Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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262                Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. XIX.
a local paper, the purchaser's solicitor called on me and tried to explain but did not deny the main facts. I rather think that he threatened me with an action for libel, but it never came off.
The Story of a Clock.
The following incident was related to me some years ago by an old lady in Somersetshire who was some relation of the gentleman concerned. I believe that at the period in question, landings on the coast of Sussex by Royalists escaping from France were not uncommon,, and that fact justifies me in including the narrative in this volume.
One stormy night in or about the year 1794, an old clergyman living in his parsonage house on the coast of Dorsetshire, was roused by a knock at his front door, and found outside in great distress a French lady, who, to save her life, had come across to England in a fishing boat. She asked for hospitality, and obtained it at once. Host and hostess on the one hand, and stranger on the other were so mutually pleased with one another, that the stranger's sojourn was extended to 6 months. At the end of that time she ascertained that it wras safe for her to return to France and did so, profoundly thanking the old parson and his wife for their kindness, and expressing deep regret that she was destitute of money to repay them. Some years later, the clergyman received notice from the Custom House at Dover, that a box had arrived at the Custom House which would be sent on to him on his remitting the sum of 6. He refused to do this, saying that he expected nothing from France, and least of all was inclined to speculate to the amount of 6. After another interval of several years, the old clergyman died, and the Dover correspondence came into the hands of his son, who, unlike his father, was of a speculative turn of mind. So he put himself in communication with Dover, heard that the box was still there, paid the 6, and received the box. On opening; it he found inside a beautiful " Louis Quatorze " clock
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