This letter published in the 17th January 1857 edition of The Bridport News, caught our eye.
Sir, – Are you disposed to take the part of one that has been most unmercifully abused? If you are, please to insert this letter.
People have been saying hard things about me for the last three months; and not only so, but have fathered the railings of their own tongues and pens upon me, and in more cases than one, forged my name. Can people believe for a moment that I could so forget my own exalted dignity as to condescend to abuse, not only my faithful attendants, but myself into the bargain? May my heart cease to beat and my hands to move if ever I do. I don’t profess to be perfect; none of my species are, anymore than the species of my revilers. What, in my transition state, I did occasionally go to rest for the night without putting out my light? Was it not a new duty I had to discharge, and are not all liable to perform new duties somewhat irregularly for a time? Hitherto, I had been allowed no light in the evening, however much I might have wanted it, and I cannot sufficiently thank the Congress of Paris for bringing about an event, in commemoration of which my internal darkness is illuminated.
Then again, some said I was two-faced, and told East Street one thing, and West Street another, while the information which I gave the north and that which I gave the south differed from both, as well as from each other. This would seem to prove that I am four-faced, which I admit. It is probable that I may have said different things to different parties, but then it must be remembered that my stomach was in a disordered state, and everybody knows that a disordered stomach will produce a disordered head, and thus lead to confusion. But, whatever I may have said, I say the same to all parties now; and I am glad to be able to state that it is now a considerable length of time since I left my light burning all night. I flatter myself that I have been very punctual of late in extinguishing it.
It has been said that there is great difficulty in seeing my face and my hands at a distance. Now I beg leave to say that my duty is to give information to the people of Bridport within the three bridges, and not to be stared at through telescopes from Bradpole, the Harbour, and other foreign parts.
My light is complained of. Now I have never been to London, but I have heard that there are some of my own species there illuminated, whose light is not as good as mine.
On the whole, I think the public have good reason to be satisfied both with me and my patrons. I will mark the hours as they pass, let the public improve them.
THE TOWN CLOCK
P.S. Please excuse bad writing. My hands are shivering in the cold wind and rain.