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ESSA Y S;
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE EDINBURGH
IN TWO VOLUMES.
VOL. I. – BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL.
RICHARD ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN,
THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY,
THESE VOLUMES ARE INSCRIBED
BY THE AUTHOR,
AS AN EXPRESSION OF SINCERE ESTEEM AND ADMIRATION,
AND IN GRATEFUL ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF BENEFITS,
AMONGST THE MOST SOLID AND DURABLE WHICH MAN CAN RECEIVE FROM MAN, –
THE INTELLECTUAL STIMULUS IMPARTED IN EARLY LIFE,
AND THE INSTRUCTION AND DELIGHT CONFERRED
IN RIPER YEARS,
BY TIIE SPLENDID PRODUCTIONS
OF THEIR GENIUS.
Few are the benefits which man can receive from his fellow-men, at all comparable to those which he derives from the writers who have in early life chiefly contributed to develope and stimulate intellect; to refine taste; to impart that knowledge which, in youth, is the very aliment of thought-in riper years, its material and instrumentand at every age, a perpetual source of satisfaction and delight. Most other obligations-often erroneously supposed more solid -are, in fact, trivial compared with this.
Yet there are probably few which are not more frequently and zealously acknowledged. It would be unjust, however, to attribute this apparent apathy to ingratitude. On a retrospect of the various influences to which each mind has been subjected in early life, it is no doubt really difficult, often impossible, to institute any such analysis as shall determine the degree in which they have severally operated : while too often the intellectual benefactor is snatched away before the mind has arrived at a condition duly to estimate its obligations. Who of us would not, if the opportunity were given, joyfully confess his debt of gratitude to a Bacon, a Milton, an Addison, or a Locke ?
Where neither of the above-mentioned reasons for silence exists, nothing seems more natural than to express, when a fair occasion offers, a sense of such