Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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276                Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. XX.
narrated to me the following incident which I took down in writing at the time :
" He was at Paris not long after the end of the war in 1871, and dining with Blowitz, the well-known Times Correspondent, he met there Jules Simon and some other leading Frenchmen. He asked Simon, whether in order to put an end to the tension subsisting between France and Germany, the French would be likely to be willing to compromise the Alsace -Lorraine question thus : France to receive back Lorraine and Metz, leaving Alsace and Strassburg with Germany, the Vosges to be the boundary, suitable guarantees being given by Neutral Powers that a specified time should be allowed for the erection of fortifications necessary for protecting permanently the new frontier. The answer of Jules Simon was: the French would gladly accept the above compromise. This conversation was communicated by Walter to Lord. Salisbury and was by him communicated to the German Ambassador in London, Count Hatzfeldt. The Count, in answer, gave an assurance to Lord Salisbury that the Emperor William, the Crown Prince and Prince Bismarck would concur in carrying out such a compromise, but that the military party, headed by the now reigning Emperor William II., would interfere to prevent any such settlement being adopted."
Changes in English Manners and Customs.
Looking back 60 years, or even over a lesser interval, it is impossible not to be struck with the great changes that have taken place in the social life of England and in the manners and customs of its inhabitants. A list of the customs and things which have disappeared and of those on the other hand which have appeared, might easily be expanded to reach a great length. I can only attempt to mention a very few. When I was very small, I lived for some time at Colchester in Essex. There were many Quakers there in those days, recognisable by their dress, the men wearing drab cut-away coats with high collars and broad-brimmed hats, the women gowns of more or less similar colour with little or no trimming and coal-scuttle bonnets projecting wTell over the forehead and covered with drab silk or satin drawn tight over the frame-work of the bonnet. Country gentlemen had almost or quite given up knee-breeches and what are called knickerbockers had not come in. Trousers were the substitute for the original knee-breeches. Blue coats with brass buttons had almost disappeared. The last Member of Parliament who I remember in a coat of that sort was the first and last Lord Fitzwalter, better known as Sir Brook Bridges, who was made a Peer in 1868, after a career of some years as Member for West Kent.
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