Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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The Last of the Sussex M.Cs.
HE Last of the Romans"—"The Last of the Mohicans"—"The Last of the Barons"—we have all read of these famous ultimate person­ages. And why, too, should not "The Last of the M.C.'s" be enshrined in the mirror of the Past and handed down to the wonder and admiration of succeeding ages ?
But we must be quick, or the fleeting image will escape us. There is so little of the solid, of the real and substantial in it, that, as we write, we hardly know whether we are dealing with a substance or with a shadow—a thing that lived and breathed and had a being, or an automaton answering to the pull of a string and set in motion by a wire.
Let us try and fix our memories. Yes; Lieut.-Col. Eld, the last of the M.C.'s of Brighton, was a substantial being, and not merely vox et prceterea nihil. He really did live and breathe and have a being, though his virtual existence—the period during which he shone as a visible and luminous body above the horizon—was limited to a very small period of time, namely, that which extended from the first of the M.C.'s balls for the Brighton season to the last of those memorable re-unions. For these two or three months Lieut.-Colonel Eld came out of his chrysalis, wherever that might be, and sported a butterfly existence. He was the curious centre of a curious circle—a fast dwindling one even then, and now totally extinct—of old maids, and dowager aunts, and antique
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