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ENGLISH EXTRACTS.

It is stated that a son of the Bishop of Exeter has recently gone out to Melbourne ; and that a son of Mr. Baptist Noel is gone to practice at the Australian bar. The Craig telescope, on Wandsworlh common, has enabled th« observers to perceive the third ring round the satellite of Saturn, whose existence has long been doubtful. A new drawing of the planet and its rings is in preparation by a Fellow of the Royal Society. At Manilla, in the Philippine Islands, a suspension bridge, 390 feet in length, has just been constructed. There are two carriage-ways and a footpath on it. The bridge is very solid, and of great elegance. A female named Douvion, of Courdenac, near Bordeaux, died a few days ago, aged one hundred and twenty. She was born in 1732, at Guadeloupe, and was twice married. At the age of a hundred she sold her property for a life income. The purchasers fancied they had made a capital bargain, as the old lady could not be expected to last long ; but they were grievously disappointed. The following account of the preparations in St. Paul's Cathedral, for the Duke of Wellington's funeral, is extracted from the Spectator, October 30 :— " The entire range of seats, orchestra, and platforms, are to be covered, the former with black cloth, and the latter with black, velvet. The Cathedral windows will be darkened with black drapery ; but the cornices, architraves, and transepts, will be fringed with jets of gaslight. It is in contemplation to hang the dome with draperies of black ; to suspend from its centre, orer the vault where the bier will rest during the service, a large and powerful light ; and to toll the great bell at intervals. It has been determined that all the seats shall be free, and that no gratuities shall be taken by the representatives of the Dean and Chapter. The steps of the Western portico, are to be covered with black cloth ; and a platform, also black, is being erected to receive the bier with its illustrious remains, after ascending Ludgate Hill." The funeral car is to form a stage 27 feet long, 1 1 feet wide, and 27 feet high, supported on six wheels, and 'composed of solid bronze. "Above the framework there will be a pediment seven feet wide, the sides of which will present a mass of gilt carving, enriched with circular panels, within which the names of the Duke's principal victories will be emblazoned. In the centre and at each end of the pediment will be shown trophies of arms and flags. These trophies will consist of real arms and warbanners, arranged in chronological order. The side trophies will be surmounted by the ducal coronet, the whole rising considerably above the pediment. Upon the pediment will be erected a bier six feet high and four feet wide, which will be covered by a pall of black velvet, richly powdered with silver ornaments; the Duke's crest and motto alternating with two Field Marshal's batons crossed and entwined with laurel. The fringe of the pall will be of silver, six inches deep. Upon the bier will rest I the coffin covered with crimson velvet. The hat and sword of the deceased will be placed upon the lid. From the framework will rise, at each of the four corners massive halberds ; which are to form the support of a canopy of j Indian kinkhal, hanging over and partly covering the coffin. This rich material, which is of a very beautiful pattern, and worked in silrer and gold, is now in process of manufacture in Spitalfields." A duel had been fought by two Frenchmen named Bartheleroy and Cournet, in which the latter was killed. The following particulars are extracted from the Spectator. — "It appears that the principals in the duel,

Barthelemy and Cournet, had, as the former believed, arranged their difference ; bat that subsequently Cournet thought he detected a menace iv the note requesting to know wheiher he had given currency to certain calumnious expressions in Paris regarding the other; whereupon he instantly withdrew his previous explanation, and in the eyes of Frenchmen a duel was inevitable. When the parties met at Egham, Cournet won the toss for choice of position, pistols, and right to fire. Cournet advanced his ten paces, fired, and missed. " Barthelemy, who had reserved his fire, then advanced his ten paces, and, standing twenty paces from his adversary, addressed him in the true style of French rhodomontade, reminding him that his life was now at his mercy, but that he would waive his right to fire if Cournet would consent to continue the duel with swords. Cournet, who it is said had previously shot fourteen men in different duels, refused the offer, and reminded his antagonist that he had still the right of another shot if he should fail. On this JJartbelemy raised his pistol, drew the trigger, exploded the percussion.cap, but failed to discharge the contents. A new cap was inserted, a second attempt wa3 made with the same result. Barthelemy again appealed to Cournet to have the contest decided with swords; and again Cournet refused, but offered him the use of the pistol he had formerly discharged. The offer was accepted ; the pistol was loaded by Baronet, (who. it is said, had before loaded both pistols,) and being put into the hands of Barthelemy, was discharged with the fatal effect which has originated the inquiry." A coroner's inquest was held on the body of Cournet, and a verdict returned of Wilful Murder against the Principal and Seconds engaged in the duel. i

Persian Heretics and Executioners. —The late attempt to asiassiuate the Shah of Persia was made by two persons who belonged to the religious sect of the Babis. This was tht only confession they made in spite of the inexpressible torments of the rack, and, though their muscles writhed under redhot pincers, though their bones were crushed by screws, still their lips remained closed, and all they s»id was, " We are Babis." The Babis are schismatics, and they pray to the prophet, but they prefer their prayers in a manner which is somewhat different from the devotional exercises of orthodox Mosleraim. This sect was founded about fifteen years ago by a man of the name of Bab, whom the King ordered to be shot, and who was shot accordingly. The most devoted among bis follower! fled to Sengain, where they were attacked by the King's troops. It was believed that all of them', men, women, and children, had been put to the sword, and that not a single Babi could be found to disturb the equanimity of the true believers; but intolerance has alw ays the same effect, and Babi doctrines took root and spread apace, and at this moment there is not a town in the kingdom without its congregation of secret Babis. The Government adheres to the system of persecution which comes so natural to a Persian, and the heretics have consequently many opportunities to assert the purity of their faith by martyrdom. The prophet Bab himself told his .jUaciplet-ihat the road to Paradise lay through the chamber of torture. If this be true, there it no denying it thai the pretsot Shah it very kind to the Babis, for be does his best to send them to Heaven. His last decree treats of the utter extermination of the heretics. Now, considering the peculiar character of Oriental ethict, nobody could find fault with the Persians if the poor sectarians were simply and quickly put to death, but the manner in which the capital sentence is executed, the circumstances which precede the last blow, the torments which consume the body until life eudi in a last horrible convulsion—these are so revolting that the very thought makes one's blood run cold. Countless blows falling hard and fast on the backs and the feet of the unfortunates, and the singeing of the limbs with redhot irons, are mere commonplace torments, and he to whom they are applied may thank God for being treated so leniently. Bat look at those wretches, who, with their eyet put out, are compelled to eat their own eirs, which have been cut off, and to eat them raw. Look at others, whose teeth have been broken out by the hands of the executioner, offering their bare beads to the hammer which is to break their skulls. Or look at the woful spectacle of the baaaar, lighted up by heretics, whose breasts and shoulders are drilled through and through, and made to contain burning candles. I have seen them marching through the bazaar with a band of music preceding them. Some of the candles were burnt down, and the wick and grease burnt right in the quivering flesh. Nor are these the only torments which the inventive cruelty of the Oriental* has devised. They take the Babis, skin the soles of their feet, ahoe them at they would shoe a horse, and after this they compel the victims to rTC a race. I shall never forget the scene. Not a groan had escaped him ; he bad borne the worst torment in gloomy silence, but now they ordered him to rite and run; be ' makes an attempt but the flesh is weaker than the mind —he staggers and falls! For mercy'g sake, give him the coup de grace, and make and end of it. No; the executiouer flourishes the knout, it comes down upon the quivering feet, be rushes forward, and runs. That is the beginning of the end. The end itself id that the scarred, mutilated body is hung to a tree* by one foot and one band, with the head downwards, and then every person may have a shot at it. I saw bodies literally torn to pieces by not less than 150 bullet*. Fortunate are those who are strangled, stoned, or suffocated; fortunate, too, are those who are tied to a cannon, or who fall under the sword, the dagger, the hammer, or the club. Not only the executioners, but also the populace, take part in this butchery. The judges now and then present tome Crown officer or dignitary with a few Babis, and the Persian feels delighted and honoured by shedding the blood of » gagged »nd defenceless msn. The infantry, cavalry, artillery, tbe Kiug't guards, the guilds of tbe butchers, bakers, &c, —all took part in the bloody scenes. A certain Babi was tent as a present to the officers of the garrison ; tbe commanding general had the first cut «t him, tnd the other officers followed, each with his sword, accordiog to rank and seniority. The Persian troops are butchers, but not warriors. One Babi was sent to tbe Imnutn Giunie, who killed him offhand. The Islam has uo notion of charity. After their death, the bodies of tht

Babis are cat into halves, and either nailed to the gates or thrown out to the dogs and abakals. — Kolner Zeitung. A Whale with the Tooth-ache. —Among the ailment* to which sperm whalei are subject is the jumping tooth-ache. It operates on their nervous system as it does upon that of mankind, rendering them crabbed and fractious. Just at daybreak one morning, while we were cruising on the "off shore" ground, a violent commotion in the water about two milea ahead, resembling breakers, attracted attention. It continued unabated till we were within fifty rods of it, when a sperm whale (for such it proved to be) threw his entire body into the air, and fell back into bis native element with a tremendous report. Of coarse the yards were hauled aback, and the boats lowered, but several minutes elapsed before it was deemed prudent to approach the monster. Finding, however, that be had no idea of becoming quiet, we advanced with caution, and succeeded in securing one iron firmly in his back, which rendered him more restless. Giving him plenty of slack line, we removed to a respectful distance, hoping he would sound or retreat, but he was not disposed to do either. So, taking our oars, we palled sufficiently near to give the boat-header an opportunity to lance him. lit seemed to be aware of our intention, for be turned and rusbed towards us with the design of giving us a " fowing," which we narrowly escaped. During the next half hour he chased us, and it was with much difficulty that we avoided him. When near us he turned on his back and raised his jaw, bringing to view two handsome rows of-ivory. Among terrific objects an enrnged whale holds a prominent place. An hour passed in unavailing attempts to accomplish the des'red object, the whale becoming more furious, and the hope of conquering him growing fainter. At length, while the attention of the monster was fixed upon us, the mate came upon him in an opposite direction end dealt him a death wound, relieving us of a burden of anxiety, which indicated itself in the pallid countenances and nervous agitation of the boat's crew. He was very reluctant to yield, and the death struggle was long and violent. If a cat has nine lives, as is sometimes remarked, that fellow had nineteen. Before night bis blubber was in the try-pots and bis jaw was stripped of bis covering. On extracting the teeth the cause of bis singular movement was revealed. The cavities in several contained a large number of Worms an eighth of an inch in length. The teeth were perfectly sound, but the marrow or nerve of the tooth, which was an inch in diameter at the lower extremity, was in many of them entirely consumed by the insects that seemed to have bred there. —American Whaler's Journal.

A Rotal Botanist. —There is one king in Europe who is a good practical botanist, and who must look back upon the hoars spent in the arrangement of his fine herbarium with far more pleasure than upon those wasted in a vain and retrograde course of politics. The monarch in question is His Majesty of Saxony, who, in his scientific career at least, has gained honor and respect. Many are the stories told by his subjects of their ruler's adventures when following his favourite and harmless hobby ; how, more than once, astray from his yawning "courtiers, lie -ifad wandered in search of some Vegetable rarity across the frontier of his legitimate dominions, and, on attempting to return, was locked up By bis own guards as a spy and smuggler; since he could produce no passport, nor give any more probable account of himself than the preposterous assertion that be was their king. Fifteen years ago he made a famous excursion to the stony and piratical little Republic of Montenegro. It was literally a voyage of botanical discovery, and the potentate sailed down the Adriatic in a steamer fitted out with all the appliances of scientific investigation. On its deck he might be seen busily engaged in laying out plants, ably and zealously assisted by his equerries and aides-de-camp, and guided by the advice oi eminent botanists, who accompanied him as members of bis anite. Such a kingly progress had surely never been seen before, unless Alexander the Great may have relieved the monotony of conquering by making natural history excursions with his quondam tutor Aristotle. The Montenegrins, on ordinary occasions very troublesome and by no means trustworthy people —folks who still keep many of the worst habits of the old Scottish Highlanders —were mystified into tranquillity by the peculiar proceedings of their royal visitor and his noble attendants. Resolved, bowever, to render due honour' to so distinguithed and unusual a guest, they furnished a guard of state j to accompany him in all bis peregrinations; and, { whenever bis botanical Majesty stooped to gather j a new or rate specimen, the soldiers halted, and,' with much ceremony, presented arm*. — West- ' miuster Review. j

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Bibliographic details

ENGLISH EXTRACTS., New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, Volume IX, Issue 797, 26 March 1853

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2,655

ENGLISH EXTRACTS. New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, Volume IX, Issue 797, 26 March 1853

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