202 A FEW MEMORIES
simply said, " Perhaps it's you who will be astonished when I tell you that I was the boy who lied so successfully." And I had been handling autograph hunters unmercifully to this archfiend among them! Though understanding the desire to possess characteristic letters from favorite and illustrious persons, I cannot comprehend the prevalent wish for a mere signature. Usually the autograph seeker sends with his request a stamped and addressed envelope. This is the least troublesome attack. When, however, they invade one's peacejwith handsomely bound books filled with prominent names, stating the value of the same, and requesting poetic quotations and an immediate return of the volumes by registered post, their bombardment assumes a more serious aspect. I have been so unfortunate as to have several such books lying on my table at a time, their addresses lost, and in despair of ever getting them back to their respective owners. A great poet once told me that he always refused to write his name, and felt no compunction in applying the stamps sent him to charitable purposes.
At Birmingham I had the privilege of meeting Cardinal Newman. His noble head, as seen in