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[138] of the Commonwealth, that secured to laboring women their wages. These causes co-operated before the public opinion of women themselves demanded the changes. Laggard, and lacking her promptings, the cause that we advocate came up behind the selfish elements of society. But if, instead of this, the working women or heiresses had dictated their wants, the changes could have been made; and so they can to-day.

I do not ignore the power of woman; it is too great. I want it lessened. I am not going to give the sex any more influence; I am going to diminish it. Her influence is hidden and all but omnipotent. Uneducated and irresponsible, it is terrible. I want it dragged to the light of day; I want it measured and labelled; I want it counted and criticised; I want it educated and put on record; I want to be able to find it and indict it, which I cannot do to-day. In order to do that, let us trace home the evil to its very source. Let woman know that nobody stops her but herself. She ties her own limbs; she corrupts her own sisters; she demoralizes civilization,--and then folds her arms, and calls it “religion” [applause], or steps back, and christens it “taste.” Do you suppose that the tenants of a thousand pulpits could avail to shut woman out from making her own opportunity, if the women of the Empire State determined that it should be. Find me the motive, and I will guarantee the ministers to make it commensurate with the Scriptures. Find me the popular habit, and I will find you the clergy to give it anchorage in the New Testament.

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