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                             THE POETICAL MEMORY

                                   AN ESSAY

I AM one of those silly people (there are a lot of them --- quite enough to
make it pay) who are so irritated at the arrival of a bill that I nearly
always throw it on the fire.  For all that, I had been humbly proud of my
memory, and it was  an awful shock to me one morning when I received this
bill,

{Facsimile on page 331 described:

  This is a statement of account due from J W Benson. Ltd., Jewellers,
goldsmiths, silversmiths and watch & Clock Makers, 25 Old Bond St., (Steam
Factories Ludgate Hill)., established 1749.  The letter head carries five arms
of royal houses with supporters and draperies: King of Greece, King of
Portugal, Late Queen Victoria, Emperor of Russia and King of Siam --- all "by
appointment to's or purveyors to's.  Prize medals of London 1862 to left and
of Paris-Dublin to right, two each --- these not described in detail here,
lacking as they do any particular significance beside identity.   The place
and date in mixed hand and print is: London Xmas 1908.
  The following text is written in hand (as best I can decipher it):

"E A Crowley, Esq.
   21 Warwick Road,
L{?} 1614      Kensington W.

      1907
April   "  To repairing.  Coffee Pot                          4  6
Sep. 7     " new glasses to gold keyless 1/2 hunting Watch    2  .
  1907
 Oct. 30   " relining and refitting lid of Crocodile┐
             Suit Case pigskin, stuffing two new    │
             pigskin pockets and new tooth brush    │
             bottle: repairing and supplying two    ├      8 10  -
             plated clips to side standards ---     │
             removing bruises and polishing all     │
             silver mounts --- also cleaning and    │
             renovating all leather fittings        ┘
       28  " repairing and cleaning  gold keyless┐
             half hunting Watch                  ├           13  6
                                                 ┘_________________
                                                œ          9 10  -
                                                  =================}

for I had a very clear impression in my mind that the contract was for œ5.
{311}

   Indeed, I wrote and said so.
   But ala! my poor memory was most certainly at fault.  Messrs. Bensons
replied:

{Facsimile on page 332 described:

Same letterhead as that on page 331.  Text follows:

                                           "London January 21st 1909.

"Sir,
     In reply to your letter respecting your account we
bet to enclose statement here with, from which you will
see that the œ5 you handed to our Assistant was in
payment of your old account, the various items of
which ranged from October 1906 to September 1907, and
statements of which had been rendered to you each quarter.
This payment of œ5/-/- left a balance of 6/6, and with the
13/6 charged for repairing the gold Watch and œ8/10/- for
repairing Suit Case, the total of your account to date
is œ9.10/-.  With regard to the item of œ8/10/- we cannot
understand how you come to be under the impression that
it should only be œ5, as we are certain are Assistant
did not quote this latter price for doing up the Suit Case.
   Trusting that this explanation will make the matter
quite clear to you,
    We get to remain, Sir.
                        Your obedient...{?}
E.A. Crowley, Esq.,               J. W. Benson Ltd.
  21 Warwick Road                           for J.B.
       Kensington W.                        -----------
         -----------                                      }

{312}

   this explanation "did" make the matter quite clear to me; for I had all the
time in my possession --- not thrown in the fire after all! --- their original
account.

{Facsimile on page 333 described:

Same letterhead as that on page 331.  Text follows:

"London 30. 10. 1905

"E A Crowley Esq
  21  Warwick road
125     Kensington.

To
Relining and refitting with pigskin case of
..... Suit Case new Pigskin pockets
& new cut glass tooth brush bottle
supplying two plated clips & refinishing
side standards, removing bruises
& repolishing all Silver mounts
cleaning & repairing a gold Keyless     5
Half Hunting English ... Watch             13  6
     Balance of old a/c.                    6  6
                                        ---------
                                      œ 6   -   -  }

                                 ALEISTER CROWLEY1

{313}


        1  WEH NOTE:  I suppose A.C. liked the numbers...