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The only Douglas Jerrold living at that time that I could find on Wikipedia appears to be a well-known British Fascist. I am going to assume that this Douglas Jerrold is not him, but a minor academic who has sunk into obscurity, like I expect to myself one day.
A fair few of the Critical and Historical Essays in this book are reviews of books similar to itself- that is, books of the writings of famous historical figures introduced and arranged by clueless people who came along long afterward.
Macaulay, before going off to say whatever he feels like saying about the life and thought of the famous politician or litterateur, usually finds some time to rip the introduction by his clueless contemporary to shreds. So I will start by doing the same thing. Consider, for example, this series of non-sequiturs: Firstly, since these Essays were written, the research of a vast number of historians and archaeologists, mostly in Europe but also in America, have laid bare the structure of prehistory and of the early and mediaeval civilisations of Europe.
Secondly, but arising in great part from these discoveries and researches and from the new scientific teachings, the ideological conflict between Christianity and its enemies has entered a wholly new phase and faces all parties to the conflict with entirely new issues.
Macaulay sees too clearly the follies and crimes of all the religious factions in England since the beginning of the Reformation to show any partisan attachment, and his mild affirmations of Christianity in general mean no more than the mild affirmations of democracy in general that everyone in the West makes nowadays.
We think that we have sometimes observed a leaning toward the same fault in writers of a much higher level of intellect. We will therefore take this opportunity of making a few remarks on an error which iswe fear, becoming common, and which appears to us not only absurd, but as pernicious as almost any error concerning the transactions of a past age can possibly be.
We shall not, we hope, be suspected of a bigoted attachment to the doctrines and practices of past generations. Our creed is that the science of government is an experimental science, and that, like other experimental sciences, it is generally in a state of progression.
No man is so obstinate an admirer of the old times as to deny that medicine, surgery, botany, chemistry, engineering, navigation, are better understood now than in any former age.
We conceive that it is the same with political science. Like those physical sciences which we have mentioned, it has always been working itself clearer and clearer, and depositing impurity after impurity.
There was a time when the most powerful of human intellects were deluded by the gibberish of the astrologer and the alchemist; and just so there was a time when the most enlightened and virtuous statesmen thought it the first duty of a government to persecute heretics, to found monasteries, to make war on Saracens.
But time advances; facts accumulate; doubts arise. Faint glimpses of truth begin to appear, and shine more and more unto the perfect day.
The highest intellects, like the tops of mountains, are the first to catch and to reflect the dawn. They are bright, while the level below is still in darkness. But soon the light, which at first illuminated only the loftiest eminences, descends on the plain and penetrates to the deepest valley.Find Critical and Historical Essays by MacAulay, Thomas Babington at Biblio.
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Macaulay's Essays, (Critical, Historical, and Miscellaneous Essays in 3 Volumes) (With a Memoir and Index) Six Volumes in 3 Lord Macaulay Published by . Critical and Historical Essays has 6 ratings and 1 review.
Chris said: This isn’t the edition I read. Goodreads seems to have editions of this scattered /5. Critical And Historical Essays [Thomas Babington Macaulay Macaulay (1st] on initiativeblog.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
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there had never been a hypocrite, a tyrant, or a traitor, a. simulated virtue, or a convenient crime. One writer gravely. assures us that Maurice of Saxony learned all his fraudulent.