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sion and pathos, sweetness and sublimity to order.

Master-hands and master-spirits, with such a fit upon them, may belie themselves, disappoint a thousand people by breaking down, or by a temporary eclipse of all higher faculties. A lapse that

may throw them back years in a minute, suddenly destroying the position barely won after half a lifetime of toil and sacrifice.

To Laurence there seemed no struggling against her doom. She was seized by an appalling sense of the fragility of the little temple of fame raised around her ; a filigree erection that would fall at a wrong touch. The torrent she had crossed on a plank a thousand times in safety, because she had walked boldly, made her dizzy this once. Look down and falter, and you are lost.

Cuscus had seen it happen, knew the signs, and his anxiety was indescribable. Laurence herself felt as if nothing short of a miracle could avert a catastrophe.

At that moment her eyes, wandering round, chanced to fall upon one of her audience; only the bass of the sorrowful countenance, who had come to the doorway of the passage leading from the platform, to listen unmolested. Something in

his expression penetrated her, called off her thoughts from herself.

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his ideal; to the lover, his idolatry; and to those who know that language, and can receive its revelations, music may bring the same message of divine import and mysterious consolation.

Enough. No miracle. A trifle may cause the darkness, a trifle restore the light. A crevice opened, through which we can see the whole heaven. Among an assembly of hundreds, the girl played for one only; secure of one heart's attention; and surely, did the devout musician but know it, there will always, among a roomful of scoffers or careless people, be found at least one devout listener.

Cuscus breathed again; he saw the peril was past; still he listened with doubtful approval and shook his head.

'Puts too much of herself into her playing,' he said within himself regretfully. 'Women always do. They and their music are merged, not merely connected. If they had our strength, they would surpass us every way; but they haven't, and their method wears them out.'

Laurence, in truth, came down from the platform victorious, but feeling that another such victory might be worse than a defeat. In her tremor she hardly knew whether the fervent phrase of thanks breathed in her ear came really from Tristan's lips or was a mere creation of her fancy. Her success was assured, unequivocal. Each time she reappeared she was greeted by storms of applause. plause. Linda pouted, and her thoughts began to revert to Mos


When the concert ended the principals still lingered in the greenroom, to hear from their director some particulars of future engagements-for next week, and the next, and the next. They

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were going to-morrow to Turin ; but this night's success meant another performance or two in Milan on their return a fortnight later. Then came their last week in Italy, and Cuscus read out the dates Tuesday, Monza; Thursday, Verona; Friday, Como; and Saturday-'

'All day Saturday we shall be free,' was the general laughing rejoinder. 'What shall we do with ourselves at Como?

There was a North Italy handbook on the table. Cuscus snatched it up, and began reading aloud:

'Como-birthplace of the elder Pliny a town with 20,614 inhabitants-'

His voice was drowned by a chorus:

'We shall see enough of them in the evening at the concert. What else?'

'Handsome drinking-fountain in the public square.'

A shout of derision greeted this announcement.

'He takes us for horses, or sheep! Fie, for shame! and in a wine-country, too!

'You're uncommonly hard to please, you people,' remarked Cuscus, turning over the leaves.

Ah, now we come to something better. Excursions on the lake ;' and every one became attentive.

But before he could proceed, a diversion was excited by the intrusion of a small shy devil, bearing a magnificent bouquet of roses. The urchin was received by a disconcerting shower of witticisms from the gentlemen of the company.

Cupid, as I live!' ejaculated Erlanger, adjusting his eyeglass. 'Where the mischief do you come from to-night?

'He brings credentials-see,' said the fat tenor jocosely, pointing to the bouquet. Courage,

my lad! St. Peter himself would let you in with such a passport as


Unto which of us are you sent?' continued the Missing Link. Come, Eros, do your errand.'


Cupid, entirely out of countenance, glanced uncertainly around. He saw three ladies, but, in his confusion, no longer knew them apart. Linda, as the most brilliant, riveted his gaze, magnetised him as it were; and her obvious readiness and impatience to receive the tribute he bore, and which her eyes had appropriated immediately, drove him irresistibly to go astray, though halfconscious of his error. Timidly he approached, wavered, and finally into her hands he delivered the nosegay.

A suppressed exclamation, not of blessing, that burst from one of the lookers-on, was heard by Cuscus alone. Cupid, aware that he had blundered ignominiously, hastily deposited a note on the table, and took to his heels amid derisive cheers. Cuscus was cramming his handkerchief into his mouth to stay his laughter. The rest were observing Linda, who was toying with her flowers with affected nonchalance.

The billet was for Cuscus, who ran his eye over it, whilst the others watched him inquisitively, Linda in particular impatient to know the contents.

'From my friend, Baron Miramar,' said Cuscus carelessly. 'You may have heard of him, I daresay, the most liberal artpatron in Italy. He has a palazzo on the Lake of Como, and I let him know we were coming into those parts. He is sorry he himself will not be at home; but thinks if we care to see his château, we shall find it a pleasant day's excursion, and begs to throw

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open his house to us. I call that very kind of the Herr Baron.'

"Something for Saturdaysomething for Saturday,' was the unanimous exclamation. 'Is the place worth visiting? See what the guide-book has got to say about it.'

"Palazzo Miramar," read Cuscus aloud from the handy volume, ""belonged formerly to the princes of the house of Sforza; bought in 18 by an Austrian banker. Fine view on the lake. Valuable collection of musical instruments, unrivalled in Italy." Ah, yes, Miramar is a dilettante, and very rich.'

It was agreed on all sides they must see the palazzo.

'Write to Miramar,' said Linda coolly, for the company, 'and tell him we shall certainly come over

to see his place, and his grounds, and his curiosities.'

'And eat his lunch. I suppose he'll give us lunch?' put in the tenor.

'But that we think it very strange of the owner not to receive us in person.'

"For that "we," meaning Mdlle. Visconti, are dying to make the owner's personal acquaintance,' said the director calmly, as he put on his coat. There's hope yet, Regina. He who sent those flowers cannot be a thousand miles off.'

'How I should like to box your ears' said Linda, rising quickly. 'Hold your tongue, please, or at any rate hold my bouquet whilst I put on my shawl; and send Tristan or somebody to see if my carriage is there.'


AN exquisite incompleteness, blossom foreshadowing fruit ;

A sketch faint in its beauty, with promise of future worth;
A plant with some leaves unfolded, and the rest asleep at its root,
To deck with their future sweetness the fairest thing on the eart

Womanhood, wifehood, motherhood-each a possible thing,

Dimly seen through the silence that lies between then and now; Something of each and all has woven a magic ring,

Linking the three together in glory on girlhood's brow.





THE first steamboat that crossed the Atlantic sailed from Savannah on the 25th of May 1819, and arrived in Liverpool on the 20th of the following month. This vessel was called the Savannah, and, during the few weeks that she remained at anchor in the Mersey, people came from all parts of the country to see this new marvel of navigation. The Savannah was a nine days' wonder, and its captain and crew were received everywhere as maritime heroes. In the autumn she returned to the United States, and was shortly afterwards shipwrecked off Long Island. The public regarded the Atlantic trip of the Savannah more as an interesting scientific experiment than a really practical development of a new and mighty power; it was not a matter for surprise, therefore, that for the next fourteen years no further attempt was made to bridge the Atlantic by the aid of steam. On the 18th of August 1833, however, there sailed from Quebec a second steamship, the Royal William, which reached Gravesend on the 11th of September. It was five years later before England ventured to despatch a steamer over the Atlantic. This was the Sirius, which left London for New York on the 4th of April 1838. Within three days from that date the Great Western followed in the wake of the Sirius from Bristol, the former making the voyage to New York in seventeen days and the latter


in fifteen. As yet Liverpool,
which was destined to become
the chief port of steamer com-
munication between this country
and America, had not sought to
compete in this new enterprise;
but in the summer of 1838 a
second steamship, called the Royal
William, was fitted out at Liver-
pool, and on the 6th of July of
that year she sailed from the
Mersey, and succeeded in crossing
the Atlantic in a somewhat
shorter space of time than the
voyage had previously been ac-
complished in.
complished in. Nineteen days
from leaving Liverpool the Royal
William arrived at New York,
and the voyage back occupied
only fourteen days and a half.

It now became apparent that the ocean steamship problem had been solved; and, fortunately for the world, men were found at this juncture possessed of sufficient foresight, energy, and ability to turn the new power to the best account. Mr. Samuel Cunard was one of the first to foresee the great results that might be achieved by the establishment of steamer communication between the United States and England; and as far back as the year 1830, in his quiet home in Nova Scotia, his mind was busily engaged in thinking over the best means of carrying out this project. In 1838 Mr. Cunard came to England, eagerly bent upon putting his idea into actual operation, and, introduced by Sir James Melvill of the India House, he presented


himself to Mr. Robert Napier of Glasgow, the eminent marine engineer, and the result of their deliberations was that Mr. Cunard gave Mr. Napier an order to make four steamships for the Atlantic service. These four vessels were to be of 900 tons each and 300

horse-power. Mr. Napier advised the building of larger vessels, and ultimately it was arranged that the four vessels should each be of 1200 tons burden and 440 horse-power. The project now assumed a proportion which was beyond the resources of a single private individual, and Mr. Cunard and Mr. Napier taking counsel together hit upon the idea of forming a company. Messrs. Burns of Glasgow and Messrs. MacIver of Liverpool, after having run coasting steamers in keen rivalry for several years, had in 1830 amalgamated their undertakings; and this firm of Burns & MacIver was, at the time that Mr. Samuel Cunard came to England, one of the most prosperous shipping companies in England. The proposal to form an Atlantic steamship company was mooted to Messrs. Burns & MacIver by Mr. Napier, and the outcome of this was the establishment in 1839 of the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company. About this time the Government decided, on grounds of public convenience, as well as with the view of promoting the extension of steam navigation, to abandon the curious old brigs which had been used for so many years for the conveyance of the mails across the Atlantic, and to substitute steam mailboats. The Admiralty accordingly advertised for tenders for the execution of this service, and the Great Western Steam Shipping Company and the newly-formed company of Messrs. Cunard, Burns,

& MacIver were the principal competitors. The tender of the latter firm was accepted, and a seven years' contract was at once entered into between the Lords of the Admiralty on the one part, and Samuel Cunard, George Burns, and David MacIver on the other part, for the conveyance of mails between Liverpool and Halifax, Boston and Quebec, in consideration of the annual sum of 60,0007. One of the conditions of the bargain was that the ships engaged in this service should be of sufficient strength and capacity to be used as troopships in case of necessity.

The first four ships built under Mr. Napier's direction for the Cunard Company were the Britannia, the Acadia, the Caledonia, and the Columbia. It was on the 4th July 1840 that the Britannia set out from Liverpool to make for the new company the first trip across the Atlantic. Liverpool was in a condition of great excitement on the day of the vessel's departure; thousands of people crowded the quays to watch her out, and it was felt that a new era of oceanic intercourse had been inaugurated by this memorable event. The ship's destination was Boston; New York not being made the port of communication for the Cunard steamers until 1848. Mr. Cunard sailed in the Britannia on its initial voyage, and had the satisfaction of witnessing the vessel's safe arrival at Boston, after having called at Halifax, within fourteen days and eight hours of leaving Liverpool. To the American people the occasion was even of greater moment than to the English; for it placed their vast continent, with all its undeveloped resources, within easier reach of the civilising influences and commercial activity of Europe, and drew the old coun

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