V O L U M E 1 , D O C U M E N T S 3 1 a , 3 3 a 1 3 Vol. 1, 31a. To Marie Winteler [Milan, 24 March 1897] Beloved little Marie, I love you with all the powers of my beleaguered soul, so purely & truly, as one must love such a noble soul, sweetheart. Oh, do not make both our hearts so heavy! To see you saddened because of me is the greatest pain to me, even though I know that it is unfounded. If you yourself, darling, with your dear, gentle nature no longer understand me, then I despair of myself as well. How inhuman I must have become for my darling to perceive it as coldness. Today I received another letter from home,[1] how sad, my darling. And now you also waver! Alas, my dear, I have never felt so weak and helpless as today. What am I to you, what can I offer you! I’m nothing but a schoolboy & have nothing, and have nothing to hope for, & am in danger of losing confidence in myself. I have nothing but my soul & my ideas, and I must constantly purchase them both with pain. You should have both these things entirely, not much, but all that I have. And yet you ask whether I love you so much out of pity! I can truly imagine no height from which I could look down on you, my love, & I would be very un- happy if I could alas, you so misunderstand the empathy of ideal love. Do not worry anymore & I will forgive everything & and also be happy if only you are happy again. I love you from the depths of my soul and worship your noble nature & have not forgotten how you were a consoling angel to me in times of suf- fering. A thousand greetings more to my cruel darling, Albert I find it delightful that you so openly allow yourself to be guided by the voice of your heart. I admire this even when it hurts terribly. Vol. 1, 33a. To Marie Winteler [Zurich, before 21 May 1897][1] […] once more I would have […] thus, into view […], whose gaze […] my […] weakness in the most terrible light […] can and must […] despise as an unworthy weakling, over whom you must feel yourself superior. But I implore you not to
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