« السابقةمتابعة »
than a thin brass barrel, which fitted accurately into the excavated handle.
As a cat springs on a mouse, so darted Sniffers on his prey: lifting it he opened the machine and extracted therefrom a roll of fresh crimplooking notes—all forgeries on the Joint-Stock Banking Company.
“Live and learn!” he exclaimed, as he investigated “the plant," with some surprise : this, however, was but transitory, for the novelty over, the official quickly recovered his serenity; while the man in manacles still remained entranced. The whole affair appeared to him “like a phantasma, or a hideous dream!” Fain would he have rubbed his eyes, to dissipate the impenetrable mist which enwrapped them—but, alas ! his hands could only reach the southernmost promontory of his face, where, stretched out, they looked for all the world like a full view of the fore part of a steamer.
“Five, ten, fifteen, twenty," laughed Sniffers; wetting his fingers in bank fashion, and counting out the notes. “How much will you take for them in the pound, old boy?”
The culprit gasped like a broken-winded bellows! No longer belonged he to the race of “articulately-speaking men,” for his mouth was so parched with fright he could not project a syllable from his faucis !
While gazing on this tableau, the drop-scene falls ; and in the next act we behold our two acquaintances in the court-house : premising that Mr. Sniffers having professional business in N-, which would delay him till the morrow, determined forthwith to procure the committal of the captive.
The magistrates were sitting, and clearly and concisely the officer preferred his charge. After receiving the usual caution not to commit himself, the chairman asked :
“Where do you live, prisoner?'
“What!” cried the magistrate, in amaze; “you wish to pass for one of the directors of the Joint-Stock Bank ?"
“So I am,” said Pettigrew, mournfully.
The justice looked at Sniffers, in explanation. That gentleman shrugged his shoulders, and by his looks insinuated ludicrous contempt.
“There was a laughing devil in his sneer,” which infected the bench and court-house generally.
“I have not the pleasure of knowing Mr. Pettigrew, the director," said the magistrate, “but I think I can take upon me to say that he does not disguise himself in green spectacles, nor does he carry forged notes in the handle of his umbrella !”
“He wears a wig too, your worship, sometimes brown and other times grey,” added the detective, with unshaken faith in Mr. Gilbertson.
"No!” said the justice, incredulously, being a little short-sighted. “ You do n't say so ?”
To set the matter beyond dispute, the officer pulled off the peruke and exposed the phrenological development of Pettigrew to public gaze.
In defence, the wretched man only indulged in self-recrimination. He declared his own umbrella was a very dyspeptic one, and that the waiter had placed the other in his cab. However, though he had not stolen it, he felt morally guilty in having stood sponsor, when he should at once have repudiated all title to it. This story was specious : but could he prove it? No! He knew not a soul in N-; and as the telegraphic wires were not established between this town and Leeds at the period we write of, nought was left to do but commit the prisoner for the night, and (agreeably to his wishes) write to the manager of the Bank to at once come down and deliver him from “durance vile.”
This pleasing event took place next morning. Let it not be supposed that detectives are infallible.
While Pettigrew bivouacked in the county gaol, Mr. Gilbertson (with any amount of Co.) was in the Hull and Hamburg steamer, putting distance between himself and the land which gave him birth. Whether Mr. Sniffers has ever as yet renewed his acquaintance with that gentleman it is not our purpose to inquire.
Before laying down the pen, however, it may not be superfluous to mention that soon after the occurrence recorded, a London artist patented an ingenious species of umbrella, the handle of which unscrewed, thereby rendering the machine useless to any save the owner. Whether “ the notion was derived from this transaction, I am not prepared to say : however, if anyone wishes to think so, there is strong circumstantial evidence, in the fact of its having been christened “THE DETECTOR UMBRELLA."
THE RIVAL CHURCHES.
Poor Paddy's CABIN ; or, Slavery in Ireland. By an Irishman. Third
edition, small 8vo, pp. 240. London: Wertheim and Mackintosh;
Dublin : M‘Glashan and W. Curry & Co. NOTES AT PARIS, particularly on the State and Prospects of Religion.
8vo, pp. 152. London: Rivingtons. THE GREAT ECLIPSE ; or, Romanism and Tractarianism versus the Bible.
Small 8vo, pp. 141. London: K. J. Ford (Islington), Simpkin g.
Co., and Hamilton & Co. AN AUTHENTIC NARRATIVE OF THE PERSECUTION OF THE MADIAI, for
reading the Bible. By T. Frost, Esq. Small 8vo, pp. 93. London: Read & Co., Johnson's Court, Fleet Street.
In a recent number of Bentley's Monthly Review (for June)—a work now merged in this we are conducting—we reviewed a book written in praise of the Roman Catholic Church, by a lady and a devotee. It was a tale by no means defective in literary talent, and abounding in that sort of argument which assumes as facts certain dogmas and religious tenets in themselves very questionable, and the authority for which can never be proved. To those who have read and admired “Kate Gearey," and who are disposed to surrender their imaginations to the teaching of its author, we recommend the perusal of “Poor Paddy's Cabin”—a work professedly written to bring into disrepute and contempt that Church and those religious rites which Miss Mason adores.
In treating of Mandeville's “ Fable of the Bees" (B. M. R., for May), we stated our opinion as to the limits of controversial discussion; and we repeat, that where truth and the good of mankind are the objects, and while becoming language is preserved, we are willing to give a fair hearing to everyone, in religion, politics, and morals, convinced as we are, within ourselves, that-although the most sacred subjects may be assailed -the right cause will never suffer by fair argumentation.
Nothing, perhaps, is more difficult than to disembarrass the mind of its early prejudices—to unlearn, as it were, the accumulated errors of past years, and to rise out of the conventionalities of the period, the place, and the position in life, in which we were born and brought up. In commen
ting on the obstinate wrong-headedness of mankind, sufficient allowance is not usually made for this difficulty. It is no more disgraceful to a simple Mahometan that he does not abandon his belief and turn Christian, on your representations, than it is to a Christian that he continues in the faith in which he was educated ; and in religious controversies this fact should never be lost sight of. The best of us may well doubt the correctness of his own religious convictions when he sees how many millions of thinking men there are in the world who differ from him in their faith, and who are, nevertheless, carnest and hopeful ;but we can never be wrong in denouncing any system which tends to enslave the human mind, and which endeavours to prevent its followers from becoming acquainted with the Scriptures on which it pretends to be founded.
“Poor Paddy's Cabin” is written with considerable power, and the scenes it depicts have an air of truthfulness about them which leaves on the mind of the reader the distinct impression they are intended to convey. There is nothing to outrage our experience as to the state of the Irish in Ireland under the government of the Pope and the priests; and, with the exception of the little romantic story incorporated with the history of “Poor Paddy's" family, the narrative might easily be understood as a record—very little embellished-of events which actually occurred in the order in which they are related.
"Poor Paddy” obtains a Bible, and his eyes are beginning to open to the real state of the case, when he meets with his priest :
"You're welcome, your reverence,' said Paddy, taking off his hat.
“Thank you, Paddy,' said the priest : but what book is that in your hand ?' said he, looking at Paddy suspiciously.
“Oh! a good book, your reverence,' said Paddy, holding it open before him.
“Why, Paddy, that is the Bible you have got, is n't it?' said the priest, in a tone of angry surprise.
“Why, then, it is your reverence.' “And do you think you understand that book, you foolish man?' said the priest.
««Why, then, what I understands of it, your reverence, does me good, and what I does n't understand does me no hurt. I understands more and more of it every day.'
"" I tell you, Paddy, you can't understand a word of it,' said the priest, in a loud tone.
"Why, then, can't I, your reverence? I thought I could till now.'
“Oh, Paddy, how could you understand it, when even I myself could n't understand it, except by the unanimous consent of the Fathers, as our fine creed by our Pope Pius says.'
“The Fathers, your reverence! Wisha, then, who are they? I never hecrd of 'em in
life.' "• You never heard of them,” said the priest, "and yet you expect to understand that book!
“Will your reverence tell me who are they?' said Paddy.
Why, Paddy, there is St. Jerome, and St. Chrysostom, and St. Gregory, and St. Basil, and St. Bernard, and a good many others.'
“ And will your reverence tell me, did they live before or after the apostles that used to go about with our Lord ?'
"Oh, Paddy, they all lived several hundred years after our Lord and his apostles, but
“Oh, I understands your reverence ; I sees how it is; there are all them Fathers, and sure 't is hard to find 'em all, to ask their consent to read the Bible. But I'll tell your reverence what's runnin in my head all this time,' said Paddy, opening his Bible, and glancing from gospel to gospel — here I have the Grandfathers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and the rest of 'em; they are oulder, and I know where to find 'em. And now your reverence will pardon me for asking you, why was the Bible written at all, if it is n't to be read by the people ?'
“Paddy, 't is a shame of you,' said the priest, suppressing his anger, and hoping still to reason Paddy out of his heresy before proceeding to extremities with him. 'You ought to know that the Bible was given to the clergy only, that they should find out its meaning, and teach ignorant people like you.'
“Why, then, your reverence,' said Paddy, 'I do n't know how that is, for I was readin in the Bible, “these words that I command thee shall be in thy heart, and thou shalt teach them diligently to thy children. Now, you know, your reverence, the clargy have no children, for the Church forbids to marry; they must be for us 80, and not for the clargy.'
“I'll make you sorry for your conduct, Paddy,' said the priest, shaking his whip: he then rode off in high dudgeon.”
The author then gives us an account of the system of Altar-cursing, an extract from which we subjoin. He expresses his astonishment that a Christian country suffers such an abuse to exist—"the greatest blot on the page of modern history," he says, and “the greatest disgrace to modern legislation;" in which opinion we are inclined to agree with him.
Though it is the fashion to be excessively delicate in legislating on subjects which may hurt the refined feelings of the Roman Catholics, surely this evil might be put a stop to, without fear of provoking a public disturbance, any more than we might expect a mutiny in the army on depriving colonels of the power of flogging. The state ought to protect its citizens, in the exercise of their civil and social rights, against the thunders of any Church whatever. An English clergyman, who took upon him to curse any members of his congregation, would, we are quite sure, be speedily degraded from his office, or else incarcerated as a madman; although as to the effect his denunciations might have on his hearers, little harm would probably be done. Why then is such latitude allowed to Roman-Catholic priests, whose influence over their superstitious followers is so great, and whose spiritual denunciations are so dreaded ?
To permit the exercise of this power in the pulpit is to place the political rights of the Irish Roman-Catholics at the disposal of the Pope;