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No. 1166. Fourth Series, No. 27. 6 October, 1866.
3 8 26 41
1. Lord Macaulay's Works
Saturday Review, 2. The Village on the Cliff. Part 3
Miss Thackeray, 3. The Claverings. Part 8
Anthony Trollope, 4. Triangular Frieadships
Saturday Review, 5. Hero Worship 6. Share of the Prussian Liberals in the Victory of Germany
46 7. Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity
Saturday Review, 8. President Johnson and the Philadelphia Convention Spectator,
54 9. The Awakening of the Cable : 10. The Dismissal of Drouyn de Lhuys
59 11. The Situation in America
61 12. Sketch of Napoleon II. ·
N. Y. Times,
63 POETRY: Stonewall Jackson's Way, 2. To the Members of the Loyal Southern Convention, 2. Stuart Mill Again, 24.
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From the Saturday Review.published by their author. Some, indeed, LORD MACAULAYS WORKS. *
of the essays which he did republish from
the Edinburgh were hardly worth that There is always something especially honour. Writing in periodicals had not interesting about collective editions of the become so general forty years ago as it has works of considerable men. Great works now, but every man who has occupied himlike Lord Macaulay's History, or even emi- self much in such pursuits must have writnently popular ones like his Essays, have ten many things for which his best wish a place of their own, and, so to speak, throw would be speedy oblivion. One advantage the author himself more or less into the has certainly been gained by republishing back-ground; but when we see a full col- all these essays. They show how steadily tion of all that a great man thought it their author improved till he reached the worth while to write down in the course of full maturity of his powers. We do not an industrious life, we get not only a collec- think, however, that after a comparatively tion of books, but something of a mental early period his mind continued to expand, history of the man who wrote them, and although of course he was continually acthis again is always a more or less valuable quiring a larger range of knowledge. His contribution to the intellectual history of best essays, those on Olive and Warren the time in which he lived. Oddly enough, Hastings, for instance, are as good as anyin the present collection of Lord Macaulay's thing in the History of England, and the works, his writings are arranged in what, faults of some of the essays which please us chronologically speaking, may be almost least, such as the review of Bacon, the recalled an inverted order. First comes the view of Mr. Gladstone's work on Church History, then the Essays and biographical and State, and the review of Ranke's Husarticles contributed to the Encyclopædia tory of the Popes, are faults of which both Metropolitana, then the introductory report the scheme and the execution of the Hisand supplementary notes to the Indian tory show the permanence. Penal Code, then a variety of juvenile
One of the most remarkable of all Lord contributions to Knight's Quarterly Maga- Macanlay's performances is the one which is zine, then reports of Parliamentary speeches, certainly least known to the public at large. and, lastly, a number of poems.
The We refer to his preface to, and notes upon, " Lays of Ancient Rome” occupy the place the Indian Penal Code. It justifies most of honour amongst these, and the remain- completely its author's well-known remarks der are of very various degrees of merit, on the strange ignorance and indifference the best being the well-known lines on of English people, even of those who are the Armada. The worst, we think, is the otherwise well informed, on Indian subjects. dreary production “On the Marriage of There is not to be found in the world any Tirzah and Ahirad,” two antediluvians :: piece of legislation so complete, so practical,
and so scientific, and yet there is probably The bravest he of all the sons of Seth,
none which is less known even by English Of all the house of Cain the loveliest she. lawyers who have specially studied the sub
ject. Parliament is at this moment feebly Tirzah was the she. It is a long story about attempting to redefine the crime of murder, the sons of God and the daughters of men, and in doing so is, as far as we can judge, ending with an announcement of the Del- making the existing confusion worse conuge which begins rather grotesquely: founded, and reviving obsolete fictions by
the use of awkward technical language, in Oh thou haughty land of Nod, spite of all warnings to the contrary. In Hear the sentence of thy God. vol. vii. p. 493, of Lord Macaulay's works,
there is a discussion of the principles of the It is rather to be regretted that this and law relating to offences against the body, some other early and occasional perform- and especially of offences which cause ances should have been reprinted. There death, which fairly exhausts the subject. are several election squibs, for instance, The definitions of the code founded upon which were never meant for permanence, this Report have for many years had the and a good many of the articles in Knight's force of law in India, and have answered Quarterly might as well have been left there admirably; yet our legislators treat there. They would never have been re- this fact with calm indifference, and go on
cobbling the incoherent language of Coke The Works of Lord Macaulay, Complete. and Hale, as if it were something too Edited by his Sister, Lady Trevelyan. ☆ vols. London: Longmans & Co. 1866,
sacred to be ever laid aside. We must not, however, wander into a general discussion definite illustrations intended to make its upon the subject of criminal law. Our meaning clear. Another admirable qualifipresent object is Lord Macaulay's way of cation which Lord Macaulay possessed for dealing with it. Of all the numerous sub- the task which he had to perform lay in the jects which be treated at different times, fact that, though he was a real lawyer, and we doubt whether any one suited the pecu- had a pre-eminently legal mind, he was not liar bent of his genius so well as this. He in the least degree a slave to law. He never, we believe, bad any considerable criticized it quite as freely, and with as litconnection with the practice of the profes- tle respect for the special weaknesses and sion of which he was a member. Politics failings of lawyers, as if he bad stood altoand literature effectually withdrew his atten- gether outside of the subject. He was one tion from it. Yet he had some of the quali- of that almost infinitesimally small number of ties of a lawyer, or at all events of a jurist, lawyers who take the true measure of the in an unrivalled degree. He had in perfec- value of their profession, who can appreciate tion that peculiar systematic logical way of the great amount of practical shrewdness, viewing things which is sometimes described vigour of mind, and general experience as the special gift of the Scotch, and some- which it embodies, whilst they can recogtimes as the great peculiarity of the legal nize the numerous absurdities which have mind. He could afix a special sense to a been imported into the system, and the falgiven word, and go on using it perfectly lacy of many of the theories upon which consistently in that sense, and in no other, certain parts of it are founded. The result throughout the whole of a long and elabo- of this is that Lord Macaulay’s notes upon rate inquiry. His theories on all subjects the Indian Code possess a degree of general are laid out with the precision of a mathe- interest which attaches to not more than matical figure. Moreover, he was never one or two other law books. They cannot imposed upon by a word. He knew pre- be known too widely, for they not only concisely the meaning of every expression that tain information in itself valuable and interhe ever used, and never did use one which esting in the highest degree, but they show did not raise before his mind a perfectly dis- how law might be made one of the most detinct and well-defined mental picture. To lightful and interesting of all the branches these qualities, which are indispensably of a liberal education, if its principles were necessary for a codifier, he added several properly investigated and exhibited with others which, if not indispensable, are at their leading applications in a philosophical least useful in the highest degree. His un- shape. One of the most generally interestrivalled power of illustration - a power ing of these notes to the code is the one which in some of his writings he uses to an which relates to the law of defamation. extent which makes particular passages It gives the whole theory of the law of cumbrous and ungraceful - is essentially libel, and of the cases in which truth, and the quality of a lawyer. It is, indeed, in which good faith independently of truth, nothing else than the habit of putting cases. ought to be a justification for defamatory All his writings abound with instances of statements, with a system, a completeness, the way in which he uses this gift. He de- and a power of illustration which we have duces, for instance, in one place, from the never seen equalled elsewhere. principle of passive obedience, the unex- Though in some respects they may be pected result that those who held it ought considered as the most important of all his to have fought against Charles II. at Wor- performances, Lord Macaulay's contribucester, and against James II. at the Boyne; tions to the criminal law of India will natuand he fixes upon Mr. Gladstone's princi- rally be less known than his other writings. ples about the relation between Church and The code itself, like other performances of State consequences, as to the course of duty the kind, is founded principally on Benof the English Government in India, of tham's speculations, but it is greatly superior which it is hard to say whether they are to most other works of the same kind, and more remarkable for being monstrous or for especially to the French Code Penal, in the being inevitable. This power was in valu- care with which its first principles bave been able to him in the work of codification, in so considered and decided on. This is a work far as he used it for the purpose of ascertain- to which all legislators are averse, and ing, with absolute or nearly absolute preci- which is simply impossible in a country like sion, what his real meaning was; but com- our own, where all legislation has to be petent judges have doubted whether it did passed through the two Houses of Parlianot carry him a step too far when it led him ment, and submitted to every sort of to add to each of the provisions of the code l amendment and distortion at the hands of
all sorts of people who are, for the most tory of large numbers of persons on whom part, quite ignorant of the subject. We Lord Macaulay's works have left no particuhave noticed the subject rather more fully lar impression. If it be replied that Robthan the space which it occupies in Lord ertson was a preacher, and that as such it Macaulay's works would otherwise require, was his special function to work upon the in the hopes of attracting to it some small emotions, it may be replied that the same part of the attention which it deserves. observations would apply to Mr. Thackeray.
Of Lord Macaulay's more popular works it Pendennis and Vanity Fair are far more inis needless to say anything special. They fluential books than Lord Macaulay's Hisare well known even to those who know tory, though the degree of knowledge, menlittle else. It may, however, be interesting tal power, and general ability required to to make a few observations on some of the write them was indefinitely less. This canmore prominent of their author's doctrines not be explained by the fact that Mr. upon the subjects which especially engaged Thackeray was a novelist and Lord Macauhis attention. It has been observed, with lay an historian, for the peculiar and distincmuch truth, that Lord Macaulay's writings tive features of Lord Macaulay's treatment on all subjects, and not only his writings but of history were precisely those which he also his speeches, are distinguished in almost possessed in common with novelists. What every case by a sort of abstract air. He was it then which deprived Lord Macaulay passed his whole life in writing upon of the personal influence which one would the subjects which interest people most naturally have expected a man of such deeply, and yet there is hardly to be found varied powers and resources to possess ? in any part of his writings a sign of any We should be inclined to reply that he had special emotion or any strong belief in par- fully as much influence as a man thoroughly ticular principles or institutions. He was penetrated with his principles ought to exby no means cold. On the contrary, he pect, or even to wish to exert. We will try was well known to be one of the warmest- to give some sort of sketch of those princihearted and most affectionate of men, and ples, and of their more important applicabis writings are full of patriotic and person
tions. al feeling. He was an enthusiastic English- Lord Macaulay's whole view of life repreman. He greatly admired William III.; sents, more perfectly perhaps than that of al-he cordially hated James II. ; but, not with- most any other man, what may be described. standing this, it would be difficult to name as the view of a thoroughly sensible, honourany writer of our own day of anything like able, kindly man of the world; and we are the same mental calibre who had about him disposed to think that his writings have done 80 very little of the prophet or preacher. as much to incline people to accept it, or at
To use the cant of a particular school, he all events to see its strong side, and to re-had no gospel at all for mankind, and did gard them favourably, as those of any author · not appear to feel the want of one. He of our own, or indeed of most other, times. bad authoritative, decisive views upon all This view is by no means so simple as it may kinds of subjects. He had a very decided sometimes look, and it is well deserving of opinion that, on the whole, the general ten- explicit attention. Let us look upon it first dency of things was towards improvement. on the negative, and then on the positive Yet he viewed this progress without enthu- side. If examined to the bottom, it will be siasm, and without denunciation, and with found to depend at last upon a determinaout any special emotion whatever which tion on the part of those who hold it to ac- ever made itself manifest to his readers. quiesce in things as they are, and to renounce He was infinitely less influential than a the hope of making any sudden or very score of writers whom no one would think rapid change for the better in them. The of comparing to him in point either of in- fundamental doctrine of a man of the world tellect, of learning, of power of expression, is, The thing that hath been the same also or of grasp of thought. We may take a shall be. People will not be much better or single illustration amongst hundreds. In much worse than they actually are within all the respects which we have mentioned, any short time, or under the operation of as indeed in most others, he was altogether any new or violent cause, and the recognisuperior to such a writer as Mr. Robertson tion of this is the indispensable condition of of Brighton, so superior that there is a cer- such gradual improvements as are possible, tain absurdity in adınitting the possibility and as are also sufficiently secure to make it of a comparison ; yet we greatly doubt worth the while of cautious persons to take whether the reading of Robertson's sermons the risk of trying to bring them about. This has not formed an epoch in the mental bis-habit of mind is in one way positive, since it