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Translated by R.D. Boylan Edited by Nathen Haskell Dole - page 21 / 106

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Goethe

to him, and must count fast; whoever stops or mistakes is to have a box on the ear, and so on, till we have counted a thou- sand.” It was delightful to see the fun. She went round the circle with upraised arm. “One,” said the first; “two,” the sec- ond; “three,” the third; and so on, till Charlotte went faster and faster. One made a mistake, instantly a box on the ear; and, amid the laughter that ensued, came another box; and so on, faster and faster. I myself came in for two. I fancied they were harder than the rest, and felt quite delighted. A general

turned them upon me; they were moistened with tears; she placed her hand on mine and said, “Klopstock!” at once I remembered the magnificent ode which was in her thoughts: I felt oppressed with the weight of my sensations, and sank under them. It was more than I could bear. I bent over her hand, kissed it in a stream of delicious tears, and again looked up to her eyes. Divine Klopstock! why didst thou not see thy apotheosis in those eyes? And thy name so often profaned, would that I never heard it repeated!

laughter and confusion put an end to the game long before we had counted as far as a thousand. The party broke up into

JUNE 19

little separate knots: the storm had ceased, and I followed Charlotte into the ballroom. On the way she said, “The game banished their fears of the storm.” I could make no reply. “I myself,” she continued, “was as much frightened as any of them; but by affecting courage, to keep up the spirits of the others, I forgot my apprehensions.” We went to the window. It was still thundering at a distance: a soft rain was pouring down over the country, and filled the air around us with deli- cious odours. Charlotte leaned forward on her arm; her eyes wandered over the scene; she raised them to the sky, and then

I NO LONGER remember where I stopped in my narrative: I only know it was two in the morning when I went to bed; and if you had been with me, that I might have talked instead of writing to you, I should, in all probability, have kept you up till daylight.

I think I have not yet related what happened as we rode home from the ball, nor have I time to tell you now. It was a most magnificent sunrise: the whole country was refreshed, and the rain fell drop by drop from the trees in the forest.

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