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"OR nearly eleven months I have been away from

France. During eleven months have I imposed upon myself the most complete exile, the most obscure retreat, the most absolute silence. I was like one voluntarily dead, lying in the secret grave, in expectation of truth and justice. And to-day, truth having conquered, justice reigning at last, I am re-born, I return, and once more take my place upon French soil. To-day is it not a shining evidence that our lengthy campaign, to my advisers, to my friends and to myself, has been nothing but a disinterested struggle to cause to flow from facts the greatest possible amount of light? If we have wished to gain time, if we have opposed proceeding to proceeding, it is because we had charge of the truth as we have charge of a soul; it is because we did not wish to see the feeble glimmer extinguished within our hands, when it was growing day by day. It was like a small, sacred lamp, which was being carried through the tempest, and which had to be defended against the fury of the crowd, maddened by lying. We had but one tacticto remain masters of our affair, to prolong it so long as possible that it might provoke events to happen, to draw from it, in one word, what we had promised ourselves of decisive truths. And we have never given a thought to ourselves, we have never acted but for the triumph of right, ready to pay with our liberty and life.

Let the situation be remembered which was created for me, in Versailles last July. It was a strangling without words. And I did not want to be thus strangled; it did not suit me to be thus executed during the absence of Parliament, amidst the passions of the street. It was our will to reach October, with the hope that truth would have still advanced, that justice would then have to be done. Besides, it must not be forgotten what underhand work was being carried on all this time. All we could expect from the examinations opened against Commander Esterhazy and against Colonel Picquart. One and the other were in prison, we were not ignorant of the fact that shining lights must perforce flow from these inquests, if they were held loyally; and, without, nevertheless, foreseeing the confession, then the suicide of Colonel Henry, we were reckoning upon the inevitable events which one day or another would enlighten the whole monstrous affair in its true and sinister aspect. Therefore is not our desire to gain time explained? Were we not justified in using every legal means of choosing our hour in the best interests of Justice? Was it not to conquer, to temporize, in the most painful and most holy of struggles? And these reasons were so powerful that I departed, resigned, announcing my return in October, with the certitude to thereby be a good worker for the cause and to assure its triumph.

But what I am not saying to-day, what I shall tell of some day, is the anguish of heart, the bitterness of this sacrifice. It must not be forgotten that I am neither a polemist, nor a politician, seeking benefits from disturbances. I am a free writer who has had but one passion in his life, that of truth. During nearly forty years I have served my country by means of my pen, with all my courage, with all I possessed of strength to work, and good faith. And I swear to you, there is a fearful sorrow, to go away alone, one dark night, to

For me,

see afar the lights of France growing dim, when one has simply wished for her honour, her grandeur in matters of justice among nations. And those who think that I went away to escape prison, and perhaps to live abroad in luxury with Jewish gold, are sorry people who inspire me with a little disgust and a great deal of contempt. I was to have returned in October. We had resolved to temporize until the reopening of the Houses, while reckoning upon the unforeseen event which was for us, in the course of things, the certain event. And did not that unforeseen event not even await October, but burst forth already at the end of August, with the confession and the suicide of Colonel Henry?

On the very next day I desired to return. the revision was imposing itself, Dreyfus's innocence had immediately to be recognized. I had besides never asked for anything but the revision; my rôle must perforce end, so soon as the Cour de Cassation should convene, and I was ready to withdraw. As to my trial, it was no longer anything, in my sight, than a pure formality, since the document produced by the Generals de Pellieux, Gonse and Boisdeffre, and upon which the jury had convicted me, was a forgery from which its author had just taken refuge in death. And I was therefore preparing to return, when my friends from Paris, my counsel, all those who had remained in the battle, wrote me letters full of anxiety. The situation remained serious. Far from being assured, the revision remained uncertain. M. Brisson, the head of the cabinet, was meeting with ever-increasing obstacles, betrayed by every one, not being able to dispose of a simple police official. So that my return, in the midst of over-excited passions, would appear as a pretext for new acts of violence, a danger, one more embarrassment for the ministry, in its already so very difficult task. And, desirous not to complicate the situation, I had to submit, I consented to be patient still.

Now that the good work is accomplished, I wish for neither applause nor recompense even if it is estimated that I may have been one of its useful workers. I have had no merit whatever, the cause was so beautiful, so humane! It is Truth which has conquered, and it could not have been otherwise. From the first, I had the certainty thereof; I have walked in a straight path, which diminishes my courage. It was quite simple. I should like to have it said of me, as only homage, that I have been neither foolish nor wicked, Besides, I already have my recompense, that of thinking of the innocent man whom I shall have helped to pull from the tomb, where alive, during more than four years, he has been agonizing. Ah! I must confess, the thought of seeing him free, to grasp his hands, agitates me with an extraordinary emotion, which fills my eyes with happy tears. That minute will suffice to pay for all my worries. My friends and myself, we shall have done a good action, for which the brave hearts of France will remember us in gratitude. And what more can you wish for, a family who will love us, a woman and children who will bless us, a man who will owe it to us to have incarnated within him the triumph of right and the solidarity of mankind?


By HONORÉ, Comte de Mirabeau.

HAT have I done that was so criminal? I have

wished that my Order were wise enough to give to-day what will infallibly be wrested from it to-morrow; that it should receive the merit and glory of sanctioning the assemblage of the Three Orders, which all Provence loudly demands. This is the crime of your "enemy, of peace!" Or rather, I have ventured to believe that the people might be in the right. Ah, doubtless, a patrician soiled with such a thought deserves vengeance! But I am still guiltier than you think; for it is my belief that the people which complains is always in the right; that its indefatigable patience invariably waits the uttermost excesses of oppression, before it can determine on resisting; that it never resists long enough to obtain complete redress; and does not sufficiently know that to strike its enemies into terror and submission, it has only to stand still; that the most innocent as the most invincible of all powers is the power of refusing to do. I believe after this manner; punish the enemy of peace!

But you, ministers of a God of peace, who are ordained to bless and not to curse, and yet have launched your anathema on me, without even the attempt at enlightening me, at reasoning with me! And you "friends of peace," who denounce to the people, with all vehemence of hatred, the one defender it has yet found, out of its own ranks; -who, to bring about concord, are filling capital and province with placards calculated to arm the rural districts against the towns, if your deeds did not refute your writings; -who, to prepare ways of conciliation, protest against

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