1837 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Hannah More

Thomas Babington Macaulay to Napier, 15 June 1837; Life and Letters, ed. Trevelyan; in Moulton, Library of Literary Criticism (1901-05) 5:191.



I never, to the best of my recollection, proposed to review Hannah More's Life or Works. If I did, it must have been in jest. She was exactly the very last person in the world about whom I should choose to write a critique. She was a very kind friend to me from childhood. Her notice first called out my literary tastes. Her presents laid the foundation of my library. She was to me what Ninon was to Voltaire, — begging her pardon for comparing her to a bad woman, and yours for comparing myself to a great man. She really was a second mother to me. I have a real affection for her memory. I therefore could not possibly write about her unless I wrote in her praise; and all the praise which I could give to her writings, even after straining my conscience in her favor, would be far indeed from satisfying any of her admirers.