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tions, the distinguished philanthropist William Wilberforce, who did more than any other man to secure the abolition of the slave trade.

Macaulay's mother, to whom he perhaps owed more than to his father, was, according to Mr. Morrison, "a woman of warm-hearted and affectionate temper, yet clearheaded and firm withal, and with a good eye for the influences which go to the formation of character.” When,

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for instance, her son, who liked to read at home better than to study at school, declared the weather to be too bad. to "go to school to-day," his mother would say: "No, Tom; if it rains cats and dogs you shall go." When he brought to her as he often did-childish compositions in prose and verse that were, as Mrs. Hannah More said, 'quite extraordinary for such a baby," she refrained from expressions of surprise which might have made him vain, and appeared to take as a matter of course his remarkable performances, which secretly astonished and delighted her. Yet, when he fell ill, she nursed him with a loving tenderness that he remembered all his life. Nothing indicates Mrs. Macaulay's influence over her son better than a letter which she wrote to him when he was a boy at school:

CLAPHAM, May 28, 1813.

My dear Tom: I am very happy to hear that you have so far advanced in your different prize exercises, and with such little fatigue. I know you write with great ease to yourself, and would rather write ten poems than prune one; but remember that excellence is not attained at first. All your pieces are much mended after a little reflection, and therefore take some solitary walks, and think over each separate thing. Spare no time or trouble to render each piece as perfect as you can, and then leave the event without one anxious thought. I have always admired a saying of one of the old heathen philosophers. When a friend was condoling with him that he so well deserved of the gods, and yet that they did not shower their favors on

him, as on some others less worthy, he answered, "I will, however, continue to deserve well of them." So do you, my dearest. Do your best, because it is the will of God you should improve every faculty to the utmost now, and strengthen the powers of your mind by exercise, and then in future you will be better enabled to glorify God with all your powers and talents, be they of a more humble or higher order, and you shall not fail to be received into everlasting habitations, with the applauding voice of your Saviour, Well done, good and faithful servant." You

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see how ambitious your mother is. She must have the wisdom of her son acknowledged before angels and an assembled world. My wishes can soar no higher, and they can be content with nothing less for any of my children. The first time I saw your face, I repeated those beautiful lines of Watts's cradle hymn:

Mayst thou live to know and fear Him,
Trust and love Him all thy days,
Then go and dwell forever near Him,
See His face, and sing His praise;

and this is the substance of all my prayers for you. In less than a month you and I shall, I trust, be rambling over the Common, which now looks quite beautiful.

I am ever, my dear Tom, your affectionate mother, SELINA MACAULAY. •

Under the care of these plain-living, high-thinking parents, Macaulay passed a happy childhood. From the time that he was three years old, he gave proof of a remarkable literary faculty. He read incessantly, for the most part lying on the rug before the fire, with his book on the floor, and a piece of bread and butter in his hand. He did not care for toys, but was very fond of taking his walk, when he would hold forth to his companion, whether nurse or mother, telling interminable stories out of his head, or repeating what he had been reading. Before he was eight years old he wrote for his own amusement a " Compendium of Universal History," which filled about a quire of paper

and gave a tolerably connected view of leading events from the Creation to 1800. Among his many other literary ventures at this time was a poem in the style of Sir Walter Scott, which was suggested by his delight in reading the "Lay of the Last Minstrel" and "Marmion." This stanza is a specimen of the style of the eight-year-old poet:

"Day set on Cambria's hills supreme,

And, Menai, on thy silver stream.
The star of day had reached the west.
Now in the main it sunk to rest.
Shone great Eleindyn's castle tall:
Shone every battery, every hall:
Shone all fair Mona's verdant plain;

But chiefly shone the foaming main."

These productions of Macaulay's childhood-histories, epic poems, hymns-though correct in spelling, grammar, and punctuation, were dashed off at headlong speed.

At the age of twelve the precocious boy was sent to an excellent small school at Shelford, near Cambridge, where he was painfully homesick, but where, in an atmosphere pervaded with the influence of the neighboring university, he laid the foundations of his scholarship. No schoolboy should omit to read Macaulay's letters home during this period; for nowhere else are some of the characteristics of this remarkable man so clearly seen as in the letters and exercises of his school and college days. In athletic games he was not expert; his life was absorbed in books, though not always in schoolbooks. His favorite reading throughout life was poetry and prose fiction, and at school he often indulged this excessive fondness for pleasant reading to the neglect of more bracing studies. He especially disliked mathematics and the exact sciences, writing to his mother: "Oh for words to express my abomination of

him, as on some others less worthy, he answered, “I will, however, continue to deserve well of them." So do you, my dearest. Do your best, because it is the will of God you should improve every faculty to the utmost now, and strengthen the powers of your mind by exercise, and then in future you will be better enabled to glorify God with all your powers and talents, be they of a more humble or higher order, and you shall not fail to be received into everlasting habitations, with the applauding voice of your Saviour, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

You

see how ambitious your mother is. She must have the wisdom of her son acknowledged before angels and an assembled world. My wishes can soar no higher, and they can be content with nothing less for any of my children. The first time I saw your face, I repeated those beautiful lines of Watts's cradle hymn:

Mayst thou live to know and fear Him,
Trust and love Him all thy days,
Then go and dwell forever near Him,

See His face, and sing His praise;

and this is the substance of all my prayers for you. In less than a month you and I shall, I trust, be rambling over the Common, which now looks quite beautiful.

I am ever, my dear Tom, your affectionate mother, SELINA MACAULAY.

Under the care of these plain-living, high-thinking parents, Macaulay passed a happy childhood. From the time that he was three years old, he gave proof of a remarkable literary faculty. He read incessantly, for the most part lying on the rug before the fire, with his book on the floor, and a piece of bread and butter in his hand. He did not care for toys, but was very fond of taking his walk, when he would hold forth to his companion, whether nurse or mother, telling interminable stories out of his head, or repeating what he had been reading. Before he was eight years old he wrote for his own amusement a Compendium of Universal History," which filled about a quire of paper

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once during the four hours." journals of some who heard him.

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But it was not only "trash" that Macaulay remembered, for he seems to have remembered nearly everything he read, often getting by heart long passages that pleased him merely from his delight in reading them over. When a child he once accompanied his father on an afternoon call, and found on the table a copy of Scott's "Lay of the Last Minstrel," which he had not seen before. He kept himself quiet with his prize while the elders were talking, and when he returned home, sitting down on his mother's bed, he repeated to her canto after canto. When he was fifty-seven years old he learned by heart in two hours the fourth act of the "Merchant of Venice," except a hundred and fifty lines, which he already knew. He once said that if all copies of "Paradise Lost" and "The Pilgrim's Progress" should be destroyed, he could reproduce them from memory. This extraordinary memory remained with Macaulay to the last, and is the wonder and despair of his readers. It is the more remarkable because he read very rapidly. "He read books faster than other people. skimmed them, and skimmed them as fast as any one else could turn the leaves." And he read omnivorously. Except when he was talking, writing, or engaged in public business, he hardly passed a waking hour without a book before him. Speaking of a journey from England to Ireland, he says, As I could not read, I used an excellent substitute for reading. I went through Paradise Lost,' in my head." Latin, Greek, French, Italian, Spanish, English -it was all one. The following is a list of the books he went through in the original language while on a voyage to India at the age of thirty-four: Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey;" Virgil's "Æneid," "Eclogues," and "Georgics;" Horace's poems; Cæsar's "Commentaries;" Bacon's "De Augmentis;" the works of Dante, Petrarch, Ariosto,

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These are extracts from the

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