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October, 1786

It will not be long now; I am grateful for that. Death alone will relieve my pain and my grief. I have no regrets for what has happened, but my feelings are of no account. She is in despair, and her guilt is more than I can bear. I had hoped, foolishly I know, to unseat my former master in her affections. He has treated her so ill that I have long since lost any respect and admiration I may once have had for him. She is my angel, my world, and yet she will not love me. She is bound to him forever, too honorable to resist, and I am nothing to her. The look she gave me as I left her for the last time leaves me no doubt of her feelings: I am unworthy, a traitor to her honor and likewise to my own. Perhaps my death will prove to her the strength of my love. At the very least, I hope it will allow her to forgive me the unhappiness I have brought down upon her, and remember me fondly despite my innumerable flaws.

I hear the drums – already dawn is filling the sky. The generals gaped when I volunteered to lead the first battalion into the fray, but I did not falter. My death will be as a hero and a soldier; no one will know that I died long before this morning. I died for love of her, and for the lack of her.

May she be forever blessed, my dearest, and may the peace and tranquility our sins have torn from us both return to her one day. I pray for her salvation, and for my own, though I do not know how the Almighty could forgive when my own angel cannot. My dearest wish is that we meet in heaven, for only in the joy of eternity can a paradise exist where she is solely and completely mine. Until that glorious hour – adieu.