Page:Lettres d'un innocent; the letters of Captain Dreyfus to his wife ; (IA lettresduninnoce00drey).pdf/176

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with anguish, it is because there is a supreme object to be attained, cost what it may—the full honor of our name, that of our children—and that right speedily, for sensitive people cannot live in a situation whose every moment is a torture.

Very often I have wished to speak to you at length of our children—I cannot. A dull, bitter anger floods my heart at the thought of these dear little creatures, struck through their father, who is innocent of a crime so abominable. . . . My throat contracts, my sobs choke me, my hands are wrung with grief at not being able to do anything for them, for you . . . to struggle to keep from dying in such a situation, and for so long.

So I can only repeat to you, dear Lucie, "Courage, and determination, and action, also, for human strength has a limit."

I wrote you long letters by the last mail; I wrote also to your dear parents, to my brothers and sisters. I hope that these letters will still more embolden your courage, the courage of every one of you, that they will animate your souls with the fire that consumes my own soul—the fire that gives me the strength to still stand erect.

You tell me that you have good reasons for believing that this atrocious situation is not to be of long duration. Ah, I wish with all my soul that this time your hope may not be deceived, that you may soon announce to me something certain, positive; for truly this is suffering too hard to bear!

What can I add, dear Lucie? The hours are all alike in their atrocity for me; I live only by the thought of you, of our children, in the expectation of a dénouement, an escape from a situation which has lasted but too long.