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form p5 [vii-16-25 1550]
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THE Bulletin is published monthly by The New York Public Library at 476 Fifth Avenue, New York at the Post Office at York, N. Y., as second-class matter, February 10, 1897, under Act of July 16, 1894. Acceptance for mailing at special rate of postage provided for in Section 1103, Act of October 3, 1917, authorized.
Printed at The New York Public Library, 476 Fifth Avenue.
July, 1925, Volume 29, Number 7.
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS
WHAT DID MACAULAY SAY ABOUT AMERICA?
ELL, what did he say, and what difference does it make, more than half a century after his death, whether he approved or disapproved? Surely we have outgrown by this time the sensitiveness of the generation that resented everything from the pen of Dickens or Captain Marryatt or Mrs. Trollope unless every phase of our social or political life was lauded without reserve. Could our present-day opinion be more scornful of anything than what it labels mid-Victorian, and if Macaulay was not mid-Victorian what was he? Were Macaulay's judgments of our political institutions any more permanent than his judgments of Warren Hastings or Milton or Johnson or anything else he handled with such clearness and certainty? He surely could not speak with the first-hand information of Bryce, but such a defect would scarcely prevent his speaking with vigor and emphasis.
Some such thoughts as these were suggested by a telegram from an out-oftown newspaper one hot morning last summer, asking where in Macaulay's works could be found his prophecy concerning America.
No great amount of research was required to run down two letters from Macaulay to Henry S. Randall, dated May 23, 1857, and October 9, 1858, printed in "Gunton's Magazine" for September, 1896; and a telegram was soon on its way, inviting attention to them and adding that they were not included in the regular editions of his collected works.
And here, for the benefit of those who wish summaries and conclusions, who want the kernel set down plainly at the start and thus secure respite from further reading, let it be said that there are two other letters besides those just mentioned, all four written to Randall between 1857 and 1859; that
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