« AnteriorContinuar »
BY JOHN HOOPER HARTNOLL.
"All his own confessions, Squibb!"
"Little did I think, that a man of my mild and peaceable dis-
PUBLISHED B.Y EFFINGHAM WILSON,
PRICE ONE SHILLING.
AN EXPOSURE, &c.
AS it is probable that this pamphlet will reach the hands of many persons who were present at Mr. Hamilton's Lecture, at the City of London Tavern, on Monday, the 12th Instant, it is perhaps unnecessary to offer any apology for troubling them with a relation of certain circumstances which led to the occurrences of that evening. It is well known that for the last five or six months, the London papers have been inundated with the advertisements of Mr. Hamilton, who professes to teach the French, Latin, German, and other languages, on a system peculiarly his own. He says, every pupil will acquire "a perfect knowledge of the French language, so as to pronounce with the propriety of a native of France, to translate any book in the language with an accuracy unknown on any other system, and to write and speak it with grammatical purity in forty-eight lessons." He professes to teach
ten thousand words, or the whole of the Gospel of St. John in that language, in ten lessons of one hour each. He asserts, "it is verily believed that the Hamiltonian school, is the most perfect model of what a school ought to be, now in existence." And he declares, that "we ought not to be surprised that his system should produce effects which, when compared to the effects of the vicious systems of the schools, may have the appearance of a miracle."
Struck with the boldness of this man's pretensions, I attended his lecture at the City of London Tavern, on March 13th, for the purpose of ascertaining how far his system deserved the high encomiums he had passed upon it, and whether or not there was any thing in it beyond the mere quackery which is so frequently presented to John Bull for his patronage. At the time appointed, Mr. Hamilton entered the lecture-room with all the apparent self-satisfaction and bustling importance of a man who was about to communicate some marvellous information. He commenced an address to the Meeting by stating, that he had lately come from America; where, if we may believe his assertions, he worked miracles so truly extraordinary, that Prince Hohenloe's dwindle into mere ordinary occurrences. He made the most unjustifiable attacks upon our academic institutions, and endeavoured, by a series Of false and illiberal representations, to depreciate the talents and characters of our teachers. He expatiated upon his own attainments and energies; and dwelt upon the ignorance and inability of others. And he descanted on the origin and progress of grammar, and on the perfection of language at the beginning of the world, in a manner that admirably illustrated the words of Seneca, "plus sonat, quam valet."
He then proceeded to develope his plan of tuition, and to give the persons present a lesson on his system. This I considered exceedingly fair, as it would enable the company to judge whether or not he could, as he had professed, teach a thousand words in an hour. But mark the result! At the expiration of the lesson, which lasted above half an hour, instead of having taught Jive hundred words, he had only read, and caused to be repeated, the diminutive number of—forty. There was something so barefaced in this proceeding, and the greater part of the meeting seemed so insensible of it, that I rose at the conclusion of the lecture for the purpose of endeavouring to remove so confirmed a mental opthalmia. Mr. H. endeavoured to oppose my being heard, but the resolution of a great majority of the company, overcame his opposition. My address was brief, as my sole intention in rising was to excite a spirit of enquiry in the good-natured people present. I