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"MISCELLANEOUS EXTRACTS. --+- -vrN- a snowfiake lets a shadow fall, As to the earth it softly sinks to rest; So may the whitest, purest, souls of all, Seem sometimes wrong to those that know them best. THE SOUTH SKA ISLANrs.Most of the islands inhabited by the Polynesians are small, and, with the exceptioi of Xew Zealand, scattered in mid ocean, dotting singly or in groups the bosom of the Tacific. They are the familiar South ^Sei hlands" of our boyish dreams. Most of them are reared up from the bottom of the ocean by the minute coral animals, and though on some of them there are volcanoes, which pour out h';ge masses of lava (such as that of Mauna Loa oil Hawaii, the chief of the Sandwich group), on the vast number of them there is no stone of any description, except that made from the lime gathered from the sea by the labour of the coral polypes. Indeed, on some of them so scarce were stones, that before the introduction of ireii, the pebbles found fixed in the rots of iloating trees, which had been wafted to the islands from distant shores, were part of the revenue of the king, and sold at high prices, as materials for knives, spear-points, &c. The climate is warmer than that of Europe, but the cool sea breezes ever wafting around them prevent the air being dis- agreeably hot, and in some—the Sandwich islands, f r instance the atmospheric conditions are about as near perfection as possible. As we sail along the shore we behold either low islands—just raised above the surface of the water green patches of verdure, surrounded by a fringe of cocoa-nut trees, or, in the larger ones, everv diversity^ of broken mountains and rocky precipices, clothfcd in a delightful verdure, from the moss ef the jutting promontories on the shore, to the deep and rich foli ige of the bread-fruit tree the Oriental luxuriance r of the tropical vegetation, or the wavy plume of the lofty and graceful cocoa-nut grove. The scene is enlivened by ¡ the waterfall on the mountain's side; the cataract that chafes along its rocky bed iu the recesses of the ravine, or tiie stream that slowly winds its way through the fertile and cultivated valleys, and the whole is surrounded by the white-created waters of the Pacitic, rolling their waves of foam in splendid majesty on the coral reefs, or dashing in spray against its broken strands." Everything is beautiful here-" aU save the spirit of man is divine —and it is with this, which, in the majority of cases, is rather the antipodes of divine, that we have to deal.— Tiie Peoples of the JVuild. A DEARTH of words a woman need not fear, But 'tis a task, indeed, to learn to hear In that the skill of conversation lies, That shows or makes you both polite and wise. REPOSE is as necessary in conversation as in a picture. il A JOUitNAi.IST," said Napoleon, "is a grumbler, a censurer, a giver f advice, a regent of t-overeigns, a tutor of nations. Four hostile newspapers are mora to be feared than a thousand of bavonets." THE progress of' private conversation betwixt two persons of different sexes is often decisive ef their fate, an S'jes it a turn very distinct, perhaps, from what they themselves anticipated. Gallantry becomes mingled with conversation, and affection and passion come gradually to mix with gallantry. Nobles as well as shepherd swains will, in such a trying moment, say more than they intended; and queens, likw village maidens, will listen longer than they shoitld.- ONE of the first observations to make in conversation is the state, or the character, and the educa- tion of th ■ person to whom we speak. ScctE.'SITL LOWING.—The three main prin- ciples of successful rowing are, first, perfe, t, time, secondly, getting the oar into the water s juare, i.e., at right angles to it, and thirdly, rowing the stroke right out and using the legs well. With reference to time, all that can b, said in the way of a Ivice to a beginner, is, be determined never to remove your eyes from the shoulders of the man in front of you. Follow his every motion, and if the time is wrong you will not, at ail events, be to blame, lie careful not to hurry tbe body forward, under the imprrssion that you may otherwise be late, for this only makes the boat roll, and nothing demoralises a crew more than that. Be sure to bring your hands well up to your body at the end of the stroke, and on no account ke, p them there longer than you are able. A quick recovery after a stroke and the free use of the legs the moment the oar gets into the water are impor- taut agents in the Acquisition of that lift" which is so desirable to obtain in boat-racing. A well-coached crow, will, when rowing, fairly make their boat seem to jump out of the water at the beginning of each stroke; and the value of all work done in front of t;ie rowlocks, 4s i.e., in the first part of the stroke before the blade of the oar com's level with the oarman's body, is almost beyond estimation. As regards the oar itself, it should be brought straight home to the chest, the knuckles touch- ing the body about an inch or less below the bottom of the breast-bone, where the ribs branch off, thus everv inch of water is made use of. When there, the hands should be dropped straight down, and then be turned over and shot out again along the legs, and the bedv should follow without the least p use. If this is not done th, oar will be feathered under water, and thus the boat will be buried, water will le thrown on the next car, and the recovery will be impeded. To effect a quick rcco.cry the back must be perfectly straight, the knees must not have been dropped down too low, and the straps must not be used too much a light touch is all that is ne;ded. The muscles of the body—in this case those that cress the stomach—m-.i.-t lie used, and not the boat itself, of which the strap is a part. The body should be swung evenly forward from the hips, not with a jerk or a plunge, or quicker at one time th.n another, but freely and easily, as if the hip- oint worked well and not stillly. —Cassthook tf S oi ts and J'astimes. A SESSION OF THE 1XITEj) STATES SUPREME Cornr.—'When tMelvc o'clock comes, there are perhaps a do/en lawyers sitting at the tables within the bar, and a score ef spe tltors waiting on the crimson plush sofas for the c-.mrt to open. A rustle of silk is heard from the open door leading to the retiring rooms. At the other side of the chamber sits a young man at a desk, who has been listening for a few minutes for that sound, lie rises, and announces in a clear voice: "The Honourable the Chief Justice and Asso- ciate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States," whereupon lawyers ami spectators all get up on their feet. The rustling sound approaches, and there enters a proce.scion of nine dignified olit men, clad in black silk gofcns tlia» reach almost to t1w'r feet, with wide sleeves and ample skirts. At the head walks the Chief Justice, and the others follow in the order of their length of service in the co-ii-t. They stand a moment in fr^nt of their chairs, and all bow at once to the bar. The lawyers return the salute then the judges sit down, the .Associ>tes being careful, however, not to occupy their chairs before the Chief Justice is settled in his. Now the you"g man, who is the crier, exclaims, in a monotonous fashion, 11 ovez ovez. ovez .All persons having business before the Honourable Supreme Court of the United States are admonished to draw near and he their attention, for the conrt is now sitting. God save the United States and this honourable court! Business begins promptly and is despatched rapidly. First, motions are heard, then the docket is taken up. The Chief Justice calls the case in order in a quiet tone, and a lawyer is on the floor making an argument, while you are still expecting that there will be some further formality attending the opening of sro august a tribunal. The proceedings arc impressive only from their simplicity. Usually the arguments of counsel are delivered in low, conversational tones. Often the judges interrupt to ask questions. In patent cases models of machinery ore frequently used to illustrate an argument, and are handed up to the judges for examination, or a blackboard is used for diagrams. Were it not for the grev hair and black gowns of the judges, you might almost imagine at times that the gentleman at the blackboard, with crayon in hand, was a college prof. s. or lecturing to a class. Or you may happ n to be in wh n a lawyer in charge of a case is leaning over the long desk in front of the judges, holding a conversation with one of them on SomE intricate point in a mechanical device, and you would hardly think that the court was in session and that the conversation was the pIca in a patent case involving perhaps a million of dollars. The bench has long been only a tradition in all our courts. Each justice of the Supreme Court has a clulir to suit his own notions of what constitutes a comfortable seat. Some of the chair- have high backs to rest the head, some have low backs, some have horse-hair cushions, some velvet, some no cushions at all. Chief Justice Waite site in the middle of the row.—The Century. LONDON CLA Y.-The beds of gravel, besides affording a dry and healthy soil for the sight of a house, also contain water at a slight depth. In sinking to from twelve to thirty feet water can generally be found such accumulations are now for the most part superseded bv the water-works, but before the region was so crowded such wells gave a convenient and good supply to the inhabitants. These facts demonstrate that at no great depth a change takes place in a material of the soil. It is the occurrence of an impirvious stratum that allows the rain water that has been able to filter down between the stones of the gravel-bed to accumulate. The well is sunk just into this lower stratum, and from the hollow we can draw water that continually tiows or dribbles in from all sides. This impervious stratum is a thick bed of clay, which (with the exception of certain portions to the south- east) underlies the whole of London. Eith-r it is to be found beneath the "Recent Alluvium," and the valley-gravel and brick-earth," or it constitutes the surface soil. In either case it will be found to continue downwards for a hundred or more feet. This is that which one sees turned up in certain districts of London and the suburbs as a brown, sticky, smooth clay If, however, it were got from far down, as in a deep well, it would oftener be found blue than brown, the brown colour near the surface being due to a kind of rustinq. Such is the London Clay, a name well known in the neighbourhood, and well known in the wider area in which geological nomenclature is familiar. Looked at it as part of the sub-soil of London, it is undoubUdlv the least favoprable for dwelling on, and it occupies some of the less favourite quaiters of the town. London was built first on the gravel, but in spreading it occupied some of the adjoining cJay land. It is likely that when a space of clay laud thus built over is completely Occupied, paved, and drained, there comes to be far less difference in point of salubrity, than there was at first between it and the gravel tracts.— Science for All. NEW YORK TO PARIS BY HATL. Some American engineers have been amusing the public by the project of au overland route ta Paris. The journey is to be couiplettd in less than six days, the sea transit occupying less than two hours. The line, starting from New York, would cross the Canadian Dominion and the territory of Alaska, to Prince of Wales Cape, where the travellers will be conveyed by steamer to Cape East, on the Asiatic side of Beliring's Strait, at a distance of about forty miles from t1 e western extremity of the North Americ in Continent. After landing in Asia, the line tiaverses the Siberian territory of Hussia, the railways of which are in correspondence with Moscow and St. Petersburg, and thence to all the capitals of the Euro- pean continent. It is estimated that the whole distance between New York and Park could be covered, at ex- press speed, in ISO hours, a little less than the actual time now taken to reach San Francisco; and if the line is encouraged, the fare would not exceed ToO francs each passenger.- -Leisure Hour. THE SHOULD RS OP MELCnISEDEK.- "-hile Dr. Chaime s was very busily engaged one forenoon in his study, a man entered, who at once propitiated him, under the provocation of an unexcepted interruption, by telling him he called under great distress of mind. Sit down, sir; be goodtnough to be seated," said Dr. Chal- mers, turning eagerly, and full of interest from his writing table. The visitor explained to him that he was troubled with doubts about the divine origin of the Christian religion, and being kindly questioneifas to what these were, he gave, amongst others, what is said in the Bible about Melchisedek being without father and mother, Joc. Patiently and anxiously Dr. Chalmers sought to clear away each successive difficulty as it was stated. Expressing himself as if greatly relieved in mind, and imagining that he had gained his end, "Doctor," said the visitor, "lam in great want of a I little money at present,and perhaps you could help me in that way," At once the object of his visit was seen. A perlect tornado of indignation burst upon the deceiver, driving him in very quick retreat from the study to the stieet door, these words escaping among úthers-" Not a < penny, sir not a penny It's too bad it is too bad And to haul in your hypocrisy upon the shoulders of Melchisedek "-London Society.