Friday, 10 o'clock in the morning, 28 December, 1894.
My dear Lucie:
I have received your good letter dated yesterday at noon. You are right. I must live. I must live for you—for our dear children, whose name I must restore to honor. Whatever may be the terrible tortures of soul I endure, I must resist. I have no right to desert my post.
If I were alone, I should not hesitate; but your name, the name of my family—everything, all we have, is attacked. We must arm with all our courage for the struggle. By the force of our energy, our will, we shall triumph. In the end they shall speak out. Supported, sustained by your unfailing courage, we shall conquer.
Write to me often. You must relieve each other in writing; write to me in turn. Each one of your letters soothes me. It seems to me that I hear you speak—that I hear your dear parents speak.
I embrace you and all your dear family.
A thousand tender kisses to the children.
I received your letter dated Thursday evening, also the good words from Pierrot. Embrace the darling tenderly for me. Give Jeanne a kiss for me. Yes, I must live. I must summon all my energy to wash out the stain which sullies the name of my children. I should be cowardly should I desert my post. I will live; I will!
I embrace you.