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Translated by R.D. Boylan Edited by Nathen Haskell Dole - page 100 / 106

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The Sorrows ofYoung Werther

He may be so for this world; and in this world it is a sin to love you, to wish to tear you from his embrace. Yes, it is a crime; and I suffer the punishment, but I have enjoyed the full delight of my sin. I have inhaled a balm that has revived my soul. From this hour you are mine; yes, Charlotte, you are mine! I go before you. I go to my Father and to your Father. I will pour out my sorrows before him, and he will give me comfort till you arrive. Then will I fly to meet you. I will claim you, and remain your eternal embrace, in the presence of the Almighty.

“I do not dream, I do not rave. Drawing nearer to the grave my perceptions become clearer.We shall exist; we shall see each other again; we shall behold your mother; I shall behold her, and ex- pose to her my inmost heart. Your mother—your image!”

About eleven o’clock Werther asked his servant if Albert had returned. He answered, “Yes;” for he had seen him pass on horseback: upon which Werther sent him the following note, unsealed:

“Be so good as to lend me your pistols for a journey. Adieu.” Charlotte had slept little during the past night. All her ap- prehensions were realised in a way that she could neither fore-

see nor avoid. Her blood was boiling in her veins, and a thou- sand painful sensations rent her pure heart. Was it the ardour of Werther’s passionate embraces that she felt within her bo- som? Was it anger at his daring? Was it the sad comparison of her present condition with former days of innocence, tran- quillity, and self-confidence? How could she approach her

husband, and confess a scene which she had no reason to con- ceal, and which she yet felt, nevertheless, unwilling to avow? They had preserved so long a silence toward each other and should she be the first to break it by so unexpected a discov- ery? She feared that the mere statement of Werther’s visit would trouble him, and his distress would be heightened by her per- fect candour. She wished that he could see her in her true light, and judge her without prejudice; but was she anxious that he should read her inmost soul? On the other hand, could she deceive a being to whom all her thoughts had ever been exposed as clearly as crystal, and from whom no sentiment had ever been concealed? These reflections made her anxious and thoughtful. Her mind still dwelt on Werther, who was now lost to her, but whom she could not bring herself to resign, and for whom she knew nothing was left but despair

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