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FIGLEAVES FOR THE
PEOPLE IN EARNEST HAVE NO TIME TO WASTE IN PATCHING
NAKED TRUTH.”—James Russell Lowell.
The author of a great reformation is always unpopular in his own age. He generally passes his life in disquiet and danger. It is therefore for the interest of the human race that the memory of such men should be had in reverence, and that they should be supported against the scorn and hatred of their contemporaries by the hope of leaving a great and imperishable name. To on the forlorn hope of truth is a service of peril—who will undertake it, if it be not also a service of honour ? It is easy enough, after the ramparts are carried, to find men to plant the flag on the highest tower. The difficulty is to find men who are ready to go first into the breach.”—Lord Macaulay.
“The noblest works of human genius have been produced in times of tumult, when every man was his own master, and all things were open to all. Homer, Dante, and Milton appeared in such times, and add Virgil.
"Man is the creation of circumstances. Free, he has the qualities of a freeman: enslaved, those of a slave.
“It would lessen very much the severity with which men judge of each other, if they would but trace effects to their causes, and observe the progress of things in the moral as accurately as in the physical world.
“We should always remember that wherever justice is ill-adminis. tered the injured will redress themselves, that nations are naturally patient and longsuffering, and seldom rise in rebellion till they are so degraded by a bad Government as to be almost incapable of a good one."
Ĉl - 7:47
From 1869 to 1877 I addressed myself to my countrymen, and yet more to my countrywomen, throughout the length and breadth of America in the character of a public lecturer. The topics with which I dealt were mainly two: the one political, the other social. The question of Female Suffrage, and of woman's political rights under the Constitution of the United States, was then, and still is, of interest to many; the question of raising society, through woman, to a higher standard of morals should be of supreme moment to all.
During this career of publicity, my views were subjected to the free criticism of a free press; but travelling as I did fast and far, by no means all of the opinions of the newspapers ever came under my eyes : fewer still have survived the vicissitudes of the years that have since elapsed. I have gathered together in the following pages those that remain, as a record, fragmentary though it be, of work
that was carried on through much abuse and misrepresentation to a triumphant conclusion.
But I trust that some record of my work other than the ephemeral approbation of the press may yet remain, and that of those who listened to me in the years that are past many may bear witness by a higher aim in life, and a purer standard of morals, that my labour was not in vain.
VICTORIA C. (WOODHULL) MARTIN.
17, HYDE PARK Gate, LONDON, ENGLAND.