This article accompanies the fable
The Immortal Beloved letters
My angel, my all, my very self:
Only a few words today, and these in pencil (in your pencil). Not until tomorrow will my lodgings be definitely engaged. What a useless waste of time such matters are! Why this profound sorrow when necessity speaks? Can our love exist except through sacrifices, through not demanding everything? Can you change it that you are not wholly mine, that I am not wholly yours? O God, gaze upon nature in all its beauties and let your soul be calm at what must be. Love demands all, and rightly so -- thus it is for me with you, for you with me, but you forget so easily that I must live for myself and for you. Were we wholly united, you would feel this painful necessity as little as I.
My journey was terrible. I did not arrive here until four o'clock yesterday morning. For lack of horses, the post-coach chose another route, but what a terrible road it was! At the last stage but one I was warned against traveling at night. They cautioned me about a forest, but that only spurred me on. I was wrong: the coach broke down because of the terrible road, unmetaled, a mere country road. Without such postilions as I had, I should have been left stranded. Esterhazy, traveling hither by the usual road, met the same fate with eight horses as I with four. Even so, I found some satisfaction in it as I always do when I successfully surmount difficulties.
Now a quick change to things internal from things external. We shall soon see each other again, I am sure, and today I cannot tell you the thoughts about my own life that I have had during these few days. If our hearts were always close together I would surely have no such thoughts. My heart is filled with many things to tell you -- ah, there are moments when I find that speech is futile indeed.
Be of good spirits; remain my true, my only treasure, my all as I am yours. The rest the gods must send us, that which must and shall be for us.
Your faithful Ludwig
Monday evening, 6 July
You are suffering, my most precious one. I have just learned that letters must be posted very early. Mondays and Thursdays are the only days on which the post goes from here to K. You are suffering -- ah! wherever I am, there also you are with me... Arrange affairs so that I may live with you. What a life!! Thus!! Without you! Pursued hither and yonder by the kindness of people that I believe I wish I deserved as little as I really do deserve it. This humility of man towards man: it pains me. And when I consider myself in relation to the universe, what I am and what it is that man calls the greatest -- and yet, herein lies the divinity in man.
I weep to think that probably only on Saturday will you receive the first news of me. However much you love me, I love you more, but never hide yourself from me.
Good night! Since I am taking the baths, I must go to bed. Ah, God! so near! so far! Is our love not truly a heavenly edifice, yet firm as the vault of heaven?
Good morning on 7 July
While still in bed my thoughts hurry to you, my immortal beloved, here and there joyfully, then sadly again, waiting to know whether Fate will hear us. I can live only wholly with you or wholly apart from you. I have decided to wander far away until I can fly to your arms and say that with you I have found my true home, can send my soul enwrapped in you into the realm of spirits.
Yes, it unfortunately must be so. You will be the more resolved since you know my fidelity to you. No other can ever possess my heart -- never -- never. O God! why must one be separated from one so beloved? And yet my life in Vienna is a miserable one. Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men. At my age I need a uniformity and a regularity of life. Can this exist with our relationship?
My angel, I have just learned that the post leaves every day. Accordingly I must close at once, so that you may receive my letter the sooner.
Be calm, for only by calm consideration of our lives can we attain our objective of living together. Be calm, love me. Today, yesterday, what tearful longings for you -- for you -- for you, my life, my all.
Farewell! Continue to love me; never misjudge the most faithful heart of