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of lyricism, and standing naked before the world. I firmly believe that the Romantic Drama is a hindrance to the People's Theater we are seeking to establish in France. It has sent forth innumerable offshoots, which may be divided into two main branches: the dramas in Hugo's style, and those in the elder Dumas'. These latter, crude melodramas pure and simple, with their beggars in silks and satins, and braggart adventurers, have descended upon our outlying theaters like a swarm of locusts and stripped everything bare in their wake. The former, less bumptious as it were, aiming at something higher, have assumed a place in the so-called poetic drama repertory, where they have done their best to corrupt the taste of the Bourgeoisie—and succeeded. But it was an easy conquest. The bourgeois public is capable of judging only a work of average realism, with a basis of common-sense and a moderate dose of observation. It is beyond its depth in poetry, and cannot distinguish the false from the true. Caricature will probably be more acceptable to them, because it is more obvious. Through snobbishness they were forced to pretend to understand a language that was strange to them, and they went straight to the charlatans, and were deceived. The critics, who ought to have shielded them, abdicated to a man, for fear of making a stand against the current fashion, from indifference, from dilettantism, or from a lack of faith in ordinary common-sense; and absurdity ran riot on the stage, where it did not lack its illustrious inter-