« AnteriorContinuar »
from a subject so revolting. The two individuals to whom we have referred by name, were men of most respectable station, and related to Fualdes, Bastide by bird), and Jausion by marriage. The latter was a rich banker, and the former was in easy circumstances. The motives which impelled them to this bloody deed, are not distinctly stated, but as they subsequently rifled the house of the murdered man, it should seem thai they were urged on by avarice.
In all these particulars, there is no mention of Madame Man-' son, but it appears that, during the perpetration of the murder, she was in the lu>use, and within hearing of the voices, and tramplings, and struggles of the victim and his assassins. She was afterwards discovered, and it was proposed to despatch her at once, in order to prevent her from communicating what she had heard and seen. This was opposed by Jausion, and as far as we can collect, she was sworn to secrecy with the dead body still in her sight. Either in consequence of some imprudent hint of her own, or from some other casualty, it was discovered that she was in possession of the facts, and she was summoned on the trial as a witness; from that moment she began a series of half-revelations, retractions, apostrophes, exclamations, faintings, and sentimentalizations, which has Bo parallel in the history of evidence. There were two or three awkward circumstances which combined to produce all this parade and attitudinizing. First, there was the untoward disclosure, that Madame Manson was found in a brothel:—but "Ihi'ii manage these things belter in France," as somebody, we believe Sterne, said on another occasion, and as the lady was a known sentimentalist, a candid construction was put upon this part of the business, and the judge assured her from the bench, that the public was ' convinced that she was carried to the house 'of Baucal by accident and against her will.' Secondly, there was her oath, respecting which we believe she did not feel many scruples. Thirdly, she was probably actuated by a feeling of gratitude to Jansion, as the preserver of her life. But we cannot help suspecting that the great stimulus to all her eccentricities, was the determination to produce an effect, by whatever means and at whatever expense. Let her motive however have been what it might, the result of her conduct was to produce an impressiou at once unfavourable to the prisoners and herself. She continued to say quite enough to shew that she was acquainted •with the transaction, but managed at the same time to communicate far too little for the ends of justice. Notwithstanding an appeal from the judge, which was meant to be prodigiously impressive, she still persevered in the same absurd and tantalizing conduct, until, evidently for the mere purpose of intimidation, she was included in the act of accusation. From the prison of he Capuchins, where she was confined, these Memoirs tre dated, nd. if they were intended to establish hcv innocence of intentional alsehood, we can only say that they have produced on us, an ffect quite the reverse. Their great object is to shew that she icted under the influence of terror, and to get rid, by a string of trange and improbable assertions, of the evidence of a M. Clenendot, who deposed that she had to him confessed her knowedge of the transaction. She makes an attempt, at the same ime to divert the public suspicion from herself to a Mile. Rose *ierret. Our readers are aware, that the trial has terminated a the acquittal of Madame Mauson, and the condemnation of he actual assassins, who have since been executed.
The previous life of Mme. M. had been of a very equivocal lescrintion. She was married, and separated from her husband; iut still continued to keep up a clandestine intercourse with him, Jthough ' she refused to live with him.' 'Who shall interpret,' 'ery pithily exclaims the Editor, ' the caprices of a heart so wayward, as to expect from the performance of duty, the pleasing illusions of love? No one but Madame Manson.' In her own klemoir, she congratulates herself on having 'formed an agreeable acquaintance with a young man from Paris, who has been kind enough,' she says, ' to visit her in prison,' and to ravel eight leagues to convey her special pleadings to her nother.
After all, who is the guarantee for the authenticity of these 1 Memoirs?" And are they not, like Herbert Croft's ' Love and Madness,' a mixture of fancy and fact?
Art. VIII. 1. Domestic Pleasures; or, The Happy Fireside ; illustrated by interesting Conversations. By F. B. Vaux. London. )8I6.
2. The Book of Versions; or, Guide to French Translation; for the Use of Schools. Accompanied with Notes, to assist in the Construction ; and to display a Comparison of the French and English Idioms. By J. Cherpilioud. 12mo. 3s. 6d. London. 1817.
¥^E cannot think that the business of education is really advanced by the multiplication of elementary books; nor lixt the mind of the pupil can obtain any advantage whatever iy a long detention from the original sources of instruction. There are many parts of science, now taught empirically, which might be much more effectually acquired by the more laborious, but at the same time, more impressive process of experience and induction. It appears advisable to let the learner, as far as possible, make his own grammar; to initiate him merely into the necessary paradigms and forms which are the keys of knowledge, and then suffer him to ascertain their use by an immediate implication to works of authority. In this process, though many
'difficulties must be encountered, yet no time will be lost; and the very obstacles which may present themselves at the outset,
afford a deeper insight into the mysteries of science, and give to its materials a stronger hold upon the memory. It is the great fault of our present systems, that they deal too much in shifts and expedients; that they do not fairly throw the mind upon its resources, but by continually supplying it with helps and relays, injure its firmness, hinder its speed, and take from it that experimental consciousness of strength, which is its surest resource and dependence. We are absolutely inundated with a class of books, very entertaining, and on their own principles, sufficiently useful, but in our apprehension, injurious in their effect, in so far as they detain the mind from more substantial nutriment.
These summary remarks, which we may perhaps, should any future occasion present itself, take occasion to pursue to a much greater and more satisfactory extent, have been partly suggested to us by the works before us. On the present plan they are useful and amusing, and we are not aware of any better method of communicating the knowledge which they are intended to convey. Of Mr. Vaux's book, we must, indeed, be permitted to say, that he has not gone very far in search of his materials, and, that, though his dialogues are sufficiently entertaining, they are compiled from sources with which every body is familiar; yet, in the absence of books of more substance, and of original authority, his volume may be advantageously introduced. The early annals of Rome, portions of natural history, interesting anecdotes, and an account of the Eddystoue Lighthouse, are its general contents.
Mr. Cherpilloud's book is certainly less liable to our prefatory objections, inasmuch as it leads the pupil at once to the purest sources of composition. The Compiler justly remarks, that it is necessary to go to French mind for French expression; and in accordance with this principle, he has had recourse to the best French classics, for his exercises. So far as we have exmined this little work, the first and most essential part seems to be well put together, but the second, which is made up of extracts, with complete translations, from the French and English classics, is, we think, of greatly inferior value. In this latter portion, with the exception of Pope's deistical prayer, we make no objection to the extracts themselves, but to the translations: though chiefly taken from the best authorities, they have so little pretence to accuracy, that they must have an injurious effect upon the learner, -when offered to him as examples.
Art. IX. 1. The Advent of Christ, considered in a Course of Six Sermons, preached before the University of Cambridge in Dec-1815, by the Rev. W. Mandell, B. D. Fellow and Tutor of Queen's College, 8vo. pp. 212. 1817.
2. Tne Duty of Promoting Christian Missions, as connected with the peculiar Character of the Present Times. By the Same. 8vo. pp. 36. 1814.
3. Preparation/or Death, enforced by the Uncertainty of Life. Preached on the Occasion of the Death of Basil Anthony Keck, Esq. By the Same. 8vo. pp. 36. 1815.
4. The only availing Method of Salvation. A Sermon preached before the University of Cambridge. By the Same. 8vo. pp. 24,1817.
T F a practical demonstration were required of the inefficacy of -*- prescribed formularies, and creeds of human invention, to produce uniformity of sentiment, nothing more would be necessary, than simply to appeal to the Sermons which are continually issuing from the University presses of Oxford and Cambridge, after having been delivered from the University pulpits. It would be easy to collect from these printed Discourses, without looking back to far distant years, an almost endless variety of discordant and contradictory statements, not merely on subjects of minor importance, but on those which affect the very vitals of Christianity. We will venture to affirm, without fear of contradiction, that there is no dissenting pulpit in the kingdom, from which are delivered such varying and even opposite dogmas, as those which proceed from the University pulpits, in spite of all the Articles of faith which have been subscribed, and the acts of uniformity which have been promulgated. To-day, one of the reverend professors or divines, to whose lot it has fallen to preach before the University, shall state and defend the doctrine of Baptismal regeneration, as consonantb oth to the volume of Revelation, and the formularies of the Church of England; tomorrow, another of this learned body shall get up, and from the same pulpit, and before the same audience, denounce this doctrine as an unscriptural and Popish tenet, a dangerous and destructive error. JVote it is maintained, that justification is obtained by faith alone without works; and now it is asserted distinctly, that heaven is the reward of human obedience, and that good works are meritorious in the sight of God. This preacher is decidedly Calvinistical, the next who is to officiate, is Arminian or Pelagian; and both are alike confident of the agreement of their system with the articles and homilies of their church. Who then will contend that these authorized tests are of any advantage, since they cannot produce even an external uniformity, or prevent the public exhibition, from the same pulpit, of sentiments as opposite as light and darkness? We are far from adverting to this fact, with any feeling of triumph, though it might be legitimately brought forward in confirmation of those principles which are maintained by Protestant Dissenters. On the contrary, we cannot but consider it as a mutter of deep regret, that the very fountains of knowledge should be thus corrupted, and that theological errors of no ordinary magnitude, should be scattered so abuirdantly in a soil which is likely to yield a thousand-fold. When we reflect Od the place where, the persons by whom, and the audience in whose presence, these contradictory statements are delivered, we cannot but feel that tin- mischief they are adapted to produce is inconceivably great. For, besides that error is in itself bewitching, and insinuates itself with great ease into the youthful mind1, in the present case, it conies invested with all the authority of office, and accompanied with all the decorations of science and learning. The direct tendency of such discordant public instructions will be, to produce and cherish a taste for theological controversy, among those who are ill prepared to wield so dangerous a weapon; to perpetuate all the virulence of party spirit —" While one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I of Apollos,"-^and lead not a few to contemplate the pulpit rather as an arena intended for the display of polemic skill, than as a repository of sacred truth. It should be remembered, that a great proportion of the audience, on such occasions, consists of those youths, whose religious principles are yet unformed, and yet who are destined to become public instruclers; and is there not just cause to apprehend, that the effect of such contradictory statements, on their minds, will be to produce either a total inditiferencce to religious sentiments, or a perpetual vacillation of mind between these opposite and contending theories? Either they will be disposed to range themselves with all the zeal of vehement partisans, beneath the banner of one or other of their ecclesiastical leaders; or, which is the more probable result, they witl conclude, that since their professors, tutors, and heads of houses, are not agreed on these subjects, it is of Bo importance whether they believe them or not. Articles of faith, and formularies of doctrine, will be subscribed by them, as a mere form of introduction to the honours and emoluments of the Church, without even so much as the pretension to a correct knowledge, or firm persuasion, of the knotty points to which they relate.
If, however, there must be a flood of baneful errors poured forth from these fountains of knowledge, we sincerely rejoice, that it is not unmixed with a portion of sound evangelical truth. Though it may be feared, that the great mass of modern University preachers are of a contrary description, it is gratifying to know that there are some, who, (like the respectable Tutor of Queen's, whose sermons now lie before us,) are "not ashamed "of the gospel of Christ,"—make a firm and decided stand against the prevailing errors of the times, and contend earnestly,