Page:Lettres d'un innocent; the letters of Captain Dreyfus to his wife ; (IA lettresduninnoce00drey).pdf/29

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dear Alsace, and then to be accused of treason against that country—no, my loved one, my mind refuses to comprehend it! Do you remember my telling you how, when I was in Mulhouse, ten years ago, in September, I heard a German band under our windows celebrating the anniversary of Sedan? My grief was such that I wept; I bit the sheets of my bed with rage, and I swore an oath to consecrate all my strength, all my intelligence, to the service of my country against those who thus offered insult to the grief of Alsace.

No, no. I will not speak of it, for I shall go mad, and I must preserve all my reason. Moreover my life has henceforth but one aim: to find the wretch who has betrayed his country; to find the traitor for whom no punishment could be too severe. Oh, dear France, thou that I love with all my soul, with all my heart! thou to whom I have consecrated all my strength, all my intelligence, how couldst thou accuse me of a crime so horrible! I will not write upon this subject, my darling; for spasms take me by the throat. No man has ever borne the martyrdom that I endure. No physical suffering can be compared to the mental agony that I feel when my thoughts turn to this accusation. If I had not my honor to defend, I assure you that I should prefer death; at least, death would be forgetfulness. Write to me soon. My love to all.

December, 1894.

My good Darling:

Thanks for your long letter of yesterday. I have never doubted your adorable devotion, your great heart.