218 MEMORIES OF MY LIFE
The hospitality afforded during the visits of the British Association is always great, but I fear often onerous and unwelcome to the hosts, however carefully their courtesy may conceal such feelings. I have to be grateful for many apparently cordial receptions of this kind. One of the simplest and yet most effective was given at Birmingham by Charles Evans, afterwards Canon of Worcester, but then Headmaster of King Edward's School, where we had been schoolfellows. The building had abundant accommodation, and he got together a very distinguished party. The food provided was plain, but well cooked and plenty of it. A large luncheon table with cold meat was at the disposal of any of the guests who wished to bring friends with him. There was no display, but abundance everywhere, and perfect freedom. Few, except masters of large public schools, could have arranged and carried out such a programme as well and easily as he did.
I have been asked twice to act as President of the Association. On the first occasion my name was formally proposed by the officers of the Association to the Council at which I was then sitting, but I was conscious of my limitations in respect to health, and with many thanks declined, even though some pressure was kindly put on me. On the second occasion, and much more lately, I was actually nominated in my absence, with the offer of most thoughtful arrangements to diminish fatigue, but I had again to decline still more emphatically than before, as my powers of work and endurance had in the meantime become smaller and my deafness had increased.
It is an office that affords an excellent stage from