On October 9, 1920, Camille Saint-Saëns celebrated his eighty-fifth birthday. A career commencing in the early days of childhood and concerned with well-nigh every branch of musical activity is indeed quite unique. One reads with astonishment that his piano-playing in a drawing-room at the age of four years and seven months was sufficiently remarkable to be thought worthy of a notice in the Moniteur Universel, Over eighty years have gone by since then! When Saint-Saëns was a boy, Mendelssohn, Chopin, and Schumann were alive; Meyerbeer was the supreme master of opera; Berlioz was striving hard, and not too successfully, to obtain recognition; Wagner and Verdi were at the beginning of their glorious careers; Gounod, having lately won the Prix de Rome, was earning his livelihood as an organist; Dumas, Balzac, Victor Hugo, Georges Sand, were at the zenith of their fame; Louis Philippe, the citizen king, ruled over the French. Between then and now, what a difference! Saint-Saëns has lived through these times, and if he felt inclined to refer to them would be amply justified in applying to himself the words of the poet, "Quorum pars magna fui."