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The following volumes contain the miscellaneous writings of Thomas Babington Macaulay, consisting of various essays which have appeared in the English Reviews, principally the Edinburgh, since the year 1825, printed from a list corrected by himself. His articles have been universally admired, both in England and America, for their vivid eloquence, extensive learning, and splendor of illustration; and the publishers have had reason to believe, that a collected edition of them would be received with favor by the American public. It has been their aim to present them in a form worthy of the high merit of their contents.
Mr. Macaulay has not been exclusively occupied with the literary productions, which have given him so brilliant a reputation. He has been hardly less distinguished in public life. He came into Parliament shortly before the debates upon the Reform
Bill, and his speeches, especially upon that question, were highly eloquent, vigorous, and effective. He resided for some time in India in a lucrative and responsible official capacity. He returned to England about three years since, and is now Member of Parliament for Edinburgh, and is also Secretary at War, which gives him a seat in the cabinet. He is in the prime of life, and we may indulge the hope that the literature of his language may be enriched by further contributions from his pen. Living in another hemisphere, we should regret to see his great powers of varied attainments wholly absorbed in politics, — in employments which many others, probably, can discharge as well, and which occupy his time and thoughts to the exclusion of those literary pursuits, in some departments of which no one can dispute the palm with him.
Boston, May, 1840.