THERE are unknown heroines, obscure toilers, who offer up everything upon the altar of their cause, without asking anything for themselves. They assume the most ungrateful parts; sacrifice themselves for the merest trifles; for lending their names to the correspondence of others; for sheltering man, often unknown to them; for delivering a parcel without knowing what it contains. Poets do not dedicate verses to them; history will not inscribe their names upon its records; a grateful posterity will not remember them. Without their labour, however, the party could not exist; every struggle would become impossible.
Yet the wave of history carries away one of these toilers from the obscure concealment in which she expected to pass her life, and bears her on high upon its sparkling crest, to a universal celebrity. Then all regard this countenance, which is so modest, and discern in it the indications of a force of mind, of an abnegation, of a courage, which excite astonishment among the boldest.
Such is precisely the story of Jessy Helfman.
I did not know her personally. If I deviate, how
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Publication information: Book title: Underground Russia:Revolutionary Profiles and Sketches from Life. Contributors: Stepniak - Author. Publisher: C. Scribner's Sons. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1883. Page number: 101.
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