our two dear children. This is why we must conquer all our sufferings. It is not enough to give our children life; we must dower them with honor, without which life is not possible. I know your sentiments; I know that you think as I do. Courage, then, dear wife. I will struggle as you are struggling and sustain you with all my energy, because in the face of such an absolute necessity all else should be forgotten. We must, for the sake of our dear little Pierre, for the sake of our dear little Jeanne.
I know how marvellous you have been in your devotion, your grandeur of soul, in the tragic events just past.
Fight on, then, my dear Lucie. My confidence in you is absolute. My deep affection will recompense you some day for all the pains you are enduring so nobly.
18 May, 1895.
I am ending to-day this letter which will carry you a part of myself and the expression of the thoughts over which I have pondered deeply in the sepulchral silence that surrounds me.
I have thought too often of myself; not enough of you, of the children. Your suffering, that of our families, is as great as mine. Our hearts must be lifted high above it all, so that we shall see only the end which we must attain—our honor!
I will stand upright as long as my strength permits, to sustain you with all my ardor, with all the depth of my love.
Courage, then, dear Lucie—courage and perseverance. We have our little ones to defend.