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Railway Extravagance. — Tbe waste of capital, directly or indirectly, in the formation •f railways, has been estimated at no less than £12,000,000, apart from the loss which has been incurred in the support of unsuccessful bill* and the maintenance of unsuccessful oppositions.

The Sceptic Answered. — "If we are to live after death, why don't we have some certain knowledge it ?" said a sceptic to a clergyman. "Why dont't you have some knowledge of this world before you came into it r" was the caustic reply.— Leisure Hours.

Wandering Thouobti. — A Cincinnati paper tells the following: — "In one of our churches an old gentleman fell asleep, and began dreaming that he was on a hunting excursion. All of a sudden, and to tbe astonishment of everybody, he bellowed out ' Fetch him, Dash ! a glorious shot— three woodcocks with one barrel 1 hurrah for me 1' and he rote up from his seat and cheered lustily. He awoke himself by his hallooing, and immediately seized bis hat and walked out, blushing like red pepper*" An American Gcntuman's Yacht.— On Wednesday, a monster steamer, with American colours flying, entered Southampton water. She proved to be a steam yatch of 2,000 tona burden, belonging to Commodore Vanderbilt, of New York, the pioneer of the various lines of mall, steamers between that city and the Pacific. This steamer has been constructed specially for the private use of that] gentleman, and the present is her first voyage, which she performed in ten days, eight hours, and forty minutes. She was built by Mr. Simonson, of New York, and her dimensions are— length of keel, 260 feet ; length of spar-deck, 270 feet ; beam, thirty-eight feet. The engines are from the Allaire Works, the cylinders being sixty inches diameter, with ten feet stroke, and the paddle-wheels thirty-four feet in diameter. The steam is generated in four boilers, each twenty-four feet long and ten feet diameter, with ■ingle return flues. A iteam-yacht of such gigantic proportions as these is likely to excite great interest in this country. Her cabins and interior arrangements are of the most commodious and elegant description, and fitted up entirely for tbe convenience of the family of the owner, by whom he ia accompanied. The North Star will shortly proceed to St. Petersburg!), and thence to the Mediterranean, touching at several European ports, merely on a visit of pleasure. Some idea of her size may be formed when we Mate that the North Star is of larger tonnage and greater po*er than the Victoria and Albert Royal yacht. She cost 500.000 dols., and her weekly expenses are about £350. exclusive of fuel. Tbe crew con. sists of nearly 10" men, including officers, sea. men, engineers, firemen, &c. The veuel. after coaling, will be thrown open to the public, and her stay is expected to occupy ten or twelve days. The rapid voyage of this veuel from New York te Southampton is an evidence of her great speed, particularly when the newness of the machinery ia taken into acconnt. During one twenty-four hours the log of the North Star shows tba* she ran 335 miles. Her consumption of coals has bten 600 tons.

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Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XII, Issue 610, 12 November 1853

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