15 MAY 1880, Page 21

Masters in History: Gabon, Grote, Macaulay, Motley. By the Rev.

Peter Anton. (Macniven and Wallace.)—These arc all interesting sketches, and may be read with at least some pleasure. In the fourth, Mr. Anton has found a subject comparatively new. The personality of Mr. Motley is fresh in the minds of many, and we get by help of their recollections and impressions, a graphic and striking portraiture. Unfortunately, Mr. Anton is sometimes led away by a passion for fine-writing, and overloads his narrative or his reflec- tions by a mass of illustrations which are not always exact. What pleasure or profit can come to any one, from reading that Motley " was to be recognised at the shrine of Clio as one of her most worthy worshippers ?" Would it not have been quite sufficient to say, as the writer does say just before, that he "was to become an historian of world-wide reputation ?" Tacitus, we may remark, was not "a consul and in high office at the Court of Vespasian." He began at the lowest round of public life, at the close of Vespasian's reign, and became consul in Trojan's, twenty years afterwards. When Mr. Anton is not under the domination of these faults, he writes in a forcible and agreeable way.