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Introductory.—Why the Book is Written.—The Results of an Actress's
Study and Reflection.—The Mimic World a Land of Mystery.-False Conceptions of the Stage Life. – What the Theine Embraces. — The "Show Business" in all its Branches.—The Extremes of Extravagant Denunciation and Servile Flattery.—The Golden Mean of Truth and Justice.-The Truth to be Told at all Hazards.
When I retired from the stage, five years ago, I, being then a woman with clearer judgment, of course, than I had had as a child, began to make a somewhat searching examination of the stage life, its influence on morality, the scope it afforded, especially to women, as a means of gaining a livelihood, its evils and its virtues, its beauties and its perils; in short, to look at it in a cool, rational manner, unheated by the fire of prejudice, either pro or con.
I had read, besides the works of all the great dramatists, numberless treatises, sermons, and literary effusions of various kinds which dealt with the subject, to enlighten my mind as fully as possible before I should put pen to paper myself.
The same faults which I found in those who denounced the stage, I also found in those who defended it. On both sides unreliable statements were made, the one painting that locality known as “Behind the Scenes” in all the sombre hues of Hades, with devils and pitchforks freely