George Otto Trevelyan, The Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay
, 2nd ed. (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1877), Vol. I, p. 27:
From the time that he was three years old he read incessantly, for the most part lying on the rug before the fire, with his book on the ground, and a piece of bread and butter in his hand. A very clever woman who then lived in the house as a parlour-maid told how he used to sit in his nankeen frock, perched on the table by her as she was cleaning the plate, and expounding to her out of a volume as big as himself. He did not care for toys, but was very fond of taking his walk, when he would hold forth to his companion, whether nurse or mother, telling interminable stories out of his own head, or repeating what he had been reading in language far above his years. His memory retained without effort the phraseology of the book which he had been last engaged on, and he talked, as the maid said, "quite printed words," which produced an effect that appeared formal, and often, no doubt, exceedingly droll.