Macaulay

Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-59), distinguished English writer and statesman. Although his writings were formidable, he did manage to turn some neat, witty phrases. Here, for example are lines from a letter to a Mr. Ellis dated September 3, 1850: "Dear Ellis, Here I am lodged most delightfully… I wish that I may not, like Will Honeycomb, forget the sin and sea-coal of London for innocence and haycocks. To be sure, innocence and haycocks do not always go together" (292). The reference to Queen Anne is either Gilbert's little joke or a dead giveaway that he never finished reading Macaulay's great history. At the very start of his monumental series The History of England (192), Macaulay stated that his aim was "to write the history of England from the accession of King James the Second down to a time within the memory of men still living." That would certainly have included Queen Anne, who died nearly a century before Macaulay was born. But, by the time Macaulay had worked his way up to Queen Anne's reign, old age had slowed him down and he simply lacked the energy and will to go on (292).

Context: 
Wit of Macaulay, who wrote of Queen Anne
Opera: 
Act: 
Act I