Is Polite Society Polite?

by Julia Ward Howe

The papers collected in the present volume have been heard in many parts of our vast country. As is evident, they have been written for popular audiences, with a sense of the limitations which such audiences necessarily impose. With the burthen of increasing years, the freedom of locomotion naturally tends to diminish, and I must be thankful to be read where I have in other days been heard. I shall be glad indeed if it may be granted to these pages to carry the message which I myself have been glad to bear,—the message of the good hope of humanity, despite the faults and limitations of individuals.That hope casts its light over the efforts of years that are past, and gilds for me, with ineffaceable glow, the future of our race.

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