[From The Manx Quarterly, #29 - 1923]

A Court House Curiosity

Many a lie on this book has been sworn,
But now its leaves are dirty, black, and torn;
Some gone to heaven, and some perhaps to hell,
A mystery which none came back to tell.

The rhyme is scribbled along the margins of a page in an old copy of the Testament which is still in existence, though not in use, in the Court House, Ramsey. How many lies have been sworn on this volume, only the Recording Angel knows; but one scrawl on the fly-leaf makes mention of an inquest held in tire year 1842, and the name of the great George William Dumbell is found in several places. So, for that matter, is the name of the still greater H. B. Loch - though it is difficult to picture the Governor condescending to while away the time by scribbling his signature in the Court House Bible! Many another name well-known in the annals of the, Manx Bar appears on this scroll; and even William Caley, constable, confides to posterity that he left Douglas for Ramsey in 1873. The, verses quoted above, more remarkable for their truth than their elegance, are dated 1883. An indictment of the Government of the day is to be found. on the leather cover, in which it is unmistakably stated that " This Bible is for the use of Sunday-schools exclusively."


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