Page:Lettres d'un innocent; the letters of Captain Dreyfus to his wife ; (IA lettresduninnoce00drey).pdf/103

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must understand the slow agony of my heart. But it will serve no purpose to complain. What you need, what you must all have, is steadfast courage. You must not allow yourself to be beaten down by adversity, however terrible it may be.

You must succeed in proving throughout the length and breadth of France that I was a worthy and a loyal soldier, who loved his country above everything, who served it with devotion always.

That is the principal, the essential object, far above my own being, my personal fate. There is a name that must be washed free from the stain with which it has been sullied, a name, until now pure and spotless, that must shine again as pure as in former days. It is the name that our dear children bear, and that in itself should give you all the necessary courage.

I thank you for all the news you give me of our friends. I, too, regret that I cannot write to them. You know how dearly I love them all. Kiss my relations tenderly for me, your dear family and mine. Tell them what I think, what I would convince you of; it is that I personally am only the secondary consideration, that there is a name to be cleansed from dishonor.

No one must falter until this supreme task has been accomplished. To speak to you of the condition I am in is useless. As I said above, your heart tells you far better than my pen could tell. I will go on as long as my heart still beats, having before me night and day the supreme hope that the place that I deserve will be restored to me.

You see, darling, a man of honor cannot live without his honor. It does no good to tell himself that he is innocent; it is an unceasing gnawing of the heart. In