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234 A CENTURY OF BALLADS
Bird, but, as luck would have it, he was away from home at a friend's house, and the first intimation he received was on the arrival of his wife in a cab with the news that he must get ready at once to go to the Palace.
Ada Crossley came to England at the age of twenty, and studied with Sir Charles Santley and Madame Marchesi, having previously received lessons from Madame Fanny Simonson in Melbourne. She is, of course, Australian born, and on her recent tour in her native land she met with an enthusiastic reception from her fellow-countrymen and women. She was particularly touched by her welcome at Yarram, close by Tarraville, her birthplace, where the school-children strewed her path with roses and greeted her with "Home, Sweet Home."
One of her mementoes of a previous tour in Australia is a lyre-bird in diamonds, presented to her by the musicians of Victoria ; and another, a quaint little shovel, with a piece of gold quartz on it, and the Australian arms done in gold and precious stones, bearing an inscription "To Ada Crossley, from the Women of Sale, North Gipps-land." In New Zealand an equally warm reception awaited her. Among the enthusiastic group of admirers was an old Maori, who, refusing a flower from her bouquet, demanded one from