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Emma Goldman's Tribute to Voltarine de Clyre

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to the evident suffering of my hostess, though she was bravely trying to hide her pain from me. But fate plays strange pranks. In the evening of the same day, Voltairine de Cleyre was called upon to drag her frail, suffering body to a densely packed, stuffy hall, to speak in my stead. At the request of the New York authorities, the protectors of law and disorder in Philadelphia captured me as I was about to enter the hall and led me off to the police station of the city of Brotherly Love.

The next time I saw Voltairine was at Blackwell's Island Penitentiary. She had come to New York to deliver her masterly address, IN DEFENSE OF EMMA GOLDMAN AND FREE SPEECH, and she visited me in prison. From that time until her end our lives and work were frequently thrown together, often meeting harmoniously and sometimes drifting apart, but always with Voltairine standing out in my eyes as a forceful personality, a brilliant mind, a fervent idealist, an unflinching fighter, a devoted and loyal comrade. But her strongest characteristic was her extraordinary capacity to conquer physical disability --- a trait which

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won for her the respect even of her enemies and the love and admiration of her friends. A key to this power in so frail a body is to be found in Voltairine's illuminating essay, THE DOMINATING IDEA.

"In everything that lives," she writes there, "if one looks searchingly, is limned to the shadow-line of an idea --- an idea, dead or living, sometimes strongest when dead, with rigid unswerving lines that mark the living embodiment with stern, immobile, cast of the non-living. Daily we move among these unyielding shadows, less pierceable, more enduring than granite, with the blackness of ages in them, dominating living, changing bodies, with dead, unchanging souls. And we meet also, living souls dominating dying bodies --- living ideas regnant over decay and death. Do not imagine that I speak of human life alone, the stamp of persistent shifting Will is visible in the grass-blade rooted in its clod of earth, as in the gossamer web of being that floats and swims far over our heads in the free world of air."

As an illustration of persistent Will, Voltarine relates the story of the morning-glory vines that trellised over the window of her room, and "every day they blew and curled in the wind, their white, purple-dashed faces winking at the sun, radiant with climbing life ... Then, all at once, some mischance happened, - some cut worm or some mischievous child tore one vine off below, the finest and more ambitious one, of course. In a few hours, the leaves being limp, the sappy item wilted and began

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