nevertheless， unwilling to avow？ They had preserved so long a silence
toward each other and should she be the first to break it by so unexpected
a discovery ？ She feared that the mere statement of Werther's visit would
trouble him ， and his distress would be heightened by her perfect candour.
She wished that he could see her in her true light， and judge her without
prejudice ； but was she anxious that he should read her inmost soul？
On the other hand ， could she deceive a being to whom all her thoughts
had ever been exposed as clearly as crystal ， and from whom no sentiment
had ever been concealed ？ These reflections made her anxious and thoughtful.
Her mind still dwelt on Werther ， who was now lost to her， but whom
she could not bring herself to resign ， and for whom she knew nothing
was left but despair if she should be lost to him for ever.
A recollection of that mysterious estrangement which had lately subsisted
between herself and Albert， and which she could never thoroughly understand，
was now beyond measure painful to her. Even the prudent and the good have
before now hesitated to explain their mutual differences， and have dwelt
in silence upon their imaginary grievances， until circumstances have
become so entangled ， that in that critical juncture ， when a calm explanation
would have saved all parties， an understanding was impossible. And thus
if domestic confidence had been earlier established between them， if
love and kind forbearance had mutually animated and expanded their hearts，
it might not， perhaps， even yet have been too late to save our friend.
But we must not forget one remarkable circumstance. We may observe
from the character of Werther's correspondence， that he had never affected
to conceal his anxious desire to quit this world. He had often discussed
the subject with Albert ； and， between the latter and Charlotte ， it
had not unfrequently formed a topic of conversation. Albert was so opposed
to the very idea of such an action， that ， with a degree of irritation
unusual in him， he had more than once given Werther to understand that
he doubted the seriousness of his threats ， and not only turned them
into ridicule ， but caused Charlotte to share his feelings of incredulity.
Her heart was thus tranquillised when she felt disposed to view the melancholy
subject in a serious point of view， though she never communicated to
her husband the apprehensions she sometimes experienced.
Albert， upon his return， was received by Charlotte with ill-concealed
embarrassment. He was himself out of humour ； his business was unfinished
； and he had just discovered that the neighbouring official with whom
he had to deal， was an obstinate and narrow-minded personage. Many things
had occurred to irritate him.
He inquired whether anything had happened during his absence， and
Charlotte hastily answered that Werther had been there on the evening
previously. He then inquired for his letters， and was answered that several
packages had been left in his study. He thereon retired ， leaving Charlotte
The presence of the being she loved and honoured produced a new impression
on her heart. The recollection of his generosity， kindness ， and affection
had calmed her agitation： a secret impulse prompted her to follow him
； she took her work and went to his study， as was often her custom.
He was busily employed opening and reading his letters. It seemed as if
the contents of some were disagreeable. She asked some questions： he
gave short answers， and sat down to write.
Several hours passed in this manner ， and Charlotte's feelings became
more and more melancholy. She felt the extreme difficulty of explaining
to her husband， under any circumstances， the weight that lay upon her
heart ； and her depression became every moment greater ， in proportion
as she endeavoured to hide her grief， and to conceal her tears.
The arrival of Werther's servant occasioned her the greatest embarrassment.
He gave Albert a note ， which the latter coldly handed 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 rose from her seat half-fainting ， and unconscious
of what she did. She walked mechanically toward the wall， took down the
pistols with a trembling hand ， slowly wiped the dust from them， and
would have delayed longer ， had not Albert hastened her movements by
an impatient look. She then delivered the fatal weapons to the servant，
without being able to utter a word. As soon as he had departed， she folded
up her work ， and retired at once to her room， her heart overcome with
the most fearful forebodings. She anticipated some dreadful calamity.
She was at one moment on the point of going to her husband， throwing
herself at his feet ， and acquainting him with all that had happened
on the previous evening ， that she might acknowledge her fault ， and
explain her apprehensions ； then she saw that such a step would be useless，
as she would certainly be unable to induce Albert to visit Werther. Dinner
was served； and a kind friend whom she had persuaded to remain assisted
to sustain the conversation ， which was carried on by a sort of compulsion，
till the events of the morning were forgotten.
When the servant brought the pistols to Werther ， the latter received
them with transports of delight upon hearing that Charlotte had given
them to him with her own hand. He ate some bread， drank some wine， sent
his servant to dinner ， and then sat down to write as follows：
"They have been in your hands you wiped the dust from them. I kiss
them a thousand times —— you have touched them. Yes ， Heaven favours
my design ， and you， Charlotte， provide me with the fatal instruments.
It was my desire to receive my death from your hands， and my wish is
gratified. I have made inquiries of my servant. You trembled when you
gave him the pistols， but you bade me no adieu. Wretched ， wretched
that I am —— not one farewell ！ How could you shut your heart against
me in that hour which makes you mine for ever ？ Charlotte， ages cannot
efface the impression —— I feel you cannot hate the man who so passionately
loves you ！"
After dinner he called his servant， desired him to finish the packing
up， destroyed many papers， and then went out to pay some trifling debts.
He soon returned home ， then went out again， notwithstanding the rain，
walked for some time in the count's garden， and afterward proceeded farther
into the country. Toward evening he came back once more ， and resumed
"Wilhelm， I have for the last time beheld the mountains， the forests，
and the sky. Farewell ！ And you， my dearest mother， forgive me ！ Console
her ， Wilhelm. God bless you ！ I have settled all my affairs！ Farewell！
We shall meet again ， and be happier than ever."
"I have requited you badly， Albert ； but you will forgive me. I
have disturbed the peace of your home. I have sowed distrust between you.
Farewell！ I will end all this wretchedness. And oh ， that my death may
render you happy！ Albert ， Albert ！ make that angel happy， and the
blessing of Heaven be upon you！"
He spent the rest of the evening in arranging his papers： he tore
and burned a great many ； others he sealed up， and directed to Wilhelm.
They contained some detached thoughts and maxims， some of which I have
perused. At ten o'clock he ordered his fire to be made up ， and a bottle
of wine to be brought to him. He then dismissed his servant ， whose room，
as well as the apartments of the rest of the family ， was situated in
another part of the house. The servant lay down without undressing， that
he might be the sooner ready for his journey in the morning ， his master
having informed him that the post-horses would be at the door before six
"Past eleven o'clock！ All is silent around me， and my soul is calm.
I thank thee， O God， that thou bestowest strength and courage upon me
in these last moments ！ I approach the window， my dearest of friends
； and through the clouds ， which are at this moment driven rapidly along
by the impetuous winds， I behold the stars which illumine the eternal
heavens. No ， you will not fall， celestial bodies ： the hand of the
Almighty supports both you and me ！ I have looked for the last time upon
the constellation of the Greater Bear ： it is my favourite star； for
when I bade you farewell at night ， Charlotte， and turned my steps from
your door ， it always shone upon me. With what rapture have I at times
beheld it ！ How often have I implored it with uplifted hands to witness
my felicity ！ and even still —— But what object is there ， Charlotte，
which fails to summon up your image before me ？ Do you not surround me
on all sides？ and have I not ， like a child ， treasured up every trifle
which you have consecrated by your touch？ "Your profile， which was so
dear to me， I return to you； and I pray you to preserve it. Thousands
of kisses have I imprinted upon it， and a thousand times has it gladdened
my heart on departing from and returning to my home.
"I have implored your father to protect my remains. At the corner
of the churchyard ， looking toward the fields， there are two lime-trees
—— there I wish to lie. Your father can ， and doubtless will ， do
this much for his friend. Implore it of him. But perhaps pious Christians
will not choose that their bodies chould be buried near the corpse of
a poor， unhappy wretch like me. Then let me be laid in some remote valley，
or near the highway ， where the priest and Levite may bless themselves
as they pass by my tomb ， whilst the Samaritan will shed a tear for my
"See， Charlotte， I do not shudder to take the cold and fatal cup，
from which I shall drink the draught of death. Your hand presents it to
me， and I do not tremble. All， all is now concluded ： the wishes and
the hopes of my existence are fulfilled. With cold， unflinching hand
I knock at the brazen portals of Death. Oh， that I had enjoyed the bliss
of dying for you！ how gladly would I have sacrificed myself for you；
Charlotte ！ And could I but restore peace and joy to your bosom， with
what resolution ， with what joy， would I not meet my fate ！ But it
is the lot of only a chosen few to shed their blood for their friends ，
and by their death to augment ， a thousand times ， the happiness of
those by whom they are beloved.
I wish， Charlotte， to be buried in the dress I wear at present：
it has been rendered sacred by your touch. I have begged this favour of
your father. My spirit soars above my sepulchre. I do not wish my pockets
to be searched. The knot of pink ribbon which you wore on your bosom the
first time I saw you， surrounded by the children —— Oh ， kiss them
a thousand times for me ， and tell them the fate of their unhappy friend！
I think I see them playing around me. The dear children ！ How warmly
have I been attached to you ， Charlotte！ Since the first hour I saw
you ， how impossible have I found it to leave you. This ribbon must be
buried with me： it was a present from you on my birthday. How confused
it all appears！ Little did I then think that I should journey this road.
But peace ！ I pray you ， peace！
"They are loaded—— the clock strikes twelve. I say amen. Charlotte，
Charlotte ！ farewell ， farewell ！"
A neighbour saw the flash ， and heard the report of the pistol ；
but ， as everything remained quiet ， he thought no more of it.
In the morning， at six o'clock ， the servant went into Werther's
room with a candle. He found his master stretched upon the floor， weltering
in his blood， and the pistols at his side. He called ， he took him in
his arms， but received no answer. Life was not yet quite extinct. The
servant ran for a surgeon ， and then went to fetch Albert. Charlotte
heard the ringing of the bell ： a cold shudder seized her. She wakened
her husband ， and they both rose. The servant， bathed in tears faltered
forth the dreadful news. Charlotte fell senseless at Albert's feet.
When the surgeon came to the unfortunate Werther， he was still lying
on the floor； and his pulse beat ， but his limbs were cold. The bullet，
entering the forehead ， over the right eye ， had penetrated the skull.
A vein was opened in his right arm： the blood came ， and he still continued
From the blood which flowed from the chair， it could be inferred
that he had committed the rash act sitting at his bureau， and that he
afterward fell upon the floor. He was found lying on his back near the
window. He was in full-dress costume.
The house ， the neighbourhood， and the whole town were immediately
in commotion. Albert arrived. They had laid Werther on the bed： his head
was bound up， and the paleness of death was upon his face. His limbs
were motionless ； but he still breathed， at one time strongly ， then
weaker—— his death was momently expected.
He had drunk only one glass of the wine. "Emilia Galotti" lay open
upon his bureau.
I shall say nothing of Albert's distress， or of Charlotte's grief.
The old steward hastened to the house immediately upon hearing the
news： he embraced his dying friend amid a flood of tears. His eldest
boys soon followed him on foot. In speechless sorrow they threw themselves
on their knees by the bedside ， and kissed his hands and face. The eldest，
who was his favourite ， hung over him till he expired； and even then
he was removed by force. At twelve o'clock Werther breathed his last.
The presence of the steward ， and the precautions he had adopted ， prevented
a disturbance ； and that night ， at the hour of eleven， he caused the
body to be interred in the place which Werther had selected for himself.
The steward and his sons followed the corpse to the grave. Albert
was unable to accompany them. Charlotte's life was despaired of. The body
was carried by labourers. No priest attended.