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Translated by R.D. Boylan Edited by Nathen Haskell Dole - page 73 / 106

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Goethe

memory now torments me! why were they so fortunate? Be- cause I then waited with patience for the blessings of the Eternal, and received his gifts with the grateful feelings of a thankful heart.

my sufferings. In spite of my wretchedness, I have still strength enough for endurance. I revere religion —you know I do. I feel that it can impart strength to the feeble and comfort to

NOVEMBER 8

the afflicted, but does it affect all men equally? Consider this vast universe: you will see thousands for whom it has never

CHARLOTTE has reproved me for my excesses, with so much tenderness and goodness! I have lately been in the habit of drinking more wine than heretofore. “Don’t do it,” she said. “Think of Charlotte!” “Think of you!” I answered; “need you bid me do so? Think of you —I do not think of you: you are ever before my soul! This very morning I sat on the spot where, a few days ago, you descended from the carriage, and— ” She immediately changed the subject to prevent me from pursuing it farther. My dear friend, my energies are all pros- trated: she can do with me what she pleases.

NOVEMBER 15

I THANK YOU, Wilhelm, for your cordial sympathy, for your excellent advice; and I implore you to be quiet. Leave me to

existed, thousands for whom it will never exist, whether it be preached to them, or not; and must it, then, necessarily exist for me? Does not the Son of God himself say that they are his whom the Father has given to him? Have I been given to him? What if the Father will retain me for himself, as my heart sometimes suggests? I pray you, do not misinterpret this. Do not extract derision from my harmless words. I pour out my whole soul before you. Silence were otherwise prefer- able to me, but I need not shrink from a subject of which few know more than I do myself. What is the destiny of man, but to fill up the measure of his sufferings, and to drink his allotted cup of bitterness? And if that same cup proved bitter to the God of heaven, under a human form, why should I affect a foolish pride, and call it sweet? Why should I be ashamed of shrinking at that fearful moment, when my whole being will tremble between existence and annihilation, when

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