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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton

Mary A. Livermore

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With tears in the eyes of both giver and receiver, Mrs. Livermore held out her hand, and the mother placed on the finger this memento of two precious lives.

Mrs. Livermore has spent ten years in the temperance reform. While she has shown the dreadful results of the liquor traffic, she has been kind both in word and deed. Some time ago, passing along a Boston street, she saw a man in the ditch, and a poor woman bending over him.

"Who is he?" she asked of the woman.

"He's my husband, ma'am. He's a good man when he is sober, and earns four dollars a day in the foundry. I keep a saloon."

Mrs. Livermore called a hack. "Will you carry this man to number ----?"

"No, madam, he's too dirty. I won't soil my carriage."

"Oh!" pleaded the wife, "I'll clean it all up for ye, if ye'll take him," and pulling off her dress-skirt, she tried to wrap it around her husband. Stepping to a saloon near by, Mrs. Livermore asked the men to come out and help lift him. At first they laughed, but were soon made ashamed, when they saw that a lady was assisting. The drunken man was gotten upon his feet, wrapped in his wife's clothing, put into the hack, and then Mrs. Livermore and the wife got in beside him, and he was taken home. The next day the good Samaritan called, and brought the priest, from whom the man took the pledge. A changed family was the result.

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Her life is filled with thousands of acts of kindness, on the cars, in poor homes, and in various charitable institutions. She is the author of two or more books, What shall we do with Our Daughters? and Reminiscences of the War; but her especial power has been her eloquent words, spoken all over the country, in pulpits, before colleges, in city and country, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Coast. Like Abraham Lincoln, who said, "I go for all sharing the privileges of the government, who assist in bearing its burdens,--by no means excluding women," she has advocated the enfranchisement of her sex, along with her other work.

Now, past sixty, her active, earnest life, in contact with the people, has kept her young in heart and in looks.

"A great authority on what constitutes beauty complains that the majority of women acquire a dull, vacant expression towards middle life, which makes them positively plain. He attributes it to their neglect of all mental culture, their lives having settled down to a monotonous routine of house-keeping, visiting, gossip, and shopping. Their thoughts become monotonous, too, for, though these things are all good enough in their way, they are powerless to keep up any mental life or any activity of thought."

Mrs. Livermore has been an inspiration to girls to make the most of themselves and their opportunities. She has been an ideal of womanhood, not only to "the boys" on the battle-fields, but to tens of thousands who are fighting the scarcely less heroic battles of every-day life. May it be many years before she shall go out forever from her restful, happy home, at Melrose, Mass.

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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Sarah Knowles Bolton

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