Fifteen or twenty years ago I had an experience
I shall never forget. I got into a church which was crowded by a
sweltering and panting multitude. The city missionary of our town -
Hartford - made a telling appeal for help. He told of personal
experiences among the poor in cellars and top lofts requiring
instances of devotion and help. The poor are always good to the
poor. When a person with his millions gives a hundred thousand
dollars it makes a great noise in the world, but he does not miss
it; it's the widow's mite that makes no noise but does the best
I remember on that occasion in the Hartford church the collection
was being taken up. The appeal had so stirred me that I could hardly
wait for the hat or plate to come my way. I had four hundred dollars
in my pocket, and I was anxious to drop it in the plate and wanted
to borrow more. But the plate was so long in coming my way that the
fever-heat of beneficence was going down lower and lower - going
down at the rate of a hundred dollars a minute. The plate was passed
too late. When it finally came to me, my enthusiasm had gone down so
much that I kept my four hundred dollars - and stole a dime from the
plate. So, you see, time sometimes leads to crime. Oh, many a time
have I thought of that and regretted it, and I adjure you all to
give while the fever is on you.
Referring to woman's sphere in life, I'll say that woman is always
right. For twenty-five years I've been a woman's rights man. I have
always believed, long before my mother died, that, with her gray
hairs and admirable intellect, perhaps she knew as much as I did.
Perhaps she knew as much about voting as I.
I should like to see the time come when women shall help to make the
laws. I should like to see that whiplash, the ballot, in the hands
of women. As for this city's government, I don't want to say much,
except that it is a shame - a shame; but if I should live
twenty-five years longer - and there is no reason why I shouldn't -
I think I'll see women handle the ballot. If women had the ballot
to-day, the state of things in this town would not exist.
If all the women in this town had a vote today they would elect a
mayor at the next election, and they would rise in their might and
change the awful state of things now existing here.