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merits, in that abyss, and tossing amidst the waves. Why were my feet rooted to the earth? why could I not thus have put an end to my misery? — But I feel it, my dear friend, my hour is not yet come. With what delight should I have changed my nature, and have incorporated with the whirlwinds to rend the clouds and disturb the waters! Perhaps I may one day quit my prison, and taste these pleasures. I looked sorrowfully down upon a little spot where I had sat under a willow by the side of Charlotte, after a summer's walk; that also was under water. I could hardly distin6 guish guish the tree. Alas! I then thought" of the meadows, the fields round the* .hunting-lodge;^he walks, the green recesses, now perhaps laid waste by the torrent; and the memory of time for ever lost entered my heart. — Thus to the sleeping captive, dreams recall all the blessings he is deprived of.-—I stopped.—I don't reproach myself, I have the courage to die;— I should have—I am now like an old and wretched woman, who picks dry sticks along the hedge side, and begs bread from door to door, to prolong for a few moments her feeble and miserable existence.
I KNOW not how it is, my dear friend, my imagination is full of terror! Is not my love for her the purest and the most sacred? Is it not the love of a brother for his sifter? Did ever my heart form a wish that was criminal ?—I will make no vows.— And now a dream—Oh! they were much in the right who attributed contending passions to powers that are foreign to us !—This very night—I tremble as I write it— this very night I held her in my arms»I pressed her to my bosom, devoured voured her trembling lips with kisses. The most melting softness was in her eyes, in mine equal extasy.—When I now at this moment recall these transports with delight, am I guilty of a crime ?—Oh! Charlotte! Charlotte! 'tis all over ;— my senses are disordered, and for these seven days I have not been myself;—my eyes are full of tears ;—all places are alike to me •, in none am I at peace;—I desire nothing, I ask nothing.—Ah! 'twere better far that I should depart!
[The Editor to the Reader.
IN order to give a connected account of the last days of Werter, I am obliged to interrupt the course of his letters by a narration; the materials for which were furnished to me by Charlotte, Albert, his own servant, and some other witnesses.
THE passion of Werter had insensibly diminished the harmony which subsisted between Charlotte and her husband. The affection of Albert for his wife was sincere, but calm, and had by degrees given place to his business. He did not