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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 170 pages of information about Great Singers, Second Series.

It may be said, however, that Pauline Garcia was self-educated as a vocalist.  Her mother’s removal to Brussels, her brother’s absence in Italy, and the wandering life of Mme. Malibran practically threw her on her own resources.  She was admirably fitted for self-culture.  Ardent, resolute, industrious, thoroughly grounded in the soundest of art methods, and marvelously gifted in musical intelligence, she applied herself to her vocal studies with abounding enthusiasm, without instruction other than the judicious counsels of her mother.  She had her eyes fixed on a great goal, and this she pursued without rest or turning from her path.  She exhausted the solfeggi which her father had written out for her sister Maria, and when this laborious discipline was done she determined to compose others for herself.  She had already learned harmony and counterpoint from Reicha at the Paris Conservatoire, and these she now found occasion to put in practice.  She copied all the melodies of Schubert, of whom she was a passionate admirer, and thought no toil too great which promoted her musical growth.  Her labor was a labor of love, and all the ardor of her nature was poured into it.  Music was not the sole accomplishment in which she became skilled.  Unassisted by teaching, she, like Malibran, learned to sketch and paint in oil and water-colors, and found many spare moments in the midst of an incessant art-training, which looked to the lyric stage, to devote to literature.  All this denotes a remarkable nature, fit to overcome every difficulty and rise to the topmost shining peaks of artistic greatness.  What she did our sketch will further relate.

II.

Pauline Garcia was just sixteen when, panting with an irrepressible sense of her own powers, she exclaimed, “Ed io anclu son cantatrice.”  Her first public appearance was worthy of the great name she afterward won.  It was at a concert given in Brussels, on December 15, 1837, for the benefit of a charity, and De Beriot made his first appearance on this occasion after the death of Mme. Malibran.  The court and most distinguished people of Belgium were present on this occasion, and so great was the impression made on musicians that the Philharmonic Society caused two medals to be struck for De Beriot and Mlle. Garcia, the mold of which was broken immediately.  Pauline Garcia, in company with De Beriot, gave a series of concerts through Belgium and Germany, and it soon became evident that a new star of the first magnitude was rising in the musical firmament.  In Germany many splendid gifts were showered on her.  The Queen of Prussia sent her a superb suite of emeralds, and Mme. Sontag, with whom she sang at Frankfort, gave the young cantatrice a valuable testimonial, which was alike an expression of her admiration of Pauline Garcia and a memento of her regard for the name of the great Malibran, whose passionate strains

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