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was put up expressly for landing this ponderous piece of ord. nance, weighing very nearly eighteen tons, none of the cranes on the wharf being equal to the task. The arrangements for landing this great gun were excellently made, and carried into effect without the slightest accident; and the labour of conveying it to the bull, shows great ingenuity, being effected by a coil of strong rope around it, moving the immense mass in a rolling manner along four large logs of wood, changed alternately as the gun progresses. This gun is made on the howitzer principle, and is about 12 feet long, with an immense quantity of metal at the breech. The diameter of the bore is within about one-tenth of 16 inches. The weight of solid shot with which it will be fired is 4551b., and shells of 330]b., and it is expected two solid shot of that weight and four shells in the same proportion will be used when it is proved at the butt. Tbe howitzer was cast and bored by Messrs. Walker and Co., for Mehemet Ali, Pasba of Egypt, and two other large guns, 130 pounders, were landed at the same time to be proved for service in Egypt.

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Printed at the Ollice of the Journal de St. Pétersbourg..

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TRIAL OF MADAME LAFARGE.

FRENCH CRIMINAL JURISPRUDENCE.

1.- Procès de Nadame Lafarge, (Vol et Empoisonnement,) complets

et détaillés. Deuxième édition. Annales criminelles, au Bureau,

rue d'Enghieni. Paris: 1840. 2.- Procis de Madame Lafarge, etc. Deuxième édition. Pagnerre,

Editeur. Paris : 1840. ('). 3.- Mémoires de Marie Cappelle, veuve Lafarge, écrits par elle-même.

9 Tom. 8yo. Londres : 1841.

The works placed at the head of this paper form together a mournful and starting history. They have indeed been but loo generally perused in the careless spirit with which a novel is glanced at and forgotten; because they have been supposed to contain merely the story of one of the common horrors of the day, sent forth to gratify the prevailing taste for excitement-lo occupy for its hour the columns of a Newspaper to be hurried over and superseded by some more terrible catastrophe, and then forgolten for ever. To one, however, who

0) We have placed these two accounts of the Trial of Madame Lafarge at the head of this paper, because they mutually explain and correct each other.

VOL. III

60

will more carefully scan the events of this singular drama, there is offered much that should be the subject of very earnest and anxious enquiry-problems, indeed, upon the solution of which depend the security and the bappiness of society. The more narrowly we investigale each fearful step in this appalling proceeding, the more profound will be our astonishment and alarm at finding that, among a people who must be considered té rank among the most civilized of nations - in an age, too, boasting loudly of its many and vast improvements in science and in art — almost every judicial safeguard which experience and forethought have discovered and suggested, for the protection as well of the accused as of the society which arraigns bim, has been overthrown and trampled down ; the dictates of humanity, of common justice, violated ; and a court of justice, assembled to decide upon the life or death of a fellow-creature-where all ought to be calm, impassive, dignified — mild though firm, compassionate though severe — converted into a scene of rudeness and violence, of passionate invective, of cruel and unjust vituperation, and melodramatic display.

A scene so remarkable ought not to pass by withont comment. The community of nations should so make of Europe one family, ihat the errors fallen into at Corrèze, should be deemed an injustice done to the whole European community. The imperfections of the French system of Judicature should be signalized by a comparison with other and varying systems; and thus comparison and friendly crilicism be made to lend to niulual improvement. :

Our language respecting this celebrated proceeding will, we fear, sound harsbly in the ears of our neighbours. Nevertheless, we feel assured, that before we leave the painfol subject before us, the justice of our animadversions will appear but too manisesť: In many things bas France improved; in many has she set a bright example to other nations ; but the judges of Calas and La Barre have unhappily been succeeded by functionaries not wholly unlike themselves; and ber system of judicature, as exbibited on this occasion, though certainly somewbat less barbarous than the atrocious proceedings signal

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ized by Voltaire, is still at variance with most of the princit ples which reason and humanity would employ as guides in judicial procedure.. · A comparison of the course of conduct pursued by the French court on this occasion, with that whichi, under similar circumstances, would have taken place in this country, will enable us, with comparative ease, to explain to an English reader the grounds of our unfavourable opinion. From thus putling, side by side, the different steps in two very dissimilar modes of procedure, we may probably be able to discover the errors of both systems, and obtain a conception of that which an enlightened people ought to adopt. Let it not be supposed that we are about to set up our own procedure as a model, or that we intend to assume, that what is English, is right. The comparison we propose is intended only as a means of illustration :- nothing can well be more dissimilar than the two systems of procedure ; the opposition will therefore, at every step, be singular and interesting, and may, by its very singularity, suggest the true principle which ought to guide us in every slep of the process.

Before we proceed to our present attempt, in this species of comparative anatomy, we would premise a few observations, upon the end sought to be obtained by Judicature as a means.

It is usually deemed sufficient to say, that the object which should be in view in all judicial enquiries is the attainment of truth. But this general statement is far from being sufficient; and the very insufficient conception of the ends of judicature which such an assertion evinces, has led to the greater number of the cruel and pernicious mistakes exemplified in the proceedings now under our consideration. The great purpose of that class of judicial proceedings here contemplated, is to maintain a feeling of security from wrong, in the society to which the tribunal belongs. If a member of the community be wronged in his person, property, or reputation, and there be impunity for the wrongdoer, then do the rest of the community tremble lest they should also suffer the same wrong: and, if this impunity be frequent, society can hardly be said to exist, as each man' endeavours to defend

himself, since he can no longer depend upon society for security. On the other band, the more certain and rapid the punishment which the tribunals inflict upon wrongdoers, the more complete is the security of the community-the more completely have the ends of judicature been attained.

But before we punish, must we not learn, first, whether a wrong has been done ?-next, by whom it bas been done ? And when the tribunal makes this enquiry, should not the attainment of truth be the sole object of its solicitude and consideration ? Our answer is, No. If the attainment of truth be the sole object of consideration, we must seek it, no matter at what cost of terror and insecurity to society at large : and thus the tribunal, by its enquiry, may do a greater injury to the community than did the crime it seeks to punish. Human imperfection renders the administration of justice of necessity a system of averages. We cannot hope for perfect certainty, and certainty in every case. All that we can expect is, to discover the necessary facts in so large a number of cases as to render society generally secure, by rendering the perpetration of crime exceedingly dangerous to those who would commit it. This can be done, and done more efficiently, if we pursue certain predetermined and specific rules of enquiry, than if we were to give the tribunal, on every occasion, perfect and uncontrolled liberty of action. The philosopher sitting quietly in his closet, may imagine tbat every fact that has the slightest relation to the malter in band ought to be known and weighed — and that the more completely the facts are known, the greater is the chance of attaining a knowledge of the truth respecting the particular enquiry instiluted. But it should be remembered, ibat in order to get at all these facts, it may be necessary to invade the peace and security of others; that the knowledge of a multitude of comparatively insignificant facts serves often rather to confuse than enlighten ; and that the wider is the field of enquiry, the greater is the danger of mistake, from emotions crealed by irrelevant evidence, from passion, from prejudice. .

In every judicial enquiry, then, we may say, indeed, that the object sought to be obtained is the truth ; but that truth

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