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doubtless derived some of the sterling later vice-president, and finally presiqualities that have enabled him to ful dent, with unusually wide powers and fil a remarkable career comparatively privileges. Among the secrets of his early in life. He is, however, but one success is the fact that he brought to of scores in the railway service of this the task of building the great steel continent who have risen from the ranks highway a practical knowledge of alto positions of eminence.
The general most every department of railway manager of the New York Central work, from the building of a bridge or Railway was once a trainman ; the pre the laying of a curve to the managesident of the Lake Shore line served. ment of an extensive system. He is as chain-bearer to an engineer; and the something of an engineer and draughtspresident of the Union Pacific once man, and, as one has said, “knows pushed a truck on the Omaha platform. every tie in the road. His knowledge
is simply encyclopediac. He can draw a sketch of a siding, a switch, a culvert, or any special portion of track at a moment's notice. With him an inspection of the line is not a perfunctory operation ; he knows his business thoroughly."
When the celebrated British Columbia arbitration between the railway corporation and the Dominion Government, in reference to the construction of the line through the mountain passes, was heard, the investigation lasted off and on for four or five years, commencing in 1889. The arbitration counsel and witnesses spent many weeks at a time along the line of the road, often holding court at way stations
or sidings. The President of the Company
naturally the chief witness, and, ,
such, was subject to the After having mastered telegraphy, most searching cross-examinations by the future head of the Canadian Pacific the leading legal lights of the Dominion. was employed by the Illinois Central Intellectual battles royal often resulted, Railway, and by several other western in which Sir William usually held his lines in succession, through all the own. During the most interesting of grades of railway officialdom up to the these inquiries the witness illustrated a very highest. In 1882, the time and dual mind by not only replying to the the task called for a man to take charge questions and following closely the trend of the projected Canadian Pacific line, of the investigation, but by sketching and luckily there was one to be had. on a sheet of paper lying in front of him At first Mr. Van Horne, for the “Sir the chief characters forming the scene. William " had not then appeared, was On one occasion he made a sketch of appointed general manager ; two years the whole court, including an excellent
SIR WILLIAM C. VAN HORNE.
portrait of Chancellor Boyd. At an life-size portrait by, it is supposed, a other time Mr. B. B. Osler was sur pupil of Rembrandt, and other valuable prised to find, at the conclusion of a productions. Some of the pictures in long cross-examination, that his wit these fine apartments bear no name, ness had produced a striking picture of but if you venture to charge your host the legal quizzer.
with being their author, you may wring Let us now visit the home of Sir from him a deprecatory acknowledgWilliam, the Railway Knight.
ment of the fact. The spacious halls generally recognized that Montreal is and drawing-rooms are also utilized as our chief Canadian art centre, and its galleries. millionaires have brought to their pala The second Aight of steps leads to tial homes not a few Old World masterpieces. Those who are privileged to see within the walls of the Van Horne residence will speedily recognize in its owner
one of Montreal's leading art connoisseurs. Besides being a museum, his home is a gallery of art. The walls of almost every apartment, from the reception-room to the attic studio, are covered with canvases, many of them bearing such world-known names as Sir Joshua Reynolds, Corot, Daubigny, Maas, Valasquez, Cuyp, Dore, Diaz, Delacroix, Ribot, George Innes, and many others of renown. A visitor's enjoyment of Sir William's pictures is enhanced by his own evident and justifiable pride in and love for them. As books to a book-lover are his canvases to the picture-lover ; they are his friends, his choice companions.
The library--a cosy, inviting retreat — contains two of his the studio, another apartment well rarest possessions, a small canvas by suited for its purpose, with easels and Velasquez (a full-length view of Christ walls covered with complete or paron the cross), and a quaint old portrait tially finished works. Here one finds of an old man with high, white ruff and that the railway president is an artist broad black hat, from the brush of as well—practically a self-taught one. Franz Hals.
One of his pictures, which hangs in The walls of the billiard-room and the billiard-room, is a rare gem—a dining-room hold a score or more of Manitoba harvest-field with the gold on larger pictures, bearing the magical the grain brought into striking relief names of Constable and Reynolds; a by a passing thunderstorm. Those
FROM A LATE PHOTO.
SIR WILLIAM C. VAN HORNE.
qualified to express the opinion assert been deep in china until he had filled that if Sir William had pursued art in many cabinets with precious specistead of railroading he would have mens. One of his vacations was demade a high name as a painter. He voted to the study of Sêvres, Dresden rarely, if ever, sketches from nature, and Dutch ware. It was while he was but paints from memory, and his studio in the midst of his researches that a shows a large amount of work in its political colleague, visiting his chief, initial stages.
in an unlucky moment mentioned home The President of the Canadian Paci- politics. Then, it is said, the eagle fic is not only a lover and collector of eye flashed fire, and the Grand Old good pictures, but an enthusiastic China Collector burst forth: “For gatherer of other art treasures.
heaven's sake, leave politics alone result, therefore, his home is a veri here !”—the beauty of the Sèvres vase table art museum, the collecting of for the moment swelling larger than whose contents must have cost a good the British ship of State. In the same ly sum. His cabinets (in themselves manner, I imagine, it would be dangerboth rare and costly) are chiefly filled ous, while our Canadian collector is with Japanese ware— saku and tea fondly exhibiting a saku cup or a costcups and saucers in great variety, ly ceramic specimen, to suddenly exmagnificent satsuma bowls, and vases, claim: “By the way, what about the and rare bronzes. The Japanese of complaint as to the high freight rates to-day have practically lost the art of in the Northwest ?” He, too, would producing their satsuma wares, the reply, at such a critical moment: “For consequence being that such choice goodness' sake leave the C.P.R. alone, specimens as Sir William possesses at least while I have this saku cup in are sufficiently rare to greatly enhance
Don't you know it is the their value. His collection of Chinese only one of its kind in existence, and pottery is no less interesting and valu that it cannot be duplicated ? ” The able, and he is fond of placing them in only difficulty about this surmise is contrast and comparing their points. that of ever imagining the president of On one shelf is placed a Chinese, an our across-continent highway demandAmerican and an English vase, show- ing, under any conceivable circuming at a glance the superior workman stance, that it should not be referred ship of the first, and the inferior imita to, for it is in truth the apple of his tion of the last two.
eye and the source of many of his His private collection of both Jap- pleasant dreams. anese and Chinese pottery is beyond Sir William's other tastes have by question the finest in Canada, if not in no means crowded out the library. In America. He has many influential this department one soon perceives his friends in both these countries, who, wide range of reading. There is no no doubt, assist him in securing choice surprise at seeing richly-bound and exprizes from time to time. In addition, pensive art books, nor a goodly colleche has an extensive assortment of old tion of works pertaining to railways, Japanese arrows and spear-heads and but lying on the table were such widesword-hilts, remnants of old-time war ly-divergent books as Dr. Parkin's Canmethods. Quaint old models of ships ada and a book of chafing dish recipes hang suspended from the ceilings and (for its owner has the reputation of add variety to the contents of this knowing how to cook). princely museum.
The interior of the house is finished The pottery, or “old china cr in Canadian woods, and it is a striking as the Philistine would call it, has evidence of the rich effects that may seized on many notable men.
It raged be secured by their use. The diningwith much fury with Mr. Gladstone. room is finished in British Columbia Just as he was often deep in politics or woods, coloured to resemble rich main theology, just as earnestly has he hogany.
Sir William is a firm believer in the leads them without their always knowYoung Man. Possibly he may not ing it; and he is not long one of a object to still be classed as one him group of men without exhibiting this self. This belief on his part explains trait. It stood out more clearly, perthe well-known fact that the C.P.R. is, haps, in the dark days of the road, in the main, manned by young men. when only those who were at the helm He is a strict disciplinarian and de knew of the rocks in the channel—the mands the best service his staff can financial fogs, the engineering difficulgive him, and the army of employees ties; but the young manager, by his have always given a hearty loyalty to optimism and pluck, cheered the men the president, for they are proud of who had their fortunes at stake to their executive head and proud of what success and further fortune. he has accomplished. Comparatively His self-control has been shown in few strikes have occurred on the line, many a situation of danger, sometimes and, so far as the public can judge, when the wires carried bad news, as there is the best of feeling between the when a landslide on the north shore of president and his subordinates. He is, Lake Superior carried away a portion or has been, no exception to the rule of track and a valuable lot of steel of hard work which he has required rails. The message was handed to from his staff. During the construct him at his desk, but a mere lifting of ive period, five or six in the morning the eyebrows and a low-toned exclamfound him ready for a long day's work. ation was all that told of a loss of His correspondence would be cleared many thousands of dollars. On another off early in the forenoon, and the after occasion, when a friend was in jeo noon was thus free for other duties. pardy in a small sail-boat in a squall, Midnight was his retiring hour—an the subject of my sketch only betrayed example of long-sustained effort, per his intense anxiety by pacing the pier haps, not to be generally recommended. and smoking his cigar furiously. Now that the line is successfully run He is at times the essence of tersening, its head takes life more easily, ness,
when a caller, noticing a and has wisely relegated many details drawing of a cantilever bridge on his to his competent officials. When ques desk, asked : “What is the limit of the tioned as to his future plans, Sir Wil chasm you can bridge by this engineerliam falls back on an old habit that ing method ?” the laconic reply was, has always stood him in good stead “Money!” and money, backed by a sudden deafness that prevents him brains, has certainly been a miraclefrom hearing the prying query ; but worker on the C.P.R. one is at liberty to prophecy that he Sir William's holidays are frequentwill now carry out some long-cherished ly enjoyed at his retreat at St. Anplans of travel with special reference drew's, where he is monarch of a goodto studying foreign art. He has not ly domain, and the rustic Van Horne travelled very extensively. Only once, I cottage is seen in some of the canvasbelieve, has he visited Europe, and es of the artist-president.
While a he has never yet used one of his own hard worker when on duty, he is a round-the-world tickets via the Pacific thorough believer in enjoying the good and the East.
things of life both in nature and art, Two features stand out prominently in the home and “on the road in Sir William Van Horne's personalty : philosophy not belied by his own aphis force of character and his self-con pearance. trol. He carries men with him, he
MY CONTEMPORARIES IN FICTION.*
BY DAVID CHRISTIE MURRAY.
III.-ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.
the last a page of his was like cloth of
gold for purity and solidity. IN the scheme of this series, as origin. This is the praise which the future
ally announced, Thackeray's work critics of English literature will award should have formed the subject of the him. But in this age of critical hysteria third article. But on reflection I have it is not enough to yield a man the decided that, considering my present palm for his own qualities. With repurpose, it would be little more than gard to Stevenson our professional a useless self-indulgence to do what guides have gone fairly demented, and I at first intended. There is no sort of it is worth while to make an effort to dispute about Thackeray. There is no give him the place he has honestly need for any revision of the general earned before the inevitable reaction opinion concerning him. It would be sets in, and unmerited laudations have to me, personally, a delightful thing to brought about an unmerited neglect. write such an appreciation as I had in His life was arduous. His meagre mind, but this is not the place for it. physical means and his fervent spirit Let us pass, then, at once to the were pathetically ill-mated.
It was consideration of the incomplete and impossible to survey his career without arrested labours of the charming and a sympathy which trembled from adaccomplished workman whose loss all miration to pity. Certain, in spite of lovers of English literature are still all precaution, to die young, and in the lamenting
face of that stern fact genially and unI have special and private reasons conquerably brave, he extorted love. tor thinking warmly of Robert Louis Let the whole virtue of this truth be Stevenson, the man ; and these rea acknowledged, and let it stand in exsons seem to give me some added cuse for praises which have been carwarrant for an attempt to do justice to ried beyond the limits of absurdity. Robert Louis Stevenson, the writer. is hard to exercise a sober judgment With the solitary exception of the un where the emotions are brought strongfortunate cancelled letters from Samoa,
ly into play.
The inevitable tragedy which were written whilst he was in ill of Stevenson's fate, the unescapable health, and suffered a complete mom assurance that he would not live to do entary eclipse of style, he has scarcely all which such a spirit in a sounder published a line which may not afford frame would have done for an art he the most captious reader pleasure. loved so fondly, the magnetism of his With that sole exception he was always friendship, his downright incapacity an artist in his work, and always for envy, his genuine humility with reshowed himself alive to the finger-tips. gard to his own work and reputation, He was in constant conscious search of his unboastful and untiring courage, felicities in expression, and his taste made a profound impression upon many was exquisitely just. His discernment of his contemporaries. It is, perhaps, in the use of words kept equal pace small wonder if critical opinion were in with his invention-he knew at once part moulded by such influences as how to be fastidious and daring: It is these. Errors of judgment thus into be doubted if any writer has labour duced are easily condoned. They are, ed with more constancy to enrich and at least, a million times more respectharden the texture of his style, and at able than the mendacities of the pub*Copyright, 1897, by the National Press Agency, Ltd. To be completed in Thirteen Parts.