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andeed own even to himself, that -there was this difference between the rdays of courtlhip and the days of .marriage; but he felt a certain displeasure at the marked attentions of Werter. It was an infringement of his right, and a kind of tacit reproof. This idea increased the dissatisfaction he felt from business that wa« continually accumulating, that was full of difficulties, and for which he -was but indifferently paid. The grief which preyed on Werter's heart had exhausted the strength of his genius; he had lost his vivacity, and his quick perceptions; in society he appeared joyless and flat.
This disposition had of course an influence upon Charlotte,who saw him every day; and stie fell into a sort of melancholy ; which Albert attributed to the progress of her attachment to her lover, and Werter to the deep concern she felt for the alteration in Albert's conduct towards her. The want of confidence in these two friends made their society irksome to each other. Albert avoided going to his wife's apartment when Werter was there; and Werter who .perceived it, after some fruitless efforts to desist, took those opportunities to see her, when he knew Albert was engaged. Discontent I and and bitterness of heart encreased; till at length Albert very drily told his wife, that were it for the sake of appearance only, she should behave differently to Werter, and not see him so often. About the same time, this unfortunate young man was confirmed in his resolution to quit this world. It had long been his most favourite thought, and particularly since his return to the neighbourhood of Charlotte. He had always encouraged it, but he would not commit such an action with precipitation and rashness; he was determined to take this step like a man who knows what he is doing, is resolved solved and firm, but calm .and tranquil. His doubts and struggles may be seen by the following fragment, which was found without any date amongst his papers, and which appears to have been the beginning of a letter to his sriend.]
—Her presence, her fate, the interest she shews for mine, have power still to draw some tears from my withered brain!
One lifts up the curtain -T one passes to the other side—that is all! —And why all these delays? why all these fears ?—Because we know not what is behind—because there is no
Vol. IT. I returning— returning—and we suppose that all is darkness and confusion where there is uncertainty.—
[His mortification when he was secretary to the ambassador, was never effaced from his memory. Whenever he mentioned it, which did not often happen, it was easy to .'perceive that he thought his honour irrecoverably wounded .by that adventure ^ and it gave him a distaste for public affairs, and all political business. He then gave way entirely to those singular opinions and sentiments which are to be met with in these letters; and- to a passion.