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Lathrap, Mrs. Mary T.
. 49, 112, 123, 140
WERNER'S READINGS AND RECITATIONS
Frances E. Willard Recitation Book.
IN SATAN'S COUNCIL-CHAMBER.
FRANCES E. WILLARD.
EHOLD His Satanic Majesty in cabinet council assem
bled, with his minions and emissaries just returned from this sin-stricken earth. Each brings the latest news concerning the endless conflict between darkness and light, ignorance and wisdom, sin and righteousness. Each gives the most carefully-considered suggestions for the building-up of Satan's kingdom—for the multiplication of murders, robberies, outrages, and conflagrations.
• Permit the suggestion, your Majesty,” says one brimstone-colored satellite, “that you build a new distillery at Spiritsville, for at that place the church people are growing rapidly in power.
“Not at all,” tartly replies he of the horns and hoofs. “Don't you know better than to be always showing your hand in that fashion? Do this instead : Put it into the heart of John Barleycorn, proprietor of the distillery I have already there, to subscribe a thousand dollars toward finishing the church.”
The order was entered in lurid letters on the books, and emissary Number Two proceeded to report:
her daughter's teacher. Then came the district schoolhouse and, later, the Milwaukee Female College. In 1859 Miss Willard was graduated from the Northwestern Female College, at Evanston, and at once began to teach ; for forty years ago the only opening for a woman who had aspirations above a life of domesticity was teaching school. For the next sixteen years Miss Willard devoted herself to what she then believed was her lifework, and for the last four years of this period she was president of the Evanston College for Ladies, which was afterward joined to the Northwestern University, and professor of æsthetics in the University itself. Her training during this time proved to be of incalculable value in her later and greater work. To control and to impress one's ideas on a class of restless, often unwilling, students presages ability to control and to sway larger audiences.
The Women's Temperance Crusade in Ohio in 1873 turned Miss Willard's attention to the great reform movement to which she devoted the remainder of her life. She resigned her position in the colleges, and in 1874 was one of the body of women that organized the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, at Cleveland. She was corresponding secretary of the new society for three years. In 1879 she was elected president, and this office she held until her death.
the child is father of the man” is very true in Miss Willard's case. Hers was a bold spirit. Out-of-door life with her brother gave to her a vigor and a freedom that the house-trained child knows little of. She knew how plants and animals lived, and was the proud possessor of a set of carpenter's tools, which she knew how to use. She walked on stilts, played marbles, and even broke in a cow to the saddle. This last diversion was attempted only in a ravine far from the house. When her brother dared her to walk in front of him and let him point a loaded gun at her, trigger raised, she took the dare; and the same spirit that filled her then, inspired her later as a leader.
From the beginning of the W. C. T. U. the story of that organization is the story of Miss Willard's life. Besides
being its president, she was editor-in-chief of the Union Signal, the official organ of the society. In the early days of her temperance work she refused all pay, so great was her spiritual enthusiasm. She determined to live by faith, sure that the Lord would provide for her in some way.
But the provision did not come; and at last, almost broken down from privation, she was compelled to take another view of the situation and write to the W. C. T. U. a statement of facts, asking them to give her the salary she had refused.
It was such incidents as this that gave her her wonderful insight into human nature. Above all things else her womanliness shone out. It breathed in every word that she spoke and on every page that she penned.
As an orator, Miss Willard has been likened to Wendell Phillips and Henry Ward Beecher. From childhood she had been taught to express herself. When but four years old she used to imitate the students at Oberlin as they practiced their orations, and she retained vivid memories of the eloquence of the president of the college, Mr. Finney. It was her mother who taught her to speak pieces, and the first declamation that she learned was the one that tells how “Freedom shrieked as Kosciusko fell.” In England, as well as in America, her ability on the platform was recognized. “At her best, very few speakers, either men or women, have surpassed her," wrote an English journal at the time of her death. “She had, of course, a strong Western accent, but her voice was deep and rich and most exquisitely modulated, and to the English ear remarkable, if only for its resemblance to Mr. Gladstone's. She was full of homely wisdom, epigrammatic, pointed, and full of great literary quality; and her higher flights of eloquence, sustained and beautifully balanced in their phrasing, will remain as some of the most remarkable feats of eloquence in the language.
Had Miss Willard devoted herself to literature, she doubtless would have taken the same high place that she did as a leader and an orator. Her greatest book, “Glimpses of Fifty Years," has a freshness and a charm that makes it delightful reading. But her pen was too prolific and her life was too divided to permit her to do justice to her writing. The height of her ambition, she once confessed, was to have an article appear in the Atlantic Monthly, the king of all magazines in her estimation. She even ventured once to send an article to the editor, but it was declined, and she never sent a second one.
Miss Willard was the tie that bound together temperance workers all over the world. " There was very little of Frances Willard that could die," and the importance of her work will be borne in upon the world even more strongly a few years hence than it is to-day. Already she is to be honored by having a carved presentment of her face as one of the group of faces of famous women that decorates the column caps of the magnificent western staircase in the capitol at Albany, N. Y., the State of her birth. The cause that she loved so dearly and to which she willed her small property, though no longer under her immediate guidance, will feel the impetus given to it by her thought and wisdom for many years to come.
The lines that she laid down for it to follow are broad enough to serve it until the temperance cause shall have outgrown its usefulness by accomplishing its end.