About dinner-time I went to walk by the river-side, for I had noappetite. Everything around seemed gloomy: a cold and damp easterlywind blew from the mountains, and black, heavy clouds spread overthe plain. I observed at a distance a man in a tattered coat: hewas wandering among the rocks, and seemed to be looking for plants.When I approached, he turned round at the noise; and I saw thathe had an interesting countenance in which a settled melancholy,strongly marked by benevolence, formed the principal feature.His long black hair was divided, and flowed over his shoulders.As his garb betokened a person of the lower order, I thought hewould not take it ill if I inquired about his business; and Itherefore asked what he was seeking. He replied, with a deep sigh,that he was looking for flowers, and could find none. "But it isnot the season," I observed, with a smile. "Oh, there are so manyflowers!" he answered, as he came nearer to me. "In my gardenthere are roses and honeysuckles of two sorts: one sort was givento me by my father! they grow as plentifully as weeds; I have beenlooking for them these two days, and cannot find them. There areflowers out there, yellow, blue, and red; and that centaury has avery pretty blossom: but I can find none of them." I observed hispeculiarity, and therefore asked him, with an air of indifference,what he intended to do with his flowers. A strange smile overspreadhis countenance. Holding his finger to his mouth, he expressed ahope that I would not betray him; and he then informed me that hehad promised to gather a nosegay for his mistress. "That is right,"said I. "Oh!" he replied, "she possesses many other things aswell: she is very rich." "And yet," I continued, "she likes yournosegays." "Oh, she has jewels and crowns!" he exclaimed. I askedwho she was. "If the states-general would but pay me," he added,"I should be quite another man. Alas! there was a time when I wasso happy; but that is past, and I am now--" He raised his swimmingeyes to heaven. "And you were happy once?" I observed. "Ah,would I were so still!" was his reply. "I was then as gay andcontented as a man can be." An old woman, who was coming towardus, now called out, "Henry, Henry! where are you? We have beenlooking for you everywhere: come to dinner." "Is he your son?"I inquired, as I went toward her. "Yes," she said: "he is my poor,unfortunate son. The Lord has sent me a heavy affliction." I askedwhether he had been long in this state. She answered, "He has beenas calm as he is at present for about six months. I thank Heaventhat he has so far recovered: he was for one whole year quite raving,and chained down in a madhouse. Now he injures no one, but talksof nothing else than kings and queens. He used to be a very good,quiet youth, and helped to maintain me; he wrote a very fine hand;but all at once he became melancholy, was seized with a violentfever, grew distracted, and is now as you see. If I were only totell you, sir--" I interrupted her by asking what period it wasin which he boasted of having been so happy. "Poor boy!" sheexclaimed, with a smile of cormpassion, "he means the time whenhe was completely deranged, a time he never ceases to regret,when he was in the madhouse, and unconscious of everything." Iwas thunderstruck: I placed a piece of money in her hand, andhastened away.。， It is said that the Bonona stone, when placed in the sun, attractsthe rays, and for a time appears luminous in the dark. So was itwith me and this servant. The idea that Charlotte's eyes had dwelton his countenance, his cheek, his very apparel, endeared them allinestimably to me, so that at the moment I would not have partedfrom him for a thousand crowns. His presence made me so happy!Beware of laughing at me, Wilhelm. Can that be a delusion whichmakes us happy?
The consolation Charlotte can bring to an invalid I experiencefrom my own heart, which suffers more from her absence than manya poor creature lingering on a bed of sickness. She is gone tospend a few days in the town with a very worthy woman, who is givenover by the physicians, and wishes to have Charlotte near her inher last moments. I accompanied her last week on a visit to theVicar of S--, a small village in the mountains, about a leaguehence. We arrived about four o'clock: Charlotte had taken herlittle sister with her. When we entered the vicarage court, wefound the good old man sitting on a bench before the door, underthe shade of two large walnut-trees. At the sight of Charlottehe seemed to gain new life, rose, forgot his stick, and venturedto walk toward her. She ran to him, and made him sit down again;then, placing herself by his side, she gave him a number of messagesfrom her father, and then caught up his youngest child, a dirty,ugly little thing, the joy of his old age, and kissed it. I wishyou could have witnessed her attention to this old man, --how sheraised her voice on account of his deafness; how she told him ofhealthy young people, who had been carried off when it was leastexpected; praised the virtues of Carlsbad, and commended hisdetermination to spend the ensuing summer there; and assured himthat he looked better and stronger than he did when she saw himlast. I, in the meantime, paid attention to his good lady. Theold man seemed quite in spirits; and as I could not help admiringthe beauty of the walnut-trees, which formed such an agreeableshade over our heads, he began, though with some little difficulty,to tell us their history. "As to the oldest," said he, "we do notknow who planted it, -- some say one clergyman, and some another:but the younger one, there behind us, is exactly the age of my wife,fifty years old next October; her father planted it in the morning,and in the evening she came into the world. My wife's father wasmy predecessor here, and I cannot tell you how fond he was of thattree; and it is fully as dear to me. Under the shade of that verytree, upon a log of wood, my wife was seated knitting, when I, apoor student, came into this court for the first time, just sevenand twenty years ago." Charlotte inquired for his daughter. Hesaid she was gone with Herr Schmidt to the meadows, and was withthe haymakers. The old man then resumed his story, and told ushow his predecessor had taken a fancy to him, as had his daughterlikewise; and how he had become first his curate, and subsequentlyhis successor. He had scarcely finished his story when his daughterreturned through the garden, accompanied by the above-mentionedHerr Schmidt. She welcomed Charlotte affectionately, and I confessI was much taken with her appearance. She was a lively-looking,good-humoured brunette, quite competent to amuse one for a shorttime in the country. Her lover (for such Herr Schmidt evidentlyappeared to be) was a polite, reserved personage, and would notjoin our conversation, notwithstanding all Charlotte's endeavoursto draw him out. I was much annoyed at observing, by his countenance,that his silence did not arise from want of talent, but from capriceand ill-humour. This subsequently became very evident, when weset out to take a walk, and Frederica joining Charlotte, with whomI was talking, the worthy gentleman's face, which was naturallyrather sombre, became so dark and angry that Charlotte was obligedto touch my arm, and remind me that I was talking too much toFrederica. Nothing distresses me more than to see men tormenteach other; particularly when in the flower of their age, in thevery season of pleasure, they waste their few short days of sunshinein quarrels and disputes, and only perceive their error when itis too late to repair it. This thought dwelt upon my mind; andin the evening, when we returned to the vicar's, and were sittinground the table with our bread end milk, the conversation turnedon the joys and sorrows of the world, I could not resist thetemptation to inveigh bitterly against ill-humour. "We are apt,"said I, "to complain, but - with very little cause, that our happydays are few, and our evil days many. If our hearts were alwaysdisposed to receive the benefits Heaven sends us, we should acquirestrength to support evil when it comes." "But," observed the vicar'swife, "we cannot always command our tempers, so much depends uponthe constitution: when the body suffers, the mind is ill at ease.""I acknowledge that," I continued; "but we must consider such adisposition in the light of a disease, and inquire whether thereis no remedy for it."。， Yesterday evening I went forth. A rapid thaw had suddenly setin: I had been informed that the river had risen, that the brookshad all overflowed their banks, and that the whole vale of Walheimwas under water! Upon the stroke of twelve I hastened forth. Ibeheld a fearful sight. The foaming torrents rolled from themountains in the moonlight, -- fields and meadows, trees andhedges, were confounded together; and the entire valley wasconverted into a deep lake, which was agitated by the roaringwind! And when the moon shone forth, and tinged the black cloudswith silver, and the impetuous torrent at my feet foamed and resoundedwith awful and grand impetuosity, I was overcome by a mingled sensationof apprehension and delight. With extended arms I looked down intothe yawning abyss, and cried, "Plunge!'" For a moment my sensesforsook me, in the intense delight of ending my sorrows and mysufferings by a plunge into that gulf! And then I felt as if Iwere rooted to the earth, and incapable of seeking an end to mywoes! But my hour is not yet come: I feel it is not. O Wilhelm,how willingly could I abandon my existence to ride the whirlwind,or to embrace the torrent! and then might not rapture perchance bethe portion of this liberated soul?
The arrival of Werther's servant occasioned her the greatestembarrassment. He gave Albert a note, which the latter coldlyhanded to his wife, saying, at the same time, "Give him the pistols.I wish him a pleasant journey," he added, turning to the servant.These words fell upon Charlotte like a thunderstroke: she rosefrom her seat half-fainting, and unconscious of what she did. Shewalked mechanically toward the wall, took down the pistols with atrembling hand, slowly wiped the dust from them, and would havedelayed longer, had not Albert hastened her movements by an impatientlook. She then delivered the fatal weapons to the servant, withoutbeing able to utter a word. As soon as he had departed, she foldedup her work, and retired at once to her room, her heart overcomewith the most fearful forebodings. She anticipated some dreadfulcalamity. She was at one moment on the point of going to herhusband, throwing herself at his feet, and acquainting him withall that had happened on the previous evening, that she mightacknowledge her fault, and explain her apprehensions; then she sawthat such a step would be useless, as she would certainly be unableto induce Albert to visit Werther. Dinner was served; and a kindfriend whom she had persuaded to remain assisted to sustain theconversation, which was carried on by a sort of compulsion, tillthe events of the morning were forgotten.。，
What beings are men, whose whole thoughts are occupied with formand ceremony, who for years together devote their mental andphysical exertions to the task of advancing themselves but onestep, and endeavouring to occupy a higher place at the table. Notthat such persons would otherwise want employment: on the contrary,they give themselves much trouble by neglecting important businessfor such petty trifles. Last week a question of precedence aroseat a sledging-party, and all our amusement was spoiled.。，
。， About ten in the morning, Werther called his servant, and, whilsthe was dressing, told him that in a few days he intended to setout upon a journey, and bade him therefore lay his clothes inorder, and prepare them for packing up, call in all his accounts,fetch home the books he had lent, and give two months' pay to thepoor dependants who were accustomed to receive from him a weeklyallowance.
Translated by Thomas Carlyle and R.D. Boylan。， Oh, what a night, Wilhelm! I can henceforth bear anything. Ishall never see her again. Oh, why cannot I fall on your neck,and, with floods of tears and raptures, give utterance to all thepassions which distract my heart! Here I sit gasping for breath,and struggling to compose myself. I wait for day, and at sunrisethe horses are to be at the door.
， A recollection of that mysterious estrangement which had latelysubsisted between herself and Albert, and which she could neverthoroughly understand, was now beyond measure painful to her.Even the prudent and the good have before now hesitated to explaintheir mutual differences, and have dwelt in silence upon theirimaginary grievances, until circumstances have become so entangled,that in that critical juncture, when a calm explanation wouldhave saved all parties, an understanding was impossible. Andthus if domestic confidence had been earlier established betweenthem, if love and kind forbearance had mutually animated andexpanded their hearts, it might not, perhaps, even yet have beentoo late to save our friend.。，