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Great Quack," produced in 1866 at the St. James' Theatre. It met with a success that was shared by his next effort, a burlesque on "La Figlia del Reggimento." Then followed "The Merry Zingara,' and next a burlesque on "Robert the Devil." His first comedy was "An Old Score," which, however, was only moderately successful, but his parody of the Laureate's "Princess," afterwards to be treated in a different way in the "Princess Ida," made a hit. This parody was intended, in Mr. Gilbert's own words, to be "a blank verse burlesque, in which a picturesque story should be told in a strain of mock-heroic seriousness," a vein from which he has not greatly departed in many of his other productions. "The Palace of Truth," and the charming, mythological comedy, Pygmalion and Galatea," the fairy comedy, "The Wicked World," "Charity," "Randall's Thumb," "On Guard," "Great Expectations," "Dan'l Druce," "Engaged," that pretty little dramatic contrast, "Sweethearts," "Broken Hearts," "Tom Cobb," "Gretchen," "The Ne'er do Weel," "Foggarty's Fairy," these are among the many pieces with which Mr. Gilbert has supplied the stage. He has been a prolific writer in other directions. His "Bab Ballads" first appeared in fun, which was started in 1861, by the late Mr. H. J. Byron. "With much labor," Mr. Gilbert turned out an article threequarters of a column long, and sent it to the editor with a half-page drawing on wood, with the result that he was asked to contribute a column of "copy" and a half-page drawing every week for the term of his natural life. The request staggered him, as he thought he had exhausted himself. The same feeling of absolute exhaustion has, he says, recurred to him whenever he has completed a drama, comedy, or operatic libretto, but he has learned to recognize it as a mere bogey.
Mr. Gilbert, who was born on November 18th, 1836, at 17 Southampton Street, Strand, was educated at Great Ealing and at King's College. When he was nineteen years old, the Crimean War was at its height, and he meditated joining the army, but, as the war came suddenly to an end, that idea was abandoned. Then he obtained a clerkship in the education department of the Privy Council Office; afterwards became a barrister, in which capacity he confesses that his main distinction was a certain want of eloquence, and at length gave himself up entirely to literature and the stage. It was a gain all round. Had events run their course, he might have become a judge, or at least a general; but there are many generals and many judges; there is only one Gilbert, and only one "Pinafore." J. N.
A lover came riding by awhile, A wealthy lover was he, whose smile Some maid would value greatly— A formal lover, who bowed and bent, With many a high-flown compliment, And cold demeanor stately. "You've still," said she to her suitor stern, "The 'prentice-work of your craft to learn, If thus you come a-cooing. I've time to lose and power to choose 'Tis not so much the gallant who woos, As the gallant's way of wooing."
FLORENCE V. BRITTINGHAM.
N the beautiful and picturesque valley of the of the town
of Moorefield, W. Va., on the 15th of November, 1856, there came into the home of Philip G. and Susan M. Shearer, a dear baby daughter, whose tiny frame seemed almost too diminutive and frail to hold the beautiful soul that was to find a dwelling place within it for nearly thirty-five years. The home influence and the surroundings of Florence Virginia Shearer's early years were of a nature well calculated to develop all her innate gifts and graces. From both parents she inherited sterling qualities and superior mental ability. Her father, born in the town of Winchester, Va., is of well-connected German and English stock, as is his wife, Susan M. Harness, who was born near Moorefield.
There is little to record of Mrs. Brittingham's childhood until at the age of fourteen, she became a pupil in Mrs. Letitia Tyler Semple's school, Baltimore, Md. Here she remained three years, when, having finished the course with high honors, she returned to her valley home. The work of selfimprovement, however, was kept up through all her future life. Her love of learning was an unquenchable thirst and her energy in the pursuit of knowledge was a marvel to those who knew how much she accomplished in her quiet, unostentatious way. When in 1882 she became the happy wife of one in every way fitted to win her wifely devotion, the Rev. Jacob Brittingham, her life became one of almost entire consecration to Christian work. After a year of married life spent in Parkersburg, W. Va. Mr. Brittingham accepted a call to Christ Church Clarksburg, W. Va., and here for six years Mrs. Brittingham labored faithfully at the many things which her busy hands found to do. Her literary work, which she quietly carried on during this period, was her avocation-her recreation; but that she could find time for it at all would seem surprising in view of the fact that in addition to the care of her home and infant son, she had charge of the choir, for which she was organist, and conducted an afternoon Bible class every Sunday, worked in the mission school, taught classes in French and Literature, and was always ready to go wherever there was anything to be done for another's welfare. Some of her poems and short stories written at that time were published in different papers and periodicals, but the greater number have been published by her husband, since her death, in the volume entitled "Verse and Story" (Buffalo, 1892). Mrs. Brittingham's death occurred April 26, 1891, at St. Luke's rectory, Wheeling, W. Va., to which place Mr. Brittingham had moved in 1889. N. E.