Critical Miscellanies, Vol. I

Critical Miscellanies, Vol. I
Essay 4: Macaulay

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Critical Miscellanies, Vol. I by John Morley

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1904

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Critical Miscellanies, Vol. I
Essay 4: Macaulay

By

0
(0 Reviews)

Book Excerpt

t in all objective particulars. He is seized by the external and the superficial, and revels in every detail that appeals to the five senses. 'The brilliant Macaulay,' said Emerson, with slight exaggeration, 'who expresses the tone of the English governing classes of the day, explicitly teaches that good means good to eat, good to wear, material commodity.' So ready a faculty of exultation in the exceeding great glories of taste and touch, of loud sound and glittering spectacle, is a gift of the utmost service to the narrator who craves immense audiences. Let it be said that if Macaulay exults in the details that go to our five senses, his sensuousness is always clean, manly, and fit for honest daylight and the summer sun. There is none of that curious odour of autumnal decay that clings to the passion of a more modern school for colour and flavour and the enumerated treasures of subtle indulgence.

Mere picturesqueness, however, is a minor qualification compared with another quality which ever

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