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JANUARY — JUNE.
Φιλοσοφίαν δε ου την Στωικήν λέγω ουδε την Πλατωνικήν, και την 'Επικουρείον τε και
W. OLIPHANT AND SON, EDINBURGH; D. ROBERTSON, GLASGOW ;
ART. I.- The History of England from the Accession of James II.
By Thomas Babington Macaulay. 8vo. Vols. I. and II. London: Longman and Co. 1848.
It has been known for some time past that Mr. Macaulay was engaged in the composition of a work designed to illustrate one of the most critical periods of our history, and men have speculated on its probable structure and qualities with very various feelings. His distinguished reputation as a contributor
to periodical literature, his high rank as a parliamentary speaker, the sympathy he has expressed on many occasions with the patriotic leaders of the seventeenth century, the general liberality of his sentiments, and the vast extent and minute accuracy of his historical lore, induced many to anticipate his work with expectations far exceeding their ordinary mood. On the other hand, it has been predicted, that the essayist would fail as the historian, that the splendid diction of the reviewer would be unsuited to the summing up of the judge, that the anecdotal richness of his memory would interfere with comprehensive views of men and things, that the prejudices of the Whig statesman would becloud his intellect and pervert his judgments, and that the mortification of recent events would give an asperity to his mind incompatible with an impartial review of the popular cause. He was to furnish, according to such soothsayers, an illustration of acknowledged eminence in one department, combined with as certain failure in another; the perversion of great powers from