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Anna Dickinson And The Critics

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The unanimity with whieh the theatrical critica of the New York dailies attacked Miss Dickinson raises the presumption of concert of action. Their motive was, or seems to have been, to crash her out, because, possibly, they enjoyed the crushing process, especially since the attitude of the lady toward tliem had been one of deflance. Af ter the performance of "The Crown of Thorns," on Monday night, sheturned upon her persecutora, but not with her old vim and confidence. She pleaded, rather than scolded, and was pathetic, noi vindictive. She carried with her the sympathy of the audience, for such passages' as the following were irresistible in their pathos : "On Wednesday evening when the curtainwent up I had spenttwenty-three hours rehearSing - I had spent, I cannot teil you what sleepless hours of agony. I carne here in a very little better condition to play in this house than I was to ïrtake my tirst bow to a Boston audience. ! My play and acting were found fault with. Good friends, what could this one weak, sick, miserable, crushed, heart-broken woman do in opposition to the conibined papers and the bitter prejudice they had stirred against me in this place? Ididnotfightthem; Godknows I did not want to flght them. I was almost crushed. I struggled on as I will struggle on, because, having taken up my work in life to do, I put it not down imtil I utterly fail. [Great applause.] I was hoarse from the same cause that I am hoarse to-night - because I have swallowed so many tears that have strangled me. I went heavily through my work because my heart dragged my hands and my feet until I could scarcely move them."' Only occasionally did she blaze forth in scoVn, as when she spoke of " the brogue and bigotry" of the Ilcrald. Miss Dickinson is probably far from being a great actor, but it is impossible that a woman of hor brains and training should make a dead failnre, as represented by the indiscriminating ciïtics of the metropolitan papers, and continue for a year to draw audiences that almost always have been entlmsiastic. It has been charged upon the New York critics that they are venal. This, perhaps, is not true ; but it is reasonably certain that tliey are given to outrageous favoritism, and that their screeds have no real valué. -


Old News
Michigan Argus