Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/268

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parades, and balloting on stormy days? How shall the poor workman's wife leave home to go to the polls? The success of the suffrage movement would injure women spiritually and intellectually, for they would be assuming a burden though they knew themselves unable to bear it. It is the sediment, not the wave of a sex. It is the antithesis of that highest and sweetest mystery—conviction by submission, and conquest by sacrifice. It is the ——

But there, there—we do not agree with the suffragists; and we have our reasons; no use getting into a flutter over it. We want no contest with women; they are higher, truer, nobler, smaller, meaner, more faithful, more frail, gentler, more envious, less philosophic, more merciful—oh, far more merciful and kind and lovable and good than men are. Those of them that are Catholics, are better Catholics than their husbands and sons; those who are Protestants are better Christians than theirs.

Women have all the necessary qualities to make good men; but they must give their time and attention to it while the men are boys. If the rich ones don't, they will have to hand their work over to poor ones; and in either case in a suffrage era voters would be kept from the polls, and from the caucus, and the foul vapors and vagaries" of the campaign.

Fie upon it! What do they want with a ballot they can't defend? with a bludgeon they can't wield? with a flaming sword that would make them scream if they once saw its naked edge and understood its symbolic meaning?

Manifold and various as his labors were, he found time in June of this year to perform one more labor of love, in writing a noble tribute to his friend, Wendell Phillips. It took the form of a letter to the Republican of Scranton, Pa. Incidentally he speaks his warm praise of the city which was his home. A great city, he calls it, "because any day you can meet great men on its streets . . . . It is only one year ago, it seems, although it must be four, that I saw Mr. Emerson and his daughter, who was always beside him, come into a horse-car that was rather crowded. There was probably not a soul on the car who did not know him. And it is sweet to remember the face of the great old philosopher and poet as he looked up and met the loving and respectful eyes around him And Oliver Wendell Holmes—every Bostonian knows him. The wise, the witty, the many-ideaed philosopher, poet,