Chap. XIX.] A Fancy Br ess Ball. 261
wife of the Town Clerk, on January 31, 1883, at the Queen's Hotel. It was certainly a success from a picturesque point of view. I went simply as a barrister in wig and gown. At the request of our hostess the guests were afterwards photographed by Lavis in their several costumes ; and the collection, no doubt, made up a very interesting album, but I never saw it, so only jump at the conclusion.
A China (not Chinese) Story.
In 1878 there sojourned in East-Bourne in a house
of their own a certain Major and Mrs.--------• with a
dear little daughter named Hazel. They all lunched with us on October 26. This fixes a date antecedent to my story, the exact date of which I am unable to furnish nearer than " the summer of 1879." The major belonged to the Rifle Brigade and, in process of time, was ordered to India and went, leaving behind him a furnished house in Wilmington Square which his agent had instructions to let. It was visited by a Jewish person who was a china fancier ; he noticed in the drawing-room a pair of vases which he saw to be valuable, and he went to the house agent and offered to purchase for o£3000 the whole house and its contents as it stood, alleging that his invalid wife wanted to go into a house all ready for her without the trouble of furnishing one. The agent stated that he had no authority to sell, only to let. The Jew asked whether he could not obtain authority. The owner's brother living in England, being consulted, recommended a telegram being sent to the owner in India stating the offer. The telegram was sent, and the answer came back with inconsiderate haste authorising the acceptance of the offer. The Jewish person on his part lost no time in completing his bargain, and, having thus got possession of the vases, quietly packed them off to London and sold them for £10,000 ! It may well be supposed that the Major afterwards regretted his prompt acceptance. The substance of the story I can vouch for because after I had written a paragraph on the subject in