The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 02 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 618 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 02.
it would not be anything but painful.  Charlotte and I, with all our property, would only find ourselves in a melancholy state.  And if, like other men of the world, you can persuade yourself that years and separation will eradicate our feelings, will obliterate impressions so deeply engraved; why, then the question is of these very years, which it would be better to spend in happiness and comfort than in pain and misery.  But the last and most important point of all which I have to urge is this:  supposing that we, our outward and inward condition being what it is, could nevertheless make up our minds to wait at all hazards, and bear what is laid upon us, what is to become of Ottilie?  She must leave our family; she must go into society where we shall not be to care for her, and she will be driven wretchedly to and fro in a hard, cold world.  Describe to me any situation in which Ottilie, without me, without us, could be happy, and you will then have employed an argument which will be stronger than every other; and if I will not promise to yield to it, if I will not undertake at once to give up all my own hopes, I will at least reconsider the question, and see how what you have said will affect it.”

This problem was not so easy to solve; at least, no satisfactory answer to it suggested itself to his friend, and nothing was left to him except to insist again and again, how grave and serious, and in many senses how dangerous, the whole undertaking was; and at least that they ought maturely to consider how they had better enter upon it.  Edward agreed to this, and consented to wait before he took any steps; but only under the condition that his friend should not leave him until they had come to a perfect understanding about it, and until the first measures had been taken.


Men who are complete strangers, and wholly indifferent to one another, if they live a long time together, are sure both of them to expose something of their inner nature, and thus a kind of intimacy will arise between them.  All the more was it to be expected that there would soon be no secrets between our two friends, now that they were again under the same roof together, and in daily and hourly intercourse.  They went over again the earlier stages of their history, and the Major confessed to Edward that Charlotte had intended Ottilie for him at the time at which he returned from abroad, and hoped that some time or other he might marry her.  Edward was in ecstasies at this discovery; he spoke without reserve of the mutual affection of Charlotte and the Major, which, because it happened to fall in so conveniently with his own wishes, he painted in very lively colors.

Deny it altogether, the Major could not; at the same time, he could not altogether acknowledge it.  But Edward only insisted on it the more.  He had pictured the whole thing to himself not as possible, but as already concluded; all parties had only to resolve on what they all wished; there would be no difficulty in obtaining a separation; the marriages should follow as soon after as possible, and Edward could travel with Ottilie.

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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