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poems. Although it would be a mistake to call Macaulay a great poet, the volume called The Lays of Ancient Rome enjoyed great popularity, and at least one, Horatius at the Bridge, still has admirers. Another justly popular poem is the martial Battle of Ivry, celebrating the victory of Henry of Navarre over the Holy League. His essays dealing with
willing to be estimated." In these we find great narrative skill, and power to present scenes in vivid language. His description of the scene at the trial of Warren Hastings (essay on Hastings) is one of the most real pictures in words which our language can boast. The account of London coffeehouses (History of England, chapter III) is even more striking because he is presenting not an individual one but a type.
Virtues of his Style. The virtues of Macaulay's style are not hard to discover, and they are virtues worthy of
cultivation by every one who would write effectively. Clearness, simplicity, and force are the most evident qualities. One may object to his judgments. Not every reader of Boswell, by any means, will agree that whereas other men "attain literary eminence in spite of their weaknesses, Boswell attained it by reason of his weaknesses; " but no one questions Macaulay's meaning, or his effectiveness in expressing it. One may object, as Arnold vigorously does, to the panegyric of the Essay on Milton; but no one will deny that it is set forth in a perfectly clear and exceedingly effective manner.
Macaulay's means of obtaining these qualities can be readily found by a careful reader. Simple, concrete words; illustrations from nearby objects, scenes, and incidents; use of climax, and of parallel and periodic structure in sentences; and, to crown all, a sense of organization that makes every chapter of the history, every essay, every logical subdivision a clear-cut unit these are some of the most evident means of producing the style that aroused Jeffrey's wonder and that has enabled Macaulay ever since to hold so conspicuous a place in literature.
THOMAS CARLYLE, 1795-1881
One of the characteristics of Macaulay that is not altogether pleasing is what an acquaintance called his "cocksureness about everything." From this arose a supreme satisfaction with his country, its society, and its institutions. Of the many respects in which Carlyle is opposed to Macaulay, perhaps none is more striking than his lack of satisfaction with things as he found them, and his determination to shout forth denunciation of existing evils demanding remedy.
Carlyle's Style.-Carlyle's style offers a great contrast to Macaulay's. His vocabulary, says Barry,' we learn as though a foreign language." Macaulay himself doubtless took a fling at his great rival when, in his Essay on Addison, he spoke of "the half-German jargon of the present day." An amusing characterization of this style is given in one of George Meredith's novels.2 There it is described as
"a wind-in-the-orchard style, that tumbled down here and there an appreciable fruit with uncouth bluster; sentences without commencements running to abrupt endings and smoke, like waves against a sea wall, learned dictionary words giving a hand to street slang, and accents falling on them haphazard, like slant rays from driving clouds; all the pages in a breeze; the whole book producing a kind of electrical agitation in the mind and joints."
Two Great Scotchmen.
This great writer, who became, in the words of Goethe, "a moral force of great significance," was a Scotchman, born the year before Burns's death, in the town of Ecclefechan in Dumfriesshire, some fifteen miles from Burns's last home. This association of the two writers' names is a natural, not a forced one; for Carlyle was a great lover of his fellow-countryman, and twice championed his cause at great length in an essay in the Edinburgh Review, and in The Hero as Man of Letters.
Education. Carlyle was of sturdy though humble stock; his father was a stone-mason, his mother a very religious Lowlander, who learned to write in order to write to her son Thomas. His years in the grammar school were made unhappy by bullies, who took advantage of his determination not to fight. At the age of fourteen he entered Edinburgh University; and though he attended lectures for five years,
1 Life of Newman, page 77.
2 Beauchamp's Career, chapter II.
he left without a degree. Apparently the only university study that interested him was mathematics.
For four years he engaged in teaching. It was then that he met the only intimate friend he ever had, Edward Irving, except for whom, Carlyle, "I had never known what the communion of man with man means." When his family wondered at his not choosing a vocation, he informed them that he was "a stubborn dog," and would in the end master fortune.
Jane Welsh Carlyle. In 1821 Carlyle met, and in 1826 married, Jane Welsh, "the woman intellectually most suited to him in all Scotland," says one biographer. Spiritually they were not so well suited both were too strong. He, pressed constantly by the need for expression, gave too little attention to the needs of his wife; and
after her death he discovered in her journal that she had felt herself neglected, but had suffered in silence.
In ten years from
66 The Voice of Scotland Speaks. 1818, the year of his removal to Edinburgh, Carlyle translated Goethe's Wilhelm Meister and specimens of many other
German writers, and did much hack-work for various publishers. In 1828 came the Essay on Burns, nominally a review of Lockhart's life of Burns, which Carlyle char acterized as " trivial enough." Here spoke "the very voice of Scotland," trying, it said, " to estimate what Burns really was and did for his country and the world."
CARLYLE'S LONDON HOME.
In Chelsea, famous as the resort of many literary men.
same year, driven by financial stress, the
Carlyles moved from Edinburgh to a small estate in Dumfriesshire which belonged to Mrs. Carlyle. After six years here, the dreariest spot in all the British dominions," they made their last change of home, taking up their residence at Cheyne Row, Chelsea, London. In 1836 Sartor Resartus,
Carlyle's monumental attack on the shams of the day, was published; in 1837, The French Revolution; in 1839, Chartism, a book demanding substitution of aristocracy for the existing government. During these years he gave several successful series of lectures on German literature, and a series which was published in 1841 with