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London – Southend – Bristol

July 29, 2009

London to Bristol

I had not long finished my schooling, such as it was, when, being uncomfortable at home from family disagreements, I determined upon facing the world, and played the fool by running away. Making for Southend forthwith, that small bathing place, it was my intention to deliver public readings and recitations from Shakespeare, Milton and Byron. I may have been fifteen; it was a piece of assumption, but, although it paid, I have forever excused and comforted myself by attributing this action to that fatal silver star and the belongings and begettings of such puerile tomfoolery. Other such presumptions followed, and, I forget by what route and under what circumstances I found myself, at the age of sixteen in the good City of Bristol.

A literary quack, one Dr. Hamilton, had advertised a lecture on the Hamiltonian System, whereby his pupils would be enabled to master any of the dead or living languages within a period of from three to six months, and he had formed several classes of students in Clifton and Kingsdown. The Assembly Rooms in Prince’s Street was the locus in quo upon this occasion; the attendance was great, including myself among the number of his auditors, and the result, nil; as regard to the lecturer; for I had taken it upon myself to question the learned doctor, and upon his answers to move a resolution declaratory of the absurdity of his pretensions. Kingsdown got no further instruction and the people were subjected to no further imposition. This was my debut at Bristol as a public man unattached.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2009 12:28 am

    I’m confused. Mr. Acland. Don’t/didn’t you live in Hull? ….Perhaps I’m jumping ahead of your story.
    Present company being the exception, questioning pretentious people is one of my favorite pastimes too!

  2. July 29, 2009 1:35 am

    Yes Patricia, I did live in Hull too, although many years after the account related above. My time in Bristol (foreshortened by the wrath of Coroporate Despots) would inform and prepare me in many ways for that which lay ahead.

    My pretension is merely the result of a cosh to the head.

    In reality I am sinking down into the murky depths of the Thames, it is 1873, some unscrupulous mercenary vagabond puppet of my enemies has murder on his mind.

    This place and this time are but a dream to me. My life parades before me on a screen made from light, like a magic lantern show I don’t belong here, do you?

  3. July 29, 2009 4:10 am

    My apologies Mr. Acland. I in no way meant to imply that you are pretentious. Being an American from the 21st century, my command of the English language is most likely rather deficient.
    I coexist between dream and consciousness, both are part of the whole of me. So, I do belong here, but each day I learn more of my archetypes and I can see myself in both the past and the future as well.
    I look forward to, or perhaps backward to the rest of your story in whatever chronology you conjecture.

  4. July 29, 2009 12:14 pm

    You express yourself delightfully and clearly! Many thanks for taking the time to read some of my story.

    “…James Acland was a little man, very volatile, brisk in his manner and was seldom seen without one or two large Newfoundland dogs following him. His indomitable energy and perseverance was almost without parallel, his speaking was pungent and his attitudes theatrical. He was never known to be at a loss for words, whatever the subject, be what it might…”

  5. November 30, 2012 2:10 am

    So…this is fiction? Sorry if I’ve missed the point

  6. March 7, 2013 1:46 pm

    This is no more fictional than you Mike.

  7. March 7, 2013 3:51 pm

    “there is no more fictional”? I don’t understand

  8. January 8, 2014 2:34 am

    These are true accounts as related by me in my own words.

  9. January 8, 2014 5:42 pm

    You have ridden roughshod over countless falacies such as these on countless other occasions. And well you know it.

  10. January 8, 2014 11:09 pm

    I must confess to not having the slightest idea what you are referring to Mike….

  11. January 9, 2014 2:57 am

    The bosun told me you would say something along those lines

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