Parliament, at whose house, in the first year of the century, the illustrious historian was born.

Traditions of the genius and tenacious memory of children who become conspicuous in later life for learning and ability must generally, unless shown by incontrovertible evidence to be authentic, and not the outcome of subsequent admiration, be dismissed as apocryphal. Making allowance for the natural exaggeration that would almost necessarily cling to the traditions and reports of Macaulay's childish exploits, there is reason to believe that he was a remarkable boy; and this without accepting everything that the partiality of relatives has handed down. He had a tenacious and accurate memory, trained and strengthened by long practice, and though a good memory is only a part of what is needed to constitute great abilities, it is a large part. His old friend Hannah More, who had every opportunity of judging, considered him studious, keen-witted, and clear-headed in a preeminent degree. Her testimony cannot be impugned.

Macaulay's attainments were generally appreciated by his contemporaries, and in later life he had no reason to complain that full justice was not done him. Even Mr. Greville writes of him: "Nothing is so wonderful as the universal knowledge of Macaulay. Lord Lansdowne asked him if it were likely that Sir Joshua had painted the Earl of Bath, because a portrait of him had been proposed to Lord L. Macaulay immediately said, 'Why not? He died in a certain month, of a certain year (both of which he named), and the only reason against its being Sir Joshua is that Lord Bath was very stingy, and perhaps would not have paid a high price for his portrait even to Reynolds. But then again,' said Macaulay, 'Sir Joshua's early portraits were not very highly paid.' It was a question of Shakespeare's religion. Someone said he was probably a Protestant, and quoted the famous lines of 'King John' as a proof. Macaulay said the lines of the Ghost in Hamlet relating to purgatory might be adduced in favour of a contrary assumption, and that Shakespeare never spoke of monks and other Catholic institutions but with respect; probably, he said, he was like many other men of that time, against the supremacy of the Pope, and that his religion floated between Catholicism and Protestantism."

The leading part which Macaulay's father was taking in the stirring questions of the day was invaluable to the young student, and must have assisted him in later life. He met at his father's, at Clapham, many able public men, nearly all uncompromising advocates of slave emancipation. The atmosphere was congenial and elevating, and

accustomed him to the discussion and contemplation of public matters, to say nothing of the influence for good which the companionship in early life of master minds must have over a quickwitted lad. Perhaps some of the evidences of conspicuous ability which Macaulay is credited with giving were the result of circumstances; had his father been a humble Nonconformist minister in an obscure country town, he would have produced no History of England, no Critical Essays, and never have got into Parliament. To achieve success in life commanding abilities are undoubtedly necessary, but leisure for culture and favourable opportunities for coming before the world, especially in early life, are as important. Macaulay, though the contrary has sometimes been maintained, enjoyed signal opportunities, which he did not neglect, for culture and for compelling public attention.

At eighteen the future historian was entered at Trinity College, Cambridge; and, although his relatives were disappointed by his devotion to general reading, of which his biographer gives curious and almost incredible instances, such as his passion for street ballads and devouring trashy novels; and, while they disapproved of his liberal, and, as they called them, latitudinarian views, he gave promise during his undergraduate career of that distinction which his after life fully realised. One of these street ballads, from its singular excellence, deserves reproduction. Macaulay was much pleased with it-it runs thus:

Although it is wrong, I must frankly confess,
To judge of the merits of folks by their dress,

I cannot but think that an ill-looking hat
Is a very bad sign of a man for all that:
Especially now, when James Johnson is willing
To touch up our old ones in style for a shilling,
And gives them a gloss of so silky a hue

As makes them look newer than when they were new.

In 1819 he obtained the Chancellor's gold medal for a poem on "Pompeii," and two years later was the author of a second prize poem. The subject of this was "Evening." We have his authority for believing that he did not think much of these honours, and subsequently he levelled his finest sarcasms at such compositions, and doubted the value of prize poem competitions. He soon afterwards obtained a less equivocal success in the Craven Scholarship; and this was followed at twenty-four by the crowning distinction of a Fellowship at Trinity. Next year (1825) he proceeded to his Master's degree.

It is curious, although detracting from his fairness, that in one

or two essays, more particularly in the one on Bacon, he showed an almost blind infatuation for his Alma Mater, which he persistently and rather ungraciously exalted at the expense of her rival, the University of Oxford. This might partly account for the dislike with which, to this day, his works are often regarded by Oxford men, and for the charges of claptrap brought against him. Towards Oxford he had an apparently invincible hostility; his disparaging comparisons may not be entirely false, but some of them will not be received without a strong protest. He contended that Cambridge far surpassed her older and more aristocratic sister. Now, although the latter may display a somewhat blinder adherence to ancient traditions, and may foster keener hostility to freedom of thought, no steps are taken to restrict admission to the members of any school of thought-her doors are open to all who like to enter. Since Macaulay's diatribes against Oxford were first published, she has produced such unfettered thinkers as Frederick Temple, Professor Jowett, Mark Pattison, John Ruskin, Matthew Arnold, and Professor J. E. Thorold Rogers-men not cramped by the fear of disturbing the time-honoured creeds of this or of any other age, and who, whatever may be thought of their orthodoxy and fairness, have kept well abreast of Seeley, Colenso, Farrar, and other Cambridge men. Some of his observations show an unfair partiality for Cambridge, and actual bad taste. With conscious superiority he reminds his readers that it was his Alma Mater that gave the world those glorious champions of truth whom Oxford with ruthless hand consigned to an ignominious death. He bids us remember that Bacon and his father, and many of our foremost statesmen, learnt on the banks of the Cam those principles of truth and liberty with which, in after life, they vigorously combated the darkness and apathy, the intolerance and conservatism, of Oxford. Even in the distant days of Walsingham and the Cecils the rival universities were already, according to our author, distinguished by those differences which now so widely separate them. Let the scholars trained in the splendid Colleges and ancient Halls of Oxford be comforted by reflecting that so liberal and advanced a thinker as Macaulay would not have hesitated to admit that many of the brilliant scholars and authors, who claim one or other of these ancient seats of learning as their Alma Mater, have shown such energy, freshness of purpose, and devotion to religious and intellectual freedom, that they are united in one common brotherhood, whether they come from Trinity College or Christ Church, Balliol or Sidney Sussex. It is to be regretted that an author, claiming and generally deserving to be considered severely impartial, and conspicuous

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