- palling martyrdom. But to bear scorn, . . . and for so
long, . . . it is horrible!
I do not believe that there has ever been an innocent man who has endured tortures to be compared to mine.
As for you, my poor and well-beloved wife, you must keep all your courage and all your energy. It is in the name of our profound love that I beg you to do this, for you must be there to wash away from my name the stain with which it has been sullied. You must be there to bring up our children to be brave and honorable. You must be there to tell them, one day, what their father was—a brave and loyal soldier, crushed by an appalling fatality.
Shall I have news of you to-day? When shall I be told that I may have the pleasure and the joy of embracing you? Each day I hope it, and nothing comes to lighten the burden of my horrible agony.
Courage, my darling, you need so much of it—so much! You all need it, all of our two families. You have not the right to let yourself break down, for you have a great mission to fulfill, no matter what may become of me. Give them all my love; embrace our two poor darlings tenderly for me, and receive for yourself the tenderest kisses of him who loves you so dearly.
Sunday, 10 February, 1895.
My dear Lucie:
I received, Friday evening, your letters up to and including that of the 2d of February. I saw with pleasure that you are all well. I hope that you have received my letters. I shall not speak to you of myself; you