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The papers contained in this volume, chosen out of hundreds that the author has written on dramatic subjects, are assembled with the hope that they may be accepted, in their present form, as a part of the permanent record of our theatrical times. For at least thirty years it has been a considerable part of the constant occupation of the author to observe and to record the life of the contemporary stage. Since 1860 he has written intermittently in various periodicals, and since the summer of 1865 he has written continuously in the New York Tribune, upon actors and their art; and in that way he has accumulated a great mass of historical commentary upon the drama. In preparing this book he has been permitted to draw from his contributions to the Tribune, and also from his writings in Harper's Magazine and Weekly, in the London Theatre, and in Augustin
Daly's Portfolio of Players. The choice of these papers has been determined partly by consideration of space and partly with the design of supplementing the author's earlier dramatic books, namely: Edwin Booth in Twelve Dramatic Characters ; The Jeffersons; Henry Irving; The Stage Life of Mary Anderson; Brief Chronicles, containing eighty-six dramatic biographies ; In Memory of McCullough; The Life of John Gilbert; The Life and Works of John Brougham; The Press and the Stage; The Actor and Other Speeches; and A Daughter of Comedy, being the life of Ada Rehan. The impulse of all those writings, and of the present volume, is commemorative. Let us save what we can.
“ Sed omnes una manet nox,
Et calcanda semel via leti."
APRIL 18, 1892.