The Sorrows ofYoung Werther
impart even a moment’s strength to the departing soul, or quicken her with a transitory consolation.”
Charlotte seated herself upon the low wall, and we gathered about her. I looked around, and recalled the time when my heart was unoccupied and free. “Dear fountain!” I said, “since that time I have no more come to enjoy cool repose by thy fresh stream: I have passed thee with careless steps, and scarcely bestowed a glance upon thee.” I looked down, and observed Charlotte’s little sister, Jane, coming up the steps with a glass of water. I turned toward Charlotte, and I felt her influence over me. Jane at the moment approached with the glass. Her sister, Marianne, wished to take it from her. “No!” cried the
At these words the remembrance of a similar scene at which I had been once present fell with full force upon my heart. I buried my face in my handkerchief, and hastened from the room, and was only recalled to my recollection by Charlotte’s voice, who reminded me that it was time to return home. With what tenderness she chid me on the way for the too eager interest I took in everything! She declared it would do me injury, and that I ought to spare myself. Yes, my angel! I
will do so for your sake.
child, with the sweetest expression of face, “Charlotte must
She is still with her dying friend, and is still the same bright, beautiful creature whose presence softens pain, and sheds hap- piness around whichever way she turns. She went out yester- day with her little sisters: I knew it, and went to meet them; and we walked together. In about an hour and a half we re- turned to the town. We stopped at the spring I am so fond of, and which is now a thousand times dearer to me than ever.
The affection and simplicity with which this was uttered so charmed me, that I sought to express my feelings by catching up the child and kissing her heartily. She was frightened, and began to cry. “You should not do that,” said Charlotte: I felt perplexed. “Come, Jane,” she continued, taking her hand, and leading her down the steps again, “it is no matter: wash your- self quickly in the fresh water.” I stood and watched them; and when I saw the little dear rubbing her cheeks with her wet hands, in full belief that all the impurities contracted from