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The Return of Peter Grimm by David Belasco
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[Illustration: DAVID BELASCO]


(Born, San Francisco, July 25, 1853)

The present Editor has had many opportunities of studying the theatre side
of David Belasco. He has been privileged to hear expressed, by this Edison
of our stage, diverse opinions about plays and players of the past, and
about insurgent experiments of the immediate hour. He has always found a
man quickly responsive to the best memories of the past, an artist naively
childlike in his love of the theatre, shaped by old conventions and
modified by new inventions. Belasco is the one individual manager to-day
who has a workshop of his own; he is pre-eminently a creator, whereas his
contemporaries, like Charles Frohman, were emphatically manufacturers of
goods in the amusement line.

Such a man is entitled to deep respect, for the "carry-on" spirit with
which he holds aloft the banner used by Boucicault, Wallack, Palmer, and
Daly. It is wrong to credit him with deafness to innovation, with
blindness to new combinations. He is neither of these. It is difficult to
find a manager more willing to take infinite pains for effect, with no
heed to the cost; it is impossible to place above him a director more