Page:Boissonnas, Un Vaincu, English, 1875.djvu/7

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two great feelings which restore honor to dispirited nations, love of duty, love of homeland.

If you conclude, from the narrative you are going to read, that those two feelings reach their full power and beauty only in the souls of believers who rest their terrestrial virtues on their heavenly hopes, you will have arrived at the same conclusion as I have.

And if, when you measure the accomplishments of devoted men, your hopes for our country become more optimistic, if you return to your tasks stronger and more devoted, our time, dear children, will not have been wasted.

Convince yourselves that they must bear fruit, our bitter memories. Everything has changed around us. Could we remain such as we were in the past ? We haven't taken enough heed -- and this is not new -- of our duties towards our home land. France was nothing more to us than a country full of charm, where life was pleasant. We thought we had done all our duty towards her when we paid our taxes, which paid the army.

Now we have received the lessons of suffering. We are at the hour of vital resolution, of patient labor. From now on, every child in France must have in front of his eyes, in his mind, deep in his heart, a realization that he no longer belongs to himself, but to a precise, sacred duty. That duty has nothing to do with hatred nor vengeance. That duty is to love our country with a devoted, active love. A love by which one lives, for which one dies.