H A P T E R III INAUGURAL ADDRESS DELIVERED ON THE OPENING OF ONE OF THE « CHILDREN'S HOUSES" IN 1907 IT may be that the life lived by the very poor is a thing which some of you here today have never actually looked upon in all its degra- dation. You may have only felt the misery of deep human poverty through the medium of some great book, or some gifted actor may have made your soul vibrate with its horror. Let us suppose that in some such moment a voice should cry to you: " Go, look upon these homes of misery and blackest poverty. For there have sprung up among the terror and the suffering, oases of happiness, of cleanliness, of peace. The poor are to have an ideal house which shall be their own. In Quarters where poverty and vice ruled, a work of moral redemption is going on. The soul of the people is being set free from the torpor of vice, from the shadows of ignorance. The little children, too, have a * House * of their own. The new generation goes forward to meet the era, the time when misery shall no longer be deplored but destroyed. They go to meet the time when the dark dens of vice and wretched- ness shall have become things of the past, and when no trace of them shall be found among the living/* What a change of emotions we should experience! and how we should hasten here, as the wise men guided by a dream and a star hastened to Bethlehem!