Wieland or the Transformation
"Deeply did I ruminate on the occurrences that had just passed. Nothing excited my
wonder so much as the means by which you discovered my being in the closet. This
discovery appeared to be made at the moment when you attempted to open it. How could
you have otherwise remained so long in the chamber apparently fearless and tranquil?
And yet, having made this discovery, how could you persist in dragging me forth: persist
in defiance of an interdiction so emphatical and solemn?
"But your sister's death was an event detestable and ominous. She had been the victim of
the most dreadful species of assassination. How, in a state like yours, the murderous
intention could be generated, was wholly inconceivable.
"I did not relinquish my design of confessing to you the part which I had sustained in
your family, but I was willing to defer it till the task which I had set myself was finished.
That being done, I resumed the resolution. The motives to incite me to this continually
acquired force. The more I revolved the events happening at Mettingen, the more
insupportable and ominous my terrors became. My waking hours and my sleep were
vexed by dismal presages and frightful intimations.
"Catharine was dead by violence. Surely my malignant stars had not made me the cause
of her death; yet had I not rashly set in motion a machine, over whose progress I had no
controul, and which experience had shewn me was infinite in power? Every day might
add to the catalogue of horrors of which this was the source, and a seasonable disclosure
of the truth might prevent numberless ills.
"Fraught with this conception, I have turned my steps hither. I find your brother's house
desolate: the furniture removed, and the walls stained with damps. Your own is in the
same situation. Your chamber is dismantled and dark, and you exhibit an image of
incurable grief, and of rapid decay.
"I have uttered the truth. This is the extent of my offences. You tell me an horrid tale of
Wieland being led to the destruction of his wife and children, by some mysterious agent.
You charge me with the guilt of this agency; but I repeat that the amount of my guilt has
been truly stated. The perpetrator of Catharine's death was unknown to me till now; nay,
it is still unknown to me."
At that moment, the closing of a door in the kitchen was distinctly heard by us. Carwin
started and paused. "There is some one coming. I must not be found here by my enemies,
and need not, since my purpose is answered."
I had drunk in, with the most vehement attention, every word that he had uttered. I had no
breath to interrupt his tale by interrogations or comments. The power that he spoke of