Thomas Babington Macaulay Quotes
A collection of quotes by Thomas Babington Macaulay.
Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859) was a British historian, essayist, and politician. Born in Leicestershire, England, he was the son of Zachary Macaulay, an anti-slavery campaigner. Macaulay attended Cambridge University and later embarked on a successful career in law, becoming a barrister in 1826.
However, Macaulay's true passion lay in writing and scholarship. He gained fame for his historical writings, particularly his magnum opus, "The History of England from the Accession of James the Second." Published between 1848 and 1861, this influential work covers the period from 1685 until the Glorious Revolution of 1688.
Macaulay's writing was characterized by his vivid storytelling, stirring prose, and a knack for bringing historical events to life. He emphasized the importance of individual actions and character in shaping historical events, while also highlighting the broader social and political forces at play. Despite criticism of his Whig bias and selective use of evidence, Macaulay's work became a cornerstone of Victorian historical writing.
In addition to his writing, Macaulay was also an active member of the Whig Party. He served in various political roles, including as a Member of Parliament and Secretary at War. Macaulay was known for his eloquent speeches in Parliament and his commitment to reform and social justice.
Thomas Babington Macaulay's contributions to both literature and politics solidified his place as one of the most influential figures of his time. His work continues to be studied and appreciated for its contributions to historical writing and understanding.
The real security of Christianity is to be found in its benevolent morality, in its exquisite adaptation to the human heart, in the facility with which its scheme accommodates itself to the capacity of every human intellect, in the consolation which it bears to the house of mourning, in the light with which it brightens the great mystery of the grave.
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. First come hints, then fragments of systems, then defective systems, then complete and harmonious systems. The sound opinion, held for a time by one bold speculator, becomes the opinion of a small minority, of a strong minority, of a majority of mankind. Thus, the great progress goes on.
To punish a man because he has committed a crime, or because he is believed, though unjustly, to have committed a crime, is not persecution. To punish a man, because we infer from the nature of some doctrine which he holds, or from the conduct of other persons who hold the same doctrines with him, that he will commit a crime, is persecution, and is, in every case, foolish and wicked.
A few more days, and this essay will follow the Defensio Populi to the dust and silence of the upper shelf... For a month or two it will occupy a few minutes of chat in every drawing-room, and a few columns in every magazine; and it will then be withdrawn, to make room for the forthcoming novelties.
Generalization is necessary to the advancement of knowledge; but particularly is indispensable to the creations of the imagination. In proportion as men know more and think more they look less at individuals and more at classes. They therefore make better theories and worse poems.