Chap. X.] A Romantic Incident. 119
until the month of March 1910, when I was told by one of my daughters that they had brought home from the circulating library a book which they thought I might like to look at, the Life of Colonel Burnaby of Khiva fame. Of course, I jumped at the idea of reading a book about a man who was so well-known to me by name as alike a great political and a great military hero. Judge of my amazement, when I discovered half-way through the book, that my friend, " E. Main," later Mrs. Le Blond, was no other than the widow of the great Colonel Fred Burnaby ; that the Brighton Mr. Burnaby was the Colonel's son ; and that the London Barrister " named Hughes," who I had known for 2 or 3 years as the able chief agent of the Conservative party in London had been Col. Burnaby's private secretary, and was the husband of my kind hostess Lady Hawkins-Whitshed, now, alas gone from this world. A more remarkable string of romantic facts I have seldom been mixed up with.
Art at East-Bourne has never been represented except by John Hamilton Mortimer, an 18th century painter, some of whose works appear at South Kensington. I knew however, several members of his family bearing the same surname, some of whom had property in the town till quite recently, though I fancy nearly all of it has now passed into other hands. The last permanent resident was an old Miss Mortimer, who lived and died in a house known as No. 3 The Terrace. The names of Mortimer and Lanyon will be found on mural tablets in the S.W. aisle of the Parish Church. Both families were friends of my family, and the latest and best known members were Sir Charles Lanyon, M.P. for Belfast (1866-68), and his son Sir Owen Lanyon, K.C.M.G., an African Governor a few years ago.
This chapter may be regarded as a suitable resting place for the record of some social occupations of an intellectual character which during many years onwards from 1878, took the fancy of a considerable number of our friends. I am alluding to Readings of Shakespearian and French and German Plays. 1 think that the first