I am not perfect; what man can boast of perfection? But I can assure you truthfully that I have always gone straight forward in the way marked out by duty and by honor.
There has been no compromise between me and my conscience. If I have suffered deeply, if I have undergone the most horrible agony that can be imagined, I have at all times been sustained in this awful struggle by my conscience, which stands on guard, rigid, upright, inflexible. My natural reserve, perhaps a haughty reserve, the freedom of my speech and judgment to-day militate against me. I am not supple, nor a trimmer, nor a flatterer. We never visited the people of the world who might be useful to us now; we shut ourselves up in our own home, we were contented to be happy in ourselves.
And to-day I am accused of the most monstrous crime a soldier can commit!
Oh, if I could but hold the wretch who not only has betrayed his country, but who, besides, has tried to make me bear the burden of his infamy, I do not know what suffering I could not invent to make him expiate the agony which he has forced me to undergo! But we must not despair—they must at last find the guilty one. Without that hope we should have to believe that there is no justice in the world.
Bend all your efforts to reveal the truth; and bring to bear upon them all your intellect, if need be all my fortune.
Money is nothing. Our Honor is All! Tell M[athieu Dreyfus] that I count upon him for this work. It is not beyond his power. He must find the wretch who has dishonored us, even though he should move Heaven