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Translated by R.D. Boylan Edited by Nathen Haskell Dole - page 34 / 106

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The Sorrows ofYoung Werther

irresistible reason for seeing her; and, before I can account for it, I am with her again. Either she has said on the previous evening “You will be sure to call to-morrow,” —and who could stay away then? —or she gives me some commission, and I find it essential to take her the answer in person; or the day is fine, and I walk to Walheim; and, when I am there, it is only half a league farther to her. I am within the charmed atmosphere, and soon find myself at her side. My grandmother used to tell us a story of a mountain of loadstone. When any vessels came near it, they were instantly deprived of their iron- work: the nails flew to the mountain, and the unhappy crew

broken my heart! And he is so considerate: he has not given Charlotte one kiss in my presence. Heaven reward him for it! I must love him for the respect with which he treats her. He shows a regard for me, but for this I suspect I am more in- debted to Charlotte than to his own fancy for me. Women have a delicate tact in such matters, and it should be so. They cannot always succeed in keeping two rivals on terms with each other; but, when they do, they are the only gainers.

I cannot help esteeming Albert. The coolness of his temper contrasts strongly with the impetuosity of mine, which I can- not conceal. He has a great deal of feeling, and is fully sensible

perished amidst the disjointed planks.

JULY 30

of the treasure he possesses in Charlotte. He is free from ill- humour, which you know is the fault I detest most. He regards me as a man of sense; and my attachment to

Albert is arrived, and I must take my departure. Were he the best and noblest of men, and I in every respect his inferior, I could not endure to see him in possession of such a perfect being. Possession! —enough, Wilhelm: her betrothed is here,

  • a fine, worthy fellow, whom one cannot help liking. For-

tunately I was not present at their meeting. It would have

Charlotte, and the interest I take in all that concerns her, aug- ment his triumph and his love. I shall not inquire whether he may not at times tease her with some little jealousies; as I know, that, were I in his place, I should not be entirely free from such sensations.

But, be that as it may, my pleasure with Charlotte is over. Call it folly or infatuation, what signifies a name? The thing

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