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Gold Gems and Pearls in Ceylon

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14
GOLD IN CEYLON.
Taprobane awake from the slumber of ages, proving that if she is not the Ophir of Solomon, she is yet the land of Gold! We believe the earth is yet young:
We are the ancients of the earth And in the morning of the times.
(From the Colombo Observer March II, 1854.)
But probably the most striking item of intelligence from Ceylon on this occasion is that which announces the alleged discovery of Gold by some Sailor Diggers from Australia. It is greatly to be regretted that the present Mail should leave Ceylon with the question in an uncertain state. The Superintendent of Police proceeded to the scene of the alleged discovery, about 30 miles from Colombo, on the evening of the 9th, and his report is anxiously expected. Our readers will not err, we think, in exercising a considerab'e degree of scepticism as to gold being found here in sufficient quantities to render working for it so remunerative as to interfere with other and established industrial pursuits. We wait for information, however, and say boldly " Who's afraid." In our columns will be found the best accounts we could get hold of, but as usual in such cases there are errors of detail. Capt. Manning of the ," Faithful" corrects some which affect him, in the following letter:—
Barque " Faithful" Colombo Roads, March nth, 1884.
Sirs,—Having seen a paragraph in your fournal of the 9th instant, entitled " Gold in Ceylon," I beg to contradict that part of it which relates to my ship and self. The paragraph I allude to, runs thus:—" It appears that some of the men engaged in navigating the ship " Faithful" had been " Diggers" in Australia, on their arrival in this Port six of them asked Capt. Manning for a few days leave to go " Prospecting" under ihe firm conviction looking at the features of the country that Gold existed. The leave was granted, &c, &c'
Now sir, on my arrival at this port I took all these " Runners" before the Collector of H. M. Customs and formally discharged them. Some few days after seven of them returned to the ship and wished to sail in her again; after being on board two days and not on the ship's Articles, some intelligence appears to have reached them from the shore, for on the third day four of them made various excuses that they wished to leave the ship, one said I want to get back to " Australia," a second I want to see a doctor, the other two said ' two of us is not enough to tar the rigging down and we will thank you to let us leave the ship."
I, having no claim on the men, had no alternative but to let them go. No mention whatever was made of gold to me and it was several days after that I heard a rumour about the Gold. All I hope is they-may not find the old proverb come true that " it is not all gold that glitters."
I remain yours truly, John Manning. Master, Bk. "Faithful."
(From the Colombo Observer, March 12, 1854.)
In our last ordinary issue we announced the ail-but certainty of Gold in Ceylon; and have now the pleasure to state that doubt is entirely removed by the arrival of the joint report (then expected) of Mr. MacCartney the Superin­tendent of Police, and Mr. T. Power, Assistant Government Agent, which says that they witnessed the digging and washing of "two pans of Earth" which contained " very many minute particles of Gold."
Their report is dated " Yattegodde, nth March (yesterday) and is unavoidably hurried in order to reach Colombo in time to be forwarded by Government to the Secretary of State by the out-going Overland Mail.
We may add that the Mudaliyar (Native Headman) of the District sent in yesterday to the Government Agent of Colombo a specimen of the Gold
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