its remarkable counterpoise in a most practical tendency of mind. In the Encyclopædia the interests of agriculture and of all branches of manufacture were treated with great fullness; and the reform of feudal abuses lingering in the laws of France was vigorously urged in a style more practical than cyclopædic.
Diderot gave much attention to the drama, and his 'Paradoxe sur le Comédien' (Paradox on the Actor) is a valuable discussion. He is the father of the modern domestic drama. His influence upon the dramatic literature of Germany was direct and immediate; it appeared in the plays of Lessing and Schiller, and much of Lessing's criticism was inspired by Diderot. His 'Père de Famille' (Family-Father) and 'Le Fils Naturel' (The Natural Son) marked the beginning of a new era in the history of the stage, in the midst of which we are now living. Breaking with the old traditions, Diderot abandoned the lofty themes of classic tragedy and portrayed the life of the bourgeoisie