Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774), p. 78 (Letter of 20 January)

Werther to Lotte:

But I was meaning to tell you of Miss von B. She has a great soul, which gazes straight at one from her blue eyes. Her rank is a burden and satisfies none of the wishes of her heart. She is longing to put all this brouhaha behind her, and we spend many an hour imagining country scenes of unadulterated bliss; and then, ah! we speak of you!

Miss von B. transparently communicates her goodness, in clear contrast to the politicians Werther has been dealing with in the city. The four Wertherian sentences manage to capture several of the binaries of sensibilious thinking: wordless communication over wordy artifice; country over city; the desires of the heart over the desires of the world ("rank"); imaginary scenes over hostile realities.

Related terms:

a dictionary of sensibility
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source bibliography
critical bibliography