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nearly a monopoly that producing outside of it is an undertaking so hazardous that few will venture.

This is an age of combinations. Even in business they are in many ways a menace. In art they would be fatal. In the drama nothing would do more good than the disin- 5 tegration of this Trust and the variety that would result. Leaving each star and manager free to follow his own nature would inevitably work toward more effort to meet the tastes of the educated minority. Therefore the new organization headed by Mrs. Fiske, Mr. Hackett and Miss Cros- 10 man, designed to loosen the hold of the Trust is worthy of all encouragement.

At this point it may perhaps be excusable to clear away a misunderstanding. When I decided, a short time ago, to abandon dramatic criticism, I was struck by the manner in 15 which the press and my personal friends agreed in attributing the change to the hopelessness of the present theatrical situation. "To be sure," said one, "why waste your time on such idiocy?" "What," said another, "is the sense in writing reasonably about plays that have no reason in 20 them?" And so on, from every side. I totally disagree with that point of view. The time when much good can be done by protest is exactly now, when the situation is so obviously, so ridiculously inappropriate to a country so much alive to educational and intellectual opportunities as ours. 25 I abandoned the theatre because I had other work which required all my attention, but this seems to me a time when any writer of conviction can do much good in the field of dramatic criticism.

Our country is most genuinely interested in education. 30 An observant Englishman remarked to me recently that no matter what topic he began, with a cultivated American, the conversation speedily shifted to some problems of education. "Well," said I, "why not? It is the most important group of questions confronting us to-day." Materially, our civili- 35 zation is a success. In matters of trade and money compe

tition we are victors.


In the race for wealth we have proved our strength. But we have other tests still to meet. You remember the famous question of Sidney Smith, "In the four quarters of the globe, who reads an American book, 5 or goes to an American play, or sees an American picture or statue?" He spoke those words in 1820. It is less true now, but still true, that in the ideal world we are scarcely competitors. Mr. Carnegie offers his contribution toward the solution, with his myriad libraries. Mr. Morgan shows Io his sense of responsibility in large purchases of works of President Eliot sets the whole country talking about the effect of our lower grade schooling on conduct. President Wilson makes an equal stir about the same time, and President Butler goes Harvard one year better in favoring 15 the cutting down of the traditional discipline of education for the newer and more practical theories. In industrial education we are surpassed only by Germany. In the South we are face to face with terrifying problems of race. Politically we are struggling to lift our people beyond standards 20 which are satisfied by Tammany Hall. Thus everywhere, in every form, thought about American conditions leads to thought about education.

The theatre, in its modest way, deserves to be considered with this same scope, as an influence on general thought, on 25 public feeling, on the whole standard of education. Schiller believed that no one of the other arts had so wide an influence. Clergymen everywhere are beginning to make statements even more radical. In our country, therefore, where education, in all its branches, is taken so seriously, is it not 30 an anomaly that this popular art should be excepted? The theatre should have a function beside the museum, the opera house, and the library. A superior drama is one of the ornaments, perhaps even one of the requisites, of a complete civilization. A people is not properly enlightened until its 35 amusements are part of its enlightenment. It has not won the ideal elements until its art, its idealized thought, is part


of its enjoyment. American civilization, with all its economic vigor and political health, will not be complete until we stop to create and to enjoy the ideal. In that progress toward light and beauty, one thread will be what has been until lately the most popular branch of literature the drama. One individual, one generation, can do but a little; yet it is worth remembering that in demanding a more worthy representation of literature upon the stage, where all classes enjoy it, we are doing our part, not for the theatre alone, but for the general artistic temper of the nation.

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The Child and the State.1

"The Homeless Boy" is the title of a wood-cut circulated by the Children's Aid Society. It is a sad picture. The little waif sits on a stone step, with his head bent over and resting on his hands, stretched across bare knees, his flowing hair covering his face, and his tattered clothes and bare 15 feet betokening utter wretchedness. Turning the leaf, we are informed that twenty dollars will enable the society to give the boy a home.

Can this picture be real and the statement true? The picture is too real, and that the statement is made in good 20 faith and for reasons sufficient, we have the guaranty of the society's good name and the known fidelity of its excellent secretary, Mr. Brace.

How many of such homeless children are there in the city of New York? We are told that there are at least twelve 25 thousand under twelve years of age; seven thousand of them


Reprinted from The Works of David Dudley Field by permission of Messrs. D. Appleton & Co.

having no shelter, not knowing at morning where they can sleep at night, and the rest having only shelters revolting to behold. Less than $250,000 then would give them all decent and comfortable homes. Every night that these 5 twelve thousand children are wandering in the streets or lurking about rum-shops and dance-houses, or huddled in dens that are as foul in air as they are foul in occupants, that sum many times over is spent in superfluous luxury. Rich parlors and wide halls are filled nightly with pleasure10 seekers, where the air is sweetened with the perfume of flowers, music wafted with the perfume, and the light is like 66 a new morn risen on mid noon." The voice of mirth in the ball-room drowns the wail of the children beyond, and when the night pales into morning, the dancers go home 15 rejoicing and the children go about the streets. Surely there must be something wrong with our civilization, our Christian civilization, so long as these strange contrasts are permitted to last.

It is not for the lack of sympathy or Christian charity. 20 New York is charitable and generous beyond most cities, and I think I might have said beyond any city of Christendom, which is as much as to say beyond any city of the earth. Private charity is great and association for public charity is greater. On every hand are asylums, retreats, dis25 pensaries; more than a hundred institutions organized for the relief of poverty and suffering; associations for mutual help established in all trades and nearly all professions; and over four hundred churches have their societies and committees in aid of needy members. How, then, is it that we 30 behold this dreadful apparition of helpless and innocent suffering, these homeless children, who, by no fault of their own, are in want of food, clothing and shelter, and are lurking in corners or scattered in the streets. It is because there is not a wider knowledge of the extent of the evil and a closer 35 study of the means to counteract it.

Let us enter into some details.

In one of the tenement houses of the city, and their number is legion, there is a room, nineteen feet long, fifteen feet broad and eleven high, where live a man and his wife and eight children. They sleep, dress, wash, cook and eat in this one room. These ten persons have altogether thirty- 5 one hundred and thirty-five cubic feet of air, while the law requires at least six thousand feet — nearly twice as much as they get. From tenement houses like this there flows out daily a stream of children, ragged and dirty, to pick up rags, cigar stumps, and other refuse of the streets, or to pilfer or 10 beg, as best they can. This is not the place to describe the horrors of the tenement house, nor to discuss the duty or failure of duty on the part of the state in respect of its construction and occupation. I ask attention only to the condition of the children, and for illustration take the case of a 15 boy, five years old, who is found, in a chill November day, barefooted, scantily clothed, searching among the rag heaps in the street. He is a well-formed child, his face is fair, and as he turns his bright eyes upon you when you ask him where he lives, you see that he has quick intelligence. Alto- 20 gether he is such a child as a father should look upon with pride and a true mother would press to her bosom. Yet the parents are miserably poor, the father half the time out of work, and the mother wan with the care of her family. This is not all. Father and mother both drink to excess, 25 and each is intoxicated as often at least as Saturday night comes round.

Has the state any duties toward this little boy, and if so what are they?

All will agree that it has some duty, at least that of pro- 30 tection from personal violence. May it go further, and rescue the child from its loathsome occupation, its contaminating surroundings and its faithless parents? I think that it may, and having the right, that it is charged with the duty of rescuing the child. This is a large subject, larger indeed 35 than can be fully treated in this paper, but some of the

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