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Colonel Picquart had done his duty as an honest man. insisted in the presence of his superiors, in the name of justice; he even begged of them; he told them how impolitic were their delays, in view of the terrible storm which was 5 gathering, and which would surely burst as soon as the truth should be known. Later that was the language of M. Scheurer-Kestner to General Billot, who adjured him in the name of patriotism to take the matter in hand, and not to allow it to be aggravated until it should become a public disaster. Io No, the crime had been committed; the staff could no longer confess it. And Lieutenant-Colonel Picquart was sent on a mission; he was farther and farther removed, even to Tunis, where one day they even wanted to honor his bravery by charging him with a mission which would surely have led to his massacre in the quarter where the Marquis de Morès met his death. He was not in disgrace; Gen. Gonse was in friendly correspondence with him; but there are secrets which it is not well to discover.


At Paris the truth developed, irresistibly, and we know in 20 what way the expected storm broke out. M. Mathieu Dreyfus denounced Major Esterhazy as the real author of the bordereau, at the moment when M. Scheurer-Kestner was about to lodge a demand for the revision of the trial with the keeper of the seals. And it is here that Major Esterhazy 25 appears. The evidence shows that at first he was dazed, ready for suicide or flight. Then suddenly he determines to brazen it out; he astonishes Paris by the violence of his attitude. The fact was that aid had come to him; he had received an anonymous letter warning him of the intrigues of 30 his enemies; a mysterious woman had even disturbed herself at night to hand him a document stolen from the staff, which would save him. And I cannot help seeing here again the hand of Lieutenant-Colonel du Patay de Clam, recognizing the expedients of his fertile imagination. His work, the 35 guilt of Dreyfus, was in danger, and he was determined to defend it. A revision of the trial,- why, that meant the

ruination of the newspaper novel, so extravagant, so tragic, with its abominable dénouement on Devil's Island. That would never do. Thenceforth there was to be a duel between Lieutenant-Colonel Picquart and Lieutenant-Colonel du Patay de Clam, the one with face uncovered, the other 5 masked. Presently we shall meet them both in the presence of civil justice. At bottom it is always the staff defending itself, unwilling to confess its crime, the abomination of which is growing from hour to hour.

It has been wonderingly asked who were the protectors of 10 Major Esterhazy. First, in the shadow, Lieutenant-Colonel du Patay de Clam, who devised everything, managed everything; his hand betrays itself in the ridiculous methods. Then there is General de Boisdeffre, General Gonse, General Billot himself, who are obliged to acquit the major, since they 15 cannot permit the innocence of Dreyfus to be recognized, lest under the weight of public contempt the war offices should fall. And the fine result of this wonderful situation is that the one honest man in the case, Lieutenant-Colonel Picquart, who alone has done his duty, is to be the victim, the man to 20 be derided and punished. O justice, what frightful despair grips the heart! They go so far as to say that he is a forger; that he manufactured the telegram, to ruin Esterhazy. But, in Heaven's name, why? For what purpose? Show a motive. Is he, too, paid by the Jews? The pretty part of the 25 story is that he himself was an anti-Semite. Yes, we are witnesses of this infamous spectacle,—the proclamation of the innocence of men ruined with debts and crimes, while honor itself, a man of stainless life, is stricken down. When society reaches that point it is beginning to rot.

There you have, then, Monsieur le Président, the Esterhazy case, a guilty man who must be declared innocent. We can follow this beautiful business, hour by hour, for the last two months. I abridge, for this is but the résumé of a story whose burning pages will some day be written at length. 35 So we have seen General de Pellieux, and then Major Ravarty,

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carrying on a rascally investigation whence knaves come transfigured and honest people sullied. Then the council of war was convened.

How could it have been expected that a council of war 5 would undo what a council of war had done?

I say nothing of the selection which is always possible of judges. Is not the dominating idea of discipline, which is in the very blood of the soldiers, enough to destroy their power to do justice? Who says discipline says obedience. Io When the minister of war, the great chief, has publicly established, amid the applause of the nation's representatives, the absolute authority of the judgment, do you expect a council of war formally to contradict him? Hierarchically that is impossible. General Billot gave a hint to the judges. 15 by his declaration, and they passed judgment as they must face the cannon's mouth, without reasoning. The preconceived opinion that they took with them to their bench is evidently this: "Dreyfus has been condemned for the crime of treason by a council of war; then he is guilty, and we, a 20 council of war, cannot declare him innocent. Now, we know that to recognize Esterhazy's guilt would be to proclaim the innocence of Dreyfus.' Nothing could turn them from that course of reasoning.



They have rendered an iniquitous verdict which will weigh forever upon our councils of war, which will henceforth tinge with suspicion all their decrees. The first council of war may have been stupid; the second is clearly criminal. Its excuse, I repeat, is that the supreme head had spoken, declaring the judgment unassailable, sacred, and superior to 30 men, so that inferiors could say naught to the contrary.

They talk to us of the honor of the army; they want us to love it, to respect it. Ah! certainly, yes, the army which would rise at the first threat, which would defend French soil; that army is the whole people, and we have for it 35 nothing but tenderness and respect. But it is not a question of that army, whose dignity is our special desire, in our

need of justice. It is the sword that is in question; the master that they may give us to-morrow. And piously kiss the sword-hilt, the god. No!

I have proved it, elsewhere; the Dreyfus case was the case of the war offices: a staff officer, accused by his com- 5 rades of the general staff, is convicted by the pressure of the chiefs of the staff. Again I say, he cannot come back innocent, unless all the staff be admitted to be guilty. Consequently the war offices, by all imaginable means, by press campaigns, by communications, by influence, have 10. covered Esterhazy simply to ruin Dreyfus a second time. Ah! with what a sweep the republican government should clear away this band of Jesuits, as General Billot himself calls them! Where is the truly strong and wisely patriotic minister who will dare to reshape and renew all? How 15 many of the people I know are trembling with anguish in view of a possible war, knowing in what hands lies the national defence! And what a nest of base intrigues, gossip, and waste has this sacred asylum, entrusted with the fate of the country, become ! We are frightened by the 20 terrible light thrown upon it by the Dreyfus case, this human sacrifice of an unfortunate, of 66 a dirty Jew." Ah! what a mixture of madness and folly, of crazy fancies, of vile police practices, of inquisitorial and tyrannical customs, the good pleasure of a few persons in gold lace, with their boots on 25 the neck of the nation, cramming back into its throat its cry of truth and justice, under the lying and sacrilegious pretext of reasons of state!

And another of their crimes is that they have accepted the support of the unclean press, have suffered themselves 30 to be championed by all the knavery of Paris, so that now we witness knavery's insolent triumph in the downfall of right and simple probity. It is a crime to have accused of troubling France those who wish to see her generous, at the head of the free and just nations, when they themselves are 35 hatching the insolent conspiracy to impose error in the face

of the entire world. It is a crime to mislead opinion, to utilize for a deadly attack this opinion that they have perverted to the point of delirium. It is a crime to poison the minds of the lowly and the humble, to exasperate the pas5 sions of reaction and intolerance, by seeking shelter behind odious anti-Semitism, of which France, great, liberal France of the rights of man, will die, if she is not cured. It is a crime to exploit patriotism for works of hatred, and, finally, it is a crime to make the sword the modern god, when all 10 human science is at work on the coming temple of truth and justice.

How distressing it is then to see this truth, this justice, for which we have so ardently longed, buffeted thus and become more neglected and more obscured. I have a sus15 picion of the black despair there must be in the soul of M. Scheurer-Kestner, and I really believe that he will finally feel remorse that he did not, on the day of interpellation in the senate, acting in revolutionary fashion, by thoroughly ventilating the whole matter, topple everything over. He 20 has been the highly honest man, the man of loyal life, and he thought that the truth was sufficient unto itself, especially when it should appear as dazzling as the open day. Of what use to overturn everything, since soon the sun would shine? And it is for this confident serenity that he is now 25 so cruelly punished. And the same is the case of LieutenantColonel Picquart, who, moved by a feeling of lofty dignity, has been unwilling to publish General Gonse's letters. These scruples do him the more honor because, while he respected discipline, his superiors heaped mud upon him, 30 working up the case against him themselves in the most unexpected and outrageous fashion. Here are two victims, two worthy people, two simple hearts, who have trusted God, while the devil was at work. And in the case of LieutenantColonel Picquart we have seen even this ignoble thing, 35 French tribunal, after suffering the reporter in the case publically to arraign a witness and accuse him of every


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