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"Nothing was ever done," Miss Brett asserted, "without a certain element
of Faith. After we have got the Vote and are recognized as citizens,
then we can come to all these other things."
Even in the glamour of Miss Brett's assurance it seemed to Ann Veronica
that this was, after all, no more than the gospel of Miss Miniver with
a new set of resonances. And like that gospel it meant something,
something different from its phrases, something elusive, and yet
something that in spite of the superficial incoherence of its phrasing,
was largely essentially true. There was something holding women down,
holding women back, and if it wasn't exactly man-made law, man-made
law was an aspect of it. There was something indeed holding the whole
species back from the imaginable largeness of life....
"The Vote is the symbol of everything," said Miss Brett.
She made an abrupt personal appeal.
"Oh! please don't lose yourself in a wilderness of secondary
considerations," she said. "Don't ask me to tell you all that women can
do, all that women can be. There is a new life, different from the old
life of dependence, possible. If only we are not divided. If only we
work together. This is the one movement that brings women of different
classes together for a common purpose. If you could see how it gives
them souls, women who have taken things for granted, who have given
themselves up altogether to pettiness and vanity...."
"Give me something to do," said Ann Veronica, interrupting her
persuasions at last. "It has been very kind of you to see me, but I
don't want to sit and talk and use your time any longer. I want to do
something. I want to hammer myself against all this that pens women in.
I feel that I shall stifle unless I can do something--and do something
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