An acute and impudent American, named Slade, had for some time driven a good trade in humouring simpletons to the top of their bent by getting so-called spirit-messages written on slates in gratification of their gaping wonder, charging them a fee of one guinea each for the pleasure of being gulled. His vulgar fraud proved, at any rate, that he had made one discovery—namely, the infinite capacity of stupidity. Having been detected by Professor Lankester in writing the messages which he professed to receive from the other world, he was prosecuted at the Police. Court as a rogue and vagabond by that gentleman; and he was finally convicted and sentenced to three months' imprisonment, with hard labour. In aid of his defence before the magistrate, the following report from Mr. Serjeant Cox was read:—
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