Page:Satires and profanities -microform- (1884).djvu/174

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165
SPIRITISM IN THE POLICE COURT.

numerous visitors. Thus Society with a capital S took great interest in him, and our penny daily press, always ready to pander to Society, and to the snobbery of its readers who are not in Society but ever on their knees worshipping it—our penny daily press furnished full reports of the proceedings. Mr. Flowers, the magistrate at Bow Street Police Court gave a written judgment on the case, sentencing the "Doctor" to three months' imprisonment with hard labor in the House of Correction; which sentence to the credit of our common sense, sadly discredited by much that came out on the trial, was received with some applause, and Mr. Lewis the prosecuting solicitor was cheered by a large crowd on leaving the court. Of course, there being money to back the "medium," notice of appeal was given, and bail accepted—the defendant in £200, and two sureties of £100 each.

In the course of the defence there was read from the Spiritualist an account of a sitting with Slade by Mr. Serjeant Cox, who, as Mr. Flowers observed, would, if an appeal were raised, be one of the judges of that appeal. The said account, after relating various wonders, concludes thus: "I offer no opinion on the causes of the phenomena, for I have formed none. If they be genuine, it is impossible to exaggerate their interest and importance. If they be an imposture it is equally important that the trick should be exposed in the only way in which trickery can be explained—by doing the same thing, and showing how it is done." Now this, at any rate, seems to show judical fairness if not judicial sagacity; and is beyond blame, as having been written before the learned Serjeant (unless warned by the spirits) could have had any expectation of being called upon to deliver a legal judgment on the matter. But after Mr. Flowers had passed sentence, and the appeal had been raised, this same Serjeant Cox, having become a prospective judge of the case, opened the third session of the Psychological Society of Great Britain, whereof he is president, and which, under such a president, will