Frivolity,  Regency

Bertram St James, At Your Service


Good day! Or should I say, good century? I seem to have lost mine. Went to bed in the year 1812, and woke up here. Must say, I don’t care for what the gentlemen are wearing nowadays. Why are they all so ashamed of their legs? Must be a prudish century.

I do like this computer thing, though. Amazing. Is it powered by animal magnetism? Whatever makes it work, I love it. I now have an e-male account (I am male, so this makes sense–though I’m not sure what the “e” stands for. Earl? I’m not, but it doesn’t seem to care. Perhaps it means Exquisitely Dressed–which I am. As always.)

And I think “Risky Regencies” sounds like my sort of gentleman’s club. Greetings, all!

Bertram St James, Exquisite…at your service

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Megan Frampton
17 years ago

Good morning, Mr. Bertram! What has been your favorite part of waking up in this century? Your least favorite part (besides hiding men’s legs–which, I have to confess, is one of my least favorite parts, too)? How should we address you? Of course, no matter what you say, I’ll end up getting that wrong (sigh). Welcome!

Bertram St James
17 years ago

Ah! Good to meet you, Mr Frampton! I suppose you can call me Mr St James for the moment. Once we become intimates, you can call me Bertie.

I don’t mean to be rude, but are you by any chance Irish? I must admit, I don’t recognize the name “Megan”… If you are, let me just say that I have several friends with some Irish ancestry, and one who actually hails from the Emerald Isle, so you needn’t fear I’ll think the worse of you if you are. Indeed, my Irish friends are a delight to drink with–they can drink anyone under the table, as far as I can tell, except perhaps a Prussian–though they do have a nasty habit of calling each other out (and me, too) when they’re in their cups. (They never seem to call the Prussian out, though. Odd. Perhaps they think they’ll lose.)

You ask, Mr Frampton, what has been my favorite part of waking up in this century? Well, as we’re all gentlemen here, I can say it openly–I worship the thing called “The Shower”. I feel as clean as Adam now. I stood in The Shower five times yesterday, and plan to do so ten times today.

Bertram St James, at your service

Elena Greene
17 years ago

Welcome to Risky Regencies, Mr. St. James! If that is indeed correct. Have you perhaps left off a title out of modesty? If perchance you have reason to conceal your true identity, we at Risky Regencies will not take offense at such behavior, especially from a handsome gentleman. Nevertheless, we are most eager to learn more about you.

Also, I must clarify to you, sir, that this is not a gentleman’s club. Think of us more as a literary salon where anyone with a modicum of wit and good nature is welcome to partake, and where I believe everyone will join you in bemoaning the changes in fashion that restrict the display of an athletic gentleman’s l- . . . er . . . limbs.

Todd
17 years ago

Dear Mr. St. James,

I’m delighted to welcome you to this circle of admirers of all things Regency–er, and all things Risky. Or at least all things both Risky and Regency. I am also happy to welcome another masculine Gentleman of the male persuasion to those of us who regularly read and comment here, because, not to make too fine a point of it, a Gentleman’s Club this is not.

I’m curious as to exactly how you became transported to our time. Was it an experiment in Mesmerism gone wrong? (I notice you referred to Animal Magnetism.) I’ve read a similar account in a book by a chap named Edward Bellamy.

But you are certainly right about our modern advantages. I think if I should be transported backwards to your time, the Shower would be one of the things I’d miss most!

Your humble and obedient servant,

Todd-who-showered-twleve-time-yesterday

Bertram St James
17 years ago

Ah! Greetings, Milady Greene! Are you by any chance the Patroness of this Salon? Thank you for your elegant welcome.

As to titles…I am no peer. (I am peerless in many ways, including my fashion sense.) Technically, I suppose correspondence to me is usually addressed to “The Honourable Bertram St James,” but of course no one would address me thus. A few of my set once called me Bertie the Beau, but that was entirely spontaneous, I assure you. Ordinarily, I go by simple Mr St James.

It is now time for my next shower, so I (temporarily) bid you adieu, and shall endeavour to answer the rest of this charming correspondence once I am dry.

Your servant,
Bertram St James

Bertram St James
17 years ago

Glad to meet you, Mr Todd. You wished to know how I came to be transported to your century? To be frank, I have no idea. I wish I could come up with an intricate explanation involving leyden jars and electrifying machines and celestial ether, but I cannot. I woke up, as I wake up every morning…except that this this morning, I was here.

I’ve not yet read this Mr Bellamy. Does he write Gothick novels? I tried my hand at one once, but in the end, the ink on my fingers was more picturesque than that on the page.

Servant,
Bertram St James

Cara King
17 years ago

Good to meet you, Mr St James! I’m Cara King, and I’m a novelist, as are many others here. Do you like novels? I have read that certain people from your time believed that all novels are worthless… I hope that you do not share that prejudice! But then, you mentioned that you once began to write a novel yourself–so I trust that you feel differently!

You mentioned duels, I believe. Have you ever dueled? I apologize if this is too intrusive a question, but, you see, no one duels nowadays, so the whole topic is fascinating for us!

Cara

Bertram St James
17 years ago

Charmed to meet you, Mrs. King. Or is it Miss King?

I do like novels, and I have duelled, though I have never duelled with a novel. “Pistols for two, breakfast for one,” although that never made any sense for me. One? But that one is always accompanied by seconds, at the very least. Perhaps the doctor. And sometimes one’s opponent as well, or the opponent’s seconds. Far more than one, and the price for breakfast always reflects that, sad to say. There would be more duels if the price of breakfast were reduced.

I prefer to duel with pistols, as I have a keen eye. Besides which, swordfighting makes one perspire, which is never desirable. Not that I have ever perspired, of course. No, indeed. As the saying goes, “Men sweat, women perspire, but exquisites only glow.”

Your servant,

Bertram St James, Exquisite

Janet Mullany
17 years ago

La, sir, you must excuse the post that follows this one, with a picture of a gentleman in a state of undress. I regret dear Mrs. Frampton has some rather radical ideas. I was most shocked to find she had been reading novels…novels!…instead of the sermons, that I, a matron of somewhat advanced years, had recommended for her edification. And she is forever scribbling away and covering up her writing when we enter the room. I cannot think what she is about.
I daresay she will mend her ways after a half-dozen or so more children and with maybe a daughter to present in society.
But she may not be entirely to blame, sir. Your mention of showerbaths, and the necessary state of undress suggested by such activities may have inflamed the poor young woman’s imagination. I feel it incumbent upon myself to maintain a strict moral code on this blog, lest Mr. Frampton call you out.

Bertram St James
17 years ago

My dear Mrs. Mullany! I do apologize for mentioning The Shower, that wonderment of modern life. When I introduced the topic, I was under the impression that this was a gentlemen’s club. I had not yet realized that this is a literary salon, attended by ladies as well as members of the fair sex.

But I admit, then, I am puzzled. If this is indeed a literary salon, Mrs. Mullany, why do you attend if you disapprove of novels? Are not novels literature?

Mistress Frampton: I am delighted to find that you have some radical ideas. I have entertained one or two in my time, as well as one or two radicals. (I find revolutionaries are always prime drinking companions.) But I do trust your husband will not call me out. I detest waking before noon.

Yours,
Bertram St James, Exquisite

Cara King
17 years ago

Mr. St. James, I think I need to explain something to you. You ask if I am “Mrs” or “Miss” — well, I am actually neither. In this 21st century, women often use a third title, that of “Ms.” It is as respectful as “Mr” and, in a similar way, does not indicate whether the person is married.

So you can address me as “Ms King” if you wish, or (as we are all radical artists here), you could just address me as “Cara” if you wish. (I promise my husband won’t call you out! He doesn’t like rising before noon either. At least, not to duel.)

Cara

Bertram St James
17 years ago

My dear Mrs. Mullany, I see I failed to address your comment about the picture of the half-clothed man. His physique is indeed admirable, but I have only one question. Why does a boxer have such long hair? Not a wise choice, if you ask me.

St James

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