Page:Lettres d'un innocent; the letters of Captain Dreyfus to his wife ; (IA lettresduninnoce00drey).pdf/223

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But if, in the strength of my conscience, in the consciousness of my duty, I have been enabled to raise myself above everything, ever and always to stifle my heart, to choke down every revolt of my being, it does not follow that my heart has not deeply suffered, that it is not, alas! torn to shreds. But I told you, too, that never has the temptation to yield to discouragement entered my soul, nor should it ever again enter into yours, nor into the soul of any one of you. Yes, it is atrocious to suffer thus; yes, all this is appalling, and it is enough to shake every belief in all that makes life noble and beautiful; . . . but to-day there can be no consolation for any one of us other than the discovery of the truth, the full light.

Whatever, then, may be your pain, however bitter the grief of every one of you, tell yourself that you have a sacred duty to accomplish, and that nothing must turn you from it; and this duty is to re-establish a name, in all its integrity, in the eyes of all France.

Now, to tell you all that my heart contains for you, for our children, for you all, is unnecessary, isn't it?

In happiness we do not begin to perceive all the depth, all the powerful tenderness that the deep recesses of the heart hold for the beloved. We need misfortune, the sense of the sufferings endured by those for whom we would give our last drop of blood, to understand its force, to grasp the tremendous power of it. If you knew how often in the moments of my anguish I have called to my assistance the thought of you, of our children, to force me to live on, to accept what I should never have accepted but for the thought of duty.

And this always brings me back to it, my darling; do your duty, heroically, invincibly, as a human soul, exalted and very proud, as a mother who is determined