to respect woman's presence in those places, the vast majority of men obey there the laws of decency and good manners; and no husband or father thinks it necessary to prohibit entirely his wife or daughter's entrance to a theatre, church, car, or street, because some rare individual may chance to insult or offend her. Indeed, I may go further.
The bully who knocks your hat over your eyes at the polling-booth would turn you out of his own house if you uttered a word disrespectful to his wife, mother, or daughter.
He knows what is due to woman.
Let woman go to the ballot-box, and the rudest man will in time be ashamed not to carry there his good manners.
The keenest insult you can offer even to a rowdy,--the one he will resent the quickest,--is to hint that he does not know what is due to woman.
In his own parlor he puts on his decency, and claims it of others.
I will extend that parlor until it includes the polling-booth, when I give to both alike the restraining influence of the presence of woman.
All we ask is, that our civilization shall be made complete and consistent.
We base our civilization on ideas.
We say that representation and taxation go hand in hand.
We say that Daniel Webster, no matter though his gifts be godlike, is entitled to no more ballots than the Irishman who pays nine shillings' poll-tax, and can just write his own name.
We do not base our institutions on mental discipline, on culture; we base them on enough brains to be responsible to penal statutes.
The man who is not enough of an idiot to be excused from the gallows, has sanity enough to be entitled to vote.
That is the principle of Republicanism.
Now, I claim, and always shall claim, that as long as woman has brains enough to be hung, she has brains enough to go to the ballot-box; and not until you strike her name off the tax-list, and excuse her from penal legislation, will