Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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Chap. V.]                  Foreign Visitors.                              59
was known as the Marquis Tseng ; his wife posed as the "Marchioness Tseng," and on her visiting cards there appeared the names of the daughters as "Lady Fore-seawoods Tseng " and " Lady Blossom Tseng "—using for the Chinese young ladies the courtesy title borne in England by the daughters of a Marquis. I forget the name of the son, a boy of about 12, but the donkey riding was a great attraction, and they came several times on account of Neddy, quite as much as for the tea and bread and butter, etc. All this happened in the summer of 1885. On their final visit, I asked the Marquis to write his name in my autograph book, and he produced a common steel pen for the purpose, whereupon I said " Oh, please ; not an English pen ; I should like your signature in Chinese character." He readily complied with my request. He spoke excellent English, but the Marchioness spoke with difficulty. The children were better able to express themselves.
Of one of our sleeping visitors a quaint tale may be told. She was one of 6 sisters, the daughter of a Peer. She had been, in days before I knew her, a very attractive and pretty girl and no doubt for that reason had had several offers of marriage, but she was only the 4th in age of the 6 sisters, and her father would not consent to her marrying till her elder sisters had married! They never did go off, so the whole 6 lived and died as spinsters, and were laid side by side in a Gloucester­shire churchyard. Their ages at their deaths were 88, 86, 80, 73, 80 and 89. I knew them all, and a more •charming group of old ladies I never did know.
During the summer of 1885, we saw a good deal of a very typical representative of the French Noblesse, the Marquis De Lasteyrie and his wife. They came to take leave of us on Saturday, August 1, saying they were going to cross to France on the following Monday. I told him it was a bank holiday and after explaining to him what that was, and what travelling on that day meant, he said he should take my advice and postpone his departure so as to avoid in some degree the holiday crowds.
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