10 MARCH 1866, Page 3

Mr. Coleman, proprietor of the Spiritual Magazine, published recently an

article, said to be extracted from a New York paper, accusing Mr. Sothern, the well known actor, of having committed a rape on a lady under mesmeric influence, and made his home unhappy by his infidelities. Mr. Sothern prosecuted, and Mr- Coleman, after many attempts to delay proceedings, confessed that there was no foundation whatever of any sort or kind. for the libel, which was expressly repudiated by Mrs. Sotheen. and by many American witnesses, who were in New York at the time alleged. Mr. Coleman is a fanatical spiritualist, and Mr. Sothern an exposer of spiritualism, and hence a quarrel ending in this atrocious libel The jury found the prisoner guilty, but Mr. Chambera —who took occasion to state that he thought there was something in spiritual- ism —astounded those in Court by inflicting a fine of fifty pounds. Had the libel been substantiated Mr. Sothern would have been rained, and the absurd disparity between the offence and the punishment has called forth most indignant comments. The same judge in the same week sentenced a poor woman guilty of a vile slander to twenty-one months' imprisonment. Have the spirits, in addition to their authority over tables, power to influence English judges on behalf of their devotees ?