。， She is to me a sacred being. All passion is still in her presence:I cannot express my sensations when I am near her. I feel as ifmy soul beat in every nerve of my body. There is a melody whichshe plays on the piano with angelic skill, -- so simple is it,and yet so spiritual! It is her favourite air; and, when sheplays the first note, all pain, care, and sorrow disappear fromme in a moment.
It is certain that she had formed a determination, by every meansin her power to keep Werther at a distance; and, if she hesitatedin her decision, it was from a sincere feeling of friendly pity,knowing how much it would cost him, indeed, that he would find italmost impossible to comply with her wishes. But various causesnow urged her to be firm. Her hushand preserved a strict silenceabout the whole matter; and she never made it a subject ofconversation, feeling bound to prove to him by her conduct thather sentiments agreed with his.。，
When I pass through the same gate, and walk along the same roadwhich first conducted me to Charlotte, my heart sinks within meat the change that has since taken place. All, all, is altered!No sentiment, no pulsation of my heart, is the same. My sensationsare such as would occur to some departed prince whose spirit shouldreturn to visit the superb palace which he had built in happy times,adorned with costly magnificence, and left to a beloved son, butwhose glory he should find departed, and its halls deserted andin ruins.。， About eleven o'clock Werther asked his servant if Albert hadreturned. He answered, "Yes;" for he had seen him pass on horseback:upon which Werther sent him the following note, unsealed:
。， But, be that as it may, my pleasure with Charlotte is over. Callit folly or infatuation, what signifies a name? The thing speaksfor itself. Before Albert came, I knew all that I know now. Iknew I could make no pretensions to her, nor did I offer any, thatis, as far as it was possible, in the presence of so much loveliness,not to pant for its enjoyment. And now, behold me like a sillyfellow, staring with astonishment when another comes in, anddeprives me of my love.
。， I have often, my dear Wilhelm, reflected on the eagerness men feelto wander and make new discoveries, and upon that secret impulsewhich afterward inclines them to return to their narrow circle,conform to the laws of custom, and embarrass themselves no longerwith what passes around them.
Albert, who could not see the justice of the comparison, offeredsome further objections, and, amongst others, urged that I hadtaken the case of a mere ignorant girl. But how any man of sense,of more enlarged views and experience, could be excused, he wasunable to comprehend. "My friend!" I exclaimed, "man is but man;and, whatever be the extent of his reasoning powers, they are oflittle avail when passion rages within, and he feels himselfconfined by the narrow limits of nature. It were better, then --but we will talk of this some other time," I said, and caught upmy hat. Alas! my heart was full; and we parted without convictionon either side. How rarely in this world do men understand eachother!。， I have often determined not to see her so frequently. But whocould keep such a resolution? Every day I am exposed to thetemptation, and promise faithfully that to-morrow I will reallystay away: but, when tomorrow comes, I find some irresistiblereason for seeing her; and, before I can account for it, I am withher again. Either she has said on the previous evening "You willbe sure to call to-morrow," -- and who could stay away then? --orshe gives me some commission, and I find it essential to takeher the answer in person; or the day is fine, and I walk to Walheim;and, when I am there, it is only half a league farther to her. Iam within the charmed atmosphere, and soon find myself at her side.My grandmother used to tell us a story of a mountain of loadstone.When any vessels came near it, they were instantly deprived oftheir ironwork: the nails flew to the mountain, and the unhappycrew perished amidst the disjointed planks.
As I contemplated the mountains which lay stretched out before me,I thought how often they had been the object of my dearest desires.Here used I to sit for hours together with my eyes bent upon them,ardently longing to wander in the shade of those woods, to losemyself in those valleys, which form so delightful an object in thedistance. With what reluctance did I leave this charming spot;when my hour of recreation was over, and my leave of absenceexpired! I drew near to the village: all the well-known oldsummerhouses and gardens were recognised again; I disliked the newones, and all other alterations which had taken place. I enteredthe village, and all my former feelings returned. I cannot, mydear friend, enter into details, charming as were my sensations:they would be dull in the narration. I had intended to lodge inthe market-place, near our old house. As soon as I entered, Iperceived that the schoolroom, where our childhood had been taughtby that good old woman, was converted into a shop. I called tomind the sorrow, the heaviness, the tears, and oppression of heart,which I experienced in that confinement. Every step produced someparticular impression. A pilgrim in the Holy Land does not meetso many spots pregnant with tender recollections, and his soul ishardly moved with greater devotion. One incident will serve forillustration. I followed the course of a stream to a farm, formerlya delightful walk of mine, and paused at the spot, where, whenboys, we used to amuse ourselves making ducks and drakes upon thewater. I recollected so well how I used formerly to watch thecourse of that same stream, following it with inquiring eagerness,forming romantic ideas of the countries it was to pass through;but my imagination was soon exhausted: while the water continuedflowing farther and farther on, till my fancy became bewilderedby the contemplation of an invisible distance. Exactly such, mydear friend, so happy and so confined, were the thoughts of ourgood ancestors. Their feelings and their poetry were fresh aschildhood. And, when Ulysses talks of the immeasurable sea andboundless earth, his epithets are true, natural, deeply felt, andmysterious. Of what importance is it that I have learned, withevery schoolboy, that the world is round? Man needs but littleearth for enjoyment, and still less for his final repose.。， I turned my sorrowful eyes toward a favourite spot, where I wasaccustomed to sit with Charlotte beneath a willow after a fatiguingwalk. Alas! it was covered with water, and with difficulty I foundeven the meadow. And the fields around the hunting-lodge, thoughtI. Has our dear bower been destroyed by this unpitying storm?And a beam of past happiness streamed upon me, as the mind of acaptive is illumined by dreams of flocks and herds and bygone joysof home! But I am free from blame. I have courage to die! PerhapsI have, -- but I still sit here, like a wretched pauper, who collectsfagots, and begs her bread from door to door, that she may prolongfor a few days a miserable existence which she is unwilling to resign.
I was on the point of breaking off the conversation, for nothingputs me so completely out of patience as the utterance of a wretchedcommonplace when I am talking from my inmost heart. However, Icomposed myself, for I had often heard the same observation withsufficient vexation; and I answered him, therefore, with a littlewarmth, "You call this a weakness -- beware of being led astrayby appearances. When a nation, which has long groaned under theintolerable yoke of a tyrant, rises at last and throws off itschains, do you call that weakness? The man who, to rescue hishouse from the flames, finds his physical strength redoubled, sothat he lifts burdens with ease, which, in the absence of excitement,he could scarcely move; he who, under the rage of an insult, attacksand puts to flight half a score of his enemies, are such personsto be called weak? My good friend, if resistance be strength, howcan the highest degree of resistance be a weakness?"。， He values my understanding and talents more highly than my heart,but I am proud of the latter only. It is the sole source ofeverything of our strength, happiness, and misery. All the knowledgeI possess every one else can acquire, but my heart is exclusivelymy own.
>From beneath the chestnut trees, there is an extensive view. ButI remember that I have mentioned all this in a former letter, andhave described the tall mass of beech trees at the end, and howthe avenue grows darker and darker as it winds its way among them,till it ends in a gloomy recess, which has all the charm of amysterious solitude. I still remember the strange feeling ofmelancholy which came over me the first time I entered that darkretreat, at bright midday. I felt some secret foreboding that itwould, one day, be to me the scene of some happiness or misery.。， I shall never be myself again! Wherever I go, some fatality occursto distract me. Even to-day alas -- for our destiny! alas forhuman nature!
， He spent the rest of the evening in arranging his papers: he toreand burned a great many; others he sealed up, and directed toWilhelm. They contained some detached thoughts and maxims, someof which I have perused. At ten o'clock he ordered his fire tobe made up, and a bottle of wine to be brought to him. He thendismissed his servant, whose room, as well as the apartments ofthe rest of the family, was situated in another part of the house.The servant lay down without undressing, that he might be thesooner ready for his journey in the morning, his master havinginformed him that the post-horses would be at the door before sixo'clock.。， His troubles and internal struggles may be understood from thefollowing fragment, which was found, without any date, amongsthis papers, and appears to have formed the beginning of a letterto Wilhelm.