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I have been reading Macaulay with pleasure over the past weeks.

Here is a sentence taken from his essay on Sir William Temple. You could call it a tender word towards David Cameron, if he is somewhere looking on at the goings-on at the Conservative party conference:

He has little reason, in our opinion, to envy any of those who are still engaged in a pursuit from which, at most, they can only expect that, by relinquishing liberal studies and social pleasures, by passing nights without sleep and summers without one glimpse of the beauty of nature, they may attain that laborious, that invidious, that closely watched slavery which is mocked by the name of power.

And as for a life of liberal studies and social pleasures: really, what could be better?