. . . My little mother, it is certain that though we did not leave yesterday, it is yet only a question of hours. I won’t say to you anything that I have already said, content only that I have from you the approval of which I was certain.
. . . In the very hard march yesterday only one man fell out, really ill. France will come out of this bad pass.
I can only repeat to you how well I am prepared for all eventualities, and that nothing can undo our twenty-seven years of happiness. I am resolved not to consider myself foredoomed, and I fancy the joy of returning, but I am ready to go to the end of my strength. If you knew the shame I should endure to think that I might have done something more!
In the midst of all this sadness we live through magnificent hours, when the things that used to be most strange take on an august significance.