Page:Lettres d'un innocent; the letters of Captain Dreyfus to his wife ; (IA lettresduninnoce00drey).pdf/101

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Thursday, 7 February, 1895.

My good Lucie:

On Sunday I received a package of fifteen letters all dated before Sunday, January 27. Thank all the members of the family for their warm affection, which I have never doubted. I am still without news of you for more than ten days. To tell you my tortures is impossible.

To find myself thus confronted by soldiers whom yesterday I was so proud to command, whom I am as worthy to command to-day, and who see in me the lowest of wretches—oh, it is appalling! At the very thought my heart stops its beating.

My story is too horrible, my brain can bear no more.

I have been able to resist thus far because my heart, honest and pure, told me that it was my duty; that my innocence, so complete and so absolute, must soon be made manifest; but this long-continued outrage is heart-breaking.

I would rather have stood before the execution squad; at least then there could have been no possible discussion, and you could afterward have rehabilitated my memory.

But do not fear that I shall ever attempt to take my life. I have promised you never to do it, and you know that I have but one word. Therefore do not be anxious in regard to that. But how far will my strength carry me, how long will my heart continue to beat in this atmosphere of scorn, I, so proud of my stainless honor, I, so haughty, that is what I cannot tell!

Ah, if there were nothing worse than bodily torture to be borne, if it were only that I must suffer, waiting for the truth, I should be strong enough to bear this ap-