Emma Goldman's Tribute to Voltarine de Clyre
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ethics’, they choose to promise the impossible (recovery), in order to keep me on the rack of life. Such action let them account for themselves, for I hold it to be in one of the chief crimes of the medical profession that they tell these lies.
That no one be unjustly charged, I wish it understood that my disease is chronic catarrh of the head, afflicting my ears with incessant sound of the two years aho, and no one is in any way to blame.
I wish my body to be given to the Hahnemann College to be used for dissection; I hope Dr. H. L. Northrop will take it in charge. I want no ceremonies, nor speeches over it. I die, as I have lived, a free spirit, an Anarchist, owing no allegiance to rulers, heavenly or earthly. Though I sorrow for the work I wished to do, which time and loss of health prevented, I am glad I lived no useless life (save this one last year) and hope that the work I did will liveand grow with my pupils’ lives and by them be passed on to others, even as I passed on what I had received.
If my comrades wish to do aught for my memory, let them prinkt my poems, the MSS. of which is in possession of N. N., to whom I leave this last task of carrying out my few wishes.
My dying thoughts are on the vision of a free world, without poverty and its pain, ever ascending to sublimer knowledge.
Voltairine De Cleyre"
There is no indication anywhere why Voltiarine, usually so determined, failed to carry out her intention. No doubt it was again the Dominant idea; her Will to life was too strong.
In the note revealing her decision of ending her life, Voltairine asserts that her malady had nothing to do with the shooting which occurred two years prior. She was moved to exonerate her assailant by her boundless human compassion, as she was moved by it, when she appealed to her comrades for funds to help the youth and when she refused to have him prosecuted by “due process of law”. She knew better then the judges the cause and effect of crime and punishment. And she knew that in any event the boy was irresponsible. But the chariot of law rolled on. The assailant was sentenced to seven years prison, where soon he lost his mind altogether, dying in an insane asylum two years later. Voltairine’s attitude towards criminals and her view of the barbarous futility of punishment are Incorporated in her brilliant treatise on CRIME AND PUNISHMENT. After penetrating analysis of the causes of crime, she asked:
“Have you ever watched it coming in, --- the sea? When the wind