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“In the year 1223 (of the Hejra) there came to this city an Englishman, who taught the religion of Christ with a boldness hitherto unparalleled in Persia, in the midst of much scorn and ill-treatment from our moollahs, as well as the rabble. He was a beardless youth, and evidently enfeebled by disease. He dwelt amongst us for more than a year. I was then a decided enemy to infidels, as the christians are termed by the followers of Mahomet, and I visited this teacher of the despised sect with the declared object of treating him with scorn, and exposing his doctrines to contempt. Although I persevered for some time in this behaviour towards him, I found that every interview not only increased my respect for the individual, but diminished my confidence in the faith in which I was educated. His extreme forbearance towards the violence of his opponents, the calm and yet convincing manner in which he exposed the fallacies and sophistries by which he was assailed, for he spoke Persian excellently, gradually inclined me to listen to his arguments—to inquire dispassionately into the subject of them, and finally to read a tract which he had writ. ten in reply to a defence of Islamism by our chief moollahs. Need I detain you longer? The result of my examination was a conviction that the young disputant was right. Shame, or rather fear, withheld me from avowing this opinion; I even avoided the society of the christian teacher, though he remained in the city so long. Just before he quitted Shirauz, I could not refrain from paying him a farewell visit. Our conversation, -- the memory of it will never fade from the tablet of my mind-sealed my conversion. He gave me a book-it has ever been my constant companion—the study of it has formed my most delightful occupation—its contents have often consoled me.' :
Upon this he put into my hands a copy of the New Testament, in Persian; on one of the blank leaves was written : There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth. HENRY MARTYN,"
On reading the above striking relation the following lines were composed, which the Editor of the “Miscellany” hopes will prove acceptable to his readers.
Tho' summer flowers decay and die,
And lose their sweet perfume;
The flower again may bloom.
Thus, Martyn, reared by wisdom's hand,
To Persia's plains retired;
With zeal his bosom fired.
To strains divine his harp he strung,
That Jesus came to save;
He found an early grave,
But lo! on Persia's moral wild,
A christian's found to dwell ;
And loves this tale to tell.
“A wanderer from the fold of God,
Nor knew my hapless lot;
In Persia's plains forgot. '
With terror seized, with guilt distressed
To Jesus' cross to flee ;
I went, my sin was washed away,
That Jesus died for me.”.
Oh favoured Persian ! onward move,
In answer to the enquiry of a Correspondent, the following natural history of the Leech is inserted; it is taken from the “ Monthly Magazine" of 1807.
OBSERVATIONS ON THE NATURAL HISTORY
The history of these animals is rendered interesting from their well known use in surgery. One species, the Medicinal Leeches, (hirudo medicinalis of Linnæus) are employed for the purpose of extracting blood from various parts of the human body, where the lancet would be of no avail; and from some parts, as the gums, to which even cupping-glasses could not possibly be applied. They are in such request in some districts of England, that the poor people derive a great part of their subsistence from collecting them for sale; and some plans have been projected of making ponds for the purpose of breeding them. Such ponds, if in good situations, and properly managed, would, no doubt, prove extremely lucrative to the owners.
The body of all species of Leeches, when extended, is long and slender, but it is capable of very considerable dilatation and contraction. It is composed of a great number of annules, or to speak more correctly, of circular muscles, which are the principal organs of motion. The surface of the skin, in the different species, is more or less rough with minute tubercles. To the touch, however, these tubercles are scarcely sensible, from the circumstance of their being always smeared with a viscous fluid indissoluble in water, which transudes from them. By means of this fluid, the progress of the animals, in swiniming, as well as in passing through mud, or amongst the carices, reeds, and other aquatic plants, (about the roots and leaves of which they are chiefly to be found,) is greatly facilitated.
The head of these animals, in a state of dilatation, is considerably less pointed than their posterior extremity. They have the power of attaching themselves to any hard substance, both by their head and tail; but it is difficult to comprehend by what precise means this is effected. All we know is, that they form a concavity beneath each of these extremities; by which, in the manner of a cupping glass, they adhere so firmly, that in some instances their body has been torn asunder, in attempting to detach them. The structure of the fleshy discus, which performs the office of sucker, cannot easily be ascertained, for when the skin which covers it is removed, we observe only some minute fibres interwoven in different directions. In consequence of the vacuum, formed by the contraction of the discus, the animals are fixed by the pressure of a column of air, corresponding to their diameter.
They swim like eels, by a serpentine motion. When they would change their place without swimming, they begin by fixing their body at one of the extremities, by means of the sucker that terminates it. The circular muscles of the skin then separately act, by which the body is elongated, by diminishing its diameter. When the free extremity has reached the place to which the animal is desirous of extending it, it is applied and made fast to that spot by the sucker, and becomes the fixed point of a new motion. The animal, having now removed the sucker first
made use of, draws it by the operation of the longitudinal fibres of the skin, towards the other sucker, and proceeds, in this manner, to fix each extremity alternately. These motions are executed with considerable rapidity.
The mouth is a triangular opening, having three strong and sharp teeth, which meet in the centre, and are capable of piercing not only the human skin, but even the tender parts of that of the horse or ox. At the bottom of the mouth there is a kind of fleshy prominence, in which the tube terminates that conveys the blood from the triple wound, formed by the teeth, into the stomach of the animal. The stomach consists of a great number of membranous bags, furnished with small valves, in which blood has some.. times been known to continue for many months without being coagulated. As none of the Leeches have more than one principal orifice in their bodies, it is extremely probable, says Morand, who has published a memoir respecting these animals, that all those particles of the blood they swallow, which do not assist in nourishing their bodies, may pass off by transpiration, and thus form the vicious fluid which exudes through the skin. This fluid may be observed in blackish filaments, in water in which Leeches are kept.
It appears that Leeches respire through their mouth. The greater part are furnished with organs of vision, varying in number, (according to the species,) from one to eight. In many of them, however, no eyes are to be seen, even with high magnifying powers.
If a Leech be cut in two, that part which contains the head will continue in life, and, after a time, greater or less according to the season, will become a new animal, differing in no respect whatever from others of its species. It should appear from this fact, and from some other observations, that Leeches increase in size, not only by the development of their parts, but likewise by augmentation, that is to say, that old Leeches have a greater number of muscular rings than the young ones.