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LOCAL GOSSIP. A curious little coinage coincidence happened at a place of business in Wind-street, Swansea, one day this week. In a silver payment, not exceeding twelve shillings, there were three half- rowns. The dates of -whose minting were respectively 1816, 1S17 and 1818. Another honour has been accorded to Major-General Sir Francis Grenfell, K.C.B.. Aide-de-Camp to the Queen, and Sirdar of the Egyptian Army, who has been offered and ha.s accepted the po-t of Honorary Colonel of the l.t Surrey Riile Volunteer-, commanded by Colonel Villiers. The Milford Haven Route to America will be^in- augurated bv the City of Rome, which left ^ew or for that port on Tuesday. The late Sir ,TV.flal1} Pearce had a dream of doing the passage from r n ore in four days. His ideal steamer was to be cigar sipped, and to have no masts or deck-houses. Captain Goodwyn. 2nd Battalion Welsh Regiment, at Cork. will shortly leave Iceland and proceed to Wales for dutvas adjutant of the 2nd Volunteer Bat- talion (the old Glamorgan Kiflo Volunteers); he relieves Captam Foley, who rejoins his corps, the Middlesex Regiment, at Duttovant, in Ir-lana. On Wednesday evening, at the Albert Hall, under the auspices of'the Swansea Arts Club, Mr. Ernest Rhys Editor of the Camelot_ Classics, delivered an interesting lecture on .Esthetic London. Mr. J. C Woods presided, and there iva- a good attendance. The Society intend bringing down the versatile and I, eminent Rev. Mr. Haweis to deliver the second lecture of the series. Pensioners live long. An individual who was a clerk in the India House with Charles Lamb and John Stuart Mill has just died at Ventnor, and his demise is worth recording because he had enjoyed a handsome pension for fifty-four years, having been allowed to retire, in consequence of broken health," in 1835! It would be interesting to peruse the medical certificate upon which this worthy man was pensioned off. A treat is in store for the people of the Staffordshire iron capital on W ednesdav next, when Madame Adelina Patti is announced to appear at Mr. Bywater's concert, at the Drill Hall, Wolverhampton. Madame Adelina Patti's selection will comprise the air and rondo Ah non guinge, from "La Sonnambula Gounod's "Ave Maria, and, with Madame Patey, a part in the duet Quis est homo, from Rossini's Stabat. On Monday evening a deputation waited upon Mr. and Mrs. Giibertson. Glanrhyd, and formally presented to them a testimonial which had been subscribed for by the inhabitants of Pontardawe and district, consisting of an address, a pea! of tubular bells to be hung m Saints' Church (built by Mr. Giibertson in memorvoi his late father) a brilliant diamond star to Mrs. Giibertson, and a gold pencil-case to Master Frank Giibertson. The Rev. W. E. Shaw, of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church-who is one of the most energetic and successful of our Swansea ministers-has happily recovered from his recent severe and sudden Illness, and will preach at St. Andrew's on Sunday next for the first time since his return. Mr. Shaw deserves, and will doubtless get, such an enlarged audience as ■will typify the heartiness with which Swansea welcomes him back to his pulpit and his pastoral work. Late on Tuesday night it was reported at Tenby that a seamen named Thomas Brown, on board the schooner Hayle, of Llanplly, then at anchor in Caldy Roadstead, had been killed on board his ship. It appears that about one a.m., on Monday, when the vessel was off Lundy Island, some of the gear parted and crushed the deceased's head between the rail, death being instantaneous. The deceased was a native of Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, and was sixteen years of age. The concert given at the Albert Hall on Tuesday evening by some members of the Carl Rosa: Opera Company was a highly enjoyable one. but the night was wet and the audience too thin for the merits of the programme. Miss Fanny Moody gave a really splendid rendering of the Jewel Song from Gounod's Faust, and Mr. Payne Clarke, tenor, and Signor Abrahamoff pave evidence of rare voices and charming execution. The other artists were also warmly applauded. A strange story comes from Flintshire. During the I recent gale the William Stonnard, ;a trading vessel of Bala, in command of Captain Davison, aud having a crew for Connah's Quay, foundered on the Irish coast. The relatives were ignorant of the exact locality of the disaster until Tuesday, when a. telegram was received from the coastguard at Valentia, on the south coast of Ireland, stated that some fishermen had seen the vessel lying in deep, clear water, and could easily distinguish bodies lashed to the mast. The funeral of the late Sir Daniel Gooch will take place at noon on Saturday at Clewer Churchyard. near Windsor No invitations will be issued. The deceased will be followed to the grave by his relatives, and pro- bably by many of the officers of the Grout Western aid other railways, and a. number of the Freemasons of i ho Province of Berks and Bucks, ot which he was Pro- vincial Grand Master. The remains will be deposited near those of his first wife, who was interred in the family vault 21 years ago. The East side of the Tawe River has been somewhat slower in the development of its rich mineral resources than might have been expected, but now we are told a start is about to be made in real earnest. Plans are being drawn, and arrangements are being made, we are told, for boring for coal on Crumlyn Burrows, where it is expected some of the best coals seams in the South Wales Basin will be struck at easily and profitably workable distance from the surface. Good names are mentioned in connection with the scheme, and strong hopes are entertained of large commercial and financial results. The sooner, the better, say we. One would think the impersonation of G. A. S. a somewhat difficult task. But it has been accomplished. At Worcester Quarter Sessions on Wednesday a man named Stevenson was sentenced to three months' hard labour for having obtained board and lodging by false pretences. In June last he went to several hotels in Worcester and Malvern, representing himself to be Mr. George Augustus Sala. He said he was a very comical fellow and would give the hotel-keepers good notices in a book he was writing. His luggage consisted ef a dog-whip, a time-table, a cucumber in brown paper, and a hamper of vegetables. He said he had a grand house in London and had dined with Dickens and Thackeray. He denied any intention to defraud and said he had been driven to it by drink and domestic troubles. Rumours of a most unsavoury kind, which, like S?°^T 1% ar^er the farther they roll, are again 3 Vi "a nr,vJ'aTl^aV aJlen^ a forthcoming divorce case, which is now said to be about coming into open court It will be remembered that sensational stories were afloat on the same subject a few months aR0 but nethins" further came of the matter and they died down with the old-world comment that "not one lie in a hundred is true. Now the rumour again is set afloat with the startling addition that the injured husband has by this time procured such evidence as will lead to the inclusion of several local men and public men," too, forsooth, in the list of co-respondents. Seeing, however, the sensationally-interested source from which such rumours emanate, the whole story may well be regarded as a myth. Circulars have been issued in the names of Messrs. T. Cook Davies and F. E. Williams, calling attention to that two fine pictures now on view (free) at the Royal Institution, and asking for subscriptions and co- operation with a view to keeping these works of art Permanently in Swansea. It is said the original cost of them was 700 guineas, but that they may now be acquired for the nominal sum of £250. towards which one owansea gentleman has promised £ 50. Mr. Deffet Jfrancis speaks in the highest terms of admiration of the pictures, consents to their being placed in the Art Gallery a e Public Library, and will both subscribe and collec o er subscriptions towards the purchase. No one can see he pictures without being moved by sympathy with the sublet and the treatment, or with- »ut wishing_ to Keep these works of art in Swansea, which is their natural home. "An Autobiography" of the celebrated Marv Howitt, edited by her Margaret Howitt, has just been issued, and alio soma excellent reading. The following paragrapn i^. worth quetlnff^ as it is of interest to many m this distx nd shows the manner in which Mary's fatner, Samu a surveyor by profession, and a member or OCletyof Friends, made the acquaintance of hi3 ti ure wife. jf. -g characteristic of the old Quaker formality "When engaged in 1795, on Lord Talbot s estate a Margain he attended the Firstday Meeting of "ends at Neath, and met at the hospitable table of t^an„Ge^ Ann Wood, a convinced Friend, on a visit to Eran s wife, Elizabeth. They saw each other frequently, and be. came well acquainted. On one occasion, at dinner, she suddenly learnt his regard for her by the peculiar manner in which he asked, Wilt thou take some nuts, Ann Wood?' She took them, saying, 'I ain very fond ef nuts.' 'That is extraordinary,' he replied, torso am I.' There was in those parts an aged ministering Friend of so saintly a character as to be regarded m the light of a prophet. One Firstday morning, after they had both been present at meeting, this minister drew her aside and said, If Samuel Botham makes thee an offer of marriage, thou must by no means refuse him.' A terrible explosion occurred about four o'cleck on Wednesday morning at theMossfield Colliery, Alderley Green, Lonaton, at a pit known as the "Big Sal." About a hundred men were engaged in the workings at the time. Rescue parties weie speedily organised, and about a dozen miners were brought safely to the surface. The list of men forming the night shift hav- ing been destroyed or mislaid, the actual number who were below is not known, but it is feared that fifty lives have been lost. Eleven bodies were recovered before the Government Inspector, in consequenee of the prevalence of gas, insisted upon the withdrawal of relIef parties trom the pit. Telegraphing late on Wednesday night, a correspondent said a fire had broken out in the mine. and there was no possibility of resuming the exploring operations yet, as there was danger of another txplosion. Mr. T. Picton Turbervill, of Ewenny Priory, Bridgend, has just received from the Lord Lieutenant of the County, Mr. C. R. M. Talbot, a letter expressing his regret at not having been able to attend a. meeting of the committee of the Porthcawl Rest, held at Bridgend on Tuesday last, and enclosing as a donation to the above fund a cheque for £ 1,000 This makes up the total received to somewhat over £6,000, which will at an early date be handed over to the trustees (the Marquis of Bute. Lord Windsor, and Mr. J. T. D. Llewelyn), to be invested in their joint names, and the income derived from it applied solely towards reducing be charges made for maintenance to patients admitted to the institution. The fund is still open. The south cantilevers of the Forth Bridge-those between Queensferry and Inchgarvis—were succesfully joined on Thursday. At the last moment it was found that there was a gap of three-quarters of an inch between the bolt-holes; but by means of hydraulic Jacks and by lighting a fire of naptha waste in the trough of the girder the necessary adjustment was secured. Who is to be Sir Daniel Gooch's successor as chair- man of the Great Western Railway r In Swansea the feeiing is freely expressed that Sir Alexander Wood (the uncle of Lady Grenfell) ought to have that honour. Sir Alexander has filled the vice-chairmanship tor a considerable period with marked ability, and there is good precedent for a succession of the deputy to the principalship. Much local surprsie is therefore expressed at the mention in London of Lord Lyttleton as probable chairman. No doubt his lordship is a good man of business, and would fulfil the duties well. But we would much rather see Sir Alexander Wood in the chair, because, from his knowledge of the district, and for other reasons, it is thought he would do more than a stranger to develop the somewhat overlooked facili- ties of the Swansea Bay ports. Swansea has now a special interest in Egypt and Egyptology. Miss Amelia Beetham Edwardes, known popdlarly as a novel-writer, is a learned and enthusiastic Egyptologist. The lady is secretary (with Mr. R. S. Poole, of the British Museum) to the Egyptian Excava- tion Society, and works zealously in labours devoted to the discovery of the buried life of Egypt. As the funds of the society are not sufficient to meet the expenses of the excavations, Miss Edwardes will shortly set forth for the United States to deliver a course of lectures, the proceeds of which will be given to the society. According to The Morning Post of Tuesday, which is the only London daily paper which has noticed the event, on Monday night a dinner was given in honour of M«]or General Sir Francis Grenfell by his brother riflemen, at the Hotel Bristol, Burlington-gardens. The officers present were Major Genera's Sir Redvers fuller and H. P. Montgomery Colonel W. Pemberton Lieutent-Colonels E. Hutton and R. C. Davies Majors Archer, C. Borrer, A. Davidson, G. M'L. Farmer, E. W. Herbert, W. H. Holbech, H. Parry 0*eden, the Hon. K. Turnout1, E. H. Ward, and E. Stuart-Wortley; Captains the Hon. E. St. Aubyn, A. B. Bewicke, A. S. Baynes, L. W. Butler, W. P. Campbell, Sir Guy Campbell, the Hon. A. H. Greville, A. Miles, A Pepys, W. Rhodes, and H.Ward; Lieutenants R. L. Bower, W. H. Salmon, and H. S. Rawlinson; Mr. Pascoe Grenfell, Mr. Arthur Grenfell, &c.

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