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[We do not necessarily endorse all our correspondent writes.—ED. (J.O."J S. AND S.F.A. Owing, probably, to the boisterous weather, on Wednesday, visitors to Cefu Tilla Court were not so numerous as was hoped, and the funds of 1 the S. and S.F.A. cannot be very considerably increased thereby. Nevertheless those who ran the risk" were rewarded by seeiug a fine show of rhododendrons, and were able to enjoy an excellent cup of tea, which Mrs Cozens, con- lectiouer, Usk, provided in the grounds. PICKINGS. Mr Sheriff Lawrence, M.P., and Mrs. Law- rence, were present on Tuesday evening at the second of the vast receptions given by the Corporation of the City of London to the mem- bers of the Metropolitan Borough Councils. It is reported that Mr Sheriff Lawrence. M.P., has. with his usual generosity, contributed a subscription to the Monmouth New Hosoital Fuud of £ 25. The Russian submarine boat designed by the engineer Sakovenko, which will be able to cross the Atlantic from England to America in two and a half days, is being built with the utmost secrecy, in a French port. The secret of the extraordinary speed of this boat lies in the peculiarly constructed screw. The boat is in the shape of a double pointed cigar. It is expected that she will be ready iu August next. The official returns shew that the vessels pass- ing through the Suez Canal last year numbered 3441 of which 1935 were British. The net ton- nage shows a decrease of 157,477 tons as com- pared with 1899, but an increase of over half a tons on 1898. The tonnage of British vesfwis was less than in 1899 or 1898, while the tonnaye of German vessels has increased from 969,597 tons in 1897 to 1,456,391 last year. The percentage of British vessels and their tonnage last year was 56 2 and 57.6 respectively, as against 64 and 66.6 in 1899, while the percen- tage of German vessels and their tonnage last yelir was 13.4 and 15.1 respectively, against 10.7 and 10.8 in the preceding year. There has been a slight increase in the percentage of French, Dutch, Austrian, Russian, and Japanese vessels. Two notable imaginative writers-of very variant temperament—were Sir Walter Besant and Robert Buchanan. They passed into the C, everlasting silence within a few hours of each other, and leave our land the poorer for the finishing of their earthly course. Neither was distinctly great in literature, perhap,, but in their special walks we could not to-day produce their superiors, all things considered. Both accomplished very good work, and both aimed heartfully at bettering the world they lived in. The surrender of Vau Rensburg and his com- mando to Lord Kitchener looks well, following on the vigorous "sweeping up" policy which during last month put some two-aud-a-half thousand Boer recalcitrants out of action in one way or tiiotlier. This,andthesternly inflexible front the Commander-in-Chief is now exhibiting an to Boers who break their oath after nominal submission, is telling, and before long we ought to be within sight of the end. At a meeting of the Unionist party of West Monmouth, held at Tredegar last week, Mr. lltyd Gardner, who unsuccessfully opposed Sir William Harcourt at the last electiou, was pre- sented with an illuminated address and a gold watch in recognition of his having reduced the majority of Sir William by over 1,700. The complimentary dinner which is to be given at the Newport Constitutional Club to Mr Sheriff Lawrence, M.P., and Dr. Rutherfoord Harris, on Tuesday next, promises to be a great success. There has been a great demand for tickets. Mr. J. Lawrence (U., Monmouth Boroughs) presented a petition from the inhabitants of Cardiff and places in Monmouth in favour of the establishment of educational authorities which should have control over elementary, secondary, and technical Schools in wide areas, etc. » Sir Alfred Hickman, M.P., presided at West- minster, on Friday in last week, over a meeting of the Council of the National Union of Conser- vative and Constitutional Associations. The Earl of Powis was elected vice-chairman, in the place of Colonel Chaloner, who has resigned and Dr. Rutherfoord Harris was chosen to fill a vacancy on the Council.

USK. I

I-THE COUNTY SALE. I

PONTYPOOL RURAL DISTRICT COUNCIL.

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