neither my faith nor my courage had been nor shall ever be shaken, for, on one hand, I know that you will all energetically fulfill your duty, and that you will not less inflexibly be resolved to gain your right—the right of justice and of truth; and, on the other hand, I know that if there is any imprescriptible duty devolving upon my country, it is to bring the full light of truth to bear upon this tragic story, to repair this terrible error.
In fact, very often, in so far as my human weakness has permitted me—for if one can be a stoic in the face of death—and I have often called on death from the bottom of my heart—it is difficult to be one through all the minutes of an agony that is as long drawn out as it is undeserved—I have hidden my horrible distress under such tortures to sustain you, to keep you from fainting, from bending in your turn under all the weight of such suffering.
If for several months I have no longer hidden anything from you, it has been because I think that you ought always to be prepared for everything, drawing from the duties which as a mother you must perform heroically, invincibly, the force to bear everything with a firm and valiant heart, with the unshakable determination to wash the infamous stain from the name you bear, that our children bear.
Now, we have had enough of all this, haven't we, darling? Leave their fears, their suspicions, with those who have them. If my soul is always valiant and will remain so to my last breath, everything within me is worn out; my heart swells to bursting not only for past tortures, but to see that you misunderstand me on this point. My brain reels and totters, at the mercy of the least shock, the most petty of events. Besides, as I