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Translated by R.D. Boylan Edited by Nathen Haskell Dole - page 83 / 106





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est responsibility; that everything must follow in the usual course, and pursue the ordinary channel.

Werther, however, did not abandon his enterprise, and even besought the judge to connive at the flight of the prisoner. But this proposal was peremptorily rejected. Albert, who had taken some part in the discussion, coincided in opinion with the judge. At this Werther became enraged, and took his leave in great anger, after the judge had more than once assured him that the prisoner could not be saved.

The excess of his grief at this assurance may be inferred from a note we have found amongst his papers, and which was doubtless written upon this very occasion.

“You cannot be saved, unfortunate man! I see clearly that we cannot be saved!”

Werther was highly incensed at the observations which Albert had made to the judge in this matter of the prisoner. He thought he could detect therein a little bitterness toward himself personally; and although, upon reflection, it could not escape his sound judgment that their view of the matter was correct, he felt the greatest possible reluctance to make such an admission.

A memorandum of Werther’s upon this point, expressive of his general feelings toward Albert, has been found amongst his papers.

“What is the use of my continually repeating that he is a good and estimable man? He is an inward torment to me, and I am incapable of being just toward him.”

One fine evening in winter, when the weather seemed in- clined to thaw, Charlotte and Albert were returning home together. The former looked from time to time about her, as if she missed Werther’s company. Albert began to speak of him, and censured him for his prejudices. He alluded to his unfortunate attachment, and wished it were possible to dis- continue his acquaintance. “I desire it on our own account,” he added; “and I request you will compel him to alter his deportment toward you, and to visit you less frequently. The world is censorious, and I know that here and there we are spoken of.” Charlotte made no reply, and Albert seemed to feel her silence. At least, from that time he never again spoke of Werther; and, when she introduced the subject, he allowed the conversation to die away, or else he directed the discourse into another channel.


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