the ballot, broad as legislation is, behind it are broader opportunities and a larger influence; and the only thing that blocks the door to those paths is your opinion,--an opinion that you can change.
The edict of woman's decisive opinion will close the groggeries of New York City much quicker than the metropolitan police can close them.
The singularity of this cause is that it has to be argued against the wishes and purposes of its victims.
The slave stood behind us, the irresistible pulsations of his heart agonizing for his rights.
The unrepresented millions of England
swell the voice of John Bright; and as our friend told us, Aristocracy trembles before their half-uttered wish.
But when you come to the Woman Question
, the first great abiding difficulty is that woman is herself the obstacle,--that she fills the chair most potent and irresistible in this discussion, that of popular opinion, and she utters her verdict against us. I would not belittle the ballot, nor fail to appreciate legislation; but I would remind woman that legislation is but a circumstance in the broad circle of the forces that make and mould civil power.
Business, professional distinction in society, education,--these are as much the elemental creators of our civilization as the lawbook.
Indeed, the law-book is nothing but the vane on the steeple, and these are the winds that set its direction.
So when we find fault with the prejudices of this class or that, against conferring the ballot, it is to be remembered that after all, in the largest and most emphatic sense, it is woman herself who is against us. Sometimes they say, “That is very true; but do you expect us to initiate an opinion on this subject while man remains unconvinced?”
That argument acknowledges your inferiority.
The course of the world's history is, first, the government