Punch,  50 (1866), 14.

The Miracles of Machinery



Letter, Spoof


Miracle, Steam-power, Machinery, Religious Authority, Religion, Supernaturalism, Charlatanry

    The author of this letter, which is addressed to Pope Pius IX, discusses an extract from the Hampshire Independent describing the discovery, in a Milanese statue long 'famous for weeping in the presence of unbelievers', of a mechanism for condensing water in its eyes. Asks the Pope to verify the story, not least because it weakens his confidence in himself and those 'ecclesiastics' who teach the reality of such events as the melting of the blood of a statue of St Januarius and winking pictures. Suggests that there may be a mechanism responsible for the latter, and suggests that the pope conduct a 'satisfactory examination' of alleged miracles in order to stop people thinking that he is 'conniving at humbug'.

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