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dramatists to see that their works produce joy, and not sadness and boredom. The greatest vanity or else downright stupidity are the only excuses for offering the people the latest products of a decadent art, which produces evil effects sometimes even on the minds of the torpid. As for the sufferings and doubts of the "cultured," let them keep these to themselves: the people have more than enough already. There is no use adding to their burden. The man of our times who best understood the people—Tolstoy—has not always himself escaped this artistic vice, and he has bravely humbled himself for his pride. His vocation as an apostle, that imperious need of his to impose his faith on others, and the exigencies of his artistic realism, were greater in The Power of Darkness than his fundamental goodness. Such plays, it seems to me, discourage rather than help the people. If we offered them no other fare, they would be right in turning their backs on us and seeking to drown their troubles at the cabaret. It would be pitiless of us to try to divert their sad existences with the spectacle of similar existences. If certain of the "cultured few" take pleasure "sucking melancholy as a weasel sucks an egg," we at least cannot demand the same intellectual stoicism from the people. The people are fond of violent acts, provided they do not, as in life, crush the hero. No matter how discouraged or resigned the people are in their lives, they are extravagantly optimistic where their dream-heroes are concerned, and they suffer when a play turns out sadly. But does this