I embrace you, as I love you, with all the power of my affection, and our dear, our adored children.
My best kisses to your dear parents, to all our family.
25 December, 1897.
My dear Lucie:
More often than ever I have terrible moments, when my reason totters; this is why I am come to talk to you now, not to speak of myself, but to give you still, as always, counsels as to what I believe you ought to do.
In a situation as tragic as ours, when the question in point is the honor of a family, the life of our children, you must always, my good darling, rise still higher above all; you must put aside from the question all thought of individuals, all irritating subjects, and you must call to your side every aid, every kind heart.
I know better than any one that at times this will be difficult; it is impossible not to feel our wounds; but we must do it. It is not a question of humiliating ourselves nor abasing ourselves; but, on the other hand, we must not throw away our energy in useless outcries; cries are not reasons.
We must simply stand fast, and will it that our right shall be yielded to us, the right of innocence. You must assert your will, energetically, without weakness, with dignity; you must act from your heart of a wife and mother, a heart horribly torn and wounded.
I have suffered too much. I have too often been stunned, felled by their sledge-hammers, to have been