Page:Lettres d'un innocent; the letters of Captain Dreyfus to his wife ; (IA lettresduninnoce00drey).pdf/230

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to be able to see one's self, in a word, in one's conscience with the certitude of having always and everywhere done one's duty. That certitude I have.

Then, dear and good Lucie, do your duty bravely, pitilessly, as a good and valiant Frenchwoman who is suffering martyrdom, but who is resolved that the name she bears, the name that her children bear, shall be cleansed from this horrible stain. The light must break out, it must shine in all its brilliancy. The limitations of time should no longer be anything to you.

Indeed, I know too well that the sentiments that animate me are cherished by you all; they are common to all of us, to your dear family as to my own.

I cannot speak to you of the children; besides, I know you too well to doubt for one single instant the manner in which you will bring them up. Never leave them; be with them always, heart and soul; listen to them always, however importunate may be their questions.

As I have often told you, to educate children is not merely to assure their material life, nor even their intellectual life, but it is also to assure to them the support that they should find in their parents, the confidence with which the latter should inspire them, the certainty that they should always have that there is one place where they can unburden their hearts, where they can forget their pains, their sorrows, no matter how little, how trivial they may sometimes appear.

In these last lines I would put once more all my deep love for you, for our dear children, for your dear parents, for you all, all those whom I love from the bottom of my heart, for all the friends whose thoughts for me I divine, whose unalterable devotion I know; and I would say to you again and again, Courage, courage!