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Emma Goldman's Tribute to Voltarine de Clyre

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but happy. But even in her childhood she showed little concern in external things, being almost entirely absorbed in her own fancies. School held a great fascination for her and when refused admission because of her extreme youth, she wept bitter tears.

However, she soon had her way, and at the age of twelve she graduated from Grammar School with honors and would very likely have outstripped most women of her time in scholarship and learning, had not the first great tragedy come into her life, a tragedy which broke her body and left a lasting scar upon her soul. She was placed in a monestary, much against the will of her mother who, as a member of the Presbyterian Church, fought--in vain--against her husband's decision. At the Covenent of Our Lady of Lake Huron, at Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, began four-years' calvary of the future rebel angaint religious superstition. In her essay on THE MAKING OF AN ANARCHIST she vividly describes the terrible ordeal of those years:

"How I pity now, when I remember it, poor lonesome little soul, battling solitary in the murk of religious superstition, unable

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to believe and yet in hourly fear of damnation, hor, savage, and eternal, if I do not instantly confess and profess; how well I recall the bitter energy with which I repelled my teacher's enjoinder, when I told her I did not with to apologize for an adjusted fault as i could not see that i had been wrong and would not feel my words. 'It is not necessary', said she, 'that we should feel what we say, but it is always necessary that we obey our superiors.' 'I will not lie', I answered hotly, and at the same time trembled, lest my disobedience had finally consigned me to torment... it had been like the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and there are white scars on my soul, where ignorance and superstition burnt me with their hell fire in those stifling days. Am I blasphemous? It is their word, not mine. Beside that battle of my young days all others have been easy, for whatever was without, within my own Will was supreme. It has owed no allegiance, and never shall; it has moved readily in one direction, the knowledge and the assertion of its own liberty, with all the responsibility falling thereon."

Her endurance at an end, Voltairine made an attempt to escape from the hatefil place. She crossed the river to Pott Huron and tramped seventeen miles but her home was still far away. Hungry and exhausted, she had to turn back to seek refuge in a house of an acquaintance of the family. These sent for her father who took the girl back to the Convent.

Voltairine never spoke of the penance meted out to

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