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caused much interest in "Miss M. A. Bell,"
and prepared the Kilclare critics to receive
her efforts with considerable favour, whenever
she should essay a part. For it is a singular
fact that while few people would submit to have
their shoes spoiled, or their clothes cut awry,
by inexperienced amateur shoemakers and
tailors, on the plea that those artisans had never
studied shoemaking or tailoring, yet in things
theatrical the publicand the public of bigger
places than little Kilclareoften seems as willing
to welcome and pay for 'prentice work as
for skilled labour.

Mabel, however, unconscious of the notice
she was attracting, went through her part of the
music with conscientious attention to the
instructions of Mr. Trescott. She also made the
useful discovery that her arms and legs and
hands, which might be trusted to fall into easy
and graceful postures in private life without any
special thought on her part, became awkward
and unmanageable on the boards of the stage;
and that, as her aunt, quoting from stores of
professional tradition and experience, had told
her, it absolutely required considerable skill and
attention to learn to stand still with anything
like ease or nature.

Mabel had begun her apprenticeship.

The tragedy went off with brilliant success.
Mr. Wilfred J. Percival, who made his début
in Kilclare on the occasion, was received
with signal favour. And all the critics (before
the curtain) agreed that if his readings were
occasionally obscure, and his pronunciation
somewhat too transatlantic, he yet made
up for all short-comings by the splendour of
his costumes, the power of his voice, and the
extraordinary vigour and energy of his final
combat with Macduff. Indeed, the contrast
between his tall figure and muscular wielding
of the claymore, and poor Mr. Moffatt's diminutive
form and feeble swordsmanship, may be
said to have almost shed a new and radiant
light upon the moral of the play; for it was
clear that nothing but the most triumphant
virtue on the one side, and the most conscience-
stricken villany on the other, could have given
the thane of Fife the smallest chance in the
conflict. To enable such a Macduff to vanquish
such a Macbeth, the former must have a very
good cause indeed!

The performances terminated with a farce, in
which Mrs. Walton performed a comic servant-
girl, to the intense delight of the audience, and
in which the sententious low comedian received
what the Kilclare Courier called next morning,
"an ovation." And then the audience poured
noisily out of the little playhouse, and trooped
away, scattering streams of talk and laughter
through the quiet streets of the town; and
then the lights were put out in the front of the
theatre , the doors closed with a clang that
echoed through the empty house; stage
dresses were changed for street dresses, stage
paint was washed off, stage wigs were
removed; and Mabel, with Jack and Mrs.
Walton, walked home through the sweet May
night, discussing the events of the evening, in
very good humour with themselves and with
each other.


IT may not be universally knownbut I have
it from a gentleman on whose word much reliance
may be placedone Suetoniusthat the
first chief editor of the first daily paper was no
less a person than Julius Cæsar. My friend
does not indeed affirm that Julius opened an
office in the aristocratic precinct of Summa
Velia (Mount Palatine), or in the more
commercial regions of Janus Summus and Infimus
(Upper and Lower Bankers' streets), still less
that he was actuated by any mercenary motives
in making the first recorded plunge into journalism,
and that at a period of his not inactive
life when consular duties must have absorbed
much of his time and attention. True it is
that a man in his position, with his acknowledged
capacity of doing three things at a time,
and all to perfection, might have thrown in an
editorship, and made a good thing of it. Such,
however, was not his aim. We shall presently
see what was.

Perhaps the very earliest suspicion of a
regular paper was a certain serial, published
under the supervision of the Roman priesthood,
and limited to two classes of informationa
register of births and deaths, and notices of the
assumption of the "toga virilis" (dress of manhood),
on which interesting occasions considerable
fees became payable into the respective
treasuries of the temples dedicated to Juno,
Lucina, Venus, and Juventas. A kindred tax,
having reference especially to the first knickerbockers,
might be introduced in modern times,
with the double advantage of curbing the
growing passion for that hideous garment, and
contributing handsomely to the Exchequer.

The Emperor Augustus, for some unascertained
reason, forbade the publication of the
first description of announcement, but continued
the latter.

Stephen Pighius, of the low countries, who,
in 1599, published Annals of the Magistrates
and Provinces under the Romans, presents us
with some specimens of these early news-sheets,
adding that they were given to him by James
Susius, who found them among the papers of
Ludovicus Vives. Further authentication
would be superfluous, especially when it is
mentioned that Dodwell, quoting them in his
Camdenian lectures, together with some later
examples (A.U.C. 691), states that he received
them from a friend, Adrian Beverland, who had
them from Mr. Isaac Vossius, canon of Windsor,
who transcribed them from a parcel of
inscriptions prepared by a gentleman named
Petavius (probably Denis Petau, the Jesuit)
for the press.

That certain other registers were in existence
before Cæsar started his Daily News may be
gathered from a remark in one of Cicero's