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HE Drama," says Willmott,

"is the book of the people," and in that sense we do not hesitate to pronounce the present historical account of that subject-a popular library of dramatic lore. It is customary, however, for a Preface to give some particulars concerning the origin, history, scope, or intention of the work to which it is prefixed. We will state, accordingly, that, although the preparation of "The Drama, Painting, Poetry, and Song" has been essentially a labor of love, the compilation of the dramatic portion of the work has been fraught with difficulties which have involved considerable tedious research in antiquated volumes relating to the stage. This was mainly due to the fact that, with the possible exception of A. W. von Schlegel, whose "Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature were published in 1809, no one had carried out the arduous task of writing a complete history of the Drama. A German savant and playwright by the name of Klein undertook to record the history of the Drama both in ancient and in modern times, but after writing twelve bulky volumes, died in 1876 when about to enter upon the Elizabethan period.

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"Dramatic Notes," 1879-1882, a chronicle of the London Stage, edited by Charles E. Pascoe, William H. Rideing, and Austin Brereton; to J. Brander Matthews's "French Dramatists" and "Theaters of Paris;" to "Comédiens et Comédiennes," by Francisque Sarcey; and to D. E. Bandmann's article on "The German Stage" in the Belgravia magazine. Among the numerous works .on the English Stage that have been consulted, we can only name a few of the better known authorities, such as Ward's "English Dramatic Literature;" Percy Fitzgerald's "New History of the English Stage; " Barton Baker's "English Actors;" Dutton Cook's "Nights at the Play;" and Doran's "Annals of the Stage." Suffice it to say that, owing to the generosity of the publisher, Mr. P. F. Collier, we have had at our command a most complete collection of dramatic reference books.

The history of the English, German, or French Drama has proved an attractive subject to various authors, but, alas! the American Drama still lacks a historian. A number of writers have contributed their share, but a complete record of the American Drama has never been published. It behooves us, therefore, to gratefully acknowledge our obligation to the few valuable authorities that do exist. Among these we will cite Dunlap's "History of the American Theater;" Rees' "Dramatic Authors of America; Ireland's "Records of the New York Stage;" Wemyss's "Chronology of the American Stage; " Clapp's "Record of the Boston Stage; Wood's "Recollections of the Stage; " Sol Smith's "Theatrical Management;" Phelps's "Players of a Century;" Ludlow's "Dramatic Life;" Hutton's "Plays and Players; " Brown's Brown's "History of the American Stage; " Stone's "Personal Recollections of the Drama; " Murdoch's "Stage;" Winter's sketch of the "Jeffersons," and all the published volumes of the "American Actor Series." There are various other sources which space will not permit us to enumerate. We are under special obligation to

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Mr. George Edgar Montgomery, of the New York Times, for able criticisms of recent American dramatists and prominent actors on the American Stage. We also desire to extend our thanks to Mr. J. E. Whitley for his courtesy in loaning us his entire. collection of American newspaper clippings relating to the Drama of several years past. Without these scraps it would have proved almost impossible to present biographical sketches of many living actors, actresses, and singers, owing to the difficulty of obtaining authentic information concerning their career. From this source and from Trumble's Great Artists of the American Stage," we have obtained considerable data. We should also acknowledge a number of sketches contributed by Mr. Horace R. Johnson, Mr. Allan Forman, and Mr. R. E. Cherrill. The list of biographies is far from complete, but as exhaustive as it could be made under the circumstances. The groups of distinguished actors have been carefully designed from genuine photographs by Mr. John L. Petrie, and the dramatic sketches were drawn by Mr. Henry A. Ogden. Many of the portraits of English dramatists and actors are taken from very old and exceedingly rare prints. The artistic headings of the different chapters are a novel feature in book-making, and were designed by Messrs. H. L. Bridwell and H. C. DeBaud.

The historical sketch of the various schools of Painting has also been executed in a painstaking spirit, although the material for this subject was much more easily obtained. The text matter is founded principally on the "Elementary History of Art," by N. D'Anvers, a standard work which does not treat of living painters. Many of the illustrations are taken from Seeman's "Kunsthistorische Bilderbogen," and are in every instance characteristic examples of the schools they represent. Among many other authorities used in the compilation were the ably edited series of "Illustrated Hand-books of Art History," recently published in London, the Bibliothèque de L'Enseignement des Beaux Arts, the "Magazine of Art," L'Art, J. Forbes Robertson's "Great Painters of Christendom," Mrs. Tytler's "Modern Painters," Benjamin's "Contemporary Art in Europe," Benjamin's "Art in America," Clement and Hutton's "Artists of the Nineteenth Century," etc., etc. We are indebted to Mr. Robert D. Townsend, the accomplished editor of Good Literature, for numerous sketches and criticisms of recent painters. He also

rendered valuable assistance in the preparation of the American Stage.

The "Favorite Poems" have been carefully gleaned from a great number of previous collections. The selections are mostly short pieces, as it has been the aim of the editor to present a choice collection of poetical favorites that will prove a welcome companion of every family circle. Many excellent poems have necessarily been omitted for want of space. It is hardly to be expected that every reader should find all of his favorite poems. To quote the words of William Cullen Bryant: "A compilation of this kind must be like a bouquet gathered from the fields in June, when hundreds of flowers are left in unvisited spots as beautiful as those which have been taken."

The "Popular Songs of All Nations" will prove a source of lasting pleasure to many homes. They have been chosen with great judgment and discrimination by Prof. Albert W. Berg, who has added several suitable accompaniments, and kindly consented to supervise the entire musical portion of the work. It is almost superfluous to call attention to the Index at the end of the volume. The name of the well-known indexer, Charles A. Durfee, is sufficient evidence that it has been done in a thorough. and practical manner.

In conclusion we will say that, in spite of an entire year's labor, thought, and research, we do not claim any special originality for a work of this character. It has been compiled with the intention of providing intelligent readers with a trustworthy reference-book of popular Esthetics. Nearly one-half of the volume has been devoted to the history of the Drama, as this is to a certain extent an untrodden field. We trust that the attempt to present in a single manual a popular treatment of this most interesting subject and kindred arts will be duly appreciated, and meet with hearty support from the great reading public of this country. The publisher has spared no expense to make the book an attractive one, while the compiler has endeavored to blend information and entertainment in such a manner that "The Drama, Painting, Poetry, and Song" would prove an acquisition to every library, as well as a source of recreation and delight to every fireside in the land.

NEW YORK, February 1, 1884.

A. E. B.

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