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To Mrs. S. B. Shaw.

Wayland, October 27, 1856.
Your letter accompanying Mr. Curtis's oration came safely to hand. The oration is eloquent, brilliant, manly, and every way admirable. Among the many good things which this crisis has brought forth, I am inclined to pronounce it the best. How glad I am to see Mr. Curtis looming up to such a lofty stature of manliness. This I attribute in part to the crisis, so well adapted to call out all the manhood there is in souls. I smiled to read that he had warmed up N. P. W. to such a degree that he announced his intention to deposit his “virgin vote” for Fremont. It was pleasant to learn that he had anything “virgin” left to swear by. What a Rip! to lie sleeping fifty years, dreaming of kid gloves, embroidered vests, and perfumed handkerchiefs, taking it for granted that his country was all the while going forward in a righteous and glorious career. Is n't it too bad that such parasol-holders should have the right to vote, while earnest souls like you and me must await the result in agonizing inaction? Things look squally; don't they, dear? But while there is [86] life, there is hope. A bright little girl, about five years old, lives near by. She has heard enough of my talk to know that I have Fremont's election deeply at heart, and so she feels bound to keep me booked up during Mr. Child's absence. When she heard her father read that the western counties of Pennsylvania had given a majority for him, she came flying over, and called out, under my window, “Miss Child! Pennsylvany's all right,” and away she ran. ... I have been writing for various papers about Kansas. I have been stirring up the women here to make garments for Kansas..... Oh, S., you don't realize what a blessing you enjoy in having money enough to obey your generous impulses! The most pinching part of poverty is that which nips such impulses in the bud. But there is compensation in all things. I dare say I took more satisfaction in stitching away at midnight than our friend does in saying to her husband, “My dear, I want one hundred dollars to pay a seamstress for sewing for Kansas.”

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