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three sources, give a complete detail of a history, must be insurmountable. Where is he to fix his point of view?—and, after all, the result must be problematical, and can never rise to the dignity of history.
In the narrative of the recovery of the daughter of Jaïrus, we have the words of our Saviour thus given: The maiden is not dead, she only sleepcth; she is sunk in a swoon.' The language of Christ doubtless related to the fact, but the words sunk in a swoon' are the author's own explanation, and are not to be found in any of the three parallel passages. The above narrative is followed by another, the healing of a woman who had for many years laboured under a grievous disorder. The title is thus given by the author: A woman diseased for many years is made by him well in an instant, and a maiden is brought back to life.' The commentary thus proceeds:
• Matthew connects these narratives apparently with a preceding one; Mark and Luke have an interval, which is however left void of action. Both confirm the history more than Matthew. They name the person who came to Jesus, describe his station, expressly saying, that he was president of a synagogue. According to Matthew, Jesus went in company with his disciples to his house: according to Mark and Luke, a great multitude was with him. This latter circumstance gave rise to another, which Mark in his usual manner relates most accurately; and it must not be omitted, that he mentions that the woman who, according to the account of all the three, had had an issue of blood for twelve years, was come to Jesus on the report of his fame. Indeed his fame as a worker of miracles went always before him, but on this road it accompanied him with full expectation. For how had the presi dent of the synagogue addressed him, and in what manner was his confidence assured? Can then, might the sick woman think, the man have help from Jesus for his dying or dead daughter, and can and will Jesus ensure this to him, and even instantly? The mo ment for aid is arrived; and to remove the disorder, it is not necessary to lament before him your distress, (from this she was prevented by female modesty) it is enough, if by any means you can come near him: the power with which he is hurrying to save a dying maiden will, in this happy moment, shed its influence also on you. Thus she fixed her eyes steadily on him in his passage, so that he must stop and feel her touch. A word of comfort was, as the woman expected, all that she received from Jesus; the assurance, both physically and historically true, that in true faith would be her help; and this was enough for her to forget her former distress, and to make her believe that she would be fully healed. Jesus, who could not in the throng confer longer with her, dismissed her with good wishes: but the old gospel understands this exhortation as the faithful woman received it, and establishes as a fact what she presupposed in this creed. Mark and Luke are more careful upon this occasion. The historian, in
case neither he nor the person who gave him information had made more exact inquiries from the woman, might have conjectured the fact from what had previously occurred: he could not conclude with any other consequence, and with this conclusion the narra tion ends. The diseased woman probably was lost in the crowd, out of which she had stepped forth with great timidity. The gospels take no farther notice of her, but the fabulous histories of the ancient church have erected a splendid memorial to her and her physician.'
The remarks upon this narrative are fewer than on most others; and the author may be followed with greater security. when he fixes the historical dates of the circumstances in the text, and explains them with assiduity.
It is the object of the writer to present cursorily, first, the narratives which occur in the three gospels; and on this account a section in this volume is entitled, a review of Matthew, Mark, and Luke,' where they agree: in a second section are contained the deviations of Matthew, Mark, and Luke from each other, where a contradiction in the relaters might be allowable and in the third section is the peculiar information of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, on the facts which, as it should seem, were unknown to the other evangelists. Upon the whole, the remarks are too many rather than too few; and, as it often happens in books with more note than text, several expressions and applications are selected, merely for the sake of the remark. But on the other hand, this extension of the notes will be found very useful; since in them are 30 many important interpretations of ancient and modern writers, and much literary information on the sources whence may be derived the best interpretations of separate passages.
Among the latest writers, the name of Paulus very frequently occurs; and many of his most important interpretations are introduced. But the work descends to the lowest minutiæ for intelligence, and even essays in the latest journals are noticed. This implies very great labour and industry in the commentator, both of which might in this respect assuredly have been spared. Yet with all its excess and defects, the work will be found very useful to the student; who will pursue his course by means of the paragraphs to a true critical acquaintance with both the history and doctrine of the New Testament, provided he keeps his eyes on the original Greek, and examines both the text and the commentary with impartiality. In this way the work may lead to a future production, which shall throw light on the doctrine and history of our Saviour; and the teachers of true religion will thus be led to fix their attention on real critical examination, and not on the traditions of their predecessors.
ART. VIII.-Memoires d'un Père, &c. Oeuvres posthumes de
Memoirs of a Father, written for the Instruction of his Children; the posthumous Works of M. Marmontel, Historiographer of France, and Perpetual Secretary to the French Academy. 4 vols. 8vo. l. 10s. ditto 12mo. 1. Paris. 1804. Imported by Deconchy.
IT is for my children that I write the history of my life; their mother wished it :' so says the author, who thus briefly introduces his work, which we shall as briefly proceed to analyse, without stopping to inquire what may be the vaIue, the object, the authenticity, or the utility, of histories of literary men, written by themselves. Writers of their own memoirs, have, from St. Augustin to Marmontel, generally been such slaves to vanity or ambition, that their lives can never present either a very favourable or moral picture of human nature, and consequently can but ill serve the purpose of instruction. Madame Marmontel has thought otherwise; and we shall endeavour to enable our readers to judge of the prudence or folly of her wishes.
M. Marmontel has not condescended to mention the year of his birth; but his editor, in a short advertisement, remarkable only for its ignorance and vanity, observes,
These Memoirs are the last work of the late John Francis Marmontel, though they were almost all written three years before his death. He was born in 1723, arrived at Paris in 1745, and died in 1799; having thus lived the whole of the 18th century. His connections, society, attachments, places of residence, labours, have made him acquainted, during this long space of time, with the most distinguished persons. Indeed there scarcely lived one celebrated woman, during that period, of whatever character she may be, who has not her portrait in this vast exhibition. What copious memoranda must he be possessed of who has seen and conversed with Massillon, Fontenelle, Montesquieu, and who has been a member of one of our national assemblies!'
Memoranda undoubtedly of the utmost importance, if presented to the mind of a Gibbon, a Robertson, a Montesquieu, or even a St. Real, or a Condillac ; but which have only produced in that of our tale-telling author, a very inferior continuation of his Tales, by some strange misnomer ycleped Moral. In these Memoirs there is the same neglect of chronological order, as there is of morality in the above-mentioned Tales: indeed neither the one nor the other ever seem to have entered the writer's mind; and it will appear in the sequel how
far such a character was capable of treating on the sacred sentiments of morality. Our hero commences with a minute but highly coloured description of his birth-place:
The village of Bort, situated on the Dordogne, between Auvergne and Limosin, at the bottom of a precipice, perpetually menaced with a deluge from the torrents formed by the storms, or in danger of being crushed by a chain of volcanic rocks.'
The inhabitants of this mountain-girt hamlet,' he describes as living in a state of equality, possessing nearly equal portions of land, of cattle, of fruits, and of houses, enjoying the most friendly and hospitable intercourse, and maintaining the frank and lofty nobleness of nature, uncorrupted by any degrading humiliation, and no where, he observes, was foolish pride so ill received, or so soon corrected.' This may have been true seventy years ago; but we well know that there is not a more proud, obstinate, covetous, illiberal, and unfeeling people, in Europe, than those mountaineers of the present day. Hardy, laborious, and stupid, unaccustomed to any other food than garlic, chesnuts, and very coarse black rye-bread, they were consequently admirably adapted to serve in the armies, to which they were driven in herds like cattle. The few that escaped took refuge in Spain, where about 50,000 contrive to live in the southern provinces, and the entire race is rapidly approaching to extinction.
From these desultory recollections we learn that the author owes his existence to two of these mountaineers, by no means distinguished from their fellow peasants; and that his father was remarkable only for his unfeeling stupidity, in imagining that learning Latin would make his son a sluggard, whilst his mother is extolled as the most worthy, the most interesting, and the most amiable of women.' In a nunnery he learned to read: but nature, he says, had refused him the gift of memory; and though he could retain the sense of what he read, the words left no more trace in his head than writing on a quicksand. By the tender assiduity of his mother, who not only stimulated him to perseverance, but had the address to interest some of the superior clergy in his behalf, he was admitted into the college of Mauriac, with a knowledge of grammar far short of the other students of the class in which he was received. Here he was assisted by an old Jesuit, father Bourges, an able Latin scholar, and the continuer of Vannière; whom he attended in saying mass, and whose pious emotions, accompanied with sweatings and tremblings during that period, were as great as if the Holy Ghost had actually descended.' The author, influenced by respect for the memory of his benefactor, wisely restrains himself from
making any sarcastic observation on this holy madness." By the paternal instructions of this good Jesuit, and his own incessant study, he soon acquired some knowledge of the Latin language; but to rise in the class it was necessary to cominit to memory* considerable portions of Ovid and Virgil, an exercise to which he confesses himself indebted for the suppleness and docility of his memory. It is here that his extravagant vanity begins to be unfolded; and, borrowing the hint from Dr. Johnson, he is continually complaining of having no memory, and continually astonishing his masters by the unparalleled extent of his learning and his powers of repetition, in all of which memory, and not judgment, is alone concerned. At this college he remained from the age of eleven to fifteen, maintaining himself always first in his class. He imparts to us the interesting information that the annual expence of his board and lodging at college amounted to four or five guineas; nor does he neglect to praise his hempen clothes, his chesnuts, and his rye-bread. After exciting a rebellion in the college, he retires to his father's house; becomes enamoured of one of his young neighbours, from whom he exacts a promise not to marry without previously acquainting his mother or him, but whom he afterwards treats with the most unfeeling neglect: sets out with his father to Clermont, avowedly to learn some business, but really to enter at the college there: applies to be admitted in the class of philosophy in this college, where his learning, talents, and youth, astonish all the grey-headed professors, who at length receive him with admiration. Previously, however, to leaving off all pretensions to business, he had a revelation that invited him to the priesthood, and which he immediately communicated in the most pious manner to his father, by way of inducing him to consent. This scheme, believed and supported by his mother, had its effect, and he remained at the college of Clermont till the death of his father again called him home. Now at liberty to pursue his own choice, he resolved on going to Toulouse. On his journey he was detained at the muleteer's; where, though in the dress of an abbé, he humorously admonished the muleteer's pretty daughter, by relating a pretended dream, to decline taking the veil; but refused her hand, and withit her father's wealth. In the convent of the Bernardines he became professor of philosophy at seventeen years
This custom, still used in the extreme, has contributed no little to make the French youth rather Roman parrots than good Latin scholars; and we have often met with young men who could repeat by rote some of the lus cious epistles of Ovid, or even a book of the Eneid, without being able to construe a dozen lines of Horace or Juvenal,