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23-May-2020 03:26

Some of the sceptical methods applied to the world's origin might be applied to my origin, and a grave and earnest enquirer come to the conclusion that I was never born at all.But I prefer to believe that common sense is something that my readers and I have in common; and that they will have patience with a dull summary of the facts."You are an Historical Character," said the admiring stranger."You have changed the whole destiny of Church and State." My grandfather still assumed airily that this might be a poetical manner of describing a successful house-agency.

One peculiarity of this middle-class was that it really was a class and it really was in the middle.

I do not allege any significance in the relation of the two buildings; and I indignantly deny that the church was chosen because it needed the whole water-power of West London to turn me into a Christian.

Nevertheless, the great Waterworks Tower was destined to play its part in my life, as I shall narrate on a subsequent page; but that story is connected with my own experiences, whereas my birth (as I have said) is an incident which I accept, like some poor ignorant peasant, only because it has been handed down to me by oral tradition.

But a light began to break on my father, who had thought his way through all the High Church and Broad Church movements and was well-read in such things.

He suddenly remembered the case of "Westerton versus Liddell" in which a Protestant churchwarden prosecuted a parson for one of the darker crimes of Popery, possibly wearing a surplice.

One peculiarity of this middle-class was that it really was a class and it really was in the middle.

I do not allege any significance in the relation of the two buildings; and I indignantly deny that the church was chosen because it needed the whole water-power of West London to turn me into a Christian.

Nevertheless, the great Waterworks Tower was destined to play its part in my life, as I shall narrate on a subsequent page; but that story is connected with my own experiences, whereas my birth (as I have said) is an incident which I accept, like some poor ignorant peasant, only because it has been handed down to me by oral tradition.

But a light began to break on my father, who had thought his way through all the High Church and Broad Church movements and was well-read in such things.

He suddenly remembered the case of "Westerton versus Liddell" in which a Protestant churchwarden prosecuted a parson for one of the darker crimes of Popery, possibly wearing a surplice.

And before we come to any of my own experiences, it will be well to devote this brief chapter to a few of the other facts of my family and environment which I hold equally precariously on mere hearsay evidence.