Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Werther: "She does not feel, she does not know"


(Waterhouse: Half sick of the shadow)



NOVEMBER 21

She does not feel, she does not know, that she is preparing a poison which will destroy us both; and I drink deeply of the draught which is to prove my destruction. What mean those looks of kindness with which she often -- often? no, not often, but sometimes, regards me, that complacency with which she hears the involuntary sentiments which frequently escape me, and the tender pity for my sufferings which appears in her countenance?
Yesterday, when I took leave she seized me by the hand, and said, "Adieu, dear Werther." Dear Werther! It was the first time she ever called me dear: the sound sunk deep into my heart. I have repeated it a hundred times; and last night, on going to bed, and talking to myself of various things, I suddenly said, "Good night, dear Werther!" and then could not but laugh at myself.

NOVEMBER 22

I cannot pray, "Leave her to me !" and yet she often seems to belong to me. I cannot pray, "Give her to me!" for she is another's. In this way I affect mirth over my troubles; and, if I had time, I could compose a whole litany of antitheses.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Nathen Haskell Dole, translation by R.D. Boyla

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