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[133] them,--large wages, ample opportunities, breadth for development, every career open,--he takes them. He smothers the first stimulus to vice, and cultivates ambition. If he fails once or twice he gets up again, and having driven out of the chamber the Devil, he fills it with honorable aspirations, with ambition to be worthy of his father, and to do something for the world into which God has sent him. The sister comes into the city, and she finds starvation wages,--wages at such a rate that they offer no rise even in the future to what her soul aspires to. Vice comes with gilded hand, clad in velvet, attended with luxury, in the chariot of ease, and says, “An hour, and all this is yours.”

Give men honest wages, and ninety-nine out of a hundred will disdain to steal. Give woman what the same labor gives to man, and ninety-nine out of one hundred will disdain to purchase it by vice. [Applause.] But you will never fill up that grave until you enable women to stand before the competition of the crowded streets of this city and make their choice as men do,--not crowded by your religious bigotry, born of a mistaken and ideal Saint Paul, or a fastidiousness which will not allow women to work into a few occupations, but with every door open to them. Let the fifty thousand women that must earn. a living have a choice of five hundred occupations, and dictate terms, instead of standing trembling at the doors, and taking work at one tenth the price of male labor. Then you cure vice because you withhold the food upon which it lives. Legislation cannot do that. You cannot legislate the tailor into high wages, when a thousand needle-girls stand at his door begging for the work of which he has only enough to fill the hands of a hundred. The Sermon on the Mount, put into the statute-book, would not change it a half-cent; but if fashion, respectability, and the public opinion of a kind sisterhood

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St. Paul (Minnesota, United States) (1)

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