The First Letter
July 6, in the morning My angel, my all, my very self -Only a few words today and at that with pencil (with yours) -Not till tomorrow will my lodgings be definitely determined upon -what a useless waste of time -Why this deep sorrow when necessity speaks -can our love endure except through sacrifices, through not demanding everything from one another; can you change the fact that you are not wholly mine, I not wholly thine -Oh God, look out into the beauties of nature and comfort your heart with that which must be -Love demands everything and that very justly -thus it is to me with you, and to your with me. But you forget so easily that I must live for me and for you; if we were wholly united you would feel the pain of it as little as I -My journey was a fearful one; I did not reach here until 4 o’clock yesterday morning. Lacking horses the post-coach chose another route, but what an awful one; at the stage before the last I was warned not to travel at night; I was made fearful of a forest, but that only made me the more eager -and I was wrong. The coach must needs break down on the wretched road, a bottomless mud road. Without such postilions as I had with me I should have remained stuck in the road. Esterhazy, traveling the usual road here, had the same fate with eight horses that I had with four -Yet I got some pleasure out of it, as I always do when I successfully overcome difficulties -Now a quick change to things internal from things external. We shall surely see each other soon; moreover, today I cannot share with you the thoughts I have had during these last few days touching my own life -If our hearts were always close together, I would have none of these. My heart is full of so many things to say to you -ah -there are moments when I feel that speech amounts to nothing at all -Cheer up -remain my true, my only treasure, my all as I am yours. The gods must send us the rest, what for us must and shall be -Your faithful LUDWIG.
The Second Letter Evening, Monday, July 6
You are suffering, my dearest creature -only now have I learned that letters must be posted very early in the morning on Mondays to Thursdays -the only days on which the mail-coach goes from here to K. -You are suffering -Ah, wherever I am, there you are also -I will arrange it with you and me that I can live with you. What a life!!! thus!!! without you -pursued by the goodness of mankind hither and thither -which I as little want to deserve as I deserve it -Humility of man towards man -it pains me -and when I consider myself in relation to the universe, what am I and what is He -whom we call the greatest -and yet -herein lies the divine in man -I weep when I reflect that you will probably not receive the first report from me until Saturday -Much as you love me -I love you more -But do not ever conceal yourself from me -good night -As I am taking the baths I must go to bed -Oh God -so near! so far! Is not our love truly a heavenly structure, and also as firm as the vault of heaven?
The Third Letter
Good morning, on July 7 Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us -I can live only wholly with you or not at all -Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits -Yes, unhappily it must be so -You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart -never -never -Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves. And yet my life in V is now a wretched life -Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men -At my age I need a steady, quiet life -can that be so in our connection? My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes every day -therefore I must close at once so that you may receive the letter at once -Be calm, only by a calm consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together -Be calm -love me -today -yesterday -what tearful longings for you -you -you -my life -my all -farewell. Oh continue to love me -never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.