Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/45
EARLY WORK IN LONDON
great deal about self-sacrifice; though he said he felt almost ashamed to speak of self-sacrifice to working men, while he himself was in possession of all the comforts of life. He had to leave after he had made his speech; and, just as he was about to leave the platform, Mr. Cooper said that the Manager of the Builders' Association, Mr. Pickard, would read an address to Professor Maurice as an embodiment of the sentiments of the Associations, and that the Manager of the Printers would present him with a testimonial, the exclusive gift of the working men. The address of thanks was very nicely expressed; and then the testimonial, a silver inkstand, was presented. It was so touching to think of all those poor working men, who had worked so hard to earn the money to make the testimonial, and the beautiful spirit of gratitude. I could not restrain my tears. Professor Maurice answered the address and thanked them in the most heartfelt manner. After he left, Mr. Hansard was put in the chair, and Lloyd Jones spoke on Cooperative Stores. Mr. Newton spoke on Mechanics' Institutes, and said they were not at all satisfactory as far as they professed to educate the working men. Someone in the Hall got up and said that he knew of one gentleman on the Committee of these Institutes, who, in opposition to the majority of the Committee, threatened to resign if "Alton Locke" was allowed in the Library. I could not see Mr. Kingsley's face. … The next subject was the Industrial and Provident Societies Bill which had just been passed. Mr. Kingsley then made a short speech; one knew at once that it was a poet who was speaking. … Gerald Massey's is a very fine face. He has dreamy eyes and wild looking hair; but, after the others, he's not to be thought of.