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mantic or historical drama, extravagant farce (English, which means diluted French, or American, which means adapted German), and "musical comedy" (again English or American). Ten minutes of Yvette Guilbert in a song of Aristide Bruant's, or even in "A leetle beet of str-r-r-ing," is worth a week of Musketeers, Belles of New York, and What Happened to Smith's. But the one play in everybody's mouth is "The Gay Lord Quex." The house is crammed every night, and you are lucky if you can get a seat within the next month. It is plain that "Lord Quex is an immense success. But the success has been won to a great extent upon false pretences. So much is plain from the demeanour of the audience. Recruited chiefly from the suburbs (the mainstay of theatrical enterprise in London), they care nothing for the drama quá drama. They have come to see a play reputed to be "improper," and they are resolved upon having their money's worth. This applies to the stalls as much as to the pit, to the dress-circle as much as to the gallery. People who have paid half-a-guinea or seven-and-sixpence are determined that no phrase or incident susceptible of a foul meaning shall escape the emphasis of their inane laughter. And here is the pity of it-Mr Pinero has deliberately played down to this class of person. He has interjected some "business" and a few speeches which are utterly irrelevant, which afford no assistance whatever to the development of plot or
character, and of which only a schoolboy of sixteen could deem the significance momentous. By so doing he has deliberately invited his audience not to take the play seriously; he has run the risk of pitching his work in a totally wrong key. Mr Pinero is supposed to pride himself, like one of his predecessors in the English drama, on having never blotted a line. Our answer is, Would he had blotted a thousand! Expunge the words and incidents we have alluded to, and "The Gay Lord Quex would remain an infinitely more satisfactory and artistic work. As it is, the third act is intensely interesting and dramatic, albeit the fourth is indescribably lame and unconvincing. Superbly acted throughout by Miss Irene Vanbrugh, who here scales heights to which she never before aspired, the part of Sophy Fullgarney is one of the most original and one of the most powerful in latter-day drama. That, perhaps, is not very high praise, but at least it is not intended for disparagement. Mr Pinero is by so much the ablest, as he is the most ambitious, of contemporary British playwrights, that one is jealous of his reputation. "The Princess and the Butterfly" was a vast advance on that very much overrated play, "The Second Mrs Tanqueray." "The Gay Lord Quex," with all its weaknesses, is no less marked an advance on "The Princess and the Butterfly." But if Mr Pinero will only be true to his best instincts, and eschew the wretched trifles which put the public on a wrong and rather nasty scent,
though they help to fill the coffers of the management, he may be destined some day to write a play which will rank as a classic. In the meanwhile, one can but say that, if you wish to remove any disagreeable taste that "The Gay Lord Quex may have left behind, you cannot do better than try "The Tyranny of Tears," a bright, clever, and withal thoroughly sound little piece, played with consummate skill by a company which includes Miss Mary Moore, Miss Maude Millett, and last, though not least, Mr Charles Wyndham-whom if, in the phrase of "Pendennis," we denominate "that old favourite of the British public," it is in all good faith and sincerity, by way of well-earned compliment, and not in raillery.
Thus-what with dinners and even dances, what with the park and the play, what with the club and the restaurant, what with seeing old friends and making new ones-the allotted time slips insensibly away. The evil moment of departure is projected as far as possible into the dim and distant future. One is loth to leave all this bustle and pageant, all this gaiety and life. Edinburgh, they say, has incomparable beauties, and Prague, with her unique Hradschin, may challenge comparison with Edinburgh. But London in early summer is more wonderful than both. There is no street like Piccadilly; and only in London can you see the Life Guards coming down St James's Street, their cuirasses
glittering in the bright sunshine! But needs must where a certain person drives. With the best will in the world, you cannot stay for the Derby, much less for Ascot. Sloan must pile up his total of winning mounts without your countenance and encouragement. For twelve months you must forego the exciting possibility of being "held up" by by the boys," and of writing to the press about " Roughs on the racecourse. With a rueful visage and an indefinable feeling of regret one resumes one's tweed suit, packs one's portmanteau, pays one's bill, and bids the porter call a hansom. Some day, when one's train puffs out of Paddington, or Waterloo, or Euston, one will have taken one's last trip to town, one will have put on the final layer of polish, one will have had one's last look at London. But, with good luck, one will not know that at the time, which makes all the difference.
Above every melancholy sensation rises, strangely enough, the feeling of gratitude that one's home is not in the greatest of all cities. The bird of passage extracts more poignant emotions from the panorama which the capital presents than does the regular inhabitant. To be a feeble unit in that congested mass of four million creatures-the thought is appalling. And your present contributor, dear Maga,' is not ambitious of ever having it in his power to subscribe himself in any capacity save that of
A COUNTRY COUSIN.
"Hurry up with the breakfast," I said, " and we'll try and reach Lake Labarge to-day."
A BROAD river flowing peace- to exert themselves, and the fully past, whose ample bosom rocky banks on each side went bore great pieces of ice detached past us with great rapidity. from the lake above, met our had no time to look aroundview next morning, and I re- my broad-bladed steering-paddle membered the warning, "Be- had to be used constantly, either ware of floating ice," which the to steer us clear of rocks or to sergeant at Bennett had given give the floating ice a wide berth. When we had travelled for two hours I calculated we must be near the rapids, but there were as yet no indications of their proximity; so I kept our craft in the middle of the current, and let her go as fast as she would. I noticed that we seemed to be gradually increasing our speed. "We'll be near them noo," said Mac, anxiously. "Yes, yes; get a way on her, boys!" I yelled, as I saw, round the bluff ahead, the foaming surf of the famous White Horse Rapids. The subsequent incidents happened much more quickly than I can describe them. I saw that the river narrowed to a quarter of its breadth, and rushed with terrific fury round a sharp rocky bluff. It was not this that frightened me, however, but the ice-floes, that had before been spread over the broad river, and now gathered so closely that they seemed almost to jam the entrance to the rapids.
"What about 'White Horse'?" asked Mac, dubiously. "Oh, we'll shoot the rapids, if the ice gives us a chance," I replied; but at the same time I had grave doubts as to whether this would be possible. Lake Labarge was about fifty miles farther on, and White Horse Rapids came about half-way between us and it. Several lesser rapids would also be encountered on this stretch, but they were all dwarfed into insignificance by the "White Horse. "We started on our journey about nine o'clock in the morning, and, with the assistance of the strong current, we made very good headway for over half an hour; then the river narrowed considerably, and we went rushing through Miles Cañon at an alarming speed. This did not last above a quarter of an hour, however, and our boat was again moving over peaceful waters.
Mac and Stewart continued
"Now we're in for a smash," I said to myself; but I worked my paddle energetically, and
did my utmost to avert such a calamity. "Put your muscle into it, bend to it!" I roared, and the oars dipped the water like the paddle - floats of a twenty - knot river boat. On we rushed, seemingly straight against the enormous rock that diverted the stream. "Keep her going!" I yelled, as with lightning speed we swept on, apparently to destruction. The spray dashed right over us; I leaned well over the stern of the boat, and, with a mighty stroke of the huge paddle, spun her head round. If she had been a second later in answering that stroke, we should have been dashed to pieces on the rocky headland.
through," I answered laconically, looking round. I saw a group of men beside a camp. Near by lay a smashed boat, and, strewed along the shore, were several sacks of provisions. I steered for the shore. "What's the trouble with you, boys?" I asked, as I came near them. "Trouble!" echoed the first speaker: "why, we went under-boat, provisions, men— everything; and one of our party has not got out yethe's drowned, deader'n a door nail!" "Hard lines," I remarked sympathetically; "how did it happen?" "Same as it allus happens; we smashed, broadside, on the rock. I dunno how you managed; there's been half-a-dozen funerals here since our own, and that's only a fortnight ago." "We came through it for all we worth," I said; "we got as much way on as we possibly could, and steered right through: you will notice that the engines haven't got over it yet;" and I motioned towards my crew, who were still blowing like porpoises after their awful exertions.
Before leaving I asked when Major Walsh had passed. "He is only three days ahead," was the reply; "he lost two boats and one man here, and all kinds of Government stuff have been washed ashore since he left." "What!" I shouted, "do you mean to say the Major has had an accident?" "Waal, you kin see for yourself; that's some of his stuff thar,”—pointing to the sodden sacks on shore; "you can make out the Government stamp on them, if you care to look." But I did not care to look, and now motioned to Mac and Stewart to pull out. "Good-bye, boys; better luck next time!" I cried to the dismal little crowd on shore, as we shot into the current; but they made no response, and only gazed sorrowfully after us as we disappeared.
Three days more brought us to the entrance of Lake Labarge, and, as I had expected, it was frozen solid. "No chance of breaking a channel here, Mac," I said, as I examined the
edge from our boat and found it to be several feet in thickness. "Oh, we can take the sleighs now," remarked Stewart; but Mac evidently thought as I did, that sleighing would be much harder work than rowing. However, we could not complain; we had got through the most dangerous part of the route without any serious misfortune, and would force our way forward on ice since the water was denied us. We had done fifty miles that day, and had been only six hours on the way; but the days were rapidly shortening, and even now, at three o'clock, a heavy gloom was beginning to fall over the country. We pitched our tent and got everything comfortably ranged for the night; then we proceeded to unload the boat and pack the provisions on our sleighs. This being done, we passed the evening as happily as we could under the circumstances.
SCANT SNOWFALL IN THE INTERIOR.
It will be remembered by many that, in the winter of which I write, several attempts were made to relieve the starvation known to exist in
Dawson City. Horses and
bullocks in abundance were sent over the Skagway Trail, goats were also requisitioned for the of purpose pulling sleighs over the ice-bound rivers, and thousands of dogs made the attempt to reach the Frozen Eldorado. Not one of these expeditions was success
ful in penetrating even to Lake Tagish. Horses were useless, as they could not pull as much as they themselves would eat in a few days. The goats proved themselves well adapted for mountain work, yet they were absolutely worthless immediately Linderman or Bennett was reached the deep snow proving an impassable obstacle to their progress.
Dogs are the only real means of transport in such a country, yet even they failed to pene