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LIFE AND LETTERS
BY HIS NEPHEW
THE RIGHT HON.
SIR GEORGE OTTO TREVELYAN, BART.
ENLARGED AND COMPLETE EDITION (1908)
IN TWO VOLUMES-VOL. I.
LONGMANS, GREEN AND CO.
NEW YORK, TORONTO
First printed, 2 vols. 8vo., February 1876. Reprinted November 1876, February 1877.
Cabinet EDITION, 2 vols. post 8vo., December 1877, January 1878, January 1830, August 1883, January 1895, December 1902.
STUDENT'S EDITION, I vol. crown 8vo., August 1881, August 1883, October 1884, July 1886, March 1888, July 1895, February 1899, January 1901. Enlarged and Complete Edition, June 1911.
POPULAR EDITION, I vol. crown 8vo., December 1888, February 1889, April 1890, June 1893, February 1899, August 1900, August 1901, November 1905, August 1909.
EDINBURGH' EDITION, 2 vols. Svo., May 1897.
"SILVER LIBRARY EDITION, I vol. crown 8vo., Enlarged and Complete Edition, September 1908. Re. printed August 1909. Reprinted, in 2 vols., May 1923.
Made in Great Britain
B В Murt 1920
MORE than thirty years have already passed since the Lite and Letters of Lord MACAULAY first saw the light; and the author of that book has now reached the age when it is none too soon to set his affairs in order, and put his work into the final shape in which he would wish the world to read it. I have thought it prudent to use a very sparing hand in dealing with MACAULAY's biography ; for I have been warned by the examples, which literary history only too frequently affords, of the risk inseparable from any attempt to alter the form, or increase the bulk, of a literary production that has had the good fortune not to displease the public. The existing text has accordingly been left untouched ; but new matter of importance will nevertheless be found between the covers. Fresh notes have been inserted at the close of the Fourth, the Eleventh, and the Fourteenth Chapters. The First Appendix contains a contemporary account of MACAULAY's earliest appearance upon a public platform, written by a lady who was a family friend of the young orator; and the Third Appendix pictures MACAULAY in his aspect of a customer at the book-stalls. A more noteworthy addition to this book is the Sixteenth Chapter which now concludes the volume. That chapter gives a selection, some parts of which have never yet been published, from the remarks pencilled by my uncle on the blank spaces of volumes that he had in reading. His marginal notes possess a merit and attraction of their
own. They bear a close similarity in their literary value to his writings, his speeches, his familiar letters, and, (so far as the impression left on my memory can be trusted,) to his conversation, and this interview with MACAULAY, in the quiet of his study, will not be unacceptable to those who have been admirers of his books.
For many years past I have received assistance from many quarters towards making this Edition letter-perfect. There is pleasant evidence that MACAULAY's readers share MACAULAY'S partiality for the details of literature. In several instances a misprint, or a verbal error, has been brought to my notice by at least five-and-twenty different persons; and there is hardly a page in the book which has not afforded occasion for comment or suggestion from a friendly, and in some cases a sceptical, correspondent. It is not, however, too much to say that there is no statement, of any importance, the accuracy of which has been circumstantially impugned. Some expressions, which had given personal pain or annoyance, were softened or removed in the Second Edition of the work ; and some names, which had been mentioned with disappro bation, were thenceforward disguised by asterisks, or by misleading initials, and most certainly will never again be revealed in my lifetime.
As MACAULAY's biographer I could not be unconscious of a peculiar difficulty, and a grave responsibility, in dealing with his private papers. To give to the world compositions, not intended for the world, may be no injury to the fame of writers who, by habit, were slovenly and hasty workmen; but it is far otherwise in the case of one who made it a rule for himself to publish nothing which was not strenuously executed, and perfectly finished. It was impossible to examine MACAULAY's journals and correspondence without being persuaded that the idea of their being printed, even in part, was never present to his mind; and I should not have felt myself