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eighteenth century, and perhaps the most fertile, who was less concerned with the educational value of the stage than with the esthetic, said in his Paradoxe sur le comédien: "We have yet to discover true tragedy." And he added, in his Deuxième entretien sur le Fils naturel:

"Strictly speaking, there are no popular spectacles. The theaters of antiquity held as many as eighty thousand spectators at one time. … Think of the power in that great assemblage, when you consider the influence of one man on another and the immediate transmission of emotion in such crowds. Forty or fifty thousand people, gathered together, will not be restrained by motives of decency. … He who cannot feel within him an emotion arising from the fact that he is one of a great assemblage, must be vicious: his character has something solitary that I dislike. And if the size of this tremendous audience increases the emotion of the spectator, what will it not do for the author and the actor? How vastly different is our petty theater, wherein we amuse our audiences of a few hundreds at fixed times, and at fixed hours! What if we were to assemble the whole nation on holidays!"

And with his accustomed clear-sightedness and power he proceeds to sketch some of the artistic reforms which were to be the basis of the new theater. In the following lines Diderot saw a vision beyond not only the art of his day, but of our own:

"In order to effect a change in our drama, I ask