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94                             A  FEW MEMORIES
into forgetfulness of his looks and inferior acting. In those days I always took with me an old friend in the shape of a guitar, upon which, as a child, I had picked out, with much labor, a sufficient number of chords to accompany a few favorite songs. One day Brignoli passed our rooms while I was singing " The Irish Immigrant's Lament." He requested an introduction, and tried to persuade me to start for Milan at once for a year's training, and then to become an opera singer. " But," said I, "I am already on the stage. I act Juliet, Lady Macbeth, and all kinds of fine tragic parts." " Leave them all alone," he answered. " With your voice you would have a far more distinguished success on the operatic than on the dramatic stage." Though delighted to know from him that I could sing, I assured him that I would not let go my hold on the robe of Melpomene for the glories of all the other muses put together.
The difference between the audiences in Canada is very marked. In Toronto and Ottawa they are reserved, and much harder to arouse than at Montreal, where the French element gives to the public a glow of Continental warmth. The enthusiasm there over my work, crude as it was, caused the people to take the horses from my car-