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Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay
Volume 1

written by "Trevelyan, George Otto, Sir, 1838-1928"
...dge, he wrote between three and four hundred lines of a drama, entitled "Don Fernando," marked by force and fertility of diction, but somewhat too artificial to be worthy of publication under a name such as his. Much about the same time he communicated to Malden the commencement of a burlesque poem on the story of Anthony Babington; who, by the part that he took in the plots against the life of Queen Elizabeth, had given the family a connection with English history which, however questionable, was in Macaulay's view better than none. It is perhaps as well that the project to all appearance stopped with the first stanza, which in its turn was probably written for the sake of a single line. The young man had a better use for his time than to spend it in producing frigid imitations of Beppo. He was not unpopular among his fellow-pupils, who regarded him with pride and admiration, tempered by the compassion which his utter inability to play at any sort of game would have excited in every school, private or public alike. He troubled himself very little about the opinion of those by whom he was surrounded at Aspenden. It required the crowd and the stir of a university to call forth the social qualities which he possessed in so large a measure. The tone of his correspondence during these years sufficiently indicates that he lived almost exclusively among books. His letters, which had hitherto been very natural and pretty, began to smack of the library, and please less than those written in early boyhood. His pen was overcharged with the metaphors and phrases of other men; and it was not till maturing powers had enabled him to master and arrange the vast masses of literature which filled his memory that his native force could display itself freely through the medium of a style which was all his own. In 1815 he began a formal literary correspondence, after the taste of the previous century, with Mr. Hudson, a gentleman in the Examiner's...

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