A few additional details are needed to complete our account. A friend, remarkable for his plain common-sense, reminds us that the epic vehicle we so indistinctly describe, was the Seaton ’bus, and that the music was due to “the splendid band connected with Mrs. Edmonds’ menagerie, which happened to be in the town.” We are not in a position to deny either statement, or another to the effect that “the conveyances which accompanied the ’bus formed a procession of considerable length,” having been halted by arrangement outside the town, and formed into file for the entry. When the same friend hazards some further criticism on a confusion of dates and incidents in our narrative, in which he finds the events of two days, a Friday and a Saturday, presented as in a single scene, we feel it time to silence him by an appeal, which he does not follow, to the “truer historic sense” and the “massive grouping” of imaginative history.
On Tuesday of the next week, May 8, an address was presented by a deputation of the townspeople to the Headmaster and assistant masters. The ceremony took place in the school-room, the body of which was almost filled by those who had assembled to support their deputation, while the masters, their families, and the Sixth Form were seated on the tiers of the orchestra. The deputation coming forward, Mr. Bell said that Mr. Hawthorn and himself had been requested by their fellow townsmen to undertake the presentation of an address, in explanation of which he would make a few remarks. In an appreciative speech he reviewed the circumstances which had given rise to the present occasion, gave some explanation of the form and terms of the address, and took occasion to add that although the ladies were not mentioned in the address, the townspeople were not unmindful of the energetic way in which they had seconded the efforts of the masters.
MR. HAWTHORN said he had been asked to read the Address, but that he was unwilling to do so without some slight expression of the feelings with which he and others took part in the presentation of it. Though they were met to congratulate the school, they felt, he said, that there were good grounds to congratulate themselves as townsmen. The absence of the school had pressed with greater or less severity on many tradesmen, being felt more especially by a large number of the poorer inhabitants, and had made it evident to many how poor a place Uppingham would be without a school upon its present important scale. But they valued the School on other grounds too; they recognize the advantage of the presence among them of so many representatives of liberal education and its broader views on matters of public interest. To the Headmaster it must be a cause for rejoicing and thankfulness that the labour of his life had been saved from a sudden and unfortunate conclusion. To him and his assistant masters, the parents, and the boys, by whose loyal adherence the time of trial had been happily passed through, their congratulations were offered. He proceeded to read the address, which was received with much applause by the townspeople. It is a handsomely illuminated document, to which between sixty and seventy names are attached; the terms of it are as follows: