They tell us sometimes that if we had only kept quiet, all these desirable things would have come about of themselves. I am reminded of the Greek clown who, having seen an archer bring down a flying bird, remarked, sagely: "You might have saved your arrow, for the bird would anyway have been killed by the fall."
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902), U.S. suffragist, social reformer, and author. As quoted in "Common Sense" Applied to Woman Suffrage, ch. 1, by Mary Putnam Jacobi (1894).
Said on May 7, 1894, at a mass meeting during the 1894 Woman's Rights Convention in New York City. Stanton was referring to successes of the women's rights movement, which included the securing of independent property rights for women and of personal rights in contracts and business.