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The Sorrows of Werter

By Johann Wolfgang Goethe


August 10.

IF I were not deprived of all understanding, I might lead the happiest life in the world here; so many agreeable circumstances, and of a kind to make a worthy man happy, are seldom united. Alas! I feel it but too sensibly! happiness depends solely on the mind! To be considered as making part of the most amiable family in the world, to be beloved by the father as a son, by the children as a father, and by Charlotte -- and this worthy Albert, {74} who does not interrupt my happiness by any stroke of ill-humour, who salutes me cordially, and prefers me to every thing but Charlotte. In fact, nothing can be more ridiculous than our connection, and yet I am frequently softened even to tears. When he talks to me of Charlotte's most respectable mother; when he describes to me her last moments, and the affecting scene in which she gave up to her daughter the care of her children and family; when he tells me how Charlotte immediately assumed another character; what a skilful economist, and an active housewife she became, and what a tender mother; every day displaying all these qualities, and yet preserving her agreeable chearfulness and vivacity; I walk by the side of him, pick up flowers by the way, with great attention make a nosegay, and -- throw it into the first brook I come to, and watch it as it glides gently down. I don't recollect {75} whether I told you that Albert is to settle here. He is much esteemed at court, and has obtained a place which brings him into a good income. I have seen few men so punctual and methodical in business.