July 22, 1871
A New Orleans judge riding in the cars recently, from a single glance at the countenance of a lady by his side, imagined he knew her, and ventured a remark that the day was pleasant, she only saying "Yes."
"Why do you wear a veil?" inquired the dispenser of justice.
"Lest I attract attention."
"It is the province of gentlemen to admire," replied the gallant man of law.
"Not when they are married."
"But Im not."
"Oh, no; Im a bachelor." The lady quietly removed her veil, disclosing to the astonished magistrate the face of his mother-in-law.
The fourth of July, one year ago, negotiations being pending between the proprietors of this paper and myself in respect to our mutual cooperation in the editorship of the paper, I read to Mrs. Woodhull the following document as an exhibit of the nature of my purposes, and as a sample of what use I should propose to make of her newspaper, if it were freely opened to me. Our negotiations were interrupted at the time without immediate result, and this editorial was crammed into a pigeon-hole and had not seen the light since. But on the Fourth of July just passed, using my leisure to search over some old papers, I came upon this, and it occurred to me that the coincidence might be an omen that it would be well to publish now. At that time the Motto or second title of the paper was UPWARD AND ONWARD, by which name, therefore, the paper is alluded to in this article .
Epistle ExtraordinaryNo. 1
To the Readers of Upward and Onward:
In accepting the position of an editor of this newspaper I have had a special object in view beyond that of merely editing a newspaper in the ordinary way. I have may things of immense importance which I want to communicate to the people, and am about to commence an extensive system of operations for the purpose of doing so, in various ways, In part I shall make this many-sided communication through the publication of books, two or three of which I have already in type and almost ready to appear; in part through lectures and public meetings to be held by myself and by others who have become interested in the same object, through what I have shown them and convinced them of; in part by teaching in classes, and in part by conversations more or less formally conducted. But after all these methods there remains what is probably the most efficient of allthe newspaper; and the lady proprietors of this paper, knowing something of what it is that I wish to talk about, though even they do not know very much as yet, but knowing, more, or believing they do, of me personally, and of my capacity to write acceptably, and even to teachthink that they are consulting their own interests and the interests of their readers by placing me in this chair, and giving me the free opportunity to talk myself out.
We shall see, as we get on, how the plan works. If it suits them, and you, and myself, it will continue; otherwise not. It is an experiment, and in this as in other things it may be said that the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
The circumstances under which I come into this experiment are peculiar. The subject about which I wish to talk to you, in this part of the paperthese epistles extraordinary is also very peculiar. No other such occasion ever occurred; no other such experiment was ever tried.
I claim to have discovered a new science; a very great science; the greatest that has ever come to the knowledge of the world; or, more properly greater than that has yet come to the knowledge of the worldfor this science is yet only know to a few, a very few people in the whole world, and to that few only imperfectly for the want of proper text books and other opportunity. . . . I propose simply to talk to you [about the science]. We have abundance of writing, and often very admirable writing, in books and in periodicals of all sorts down to the daily and weekly newspapers; but we have very little genuine talk, on paper. If this experiment succeeds; if I remain an editor of this sheet; if I please you and the lady proprietors and myself; if I go on and do what I am planning to do, you will have to listen to a great deal of real talk. THE UPWARD AND ONWARD will be a different kind of a newspaper from any you of the world have ever seen. Dont be surprised if you forget, occasionally, the use of your eyes, and catch yourselves holding your ear down to the surface of the paper, and restraining your breath for fear it may interrupt the transmission of sounds. Oh there is ever so much difference between reading even very fine writing and actually listening to a good talk! . . .
I want to make this newspaper a thousand times more than a mere newspaper; and I will make it, if you will help me, into a sort of a walking University, going about all over the country; coming into your parlors and workshops and kitchens; settling the great questions of government and labor and life in a way that a child can understand them. . . .
Well, now, I have been gossiping along until I have only space enough left, in this first letter, to tell you something about the name of the New Science.
I call it UNIVERSOLOGY.
Well what would you call it?
Well, that I suppose must depend upon what it is the science of.
Precisely; well, it is a big talk about the Universe. Every new science, like every new baby, must have a name; and it must have a new name, which is not always the case with the baby. The universe, you will agree with me, is as large a subject, to say the least of it, as any other; and a talk about it must have a pretty tall name, and we cant do better, therefore, than to take the name, in part, from the thing itself. . . .
In another article, my next letter, next week, I will tell you confidentially, what objections the purists or precisionists will raise to this new word, Universology; and I will tell you, also between you and me, why I snap my literary fingers in their faces, and dont care a sous marque what they say. Goodbye, till you hear me talking to you next time.
Victoria Woodhull T-Shirts, Bumper Stickers, Campaign Buttons, and Books
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