Contributed by SharonTMSI
Description: Elizabeth Avery Meriwether's First LectureDate: May 6 1876
Woman Before the Law
The Lecture of Mrs. E.A. Meriwether
Mrs. E. A. Meriwether was very gracefully presented to the audience last night, at the Memphis Theater, by Mr. Emerson Etheridge. Mrs. Meriwether as a lecturer was a success. The audience passed that judgement upon her first effort, and we endorse it. Perhaps, in giving the reasons for this conclusion, we may commit as many errors as judges often do who give wrong reasons for the right judgements; but we do not propose to give reasons in detail for the conclusion we arrived at. Those who are informed do not expect a newspaper to give a report of a lecture, which is the property of the author as much as a book, by virtue of copyright. Those who heard the speaker, or those who read the book, are the audience.
Mrs. Meriwether is thoughtful, and she is earnestly devoted to her sex and her generation. "Woman before the law" was therefor discussed by her as it effects her relationships to government, to society, and to the family. Perhaps to be critical the title of the subject should have been "Women before the law of England," yet the best and finest passages of the lecture related to the present condition of the most wretched and helpless of her sex. In these she splendidly illustrated her charity and her courage to do good, in striking contrast to so many of her own sex that tolerate and flatter the wrong doer and social murderer and assassin. The speaker did not talk merely for the sake of speaking, but the aim and scope of the lecture was to elevate her own sex, and to make them stronger in all the virtues which adorn humanity. So, we repeat, the lecture was a splendid triumph in its sentiments, thoughts, and aspirations. Besides, it was excellently spoken. Mrs. Meriwether's voice is soft, clear and musical, with a silvery ring to it. The speaker knows the art of dressing, too, and the exquisite taste of displaying on the platform of furniture, colors and scenery, demonstrated that the lecturer understands the character in which she appeared. The audience saw and instantly appreciated it, and we express the wish that she may appear again in Memphis and before other audiences in the South, for her own self and for the sake of her sex.