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Translated by R.D. Boylan Edited by Nathen Haskell Dole - page 33 / 106

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Goethe

and we all know that he is a rough, disagreeable person to be connected with. You say my mother wishes me to be em- ployed. I could not help laughing at that. Am I not suffi- ciently employed? And is it not in reality the same, whether I shell peas or count lentils? The world runs on from one folly to another; and the man who, solely from regard to the opin- ion of others, and without any wish or necessity of his own, toils after gold, honour, or any other phantom, is no better

this state of mind continues much longer, and will take to modelling, if I only knead dough.

I have commenced Charlotte’s portrait three times, and have as often disgraced myself. This is the more annoying, as I was formerly very happy in taking likenesses. I have since sketched her profile, and must content myself with that.

JULY 25

than a fool.

JULY 24

YOU INSIST so much on my not neglecting my drawing, that it would be as well for me to say nothing as to confess how little I have lately done.

YES, DEAR CHARLOTTE! I will order and arrange everything. Only give me more commissions, the more the better. One thing, however, I must request: use no more writing-sand with the dear notes you send me. Today I raised your letter hastily to my lips, and it set my teeth on edge.

I never felt happier, I never understood nature better, even down to the veriest stem or smallest blade of grass; and yet I am unable to express myself: my powers of execution are so weak, everything seems to swim and float before me, so that I cannot make a clear, bold outline. But I fancy I should suc- ceed better if I had some clay or wax to model. I shall try, if

JULY 26

I HAVE OFTEN determined not to see her so frequently. But who could keep such a resolution? Every day I am exposed to the temptation, and promise faithfully that to-morrow I will really stay away: but, when tomorrow comes, I find some

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