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Translated by R.D. Boylan Edited by Nathen Haskell Dole - page 36 / 106

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The Sorrows ofYoung Werther

periling of life by doubt and procrastination!” But I know

ness! To be admitted into this most charming family, to be

not if I am right, and let us leave these comparisons.

loved by the father as a son, by the children as a father, and by

Enough! There are moments, Wilhelm, when I could rise up and shake it all off, and when, if I only knew where to go, I could fly from this place.

THE SAME EVENING

MY DIARY, which I have for some time neglected, came before me today; and I am amazed to see how deliberately I have entangled myself step by step. To have seen my position so clearly, and yet to have acted so like a child! Even still I behold the result plainly, and yet have no thought of acting with greater prudence.

AUGUST 10

IF I WERE NOT A FOOL, I could spend the happiest and most delightful life here. So many agreeable circumstances, and of a kind to ensure a worthy man’s happiness, are seldom united. Alas! I feel it too sensibly, —the heart alone makes our happi-

Charlotte! then the noble Albert, who never disturbs my hap- piness by any appearance of ill-humour, receiving me with

the heartiest affection, and loving me, next to Charlotte, bet- ter than all the world! Wilhelm, you would be delighted to hear us in our rambles, and conversations about Charlotte. Nothing in the world can be more absurd than our connec- tion, and yet the thought of it often moves me to tears.

He tells me sometimes of her excellent mother; how, upon her death-bed, she had committed her house and children to Charlotte, and had given Charlotte herself in charge to him;

how, since that time, a new spirit had taken possession of her; how, in care and anxiety for their welfare, she became a real mother to them; how every moment of her time was de- voted to some labour of love in their behalf, —and yet her mirth and cheerfulness had never forsaken her. I walk by his side, pluck flowers by the way, arrange them carefully into a nosegay, then fling them into the first stream I pass, and watch them as they float gently away. I forget whether I told you that Albert is to remain here. He has received a government

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