made her mind supple, alert, quick to grasp and to respond, even as the study of languages brought her the gift of ready speech and pure diction.
Her long practice in singing had given her voice strength, sweetness, and carrying power; above all, she was a natural orator, and speaking was a joy to her. The first time she ever made a speech in public was to a group of soldiers of the Army of the Potomac on the occasion of a visit to Washington
during the war. She had driven out to visit the camp outside the Capital
Colonel William B. Greene
disconcerted her very much by saying, “Mrs. Howe
, you must speak to my men.”
She refused, and ran away to hide in an adjacent tent.
insisted, and finally she managed to make a very creditable little speech to the soldiers.
Now, she no longer ran away when called upon to speak.
Wherever the work called her, she went gladly; like St. Paul
, she was “in journeyings often,... in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often” ; the journals are full of incidents picturesque to read, uncomfortable to live through.
Occasionally, after some tremendous exertion, we read, “Maud must not know of this!”
or, “No one must ever know that I took the wrong train!”
Much of her most important work for woman suffrage was done at the State House
, the custom of bringing this subject before the legislature every year long prevailed.
She always went to these hearings.
She considered it a privilege to take part in them; counted them “among her most ”