Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

An Account of, notable events, Persons and town history - online book

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Chap. XX.] Parliamentary Items.                        293
It was the general habit of the Duke to speak without notes or even stray bits of paper. All the more significant was it, that on the last-named occasion he read almost the whole of his speech, for I saw him do it. He was evidently ill at ease, and felt the ■aspersions cast on his conduct.
A Gladstone Anecdote.
On a certain occasion a lady staying with the Gladstones at Hawarden determined after breakfast to go for a walk. She came back just before luncheon time wet through, having been caught in a heavy shower of rain. Asked by Mr. Gladstone at luncheon whether she had enjoyed her walk, she replied " Not at all, because I got so wet owing to the rain." Mr. Gladstone then said " You must have made a mistake: there has been no rain this morning." The lady assured her host that it had rained, though possibly Mr. Gladstone had not seen it. The contradictions were getting rather warm, and at a critical moment, a piece of paper was furtively passed round from Mrs. Gladstone to her visitor, on which the following remarkable words were written :" We never contradict Mr. Gladstone."{Ex Relatione of Mrs.--------).
Coins as Measures.
Probably not many of my readers know that the diameter of a half-penny is exactly one inch when the ■coin is a new, or a fairly new one. Moreover, when such a coin is laid on a 1-inch ordnance map it covers just about 500 acres. A sixpence equals three-quarters of an inch; and 5 pennies touching one another in row equal 6 inches almost exactly.
The Duty and Advantages of shewing Civility to Strangers.
Some years ago at a dinner-party in a house in Gloucestershire, I was told the following anecdote. An elderly gentleman, somewhat of a cripple, seeking to alight from a railway carriage, found himself unable to
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