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. of Commons.
THoMAs BABINGtoN MAcAULAY is the son of ZAchARY MAcAULAY, principally distinguished as a philanthropist, and as the coadjutor of CLARKson in the cause of Anti-slavery. He was educated at CAMBRIDGE, and graduated with the highest honours. While at college he was a contributor to “Knight's Quarterly Magazine,” and many of his best ballads were first published in that periodical. He chose the law for his profession. In 1825 his celebrated article on Milton appeared in the “Edinburgh Review,” and excited much attention and panegyric. This was the first of a series of papers which have been continued at intervals to the present day, all displaying strong peculiarities of character, analytical acuteness, a vast range of knowledge, considerable dialectical skill, great independence and affluence of thought, and much splendour, energy, and eloquence of diction. He soon after entered political life, was elected to parliament, and became one of the sturdiest, most eloquent, and most efficient of the supporters of the Reform Bill in the House His various speeches, from 1831 to 1844, as reported in “Hansard's Parliamentary Debates,” are characterized by
nearly the same qualities of manner which distinguish his written compositions, though pervaded often by even more directness, intensity, fire, and intellectual hardihood. They are not included in the collection of his miscellaneous writings. On the triumph of his party he was sent on a lucrative commission to India. He was Secretary at War under Lord MELBourNE's administration, but, of course, shared in the defeat of the Whigs. He is said to be now engaged on an historical work, which will try the whole power and resources of his mind.
As a poet, MACAULAY displays the same vehemence and energy, the same rush of style, which have conferred such popularity on his prose. His earliest efforts in the ballad-style are probably his best, though his “Lays of Ancient Rome” are thought to exhibit more true imagination than he has shown in any of his preceding works. The sparkle and glow of his verse always take strong hold upon the sensibility and fancy, and of all writers, he is the last who could be accused of tediousness. The extracts we give will better illustrate his manner than the most laboured analysis.
From the proud mart of Pisae, Queen of the western waves, Where ride Massilia's triremes Heavy with fair-hair'd slaves;