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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 399 pages of information about Eighty Years and More; Reminiscences 1815-1897.
utterances of the one or the impolitic methods of the other, the animating motives of both are evermore as white as the light.  The good that they do is by design; the harm by accident.  These two women, sitting together in their parlors, have, for the last thirty years, been diligent forgers of all manner of projectiles, from fireworks to thunderbolts, and have hurled them with unexpected explosion into the midst of all manner of educational, reformatory, religious, and political assemblies; sometimes to the pleasant surprise and half welcome of the members, more often to the bewilderment and prostration of numerous victims; and, in a few signal instances, to the gnashing of angry men’s teeth.  I know of no two more pertinacious incendiaries in the whole country.  Nor will they, themselves deny the charge.  In fact this noise-making twain are the two sticks of a drum, keeping up what Daniel Webster called ‘The rub-a-dub of agitation.’”

CHAPTER XII.

MY FIRST SPEECH BEFORE A LEGISLATURE.

Women had been willing so long to hold a subordinate position, both in private and public affairs, that a gradually growing feeling of rebellion among them quite exasperated the men, and their manifestations of hostility in public meetings were often as ridiculous as humiliating.

True, those gentlemen were all quite willing that women should join their societies and churches to do the drudgery; to work up the enthusiasm in fairs and revivals, conventions and flag presentations; to pay a dollar apiece into their treasury for the honor of being members of their various organizations; to beg money for the Church; to circulate petitions from door to door; to visit saloons; to pray with or defy rumsellers; to teach school at half price, and sit round the outskirts of a hall, in teachers’ State conventions, like so many wallflowers; but they would not allow them to sit on the platform, address the assembly, or vote for men and measures.

Those who had learned the first lessons of human rights from the lips of Henry B. Stanton, Samuel J. May, and Gerrit Smith would not accept any such position.  When women abandoned the temperance reform, all interest in the question gradually died out in the State, and practically nothing was done in New York for nearly twenty years.  Gerrit Smith made one or two attempts toward an “anti-dramshop” party, but, as women could not vote, they felt no interest in the measure, and failure was the result.

I soon convinced Miss Anthony that the ballot was the key to the situation; that when we had a voice in the laws we should be welcome to any platform.  In turning the intense earnestness and religious enthusiasm of this great-souled woman into this channel, I soon felt the power of my convert in goading me forever forward to more untiring work.  Soon fastened, heart to heart, with hooks of steel in a friendship that years of confidence and affection have steadily strengthened, we have labored faithfully together.

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