Eugáene Emmanuel Lemercier

The Argonne, France

The Argonne, France

(a marvellous morning).

Our third day in billets brings us the sweetness of friendly weather. The inveterate deluge of our time in the first line relents a little, and the sun shows itself timidly.

Our situation, which has been pleasant enough during the last two months, may now be expected entirely to change.

The impregnability of the positions threatens to make the war interminable; one of the two adversaries must use his offensive to unlock the situation and precipitate events. I think the high command faces this probability—and I hardly dare tell you that I cannot regret anything that increases the danger.

Our life, of which a third part is flatly bourgeois and the two other parts present just about the same dangers as, say, chemical works do, will end by deadening all sensibility. It is true we shall be grieved to leave what we are used to, but perhaps we were getting too accustomed to a state of well-being which could not last.

My own circumstances are perhaps going to change. I shall probably lose my course, being mentioned for promotion to the rank of corporal, which means being constantly in the trenches and various duties in the first line. I hope God will continue to bless me.

. . . I feel that we have nothing to ask. If there should be in us something eternal which we must still manifest on earth, we may be sure that God will let us do it.

(2nd letter).

Happily you and I live in a domain where everything unites us without our having to write our thoughts. . . .

The weather is overcast again and promises us a wet time in the first and second lines.

The day declines, and a great melancholy falls too upon everything. This is the hour of sadness for those who are far away, for all the soldiers whose hearts are with their homes, and who see night closing down upon the earth.

I come to you, and immediately my heart grows warm. I can feel your attentive tenderness, and the wisdom which inspires your courage. Sometimes I am afraid of always saying the same thing, but how can I find new words for my poor love, tossed always through the same vicissitudes? Now that we are going to set out, perhaps we shall have to leave behind many cherished keepsakes, but the soul should not be strongly tied to fetiches. We are fond of clinging to many things, but love can do without them.

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