Previous Contents Index Next

The Sorrows of Werter

By Johann Wolfgang Goethe


August 22.

MY active spirits have degenerated into uneasy indolence: -- I cannot employ myself; I cannot be idle. I can- {94} not think; I am sensible of the beauties of nature, and books are distasteful to me. -- When we give ourselves up, every thing fails us. -- I wish sometimes I was a mechanic; when I waked in the morning I should have some pursuit, some hope, a task at least for the day. I often envy Albert, when I see him buried in a heap of papers and parchments up to his eyes; and I say to myself, in his place I should be happy. -- I have more than once intended to write to you, and to the minister, for the enployment which you think I might obtain, I believe myself I might have it: the minister has long shewn a regard for me, and has often told me that I ought to seek some employment. It is the business of an hour only: But when the fable recurs to me of the horse, who, being weary of his liberty, suffered himself to be saddled and bridled, and then found reason to repent; I say, when this fable recurs to me, I don't know what to determine upon. Besides, my dear friend, {95} this desire to change my situation, is it not the consequence of that restless, perturbed spirit, which would equally pursue me in every situation in life?