Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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120                 Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. X.
in point of date was a Shakespearian Reading at St. Saviour's Vicarage, on April 29, 1878, and this was followed in various years up to 1902 by other Readings of the like sort. Besides a dozen or more which we ourselves had at Northfield Grange, I find in my diaries mention of quite another dozen at the houses of friends.
The French Readings, conducted on similar lines, included the chief of Moliere's plays, and some isolated ones by Delavigne, Labiche and Meilhac, together with a French version of the Merchant of Venice. The German plays were 2 of Lessing's, and one of Schiller's.
Besides the foregoing, our list included Sheridan's Rivals and Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel and Marmion. A tragic incident attaches in a way to the Scotch Readings. Our warmest supporters of them were a Scotch family of the name of Morison. Mrs. Morison died at East-Bourne in 1906 as the result of an accident caused by some selfish and thoughtless smoker who had thrown down on the Grand Parade an unextinguished lucifer match. This set fire to her clothes : she discovered the fact too late, and died of the injuries and shock.
Another Scotch helper who assisted us was the Earl of Mar, the subject of the long and famous Scotch peerage controversy. He and Lady Mar were much at East-Bourne during 1881. Lady Mar was deeply interested in her husband's wrongs, and spent much time in teaching me to understand the matter, which eventually I think I did.
Several of the above-named Readings at our house were for charity purposes, including the Princess Alice Hospital and the Poor of Christ Church. From first to last the total of our takings at Northfield Grange for charity purposes amounted to nearly or quite 100.
My connection with that very useful undertaking, the " Arts and Industries Society " has been so slight, that I am hardly justified in dwelling upon it. I did however in one year (1901, March 20) " open " it, and make the customary oration; whilst in another year I exhibited 2 folding screens made, or at least covered, by myself. I calculated that I pasted on to the 12 sides of
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