« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
WITH AN ACCURATE ACCOUNT OF ALL THE MYSTERIOUS AND EXTRAORDINARY
CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH LED TO THE DISCOVERY OF HER MANGLED BODY
THE TRIAL FOR THE MURDER,
EXTRAORDINARY CONFESSIONS OF
JOHN WILLIAM HOLLOWAY,
WRITTEN BY HIMSELF, AND PUBLISHED BY HIS OWN DESIRE, FOR THE
BENEFIT OF YOUNG PEOPLE.
EMBELLISHED WITH HIGHLY INTERESTING ENGRAVINGS.
PRINTED FOR THE PROPRIETORS,
AND SOLD BY W. NUTE, 38, EGREMONT PLACE, BRIGHTON; T. KELLY, 17, PATER,
NOSTER ROW, LONDON; AND ALL BOOKSELLERS IN THE BRITISH EMPIRE.
It cannot be disputed, that the most difficult of all studies is the study of man himself. With no fixed principles, no permanent habits, which can serve as an index to his real character, the most acute observer is apt to form his estimate according to the exterior display of his dispositions and passions ; and at the moment when he thinks he has arrived at the object of his research, an unexpected occurrence takes place, which overthrows the whole of the fabric which his penetration may have raised, and reduces him to the alternative of recommencing his labours, with the disheartening prospect of the same discomfiture again befalling him.
It has been said that man is the subject of education, and that, like the sapling, he can be bent in any direction which the will and fancy of his preceptors may select, and not only that the precepts which are then inculcated are permanent and lasting, but that the effects are visible under every circumstance and condition into which the individual may be thrown at any future period of his life. The very reverse of that position will be apparent in almost every stage of the life of the individual who is the subject of this Memoir. We shall see at one time the grace of God working strongly within him, and apparently with so much efficacy as not to be subdued by the temptations and vanities of the world ; we shall see him in the possession of all those blessed advantages which a religious and moral education can bestow ; we shall see him in the respectable capacity of imparting those same advantages to others; we shall behold him in many instances as a member of the professors of Christ, acting up to the precepts which his education was intended to enforce, and on a sudden, as if an entire revolution had taken place within him, we shall see him the spectacle of the most hardened villainy and the most atrocious guilt; we shall see him the perpetrator of a crime, the deepest and blackest in the whole scope of human nature, and yet at the same time his mind appears to have been strongly imbued, as his autobiography and letters will evince, with a becoming sense and spirit of religion, which it was naturally to be expected would have withheld him from such a flagrant departure from the principles which it inculcates, and on which he himself founded his hope of eternal happiness.
This is one of those enigmas insoluble by all the ingenuity and talent of the most consummate adept in the knowledge of the secret workings of the human heart, and it opens a wide and interesting field of investigation into those great and overpowering causes, which could have led the delinquent to the commission of a crime to which all his previous habits and dispositions appear to be decidedly opposed. In this investigation, a serious and most salutary lesson will be read to those who, allowing themselves to be carried away by the force of their passions, banish from their breasts the great redeeming spirit of the grace of God, and reduce themselves to the deplorable state of a hopeless alienation from his
mercy. It is from an expectation of the great and beneficial consequences that will result from this lesson, that Holloway has himself deposited in the hands of the Editor of this work the history of his own life, written by himself, in his dreary confinement in Horsham Gaol, in order that the young may take a salutary warning from the awful condition to which he has reduced himself, by the infraction of those holy doctrines, on the basis of which is founded all terrestrial happiness, and the hopes of that which is to come.
A man seldom becomes a criminal on a sudden; it is by slow and almost imperceptible gradations, like the light of heaven itself, that guilt steals into the human heart, especially into one which, at an early age, has been carefully and assiduously instructed in the paths of religion; and perhaps in no life hitherto published will the truth of that statement be more completely verified and demonstrated, than in that of the individual who now stands committed for the murder of Celia Holloway. The mere exhibition of crime, abstractedly speaking, even in its utmost atrocity, possesses no salutary influence on the human heart, but it is from the display of those great and preponderating causes, which led to the commission of the crime, which, as it were, laid the seeds of it, and which became gradually matured,
increasing daily in strength and virulence, that the · moralist is able to adduce those valuable and wholesome reflections which act as a warning voice to the young and the dissipated, and which teach them that, after the first step into vice has been taken, the second soon follows, until at last the course becomes habitual, ending in infamy and ignominy. It may prove not the least interesting part of this history to attempt to fix upon the first cause which could have seduced apparently so good and amiable à youth