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Translated by R.D. Boylan Edited by Nathen Haskell Dole - page 103 / 106

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Goethe

Yes, Heaven favours my design, and you, Charlotte, provide me with the fatal instruments. It was my desire to receive my death from your hands, and my wish is gratified. I have made

inquiries of my servant. You trembled when you gave him the pistols, but you bade me no adieu. Wretched, wretched that I am—not one farewell! How could you shut your heart against me in that hour which makes you mine for ever? Char- lotte, ages cannot efface the impression—I feel you cannot hate the man who so passionately loves you!”

After dinner he called his servant, desired him to finish the packing up, destroyed many papers, and then went out to pay some trifling debts. He soon returned home, then went out again, notwithstanding the rain, walked for some time in the count’s garden, and afterward proceeded farther into the country. Toward evening he came back once more, and re- sumed his writing.

“I have requited you badly, Albert; but you will forgive me. I have disturbed the peace of your home. I have sowed distrust between you. Farewell! I will end all this wretchedness. And oh, that my death may render you happy! Albert, Albert! make that angel happy, and the blessing of Heaven be upon you!”

He spent the rest of the evening in arranging his papers: he tore and burned a great many; others he sealed up, and di- rected to Wilhelm. They contained some detached thoughts and maxims, some of which I have perused. At ten o’clock he ordered his fire to be made up, and a bottle of wine to be brought to him. He then dismissed his servant, whose room, as well as the apartments of the rest of the family, was situ- ated in another part of the house.The servant lay down with- out undressing, that he might be the sooner ready for his jour- ney in the morning, his master having informed him that the post-horses would be at the door before six o’clock.

“Wilhelm, I have for the last time beheld the mountains, the forests, and the sky. Farewell! And you, my dearest mother, forgive me! Console her, Wilhelm. God bless you! I have settled all my affairs! Farewell! We shall meet again, and be happier than ever.”

“Past eleven o’clock! All is silent around me, and my soul is calm. I thank thee, O God, that thou bestowest strength and courage upon me in these last moments! I approach the win- dow, my dearest of friends; and through the clouds, which are at this moment driven rapidly along by the impetuous

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