Page:Satires and profanities -microform- (1884).djvu/173

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
164
SATIRES AND PBOFANITIES.

produced by spiritual agency. The prisoner's solicitor said that the Vagrant Act did not apply to a gentleman in the position of Dr. Monck, who kept his carriage and yacht at Bristol. We may admit that the application of the Vagrant Act is an awkward and round-about mode of dealing with such cases, and the sooner Parliament in its great wisdom provides a more direct and effectual remedy, the better; nor could a stronger argument for its provisions be adduced than the fact, if fact it be, that this reverend medium by the illicit production of spirits very much below proof, has been getting money enough to keep a carriage and yacht. When the Huddersfield magistrates remanded him for a week at the request of the chief constable, offering to accept bail, himself in £250, and two sureties in £100 each, the bail was not forthcoming; and the prisoner made a high-minded and pathetic appeal to the bench, "asking them not to make him suffer the indignity of incarceration in the police-cells; he said he had forsaken everything to follow this calling, believing in his inmost soul that it was right." So far as I can see, a convicted burglar or manufacturer of counterfeit coin, might with as good reason make just such an appeal; pleading pathetically that he had forsaken everything to follow this calling, affirming nobly that he believed in his inmost soul that it was right; while as to the jemmy and the skeleton keys, or the moulds and the battery, which had been seized in his possession, they were manifestly for purely scientific experimental investigations—exactly as were the spirit-hands affixed to wires and the musical boxes of the Rev. "Doctor" Monck.

The London case of "Doctor" Slade, is too well known to require being detailed here. As his fee was a sovereign, well-off people having much time to kill with any excitement, and empty heads to fill with any nonsense (much the same sort of silly people as those for whom some West-end High Church is the half-way house to the Pro-Cathedral), must have been his most